Josh Marshall had a really bad experience with the new Desktop and Documents folder iCloud syncing feature in Sierra:
So today at work I had Sierra start syncing my work Desktop and
Documents folders. Later I checked in iCloud and there it all was.
What I didn’t see were my Desktop files from my home computer.
That was odd because I’d upgraded to Sierra at home the night
before. So why hadn’t it worked from home?
When I got home I checked to see if I’d enabled this syncing
operation on my home machine. I hadn’t. So I checked the box to
enable it. But when I did it said I had too many files or too many
nested folders to use this service. I poked around on Google to
find out about this because I hadn’t seen any reference to any
storage limits. I couldn’t find any information about this. So I
moved some files off my desktop to see if I could get under
whatever this limit I was bumping up against.
After moving a bunch of files, I tried again. Success! It let me
do it. Then in a flash all the files on my desktop disappeared
and were replaced by the files from my work desktop.
It sounds like his files weren’t vanished — they were moved to a sub-folder of the iCloud Desktop folder. But it sure looked like his files were vanished. From Ars Technica’s Sierra review:
Enable iCloud Desktop and Documents on a second Mac you’ve
upgraded to Sierra, one that already has files in its Desktop
and Documents folders, and you will momentarily panic, as all of
your existing files are removed and replaced with the
“canonical” iCloud versions. But don’t worry; everything that
was already on your desktop has been moved to a subfolder in the
iCloud Desktop folder named “Desktop — [Name of Mac].” From
there, move files around however you want to reconcile the
desktops on your Macs. […]
It takes a while for your Mac to upload all your files into iCloud
the first time you turn it on — the service seems reluctant to
overload your Mac or to completely saturate your Internet
connection, both of which can easily happen while syncing a
service like Dropbox for the first time. Going to the iCloud Drive
folder in the Finder will give you status updates as well as show
you how much storage space you have left in your iCloud account.
So it’s not so much that the feature is dangerous but that the experience of enabling it on a second Mac is really poorly designed. When you enable it on a Mac when there’s already an existing iCloud Desktop folder, there should be some sort of dialog that explains exactly what’s going to happen.
My thanks to iFixit for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their new Pro Tech Toolkit. It’s a set of tools specifically designed for modern electronics repair. They sent me one a few weeks ago and it is excellent. Even the case is nice. It has every little oddball screwdriver you might need. Last year the Apple Watch came out with a new tri-point screw, smaller than anything iFixit had seen before. Now their toolkit contains a screwdriver for that screw — which is also now used in the iPhone 7.
I actually have an older iFixit toolkit (I think I might have picked it up at a Macworld Expo, years ago?), and this new one is better in every way. These are just damn good tools. Check out iFixit’s recent teardowns of the latest phones from Apple and Samsung, and, if you’re interested in the toolkit, use coupon code “courage” (ha!) and you’ll save $5.
In an unmarked building on a quiet side street just off the beach
in Venice, California, 26-year-old Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel
stands in a small conference room. He’s draped a towel over a
mysterious object sitting on a table. He is eager to the point of
“You wanna see it?” he asks, grinning widely. There’s drama in
this reveal: I’m about to join an exceedingly small circle of
people whom Spiegel has shown the object to. As he lifts the
towel, he breaks into a delighted laugh. “Boom!”
What initially appears to be a normal pair of sunglasses turns out
to be Spectacles, the first hardware product from Snap Inc., as
the firm has been newly christened (Spiegel is refreshing the
company name because its offerings now go beyond the Snapchat
app). When you slip Spectacles on and tap a button near the hinge,
it records up to 10 seconds of video from your first-person
vantage. Each new tap records another clip.
Uh, those do not appear to be a “normal pair of sunglasses”.
Keith Olbermann, writing for GQ, has the best appraisal of the retiring Vin Scully I’ve seen:
It is mind-bending to consider that he has not just been on 22
of the 94 annual radio and television World Series broadcasts
ever, but been alive for 87 of them. It is goose-bumpy to
recognize that the season he began broadcasting major league
games, Connie Mack was still the manager of the Philadelphia
Athletics (Mack had become A’s manager in 1901 and we’ve just
passed the 130th anniversary of Mack’s debut as a major league
catcher). And it almost requires the language of Light Years to
realize that if you start a new job the day after his last
scheduled regular-season Dodger broadcast and you stay in that gig
as long as Scully has in his, you will not be leaving your new
position until Sunday, September 26, 2083.
You will also have to be almost flawless at that job over these
next 67 years. Lost in the pilgrimages and the longevity is the
reality that unlike almost every other great broadcaster in any
field and of any time, there is not only no long list of
Scullyian Gaffes, there is almost no list. Amid the Kirk Gibson
call, and the Bill Buckner call, and the Hank Aaron call, and the
Larsen Perfect Game call, and the Koufax perfect game call —
there just aren’t many mistakes.
I’ve been watching as many of his calls for the Dodgers down the stretch as I can. At 88 years old he’s still the best there is.
David Faber and Anita Balakrishnan, reporting for CNBC:
Twitter shares surged Friday after sources said the ailing social
media company moved closer to being sold.
The sources said the company has received expressions of interest
from several technology or media companies and may receive a
formal bid shortly. The potential suitors include Google and
Salesforce.com, among other technology companies, sources said.
The news was taken seriously enough that Twitter’s share price closed up 21 percent for the day. If this happens, I sure hope it’s Salesforce that buys them, not Google. Why? Just a gut feeling that Salesforce would be less likely to screw Twitter up. I could be completely wrong on that, though.
Hey everyone — there have been questions about Chris Ziegler and
his absence from The Verge in the past few weeks. I want to
provide answers for those who have been worried about him.
First, Chris accepted a position at Apple. We wish him well. […]
Chris began working for Apple in July, but didn’t tell anyone at
The Verge that he’d taken a new job until we discovered and
verified his dual-employment in early September. Chris continued
actively working at The Verge in July, but was not in contact with
us through most of August and into September. During that period,
in the dark and concerned for Chris, we made every effort to
contact him and to offer him help if needed. We ultimately
terminated his employment at The Verge and Vox Media the same day
we verified that he was employed at Apple.
This is really bizarre. Obviously The Verge can’t have staff members simultaneously working for one of the companies they cover, but surely Apple would consider this just as much of a conflict of interest as The Verge would.
No word on what Ziegler is (or was? — several little birdies have told me Ziegler is not listed in the company directory) doing at Apple. And Ziegler’s Twitter account has been silent since August 8.
I installed the first developer beta of iOS 10.1 on my iPhone 7 Plus review unit, and shot a bunch of portraits on the walk home from school with my son yesterday. Here they are on Flickr, each with its corresponding image without the depth effect applied. Some of them look great, most look pretty good, and at least two of them have serious problems.
Today, we are pleased to introduce MotionMark, a new graphics
benchmark for web browsers.
We’ve seen the web grow in amazing ways, making it a rich platform
capable of running complex web apps, rendering beautiful web
pages, and providing user experiences that are fast, responsive,
and visibly smooth. With the development and wide adoption of web
standards like CSS animations, SVG, and HTML5 canvas, it’s easier
than ever for a web author to create an engaging and sophisticated
experience. Since these technologies rely on the performance of
the browser’s graphics system, we created this benchmark to put it
to the test.
We’d like to talk about how the benchmark works, how it has
helped us improve the performance of WebKit, and what’s in store
for the future.
Some of the tests are pretty enough to be screensavers.
Olivia Zaleski, Peter Waldman, and Ellen Huet, writing for Bloomberg Businessweek:
In January 2014 a Creeker on the West Coast, who asked not to be
identified, received an assignment in an e-mail under the subject
line “Secret Shopper Squad Stores.” She was directed to buy 20
bottles a week of Just Mayo from each Whole Foods store in a large
After the secret purchases, the e-mail instructed, she should open
one or two bottles at home to check for quality — specifically,
whether the mayonnaise had separated. If the jars were all right,
she could donate the rest to a food bank or give it to friends.
“Do not return them to Whole Foods,” the e-mail said. It also
included a link to a quality-assurance survey the Creeker was
supposed to fill out for each store. But no one noticed when she
didn’t do it. Within weeks she had bought so much Just Mayo that
her friends and local food banks couldn’t handle any more, so she
began dumping it. She spent almost $12,000 purchasing the product,
she says, and she could tell the buybacks had nothing to do with
quality control. “But I really didn’t think about it because I
cared so much about the cause.”
With the buyback program in full swing, Tetrick celebrated the
product’s success. “Wow! Some @WholeFoods are selling 100+ jars of
#justmayo/day,” he tweeted on Jan. 30. Four months later, a
company tweet said: “Proud to announce that #justmayo is now the
#1 selling mayo at @wholefoods.”
This is just outright fraud, and Tetrick doubled down on it with his claims that the buy backs were only for the purposes of quality assurance.
Also, interesting interactive art direction on this story.
Yahoo announced on Thursday that the account information for at
least 500 million users was stolen by hackers two years ago, in
the biggest known intrusion of one company’s computer network.
In a statement, Yahoo said user information — including names,
email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords and, in
some cases security questions — was compromised in 2014 by what
it believed was a “state-sponsored actor.” It did not name the
The company said that it was working with law enforcement
officials and that it was invalidating existing security questions
and asking users to change their passwords. Yahoo also encouraged
people to review other online accounts for suspicious activity,
change passwords and security questions on those accounts, and
watch out for suspicious emails.
Update: Also, doesn’t “500 million accounts” effectively mean all Yahoo accounts in 2014? How many accounts could there have been that weren’t stolen? They’re saying “500 million” but they really mean “They stole every account”. Right? Update:Here’s a report that claims Yahoo has 1 billion “monthly active users”, but even if true, that doesn’t mean every active user is signed into an account. Even if it’s not all accounts that were stolen, it has to be most.
The version of Allo rolling out today will store all non-incognito
messages by default — a clear change from Google’s earlier
statements that the app would only store messages transiently and
in non-identifiable form. The records will now persist until the
user actively deletes them, giving Google default access to a full
history of conversations in the app. Users can also avoid the
logging by using Allo’s Incognito Mode, which is still fully
end-to-end encrypted and unchanged from the initial announcement.
It would have been more surprising if Google had actually followed through on their promise for Allo message retention. And I still say “Incognito” is the wrong word. They should call it “Private”. Incognito carries a “What do you have to hide?” connotation. (I know Chrome uses the same word for private tabs, but I’d argue the same thing there — they should be called “private tabs”, like Safari does.)
Google wants to read and index your chats. It’s that simple.
According to Google, the change was made to improve the Allo
assistant’s smart reply feature, which generates suggested
responses to a given conversation. Like most machine learning
systems, the smart replies work better with more data. As the Allo
team tested those replies, they decided the performance boost from
permanently stored messages was worth giving up privacy benefits
of transient storage.
That’s a fair tradeoff, but it also shows very clearly who is in control at Google when it comes to features/advertising potential vs. user privacy debates. When has such a decision at Google ever erred on the side of privacy?
Daisuke Wakabayashi and Brian X. Chen, reporting for the NYT:
Apple has been talking with McLaren, the automaker known for its
Formula One racecars, about an investment in the company,
according to two people briefed on the talks who asked to remain
anonymous because the discussions were confidential.
McLaren’s aforelinked denial is in the present tense — it doesn’t preclude previous or future discussions.
Apple is also in talks with Lit Motors, a San Francisco start-up
that has developed an electric self-balancing motorcycle, about a
potential acquisition, according to three people who spoke on the
condition of anonymity because the conversations were private.
Apple has already hired several former Lit Motors engineers.
Even as many Silicon Valley companies, including Google, Tesla and
Uber, have embarked on high-profile electric and driverless car
initiatives, Apple has kept quiet. Yet internally, it has pursued
a car project, called Project Titan, which has had ups and downs
in leadership and direction. The layoffs at the project this month
came after the appointment of an Apple veteran, Bob Mansfield, to
take over the effort.
When did Daisuke Wakabayashi leave The Wall Street Journal for The Times? Must have been recently — he got the scoop for The Journal on Bob Mansfield taking over Project Titan just two months ago.
Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw, reporting for The Financial Times:
Apple has approached McLaren Technology Group, the British
supercar engineer and Formula One team owner, about a potential
acquisition, in the clearest sign yet that the iPhone maker is
seeking to transform the automotive industry.
The California technology group, which has been working on a
self-driving electric vehicle for more than two years, is
considering a full takeover of McLaren or a strategic investment,
according to three people briefed on the negotiations who said
talks started several months ago.
Whether this goes through or not, one thing I’ve been thinking is that if Apple does do a car, it ought to be a beautiful car. McLaren makes drop-dead gorgeous cars.
Matthew Panzarino, after spending a few days with the still-in-beta Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus:
If you’ve skipped here to see how the heck it works, I don’t blame
you. The short answer: incredibly, miraculously well in many
instances. And pretty rough in others. Apple says this is still in
beta and it is. It has trouble with leaves, with chain link fences
and patterns and with motion. But it also handles things so well
that I never thought possible like fine children’s hair and dog
fur, shooting pictures with people facing away and objects that
are not people at all.
What does it have major trouble with? Fine lines, wires, chain
link, glass, leaves. Anything that merges with the edges of your
subject a bunch of times could confuse it. The closer to the
subject the harder it is for it to distinguish. Motion, too, is a
no. If the subject moves a bit, ok. If it moves too much you get
ghosting, as you do in HDR mode — because there is compositing
Some of the examples look very good, some not so much. There’s no doubt we’re going to see a lot of these shots on Instagram and Facebook. That said, the examples aren’t good enough to make me regret ordering a 4.7-inch 7 (jet black, natch) for my personal use.
Update: Upgraded my 7 Plus review unit to the 10.1 developer beta released today, and shot a bunch of Portrait mode photos on the walk home from school with my son. Some of them are great — good enough to make the decision to go with a regular 7 weigh a little heavier on my heart. And even when it doesn’t work well, you always get the regular photo without the depth effect side-by-side in your camera roll. You can’t lose a shot by trying it with Portrait mode.
Back in July, Phil Stokes at AppleHelpWriter documented some downright awful behavior on the part of Dropbox on MacOS: Dropbox prompts for your admin password, then misuses that authority to inject itself into the list of apps with permission to “control your computer” in System Preferences’s Security & Privacy panel. If you remove it from the list manually, Dropbox re-injects itself the next time it launches.
Now available, both for MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) and 10.11 (El Capitan). Safari is a great browser, period, but where it really shines is in its integration with MacOS as a whole: Safari 10.0 introduces Apple Pay support, picture-in-picture video playback, and a lot more.
Remember Flag? It was a Kickstarter project from two years ago, where the idea was they’d make high-quality photo prints for you for free, with advertisements on the back of the prints. They’re back with a second Kickstarter campaign:
Huge demand for premium free prints means access to Flag is
constrained by our limited production capacity. Back us now to
help us purchase the equipment we need, lower costs, and deliver
to more free prints, to more people, more effectively.
Free with Flag means no printing, shipping or handling fees. […]
Archival quality printers deliver eight times more detail using
inks that won’t fade for up to 300 years. Flag prints on real
German photo paper and doesn’t compress the images you upload in
any way. Every Flag print is gallery ready.
Seven colors of ink, specially formulated eggshell paper, and
2,400 dpi print heads deliver deeper blacks, brighter whites and a
wider range or rich color than the best traditional wet-chemistry
The Kickstarter campaign is already fully funded, and the funding tiers are filling up quick. The “earlybird special” tier only has 21/1000 spots remaining, for example.
I still think the basic idea is genius: the ads allow the prints to be free of charge, but don’t distract from the prints at all because they’re on the back.
Remember that episode of Every Frame a Painting I linked to the other day about the unmemorable scores of the Marvel universe movies? Dan Golding has responded with a video of his own, and it is amazing. (Among several things I learned: Hans Zimmer was in The Buggles!)
Yoolim Lee and Min Jeong Lee, reporting for Bloomberg:
Few things motivate Samsung employees like the opportunity to take
advantage of weakness at Apple Inc.
Earlier this year, managers at the South Korean company began
hearing the next iPhone wouldn’t have any eye-popping innovations.
The device would look just like the previous two models too. It
sounded like a potential opening for Samsung to leap ahead.
So the top brass at Samsung Electronics Co., including phone chief
D.J. Koh, decided to accelerate the launch of a new phone they
were confident would dazzle consumers and capitalize on the
opportunity, according to people familiar with the matter. They
pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, despite loads of new
features, another person with direct knowledge said. The Note 7
would have a high-resolution screen that wraps around the edges,
iris-recognition security and a more powerful, faster-charging
battery. Apple’s taunts that Samsung was a copycat would be
silenced for good.
This was miscalculated on several fronts, starting with the fact that the iPhone 7 is not dull.
Twitter began rolling out changes that take back space for text in
tweets. As Twitter has gradually become a multimedia experience
full of images, GIFs, videos, quoted tweets, and other things,
each has encroached on the 140 character limit of a tweet leaving
less room for text. That just changed.
Good news too: third-party clients like Twitterrific and Tweetbot will be able to support this.
The Macalope, on Dave Gershgorn’s argument that Apple is “punching down” by competing against smaller companies like Fitbit and Spotify:
Inasmuch as Apple is the largest tech company in the world
depending on the day and what measure you use, yes, it’s almost
always competing against a company that’s smaller than it is.
So, all the golf claps to you, you’ve created Apple’s Kobayashi
Maru. The only way for them to win is to lose a lot of money and
market value. […]
Fitbit is a publicly traded company with a market cap over $3
billion. Sure, it’s no Apple — as the Macalope said, no one is —
but it’s not exactly two hard-working nerds in a garage. Spotify,
meanwhile, has 100 million active users and half a billion
registered users. Apple Music has 17 million subscribers.
A much better example than Fitbit would be Pebble. That’s a true David to Apple’s Goliath. The whole argument is nonsense though. There’s only one way for Apple to operate, and that’s full steam ahead.
In the 1992 Olympics, the U.S. men’s basketball “Dream Team” played their first game against Angola. At one point they went on a 46-1 run, and that 1 point was a free throw after Charles Barkley was called for throwing an elbow at a player for Angola. After the game, Barkley faced criticism for playing too aggressively. His answer was, more or less, that he only knows one way to play: as hard as he can. Whether he was playing against the Angolan national team or the mighty Chicago Bulls, he played the same way.
Whole thing was shot on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cameras. If you can, look at his example photos on a display with wide color gamut. Mann on the 7 Plus 56 mm camera:
It works exactly as I hoped. It is super quick to switch between
lenses, even while you are rolling video. As seen in the video
above, jumping from 1× to 2× while recording can be a great way to
punch in and emphasize a detail.
In terms of quality, I found the 2× zoom lens to be equally as
sharp as the iPhone wide-angle we’re accustomed to. However, I do
not recommend the digital zoom beyond 2×. The quality of digital
zoom degrades quickly and I find it unusable for photography
(although it’s actually kind of nice as an animal spotting tool).
The 2× works in ALL modes (photo, video, time-lapse, slo-mo, and
even pano), which surprised me. I didn’t expect it in each mode,
and I really enjoyed shooting 2× panos, capturing extra detail in
the area of the landscape I found most interesting.
And on search, which truth be told I’ve not played with yet:
Shooting photos is one thing; finding them and sharing them is
another. The new Photos app in iOS 10 has a great search feature
(the magnifying glass at top right) that hasn’t been talked
I’ve found this feature to be very powerful and way beyond what I
expected. For starters, I can search for a location like “Lake
Kivu” to see all the photos I took on the lake. But going further,
I can search for “tree” or “mountain” and immediately see all
images containing trees or mountains. Even further still, I can
search for “palm tree” and it accurately displays palm trees I’ve
photographed in the last week.
This week’s DF RSS feed was sponsored by Sticker Pals, the most ambitious Messages sticker app I’ve seen, with wonderful visually exuberant hand-animated illustrations by David Lanham. You’ve got to see it to get how good it is. Download it for free.
Cover your iPhone 7 home button with material (like from a
t-shirt) and try to click it.
I think I worked it out, the TouchID sensor is what’s making the
No sensor connection, no click.
Never occurred to me to try this. It’s the capacitive ring around the Touch ID sensor that needs contact with skin — that’s what turns on the sensor. This means no home button clicking while wearing gloves — yet another reason to cast a stink eye in the direction of this new home button.
This is easy to screw up. If you want to switch your Apple Watch to a new iPhone, you have to do it in this order:
Unpair your watch from your old iPhone. This creates a fresh backup of your watch on your iPhone.
Back up your old iPhone, either to iCloud or to iTunes. If you use iTunes, be sure to encrypt it, otherwise your Health, Activity, and passwords won’t get backed up.
Restore your new iPhone from the old iPhone’s backup.
Pair your watch with your new iPhone and restore your watch from the backup.
We got a few new iPhones here at the Gruber household today and I botched this, by forgetting step 1. Had to do it all over again with two phones and watches. It wasn’t fresh in my memory because last week when I was setting up my review unit iPhones, I also had a review unit watch, so it was natural to unpair my old watch before starting.
Lots of people have been asking where the Shuffle or Repeat
buttons are in the iOS 10 Music app. And it’s true, they’re not
easy to find.
The problem is, the screen where you swipe up to reveal them doesn’t offer any sort of visual indication that there’s a reason to swipe up. There’s no reason to suspect there’s anything that would be revealed by swiping up, just by looking at it.
Just minutes ago, at the ATypI conference in Warsaw, the world was
introduced to a new kind of font: a variable font. Jointly
developed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe, a variable font
is, as John Hudson put it, “a single font file that behaves like
multiple fonts”. Imagine a single font file gaining an infinite
flexibility of weight, width, and other attributes without also
gaining file size — and imagine what this means for design.
This looks great. I was a big fan of Adobe’s Multiple Master typefaces back in the ’90s, but they never really took off.
Georgia Wells, John D. Mckinnon, and Yun-Hee Kim, reporting for the WSJ:
In announcing the recall, however, experts say, the South Korean
company neglected to first coordinate with safety authorities in
the U.S. According to U.S. law, the CPSC must be notified within
24 hours after a safety risk has been identified, and recall
announcements are generally then carried out jointly.
The U.S. agency didn’t issue a statement until Sept. 9, a week
after Samsung’s initial announcement.
“This is completely unusual; companies just don’t issue recalls
without the CPSC,” says Pamela Gilbert, a partner with
Washington’s Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP and a former executive
director of the CPSC.
Apple has issued a statement tonight that is essentially setting
expectations for those who hoped they’d be able to walk into an
Apple store on Friday and pick themselves up an iPhone. The
statement makes it clear that all iPhones will be in short supply
for walk-in customers without a reservation.
The statement also indicates that Apple’s jet black iPhones and
all iPhone 7 plus models in all colors have sold out completely
in the initial online ordering period and that no inventory will
Yep, that’s right, if you want an iPhone in jet black, just order
it online and wait — you won’t find one in stores.
Joanna Stern (“Apple Watch Series 2 Review: Still Not a ‘Need,’ Finally a ‘Want’”):
Toggling through songs on my watch was far easier than getting
them on there in the first place. Even after an hour on the phone
with an AppleCare rep, I’m not entirely sure how I got the Apple
Music playlist to wirelessly sync. Apple says it is actively
working to fix this issue, but it illustrates the bigger problem
of relying on a device with no cellular connectivity. I’d rather
be able to stream music — and call people in an emergency.
Extra points for including an audio recording of the water eject beeps.
For whatever reason, I’ve had trouble syncing my iTunes to the
Watch, which can support up to 2 GB of music. I can’t say I’m
remotely surprised that I encountered something problematic with
iTunes. A spokesperson for Apple said the company is aware that
this may affect some people and is actively working to solve it.
With the combination of AirPods and GPS (for iPhone-free running and cycling), you’d think the company that invented the iPod would have made it really easy to get the music you want onto your Apple Watch.
Looking at Geekbench’s results browser for Android devices, there are a handful of phones in shouting distance of the iPhone 7 for multi-core performance, but Apple’s A10 Fusion scores double on single-core.
Here are the top 5 Android phones, compared to the iPhone 7:
iPhone 7/7 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Apple’s A-series chip design team seems to be doing OK.
Apple Inc. has hired former Time Warner Cable executive Peter
Stern as a vice president working on cloud services, which
includes the technology company’s subscription offerings such as
Apple Music and a potential streaming television service.
Samsung is now “actively and aggressively” exploring the
possibility of releasing a proprietary headphone jack of its own,
one that would be largely incompatible with newer iPhone devices,
according to details shared confidentially with Digital Music
News. Taking matters a step further, Samsung — alongside
manufacturers developing Android products — could block Apple
from licensing their proprietary jack, similar to the stance that
Apple has adopted towards the Android community and other
This is the dumbest paragraph of news I’ve read in a long time. If Samsung comes out with its own proprietary audio jack, it’s by definition going to be completely incompatible with iPhones.
As for “block[ing] Apple from licensing their proprietary jack” — Apple wouldn’t use it even if Samsung paid them to.
This solution doesn’t work for sounds that start unpredictably,
unfortunately. Taps on the screen happen when they happen, and
all the system can do is rush the corresponding sounds to the
Bluetooth receiver as quickly as possible. With most people used
to streaming video and audio, a short delay after pressing play
on a video feels acceptable, but when keyboard clicks don’t sync
up with your fingers contacting the screen, it’s just
This latency is also a significant issue for an app I develop,
Tapt. It’s a music game, which relies on tapping rhythms
accurately in order to score points. When one needs to coordinate
taps on the order of 100-200ms apart, latency is a problem (for
any of my bluetooth gear anyway).
Apple has made this better with AirPods. Latency is noticeably better listening to say, keyboard clicks, than with my Beats Powerbeats 2. But it’s still noticeable.
I love this well-illustrated piece by Astramael, praising the idea of the secondary 56 mm equivalent telephoto lens on the 7 Plus:
If you get an iPhone 7 Plus, don’t just use the 2× mode when you
want a little more zoom. Try it out for awhile. Think at fifty-six
millimeters. Frame shots with it, isolate subjects with it, shoot
parts of things rather than the whole thing, find interesting
perspectives, fill the foreground, and so much more. I am excited
because this puts a much more versatile photography tool into the
hands of millions of people.
It might not be an ultra-fast, stabilized camera. It might not
even be the same sensor. But it’s good enough to change the way
you think about phone photography. Which is really the point, and
almost certainly part of the reason Apple did it. You have to care
about photography to build this feature.
56 mm really is a great focal distance. We’ll soon see a ton of shots in Apple’s “Shot With iPhone 7” campaign from the Plus’s 56 mm camera.
Despite “telephoto” sounding a bit funny for a lens that is only
56 mm. It is technically possible and perhaps not just marketing.
If the sensor is 1/3-inch it likely contains a telephoto group,
and the focal length of the lens is very likely longer than the
lens’ physical length. Therefore it is, probably, actually a
telephoto lens. The math doesn’t quite work out for it to be a
1/3-inch sensor without altering the optical center. So either
there is a telephoto group, or the sensor is smaller than
Pressing the crown and side button at the same time used to take a
screenshot. In WatchOS 3, screenshots are not enabled by default.
You can turn them on in the General section of the iPhone Apple
Watch app. If you do, when you press both buttons to pause or
resume a workout, it will work, but you’ll snap a screenshot too.
Such is the price we pay for a device with only two buttons.
Here’s what I think Apple should do:
Keep screenshots off by default. Most people don’t need or want them on the watch. Let the “press both buttons” command serve only for pausing and resuming workouts.
When you enable screenshots in the iPhone Apple Watch app, reveal one more setting: “Take Screenshots During Workouts”. It should be off by default. This way, pressing both buttons would take a screenshot, except when you’re in an active workout. During a workout, pressing both buttons would pause/resume the workout. If you really want to take screenshots of the Workout app, you can turn on this extra setting.
It sounds a little complicated but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of Apple Watch owners don’t want to take screenshots of their watch. They’ll never even know this is there. And most people who do want to take screenshots are advanced users who shouldn’t be confused by this.
Alternative: Make “Hey Siri, take a screenshot” work.
It’s probably the busiest week of the year, traffic-wise, on Daring Fireball, but for some reason this week remains unsold. [Update: Sold.] (It was sold, then un-sold, then sold again to a different sponsor, then postponed, but that’s a long story.) November and December are nearly sold out already, but September and October are mostly open.
Traffic and attention are pretty consistent week-to-week and month-to-month at Daring Fireball, but new iPhone week is a big one. Most years, the second week of September sells out months in advance. (Same for the second week of June, targeting WWDC.) And it’s not just new iPhones this week — it’s new Apple Watches and AirPods week too.
The rest of September and October should be great weeks too, with MacOS Sierra and (hopefully?) new Mac hardware. Get in touch if you’ve got a cool product or service to promote, and check out the list of all previous sponsors to see how many of them have come back for repeat sponsorships.
Every time you take a picture with the iPhone 7, both the wide
angle and telephoto fire off. Yes, two 12 megapixel pictures for
every shot. This could be a prime driver behind the increase of
the iPhone 7 Plus’ memory to 3GB.
Both images are needed due to an Apple technique it is calling
“fusion” internally. Fusion takes data from both sensors and
merges them into the best possible picture for every condition.
If, for instance, there is a low-light scene that has some dark
areas, the image-processing chip could choose to pick up some
image data (pixels or other stuff like luminance) from the
brighter f1.8 wide angle and mix it in with the data from the f2.8
telephoto, creating a composite image on the fly without any input
from the user. This fusion technique is available to every shot
coming from the camera, which means that the iPhone 7 Plus is
mixing and matching data every time that trigger is tapped.
This technique is made possible because the optics, coatings,
sensors, perspectives and color balances of the two cameras are
Terrific review. He makes all sorts of points that I wish I’d made in mine.
In my testing I didn’t see any noticeable difference between 1× shots on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. I think this “fusion” stuff only kicks in, or at least mostly kicks in, once you start increasing the zoom level. Put another way, I think the wide angle lens assists the telephoto lens more than the telephoto lens assists the wide angle.
The other thing I don’t think I emphasized enough in my review: it never feels like you are switching between two cameras. It feels like one camera that has remarkable zoom optics for its size. I emphasized the two-camera stuff because I’m trying to explain (and understand myself) how it works. But in use it’s so simple and integrated. It’s actually hard to believe it’s two cameras when you use it. And the new zoom control interface is so much better. You can still pinch the display to zoom, but the slider is a much better control.
Who better to provide some excellent stickers for the new iOS 10 Messages app than the exquisite artists at Iconfactory? See their blog for more details, including how to get bonus stickers by buying multiple packs.
About the Linked List
The Daring Fireball Linked List is a daily list of interesting links
and brief commentary, updated frequently but not frenetically. Call it
a “link log”, or “linkblog”, or just “a good way to dick around on the
Internet for a few minutes a day”.