Apple’s partnership with Gallaudet University


Gallaudet University has always been a center of advanced learning and teaching approaches. From its founding in 1864 with 8 students who are deaf, to its thriving university community of over two thousand students and faculty today, Gallaudet has become the premier higher education institution for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

With that as background:

This summer, Gallaudet University students and faculty received a special welcome kit. Inside, they found some essential Bison gear — the school’s mascot — including a sweatshirt, stickers, and a notebook. There were also a few powerful learning tools that would be essential for the remote fall semester. Every student and faculty member was equipped with a new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard Folio.

And this:

Apple is also giving students opportunities in technology after they graduate from Gallaudet. Apple Carnegie Library, in Washington, D.C., holds several recruiting efforts with Gallaudet, and currently employs more than 30 team members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Many are Gallaudet alumni.

This is a side of Apple that I absolutely love. Sure, it’s good business, good publicity, but I believe the drive to do this is what sets Apple apart from so many other companies. Good on you Apple.

Apple’s delicate decoupling from China

A number of the biggest companies are doing their best to straddle the widening chasm between Beijing and Washington, in an effort to avoid picking a side. Apple, for one, has adopted a two-sided strategy to balance itself from the tech war. While it has been pushing suppliers to accelerate their shift away from China since late 2018, it has also been aggressively cultivating Chinese homegrown suppliers to play a more important role inside China, and secure continuous access to the 1.4 billion strong market.



I recently have been in a mode of deep (Windows-based) user interface focus at work, and was describing Panic to someone recently when something came over me. I love these guys. I love the attention to detail of every large, small and medium thing, the time put into making an application that feels right and flows right, that’s easy to use, that has just enough user interface that you can get done what you need to get done, that has style, function and whimsy.


The Mac gets a lot of flack from people who are nose deep in technical specifications and price matchups. What they don’t see — or aren’t interested in — is the intangible: the culture that people with big dreams and small means have made the unconventional available, the complex seemingly simple and the advanced accessible. This culture doesn’t live or die by Apple in particular, although the original Macintosh being a product of a similar mindset helped set the tone. This culture produces things that are hard to find elsewhere, not because it’s technically impossible to do, but because the values that drive those other platforms produce different outcomes.

This entire post is a love letter and perfectly captures how I feel about the Mac and Apple in general, warts and all. I love the culture, love the attention to detail, in spite of the flaws. In spite of the App Store madness, Sherlocking, Steve Jobs horror stories, broken keyboards, etc. That love is just deeply, deeply ingrained.

Lovely bit of writing, this. Well done.

[Via Michael Tsai]

“Where’s your DVD drive?”

[VIDEO] Apple Fellow Guy Kawasaki interviewing Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. This is full of hot takes and just plain fun to watch. Video embedded in main Loop post.

Piper Sandler annual teen survey: 86% own iPhone, 89% expect one

Piper Sandler:

The Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from thousands of teens with an average age of 15.8 years.


86% of teens own an iPhone and 89% expect an iPhone to be their next phone, both all-time survey highs

Think about that for a moment. Many consider Apple and iPhone to be premier, high-end brands. And 86% of teens own one. That is remarkable.


Apple TV+ order “The Supermodels” documentary


Apple TV+ has ordered “The Supermodels,” an unparalleled event docuseries that will feature exclusive access to and interviews with Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, who will revisit their iconic modeling careers and collective disruption of the ‘90s fashion scene, which continues to reverberate today.


Hailing from Imagine Documentaries, the project will be directed and executive produced by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple (“Harlan County, USA,” “American Dream,” “Shut Up and Sing”), and executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, along with Campbell, Crawford, Evangelista and Turlington, who have joined in an unprecedented partnership on the series.

Interesting slice of the fashion industry, definitely something I’d watch.

Also interesting is the branding here. Still trying to get my head around the Apple Original Films branding. AOF is listed as a studio on Apple’s official On the Rocks page. But though the press release for the new Springsteen doc is from Apple Original Films, the studio is not listed on Apple’s official Springsteen documentary page.

Not a complaint, just me being curious.

The experience of being grilled by Steve Jobs

[VIDEO] Andy Miller, founder of Quattro Wireless, a mobile ad company that Apple acquired in 2010, describes his meeting with Steve Jobs to get Steve’s blessing on the acquisition.

This is just great. Video embedded in main Loop post.

PSA: How to check/control your Apple TV+ subscription

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

For those who signed up for Apple TV+ right when it was available on November 1, 2019, those free year-long Apple TV+ accounts are expiring at the end of October. A year is a long time to remember to cancel a subscription, so we wanted to warn MacRumors readers not interested in keeping Apple TV+ that charges are imminent. The first subscribers will be charged for Apple TV+ on October 31, 2020.

Follow the headline link for instructions. Good reminder that once your free year of Apple TV+ ends, you will be charged for the subscription renewal.

Hopefully, the new Apple One bundles will kick in before folks start canceling.

Side note: If you’re interested, here’s the official terms and conditions on your free year.

Google’s parallel path to Apple Watch

[VIDEO] Google blog:

The heart of Jacquard is the Jacquard Tag, a tiny computer built to make everyday items more helpful. We first used this on the sleeve of a jacket so that it could recognize the gestures of the person wearing it, and we built that same technology into the Cit-E backpack with Saint Laurent. Then, we collaborated with Adidas and EA on our GMR shoe insert, enabling its wearers to combine real-life play with the EA SPORTS FIFA mobile game.

Project Jacquard was announced back in 2015, and Google has touted it as a smart controller you can wear to control various devices.

I can’t help but see a parallel to Apple Watch. Apple pushed their remote control capabilities into the Apple Watch (think answering the phone, controlling music/podcasts, curating notifications, etc.), Google is going in a different direction, splintering the control into a sprinkling of Jacquard Tag embeds.

The newest of these is the just announced Konnect-I Backpack series:

Whether it’s touch or movement-based, the tag can interpret different inputs customized for the garments and gear we’ve collaborated with brands to create. And now we’re sharing that two new backpacks, developed with Samsonite, will integrate Jacquard technology. A fine addition to our collection, the Konnect-I Backpack comes in two styles: Slim ($199) and Standard ($219).

While they might look like regular backpacks, the left strap unlocks tons of capabilities. Using your Jacquard app, you can customize what gestures control which actions—for instance, you can program Jacquard to deliver call and text notifications, trigger a selfie, control your music or prompt Google Assistant to share the latest news. For an added level of interaction, the LED light on your left strap will light up according to the alerts you’ve set.

Will we see a similar device (the rumored AirTags) from Apple? If so, will AirTags parallel the Jacquard tag in functionality?

While you think about all this, here’s a commercial (video embedded in main Loop post) for the new Konnect-I backpack. So very odd.

Apple stops selling rival earphones, speakers ahead of launches


Apple Inc. has stopped selling headphones and wireless speakers from rivals including Sonos Inc., Bose Corp. and Logitech International SA as the company gears up to launch its own new audio products.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has long sold third-party hardware on its website, one of the largest e-commerce operations in the world. All headphones and speakers from Bose, speakers from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand and Sonos’s latest smart speaker disappeared from Apple’s online store at the end of last month, according to checks by Bloomberg.

Check for yourself. Jump onto and do a search for, say, “headphones”. Nothing but Apple and Beats.

A sure sign of coming Apple-branded over-ear headphones? And will we soon see a keynote invite for next week? October 13th has been rumored as a keynote date and it’s one week from today.

Apple Original Films announces “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” documentary

[VIDEO] Apple:

Bruce Springsteen fans around the world will get a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic artist’s creative process in the documentary feature film, “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You,” from Apple Original Films, premiering Friday, October 23 exclusively on Apple TV+. The feature-length vérité documentary arrives the same day as Springsteen’s new album “Letter To You,” and features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into “Letter To You” from Springsteen himself.

Continuing the Apple Original Films branding, this is a gift to Springsteen fans. I was raised just up highway 9 from Bruce’s old stomping grounds, required viewing for me, looking forward to this.

Trailer embedded in main Loop post.

Remembering Steve Jobs

[VIDEO] Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

Nine years ago today, Steve Jobs passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, one day after Apple executives introduced the iPhone 4s at a media event on the company’s Infinite Loop headquarters campus.

You can send an email to [email protected] to express your appreciation for Steve. The remembrances scroll on Apple’s official Steve Jobs appreciation page.

Here’s a video, embedded in the main Loop post, with lots of Steve. Brings tears to my eyes to think of what we’ve lost.

CopyChar make it easy to find that character you want

Follow the headline link, scroll/search to find the character you need, including emoji, then click the character and it is copied, ready for pasting.

Similar to command-control-space on a Mac, which brings up the character browser, but this is much larger. And on the iPhone, it’s scalable, to make it easy to see more detail.

I did notice that some of the new emoji are not yet implemented (they appear as mystery squares). Still useful to me.

iPad execs talk 2020 iPad lineup, Touch ID on power button, with iJustine and Jenna Ezarik

[VIDEO] Apple marketing and hardware execs Bob Borchers and John Ternus jumped onto the Same Brain podcast to talk about the 2020 iPad lineup. Video embedded in main Loop post.

Of particular interest to me was the detailed discussion (jump to about 7:22) of the fingerprint scanner on the iPad Air’s power button. I would love to see this tech on an iPhone. Not sure if the footprint is large enough to allow this.

A great achievement. Love this discussion.

Geekbench scores, new iPad Air, and the 16″ 2019 MacBook Pro

Hartley Charlton, MacRumors:

Benchmarks supposedly for Apple’s A14 Bionic processor in the iPad Air 4, first spotted by Twitter user “Ice Universe,” reveal that the A14 offers significant performance improvements over the iPhone 11’s A13 Bionic.

Here’s a link to that Geekbench 5 result.

  • 1583 Single-Core Score
  • 4198 Multi-Core Score

Note that the multi-core score was computed on a 6 core device.

Now check out the Geekbench 5 results for the 16 inch 2019 MacBook Pro:

  • 928 Single-Core Score
  • 5934 Multi-Core Score

This is an 8-core device. With that in mind, scroll and compare all the various tests. The A14 Bionic in the new iPad Air kicks some serious butt.

Is this a fair comparison? For a strict CPU vs CPU comparison, seems like it does offer a level of insight. And makes me hopeful that the Arm-based Macs coming our way will significantly raise the bar for Mac performance.

The amazing photography in Apple TV+ Tiny World

[VIDEO] I recently bought a macro lens and I’m simply amazed at the worlds it opens up to me. It has also brought me a deeper appreciation of the gorgeous photography in the Apple TV+ series Tiny World, which debuted last Friday.

Watch the “behind the scenes” embedded in the main Loop post. Wonderful work.

Six figures in 6 days


I saw some people sharing screenshots of their iPhones after discovering that iOS 14 now allows you to add custom icons to your home screen using the Siri Shortcuts app. This was the first time you can really customize iOS, and it was catching on.


As soon as I noticed the hype, I put together some icons in my own style, downloaded some widgets, and tried it all out. I thought it looked cool, so I shared a screenshot of it on Twitter. Right away, people started asking about the icons in the screenshot. So I quickly packaged them, uploaded them to Gumroad, and embedded them on a Notion site using Super. All of this took about two hours.

The next day, the tweet had hundreds of retweets, thousands of likes, and over 100k impressions. The day after that, almost a million. The next thing I knew, it was everywhere. My icons got published on notable tech sites like Cult of Mac, iMore, AllThingsTech, and Gridfiti. I think at this time I was around the $6k mark in sales.

Then, MKBHD happened.

Read the post. Love stories like this. Note that Apple did not get a cut of this. All happened outside the ecosystem.

[Via 9to5Mac]

Hands-on with watchOS 7 top features

[VIDEO] Jeff Benjamin with a calm, thoughtful look through watchOS 7’s top features (video embedded in main Loop post). Most of these will work with a Series 4 Apple Watch and beyond.

Even if you’ve lived with watchOS 7 for a while now, I suspect there’s something here for you to learn.

How to use and troubleshoot blood oxygen monitoring on Apple Watch Series 6

Solid walkthrough/explainer on the Apple Watch Series 6 blood oxygen monitoring mechanics. Read the comments on the post, too.

Side note: I’ve got a woven Solo Loop band, and I’ve found both blood ox and ECG to work flawlessly, even though my band is a bit loose-fitting (my preference).

The magic of iOS ‘App Clip’ demos


I now think I was wrong that widgets are the biggest iOS 14 deal. Only because I’m now certain that App Clips are.

This revelation comes after playing a single game. One that’s not even necessarily my cup of tea, mind you. But the experience of playing a demo of the game via an App Clip was so seamless it feels appropriate for once to invoke the term “magical”.

If you’ve not had the chance to try this yourself, here’s how.

But M.G. makes a bigger point here:

Given how well this works, I can see a world in which other developers beyond gaming take advantage of this technology to demo their apps. And, if I squint, I think I can even see a world of “micro-apps” that don’t need full apps to operate. Perhaps these are more ephemeral style apps. Apps where asking for a full download is a lot in this age of app saturation.

The importance of App Clips is underrated, assuming developers embrace it. And, as M.G. says, the implementation brings Apple’s “It just works” ethos to life.

Amazon One palm reader, Apple Pay, and accessibility

Steven Aquino, Forbes, first on Apple Pay:

Apple Pay was not only more secure (more on this below), it also was fast and easy—no longer did someone need to fumble through their wallet to find their credit card. All that was needed was to place your iPhone (or Apple Watch) near the NFC reader, and the transaction is done.


People with fine-motor delays, for instance, are saved from the friction of not only finding their physical card, but also inserting it into the chip reader.

Now on to the Amazon One palm reader:

Whether Amazon One gains wide adoption is obviously an open question, but it’s not difficult to see where Amazon has leveled up on usability from an established player like Apple Pay, theoretically at least.

Still, the idea of Amazon One as a more accessible payment system is predicated upon the reality that many people with disabilities have trouble manipulating everyday objects. Thus, Amazon One completely removes such a barrier by letting the person literally do the paying.

This is an interesting distinction. From an accessibility standpoint, using your palm on a reader (assuming the reader is well marked and itself is accessible) is a step easier than Apple Pay. The price you pay is in privacy.

Interesting read.

Amazon One: Hand-scanning payment system set to debut in Amazon’s own stores

Jason Del Rey, Recode:

Amazon on Tuesday is unveiling a new biometric technology called Amazon One that allows shoppers to pay at stores by placing their palm over a scanning device when they walk in the door or when they check out.

John Gruber:

I’m happy to hear more details, but on the surface this sounds insane. Why in the world would anyone voluntarily send their palm print to any company to store in the cloud? With something like Face ID and Touch ID, your biometric info is not only stored solely on your own device, it’s stored on the secure enclave on your own device. Even the apps running on your own device can’t access it.


This is a terrible idea and the only reason I can think of why Amazon created it is that they wanted their own payment system and felt they had to use some kind of biometrics for identification, privacy implications be damned, because they don’t have any sort of mobile device platform they could use instead.

I’m guessing there are a ton of people who will follow along, scan their palms unknowingly, in the same way they respond to a Facebook survey asking them where they met their spouse or what their first pet’s name was.

At the very least, as John intimated, this feels like Amazon trying to disrupt Apple Pay and the like.

Back to Recode:

The company expects to sell the technology to other retailers, like it began doing earlier this year with its “Just Walk Out” technology — the cocktail of cameras, sensors, and computer vision software that powers Amazon Go stores. Kumar said the Amazon One pitch to other retailers is straightforward: reduce friction for your customers at checkout, thereby shortening lines and increasing how many shoppers are served along the way.

There’s the overt business model. But what’s not clear is what Amazon will do with this treasure trove of intimate biometric data in the long haul.

How to become a macOS Calculator app power user

You know all these tricks, I’m sure, but worth a scan, just in case. And pass this along to the newer Mac folks you support.

And don’t tell James Thomson. He might pull my PCalc license.

UPDATE: Dammit!!!

You’ll need a Mac with a T2 chip to be able to stream 4K content from Netflix


This makes zero sense to me. The only Macs, that could really benefit from 4k streaming, without an external monitor, are the 4k and 5k iMacs yet only 2 models (the Pro and the new 2020 27″) will be able to stream it. Windows machines don’t have any kind of T2 alternative and are still able to stream 4k via Edge or via the native app, their only requirement is a 7th gen intel cpu or a dedicated graphics card.

Read the comments. Interesting stuff.

This is responding to the Netflix in Ultra HD help page.

Here are the first few requirements:

  • A Mac computer with macOS 11.0 Big Sur installed.
  • The latest version of Safari browser
  • Select 2018 or later Mac computer with an Apple T2 Security chip

That last one is the most surprising. An anti-piracy move?

Twitter rolling out voice tweets to more iOS users — No Android ’til 2021

Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac:

Voice tweets – the ability to record and tweet an audio message – are coming to more iOS Twitter users, while Android and web users will need to wait until some time next year. The company first began testing the feature on iOS back in June.

The testing started in Brazil. Have confirmation it’s popped up in iOS clients in both the US and Canada.

As to Android:

Sticky notes on your iOS 14 home screen

Ryan Christoffel, MacStories:

Sticky Widgets enables placing sticky note-style widgets on your iPhone or iPad Home Screen which can be modified simply by tapping on the widget.

This is a great concept. To get an idea of how this works, check out this Tweet from the app’s author, Tyler Hillsman:

As you can see in Ryan’s MacStories post, Sticky Widgets can occupy as much space as you want to give up on your home screen.

I’d love to see this idea evolve. How about a sticky note for the lock screen. As Tyler notes here, you can add Sticky Widgets to your Today View, and swipe over to it from the lock screen. Pretty close!

Here’s a link to Sticky Widgets. Give it a try.

Apple planned to release country-specific Apple Watch bands for postponed 2020 Summer Olympics

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Apple appears to have been planning to introduce country-specific Apple Watch bands for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but with the games postponed until 2021 due to the global health crisis, they have yet to be released.

To get a sense of Apple’s past efforts here, follow this link to the bands Apple pulled together for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Will we have games in 2021? If so, seems likely we’ll see another rollout of summer games bands.

Future MacBook or iPad models could have power for weeks using hydrogen fuel cells

William Gallagher, AppleInsider, quoting this Apple patent:

“Hydrogen fuel cells have a number of advantages,” says Apple. “Such fuel cells and associated fuels can potentially achieve high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities, which can potentially enable continued operation of portable electronic devices for days or even weeks without refueling.”

You know there has to be a ‘but’ or we’d already be using these cells. “[But] it is extremely challenging to design hydrogen fuel cell systems which are sufficiently portable and cost-effective to be used with portable electronic devices,” explains Apple.

That’s what this patent is meant to solve. It’s about “the design of a portable and cost-effective fuel cell system for a portable computing device,” which converts fuel — such as hydrogen-based — into electrical power.

My original reaction to reading this AppleInsider headline was to laugh. After all hydrogen is extremely flammable and not trivial to convert (both from water to hydrogen, and from hydrogen to electricity). But mostly the flammable part.

But thinking about the flammable part, is hydrogen any more dangerous than lithium-ion batteries, which have been known to explode and cause fires?

One positive thing here is the almost limitless supply of hydrogen, constantly renewed. Can Apple figure this one out?

Apple Original Films branding, and a coming Billie Eilish documentary

[VIDEO] Apple Original Films:

Apple and Billie Eilish today announced that the highly anticipated documentary feature film, “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” directed by award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler (“Belushi,” “The September Issue,” “The War Room”), will premiere in theaters and on Apple TV+ in February 2021. The documentary is from Apple Original Films, in association with Interscope Films, Darkroom, This Machine and Lighthouse Management & Media.

I’ve embedded the Billie Eilish trailer in the main Loop post. It’s purely teaser, but worth a look.

But one thing I find fascinating is the evolving branding of Apple Original Films. Note the quote above, “The documentary is from Apple Original Films.” And if you follow the headline link to the original Apple press release, you’ll see the name is in the headline.

No Wikipedia page for Apple Original Films (yet), but follow this link and you’ll see a page of trailers with the headline Apple Original Films.

This branding feels smart, more appropriate for movies than Apple TV+, especially if Apple has ambitions to grow in the theatrical release space.