This Week's Sponsor
Magic Lasso Adblock: YouTube ad blocker for Safari
November 25, 2022 9:00 AM PT
My thanks to Magic Lasso Adblock for sponsoring Six Colors this week.
Magic Lasso Adblock is simply the best Safari ad blocker for your iPhone, iPad and Mac. As a native content blocking extension, it blocks all intrusive ads, trackers and annoyances – letting you experience a faster, cleaner and more secure experience across all your devices.
Along with respecting your privacy, the app now also includes best-in-class YouTube ad blocking to block all YouTube ads.
Social media is great.
Finding a Twitter replacement (or leaving it all behind), our Read-it-Later services of choice, the tech we’re most thankful for, and the apps we’re most thankful for.
By Joe Rosensteel
November 23, 2022 9:35 AM PT
One of the banner features of Apple TV and tvOS, is the ability to use Siri to get to what you want without having to remember which app it’s in, or where it is. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always lived up to that sales pitch. But as of the latest version of tvOS, it’s gotten a lot better.
Apple has slowly tweaked accuracy over the years (requests for “The Thing” now sensibly display The Thing you expect, and not Fantastic Four movies.) It was also a pain that if you clicked/tapped on a result there was no way to get back to those search results if that item didn’t turn out to be what you wanted. Now you can!
The results pages were have also been cleaned up a little, to make those first few options as relevant as possible. It’s less optimal if you stay on the page too long, because tvOS will start playing a trailer in the top two-thirds of the screen.…
This is a post limited to Six Colors members.
By Jason Snell for Macworld
When Apple announced Universal Control as a feature of macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15, I wasn’t sure what to think. It seemed like a feature nobody had asked for, but one that Apple had realized might actually be incredibly useful. I was certainly impressed by its technical ambition. But would it be something that I would ever use day to day? I was skeptical.
It’s been about eight months since Universal Control arrived–remember, it was announced in June 2021 but gestated for nine months before being released in March of this year–and I’m finally ready to weigh in on Universal Control.
It’s great. It is one of my favorite operating-system feature additions in recent memory. And most surprising of all, I’m using it in ways I had never, ever anticipated. Here’s why I’m thankful that Universal Control exists.
There’s some huge news from the world of streaming, as Disney switches bosses and Apple plans its next wave of sports-streaming products. Meanwhile, Myke’s busy building out his smart home while Jason has been reminded of the fragility of smart-home networking.
By Dan Moren for Macworld
Apple is a bit like Superman. Wait, wait, hear me out. Sure, it only gets a chunk of its power from the yellow sun (thanks, solar), and maybe not even its rumored smart glasses could disguise it as Clark Kent, but the company certainly isn’t short on superpowers: selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of products, commanding a prominent position in multiple technology markets, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, etc.
But just as Superman has his kryptonite, Apple too has one large weakness that can bring the company to its knees: its overreliance on China. Yes, the region provides a big chunk of the company’s sales, but even more to the point, it’s the epicenter of Apple’s global manufacturing and assembly. And when that’s threatened–by political issues, supply chain problems, or COVID-related conundrums–it can put a serious dent in the company’s bottom line.
You need look no further than the recent communique from Cupertino, explaining that its most expensive (and presumably most profitable) iPhone models would take a sales hit due to a pandemic-related factory shutdown. Recently, though, Apple has started to move to correct this reliance on China, looking to bring manufacturing to a number of other places. It’s a good long-term decision, but it won’t happen fast, and there are going to be plenty of challenges along the way.
November 18, 2022 9:00 AM PT
My thanks to Kolide for once again sponsoring Six Colors.
Kolide knows how challenging it can be to prove compliance to a third-party auditor—they just went through it themselves. They learned firsthand something their customers had been telling them for a while: that they couldn’t have gotten their SOC certification without using their own product.
Kolide is an endpoint security solution for Mac, Windows, and Linux devices. Kolide gives IT admins a single dashboard, through which you can prove that your fleet has the security measures in place that auditors care about.
You should check out Kolide today.
How we positively integrate tech in our kids’ lives, whether we display vintage tech, sharing streaming service logins, and do standalone cameras still trump smartphones?
By Jason Snell
November 16, 2022 10:22 AM PT
It’s about three months until the start of the next season of Major League Soccer, and Apple’s 10-year, $2.5B deal with the league is starting to come into focus. On Wednesday Apple announced details about the new MLS Season Pass, a new subscription service inside of the Apple TV app.
Apple and MLS will produce broadcasts of every league match. (This includes the Leagues Cup between MLS and Liga MX teams, except in Mexico.) Some will probably be simulcast on traditional TV providers such as ESPN, while others will be available for free on the Apple TV app and still others might be available to all Apple TV+ subscribers.
But if you want access to every match, you’ll need MLS Season Pass, which will cost $15 per month during the season or $99 for the entire season. (MLS season ticket holders—between 300,000 and 400,000 of them—will get access to MLS Season Pass with their ticket purchase. Apple TV+ subscribers will get a $20 discount.)
MLS Season Pass subscriptions will open on February 1 and the league’s first match is on February 25. If that seems soon, it is. As The Athletic reported last month, Apple and the league are scrambling to put a broadcast plan into place, including hiring announcers.
Apple and MLS are also working to simplify the league’s schedule, placing all matches in two separate windows on Saturday and Wednesday nights with kickoffs of most Saturday games at 7:30 p.m. local time. Showcase games that would be available for free to all would take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Athletic also reported that roughly 40 percent of the league’s games will be available in front of the paywall.
Product placement is also part of the deal. Not only will teams be equipped with iPads, but referees may wear Apple Watches, and the VAR video-review system may be based on Apple devices. An Apple TV logo will also appear on the sleeve of every team jersey, the first of which can be spotted in Wednesday’s announcement of the first primary kit for the St. Louis City SC expansion team.
The big question is, what will the product be like? Given the heavy lift required just to get this new endeavor up and running, it’ll be interesting to see how many “production enhancements” Apple will be introducing at the start. The Athletic reports that games will probably have 12 cameras, up from seven or eight at most games this year.
Apple will presumably want to push production quality—will these all be in 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos sound?—and the plan is to offer commentary in English, Spanish, and (for Canadian teams) French, with an additional option to substitute the home team’s radio broadcast instead.
That’s an ambitious first set of features, but it feels like Apple is viewing this MLS partnership as a testbed for its future ambitions in streaming live sports. I would expect the company to be more aggressive in pushing the format than it was in its first season of MLB games.
I am somewhat of a soccer fan, though my tastes run more toward the team at the top of the table in the English Premier League. But I’m really interested in seeing how Apple and MLS execute on their strategy here.
Disney’s latest financial results lead us to ponder where we are in the dramatic change from old-school media to the streaming world. Also, Warner Bros. Discovery claims to have all its franchises in order, but that doesn’t seem remotely realistic.
We wish we could buy Twitter, but mistakes were made.
Let’s get real about the Apple VR headset. Is it really coming next year? What’s it going to look like? What features should it have? What lessons can Apple learn from Meta’s foray into VR products? We break it all down. Also, we’ve got home automation on our minds in various ways, as a smart switch fails Jason, Myke seeks advice, and it’s beginning to look a lot like expensive fairy-light season.