July 7, 2021

Justin Sink, Bloomberg:

President Joe Biden will direct the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to draft new rules aimed at stopping manufacturers from limiting consumers’ ability to repair products at independent shops or on their own, a person familiar with the plan said.

The executive order leaves the specifics to the FTC, so it’s not clear how big an impact this will have. One particular aim here:

The order is also expected to benefit farmers, who face expensive repair costs from tractor manufacturers who use proprietary repair tools, software, and diagnostics to prevent third-parties from working on the equipment.

As to Apple and control over repair of Macs, iPhones, iPads, and the like, there are a wide range of possibilities here. Might Apple be forced to allow non-Apple approved parts into their warranty programs? In other words, might I be able to get a non-Apple replacement display for my iPhone without voiding my warranty?

Or, deeper still, might the new rules force a design change to Apple’s manufacturing, making it simpler for me to, say, swap out RAM or an SSD on my Apple device to give me more storage, without paying the Apple RAM/SSD premium price?

July 6, 2021

This is a long-running thread (see the date of each question) on early days at Apple and Woz. Here’s how it opens:

My obsession with computers began in 1973 at the age of 13. Since there were no “personal computers” for sale, I wanted to make my own. To learn how, I started attending Homebrew Computer Club meetings. Since I was unable to drive, I asked if anyone lived near me that could give me a lift to the meetings. A really nice guy came up and said he lived close and could give me a ride. I answered, “Great! What’s your name?” His answer: “Steve. But my friends call me Woz”.

A fascinating bit of Apple history.

Scrapped Larry David WWDC 2014 video unearthed by Sam Henri-Gold

Here’s the tweet:

The full video was taken down from Vimeo this morning. I had the chance to watch it before it was removed. Some real cringeworthy moments there. No surprise any plans to show it were scrubbed.

It’d be interesting to hear the backstory on the making of this video. Curious how far down the road the video made it before the kibosh was applied.

Taylor Hall, 9to5Mac:

tvOS 15 includes a new look for the built-in video player interface on Apple TV. The new design features more readable titles and discoverable controls.

Follow the headline link, scan through the images. I really love the changes, terrific improvement.

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

Popular open-source audio editing software Audacity is facing “spyware” allegations from users for recent privacy policy changes that suggest the desktop app is collecting user data and sharing it with third parties, including state regulators where applicable.

Audacity is a very popular audio processing app. It allows you to do things like compression, normalization and other effects, and features a rich plug-in library that serves a wide set of needs.

From the updated privacy policy page:

All your personal data is stored on our servers in the European Economic Area (EEA). However, we are occasionally required to share your personal data with our main office in Russia and our external counsel in the USA.

That’s just a sample. The open source community is not taking these changes kindly, to put it mildly.

If you wish to access, correct, update or request deletion of your Personal Data, you can do so at any time by contacting via [email protected]

Apple has set the privacy bar here by requiring apps to put up an opt-in request at first launch. Audacity goes the opposite way, hiding the opt-out in the privacy notice and requiring users to reach out, non-specifically, via email. Hmmph.

Patience Haggin, Wall Street Journal:

After the tracking change took effect in April, many users of Apple’s iOS operating system have received a high volume of prompts from apps asking permission to track them—requests that most have declined. Less than 33% of iOS users opt in to tracking, according to ad-measurement firm Branch Metrics Inc.

Many users have received a high volume of prompts? What does this mean? Do the Branch Metrics numbers measure all iOS users and, thus, that 33% number includes folks running older versions? “Less than 33%” of iOS users opt in to tracking seems a ridiculously high number if it’s purely measuring folks who’ve responded to the “track me” prompt.

As of June 22, more than 70% of iOS devices had been upgraded to a version that requires the tracking prompt, according to Branch Metrics, allowing advertisers to begin assessing the impact.

And:

Tinuiti advertisers were allocating about 50% of their Audience Network spending to iOS users at the start of April. By the end of June, they were spending about 20% on iOS users, Mr. Taylor said. Advertisers have typically spent more per iOS user, seeing them as bigger spenders than Android users.

The trend is clear. Advertisers are switching away from iOS, presumably because they can’t get that precious personal ad response data.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in March that “it’s possible that we may even be in a stronger position” after Apple’s change, particularly if it encourages “more businesses to conduct commerce on our platforms, by making it harder for them to basically use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms.”

Early days still. The value of Apple users (and their deep pockets) hasn’t changed. Long term, I’d expect still another shift, as advertisers adjust to new models of reaching those users. What I don’t see is them abandoning iOS users in favor of Android. At least not in the long term.

July 2, 2021

My thanks to Unite for sponsoring The Loop this week. Unite 4 lets you turn websites into customizable, native apps on your Mac. Unite 4 includes dozens of new features, including support for native notifications, new customization options, M1 support, and much more. Unite apps also serve as a great alternative for resource hogging Electron apps or half-baked Catalyst apps.

You could create a Gmail web client that behaves like a native mail client, or a status bar app for Apple Music or Overcast, and much more.

The Loop readers get 20% off this week when you purchase Unite 4 or when you use the promo code ‘LOOPINSIGHT’ at checkout.

You can also try Unite for 14 days absolutely free or use it as part of your subscription if you’re a Setapp subscriber!

The Dalrymple Report: Remote work, Heineken cooler, and NY

Apple isn’t backing down on its work model and require employees to be in the office at least part of the time, which  is upsetting some people. Dave tells us about his trip to New York, and Heineken has a new cooler that will follow you around.

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Brought to you by:

MasterClass: I highly recommend you check it out. Get unlimited access to EVERY MasterClass, and as a listener of The Dalrymple Report, you get 15% off an annual membership! Go to MASTERCLASS.com/dalrymple.

July 1, 2021

A brilliant performance from 1976 by a very young AC/DC, with bagpipes

AC/DC on TV, way back in the day. The energy is both funny and quirky, with a brilliant bit of bagpiping thrown in. Delightful way to start your day.

Monica Chin, The Verge:

Have you ever been using a recently updated Mac computer and thought, “Man, I would love to use this operating system with a really tiny keyboard and a really tiny screen?” Okay, me neither, but I certainly would love the opportunity to carry a MacBook around in my pocket and whip it out on command.

Apparently, YouTuber Ike T. Sanglay Jr., or “Iketsj,” has had this thought as well. In this eight-minute vlog, the YouTuber builds a tiny handheld PC that can run macOS Big Sur, and it’s very fun.

Yeah it is. Fun, I mean.

Here’s the video.

This is a glorious immersion in the iOS and iPadOS 15 betas, willed with detail and thoughtful opinion.

It’s a bit of a long read, but easy to get through. It just flows.

Too much content to highlight, but here’s one great example:

I set up a Home Screen dedicated to the iOS review I’m working on, and I filled it with widgets and shortcuts related to my big annual project; then, I set up a Focus called iOS Review that silences all notifications and hides all my other Home Screens. Now, when I sit down with my iPad Pro to work on the iOS Review and enable its Focus mode in Control Center, all I see is this Home Screen, and it’s glorious.

This is a terrific use case for Focus. This article is full of stuff like this, giving a true sense of the new betas.

Very straightforward process, and it all starts here.

Chance Miller, 9to5Mac:

The 12-inch Retina MacBook was first introduced during Apple’s March Event in 2015, with Apple touting it as the thinnest MacBook to date. It ushered in a new era for the MacBook lineup with a USB-C port and butterfly keyboard design.

And from this 2019 farewell when Apple discontinued production:

From trivial changes like space gray/gold finishes and display lids too thin for backlit Apple logos to futurist new features like automatically booting up when the lid is opened and a giant Force Touch trackpad without the diving board click button, the MacBook introduced changes that now outlive the machine.

A groundbreaking machine, in terms of design. It’d be interesting to compare the benchmarks of the 2015 MacBook with the similarly priced M1 MacBook Air. One additional USB-C port, way better battery life, and about a million times more processing power.

June 30, 2021

Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac:

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 14 years since Apple shipped the first iPhones. On this day in 2007, Apple Stores across the United States hosted the “iPhone World Premiere,” and life was never the same. Looking back on that day, it’s clear that it marked a turning point. It was the beginning of a revolution in basically every single industry.

This is a fantastic article, sure to prompt huge waves of nostalgia in folks old enough to remember the huge power of that original launch.

Don’t miss Gary Allen’s incredible Flickr album, especially the pics of Steve Jobs at the bottom of the page.

But scroll, scroll, scroll. There’s so much richness here, including some fantastic videos from back in the day. Great job pulling this together by Parker Ortolani.

Mark Gurman is one of the OG Apple reporters, surfacing info on coming products, detailing subtle changes to the Apple ecosystem, in hardware, software, and policy.

Mark cut his teeth at 9to5Mac, then made his way to Bloomberg, where he regularly reports today.

And now he’s put out a newsletter, called “Power On”. It is excellent and worth your consideration. The headline link will take you to the inaugural edition. Here’s a link if you decide to subscribe.

Ben Evans, AmericaSpace:

In the early hours of 30 June 1971, the Soviet Union prepared to welcome its three latest cosmonaut heroes back to Earth after a record-breaking mission. Not only had the Soyuz 11 team—Georgi Dobrovolski, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev—spent more than 23 days in orbit, but they had also successfully occupied the world’s first true space station. It was a fitting response to the U.S. achievement of placing a man on the Moon. As the commander of one of the recovery helicopters spotted the parachute of Soyuz 11’s descent module, it was a glorious sight. The helicopters touched down and the would-be rescuers made their way cheerfully to the spacecraft, still superheated and charred from re-entry.

They could not have anticipated the horror that they would find inside.

A rarely told addition to the pantheon of space tragedies.

Michael Simon, Macworld:

Despite few negatives and a 4-star score in this review, I wouldn’t actually recommend the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to anyone who wasn’t already dead set on buying one. The screen is nice but not noticeably better than last year’s. The chip is fast but not noticeably faster than last year’s. The front camera is improved but not noticea—OK, the front camera is a lot better. But that’s not really a reason to spend a thousand-plus dollars to upgrade.

Read the review. If you ignore the headline and the conclusion (quoted above), it makes a great case for how phenomenal the new iPad really is. There’s the FaceTime camera and Center Stage. The incredible speed boost. The display upgrade. There’s a lot to love here, especially if you make use of apps that place a demand on the iPad processor.

But, to be fair, like most Apple hardware that has evolved over time (iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple TV), if you own the previous model, the leap in performance might not justify the expense of moving up by a single model. That’s just life in the ecosystem.

Zoe Schiffer, The Verge:

[A month ago] Tim Cook sent out an email telling employees the company was rolling out a new work model that would require them to return to in-office work on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays starting in the fall.

Then:

In the wake of that announcement, Apple employees wrote a letter saying some employees had been forced to quit because of the policy, and asking Cook to change his stance.

And, now:

Apple isn’t backing down from its hybrid work model that will require most employees to return to the office three days a week starting in early September. Fully remote positions will be extremely limited.

Apple’s response:

“We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future,” said Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of retail and people, in a video recording viewed by The Verge. “If we take a moment to reflect on our unbelievable product launches this past year, the products and the launch execution were built upon the base of years of work that we did when we were all together in-person.”

A solid test case for remote work and the tension between wanting to work at Apple and taking a job elsewhere to be able to work at home.

Did the pandemic make a foundational change to the way we think about where we do our jobs? Or was this a blip, with a slow slide back to the old ways?

June 29, 2021

API analog consoles are at the heart of some of the best‑sounding albums ever recorded. From Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours to Radiohead’s In Rainbows, API desks add character, color, and punch to everything that passes through them.

The API Vision Console Emulation Bundle turns LUNA into a full API console. Track in real time through API preamp and channel modules, then mix with API’s illustrious analog summing and bus compression — seamlessly switching between low-latency tracking using Apollo DSP, and high-powered native mixing within LUNA.

Universal Audio’s system does more than allow you to insert plugins into your DAW, it transforms your entire workflow. The hardware and software combination is second to none.

Apple today was honored with an additional 19 Daytime Emmy Award nominations in the Children’s & Animation and Lifestyle categories, in addition to the previously announced six nominations in craft categories, bringing the tally to 25 total nominations this year. The Daytime Emmy Awards recognize outstanding achievement in daytime television programming and the winners of these categories will be announced by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at virtual ceremonies on July 17 and July 18, 2021.

In just its second year of eligibility, Apple TV+ earned Daytime Emmy Award nominations for “Long Way Up” (3), “Ghostwriter” (9), “Helpsters” (4), “Stillwater” (4), “Helpsters Help You” (1) and “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” (4). These nominations include Outstanding Preschool Children’s Animated Series for “Stillwater,” Outstanding Special Class Daytime Animated Program for “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” Outstanding Travel, Adventure and Nature Program for “Long Way Up,” and Outstanding Short Form Children’s Program for “Helpsters Help You.”

I haven’t watched the children’s shows, but I have watched most of the others, including the movies and I’m very impressed. Apple has some quality seasons behind them and from the looks of things they’re not slowing down releasing new shows.

The International Collection Sport Loop comes in 22 colorful designs representing nations across the globe, each with a downloadable matching watch face. Soft, breathable, and lightweight, it features a hook-and-loop fastener for quick and easy adjustment. The double-layer nylon weave has dense loops on the skin side that provide soft cushioning while allowing moisture to escape. On the reverse side, the attachment loops are securely anchored for superior durability.

I already bought my Canada band and it arrives on Friday.

June 28, 2021

Nothing says summer quite like a cooler full of beer, but it wouldn’t be 2021 without a modern twist on the concept. Meet the Beer Outdoor Transporter or BOT from Heineken. It can hold up to 12 cans of beer, will follow you almost anywhere and has a “charming” AI personality. Think Wall-E but with garish corporate branding, and you’re most of the way.

I must have one of these… or three.

Wow.

Apple TV+ Foundation Official Teaser

Based on the award-winning novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire.

Unite 4 lets you turn websites into customizable, native apps on your Mac. Unite 4 includes dozens of new features, including support for native notifications, new customization options, M1 support, and much more. Unite apps also serve as a great alternative for resource hogging Electron apps or half-baked Catalyst apps.

You could create a Gmail web client that behaves like a native mail client, or a status bar app for Apple Music or Overcast, and much more.

The Loop readers get 20% off this week when you purchase Unite 4 or when you use the promo code ‘LOOPINSIGHT’ at checkout.

You can also try Unite for 14 days absolutely free or use it as part of your subscription if you’re a Setapp subscriber!

June 25, 2021

Thanks to Bare Bones Software for sponsoring The Loop this week. There’s a lot to love about software I’ve been using for more than 20 years and now BBEdit, the power tool for text, is ready for Big Sur and M1-powered Macs!

The Dalrymple Report: OS fixes and doorbells

In this week’s show, Dave and I take a look at some of the changes in Apple’s upcoming iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS operating systems. Some of the changes are small, but will help users immensely. Dave also talks about installing his new video doorbell.

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June 24, 2021

Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11. The software giant revealed its surprise Windows 11 addition during its special Windows event today. Android apps will run natively on Windows 11 and will be downloadable from Amazon’s Appstore, via the new Windows store that’s included in the operating system.

Why do I think this isn’t going to be as seamless as running iPad apps on the Mac.

Turbocharge HDX Systems with the Hybrid Engine. Work with M1-based Macs running macOS Big Sur. Create with more voices, tracks, and I/O. Customize Dark and Classic UI themes. And, if you’re an annual subscriber, fuel your creativity with over $1,500 in plugins, sounds, and training content, FREE with the new Pro Tools Inner Circle program. The latest version of Pro Tools brings you all this and more.

I’m a long time Pro Tools user, especially when it comes to editing and mixing audio files. I’ll go to Logic for MIDI.

Apple Fitness+ will release new episodes of Time to Walk, the inspiring audio experience on Apple Watch designed to encourage Fitness+ users to get active by walking more often, beginning June 28. The same day, Fitness+ will also introduce a new Artist Spotlight series with workouts featuring entire playlists by music artists including Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Lady Gaga, as well as workouts with one of the most sought-after fitness experts, Jeanette Jenkins, all designed to keep users motivated and moving as they continue on their fitness journey.

It’s no surprise that Time to Walk is one of the most popular workouts on Fitness+. I love what Apple has done with Fitness+ and the integration with its devices, but I would like more hard rock playlists.