Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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20 Years of Great Audio Software from Rogue Amoeba

By Dan Moren for Macworld

The iPad isn’t a big iPhone or a touch-screen Mac–so what is it?

Of all of Apple’s major product lines, it seems like none has been the subject of such intense debate and scrutiny over the last decade as the iPad. Can one do “real work” on it? Is it a computer replacement? Will it some day replace the Mac for all our computing needs?

While products like the Mac and the iPhone have always had a clear role in our technology lives, the iPad’s place has been more ragged around the edges. It fits into the gaps in our lives, solving problems that neither the iPhone nor Mac are quite equipped to, but without supplanting either.

Still, for all of that, the iPad has continued to live under the shadow of its two progenitors. And as it embarks upon its second decade, the future of the iPad is less than clear: its recent evolution–especially when it comes to the much anticipated Stage Manager feature–seems to suggest it heading in one of two directions.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦

By Dan Moren

The Back Page: What’s in a name?

Okay, Apple, listen up. I’m calling you on the carpet.

Stop stealing my gig.

Oh, sure, play innocent. But I’ve been watching for you for years.

Look, it started innocently enough. Time Machine. I get it, it’s a pop culture trope. And the feature lets you go back in time and get your files. Plus, I have to admit, it’s saved my bacon more than a few times over the years so I’ll let it slide; after all, it’s not like you went the whole way and called it DMC DeLorean or TARDIS.

But then you couldn’t help yourself: you just kept going. Deep Fusion? Really? A16 Bionic? The Photonic Engine?

Is your marketing department just two people with a set of darts and a copy of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual?

I get it, I do. Naming is an important part of product development and not every product is going to be as instantly iconic as the Macintosh or the iPod or the iPhone 14 Pro Max with Super Retina XDR display.…

This is a post limited to Six Colors members.

Scott doesn’t like the Kobo Sage

I’m a big fan of the Kobo e-reader line, but it’s only fair that I post a link to a negative review of the Kobo Sage by my pal Scott McNulty:

If you’re looking for a premium ereader get a Kindle Oasis. The Kobo Sage feels cheap (things that cost $300 should never produce that “creaky plastic” sound under normal use) and worst of all: the page turn buttons sometimes just don’t work. Given the whole point of the device is to turn pages, that’s a dealbreaker. Don’t get this thing.

Furthermore, the official case, which can be used as a stand whilst reading, is an abomination that Kobo should just stop selling.

I will say, however, that it charges via USB-C which is nice and I look forward to getting a Kindle that does the same (I’m not getting another Kobo, you see).

Some quick responses:

  • Yes, the Sage’s case not having a power button cut-out is a real head-scratcher.
  • Scott’s right that the Kobo hardware is a cut below Amazon’s in terms of fit and finish. The Kindle Oasis, while smaller than the Sage, has a metal back and doesn’t do the creaky-plastic thing.

  • As Scott writes, the gap between Kindle and Kobo software has closed substantially. Kobo had a huge lead over Kindle, but Amazon has closed the gap quite a bit. And while I enjoy the fact that the Kobo software is better integrated with Overdrive for library books, I do most of my library searching and checking out on an iOS device with the Libby app, making Kobo’s advantage less relevant.

  • I’m mystified at Scott’s story about the Sage’s buttons not working. I’ve never had an issue with nonworking buttons on any of my Kobos and if I were Scott, I’d probably send the Sage back and get a refund or a replacement.

Anyway, my preferred e-reader of the moment is still the Kobo Libra 2, which is $120 less than the Kindle Oasis, but is the same size and also offers physical page-turn buttons. The Oasis is much nicer hardware—the Libra 2 is all plastic and has a recessed screen—but it’s also $120 cheaper, so…

—Linked by Jason Snell

Our thoughts on a slidable, resizable laptop, our countdown events, our iPhone photography habits, and our favorite pinball games

Apple makes some changes to Stage Manager which gets us talking about glitches.

Relay FM Campaign for St. Jude

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and once again, my friends at Relay FM are raising money for St. Jude. A lot of money. Members of our community have already given more than half a million dollars this month, and more than two million dollars since Relay began doing this four years ago.

My friend James Thomson has made a completely bananas macOS screensaver for this campaign, and everyone who donates $60 or more will get it. It is… extra. And then there’s extra on top of that. And when you think there’s nothing extra left, there’s extra.

I strongly suggest you donate if you can.

—Linked by Jason Snell

Jason reviews the iPhone 14, we speculate about how Apple could make an October Mac event worth having, Myke solves his iPhone migration problems, and we answer your Dynamic Island questions!

Angel Island. (A crop of a 48MP image from an iPhone 14 Pro.)

By Jason Snell

iPhone 14 Pro Review: No phone is an island

Since the near-simultaneous arrival of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X in 2017, Apple has been on a mission to split the iPhone product line into two distinct sets of models: a more expensive set that incorporates all the cutting-edge features Apple can dream up, and a set that trades some of that high-tech flash for affordability.

This year’s iPhone 14 and 14 Pro feel like the final resolution of that mission. The iPhone 14 is a very mildly updated version of the iPhone 13, down to it being powered by last year’s A15 processor. But while the iPhone 14 has stood (almost) still, the iPhone 14 Pro has rocketed further ahead. The result is that Apple’s new iPhones for the fall of 2022 are more distinct from one another than ever before.

That’s a good thing for Apple, because the more that users are tempted to spend bigger on the extra features, the more money for Apple. But I’d argue that it’s good for potential buyers too, in the sense that if they’re choosing to spend money on the more expensive phone, they’d want to know what they’re getting for their money. And if those features don’t impress, you can save your money.

Continue reading “iPhone 14 Pro Review: No phone is an island”…

By Dan Moren for Macworld

3 can’t-miss features in iOS 16 and watchOS 9 that you may have missed

There are dozens–if not hundreds–of new features strewn across the major software updates Apple releases every fall. But for every one that gets top billing (iOS 16’s new customizable Lock Screens, for example) there are a whole slew that get little, if any attention. It’s hardly fair, but hey, that’s life: we can’t all be the stars of the show.

Fortunately, the massive number of people looking at these updates helps ensure that no new feature stays unknown for long. Having myself spent a large amount of time with iOS 16 and watchOS 9 over the past several months, I’ve developed my own feelings on which are the best features that you might not immediately try right away—the ones that are often squirreled away in an app you haven’t opened for a while, or buried under several levels of menus. And because I want you to enjoy them too, I’m going to share three of my favorites.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦

Remembering the Spoiler-Free Opinion Summary

Josh Renaud notes the 30th anniversary of a fixture in the pre-Web Internet:

Each newsgroup was like a messageboard dedicated to a topic: fans of Atari’s 16-bit ST computers would post messages in If you were a Star Trek fan, you might hang out in rec.arts.startrek.current. It likely will not surprise you to learn I frequented both those newsgroups.

Like me, Joe Reiss was a Trek fan, and in the fall of 1992, he decided to solve a problem at the intersection of syndicated television and Usenet.

As a dedicated participant in rec.arts.startrek.current in college and grad school1, I was honored to be quoted in Josh’s piece along with the dean of Star Trek episode reviewers, Tim Lynch.

Almost every feature of the Web was prefigured in the pre-Web Internet. We didn’t have the right tools quite yet, but the desire and enthusiasm was there. (And, of course, most of the people who built the early Web were also participants in Usenet and other pre-Web communities.)

  1. Nerds! I know. But Star Trek TNG was very much the Show of the Moment when I was in college. Everyone, and I mean everyone, watched it and talked about it. 
—Linked by Jason Snell

By Shelly Brisbin

Apple Maps’ missing transit link

Apple Maps triptych
Here’s the same location, shown in Explore, Driving, and Transit modes in Maps. Each screen is a bit zoomed in, and they’re all shown in Dark Mode. Note the low-contrast gray-on-gray of the Transit view.

I am a frequent transit user — or I was before the pandemic. That distinction is important because, on a pair of recent trips, I came back into content with transit and Apple Maps in a way that left me scratching my head. Was it like this before?

Maps image of walking on a dotted line.
Here’s what you see when you plot a transit trip and get off the bus a few blocks from your destination. Not terrible, but a turn-by-turn option with higher contrast text would be better.

When I’m in Austin, Texas, where I live, I use the excellent Transit app to find bus and train connections. Mostly, I’m looking for departure times and connections. I don’t really need turn-by-turn directions, because I know where the Republic Square station is, thank you very much.…

This is a post limited to Six Colors members.

Julia’s under the weather, so Jason asked our editor, Steven, to join him to talk about Amazon’s NFL broadcast, Apple TV+ exclusivity of MLB record-breaking games, the insolvency of Bally Sports, and the mystery of NFL Sunday Ticket.

Our computer and desk setups, the feature we’d add to iOS to make the biggest impact on how we use our iPhones, our device-protection habits, and whether the iPad is living up to its potential.

By Jason Snell for Macworld

Apple’s next victim: the SIM card

Call it the Godzilla Problem. Apple is so big and influential that any move it makes will have enormous consequences for someone, somewhere. If Godzilla takes a walk, he leaves enormous footprints (and, let’s be honest, a bunch of crushed stuff) behind him.

And like any large corporation (or nuclear Kaiju), Apple knows when it’s time to tread lightly and when it’s time to throw its weight around. Any choice it makes-especially where the iPhone is concerned-can move markets, make or break suppliers, and distort the trajectory of the tech industry.

When Apple announced the iPhone, it broke the control that wireless carriers had over our phones. Apple would bring the iPhone to the company that agreed to keep its paws off the phone’s Apple-built interface, AT&T (then Cingular) agreed, and the rest is history.

Now Apple’s up to it again.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦

This week we take a look at the iPhone 14 Pro and talk about mistakes we made.

After reviewing the iPhone 14 Pro and discussing the pros and cons of the Dynamic Island and the new 48MP camera, Jason and Myke discuss the current pace of upgrades and innovation across all of Apple’s product lines.

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