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The Real Story Behind Apple TV+ ‘Greyhound’

9 hours 33 min ago
The Week’s Apple News Debris Highlights Greyhound Greyhound

• It feels like there’s a lot of interest in the new movie Greyhound showing now, exclusively, on Apple TV+. Here’s an early review from Macworld. “’Greyhound’ review: A good, but forgettable, film that’s unlikely to build Apple TV+ buzz.” I’ll reserve judgment until I see it myself.

Turning The Tide

Meanwhile, some know that I am a student of WWII Naval aviation and the carrier and submarine battles in the Pacific and Atlantic. For those who are really interested in the WWII battles of the North Atlantic, I highly recommend the well-researched Turning The Tide, by Ed Offley. Basic Books, 2011. Notable in that book, you’ll learn the origins of operations research analysis and how the American convoys were designed to minimize losses against the German U-boats. Much, much more of course.

If you are a student of naval warfare, this book is must reading.

• Apple is very careful about determining which of its retail stores are safe to open. That’s likely because Apple has considerable wealth combined with a strong business model. Apple doesn’t have to make a painful roll of the dice, weighing its survival against employee and public health.

And so, if your local Apple store is open, in some fashion, you can make a considered surmise about the pandemic extent in that neighborhood. See: “Newest Coronavirus Indicator: Apple Stores.

This article links to a CNN Business article that tracks Apple store status on a U.S. map.

• No doubt, the need to work at home nowadays has triggered increases spending on home PCs and Macs. Here’s a good summary of Mac unit sales, a number Apple no longer provides. “Gartner: Mac unit sales grew 5.1% worldwide in second quarter.

Apple’s Mac unit sales grew 5.1% as worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.8 million units in the second quarter of 2020, a 2.8% increase from the second quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. After a significant decline in the first quarter of the year due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, the PC market returned to growth as vendors restocked their channels and mobile PC demand increased.

Thunderbolt cable plugged into mac.

• Given Apple’s looming break with Intel, the question has come up about the support of Thunderbolt 4 in Apple Silicon Macs. That’s because Thunderbolt is an Intel technology. Now we know more, thanks to The Verge. “Apple promises to support Thunderbolt on its new ARM Macs.

“Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon,” commented an Apple spokesperson, in a statement to The Verge.

• Finally, I present this delicious, intriguing, and quite possibly alarming opinion article by Chris Smith at BGR. “By removing the iPhone 12’s charger, Apple is preparing us for the future.

But I think the real reason to remove these accessories from the iPhone [12] retail box has to do with the iPhone of the future. Apple is merely massaging the terrain for an iPhone that will not require a charger of its own or wired headphones.

Instead, the portless iPhone would require a wireless charger, like the Apple AirPower, which is supposedly still in the works. A leaker said recently that the universal charging accessory is coming soon, with Apple seeing it as essential for its portless iPhone plans. The same leaker noted that one of the iPhone 13 models of 2021 will have no ports.

Are you ready for a portless iPhone?

Particle Debris is generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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Apple AR Lens Development Reaches Key Stage

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 20:37

Apple’s Augmented Reality attempts are reportedly at a crucial milestone (via The Information). Prototypes of the semitransparent lenses are moving beyond prototype into trial production.

Engineering Validation Test Being Conducted on AR Lenses

The stage known as engineering validation test (EVT), is said to have started in May. It involves thousands of units being produced. The design has also been confirmed. Despite this important step, it is understood that the product is still one or two years away from being ready for mass production. The work on the lenses is taking played at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China – the site where most iPad production takes place.

[Sir Jony Ive Changed Apple’s Approach to AR and VR]

Ming-Chi Kuo Predicts First Apple Silicon Macs

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 20:18

The first wave of Apple Silicon Macs are set to include a 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Those will be released this year, With 14.1-inch and 16-inch, MacBook Pro Models coming in 2021. That’s according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a note reported on by MacRumors.

In a research note with TF International Securities today, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said he expects the ‌Apple Silicon‌ 13.3-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ to go into mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, but he also now predicts we will see an Arm-based MacBook Air either in the same quarter or in the first quarter of next year. Kuo still believes that Apple intends to launch a mini-LED 16-inch ‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌ and a 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, also with a mini-LED display, but these will likely arrive in the second or third quarter of 2021, and intriguingly, both will have an “all-new form factor design.” Previous rumors suggested an updated 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ could arrive this year in October or November.

Setapp (the Netflix of Mac Apps) Just Keeps Getting Better

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 19:32
Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #391

I’ve been a fan of Setapp ever since it was introduced in 2017. It’s a subscription service that provides access to a stellar collection of Mac apps for just $9.99 a month. In 2017 the curated collection contained a mere 60 Mac apps, but it has increased steadily since then, and now there are more than 180 apps available with your Setapp subscription.

Setapp: The App

The Setapp app is your gateway to install and use any or all of the included apps. With a full description of every app and ultra-fast search, it’s never been easier to find the appropriate app (or apps) for just about any task.

I have found the best way to find the right app for a task is by typing what I want to do into Setapp’s search field. For example, when I typed “shortcuts,” Setapp revealed more than two dozen apps that can help me do more work with less effort, including some of my long-time favorites: Default Folder X, Screens, Bartender, and Tooth Fairy. Searching for “outliner” found four apps explicitly designed for outlining (Cloud Outliner, TaskPaper, SheetPlanner, and GoodTask) while searching for “outline” produced nearly a dozen apps with outlining capabilities.

Browse and Discover New Apps

The Setapp app also makes it easy to browse and discover new apps. There are sections with recommendations based on Setapp apps you’re currently using, new arrivals, favorites, and apps installed on your Mac. It also offers browsable categories, including Lifestyle, Creativity, Developer Tools, Productivity, Task Management, Personal Finance, and more.

Setapp's main window makes it easy to discover cool new apps.

Furthermore, as I mentioned in my May columns on mind-mapping, three of the mind-mapping apps I covered—XMind, MindNode, and  iThoughtsX—are included in your Setapp subscription.

Setapp offers more than a dozen other apps I rely upon regularly, such as my favorite text editor and manager (Ulysses) and my favorite menu bar performance monitor (iStat Menus), as well as  CleanMyMac X, Image2icon, TextSoap, Photolemur, and more including the four useful “shortcut” apps I mentioned earlier.

In 2018 I said, “Setapp isn’t for everyone, but, if you love exploring new apps (like I do), or you’ve considered buying one or more of the included apps (as I did), you’re sure to find Setapp a bargain at $9.99 a month.” Today, with more than 180 apps in the collection, Setapp is a better deal than ever.

If You Like Trying New Apps…

To check out the complete list of currently included apps, visit www.setapp.com/apps. But I recommend you download the 7-day free trial (no credit card required) instead. That way you can spend a bit of quality time checking out the apps for free. If you find one or more Setapp apps you like and wish to continue using, you can subscribe for $9.99 a month, or buy a standalone copy of the app (or app(s) you like.

Either way, playing with 180 high-quality apps for a week at no cost is sweet. And if you try it, I predict many (if not most) of you will subscribe and consider your Setapp subscription a bargain at $9.99 a month.

Setapp by MacPaw. $9.99/month (single user); $19.99/month (family plan for up to 4 Macs).

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Kinkoo Mini Portable Air Conditioner: $59.99

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 19:30

We have a deal on the Kinkoo Mini Portable Air Conditioner that cools, humidifies, and cleans the dust particles from the air. Fill the viewable water tank, and the device uses evaporation to cool you down—the company says it works best in a hot and dry climate. It’s $59.99 through our deal.

Happy 12th Birthday iOS App Store

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 19:24

The iOS App Store turned 12-years-old on Friday. It first went live on July 10, 2008.

App Store logo

App Store Celebrates 12th Birthday

Amongst the first items to become available were MLB At Bat, The New York Times, and eBay. They were alongside games and products like Travelocity.

The iPhone had launched a year earlier, but I now find it hard to imagine one without the other. The model has obviously been replicated on Android devices too. There are issues – notably the ongoing debate around in-app purchases and the slice of the pie Apple takes. However, the App Store has created businesses and a whole economy based around selling apps, something Apple is keen to emphasize. In June, the company pointed out that it had facilitated over half a trillion dollars in commerce in 2019.

Apple EU Tax Case Appeal Ruling Due Next Week

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 17:14

The ruling on Apple and Ireland’s appeal against an EU tax ruling is expected next week. The Irish government revealed earlier this week that it was expecting the ruling on Wednesday (via Reuters).

European Union flag

Apple-Ireland EU Tax Ruling Imminent

In a statement, Ireland’s Department of Finance said:

The State has been formally notified that the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) will deliver its judgment in the Apple State Aid case on 15th July.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar commented that next week’s judgment will likely be appealed by one of the parties. On a visit earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook described his firm’s commitment to the country as “unshakeable.”

The case revolves around the EU’s claim that Apple owes 13 billion euros ($16 billion) in back taxes. Ireland is Apple’s European headquarters and the country granted it tax rules. In September, the Irish government and Apple launched an appeal against the original decision. At the time, Apple said that the decision ‘defies reality and common sense,’ and that the EU does not understand its business. The appeal was heard by the EU’s second-highest court.

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‘Little Voice’ on Apple TV+ Aims to Improve Autism Representation

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 16:39

Little Voice arrived on Apple TV+  on Friday. It features an autistic character Louie King, who was played by an actor who is on the autism spectrum, Kevin Valdez. The actor joined the show’s co-creator, Jessie Nelson, to explain why this was so important.

“He’s really similar to me,” Valdez says. “It’s almost like this role was made with me in mind”… Apple’s service has a show, See, that features a large cast of actors who are blind or low vision.  “I was so pleased with how far we’ve come that Apple was so supportive of finding an autistic actor to play this role,” Nelson says. “This is a very different moment in history.” Increasingly, autistic actors are playing characters on the autism spectrum. And those characters are moving beyond the male autistic savant stereotype, says Arianna Esposito, director of lifespan services at Autism Speaks. Having a person with autism playing a role like Louie “really brings an authenticity to the character,” Esposito says.

Spotify, Waze, And Other Popular Apps Crashing in iOS 13 Possibly Thanks to Facebook SDK

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 14:47

Users around the world are reporting that a number of popular apps, including Spotify and Waze, are crashing when they try to use them on a device running iOS 13. A developer told Business Insider that Facebook’s SDK is likely the route of the problem.

Spotify logo Spotify, Waze, Games Not Working on iPhone

Spotify acknowledged the problem in a Tweet:

Something’s out of tune. We’re currently investigating, and we’ll keep you posted here!

— Spotify Status (@SpotifyStatus) July 10, 2020

Replies from its support account to users said that there is no known timeframe for a fix but that developers are working on it. Other popular apps also not working at the moment include Google-owned mapping tool, Waze, Pinterest, Tinder, PUBG Mobile, and Mario Kart.

Currently, this issue is impacting a majority of the apps and games. We are actively working with related platforms and supporting to solve the problem. Please stay tuned for updates and thank you for your understanding and patience! https://t.co/BTZgmrSMw5

— PUBG MOBILE (@PUBGMOBILE) July 10, 2020

If the Facebook code is indeed the issue, it will be the second time it has caused issues for iOS users in recent months, with a number of apps also brought down in May.

Apple Registers UK Turnover of £1.37 Billion, £6.2 Million Tax Payment

Fri, 07/10/2020 - 14:16

LONDON – Apple’s released its latest UK accounts on Thursday. They showed the company generated a turnover of £1.37 billion ($1.72 billion) in the year ending September 28, 2019.

Apple Store UK Regent Street Apple Retail UK Registers Pre-Tax Profit of £39 Million

The company registered in the country is called Apple Retail UK. The documents revealed that the firm’s turnover was up 15 percent from the same time last year. Gross profit was £337 million ($424 million). Having accounted for expenses and other costs, pre-tax profit was £39 million. Apple Retail UK had a total tax expense of £6.2 million ($7.8 million). The documents, compiled by auditors EY, note:

The Company reviews its position on the utilisation of deferred tax assets on an annual basis. Currently the Company expects £6,522,000 of the closing deferred tax asset to be reversed during the next financial period.

Controversy Over Tax Payments

There will no doubt be some controversy at the seemingly low levels if tax liability. In a statement to the newspaper, Apple said:

As the largest taxpayer in the world, we know the important role tax payments play in society and always pay all that we owe. We are very proud of our many contributions across the UK and last year spent over £2bn with hundreds of suppliers. Our investment and innovation supports more than 325,000 jobs in the UK and, in addition to our tax contributions, we also think it’s important to do more for people and society. We focused our attention on supporting the response to Covid-19, making significant financial contributions and donating face masks and shields here in the UK.

Elsewhere, the documents show that the company £25m dividend to Ireland based Apple Retail Europe and that 5,012 people were employed by the company on average each month, which has 38 UK retails stores.

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Public Beta of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Now Available

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 23:08

Apple released the Public Beta of iOS 14 on Thursday. The public Beta of iPadOS 14 was also made available.

iOS 14 Public Beta Now Available

The releases came just two days after the second developer beta of the iPhone software was released. To access, you need to sign up via the Apple Beta Software Program website and enroll your device. It is recommended that you do not use your ‘daily driver’ phone to run and test the software.

[The Top New Features in iOS 14, You’ll Love ‘Em]

Tom Hanks Tells The Story Behind ‘Greyhound’

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 22:41

In a new video, Tom Hanks, the writer, and star of Greyhound tells the story behind the film. It revolves around the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II and the perilous journeys convoys had to make across the ocean. It will be available on Apple TV+ from Friday.

The Magic of Mac’s Option Key

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 21:40
Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #389

I was listening to my favorite podcast (Mac Geek Gab) and heard a tip that involved pressing the Option key while selecting a menu item or adding the Option key to a keyboard shortcut. Either way, you get a different result than if you did not press Option.

Moving vs. Copying Files or Folders

For example, the tip on Mac Geek Gab explained how to move a file or folder using the Copy and Paste commands. Without the option key, you can use the Copy command to copy most files or folders from one location to another. But, that leaves you with two copies of the same file or folder in two different places on your disk. It would be nice if you could use the Cut command to move the file instead of duplicating it, but the Cut command isn’t available when you select a file or folder…

The solution is to hold down the Option key before you paste the file or folder. When you do, the Paste command in the Edit menu changes from “Paste” to “Move Item Here.” Or, add the Option key to the Paste keyboard shortcut (press Command + Option + V) to move the item instead of copying it.

The Edit menu with (left) and without (right) the Option key. Close All Windows at Once

Another Option key shortcut works with the Close Window command. If you press Option before choosing FileClose Window, the command transforms into Close All and closes all open windows instead of closing only the active window. I like this one so much I memorized its keyboard shortcut—Command + Option + W—and use it regularly.

To discover even more Option key magic, click to open a menu and then press the Option key and look for commands that have changed. For example, if you click the Finder’s File menu and then press Option, these commands change:

    • Open becomes Open and Close Window, which is handy when you don’t want a disk or folder icon to open in a separate window or tab.
    • Get Info becomes Show Inspector. The Inspector is a context-sensitive rendition of the Get Info window that updates in real-time to reflect the currently selected item (or items) in the Finder. In other words, rather than selecting an item and choosing Get Info, with the Inspector, you can just click any icon (or icons) and the Inspector updates to display the info for whatever is currently selected.
    • Open With becomes Always Open With.
    • Add to Dock becomes Add to Sidebar.
    • Move to Trash becomes Delete Immediately.
The File menu with (left) and without (right) the Option key.

By the way, this Option key magic isn’t limited to the Finder—the Option key also changes some commands in many Apple apps. To find these hidden shortcuts, open a bundled app, open a menu, and then press the Option key and observe which commands change. (Hint: You’ll find most of them in the File or Window menu).

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Tekjoy Shiatsu Kneading Massage Pillow with Extended Velcro Strap: $44.99

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 21:26

Our friends at Stack Commerce have a fun deal for us today on the Tekjoy Shiatsu Kneading Massage Pillow. It’s a massager that comes with an extended strap that allows you to put pressure where you want it. This device is $44.99 through our deal.

Updates to Swift Learning, iOS 14 Preview – TMO Daily Observations 2020-07-09

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 20:47

Charlotte Henry and Jeff Butts join host Kelly Guimont to discuss updates to Apple’s Swift educational resources and new features in iOS 14.

Nokia Collaborates With Apple on Data Center Networking Tools

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 20:23

Nokia launched a set of tools for data center networking in collaboration with Apple on Thursday. Reuters reported that the aim is to help firms manage increased traffic as 5G networks are rolled out.

As the usage of 5G networks expands, vast quantities of data will be generated as more household appliances and other machines are linked up with sensors and artificial intelligence tools, creating the so-called “internet-of-things”. Nokia, which competes against China’s Huawei and Sweden’s Ericsson to build 5G networks, has been broadening its portfolio by adding open interfaces to its 5G equipment and launching new networking products. “We worked very closely with (Apple) over the last two plus years to understand their requirements,” said Steve Vogelsang, Nokia’s chief technology officer for IP and optical business.

Quibi Loses 90 Percent of Users After Free Trial

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 20:08

Quibi lost 90 percent of early users after their free trials expired. That’s according to data from Sensor Tower, reported on by The Verge. 

According to the firm’s new report on Quibi’s early growth, the short-form video platform signed up about 910,000 users in its first few days back in April. Of those users, only about 72,000 stuck around after the three-month free trial, indicating the app had about an 8 percent conversion rate. That’s not too bad. But compare it to the streaming video industry’s most successful debut of the last few years, Disney Plus, and the resulting picture is a grim one for Quibi.

Apple Releases Updated Swift Coding Educational Resources

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 19:08

Apple announced updates to its coding programs and resources for educators and students on Thursday. The Develop in Swift and Everyone Can Code curricula have been given an overhaul. Furthermore, it launched a new professional learning course for Develop in Swift for educators.

New Apple Swift Education Resources Available Now

The Develop in Swift curriculum is aimed at high school and higher education students and has been redesigned based on feedback from educators. It includes a series of four books:

  • Develop in Swift Explorations
  • Develop in Swift AP CS Principles
  • Develop in Swift Fundamentals
  • Develop in Swift Data Collections

The first three of these books are available today for free in Apple Books.  The fourth will become available in the fall.

Apple also announced a new online professional learning course for educators that will be free. Apple experts who teach the course will help instructors teach Swift and Xcode. Those who are interested can sign up today to participate in the course and it will be available July 13 via the Canvas Learning Management System.

Furthermore,  a new resource called “A Quick Start to Code” is now available as part of efforts to support parents with kids who are home educating. It provides 10 coding challenges for those aged 10 and up, on iPad or Mac.

Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services, commented:

Apple has worked alongside educators for 40 years, and we’re especially proud to see how Develop in Swift and Everyone Can Code have been instrumental in helping teachers and students make an impact in their communities. We’ve seen community college students build food security apps for their campus and watched middle school educators host virtual coding clubs over summer break. As part of our commitment to help expand access to computer science education, we are thrilled to be adding a new professional learning course to help more educators, regardless of their experience, have the opportunity to learn coding and teach the next generation of developers and designers.

How to Look Up Your Apple Warranty Status

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 23:50

There’s an easy way to look up your Apple warranty status for any product you own. And then proceed if you need assistance.

Apple Warranty

Apple’s Limited Warranty

First, if you’re curious or have specific questions about your warranty, go to Apple’s Hardware Warranties page. There, you can read the warranty for specific products, by country, read about legal rights for consumers, get information about discontinued products and more.

Look Up Your Apple Warranty Status

The easiest way to look up the warranty status is to use the Apple Support app. (icon shown above.) Assuming you are logged in with your Apple ID, you can view a list of all products registered in your name. (You could also log in into your Apple ID in a browser.)

In this (app) example, I’ve selected my Apple Watch. The list of topics is designed to walk you through many common support issues.

Apple Support app

Tap on “Device details” to see the warranty status. In this case, the one year warranty has expired, but I’m still under AppleCare+ for a few months.

Apple Warranty Status

Finally, if you need warranty service or need tech support (under coverage), you can get immediate phone, email or chat support. Most users, including myself, rave about the high quality of this in-person support.

You can also walk through the “Repairs & Physical Damage” entry in the Support app (see the first screenshot above) and arrive at options to either call to arrange a repair or make a reservation at a local Apple retail store.

The Apple Support app is amazing, ad it’s worth the time to explore it.

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