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Pick a city, take a virtual walk

Follow the headline link, pick a city from the list (upper-right), sound on.

Don’t miss the walking speed, and street noise controls. And there’s a volume slider for a local radio station, too.

There are now 13 apps that generated more than $1 billion in 2021

Sarah Perez, TechCrunch:

At the high end of consumer spending, there were 233 apps and games that pulled in more than $100 million in 2021, and 13 titles that generated over $1 billion. This is up 20% from 2020, when there were then 193 apps and games topping the $100 million mark, and only 8 titles making over $1 billion annually.

This is mind-blowing. And you have to wonder how much incentive Apple has to chase down apps like this one:

https://twitter.com/keleftheriou/status/1480626605370142724

Are AirTags causing stalking or making us more aware of it?

John Voorhees, MacStories:

Apple is also in a unique position given the vast size of its Find Me network. That puts the company in a different league than competitors like Tile, which carries greater responsibility with it.

In a story on Peer Reviewed, Matt VanOrmer puts a finger on something I’ve been wondering for a while: Are AirTags contributing to the problem of stalking or merely making us more aware of it because of the unique stalking countermeasures built into the device?

From the Matt VanOrmer story:

The sharp increase in reports of people being unknowingly tracked by bad actors using AirTags is clearly indicative of a major problem — but the question I’ve been wrestling with since these stories began is “Has Apple made the problem of stalking worse with AirTags, or just easier to discover?”

This is an excellent question.

More from Matt:

I would argue a nefarious individual wanting to stalk someone would debatably be foolish to use an AirTag to do so…since their victim has a high probability of being alerted to the tracking device (if they have an iPhone — more on that later). Surely to a criminal, the benefit of AirTags’ highly-pinpoint accuracy is immediately overwhelmed by the downside of getting caught.

A lot of blame for a recent run in stalking has been heaped on Apple, but has that stalking been around long before AirTags debuted, but just undetected?

Emoji, to scale

Follow the headline link, start scrolling or swiping up.

You’ll start with the emoji that represents the smallest real world object, slowly increasing in scale to bigger and bigger objects.

See if you can guess the emoji that represents the biggest thing.

The five products that revolutionized Apple, the first $3T company

First things first, though Apple did poke its head above the $3T market cap level, as of this writing, Apple’s market cap sits at $2.81 trillion.

But I digress.

The core of the linked article is a list of the five products that made Apple what it is today. Before you follow the link, try to guess what those five products are.

No spoilers, but there is one product I definitely see as missing from the list. Should be a list of at least seven, if not more.

Have you worked up your list, checked out the headline linked list? Here are the two I’d add:

  • AirPods
  • LaserWriter

Any you’d add?

Apple to allow alternative payment system for 1st time in S. Korea

Korea Herald:

Apple will allow alternative payment systems in South Korea in compliance with a new local law that bans app store operators from forcing their own in-app payment systems, the country’s telecommunications regulator said Tuesday.

The move came as a new law went into effect in the country in September last year, restricting app store operators, such as Google and Apple, from forcing their in-app payment systems on developers.

And:

Apple said it plans to provide an alternative payment system at a reduced service charge compared with the current 30 percent charge, as the tech giant turned in its compliance plans to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

No specific info on how much Apple will charge when alternative payment system is used, how the mechanism will work, or when this new system will be turned on.

Gruber clarifies that famous Ed Colligan iPhone rollout quote

Yesterday was the 15 year anniversary of that fantastic Steve Jobs iPhone announcement (video embedded below).

One of my favorite “iPhone is never going to succeed” quotes and, I believe, the origin of the John Gruber coined “claim chowder” is this, from then Palm CEO Ed Colligan:

Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company — including the wildly popular Apple Computer — could easily win customers in the finicky smartphone sector.

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

I love this quote. Turns out, as Gruber points out in the headline linked post, the original quote was slightly different. If the Gruber claim chowder quote means anything to you, check out the slightly revised quote so you get your bit of history right.

Also, don’t miss that bit in the video below, right at 3:49 (and captured in this tweet), where Steve shows off his sense of humor.

Why Apple’s iMessage is winning: Teens dread the green text bubble

Tim Higgins, Wall Street Journal:

Soon after 19-year-old Adele Lowitz gave up her Apple iPhone 11 for an experimental go with an Android smartphone, a friend in her long-running texting group chimed in: “Who’s green?”

And:

That pressure to be a part of the blue text group is the product of decisions by Apple executives starting years ago that have, with little fanfare, built iMessage into one of the world’s most widely used social networks and helped to cement the iPhone’s dominance among young smartphone users in the U.S.

Astonishingly, the Piper Sandler annual survey of teen habits reports that 87% of US teens own an iPhone.

You could argue that the blue/green bubble issue is at least part of the reason why.

More from the WSJ:

“In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for [the] bulk of cell phone users, I am concerned the iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief software executive, said in a 2013 email

And:

Phil Schiller made a similar case to Chief Executive Tim Cook in another email: “Moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us,” he said. Another warning that year came from a former Apple executive who told his old colleagues in an email that “iMessage amounts to serious lock-in.”

When an Android (i.e., green bubble) user joins an iMessage thread, the thread turns green. I find this annoying. The color change is not an issue. It’s the fact that functionality changes once that blue bubble thread turns green. For example, when I send an image as part of a mixed green thread, the send often (but not always) times out and fails.

Obviously, the Android team wants this changed (see this tweet in response to the WSJ article from Google Senior VP Hiroshi Lockheimer). Question is, will Apple budge on this?

The iPhone 14 is unlikely to be portless. Here’s why.

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 in 2016, rumors have swirled that Apple eventually aims to ditch the Lightning port next for a completely portless design. Indeed, analysts originally predicted that the highest-end ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 13 would offer a “completely wireless experience.” Of course, that didn’t happen, but a portless iPhone 14 in 2022 looks just as unlikely, for the following reasons.

There’s this:

With no Lightning port, you wouldn’t be able to physically connect your iPhone directly to a computer to reset an unresponsive iPhone through recovery mode.

But, more importantly:

In 2020, Eric Ravenscraft of Debugger found that wireless charging uses around 47% more power than wired charging for the same amount of power.

Here’s a link to that article, titled Wireless Charging Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen.

Fourth annual iOS music player showcase

Barrowclift:

There’s new and exciting developments every year in the realm of iOS third-party music players, and 2021 was no exception. While 2019 enjoyed an explosion of new players like Power Player and Albums that through time came to lead the space, 2020 in contrast received only a modest handful of new players and is instead remembered for the impressive growth the established player base received that year. This past year, 2021, managed to do both with a dizzying array of five new players and impressive growth across nearly all existing players.

If you are interested in exploring third party iOS music players, look no further. There’s a lot to explore here. I mean, a lot.

Follow the headline link, scroll all the way to the bottom for a Table of Contents. Each link will take you to a full-blown article about that player.

Enjoy.

The Dalrymple Report: TV ads, Cookie Monster, and Intel

If we all pay for premium TV channels, what happens to all the television ads that we currently watch? That’s one of the topics Dave and I dig into on this week’s show. We also talk about the documentary, Street Gang, which focuses on Sesame Street, Intel’s claims about its newest chip, and some shows that Dave is watching.

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What happens when iCloud storage is completely full

Ankur Thakur, iDownloadBlog:

In this tutorial, we will go over how to clear up iCloud storage, and we will see what happens when iCloud is full.

Down below the “how to manage iCloud storage” walkthrough are sections telling you what will happen as your iCloud storage starts to fill up and, after that, a list of what will continue to work normally even after iCloud storage is full.

Good to know.

Stolen iPhone phishing scam

Reddit:

My iPhone was stolen (central Europe) about a week ago and yesterday, the number I had set up during the “Lost Mode” process received a text message saying the phone was switched on and telling me to reply with the options to lock, erase or find the iPhone.

I suspect most folks reading this would never fall for the phishing text messages. But what this walkthrough offers that makes it worth reading, at least to me, is the link to the support document with details on reporting phishing to Apple, as well as the link to iCloud.com/find and the image (at the very end) showing what a real Find My email from Apple should look like.

Apple Support: How to find your lost AirPods

The first bit of this video is pretty straight-forward. Launch Find My, then tap Find.

But watch the video all the way through. There are subtleties (like the left and right buttons in the upper left) and details on activating Lost Mode.

Not rocket science, but better to be familiar with the process now, less stress when you can’t find your AirPods and that frantic search begins.

Alexa is going to the moon

Christian Davenport, The Washington Post:

Lockheed Martin, which is building the Orion spacecraft that NASA hopes will fly astronauts to the moon within a couple of years, is partnering with Amazon to put an Alexa on the capsule.

The device would give astronauts real-time information on telemetry, the health of the spacecraft and its speed.

And:

Astronauts would be able to get information about their water supply or battery levels, even change the temperature or color of the lights in the crew module.

And:

The onboard space Alexa would not be connected to the Internet but instead connect directly to Orion’s computer and its own onboard cloud, which would allow it to monitor the health of the spacecraft.

This feels like a real coup for Amazon. This isn’t a simple problem, like bringing an Echo device and giving it internet access. This is a specialized domain, fitted to a demanding environment.

Have to wonder if anyone at Apple is thinking about ways to do something similar with Siri.

How to use “high power” mode on your M1 Max MacBook Pro

Christian Zibreg, iDownloadBlog:

You’re familiar with low power mode on iPhone (and iPad and Mac), which temporarily disables some features to save battery life. But did you know about high power mode, the polar opposite to low power mode?

And:

To help you squeeze the last drop of power from your Mac’s Apple CPU, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro provides a new feature, dubbed High Power Mode. When you put your Mac into high power mode, the operating system will maximize performance during very intensive workloads by permitting the fans to run at higher speeds to keep the CPU cool.

From Apple’s official support document:

Your MacBook Pro has multiple energy modes you can switch between. By default, your Mac is set to Automatic mode to balance energy use and performance. Low Power Mode reduces energy use to increase battery life. On the 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max, High Power Mode allows the fans to run at higher speeds. The additional cooling capacity may allow the system to deliver higher performance in very intensive workloads.

Check out the images in the Apple Support document to see how to turn High Power Mode on and how to tell if it is on from the menu bar.

Yes, this feature is limited to the 16″ MacBook Pro M1 Max, but I suspect it’ll become more mainstream as Apple expands it’s M1 product line. Good to know about.

Intel says new Core i9 processor for laptops is faster than Apple’s M1 Max chip

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Intel today unveiled new 12th-generation Core processors suitable for laptops, and as part of the announcement, it claimed that the new Core i9 is not only faster than Apple’s M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but is the fastest mobile processor ever.

Importantly:

The high-end Intel chip has a max Turbo Boost frequency of 5.0GHz, but power draw can reach up to 115 watts, which is significantly more power than the M1 Max chip ever uses and not ideal for the thermal envelope of devices like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

From the Intel press release, touting the Fastest Mobile Processor Ever:

Intel announces the 12th Gen Intel® Core™ family of mobile processors led by the launch of new H-series mobile processors featuring the flagship Intel® Core™ i9-12900HK – the fastest mobile processor ever and the world’s best mobile gaming platform – built on the Intel 7 process.

I won’t argue “world’s best mobile gaming platform”. Besides the PC being dominant in desktop gaming and high end Intel laptops drafting on that platform, Apple has not made gaming a priority.

But here’s the footnote Intel attached to “Fastest mobile processor ever”:

Based on superior performance of 12th Gen Intel Core i9 12900HK against Intel Core i9 11980HK, AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, and Apple M1 Max.

Read the press release for details on the benchmarks they ran.

It’ll be interesting to see real world benchmarks once laptops with these processors actually ship. More importantly, I look forward to seeing the real life battery performance of those laptops. If you look at the second image in the headline linked MacRumors post, you’ll see the Apple M1 Max topping out (in terms of SoC Power, the left-to-right part of the chart) about where the new Intel chip begins.

Once these laptops hit the streets, I expect the power consumption to be the real story here, with the Intel chip sucking power as the M1 Max sips. If so, no way to hide that.

Reporter views source on a public site. Criminal “hacking” investigation announced.

Jack Suntrup, St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

A Post-Dispatch reporter in October alerted the state to a data issue contained on a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website that left Social Security numbers of educators vulnerable to public disclosure.

After alerting the state, the newspaper didn’t publish its report until after the officials moved to protect the vulnerable information. The newspaper did not disclose any personal information.

The reporter simply did a “view source” on a public facing web page, saw that student social security numbers were embedded in the source. The reporter did the absolute right thing. They alerted officials, did not report on the issue until the vulnerability was fixed.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson:

“If somebody picks your lock on your house — for whatever reason, it’s not a good lock, it’s a cheap lock or whatever problem you might have — they do not have the right to go into your house and take anything that belongs to you,” Parson said.

Also:

Capt. John Hotz, spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said Monday the agency had finished its probe of the Post-Dispatch and had turned the case over the Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson.

This is chilling. So very misguided. Can’t imagine this going very far, but if it does, a terrible precedent will have been set.

Class action lawsuit alleges Google paying Apple to stay out of search engine business

Alioto Law Firm:

California Crane School, Inc. filed a class action antitrust case on 12/27/21 against Google and Apple and the Chief Executive Officers of both companies alleging violations of the Antitrust Laws of the United States.

And:

The complaint charges that Google and Apple agreed that Apple would not compete in the internet search business against Google.

And these allegations at the core of the non-compete approach:

  1. Google would share it’s search profits with Apple
  2. Apple would give preferential treatment to Google for all Apple devices
  3. Regular secret meetings between the executives of both companies
  4. Annual multi-billion-dollar payments by Google to Apple not to compete in the search business
  5. Suppression of the competition of smaller competitors and foreclosing competitors from the search market
  6. Acquiring actual and potential competitors.

What the complaint seeks to accomplish:

The complaint asks for an injunction prohibiting the non-compete agreement between Google and Apple; the profit-sharing agreement; the preferential treatment for Google on Apple devices; and the payment of billions of dollars by Google to Apple.

The complaint also calls for the breakup of Google into separate and independent companies and the breakup of Apple into separate and independent companies in accordance with the precedent of the breakup of Standard Oil company into Exxon, Mobile, Conoco, Amoco, Sohio, Chevron, and others.

Massive consequences, if successful.

Could Apple develop its own search engine on a scale of Google’s? They’d either have to eat the massive cost of staffing and supporting such an engine, or offset the cost with an advertising business of their own. And adding a search engine would certainly draw even more antitrust scrutiny.

Apple could also exit any proprietary search agreement with Google but, of course, that would be costly as well.

From this New York Times exposé:

Apple now receives an estimated $8 billion to $12 billion in annual payments — up from $1 billion a year in 2014 — in exchange for building Google’s search engine into its products. It is probably the single biggest payment that Google makes to anyone and accounts for 14 to 21 percent of Apple’s annual profits. That’s not money Apple would be eager to walk away from.

Indeed.

Apple Support: How to use Dual SIM on iPhone

Apple Support continues to knock it out of the Park.

This video focuses on the details on setting up dual SIMS, some combination of physical SIM card or eSIM. Incredibly useful if you have two lines or plan on traveling abroad.

10 free ways to send large videos and files from iPhone

Ankur Thakur, iDownloadBlog:

Wondering how you can send a big video, graphics-heavy document, or other large files to someone from your iPhone? Look at ten ways to send big files from your iPhone to someone on another iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows PC, or Android phone. Most methods here are wireless, while others will require a Lightning cable.

This is worth bookmarking, for that moment when you find yourself having to move a massive file from one device to another. Nice walkthrough of each technique, with detail and links to more detail.

Benjamin Mayo’s blazing fast review of every single Apple TV+ show

This is just one person’s take and, just as with any list of favorites/pans, your opinion is the one that matters. But I did enjoy the walkthrough and the reminder of just how committed Apple is to this venture, how far they’ve come.

While some of these shows are legitimately not great, I’ve found a good number of them to be top quality, worthy of Netflix or HBO. Remember, Apple TV+ launched November 1st, 2019, just a bit more than 2 years ago. With Apple’s deep pockets, I’d expect viewership to continue to climb as content continues to expand.

Apple nudges past $3 trillion, for a brief shining moment

Apple’s market cap popped its head above the $3 trillion mark yesterday, for a brief shining moment. As of this writing, Apple’s share price dropped back down to $181.72 per share, which translates to a market cap of $2.98 trillion.

Having lived through the days when company CEOs suggested Apple pack up their stuff, sell their inventory, and recoup as much of their losses as possible, this is a head shaking, gobsmacked turnaround of epic proportions, doomed to market dominator, all started by the decision to buy NeXT and bring back Steve Jobs. That deal was finalized in February 1997, almost 25 years ago.

When Apple first went public, Steve had about 11 percent of Apple’s stock. A simplistic valuation would have that chunk worth about .11 x $3T = $330 billion. Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, is worth $304 billion.

Apple AirPods 2: Rumored features

Rumor, strongly sourced, but move on if you don’t want to know.

That said, I’ve been wondering what Apple could bring to the table to make AirPods Pro 2 more compelling than the first gen.

Here’s the details:

In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ will feature new selling points that will lead to strong demand, including support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) audio and a charging case that users can trigger a sound from to highlight its location.

And:

It seems likely that this sound-emitting charging case will integrate into the Find My app, similar to how users can currently emit a sound from their individual AirPods inside the case to help find them.

And:

All of Apple’s current AirPods products, including the third-generation AirPods, ‌AirPods Pro‌, and AirPods Max, do not support Lossless audio. This is because AirPods play audio via Bluetooth, limiting them to the AAC codec. Higher quality Apple Lossless Audio Codec files may need to be streamed to AirPods directly to circumvent Bluetooth and enable a Lossless listening experience, but it is possible that Apple could develop an alternative solution.

Are lossless and Find My support enough of an addition to make you plunk down the cash for the next gen? Of course, you’d also get a brand new battery and (seems likely) other new features.

Apple’s riveting new Apple Watch 911 ad

Watch the ad, embedded below.

In my mind, this might be the most powerful ad Apple has ever released.

First, there’s the cry for help, people in obvious danger. Then there’s the visuals, suggesting the scene of the accident, without direct footage, but perfectly chosen. And, finally, those background strings, swelling the tension. So very well done.

Apple’s luxury microfiber

Matt Fuller:

I recently acquired several new Apple Watch bands of different types. Among them, I decided to splurge on my very first (and likely last) Apple Watch Hermès item for my collection—the Apple Watch Hermès 45 mm Navy Single Tour Band.

And:

Inside, the Apple Watch Hermès band is not in cardboard, but enrobed in a luxurious microfiber pouch with a familiar texture and configuration.

And:

Upon closer inspection, the pouch appears to be made from the same material as the now famous Apple Polishing Cloth, the $19 cloth that enjoyed about a month of media hype in 2021.

Follow the headline link and scroll down to the very last image, a side-by-side of the polishing cloth draped over the Apple Watch Hermès band pouch. Tap/click a few times to embiggen and you’ll definitely get a sense that these are, indeed, made of the same material.

Any other Apple product ship with this material? Do the Mac Pro wheels come with a wheel-polishing cloth?

iOS 15 broke Siri’s ability to star-rate songs

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

When listening to a song from your music library on iPhone and iPad, it used to be possible to ask ‌Siri‌ to “rate this song five [or whatever number] stars,” and the virtual assistant would do so without fuss.

And:

Yet reports on Reddit, Apple Support Communities, and the MacRumors forums suggest that the function is not available in ‌iOS 15‌ or iOS 15.1, and has remained out of action in the latest iOS 15.2 point release, issued in December. Instead of carrying out the request, ‌Siri‌ responds with “I’m Sorry, I’m afraid I can’t do that,” or some variation thereof.

This issue has been out in the wild for a while (here’s a Reddit thread from about a month ago), but the hope was that this was a bug, rather than an actual permanent change.

You can still set star ratings on your Mac and in iOS/iPadOS (you’ll need to enable the Show Star Ratings setting first).

Definitely a mixed message. Are star ratings going away permanently? Are they coming (albeit eventually) to Siri?

Schrödinger’s ratings.

The Dalrymple Report: Favorite Apple products, baking and EVH guitars

This week, Dave and I catch up from the holiday break taking about our experiences traveling over the holidays. Dave’s family received a stand mixer, which went over very well, while I got an Eddie Van Halen guitar, which didn’t work out so well. We also talked about our favorite Apple products this year.

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