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February 18, 2019 12:36 PM PT
A 16-inch MacBook Pro? A 6K Apple external display? Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has dropped the first detailed report of Apple’s 2019 hardware plans, and Myke and Jason take turns dissecting them and wildly speculating about possible features. Also we ponder what a services-themed Apple event might look like, which is a lovely discussion until someone mentions Drake.
Jason Snell for Tom's Guide
February 17, 2019 10:55 AM PT
It looks as though Apple will hold a special event next month unlike any it’s held in recent memory, according to multiple reports. At the center of the stage won’t be new Mac, iPhone, or iPad hardware, but a new collection of subscription services.
This rumored March 25 event has probably been inevitable for a few years now, ever since Apple called out the importance of services revenue to its corporate growth. The most reliable source of growth at Apple the last few years has been in services, powered largely by the App Store, along with Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud.
With its new services, Apple is planning on using its stature in the tech world, the size of its customer base, and its staggering cash flow to insert itself in markets that are undergoing rapid transformations. And while Apple’s not going to beat Netflix or Amazon Prime overnight, Tim Cook could always unveil a bundle that ties together video, music, news and more that could further shake things up.
Dan Moren for Macworld
February 15, 2019 5:10 AM PT
Apple’s plans to launch a subscription service for news are, by this point, an open secret. Just under a year ago, the company announced its acquisition of existing magazine subscription service Texture, which Apple executive Eddy Cue quickly revealed would be folded into the existing Apple News app.
Since then, the news service has mostly been absent from the limelight, generally taking a backseat to the more prominent news leaking out around Apple’s upcoming video streaming service. But as recent reports have started to filter out that the news service and TV service may be announced by Apple at the same event in March, combined with rumors about the revenue split between Cupertino and its periodical partners, the news service is suddenly back in the front seat—as are the challenges that it will face when it eventually sees the light of day.
February 13, 2019 11:22 AM PT
This week on the 30 minute tech show that gives 60 Minutes a run for its money, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Aleen Simms and Casey Liss to discuss Apple wanting 50 percent of publisher revenue for its news subscription service, where exactly all the App Store money is going, what Amazon wants with Eero, and transformative technology that seems underwhelming by today’s standards. Plus, a Valentine’s Day-themed bonus topic.
Jason Snell for Macworld
February 13, 2019 7:48 AM PT
Federico Viticci said it best on the Connected podcast last week: The departure of Angela Ahrendts as Apple’s retail chief is a Rorschach test. One’s reaction to the news will reveal a lot about one’s feelings about the current state of Apple’s retail stores.
I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Ahrendts featuring aspects of the Apple Store experience that actually preceded her. No, she didn’t invent the where’s-the-line, where-do-I-stand set-up that completely breaks everything we ever learned about how to behave in a retail store. (Under her tenure the approach was modified, not discarded—and in recent years I’ve noticed a more aggressive positioning of employees at the front of stores to intercept new shoppers and put them in the right place.)
February 13, 2019 7:37 AM PT
This week, on the irreverent tech show that will always be your Valentine, we discuss Amazon’s purchase of Eero, Kashmir Hill’s attempt to cut the major five tech companies out of her life, Apple’s naming of a new product marketing head for VR, Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple, and, of course, OUR PICKS.
Plus, tune in for our Rebound-host Mario Kart TOURNAMENT, live this coming Sunday, February 17th at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern. More information to come.
By Jason Snell
February 12, 2019 9:34 PM PT
The point wasn’t that these tasks were impossible on the iPad, but that they were inconvenient enough—requiring me to research a bunch of apps or figure out workarounds or write scripts—that I was better off just going back to my Mac and doing the work there, primarily in BBEdit and Numbers.
I complained about not being able to do grep searches in my iOS text editors of choice, and while that’s true, several people pointed out that there are iOS apps that are capable of them, most notably Coda by Panic and Textastic Code Editor 7. 1 I own both of these apps and while I don’t like writing articles using them—they’re development tools more than writing tools—they absolutely support grep and I will use them in the future when I need to do pattern-matching searches on iOS.
The biggest impediment to finishing my work on the iPad, though, came from the fact that I needed to generate a bunch of charts in Numbers—and they use a non-default font, Proxima Nova, that wasn’t installed on my iPad. How do you install extra fonts on the iPad?
It turns out, there’s a way—just a spectacularly inelegant one. Several apps will do it, taking font files transferred from the Mac and wrapping them in custom configuration files, then emailing them to yourself, at which point you can install them via the Settings app. I tried the free iFont 2 and it worked perfectly. Installing via the same kind of custom configuration file you’d use to install VPN software or to opt in to one of Apple’s beta-testing programs is not intuitive in any way, but with the help of iFont, I was able to get my charts to display on my iPad identically to how they display on my Mac.
This is perhaps my final lesson from this process 3: That I can work around most, if not all, of the roadblocks that iOS places in front of me. It might take an app I’ve never heard about, a feature of an app I rarely use, or hours of hacking together scripts based on code samples found in Google searches, but I can probably make it work. That’s not necessarily an endorsement—in the end it was far easy for me to go back to the Mac, where I’ve assembled all the tools I need to do my job over more than two decades. It’s a reminder that as appealing as working on my iPad is, there are still rough areas that I’m much more comfortable handling on my Mac.
February 11, 2019 11:43 AM PT
It’s been reported that the iPad’s home screen will be evolving in 2019, but what form will that evolution take? Myke and Jason make a wish list, and also discuss Angela Ahrendts’s departure from Apple Retail, Spotify’s investment in podcasting, and Apple and Disney’s latest streaming-media moves.
February 8, 2019 4:52 PM PT
My thanks to Glenn Fleishman for sponsoring Six Colors this week as a way of promoting the new edition of his ebook, Take Control of Slack. Here’s Glenn to explain himself:
One morning, we all awoke and found ourselves part of a Slack group. I may be exaggerating, but it seems like Slack came out of nowhere to be the group messaging and archiving tool of choice, especially for offices and organizations with a spread-out set of employees or members.
I wrote the ebook Take Control of Slack to fit a range of people who use Slack regularly, sometimes constantly, and find themselves wanting to better understand its features without devoting hours to sorting them all out.
The ebook is useful to people at all level of Slack experience, and goes far behind walking you through options and features. Instead, I explain how Slack works and how to get the best use out of it, whether it’s controlling notifications so you aren’t overwhelmed (or underwhelming) by updates. It’s full of tips, like pressing up-arrow in a desktop Slack app to edit you previously posted message.
This ebook is fully up to date with all the tweaks and refinement Slack added, from video conferencing and screen sharing to its new logo and branding. Take Control of Slack is an ebook that will help you achieve mastery to reduce frustration, improve efficiency, and focus less on Slack and more on what you’re trying to get done.
Six Colors readers get 25% off the price by using the coupon code SIXCOLORSSLACK or following this link.
Dan Moren for Macworld
February 8, 2019 5:23 AM PT
Digital and information security is something that everybody’s had to become all too familiar with over the past decade. As we carry around devices that themselves store everything from our friends’ contact details to our bank account information, it’s become ever more crucial that those devices be well secured against all possible intruders.
In general, Apple’s track record on security has been pretty solid. The App Store’s walled garden, while often the target of derision from competitors, has done an effective job of curtailing malware on the platform and the company issues frequent security updates to its products.
But even Apple isn’t without its security shortcomings, and a few recent incidents suggest ways that the company may need to go beyond just patching vulnerabilities in its software and change the procedures around how it deals with the people who uncover these exploits.
February 7, 2019 12:30 PM PT
This week on Download, Stephen Hackett and Jason discuss Apple’s retail changes and Facebook’s 15th anniversary. Then Natalie Jarvey of The Hollywood Reporter visits to discuss Spotify spending a lot of money on podcasting companies, and Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia unveils the new emoji coming later in 2019.
Jason Snell for Macworld
February 6, 2019 4:00 PM PT
Buried at the end of Mark Gurman’s high-profile Bloomberg report about future Apple product announcements is a tidbit that’s of enormous interest to anyone who loves using their iPad.
Apple’s next operating system update, iOS 13, will include… iPad-specific upgrades like a new home screen, the ability to tab through multiple versions of a single app like pages in a web browser, and improvements to file management.
That’s a lot of information distilled into a small paragraph, but what jumped out at me most is the idea that the iPad’s home screen—which has spent almost nine years using a spaced-out version of the iPhone’s design—might finally be getting a redesign that addresses the fact that the iPad isn’t the same device as the iPhone.
It’s exciting! After more than a decade using more or less the same old app-launching interface Apple introduced with the original iPhone, it takes some effort imagine how Apple could reinvent the concept of a home screen for the iPad. But reader, I’ve managed to make that effort. Here’s a look at some directions I hope Apple will go, assuming Gurman’s sources are right, when we first see this feature this summer.