Fantastic collection of opt-out links

This is a fascinating resource. At the very least, scroll through to see some of the user data collecting that you can opt-out of.

How to clean your precious…er…Apple Card

Apple posted a page on cleaning your Apple Card. This is real.

One particular highlight from the page:

Some fabrics, like leather and denim, might cause permanent discoloration that will not wash off.

I have to say, this is some upper echelon marketing. Can you imagine if Capital One or CitiBank sent you instructions on cleaning your credit card?

But there’s more.

Not sure what factors came into play here, but here’s one user’s card after two months in a leather wallet. Not so precious.

Also, there’s a new Apple Card Twitter account. Kind of hoping for some Wendy’s / Burger King level comedy, but I won’t hold my breath. Until the other credit card companies get together and create accounts to get this rivalry started.

Sign In with Apple: Goodbye account management

Ryan Christoffel, MacStories:

Often when I try something new, however, I’m immediately confronted with the obstacle of a login screen. At which point there’s a choice to make: do I go through the hassle of creating an account for this service, or – if the option is available – do I simply authenticate via a third party like Google or Facebook? Sadly, neither option is ideal.

And:

When apps update to adopt Sign In with Apple, I suspect many users’ initial thoughts will be some variation of what immediately popped into my mind after trying it for the first time: “Where has this been all my life?”

It’s going to take a while, but I’m looking forward to this rolling out across the appiverse, becoming the standard rather than the exception.

Too much power in one company’s hands? Hey, I’d rather it be Apple than anyone else.

British Airways giving all 15,000 cabin crew members an iPhone XR for customer support

I love my iPhone XR. As I’ve discussed on the podcast, I started with an iPhone XS Max, then “downgraded” to the XR. Price, crazy battery life, color choices were all big wins for me. I did give up screen and camera advances, but no regrets.

It’ll be interesting to see the divide between the next generation iPhones. We shall soon see.

Hands on with six Apple Arcade games

[VIDEO] This is a great walkthrough from 9to5Mac’s Jeff Benjamin. The games I’m seeing so far really click for me, look like my kind of games.

From the video, Jeff seems to agree. If the price is, as rumored, $4.99 a month for 100+ games, seems a no-brainer to me.

Watch the video (embedded in the main Loop post), judge for yourself.

Apple Card and rejecting arbitration

Getting an Apple Card? If so, be aware that you can opt out of the arbitration clause.

To do so:

  • Launch the Wallet app
  • Tap your Apple Card
  • On the Apple Card page, tap the (…) menu (upper right)
  • Tap the Message button
  • Type “I want to reject arbitration”

Here’s a look at the entire process, in a single tweet. Simple.

As to why you’d want to reject arbitration, consider this explainer from the Economic Policy Institute (via Nick Heer). One way it was explained to me: Arbitration is an end run around class action suits. Good for corporations, bad for consumers.

Anyone know of an upside to keeping the arbitration clause, a reason not to reject it?

John Gruber on Apple Card “aimed at keeping you locked into your iPhone”

John Gruber, commenting on this BuzzFeed article, which makes the claim that Apple Card was created to lock you in to the Apple ecosystem:

I don’t think the reason for this is to keep you locked to your iPhone, although that’s certainly a side effect. I think this simply reflects Apple’s internal culture. Apple’s culture is to make native apps for everything as a first priority, with web interfaces as a much lower priority.

I agree. The Apple Card has the same impact on lock-in as Apple Watch. Neither is a requirement, and both have plenty of non-Apple counterparts you can move to if you want to leave Apple behind.

It’s the ecosystem itself that keeps you around, not any one piece of it.

Apple TV+ may support downloads for offline viewing, limit simultaneous streams

Steve Moser, MacRumors:

According to code strings found in macOS Catalina, Apple will apparently allow videos to be downloaded for offline viewing, but with limitations on the total number of downloads, downloads per show or movie, or the total number of times a show or movie can be downloaded. For example, if a user tries to download the same video on multiple devices, the Apple TV app will inform them that “To download this episode of ‘The Morning Show’, delete it from another device and try again,” for example.

Glad to see that Apple TV+ will (apparently) allow downloads, just like Amazon Video and Netflix. When I travel, I always download videos for later consumption, since there are times when internet access is either spotty or limited in some way.

Live from space, an astronaut uses an iPad to DJ a party back on Earth

[VIDEO] Digital DJ Tips:

This past week, the first ever live DJ set from space took place. Using an iPad with djay Pro, European astronaut Luca Parmitano’s performance was beamed from the International Space Station straight to a cruise ship packed with ravers. Floating inside one of the ISS’s rooms, DJ Luca dropped a mix of EDM, hardstyle and uplifting (ahem) trance to an enthusiastic audience watching him from massive LED walls back on Earth.

This is amazing. Check out the video embedded in the main Loop post. Tiny detail I love is the velcro on the back of the iPad that Luca uses to keep his iPad from floating away.

Apple Card launches today for all US customers

Apple:

Apple Card, a new kind of credit card created by Apple and designed to help customers lead a healthier financial life, is available in the US starting today. Customers can apply for Apple Card through the Wallet app on iPhone in minutes and start using it right away with Apple Pay in stores, in apps and on websites. Built on simplicity, transparency and privacy, Apple Card has no fees, encourages customers to pay less interest, offers an easy-to-understand view of spending and provides a new level of privacy and security. This launch follows the Apple Card preview earlier this month, during which a limited number of customers were invited to apply early.

For qualifying customers, subject to credit approval.

In the footnotes:

Apple Pay is coming soon to Uber services like Uber Cash, Scheduled Rides and JUMP.

If you are in the US and have been spamming your Wallet app to no avail, try again now.

  • Launch the Wallet app
  • Tap the + in the upper right corner
  • Tap the Continue button on the bottom of the Apple Pay page
  • You should see an Apple Card item. Tap it. Off to the races.

I think Goldman Sachs Bank is going to be incredibly busy today.

ARKit and animated tattoos

This is both cool and significant. Start by watching the video in the embedded tweet:

https://twitter.com/singareddynm/status/1163071327248572421

These were created on a Mac using an app called EyeJack Creator. Imagine the possibilities.

On the art side, there are paths for animation and storytelling. And there is also the possibility of embedding hidden copyright information tied to a specific design.

There is also the possibility of tying hidden messages to a temporary tattoo, something akin to steganography. Very interesting.

How Home Sharing works in macOS Catalina

Use Home Sharing on your Mac to share your media with your home, dorm, or office? Never heard of Home Sharing?

Either way, take a read of the linked article. Kirk McElhearn walks through the new Home Sharing interface coming with macOS Catalina.

Apple moves gambling app rating to 17+ globally, works with Republic of Korea to expand App Store

From an Apple developer email:

To ensure that our global age rating system continues to help make the App Store safe for kids, apps that feature Frequent/Intense Simulated Gambling will be rated 17+ in all countries and regions starting August 20, 2019.

And:

In an effort to open up additional opportunities for developers, we’ve worked with the government of the Republic of Korea on making more apps available on the App Store in the Republic of Korea.

Note that the Republic of Korea is the official name of what is commonly referred to as South Korea.

If your app meets at least one of the criteria below, you’ll be able to offer it on the App Store in the Republic of Korea to users 19 years of age or older.

And here are those criteria:

  • Apps in the Casino subcategory with age rating 17+
  • Apps in the Games or Entertainment categories with Frequent/Intense selected for at least one of the following content descriptions:
    • Simulated Gambling
    • Sexual Content or Nudity
    • Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or Reference
    • Realistic Violence

Scatter plot of every music genre, interactive, with playlists

This is impressive work. If you scroll down below all the genres, you’ll find:

Every Noise at Once is an ongoing attempt at an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 3,311 genre-shaped distinctions by Spotify as of 2019-08-16. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.

If you are on a Mac browser, type command-F and enter a search term, like “rock”. That’ll make the page a bit easier to navigate.

Click a genre and you’ll hear a short example snippet. Once selected, click the chevron that appears on the right and you’ll dive in. Click Playlist (at the top) and you’ll get a Spotify playlist.

I’d love to see something like this for Apple Music. This’d be fantastic for music discovery.

Apple Card and three occurrences of “currently”

From the Manage your Apple Card account Apple Support document:

Apple Card is currently available only to customers participating in the Apple Card Preview.

A reminder, this is still Apple Card Preview times. Somewhat like a beta, but with more legal obligations. So if you are not getting the card invite, have patience. Some people are really getting riled up over this. Speaks to the compelling nature of both Apple Card and the ecosystem.

Credit limit increases are not currently supported.

If you tap the “…” button, then scroll to “Credit Details”, you’ll see your credit limit. Given that the vast majority of credit cards offer some mechanism to bump your credit limit, I’d expect this to change. Again, this is a beta period.

Only the account owner can currently use Apple Card. If a family member or friends wants to use Apple Card they will need to apply for Apple Card.

This last one is interesting. There’s an implication that you’ll be able to allow future Apple Cards for family members and friends, tied to your Apple ID. Lots of credit cards allow this as well. A great way to introduce your kids to the responsibilities and mechanics of credit cards.

I wonder if we’ll eventually see a business version of Apple Card.

9to5Mac’s sneak peak at the Apple Arcade early access program

Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac:

Apple is currently running an internal early access program for its employees, charging a small subscription of $0.49/mo, with one month free trial. It says the testing program ends with the launch of iOS 13.

Today, 9to5Mac was able to gain access to this Apple Arcade early testing program on the Mac App Store.

The $0.49 a month thing is interesting. I’m guessing they needed to test the billing mechanism as well as the games themselves, and the price worked for some reason. I don’t recall anything Apple ever shipped for less than $0.99. No matter, I can’t imagine that price won’t increase at least 10-fold.

How to transfer playlists from Spotify to Apple Music

Amber Neely, AppleInsider:

The whole ordeal takes just a couple of minutes provided you’ve got a computer handy. Be aware that to do this, know that you have to be migrating from a Spotify Premium account —it isn’t possible to copy over from the free tier.

If you are making the move from Spotify Premium to Apple Music and have playlists you’d like to take with you, this seems worth reading. Another path to consider is the iOS app SongShift (free, with in-app-purchase).

I’d love to be able to tap on a Spotify playlist link and have it just play in Apple Music. Never gonna happen, I realize, but that’s the dream.

UPDATE: Another service to try – Tune My Music. Converts pretty much anything. Nice. [H/T @pinkoos]

Amazing ice hockey kid

[VIDEO] Talk about a kid who really works hard. I have a feeling this kid is going to the show someday. Hope he makes it to my team (and not Jim’s). Video embedded in main Loop post.

[Via TYWKIWDBI]

iOS App Store links now show a lot more detail when opened on your Mac

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

Apple has recently updated its App Store Preview pages for stories to allow users to view the full content of stories from inside their desktop web browser. App Store stories have always been shareable as links, but the web version was just a title and a navigation link to ‘open this story in the App Store’.

Huzzah! Great to see this. I often encounter a link to an app on Mac Safari. A pain (and broken marketing for the app creator) to force me to re-find the link on my iOS device to learn more.

As an example, try opening this iOS link to PCalc on your Mac. Instead of just text telling you to open the link on an iOS device, you’ll see all the images, reviews, etc. Great!

Twitter tests letting users follow topics in the same way they follow accounts

Casey Newton, The Verge:

Twitter will begin allowing users to follow interests, the company said today, letting users see tweets about topics of their choosing inside the timeline. When the feature goes live, you’ll be able to follow topics including sports teams, celebrities, and television shows, with a selection of tweets about them inserted alongside tweets in your home feed.

Twitter will curate the topics, minimizing the potential for abuse. And you can temporarily mute a topic so you don’t see spoilers for a game you’ve recorded, a movie or streaming episode you haven’t seen.

The company has been researching the bad incentives that Twitter can create, with the like and retweet often serving to promote outrage and polarization.

Understatement of the year.

Google Assistant will soon let you assign reminders for friends and family

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

Google Assistant is about to gain a new reminder feature that allows you to get someone else to do your bidding.

Called Assignable Reminders, the feature lets you set reminders for other people, so long as they are in your Google Contacts or opted in to your Family Group.

I can see the value here. As long as I have to approve a reminder before it gets added to my list.

Tricky to make this work without adding friction. I don’t want zero friction, where my friends and family can add reminders without my knowing. But I also don’t want to have to do a lot of work to prevent and/or manage outside reminders.

The good side is that I can just disable this if I don’t like it. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple adopts this idea.

The next step in the war on spam robocalls

Engadget:

AT&T and T-Mobile have started rolling out cross-network call authentication services for their subscribers. That means the companies will now be able notify their customers if the call they’re getting from the other carrier truly is from the number shown on screen or if it’s a spoofed robocall.

Details in the linked post, but seems to me, this is a problem of our own creation. Why not just disable the ability to spoof entirely? If a call comes in that is not on my contact list, I want to see the true phone number, no fake names allowed.

No fines. Just break the spoofing mechanism in the first place. And first carrier to make this happen wins my business.

Deep Fakes: Full House…of Mustaches, and now it’s gone

[VIDEO] There’s a clip flying around the internet of Bill Hader being interviewed by David Letterman. Hader does impressions of Al Pacino and Tom Cruise. But in this Deep Fake version of the clip, Hader’s face morphs into Pacino and Cruise as he shifts characters. It’s eerie, creepy, fascinating, and a sign of deeper fakes to come.

If you haven’t seen the clip, take a minute to watch. And then watch the clip embedded in the main Loop post. It’s a similar treatment of the opening to the show Full House, but with a special Nick Offerman mustache treatment.

The future.

One click, a bit of typing to make an Apple Card image with any name you like

First things first, this is a terrific Apple Card explainer by Juli Clover for MacRumors.

But have a bit of fun and click on the Apple Card image in the middle of the post. Type in any name you like and see the Apple Card with that name come to life.

Mine is here. Feeling particularly clever? Feel free to reply with your own creations.

Apple locked me out of its walled garden. It was a nightmare

Luke Kurtis, Quartz:

A few months ago, I purchased an iTunes gift card off of a popular discount website.

And:

About a week after I redeemed the gift card, I noticed my iTunes account wasn’t working. When I tried to log in, it said my account was locked. I searched online for help, but I couldn’t find a solution. I called up Apple support.

And that’s the beginning of a two month journey. Fascinating read, especially if you consider the personal impact of being locked out of your Apple ID for two months.

FAA bans recalled MacBook Pros from flights

Bloomberg:

U.S. airline safety regulators banned select MacBook Pro laptops on flights after Apple Inc. recently said that some units had batteries that posed a fire risk.

In a statement, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it was “aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops” and stated that it alerted major U.S. airlines about the recall.

I totally get this. A bad battery is a bad battery. But my question is, how will they enforce this ban? Will they be checking model numbers on all MacBook Pros? This going to be an honor system thing?

Here’s how Apple Card Daily Cash works

William Gallagher, AppleInsider:

With Apple Card slowly rolling out to more users, Apple has been busy preparing a slew of support documents that explain how to use the new credit card —and it includes explanations of many things we’d been left wondering. Such as precisely how Daily Cash works.

This is the system whereby if you buy something using your Apple Card, you get rewarded with a certain percentage of the purchase price paid back to your account in cash.

Planning on getting an Apple Card? Read the linked post for the details on Daily Cash in real life usage.