July 2019

iOS & Apple news

Jony Ive to form independent design company with Apple as client.

Jony Ive is Leaving Apple: some thoughts by John Gruber.

LoveFrom: The name of Jony Ive’s new company comes from this Steve Jobs quote, reports FastCompany.

Tim Cook sent email to all employees on the departure of Jony Ive.

Let the reporting (or rumors?) begin:

The WSJ reports on behind the scenes design decisions by Apple executive and by Ive. MacRumors offers a summary: Jony Ive Became 'Dispirited' After Apple Watch and Sometimes Failed to Show Up to Meetings.

Tim Cook slams alleged rift with Jony Ive as ‘absurd’, reports CultofMac.

Wired Magazine writes: The real reason Jony Ive left Apple, with the expectation that Ive wants to focus on luxury goods beyond electronics.

Apple Music has 60 Million subscribers. Up from 56 million subscribers in November. Spotify, has 100 million premium (aka paid) subscribers worldwide as of April. However in the US, Apple Music has somewhere around 28 million U.S. subscribers, compared to Spotify's 26 million.

Apple TV has 16% share of U.S. streaming TV devices, reports MacDailyNews.

Apple News launches candidate guide ahead of 2020 (Democratic) debates. `“`The candidate guide in Apple News is a robust and reliable resource, connecting readers to valuable at-a-glance information and to great journalism from our partners.'

Though this is focused on only one aspect of the debates, it is expected that Apple will release similar guides for all GOP candidates when the time comes. `After the first debates, the candidate guide will be continuously updated with news from reliable sources throughout the primary campaign. Apple News readers can click to follow any of the candidates to add breaking news and ongoing coverage about that candidate to their Today feed within the News app.''

Teens don’t make friends with people who don’t have iPhones, reports MacDailyNews.

Apple releases new creative AirPod add highlighting ease of use, fun, and wireless charging:

iOS 13 previews

The best iOS 13 tips you haven't tried yet. A nice preview of things to come.

iOS 13 is coming with a ton of updates, including: a new dark mode option, major performance improvements, faster Face ID, simpler photo editing tools and a new Photos interface, a Sign In With Apple Privacy feature, a swipe-based keyboard, and tons more. Additionally, there are dozens smaller new changes and tweaks that are included in iOS 13. In this video, MacRumors looks at some of new and notable features in iOS 13, not covered in Apple's Keynote in June:

A nice preview of Photos in iOS 13:

An overview of Sidecar, in iOS 13:

A nice and thorough preview of iOS 13 by MacRumors.


Apple’s iPadOS is a game-changing software update, writes Forbes Magazine, in a preview of iOS 13 on iPad. Ben Sin writes: `I've been testing a beta version of iPadOS for the past few days, and most of the improvements Apple promised are already useable here in the beta software. They're slightly buggy right now – as is often the case with beta software – but by the time these are consumer-ready, the iPads, especially the 2018 iPad Pro, is going to become significantly more capable.'

iOS apps

Petra told us about AllTrails which is also an app for hiking and mapping trails.

Lee told us about VisitAcity.com which is a both a web-based app and an iOS app that gives you a nice way to plan activities and tours while visiting cities around the world.

The Best Fitness Apps for 2019, by PC Magazine.

Olga has previously recommended Aaptiv. They were by far the best. They recently went through a very disruptive change and they are rebuilding their service and offerings. Despite the changes, it's still among the better choices and it's worth considering.

Another fitness app that gets high reviews is Peloton.

Another app worth considering is Seven, a quick 7 min workout app for those who are very busy.

Looking for things? Consider Findy (iTunes link) or Findy (Dev website). It is an app that helps your searches for items you are considering buying. They say: `Still using a search engine to actually search? Still using Craigslist to navigate classifieds? And still using Pinterest to organize and share your favorites? Then you're probably finding more ads, duplicates, scams, and sponsored results than actual results, right?' Findy claims to `get you there faster by eliminating redundancy and prioritizing results without compromising your privacy.'

PauseAble offers 2 apps to guide you to mindfulness via interactive meditation: Pause and Sway:

Pause is a relaxation and meditation app based on Thai Chi principles. It looks almost simplistic but it actually works, Olga reports.

Sway is also an interactive meditation’ experience. It uses your phone to track movement and provides feedback to help you gain focus and improve your attention. From simply moving your phone in your hand while sitting down or lying in bed, to swaying your body while waiting for the bus or even walking slowly around the office, the app is designed to help you find focus in everyday life using interactive meditation. Reviews are mixed, some people say it's a great idea but feels only partially finished.

tips & tricks

Everything you need to know about iCloud Music Library.

Apple Music problems? Here's the fix!

7 Tips Most iPhone Owners Won't Know:

Why you shouldn't use airport USB chargers: 'Like using a dirty toothbrush'. `Cybercriminals can modify these USB charging stations to install malware on your phone or secretly download information, Caleb Barlow, vice president of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security in the US, told Forbes.' Though an iPhone should be impervious to this, it's a good idea to remember this advice about all our devices (PCs, Macs, etc.). It's safer to plug inn your external portable charger.

How I Dropped Dropbox, writes Khoi Vinh. He writes:

`There are so many Dropbox integrations available that the service seems essential, or at least difficult to imagine doing without. Over the years I’ve hooked numerous apps and services into my Dropbox account, which is why I started paying for the professional plan seven years ago. And yet each year, at renewal time, I think a bit more deeply about the question of whether Dropbox is in fact so indispensable. It’s not.`

He continues: `Last month, Dropbox's unique value was even further diminished for me when Apple announced that folder sharing would soon be coming to iCloud Drive. This replicates fully the most compelling reason I had to stick with Dropbox: the ability to give other users access to my select folders directly in the macOS Finder. That, combined with Dropbox's recent announcement that it would be increasing the annual cost of my pro plan by US$20 at renewal time, convinced me to finally cancel my subscription.'

gadgets & accessories

PRITEK Portable 3 is a Travel Power Strip that is a surge protector with USB ports and international power adapters. Olga brought it to showcase.

Wonderboom is a portable waterroof wireless speaker, retailing around $55. Wonderboom 2 is a speaker that offers louder sound, a new outdoor mode, and more, reports MacRumors in their review.


JCPenney Has Reinstated Apple Pay in All Retail Locations.


Physician uses Apple Watch to diagnose atrial fibrillation on the go, reports CultofMac: A physician in San Diego recently shared how he used the ECG on his Apple Watch Series 4 to detect atrial fibrillation in someone while chilling at a restaurant. And it probably saved the person’s life.

Apple has refreshed watch bands for the summer.

You can always find some creative watch bands on Etsy, such as this one and many are customizable.

An overview of watchOS 6:

privacy & security

OpenID Foundation says Sign In with Apple poses security and privacy risks, reports MacDailyNews. They are calling on Apple to join their foundation and claims seem dubious.

I Opted Out Of Facial Recognition At The Airport—It Wasn't Easy, reports Wired Magazine. The write-up discusses the perspective of a privacy-conscious person, uncomfortable boarding this way, trying to opt out.