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About Intel and Moving Macs to Apple Silicon – TMO Daily Observations 2020-07-01

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 21:52

John Martellaro joins guest-host Bryan Chaffin to discuss what may have driven Apple’s timeline for moving its Mac computers to Apple silicon.

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Albaro Air Posture Corrector: $99.95

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 21:17

We have a deal on the Albaro Air Posture Corrector, a device designed to help you improve your posture. It uses a patented ergonomically-designed air pressure cell to fit your unique body, it adjusts the air pressure and creates the most comfortable back support while effectively realigning your balance. The Albaro Air is $99.95 through our deal.

Get Your Unofficial WWDC 2020 Pins on Kickstarter

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 20:57

Do you miss getting WWDC pins? There’s a Kickstarter campaign selling an unofficial pin set comprised of six designs.

High quality enamel pins are not difficult to get manufactured on time and within budget. The biggest risk is the short timeline we have until WWDC starts. We’ve requested expedition from the manufacturer, but if that isn’t possible then the deliver date could slip into August. Like the software engineers that we are, we’re optimistic that we can meet our estimates and we have no problem estimating aggressively in the face of limitations that are out of our control.

This is a cool project. Pledge US$10 to get 1 random pin, with more reward tiers available. Apparently, Rene Ritchie (formerly of iMore ) has a custom pin included in this project.

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New Apple TV+ Ad Shows The Best The Service Has to Offer

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 20:13

With a host of new Apple TV+ content on the way, a new advert for the service was published Wednesday. Called ‘Desire’, the spot features a host of the big-name shows and films already available, such as The Morning Show, Dickinson, and The Banker. There are also clips of upcoming content like Greyhound.

Apple Adds Mid 2012 MacBook Pro to Obsolete List

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 19:55

The first-ever MacBook Pro with a Retina Display has now officially become obsolete (via Cult of Mac). It joins the list of products for which Apple offers no hardware service.

Mid 2012 MacBook Pro

First MacBook Pro With Retina Display Obsolete

The first MacBook Pro with Retina Display was released in June 2012. It is on the obsolete list as sales were discontinued over seven years ago. It was actually discontinued in February 2013. Apple lists all obsolete products. Vintage products, meanwhile, are those that Apple has not sold for over five years but have been discontinued less than seven years. Unlike products on the obsolete list, vintage product owners can still get hardware services from Apple and Apple service providers subject to inventory being available and dependent on legal requirements.

Private Social Network ‘MeWe’ Takes on Snapchat Stories

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 19:30

A private social network I’ve reviewed before is MeWe, and it just announced a featured called Journals [PDF].

MeWe Journals

“Stories” is a popular feature that started with Snapchat, and other services like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have copied it into their own products. Now MeWe is the latest to offer a similar service, called Journals.

MeWe is a bit different than other social networks. There are no ads and it’s dedicated to user privacy with its Privacy Bill of Rights. This makes statements like, “You control who can access your content”, and “We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your newsfeeds. Only you can do that.”

The idea for Journals was born in the ascent of Stories. In recent years, Stories have become social media’s favored 24-hour lifecycle medium for creating and sharing brief videos of special moments and daily life events. With MeWe Journals, members can save, sort, and organize their favorite Stories beyond the moment – for a lifetime of memories and sharing.

MeWe Journals offer members a bunch of features:

  • Organize and aggregate member Stories into Journals on your profile
  • Sort Stories by friend or family member, topic, timeline, or anyway you like
  • Choose to make each Journal visible to only yourself; your contacts; Close Friends; or open to anyone on MeWe
  • Create up to 500 Journals, and each Journal can contain up to 1,000 Stories

These journals can be created on the company’s mobile apps and they can be viewed on the desktop as well. It’s part of the premium plan which costs US$4.99/month, but it can be purchased a-la-carte for US$1.99/month.

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Mimeo Photos Adds a Wall Decoration Product

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 19:09

Mimeo Photos is an app I’ve reviewed before, and it offers a high-quality service for people to create calendars, cards, and prints out of their photos. The company just launched a new product category so you can create wall decor.

Mimeo Photos Wall Decor

This newest product turns your favorite photos into a unique print made of acrylic, metal, or canvas in sizes from 8×10” to 20×30” to showcase photos in portrait and landscape formats. John Delbridge, CEO of Mimeo Photos, said:

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Apple and Apple Photos end users for the last ten years and are pleased to continue to innovate for them with the introduction of Wall Decor. Quality products are essential to the Mimeo Photos customer and the same premium quality they’ve become accustomed to will be reflected in our new Wall Decor offerings.

Mimeo photos wall decor

Mimeo Photos Wall Decor starts at US$34.99. Download the app from the Mac App Store and it works as an extension directly in the Apple Photos app. I was happy with the photo book they created for me so this is a service I personally recommend for photographers.

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Apple Arcade Devs Have Games Canceled as Service Faces Shakeup

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 19:04

Apple Arcade appears to be undergoing some changes. Developers have had games canceled as the service bids to better retain paying subscribers.

Apple Arcade Cancelations Indicate Strategy Shift

An Apple Arcade creative producer told developers that upcoming games were not achieving the desired levels of “engagement,” during calls that took place in mid-April (via Bloomberg News). It wants games that will hook users in and make them keep their monthly $4.99 subscription. Developers have been paid for development milestones already hit.

In a statement, Apple said:

Apple Arcade has redefined what a gaming service can be, putting unlimited play at the fingertips of subscribers and their families across all their Apple devices. We are proud to have launched the first-ever mobile game subscription service that now features more than 120 games, many of which are award-winning and widely celebrated for their artistry and gameplay. The vision has always been to grow and evolve the Apple Arcade catalog, and we can’t wait for our users to try the games developers are working on now.

The company also added that it always planned to make changes to the roster of games offered to subscribers based on user feedback. However, it all indicates the takeup of the service has not been as high as hoped for.

[Why I Canceled my Apple Arcade Subscription]

Imagination Hopes for Closer Relationship With Apple

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 18:37

British chip designer Imagination sees the possibility of a closer relationship with Apple, according to its interim CEO. Ray Bingham made the comments in an interview with

The company’s new licensing agreement with Apple “certainly opens the door for more engagement with that company,” interim Chief Executive Officer Ray Bingham said in an interview. They announced in January they’d signed a multi-year license deal giving the Silicon Valley company access to a wide-range of Imagination’s designs. Imagination isn’t allowed to discuss its relationship with Apple beyond saying the Cupertino, California-based company is a licensee, but news that the computer maker is planning to start making more of its own chips doesn’t affect “our relationship with Apple in any negative way,” Bingham said.

Spotify Duo Launches in U.S. And Apple Music May Follow Suit

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 17:53

Spotify launched its Premium Duo option in the U.S., UK, and other countries on Wednesday. It means a couple or two flatmates can each have a premium account for a total of $12.99 per month. That’s a $2 a month reduction on the family bundle. As 9to5 Mac notes, Apple Music tends to not be so far behind in making such moves.

In addition to each getting individual premium accounts, Spotify says Duo also gives you a joint playlist selected by Spotify on the basis of your joint tastes…. The Duo Mix allows you to choose between Chill and Upbeat playlists, and you can also opt to filter out explicit songs. You can check whether your country is included by visiting Historically, Apple Music and Spotify have mirrored each other’s membership types, so it is at least possible that Apple will choose to offer a similar account for couples.

‘Defending Jacob’ Showrunner Signs Overall Deal with Apple

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 17:38

Mark Bomback, the showrunner behind Apple TV+ hit Defending Jacob, has signed an overall deal with Apple. It means he will develop new projects exclusively for the the streaming service (via Deadline).

Chris Evans in defending Jacob

Showrunner Signs-up After ‘Defending Jacob’ Proves a Hit

Mr. Bomback created, wrote, executive produced and showran Defending Jacob. Based on the novel by William Landay, the series starred Chris Evans and is understood to be one of the big hits for Apple TV+, both in terms of opening viewer numbers and continued engagement. Mr. Bomback also has screenwriter credits on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes, Live Free or Die Hard, The Wolverine, and Unstoppable.

Apple Card Users Can Defer Payments Through July

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 17:33

Apple is extending its COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program through July. If you have been financially impacted due to the pandemic, you can enroll in the program to defer your July payment without interest or other penalties.

Apple Card Deferment

Here’s how to enroll in the Apple Card deferment program:

  1. Open Wallet.
  2. Tap Apple Card.
  3. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner.
  4. Select Message, then say you want to enroll in the program.

This program is on a month-by-month basis, so even if you’ve applied in previous months, you’ll have to enroll again for July.

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Apple Acquires Rights to ‘Emancipation’ Film Starring Will Smith

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 16:36

Apple has acquired international rights to “Emancipation” an action-thriller starring Will Smith (via Deadline).


Directed by Antoine Fuqua, “Emancipation” follows Peter, “a runaway slave forced to outwit cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on a tortuous journey North where he joined the Union Army.”

Pic will be produced by Apple Studios, alongside Smith and his Westbrook Studios, Fuqua and his Fuqua Films, Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Joey McFarland of McFarland Entertainment. James Lassiter and Jon Mone will serve in a producing capacity through Westbrook. Cliff Roberts is exec producer.

Apple bid against other companies like Warner Bros for the rights to the film, finally closing a deal at over US$120 million (after factoring in backend gross buyouts). The report says that the relationship between Apple video executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht with Will Smith was a factor in Apple winning the deal.

Google Staff Told to Work From Home Until Labor Day After COVID-19 Spikes

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 14:02

Google spokesperson Katherine Williams confirmed to Reuters that the company will not reopen its U.S. offices as planned. The decision comes in the midst of a spike in COVID-19 cases in various states.

Williams confirmed a Bloomberg report that cited an internal memo to employees sent by a Google executive. “For all of you that are working from home, please continue to do so unless you are told otherwise by your manager,” Chris Rackow, Google’s vice president of global security, said in the memo. “We don’t expect this guidance to change until Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day) at the earliest,” Rackow wrote, adding that the recent rise in coronavirus cases in the United States demonstrates that “COVID-19 is still very much alive”.

Now We Know Why Macs Are Moving to Apple Silicon

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 00:25

We’ve been hearing the rumors for years. Now we know why and when Apple made the decision to move Macs to Apple Silicon.

The Move to Apple Silicon

When one of Apple’s partners is doing a great job, Apple executive are pleased. Nothing to do but move on to the most urgent crisis. But when an Apple partner screws up, look out.

Three years ago, Intel screwed up.

Apple Silicon slide from WWDC 2020 keynote

[WWDC 2020: It’s Official. Macs Will Transition to Apple CPUs]

According to PC Gamer, the failure of quality assurance of the Intel Skylake CPU sealed the deal for Apple.

The “bad quality assurance of Skylake” was responsible for Apple finally making the decision to ditch Intel and focus on its own ARM-based processors for high-performance machines. That’s the claim made by outspoken former Intel principal engineer, François Piednoël.

We’ve heard for years that Apple has been unhappy with Intel, but what surfaced were vague notions of rollout timing and Intel’s Canon Lake debacle, that is, getting to a 10 nanometer process. But now, Mr. Piednoël, who left Intel several years ago, has revealed that silicon bugs became a major issue.

“The quality assurance of Skylake was more than a problem,” says Piednoël during a casual Xplane chat and stream session. “It was abnormally bad. We were getting way too much citing for little things inside Skylake. Basically our buddies at Apple became the number one filer of problems in the architecture. And that went really, really bad.

The Intel compatibility of Macs has long been an important factor in the ability to run Windows natively. So a switch away from Intel would be a very big deal for Apple and its customers. But Mr. Piednoël describes the sea change at Apple.

“For me this is the inflection point,” says Piednoël. “This is where the Apple guys who were always contemplating to switch, they went and looked at it and said: ‘Well, we’ve probably got to do it.’ Basically the bad quality assurance of Skylake is responsible for them to actually go away from the platform.”

Author James concluded:

It does have to be said that this is still just the publicly stated opinion of one former Intel engineer and can’t necessarily be taken purely as fact, and obviously isn’t the only reason for Apple’s switch either.

Apple Marketing

Most assuredly, Apple executives and senior engineers looked hard at the potential transition. The fact that the ARM CPUs were working out so very well in iPhones and iPads must have always been in the back of their minds. But a final decision would depend on engineering realities. And, apparently, crucial Intel mistakes.

Would the evolving A-series be powerful enough? Would the graphics component of the ARM series be up to current and future standards? Would Rosetta 2 technology be able to handle modern Intel-based binaries? Could Xcode make the transition for developers acceptable? Would there be pleasing gains made in the integration of Apple designed silicon and macOS? Could adequate virtualization be implemented? Would the ability to run iOS apps natively on Macs be a major plus?

When the answer to these questions all became Yes, Apple made the commitment. And while all that formed the basis for Apple marketing during WWDC, the company apparently feels that it has the technical acumen to pull it off in a way that will satisfy customers and bring about positive change. After all, this kind of CPU architecture transition has been done several time before by Apple. When software tools and CPU horsepower were much more primitive.

In the end, the lesson here is that Apple has enormous resources and technical talent. When an Apple partner fails them, Apple will take the initiative and go its own way. And while the resulting change in gears may seem risky and uncomfortable for a time, Apple always finds a great path forward.

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Here’s How to Get the Developer and Public iOS 14 Beta

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 21:47

One of the announcements at WWDC 2020 was iOS 14. It brings new features like encrypted DNS, home screen Widgets, App Library, and more. So where can you download the iOS 14 beta?

The Mac Observer recommends that you install beta software on extra devices you have lying around. Betas are full of bugs, and you don’t want to install it on your main devices.

iOS 14 Beta for Developers

RIght now the only iOS 14 beta available is the developer beta. It was released on June 22 and the current build is 18A5401v. You’ll need a developer account to download it.

To get started, visit this page and install the beta profile. Restart your device, then head back to that page to download it. You’ll want to read the release notes, which lists known bugs. Here is one such issue:

Updating to iOS & iPadOS 14 beta from previous versions of iOS & iPadOS might take significantly longer than expected. Data loss could occur if the update is interrupted. (59101197)

iOS 14 beta coming soon

iOS 14 Beta for Public

Apple always released the public beta once the developer beta has been in the wild for a couple weeks. The iOS 14 beta for non-developers hasn’t been released yet, but Apple said it will be out in July, usually mid- to late-July.

You can get a head start by visiting this page, where you can sign up to be in the beta program if you’re not already part of it.

This article will be updated once the iOS 14 public beta is out.

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This Mini Bar UV-C Light Plugs into Your USB-C Port and Kills 99.9% of Germs: $29.99

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 20:41

We have a deal on the Mobisan Mobile Plug-In UV Sanitizer Light. This UV sanitizer plugs into a USB-C port—including iPad and other mobile devices with USB-C—and produces a UV sanitizer light. According to the company, it kills 99.9% of disease-causing microbes in less than 10 seconds.

New News About News – TMO Daily Observations 2020-06-30

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 19:50

Charlotte Henry joins host Kelly Guimont to discuss updates to Apple’s News app, Google’s news partnerships, and iOS 14 updates to News+.

DEVONthink helps you collect, organize, and automate your information firehose. Get 10% off a new or upgrade license at today!

WWDC 2020: All The Recap Videos From This Year’s Conference

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 19:44

Every day at WWDC 2020, Serenity Caldwell produced a video roundup of the day’s events. They were initially launched on the Developer App and site but also appeared on YouTube.

WWDC 2020 Day 1 highlights

WWDC 2020 Recap Day One

The day one roundup featured all the highlights from the keynote and state of the union. This included announcements and reveals around iOS 14, macOS Big Sur, and Apple Silicon.

Day Two Recap

The recap of day two at WWDC 2020 features WidgetKit and the App Clip.  Some new features and enhancements in iPadOS 14 were also discussed.

Day Three Recap

The tech side of Wednesday at WWDC 2020 involved a look at new Game Center features. Away from tech, there was a discussion between former Attorney General Eric Holder and Apple VP Lisa Jackson on race in America.

Day Four Recap

The penultimate day of the conference explored new Siri and SwiftUI 2.0, functionality. There was also discussion about providing keyboard and mouse support for iPad games, and optimizing a Mac Catalyst app.

The Final Day of WWDC 2020

Day five of the conference looked at designing for location privacy, the latest updates to Swift Playgrounds, and discussion on background task timeouts.

New Ransomware ‘OSX.EvilQuest’ Found in Pirated Mac Software

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 19:09

A new piece of macOS ransomware has been spotted in the wild pretending to be a Google Software Update app. Thomas Reed from Malwarebytes says it has been found in pirated versions of “popular macOS software.”


Mr. Reed found it inside a pirated Mac tool called Little Snitch. Another one was found in DJ software Mixed In Key 8, which is what Objective-See covered. The latter installer was unsigned. This is good so far, because it means you won’t be automatically infected (at least with this sample).

This message will appear once your files have been encrypted

Not only does OSX.EvilQuest encrypt the machine’s files, it also installs a keylogger to monitor what you type, and steals cryptocurrency wallet files if they are present on the system. Even if you paid the ransom, the attackers could still wreak havoc.

Mr. Reed said that Malwarebytes has been updated to detect and stop OSX.EvilQuest. Objective-See also has a ransomware detection tool.