• Apple is off to a great start with the iPhone XS, especially the XS Max. Jonny Evans has the stats. “The iPhone XS Max is in big demand, adoption data shows.” This all makes me wonder if the iPhone XR will be as big a hit as previously thought.

iPhone XS Max. Image credit: Apple.

The initial argument was that buyers would 1) Hold out for a less expensive iPhone XR and 2) A mere LCD display wouldn’t be an issue. Now I’m beginning to wonder if all the new-phone-excitement combined with the solid iOS 12 release hasn’t been the supernova that will outshine the XR nova. In the end, however, this just proves that Apple has a well thought out, win-win strategy. Even if the XR delay was caused by manufacturing glitches, Apple wins.

The best players have the best luck.

Analyst Katy Huberty with Mogan Stanley has more insights. “Apple Fans Seem More Psyched for the New iPhone This Year.” Meanwhile, MacRumors looks at the rapid adoption of iOS 12.

• macOS Mojave has a new feature called Stacks. I found them less than spectacular in my Mojave review. But did you know that Apple has been down this road before—with Piles? The Register has the story. “The secret history of Apple’s Stacks.

• I strongly suspect that older people who grew up without smartphones have had their brains wired a certain way. Without a constant onslaught of media, texting, anti-social media and distressing news, they learned habits that made them less susceptible to the addictions of modern smartphones. The question I have is this: is that thoughtful life, with buit-in immunity recoverable? Was it admirable in its own right?

How should modern young people, addicted to social media, approach their recovery process? Is recovery merely a question of less? It could be like telling an alcoholic to simply cut back. Which doesn’t work. Or are there insights and methods that can reconstruct one’s intellectual life to regain a sense of well-being?


I don’t have answers. But here’s some food for thought. “Inside How A 12-Step Recovery Program For Social Media Addiction Works.

Experts and academics still offer conflicting theories as to the size and scope of the problem and whether it rises to the level of a psychiatric condition. Internet gaming disorder — one of the most prevalent forms of technology addiction — was referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a “condition of further study,” and there’s suggestion that even the most extreme addictions to technology are substantively different than those to an ingested chemical.

• Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Apple 3.0 has pulled together a conversation amongst some experts as to why gaming on the Apple TV has, mostly, failed. “Why has Apple TV’s gaming ecosystem bombed?” Reading through, I think the participants nailed the analysis.

I’ll chime in also. Part of the problem has been, in my mind, because Apple has a very controlled idea of what a product should do. When opportunities or diversions arise, like gaming on the Apple TV, Apple forces that as a “business opportunity” for developers rather than a self-imposed imperative to redesign the product. As a result, if developers don’t see Apple making an effort to help them succeed, they move on.

The Apple TV isn’t a gaming console. The HomePod isn’t a low-cost smart speaker.
It’s all a matter of initial concept and product design. That momentum is hard to overcome. I’m not sure it should be. Apple does what it does, and just about every product makes money. Customers know where the alternatives are.

• Finally, we make fun of Samsung for copying Apple’s mobile concepts, but the company remains in the game and sells a lot of product. This next article caught my attention precisely because it’s Samsung visibly partnering with AT&T and not Apple. Maybe Apple is, quietly, but Samsung gets the headline here. “Samsung and AT&T have teamed up to launch a 5G testbed in Austin.

5G is going to cause a sea change in our lives. Its phenomenal speed and low latency are going to create new products and services right out of science fiction.

Note: This edition of Particle Debris was delayed from the original Friday, Oct 5, publication.

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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