Apple

Two videos from Apple’s original Macintosh rollout

[VIDEO] We’re rolling up on the umpteenth anniversary of that day when Steve Jobs pulled the original Macintosh from its case and allowed it to introduce itself. Jump to the main Loop post for that video, as well as a corny video Apple rolled out internally, and to authorized dealers/retailers. A real part of history.

macOS Catalina running on an iPad Pro

[VIDEO] Not exactly sure how this was pulled off, but this is a pretty cool hack. Apparently, this is running via x86 emulation. Just imagine how this would fly if Apple opened up the ability to run the M1 native version of macOS Big Sur on an iPad.

The video (embedded in main Loop post) is long, mostly because of how slow the process is, so best bet is to scrub through it and look for screen changes. There are major changes at about 3:48, 5:46, and 18:33, just to get you started.

Opinion: The problem with Apple reportedly killing the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Zac Hall, 9to5Mac:

Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable supply chain analyst for TF International Securities, predicts a bold new class of MacBook Pros this year with MagSafe charging and I/O ports that won’t require dongles. What Kuo doesn’t forecast is a future for the Touch Bar, the strip of touchscreen panel Apple added to the MacBook Pro in 2016. Love or hate the Touch Bar, that’s a bad thing.

What follows is some fascinating discussion of the Touch Bar, including this bit quoted from John Gruber:

You’ve got this little ARM computer running on your keyboard, and it communicates with the Intel side. One of the things that the iOS device on the Touch Bar doesn’t have is a GPU. So the Intel side does the GPU rendering and has to go back, but it’s all done securely and there’s a whole bunch of electrical engineering going on there and you’d never know it. It’s 60 FPS just like iOS and it’s instantaneous touch.

And:

To me, it’s example number one of whatever else is going on with the Macs, and some of the machines that have gone way too long without being updated, it’s clear that Apple is invested in the Mac. I really think that Touch Bar is proof of it

And back to Zac:

Now the Touch Bar appears to be dead, and the Mac couldn’t be more alive.

I’ve been living on my M1 MacBook Air for some time now, all without a Touch Bar. I don’t miss Touch Bar terribly, but I do miss it.

I suspect if I lived in an app that actually made extensive use of the Touch Bar, I’d miss it even more. But as is, I miss the autocorrect/emoji suggestions, and I miss the video scrub bar (which actually lets you scrub through YouTube ads).

I think the Touch Bar was an interesting concept, and I hope it will continue to appear, in some evolved, more customizable form, in future Macs.

Tim Apple gave the first Mac Pro to Trump, apparently

This is a bit of a rabbit hole, but if you are interested in the details, here’s a link to the full Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report Trump filled out prior to his departure, courtesy of the New York Times.

As to the Mac Pro:

Tim Apple, as Trump once called him, didn’t just give Donald Trump the opportunity to lie about bringing an Apple factory to the United States. He also gave him a $5,999 Mac Pro, according to Donald Trump’s final financial disclosure report today.

The line in question, highlighted in this tweet, says:

Mac Pro Computer, The first created at the Flex Factory in Austin Texas

The gift is valued at $5,999 and as given by Tim Cook.

iFixit: AirPods Max teardown

Lots of interesting discoveries here, along with the raft of images including X-rays. Don’t miss the X-ray video in Step 4 which is a 360 degree revolving look at the AirPods Max, showing off an amazing number of screws that hold everything together.

Here’s an image showing what’s under the earcups, including the Apple logo and lots of printed detail, like the model number.

And this bit from the conclusions:

The headband detaches from both earcups with a simple poke from a paperclip or SIM card tool—no wires and no fuss.

Could we see completely customizable versions of the AirPods Max in our future, where you can mix and match headbands and earcups, as you like?

Behind a secret deal between Google and Facebook

New York Times:

Facebook was going to compete with Google for some advertising sales but backed away from the plan after the companies cut a preferential deal, according to court documents.

And:

Facebook never said why it pulled back from its project, but evidence presented in an antitrust lawsuit filed by 10 state attorneys general last month indicates that Google had extended to Facebook, its closest rival for digital advertising dollars, a sweetheart deal to be a partner.

And:

The agreement between Facebook and Google, code-named “Jedi Blue” inside Google, pertains to a growing segment of the online advertising market called programmatic advertising.

And:

In the milliseconds between a user clicking on a link to a web page and the page’s ads loading, bids for available ad space are placed behind the scenes in marketplaces known as exchanges, with the winning bid passed to an ad server.

And:

A method called header bidding emerged, in part as a workaround to reduce reliance on Google’s ad platforms. News outlets and other sites could solicit bids from multiple exchanges at once, helping to increase competition and leading to better prices for publishers. By 2016, more than 70 percent of publishers had adopted the technology, according to one estimate.

Seeing a potentially significant loss of business to header bidding, Google developed an alternative called Open Bidding, which supported an alliance of exchanges. While Open Bidding allows other exchanges to simultaneously compete alongside Google, the search company extracts a fee for every winning bid, and competitors say there is less transparency for publishers.

This whole piece is riveting, and highlights the utter lack of transparency in the advertising market. Google called Facebook’s potential adoption of header bidding an “existential threat”. Sound familiar? That’s the same term Facebook used when referring to Apple’s push for transparency in ad tracking. Tiny sympathy violins here.

Apple TV+, Tehran, and the brand new Losing Alice

Losing Alice is a new Apple TV+ series that launches this Friday, January 22nd. Like the series Tehran, which Apple TV launched last year, if you don’t happen to be conversant in the series’ main languages, subtitles will be required.

Personally, I found Tehran brilliantly written, riveting start to finish, and well worth the investment. From what I’ve read, Losing Alice looks to be every bit as well crafted, albeit in a slightly different form of thriller.

Here’s a link to Apple’s official trailer, which is crafted from English-language moments in the series.

And here’s a link to the CANNESERIES trailer, which gives a bit more of a sense of the interweaving of languages.

The Secret Passion of Steve Jobs

This amazing documentary was broadcast on NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting service. No spoilers, but it is a gorgeous take on Steve Jobs’ passionate connection to Japan.

Typically, I’d embed the video, but NHK has specifically prevented that, so follow the headline link to watch it on YouTube.

[H/T @rwintheiser]

macOS Big Sur battery management: 80% is the new 100%

Glenn Fleishman, Macworld:

In macOS 11.0 Big Sur, Apple added full-blown management and visualization, similar to what appears in iOS and iPadOS. The algorithm generally keeps the laptop charged to about 80 percent of capacity. Charging above 80 percent, and particularly to “full,” can put premature wear on a battery, as lithium-ion batteries run hotter the closer they are to their hardware-derived full charge.

However, one reader noted that their battery was always being charged to 100 percent, and wanted to set it to charge no more than 80 percent as a preventative measure. Owners of new M1-based Apple Silicon laptops have found battery life is so remarkably long that they may feel the same way: why risk wearing out the battery when 80 percent gives them more than a full day off the plug?

When I finally managed to get my M1 MacBook Air down to the point where it hit “charge or die”, I noticed that it only charged up to 80%. Glenn Fleishman’s article laid out the why of this.

Still not clear to me why charging sometimes stops at 80% and sometimes goes all the way to 100%. As Glenn mentions, with this exceptional battery life, 80% is plenty for most days, and an acceptable upper limit if it means an extended lifetime for my battery.

Shot on iPhone: Student films, Behind the Scenes

[VIDEO] This short feature from Apple shows off some student films showcased by the Shot on iPhone campaign.

This “Behind the Scenes” is inspirational for folks interested in making their own movies, and continues to explore the possibilities of vertical filmmaking (think portrait mode, vs the traditional landscape mode).

Very interesting, worth watching. Video embedded in main Loop post.

Apple: Shot on iPhone 12

Apple’s latest gallery, showing off the iPhone 12 series camera. Follow the headline link and scroll through these photos. Some beautiful work there.

The Best Apple-related accessories at CES 2021

[VIDEO] There’s a lot of gear here, but what grabbed my attention was the look at that new 31.5″ OLED LG display right at the beginning of the video.

LG has been steadily improving their display lineup, with each new generation seemingly custom made with the Mac in mind. Take a look. Video embedded in main Loop post.

How to save audio attachments from Messages on iPhone & iPad

OSXDaily:

Have you received audio files or audio messages from any of your contacts on iMessage? If so, you may sometimes want to store them permanently on your iPhone or iPad so that you can listen to them later at your convenience, and save the audio attachment as a file directly. Fortunately, you can do this pretty easily, and we’ll show you how you can manually view and save audio attachments from iPhone and iPad.

As advertised, follow the sequence. Pretty low discoverability there, but not a widely used feature, I’d suspect.

Oh Samsung

Samsung’s official US mobile Twitter account uses an iPhone to promote today’s Galaxy S21 Unpacked event:

https://twitter.com/MacRumors/status/1349497194190045189

Other folks using Apple gear to promote non-Apple products seems to happen a lot. Reminds me of the year Microsoft sponsored the NFL and gave Surface tablets to all the teams. Then, when the games played out, there were lots of shots of teams using iPads instead.

Any examples of Apple events being promoted on, say, Samsung phones?

Is AppleCare+ worth it for Mac?

William Gallagher, AppleInsider:

In theory, Apple offers the same AppleCare+ insurance for Macs that it does for iPhones, yet the details are so different that it’s harder to determine the value to you.

Once you understand just what AppleCare+ actually offers, and what it costs, then in principle the decision is straightforward.

The value of this post is not so much in answering the headline question, but in walking through the differences between AppleCare+ for Mac and iPhone.

Take a read through, note the costs involved in repairing the various Mac models.

A simple Shortcuts project

If you’ve read about Shortcuts, but felt a bit overwhelmed by the learning curve, here’s a great, simple project, perfect for dipping your toes in the water.

In a nutshell:

  • Fire up the Shortcuts app on your iPhone
  • Tap the Automation tab at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap “Create Personal Automation”
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap “Charger”
  • Make sure “Is Connected” is selected
  • Tap “Next”
  • In the search field that appears (bottom of screen), type “Speak”. The action “Speak Text” should appear. Tap on it.
  • Tap the “Text” area and type some text to speak, like “Charging”
  • Tap “Next”
  • Tap to turn off “Ask Before Running”.
  • Tap “Done”

That’s it. Now plug in your iPhone and it will speak the text. Let the pranks begin!

One last note: To delete the shortcut (on the off chance that the novelty wears off), drag it to the left and tap Delete.

Apple launches major new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative projects

Apple:

Apple today announced a set of major new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. These forward-looking and comprehensive efforts include the Propel Center, a first-of-its-kind global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); an Apple Developer Academy to support coding and tech education for students in Detroit; and venture capital funding for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. Together, Apple’s REJI commitments aim to expand opportunities for communities of color across the country and to help build the next generation of diverse leaders.

Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson:

“Every individual deserves equal access to opportunity regardless of skin color or zip code,” said Jackson. “For too long, communities of color have faced gross injustices and institutional barriers to their pursuit of the American dream, and we are proud to lend our voices and resources to build new engines of opportunity that empower, inspire, and create meaningful change.”

Props to Apple for putting its money where its mouth is. While this is clearly not going to solve racism, it is a targeted use of funds that will help those underrepresented communities on the receiving end. A step in the right direction for sure.

Facebook revamps their ‘Access Your Information’ tool

Sarah Perez, TechCrunch:

Facebook today is rolling out an update to its Access Your Information tool with the goal of making the tool easier to both use and navigate, as well as better explain how and why that data is used. The new version of the tool has been visually redesigned, and now further breaks down the viewable information across eight categories instead of just two.

Grudging credit to Facebook for sliding towards transparency. But hard to reconcile this move with the bruising fight against Apple advertising transparency efforts. Facebook is clearly for transparency as long as it does not impact their revenue stream.

Side note: Just me, or do you automatically downgrade any information source when it is passed along via a Facebook link?

Apple CEO Tim Cook joins ‘CBS This Morning’ ahead of ‘big announcement’ coming Wednesday

Chance Miller, 9to5Mac:

Apple CEO Tim Cook joined CBS This Morning for an interview today, touching on the events that occurred at the US Capitol last Wednesday.

Notably, CBS This Morning host Gayle King also teased that more of the interview will air tomorrow, as Apple is expected to make a “big announcement” of some sort – but it’s “not a product.”

Big announcement, but not a product. Hmmm. Well I’m hooked.

iTunes at 20: How one app changed Apple’s course

Kirk McElhearn:

On January 10, 2001, Steve Jobs went on the stage at Macworld Expo in San Francisco and presented a new app that would change the course of Apple. iTunes would become Apple’s most important app, not only because it was the companion of the iPod that would be released later that year, but also because it would become the framework for all of the company’s future online stores.

And:

Jobs explained the process of ripping and burning CDs, since, for many, this was new. He ripped a CD – the B 52s’ Time Capsule – then he imported a folder with 1,000 songs to his library. He then showed how to play music, how to sort the library, how to search for songs, and how to create a playlist; all of these were techniques that were new for most people.

And:

As Jobs said in his presentation, there were a number of programs that could play MP3s, and, on the Mac, there were two main options: SoundJam, sold by Cassady & Greene, and Audion, from Panic. Both of these apps were simple, focusing more on the player aspect, even though they offered features such as playlist creation, ripping CDs, and syncing music to MP3 players.

Apple approached both companies, and eventually purchased SoundJam, along with its three developers (who still work for Apple).

This is a fascinating, detailed look at the history of iTunes, an app that still exists. On Windows.

Interesting that there are lots of people who have never even seen iTunes, came on board after iTunes was split into pieces, have entirely missed this major chapter in Apple’s history.

LG teases ‘World’s first rollable smartphone’

Follow the headline link, scroll down to the animated GIF. At first glance, it looks completely fake, a smartphone that slowly changes size.

But if you scroll down a bit further, you’ll see an old Apple patent drawing that gives a hint of what’s likely going on here. The screen “shrinks” by rolling up inside the case, the two sides of the case slide together, seemingly all driven by some sort of motor.

Interesting but gimmicky. But worth a look. Can’t imagine this as a successful new smartphone design trend.

Apple TV+ brings Andy Samberg, Ben Stiller together on concept from ‘BoJack Horseman’ creator

Hollywood Reporter:

Andy Samberg and his Palm Springs writer Andy Siara have teamed up with Noah Hawley and Ben Stiller for a untitled sci-fi comedy-drama that has landed at Apple Studios.

Apple finalized the deal over the weekend, picking it up in a competitive situation.

And:

The project also joins the growing list of homegrown projects that Apple Studios is developing and will be part of the Apple Original Films banner. The latter last year released On the Rocks, Greyhound and Wolfwalkers, all of which are part of this year’s awards conversation. This year it will release Joe and Anthony Russo’s drama Cherry and go into production on Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

Andy Samberg will star in the series. Noah Hawley was the show creator behind the series Fargo. Definitely looking forward to this one.

Ted Lasso cast, in a virtual conversation with Patton Oswalt

[VIDEO] Fan of Ted Lasso? This is a lot of fun to watch, a chance to get to know the actors who brought these characters to life, some Apple TV behind the scenes stuff.

If you want to skip the introductions, jump to about 4 minutes in. Video embedded in main Loop post.

Software fix for M1 Mac Bluetooth connectivity issues reportedly on the way

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

When the ‌M1‌‌ MacBook Air, ‌‌M1‌‌ MacBook Pro 13-inch, and ‌‌M1‌‌ Mac mini models arrived in customers’ hands, a number of owners almost immediately began reporting various Bluetooth problems ranging from intermittent disconnects of wireless peripherals to completely non-functional Bluetooth connections.

This is great news. I’m hoping that same team is working on a fix for the broken Big Sur, Safari iCloud tabs that make it a bit of a nightmare to share pasteboard and iCloud tabs between machines.

100% reproducible for me, have heard from a fair number of people with the same issue. Feedback submitted.

The magic of BBEdit

Jason Snell:

A recurring game on Incomparable’s Game Show podcast is a modern take on Family Feud, a show where contestants guess the answers that people gave in a survey. (We did a version of this, with Apple themed questions, for the Relay FM 5th anniversary show.) Last summer I fielded a survey with Star Wars questions—but never wanted to do the hard work of compiling the answers.

The problem with these sorts of surveys is, they’re all based on free-form text boxes. And people don’t answer in a consistent fashion—they misspell things, phrase responses differently, you name it. And yet at the end, I need to say “38 people said Han Solo, 24 people said Luke Skywalker.”

This is where BBEdit saved me an enormous amount of time, and I thought I’d share what I did so that you don’t have to waste your time in the future.

This is just one example of the incredible power of BBEdit. There are so many times when I need to do some sort of data or text manipulation and after a bit of digging, turns out BBEdit has a tool to do what I need.

Jason does an excellent guided tour here, showing exactly how BBEdit solved a knotty problem.

As I’ve mentioned many times, when I get a new Mac, the two apps that I install first are BBEdit and Keyboard Maestro.

Using your Apple Watch as an iPhone video viewfinder

Mitchell Clark, The Verge:

The Apple Watch’s ability to act as a camera remote for your phone got a mention in its announcement keynote, so it’s been around a while, but I’ve only ever used it once or twice to take group pictures. Twitter user @PeterSciretta, however, has pointed out that you can also use it as a vlogging aid.

Here’s a tweet video showing this remote viewfinder in action:

https://twitter.com/strawberrywell/status/1346618135604908032

Apple launches limited-edition AirPods Pro to celebrate Chinese New Year

Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac:

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Apple has introduced a limited-edition pair of AirPods Pro available in multiple Asian countries, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia. This coming new year is the Year of the Ox, and Apple has created an adorable new emoji character to celebrate. On these countries’ home pages, Apple has also added a new custom logo to commemorate the occasion.

Here’s a link to the product page, if you want to check it out for yourself.

And follow the headline link, check out the image with the box and AirPods Pro, check out the box design and “Year of the Ox” icon.

I’m a fan of custom Apple gear, like a rare, event-specific Apple Watch band, or a custom color iPhone.

Ordered Apple product through Best Buy, deemed “lost in mail”. Got full refund , a month later package arrived. What should I do?

Reddit:

I ordered an Apple product off of Best Buy and was shipping overnight through FedEx. After a week and a half of checking the tracking number and seeing no update on the FedEx site, I contacted Best Buy and they determined it was lost in the mail and I received a full refund. I used the refund to buy another Apple product from Best Buy at a better deal (opted for pick up this time). A little over a month later the original package arrived at my door.

Is it wrong to right it off as Best Buy/FedEx’s problem and keep the original item?

Read the comments, points made to keep the item. First, that the effort to return it to Best Buy will be a huge hassle, especially mid-COVID. I’ve not got experience with this, hard to say, but I do know that both Apple and Amazon make it very easy to return purchases.

There are arguments that Best Buy is a huge corporation, don’t care about you. They can afford the loss, means nothing to them. And they have insurance.

Can’t get past this. At the very least, I’d notify them, let them decide if it’s worth the hassle to process the return. Depending on the item value, I’ve often been told to keep the mistake, more than it’s worth to return it. Am I naive here?

Just a bit of food for thought.