When Apple introduced AirPods alongside the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in September 2016, the reactions were mixed at best. While many were impressed with the technology behind Apple’s first true wireless headphones, their design drew a lot of criticism and the internet was having a field day cracking jokes about the headphones’ looks, price and overall appeal.
That was then. This is now. Follow the headline link and check out the numbers.
Apple has 34.4% of the market
Beats is next with 15.3% of the market
Taken together, that’s 49.7% of the market. Astonishing.
Inside Apple, your job classification can mean a lot. The difference between a “level 4″ engineer and a “level 5,” for instance, could mean a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. And those titles help determine how much Apple employees can make when they leave the company for another job.
In widely used databases that companies refer to for verification of job information, Apple changes the job title for every employee, whether they’re a PhD in computer science or a product manager, to “associate,” the company confirms.
The practice recently came to light when Cher Scarlett, a former Apple software engineer who raised concerns about alleged discrimination and misconduct at the company, filed a complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that when Apple changed her job title to “associate,” it delayed the hiring process at a prospective employer by nearly a week, during which time the company rescinded the offer.
This is a long-standing practice for Apple, but it seems obvious that this can be an issue for folks who leave Apple and list a specific job title on their resume. What’s the harm to Apple if they change someone’s title to, say, “Former Level 4 Engineer” or some such? And what’s the benefit to Apple in changing someone’s title to “Associate”?
From OS X Daily. Follow the headline link for a detailed walkthrough.
In a nutshell, go to Terminal and enter:
defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool true; killall Dock
To return to normal:
defaults write com.apple.dock static-only -bool false; killall Dock
This has been around a long time, but I’ve never encountered anyone using it. Would love an option to put all running apps in its own section of the dock, as is done with recently used applications. There a setting for that?
For years, Apple has had thousands of software and hardware engineers working on an AR and VR device. The first iteration of this project is believed to be a standalone headset, featuring high-resolution displays and M1 Pro comparable performance.
We are now seeing more references to ‘realityOS’, the operating system that the headset will run, leak out in Apple open source code, as the hardware gets closer … to being a reality.
First things first, accident or not, have to acknowledge Benjamin’s pun game there at the end. My brain automatically substituted this link when I saw the ellipsis at the end of the second para.
Back to reality:
Excited to see Apple’s AR/VR device tip-toeing closer to announcement. Will the first generation focus on Augmented Reality, as opposed to Virtual Reality or Mixed Reality? That seems to be the thinking in the rumor mill. Completely different set of applications. Can’t imagine Apple will eventually play in all three spaces. Massive application potential in each.
Imagine having adjustable lenses for your glasses, able to zoom in on something that would normally be beyond your range of vision, for example.
Or switching between far view and detailed close up view, sort of like bifocals or progressive lenses, but with a full field of view and the ability to change on command. Need to read a far away street sign? No problem. Thread a needle? No problem. Same lenses, just a Siri command away.
Might we get a hint of what’s coming in June’s WWDC? Just four months away.
Apple today announced plans to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone. The new capability will empower millions of merchants across the US, from small businesses to large retailers, to use their iPhone to seamlessly and securely accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed. Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available for payment platforms and app developers to integrate into their iOS apps and offer as a payment option to their business customers. Stripe will be the first payment platform to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to their business customers, including the Shopify Point of Sale app this spring. Additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year.
Once Tap to Pay on iPhone becomes available, merchants will be able to unlock contactless payment acceptance through a supporting iOS app on an iPhone XS or later device
Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available to participating payment platforms and their app developer partners to leverage in their software developer kits (SDKs) in an upcoming iOS software beta.
Coming later this year to a future release of iOS and a partner-enabled iOS app.
It’s time for our annual look back on Apple’s performance during the past year, as seen through the eyes of writers, editors, developers, podcasters, and other people who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Apple.
This is the seventh year that I’ve presented this survey to a hand-selected group. They were prompted with 12 different Apple-related subjects, and asked to rate them on a scale from 1 to 5 and optionally provide text commentary per category.
Look forward to this every year. Great read, interesting takes. Happy to take part in this.
Apple’s upcoming iOS 15.4 software update appears to have quietly added a massive quality of life change for its Shortcuts app: the ability to disable the incredibly annoying notifications for personal automations that users have set up on their devices, as spotted by Fjorden developer Florian Bürger on Twitter.
Here’s the tweet:
iOS 15.4 Beta allows you to remove the notification (& delay) when running personal automations via Shortcuts…
This means, opening Fjorden (or any other camera app) from the lock screen is now super quick and almost seamless 🤩 pic.twitter.com/Ez2JGeVo6l
Things are looking great for Severance, a new Apple TV+ thriller series that launches February 18th (week from Friday).
From Ben Stiller and creator Dan Erickson, Severance centers around Mark Scout (Adam Scott), a leader of a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives.
This experiment in ‘work-life balance’ is called into question as Mark finds himself at the center of an unraveling mystery that will force him to confront the true nature of his work… and of himself.
Incredible cast including Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), Oscar winners Patricia Arquette and Christopher Walken, Emmy-winner John Turturro, lots more.
“Outtie” is Lumon’s sickly cute terminology for an employee when they’re outside the office. The “Innie” clearly receives the short end of the stick: What would motivate your work self without the memory of your family or outside life in general? You don’t know if you’re putting kids through college or saving up for a tropical vacation. You never experience nights and weekends or even sleep. Lumon’s severed employees aren’t pursuing their passions, either, as the work is so tedious it almost feels deliberate. Why would anyone endure this for the sake of their “Outtie,” who’s technically another person entirely? Well, it’s not so easy to leave. “Innies” can submit resignation requests but their “Outtie” must approve them, and Helly’s “Outtie” is quite content with the current situation. There’s a chilling moment when Helly’s “Outtie” tells her through a pre-recorded message that she’s not a “person.” Only Helly’s “Outtie” is real.
Lower is a delight to watch as Helly, who moves through every scene like a caged animal.
Severance’s entire cast is a symphony without a single off-note.
This week, Dave and I talk about the advances Apple has made with Face ID, especially around the pandemic and wearing a mask. We also talk about Wordle and how it has become so popular and then being sold to The New York Times. The World Trade Center is replacing office keys with Apple Wallet and Dave gives us a few shows and movies that he’s watching.
Check out that business card, with the embossed Apple logo (just to the left of the word Apple), the old school name (Apple dropped the word “computer” from its name back in 2007), and Steve’s title (Vice President, Operations). I tweeted a still frame of the card here.
Even more interestingly, jump to about 1:23 in to see a floor plan for that Stevens Creek address. Amazing to see how small Apple was back then.
The auction will close on March 17th. Bidding does not yet appear to be open, but here’s a link to the auction calendar page, on the chance you’d like to own this piece of history yourself.
I have to search for a lot of movies to watch on my Apple TV because I have a movie podcast. If a movie is located within a service that I’m already paying for, then I’d like to get that.
Amen. Far too often, I search for a movie that’s available on a streaming service to which I already subscribe, and I get pointed to a place to rent/buy the movie instead.
But it gets worse:
Recently, I asked Siri to display “Fight Club,” and was presented with a button to start watching it right away in Prime Video. So easy!
Unfortunately, when it started playing, it was a very compressed, blocky stream, and I could immediately tell something was amiss. I pressed the back button and discovered that what I had clicked on was actually “Popular Movies and TV — Free with ads” within Prime Video. In other words, Amazon had embedded its ad-supported IMDb TV service inside of Prime Video, with very little to differentiate the two very different presentations.
But in fairness, it’s also possible that some of these cases are simply caused by underfunded tech staffs at billion-dollar companies where money is spent wildly on the next big swords-and-sorcery streaming series but not on the developer who has to maintain an AppleTV app and interact with a huge back-end media database.
If Apple wants to be the hub for all movie/TV streaming, they need to solve this problem, make the user experience richer, do a better job identifying the user’s current context (I’m already watching the movie on, say, HBO, so find that before you offer to rent me the same movie).
I recognize that proprietary data might be a big part of the problem here, that Netflix/HBO/Amazon/Disney databases might be incompatible with Apple’s, and that third parties enthusiasm to make the Apple TV experience rich might be limited.
The bill prohibits a covered company from (1) requiring developers to use an in-app payment system owned or controlled by the company as a condition of distribution or accessibility, (2) requiring that pricing or conditions of sale be equal to or more favorable on its app store than another app store, or (3) taking punitive action against a developer for using or offering different pricing terms or conditions of sale through another in-app payment system or on another app store.
A covered company may not interfere with legitimate business communications between developers and users, use non-public business information from a third-party app to compete with the app, or unreasonably prefer or rank its own apps (or those of its business partners) over other apps.
In effect, this would force Apple to allow sideloading. As Mark Gurman states:
If passed into law, this would put more than $20 billion per year in Apple revenue at great risk.
This bill prohibits certain large online platforms from engaging in specified acts, including giving preference to their own products on the platform, unfairly limiting the availability on the platform of competing products from another business, or discriminating in the application or enforcement of the platform’s terms of service among similarly situated users.
Further, a platform may not materially restrict or impede the capacity of a competing business user to access or interoperate with the same platform, operating system, or hardware or software features. The bill also restricts the platform’s use of nonpublic data obtained from or generated on the platform and prohibits the platform from restricting access to platform data generated by the activity of a competing business user. The bill also provides additional restrictions related to installing or uninstalling software, search or ranking functionality, and retaliation for contact with law enforcement regarding actual or potential violations of law.
The first paragraph of the bill talks about Apple giving preference to its own apps over third party apps (think App Store ratings, exposure).
But to me, the second paragraph has the bigger potential impact. Feels like this would open the door for third party apps to use Private APIs, typically forbidden by Apple. It also opens up any data gathered by Apple, and addresses what seems to be whistleblower retaliation.
> A Connecticut man has been arrested after police witnessed him attempting to use Apple AirTags to track a victim’s car. This domestic abuser is now facing domestic violence cases for his acts.
> Local police in the town of Waterbury, say they were dispatched following a “reported domestic dispute.” An investigator on the scene “discovered the accused placing a tracking device… in the victim’s vehicle.” > > Even if the perpetrator had not been witnessed, Apple’s anti-stalking prevention methods would have alerted the victim. After a period of time, the victim’s iPhone would show a notification that an AirTag had been tracking them.
This is still jarring to me. Specifically, the phrase “After a period of time”. If someone wants to stalk someone home from, say, a bar. Is the period of time short enough that the victim would see the alert in time to know not to go home?
> When asked by authorities, Apple will report who the registered owner of that AirTag is.
Not clear if this is a comment on official public policy, or a comment on the possibility of Apple reporting on the ownership of an AirTag.
Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple has made Face ID useful again in iOS 15.4 by finally adding the ability to use the face unlock feature while wearing a face mask.
Face ID has been useful for quite some time, even with a mask, with the caveat that you have to be wearing an Apple Watch, and be willing to type in your passcode for things like Apple Pay.
That aside, the new beta feature, Face ID with a Mask, is definitely a big gain for users.
Back to Chaim:
It’s not Apple’s first attempt at solving the Face ID / mask issue: iOS 13.5 would recognize when you were wearing a mask and show the password prompt more quickly, and the company added a feature for automatically unlocking your iPhone when wearing an Apple Watch in last year’s iOS 14.5 update. But the new Face ID mask support is a much more streamlined solution that has the benefit of not requiring the purchase of additional Apple hardware.
After installing iOS 15.4 (at least in its current beta form), the first thing you’ll see is a splash screen asking if you’d like to enable Face ID with a mask. Setting up the feature is relatively simple, although you’ll have to re-register your face (presumably so Apple can dial in even further on the details around your eyes).
There are a few weird quirks, though. If you’re using Face ID with a mask and wear glasses, Apple now asks you to make a baseline scan with each pair of glasses that you own. And when I switched to a different, unregistered pair of glasses, Face ID didn’t work when I was wearing a mask. Face ID with a mask also doesn’t work with sunglasses.
Other fails I ran into were when I covered too much of my forehead, like with a pulled-down beanie with earflaps that covered most of my head. But I did have some impressive successes, too: wearing my full ski gear of a knit hat, face mask, and goggles (albeit an unusually transparent pair of goggles) was still enough for Face ID to work and unlock my phone.
All of this is good to know. Masks are going to be part of our lives, at the very least for the shorter term. Glad to have this improvement.
Washington Post, on yesterday’s quarterly Meta/Facebook earnings report:
Facebook lost daily users for the first time in its 18-year history — falling by about half a million users in the last three months of 2021, to 1.93 billion logging in each day. The loss was greatest in Africa and Latin America, suggesting that the company’s product is saturated globally — and that its long quest to add as many users as possible has peaked.
Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s hardware division that builds the Oculus Quest headset, lost $3.3 billion in the quarter, despite bringing in $877 million in revenue.
Meta’s stock price plummeted more than 20 percent in after-hours trading following the news.
Facebook parent Meta said on Wednesday that the privacy change Apple made to its iOS operating system last year will decrease the social media company’s sales this year by about $10 billion.
“We believe the impact of iOS overall is a headwind on our business in 2022,” Meta CFO Dave Wehner said on a call with analysts after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report. “It’s on the order of $10 billion, so it’s a pretty significant headwind for our business.”
Interestingly, Google/Alphabet are not having the same issue:
A day before Facebook’s results, Alphabet blew past estimates with its fourth-quarter numbers, and cited strength in e-commerce ads, an area where Facebook saw weakness.
Wehner suggested that Apple’s changes aren’t having the same impact on search as they are on other types of apps. He referenced how much money Google makes for Apple as the default search engine on the Safari browser.
“Given that Apple continues to take billions of dollars a year from Google Search, the incentive clearly is for this policy discrepancy to continue,” Wehner said.
Lots of fingerprinting and political posturing here.
Just as it dominates our economy, Big Tech now dominates Fortune’s annual ranking of corporate reputation. For the third year in a row, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft rank first, second, and third, respectively, based on our poll of some 3,700 corporate executives, directors, and analysts. It’s Apple’s 15th straight year in the No. 1 spot, a fitting coronation for the world’s most valuable company.
15 straight years with the strongest corporate reputation. No small thing.
The AirPods Max retail for $549 (though you can get them for $449 from Amazon, at least for the moment).
And for an additional $980, you can have a Gucci case to go with. Follow the headline link and check out that first image to get a sense of what your $980 will buy you.
I get it. People who love Gucci and Apple and have the disposable income will see this as a must-have accessory.
But I find it jarring. The Gucci brand is strong. The Apple brand is equally strong. But the AirPods Max and the Gucci design clash violently, at least for me. The colors don’t blend together, and any semblance of soft packability is gone.
Maybe this is gorgeous and I’m just too stodgy/stingy to get it?
Want to play Wordle for the foreseeable future? Here’s how:
Launch Safari on your Mac
Select File > Save As…
Choose “Web Archive” from the Format menu, then tap Save
That’s it. The web archive contains the entire dictionary of Wordle words, so the archive contains everything you need to play, once a day, as you do now. Just double-click the saved archive file and today’s Wordle will open in Safari. Works great.
I’ve played around with saving a web archive in iOS, but it’s not nearly as straight forward. If anyone finds a simple way to do this, a way that you’ve tested and verified, please do ping me. A hat tip awaits.
Makes me wonder if the New York Times will care that this is a thing. Guessing they knew this was going to happen when they made the deal.
For supported corporate offices, add your corporate access badge to Wallet and then use your iPhone and Apple Watch to access locations where your corporate badge is accepted. Tap to unlock your office doors and use your corporate badge in Wallet.
One interesting tidbit here is that this implementation of Apple Wallet integration allows Silverstein to easily manage shared office spaces. The company explains that one company could lease an office suite at 7 World Trade Center on Monday and Tuesday, and another company could lease the same space on Wednesday through Friday.
This feels like a huge win for Apple Wallet. A validation from a prestige property that sends out the message, “You can trust Apple with your office key solution.”
For folks who wonder, smart locks are battery backed up, so they still work, even with no power.
> The sudden hit, Wordle, in which once a day players get six chances to guess a five-letter word, has been acquired by The New York Times Company.
> Wordle was acquired from its creator, Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, for a price “in the low seven figures,” The Times said. The company said the game, which may be just as trending as 먹튀사이트, would initially remain free to new and existing players.
Hard to believe Wordle was just released this past October, less than four months ago. Love this for Josh Wardle, riding a wave of publicity started by a profile in the New York Times and continued by the tech press highlighting the attack of the clones.
Some takes on this purchase call it a bad buy, think of Wordle as a fad that will quickly fade from the zeitgeist. But that’s the wrong way to think about it. The New York Times makes bank on crossword puzzles, acrostics, and other puzzles, that draw people to pay for a subscription to the Times, which gives them access to the articles and features, but also give them access to the games like those on https://tridewi.xyz/.
Wordle will be free initially, moving the link from Josh Wardle’s site to one nestled inside the Times paywall. As that pattern of play gets established, as that link becomes the place to go for Wordle, I expect ads to appear, offering discount subscriptions. Eventually, I’d expect that free-to-play to drop to once per week, with access to the archives (in effect, endless play) for paid subscribers only.
UPDATE: As Kirk McElhearn points out, not all games offer archives and part of the charm of Wordle is that you are limited to one play per day.
Universal Control is now available in the latest iPadOS and macOS Monterey betas. If you’re not familiar, below is an embedded video of Craig Federighi, from last June’s WWDC, showing how it works (via 9to5Mac). Definitely worth watching.
To make this work, all you need is the same thing required by the Handoff and Continuity features: Bluetooth and proximity. Just enable Bluetooth on your devices and make sure they are close enough for Handoff to work.
Can’t wait for Universal Control to hit the iPadOS and macOS Monterey public releases.
There are rumors that Apple is releasing a variety of new hardware products this fall. Dave and I talk about what that means for Apple and for the consumer. We also look at Intel’s Core i9 benchmarks and they outperform Apple’s M1 Max—but not so fast, there’s a catch and it’s a big one. Finally, we look at some of the new shows that we’ve been watching over the last week.
New Relic: That next nine p.m. call is just waiting to happen. Get New Relic before it does! And you can get access to the whole New Relic platform and 100GB of data free, forever – no credit card required! Sign up at NewRelic.com/dalrymple.