A letter from Larry and Sergey

With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets operating effectively as independent companies, it’s the natural time to simplify our management structure. We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet’s investment in our portfolio of Other Bets. We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we’re passionate about!

That’s a pretty big move by the co-founders, but probably the right one.

Black Ink 2.0 crosswords released

I’m excited to share the news that Black Ink 2 has shipped and is available for immediate download both on the Black Ink home page and from the Mac App Store. As promised, customers who purchased a license to Black Ink 1 on or after January 1, 2018, are entitled to a free upgrade to Black Ink 2. Customers who purchased Black Ink 1 in 2017 or earlier are entitled to a discounted upgrade price.

Black Ink 2.0 is a huge update to the app, featuring a massive overhaul of the puzzle-solving window, support for new accessibility features, and at long last, Dark Mode support for macOS 10.14.

There are a lot of great new features in this version of the app from one of my favorite developers.

Apple picks up documentary on sexual misconduct in the music industry

The film will explore alleged sexual misconduct in the music industry, following a former music executive who struggles with whether or not to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable music industry executive.

I’m glad to see Apple is tackling this story—it needs to be told.

‘The Banker’ cast defends movie after Apple delays release

In a statement, the film’s director, writer, and producer George Nolfi, as well as cast members such as Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long, and other key talent say they stand by the film and “its positive message of empowerment.” While expressing sympathy for Cynthia Garrett, they note that the film is not based on the memories of Garrett’s children, but on interviews with Garrett himself, as well as transcripts, court rulings, and articles.

I was really looking forward to this film, but I certainly understand Apple delaying the release to investigate the claims by Cynthia Garrett. It’s still unclear what will happen, or how long the investigation will take.

Judge rejects Apple’s bid to dismiss keyboard lawsuit

A federal judge on Monday rejected Apple Inc’s bid to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit by customers who said it knew and concealed how the “butterfly” keyboards on its MacBook laptop computers were prone to failure.

I don’t think Apple concealed anything, but there were certainly a lot of complaints about the butterfly mechanism.

BBEdit updated, merch, and in the Mac App Store

Thanks to BBEdit for sponsoring The Loop this week. Bare Bones Software, makers of BBEdit, is one of my favorite software companies — in fact, I’ve been using BBEdit for more than 20 years. BBEdit has been updated to version 13, and is available in the Mac App Store as a subscription! Same great features. Same user experience. You can subscribe in the Mac App Store or purchase perpetual licenses directly from Bare Bones Software. Also, you can still get great merch, including Classic and Rebus T-shirts, enamel pins, and more in their merch store!

The Dalrymple Report: GarageBand, AirPods Pro and autocorrect

Dave and I kicked off this week talking about cooking, but moved into how people are using GarageBand on iOS and Mac. We also discussed autocorrect on iOS and whether or not the AirPods Pro leave any room for competition.

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Guilherme Rambo’s developer account

Guilherme Rambo:

Like I mentioned before, the problem began in August. So far I’ve tried every possible private communication channel before deciding to make this story public. It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t get any e-mail or call from Apple warning about any sort of action being taken against my developer account. Apple always says that “running to the press doesn’t help”. Unfortunately, they haven’t responded in any way, even when I tried reaching out through internal contacts that I have. So the only option I have left now is to “run to the press”.

I have to agree with Gruber on this one. If there is something wrong with his account, at least give him an explanation.

Apple Music introduces Replay, your favorite songs of the year

With Apple Music Replay, subscribers will get a playlist of their top songs from 2019, plus playlists for every year you’ve subscribed to Apple Music, retroactively. These can be added to your Apple Music Library, so you can stream them at any time, even when offline. Like any playlist, your Apple Music Replay can also be shared with others, allowing you to compare top songs with friends, for example, or post to social media.

This is a great idea. My Replay lists haven’t shown up yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing them.

What a difference a day (and a new keyboard) makes

If you asked anyone about the MacBook Pro yesterday, the topic would inevitably come around to the keyboard. If you ask someone today, you will get the same topic, but the sentiment has shifted 180 degrees in that 24 hours. […]

Disney+ surpasses 10 million sign-ups in one day

Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, has already seen 10 million sign-ups since launching Tuesday, the company announced Wednesday.

Okay, that is impressive. Even more impressive when you consider that many people had issues signing up for the service. Disney’s service is the one that will attract more families than any other on the market today and I don’t see that changing any time soon. They have as a close to a monopoly on family content as you will see.

Phil Schiller talks new MacBook Pro keyboard

The challenge, says Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, was taking the best of the Magic Keyboard, an accessory designed for desktop computers such as the upcoming Mac Pro, which launches in December, and adapting and evolving it for the new notebook.

“People sometimes underestimate how much work goes into a keyboard, and that’s why most keyboards in the industry don’t change for 10 or 20 years,” Schiller said in an interview. “We decided that while we were advancing the butterfly keyboard, we would also — specifically for our pro customer — go back and really talk to many pro customers about what they most want in a keyboard and did a bunch of research. The team took the time to do the work to investigate, research, explore and reinvent.”

It’s always good to hear about these things directly from execs at Apple. I haven’t tried the new keyboard yet, but I’m looking forward to it. For what it’s worth, I’m one of the people that has had no issues with the butterfly keyboard design.

Vance Powell’s top miking techniques

Ask four-time Grammy-winning producer and engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton, Danger Mouse), a question about mic placement, and you’re just as likely to get an answer about the final mix. See, for the laconic Missouri native and former front-of-house engineer, selecting and setting up microphones, and arranging how and where the players will stand during a session is all part and parcel of creating a virtual soundstage that’ll go on to form the basis of a song’s sonic image.

Vance is one of my favorite engineers. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him on a number of occasions and his commitment to getting things just right is impressive.

The Dalrymple Report: Apple TV+ and HomePod

Dave and I talk about Apple TV+ and the strategy Apple has for releasing new shows. We also follow-up on some HomePod problems.

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AirPods Pro Hands On

I picked up my AirPods Pro earlier this week and have spent my time using them for listening to music, podcasts, and fiddling around with the new noise cancellation feature. I will say there is a lot going on with these new headphones—much more than I first suspected. […]

Apple names five executives to VP

In the past month, the company named Paul Meade a vice president of hardware engineering, Jon Andrews a vice president of software engineering, Gary Geaves to a new vice president of acoustics role, and Kaiann Drance as a vice president of marketing.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant also brought back Bob Borchers, a former iPhone executive who recently worked at Google and Dolby Laboratories Inc. Borchers is now a vice president of marketing.

That’s a good list of people now in lead roles at Apple. I’m especially happy for Kaiann—well deserved.

Apple reports $64 billion fourth quarter revenue

Apple on Wednesday reported revenue of $64 billion for the company’s fiscal fourth quarter. This represent an increase of two percent over the year ago quarter and the highest fourth quarter revenue ever for the company.

Apple announces AirPods Pro

Apple on Monday announced AirPods Pro, the latest version of the company’s wireless headphones. The AirPods will have a new design and other features that set them apart.

The Dalrymple Report: Catalina, iOS and Alexa, Google security

There have been many complaints about the new versions of macOS and iOS since their release. Dave and I talk about that, as well as looking at the security of Google and Amazon’s voice assistant products.

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Tim Cook’s interview with People

Six years ago, Tim Cook, who took the reins at Apple after the death of its founder, Steve Jobs, called renowned CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to set up a meeting with him. Cook was about to make a decision that would reverberate around the world and he wanted Cooper’s advice. “My style is when I’m doing something complex that I’ve never done before, I always try to make a list of those people who have come before and approach this point,” he shares. What he was doing was much more complex. Cook, 59, had decided to publish a column where he would share with the world that he was gay, making him the first, and until then only, leader of a Fortune 500 company to come out of the closet. Five years later, speaking slowly and with a slight smile, he says: “I have not regretted it for one minute. Not at all.”

What he was doing was much more complex. Cook, 59, had decided to publish a column where he would share with the world that he was gay, making him the first, and until then only, leader of a Fortune 500 company to come out of the closet. Five years later, speaking slowly and with a slight smile, he says: “I have not regretted it for one minute. Not at all.”

I have a lot of respect for Tim, as the CEO of Apple, and as a person.

Former Apple lawyer charged with insider trading

The government in its indictment alleges that Levoff used inside information from Apple, including financial results before they were published, to trade Apple stock. He’s facing six counts of securities fraud and six counts of wire fraud.

He only realized just over $500,000 with the insider information, which hardly seems worth the effort for someone in his position. The real irony is that he was in charge of making sure employees didn’t do insider trading. Oomph.

Tesla overtakes GM as most valuable U.S. automaker

Tesla Inc shares soared 17% on Thursday after the electric carmaker surprised Wall Street by delivering on Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s promise of a profit in the third quarter, even as doubts remained about its long-term prospects.

The more impressive thing is that Musk was able to deliver a profit.

The Dalrymple Report: China, Catalina, and Musicals

It’s been a rough week for Apple in China. Dave and I talk about that, some problems with macOS Catalina, and how much I hate musicals.

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