The Guy Who Named the iMac Says iPhone Naming Sucks

· Jeff Gamet · Link

Confused woman with iPhone

Ken Segall, the guy who came up with the iMac name, says Apple has totally blown it with the iPhone naming convention—or lack of convention. He says it’s confusing, and mixing Roman numerals with letters, and making those letters seem arbitrary at best. He says in a blog post,

Last year’s models set new standards for complexity. We had an 8, 8 Plus, X and SE. That’s two numbers, one Roman numeral, one paring of letters, plus an odd numerical gap between 8 and 10. Or, in Apple lingo, between 8 and X.

Now we have Roman numerals and letters, and odds are it’ll get worse next year with the iPhone X2. He adds, “Then, one year later, the Holy Grail of bad product naming will be within Apple’s grasp. An iPhone X2S will feature a Roman numeral, a number and a letter, all in one name.” Yep. Good luck with that one, Apple.

Ajit Pai Couldn't Care Less About Rural America

· Andrew Orr · Link

Republicans don’t want the government to interfere with things…until they use the government to interfere with things. Rural America is notorious for its lack of broadband, and Ajit Pai couldn’t care less.

The Federal Communications Commission today finalized an order that will prevent city and town governments from charging wireless carriers about $2 billion dollars’ worth of fees related to deployment of wireless equipment such as small cells.

The $2 billion savings is less than 1 percent of the estimated $275 billion that carriers will have to spend to deploy 5G small cells throughout the US. That level of savings won’t spur extra deployment “because the hard economics of rural deployment do not change with this decision,” Rosenworcel said.

Websites Can Access Your iPhone Sensor Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

As if apps collecting your personal data wasn’t bad enough, apparently websites in Safari can access your iPhone sensor data.

That mobile browsers offer developers access to sensors isn’t necessarily problematic on its own. It’s what helps those services automatically adjust their layout, for example, when you switch your phone’s orientation. And the World Wide Web Consortium standards body has codified how web applications can access sensor data. But the researchers…found that the standards allow for unfettered access to certain sensors. And sites are using it.

BusyCal 3: $19.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

BusyCal 3 on MacBook

We have a deal on BusyCal 3, one of our favorite utilities at TMO. This Calendar replacement is designed for power users, giving you far more control over your Calendar and events. Custom categories, icons, graphics…this app gives you all the things you wish Apple would put into Calendar, all while using your Apple calendar database, so you don’t worry about syncing. You can get it for $19.99 through us, 60% off retail.

Does Blue Light From Smartphones Cause Blindness?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Does blue light from smartphones cause blindness? Short answer: No. Headlines claiming that the blue light from our smartphones have been making the rounds. As is usually the case with the media when it comes to science, there’s always greater context (or it’s just downright BS).

The American Academy of Ophthalmology spelled it out recently: No, Blue Light From Your Smartphone Is Not Blinding You. That was in response to a study published this summer that found blue light, plus a chemical naturally found in certain eye cells, could damage cells. The catch: researchers did not use any actual cells from our eyes, because our eyes have defenses against exactly this sort of damage. (They were studying a question unrelated to eye health; the Verge has more on the purpose and meaning of the experiment.)

Teen gets Probation for Hacking into Apple Servers

· Jeff Gamet · Link

hacker breaking in to Apple servers

The Australian teen who was arrested for hacking into Apple’s servers and making off with more than 90 GB of data has been sentenced to eight months probation. The defendant’s attorney said it was all innocent fun because he was just a big Apple fan. The magistrate, however, saw it differently. Bloomberg quotes her:

Your offending is serious. It was sustained, sophisticated, and a successful attack on the security of a major multinational corporation.

The teen’s “fun” took place between June 2015 and November 2016, and again in April 2017. He’s lucky, because had he been charged as an adult he could’ve been facing 10 years in jail.

Sir Jony Ive 2nd Person to Be Awarded Stephen Hawking Fellowship

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

Sir Jony Ive accepting a medal for Royal Chancellor.

Sir Jony Ive—Chief Design Officer at Apple—was named as the second recipient of the Professor Hawking Fellowship from Cambridge University. This award is an honorary scholarship developed with Stephen Hawking before his death. It was designed to recognize contributions to both STEM fields and social discourse, according to Varsity (via 9to5Mac). And Sir Jony is expected to deliver an address when accepting the award. From Varsity:

At the announcement, Connor speculated that Ive’s lecture in Michaelmas term would include “reflection on his career, split with a more general reflection on technology and design as a whole”.

YouTube App for iOS Gains HDR Support

· John Martellaro · Link

Apple iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max

I’m interested in all things UHD/4K/HDR, so this caught my attention. Previously, YouTube’s iOS app didn’t support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video on Apple’s three OLED iPhones. That means HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Now it does, so here’s link to more details. Note that Apple’s new LCD iPhone, the iPhone XR, will also support HDR video playback, according to Apple’s specs.

Here's How to Spot Fake Apple Products

· Andrew Orr · Link

There are plenty of fake Apple products out there, including chargers that could damage your device. provides some things to look out for.

One of the biggest selling points for counterfeits is their cheap price as an alternative to Apple’s accessories. Good news: There are plenty of legitimate options outside of Apple made by third parties…When in doubt, look out for those “Made for iPhone” or “MFi certified” labels and descriptions to make sure what you’re buying will work as expected.

Kids Already Working Around iOS 12 Screen Time Limitations

· Jeff Gamet · Link

Child play with Apple iPad

Screen Time in iOS 12 sounds like a great way to keep your kids from spending too much time playing on their iPhone or iPad—unless you’re a kid. To that end, kids have already found ways to work around parent-imposed limits. Some are changing the date and time on their devices, and others are more creative. Business Insider reports one parent saying,

Finally today, my son revealed his hack: When he runs out of screen time and his games get locked, he heads to App Store, downloads a previously installed (but later removed) game through the cloud icon, and it works without limitations!

That’s how resourceful a 7-year-old can be. Maybe Apple should start hiring kids for its Screen Time team.

How Much Does it Cost to Charge an iPhone For a Year?

· Andrew Orr · Link

ZDNet recently did some interesting research. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wanted to know how much it would cost in electricity to charge an iPhone 6 Plus for a year. He chose this model because it has the biggest capacity battery Apple offers in an iPhone. The result will shock you (pun intended).

On average, during an overnight charge, the iPhone consumed an average of 19.2 Wh. According to figures published by the US Energy Information Administration for January 2016, the average cost per kWh in the US was $0.12. Remember that 1 kWh equals 1,000 Wh. So, take our average of 19.2 Wh per day, multiplying that by 365 days, we get 7 kWh, which works out at $0.84 a year. So if you guess under a dollar, well done.

That’s right, it costs less than a dollar for an entire year. The more you know!

The Complete iOS 12 and Swift Developer Course: $10.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The Complete iOS 12 & Swift Developer Course

We have a deal for developers called the Complete iOS 12 and Swift Developer Course. It includes more than 40 hours of training led by Rob Percival. You’ll cover Swift 4 and Xcode 12, build your own apps, work with ARKit, and a lot more. Check out the details in the deal listing. This course is $10.99 through us.

The Origins of macOS: Steve Jobs and NeXTSTEP

· John Martellaro · Link

It’s easy to forget where and when macOS had its earliest origins.  Its tumultuous path had its earliest start with Steve Jobs at NeXT. “NeXTStep was developed primarily by Avie Tevanian. The coder previously worked on the Mach microkernel, a supercharged version of UNIX, at Carnegie Mellon University. Jobs convinced Tevanian to join NeXT instead of taking what, in the short term, would have been a far more lucrative job at Microsoft.” This is a nifty, concise history of how it all started.

Cloudflare Works to Make the Web More Private With ESNI

· Andrew Orr · Link

Cloudflare is implementing a feature that encrypts your Server Name Indication (SNI). The new technology will be called ESNI.

But, today, as HTTPS covers nearly 80% of all web traffic, the fact that SNI leaks every site you go to online to your ISP and anyone else listening on the line has become a glaring privacy hole. Knowing what sites you visit can build a very accurate picture of who you are, creating both privacy and security risks.

This is a big change. Basically it will stop ISPs, rogue apps, and advertising companies from collecting and selling your browsing history. ESNI will hide the identities of the websites you visit.

MacSentry VPN 2-Year Subscription: $29

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

MacSentry VPN

We’ve got a deal on a 2-year subscription to MacSentry VPN. This service is based in Belize, i.e. not in an “Enemy of the Internet” or “14 Eyes” country. It features AES-256 to 4096 bit handshake encryption, unlimited bandwidth, and you can use it on up to five devices, including Android, Windows, and Linux. The 2-year subscription is $29 through our deal.

How Apple Engineered the iPhone XS Battery

· Andrew Orr · Link

The iPhone XS battery, as well as that of the iPhone XS Max, are composed of two different lithium-ion cells formed in the shape of an L (in the phone, not your forehead).

By having one big battery instead of two conjoined, you can ditch a little bit of packaging and eliminate the small gap between them, maximizing your capacity. Picture two small train cars in a row. Next to those, put another car that’s as long as both small cars combined. You can fit more into the single, because you’re eliminating two walls and some in-between space. The same principle applies.

We all tease Apple about all of its products getting thinner, but it takes incredible feats of engineering to actually do that. Featured image credit goes to iFixit.

Apple, Salesforce Partnership has Marriott Putting HomePod in Hotel Rooms

· Jeff Gamet · Link

HomePod on a shelf too close to the wall

Apple’s partnership with Salesforce could turn in to a big boost for HomePod sales. Marriott plans to use software that comes from the team up with HomePods in hotel rooms so customers can use their voice to change the room temperature, order food, and more. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said,

At Salesforce’s annual customer conference this week, Marriott International will demonstrate a new system that uses Salesforce and Apple tools so that hotel guests can turn up the heat, order a sandwich or hail a ride using Siri with an Apple HomePod in their hotel room. And at the next Marriot the guest stays at, Siri will remember the guest’s preferences—even their favorite sandwich.

That sounds like an opportunity for a lot of HomePod exposure and a nice way to boost user familiarity. I wonder if Marriott customers will feel comfortable with a HomePod in their room, or if they’ll worry about privacy.

Qualcomm Says Apple Stole Trade Secrets, Gave them to Intel

· Jeff Gamet · Link

Apple suing Qualcomm over patent royalty payments

Apple and Qualcomm’s ongoing legal battle just took an interesting turn. Qualcomm is now accusing Apple of stealing its LTE modem-related trade secrets and giving the information to Intel. Axios quotes from the legal filing:

Although discovery is ongoing, it is clear that Apple’s conduct went far beyond simply breaching the contract originally sued on. Indeed, it is now apparent Apple engaged in a years-long campaign of false promises, stealth and subterfuge designed to steal Qualcomm’s confidential information and trade secrets for the purpose of improving the performance of lower-quality modem chipsets, with the ultimate goal of eliminating Qualcomm’s Apple-based business.

That’s a pretty serious allegation, and one that could be a major headache for Apple if it proves to be true. It’s no secret Apple was tired of relying exclusively on Qualcomm for iPhone modem chips and felt it was paying too much in patent royalties. Their case is scheduled for trial next spring, and it’s looking like it’ll be filled with drama.

A Migration Guide for macOS Server Users

· John Martellaro · Link

macOS Mojave on MacBook Pro

Apple has modified macOS Server, and with Mojave upon us, it’s good to know about the changes Apple has implemented. Here’s a link to the Apple Migration Guide. From the intro: “macOS Server is changing to focus more on management of computers, devices, and storage on your network. As a result, some changes are coming in how Server works. Beginning in the spring of 2018, several services will be hidden on new installations of an update to macOS Server. Then in the fall of 2018, new installations and upgrades of macOS Server will require you to migrate most services to other software.”

NOVA True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds: $49

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

NOVA True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

We have a deal on a pair of NOVA True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds. They support Bluetooth 4.1 and come with a charging case. And, you can use that charging case to charge your other devices in a pinch. You can get them for $49 through our deal.