Apple Silicon Might Mean Major Mac Mini Improvements

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Image of Mac mini 2020

The first Apple Silicon devices are imminent, but we’re still waiting to really see what it all means in reality. Rene Ritchie at iMore thinks the Mac mini could benefit from the shift away from Intel. I certainly hope so!

My biggest hope with Apple Silicon is that we start getting Mac mini updates every 12-18 months, just like iPad Pro updates. Whatever the next-generation equivalent to the AX-Series for iPads is, put it in the Mac version of that. 14X, 15X, 16, and on. Other than that, I expect we’ll see the same type of improvements from Apple Silicon in the Mac mini they we’d see from Apple Silicon in the MacBook Air — way better performance, especially for graphics, and especially for anything and everything Apple includes custom accelerators for, like 4K and above video rendering, H.265 encode and decode, hypervisor acceleration for virtual machines, and a few other things to make developers and power users alike just smile just a little or a lot wider.

Files is One of The Most Relied Upon iOS Apps Around

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Image of apple folder

For many of us organizing documents and the like on our iPhones is dull and something we’d rather the device did. As Bradley Chambers noted on 9to5Mac, the often overlooked Files app makes that possible.

Before the release of the Files app, I had my documents in separate buckets. I kept personal documents in iCloud Drive, shared folders in Dropbox, and work files in Google Drive since my school uses G Suite. After the Files app’s release with iOS 11, it became the app I used 99% of the time to search for and open files regardless of which cloud provider they were stored in. For people who live and breathe technology every day, I could generally tell you where my files are stored, but for people who see technology as a path to getting something done, trying to locate files is a chore. Thanks to Apple’s Document Provider API, the Files app becomes a centralized place to search for, manage, and open files.

How Scribble and Smart Selection Improve Apple Pencil

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple Pencil

Two of the features I’m really looking forward to with iPadOS 14 are Scribble and Smart Selection. They are designed for the Apple Pencil, but the Logitech Crayon (which I have,) will support Scribble too. Cult of Mac has a good rundown of how they help improve productivity.

With iPad, Scribble allows you to write with the Apple Pencil in text-entry fields all over iPad. Whether it’s in the search bar of Safari, an iMessage conversation or the Spotlight search box, Scribble lets you enter text with your handwriting… The second huge improvement to Apple Pencil is Smart Selection in the Notes app. This feature allows you to take fully handwritten notes, and keep them in their original handwritten form, but easily share them as text by highlighting and sharing the “text.”

Apple Silicon : Power PC to Intel Transition Gives us Timeline Hints

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple Silicon slide from WWDC 2020 keynote

We’re at the start of the Intel to Apple Silicon transition. William Gallagher at AppleInsider has an editorial on how previous Apple processor transitions can give us some indication release dates.

That new Intel Mac was released 43 days after Apple Silicon was announced. For comparison, the first PowerPC Mac to come out after the Intel announcement was the Power Mac G5 dual core 135 days later. You can argue that this is one measure of how different Apple is today, that it’s got the resources to move quicker. What you can’t argue, though, is what happened next. “We’ve got some great PowerPC products still to come,” repeated Jobs during the 2005 transition announcement. But they hadn’t. That Power Mac G5 dual core was the last PowerPC Mac to be released and the sole one to come out during that transition. We’re not saying Jobs lied and we’re definitely not saying Cook did, but both men unquestionably knew what they needed to say — because of the Osbourne effect. Apple today isn’t going to fall over if everyone stops buying Macs while they wait for Apple Silicon, but it was different in 2005.

US Teen Wrote 27,000 Wikipedia Entries in Language he Doesn’t Speak

· Andrew Orr · Link

Wikipedia logo

Consider this filed under “wacky Friday news”. A teenager in the U.S. created or edited 49% of the Scots language Wikipedia, despite having no understanding of the language.

[…] Michael Dempster, the director of the Scots Language Centre based in Perth, takes a more ameliorative approach and says he is now in conversation with the Wikimedia Foundation about the prospect of properly re-editing the teenager’s contributions.

“We know that this kid has put in an incredible amount of work, and he has created an editable infrastructure. It’s a great resource but it needs people who are literate in Scots to edit it now. It has the potential to be a great online focus for the language in the future.”

Having Apple Gear in Dating Profile Photos Gets You More Matches

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Owning Apple products has lots of advantages, but there is another, perhaps unexpected one. Having items like an iPhone or AirPods in your dating profile photos can land you up to 76 percent more matches, according to data from, reported by 9to5 Mac.

Here’s the impact of having Apple kit visible in your dating photos, where the percentage is the increase in matches with the product visible in the photo: iPhone, +76% Apple Watch, +61% AirPods, +41%. The only positive impact seen with any other brand of smartphone was Samsung, with a 19% increase. All other brands tested had a negative effect.

Tim Cook: 'I’ve Never Been More Hopeful'

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Tim cook

Tim Cook says that he’s “never been more hopeful than I am right now.” Writing in the September issue of Vogue, he highlighted the determination to tackle racial inequality and communities coming together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for his positivity.

I think you have to look back 60 years to find an equivalent. You have to look back to the late John Lewis marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Or fast-forward a few years, and you have Stonewall. Both of these were key moments that kicked off a sudden change—for African Americans and for the LGBTQ community. And I think this is an exciting and hopeful time because as a nation we have struggled with racial equity for our whole existence—and it feels good to be at a point where there’s going to be significant, massive, positive change. The other thing I would say is that this pandemic is a crisis that we’re all facing. And if you look around, there are lots of good things happening: There are neighbors helping neighbors again, which was sort of a lost art for a while.

UK Has Worst 5G Speeds, U.S. Almost as Bad

· Charlotte Henry · Link

5G wireless and iPhone 12

The UK has the worst 5G speeds, with the U.S not far behind. That’s according to new data from 12 countries in tests conducted by Opensignal, reported 9to5 Mac.

The UK was worst, with average download speeds of 32.6Mbps, with the US almost as bad at 33.4Mbps. For reference, the US speed is only 1.8 times faster than 4G. This contrasts with the fastest 5G speeds, found in Saudi Arabia and Canada. In Saudi, average download speed was 144Mbps, or 14 times faster than 4G. Canada delivered 90Mbps, perhaps not surprising when you consider that its 4G speeds are already twice as fast as in the US. The US did better when it came to how often you’ll find yourself on 5G, at 19.3% of the time, putting it in first place. The UK was last, with a pathetic 4.5% of the time. Saudi Arabia again led the way, delivering a 5G connection 34% of the time.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer Dramatically Quits After Just Three Months

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Kevin Mayer TikTok

Kevin Mayer dramatically announced he was leaving video app TikTok after just three months as CEO on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The former top streaming exec at Disney also served as COO of Chinese parent company Bytdance.

Mayer was Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) top streaming executive before becoming chief executive officer of TikTok and chief operating officer of parent ByteDance on June 1. “In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,” Mayer said in an letter to employees. “Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.” ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming said in a separate letter reviewed by Reuters that the company was “moving quickly to find resolutions to the issues that we face globally, particularly in the U.S. and India”. He said Mayer had joined just as the company was “entering arguably our most challenging moment.”

Will we see an Apple Search Engine in the Future?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Jon Henshaw of Coywolf speculates that we may see an Apple search engine in the future based on several factors.

Apple is investing heavily in search, as shown in their job postings for search engineers. The job listings reveal they incorporate AI, ML, NLP, and more into all of their services and apps.

In July 2020, Apple published a significant update to its About Applebot support page. The additions are very similar to the details Google provides to webmasters and SEOs.

It’s an interesting idea, for sure. It could be an Apple search engine, or Apple adding improvements to Siri.

6-in-1 Urban Warrior Wireless Charging Box: $58

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Urban Warrior Wireless Charging Box

We have a deal on the Urban Warrior Wireless Charging Box. This box features a wireless charger, 6 charging cables, a SIM kit, a phone cradle, and a memory reader. Plus, it has ambient LED flashlight in case you need it. It’s $58 through our deal.

Latest Version of Fortnite Not Available on iPhone

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Image of fortnite

The latest version of Fortnite will not be available on the iPhone as the court battle between Epic Games and Apple continues. The games maker decried Apple’s App Store “monopoly” and updates of the game are no longer accessible on iOS.

Players of the popular game “Fortnite” on iPhones will not get updates after Epic Games on Wednesday decried Apple Inc’s App Store “monopoly” and said it will not remove a direct payment feature it recently enabled. A legal battle ensued after Epic rolled out its own method of in-game purchases for “Fortnite” on Apple’s App Store earlier this month, rather than using Apple’s required in-app purchase system that charges commissions of 30%.


Pixelmator Pro on Sale After Reaching 10,000 Five Star Reviews

· Andrew Orr · Link

Pixelmator Pro reached a milestone on Tuesday: It has gained over 10,000 five star reviews in the Mac App Store. To celebrate, the team is offering Pixelmator Pro at 30% off for the next several weeks.

So, after all the hard work that has gone into making Pixelmator Pro the app we knew it could be, this moment is extra sweet. And, of course, we have no plans to stop, another major updates is currently in beta and we’re already working on something extra special for Pixelmator Pro 2.0, which is also be a free update. You’ll love it, we promise.

The New Fitbit Sense... Looks a Lot Like an Apple Watch

· Charlotte Henry · Link

The New Fitbit Sense... Looks a Lot Like an Apple Watch

Fitbit unveiled a new set of products today, including the Sense, as well as the Versa 3. You’d be forgiven for thinking the Sense looks… familiar. The Verge has a rundown of the device’s specs.

The Sense has a few more advanced health tracking features, such as detailed heart rate scans with atrial fibrillation (afib) detection via the electrocardiogram (EKG) app built into the watch (still pending FDA approval). In that way, it’s on par with Apple’s and Samsung’s recent smartwatches (though, Samsung’s EKG capability in the Galaxy Watch 3 isn’t available in the US yet). Where the Sense stands out is with its stress detection features, which it’s pitching as something that’s crucially needed — especially in today’s increasingly stressful world. To take a reading, you hold your palm over the screen and start to breath. The Sense will measure your heart rate, and uniquely, your skin’s temperature will be collected with its electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor. If your skin feels hot, chilled, or clammy, the Sense might be able to make sense of why it’s happening over time. Fitbit’s app will score you on your stress level, with a higher score being better than a lower one.

Protect Your iPhone and Enable Qi Wireless Charging with the Magnetic Desk Stand: $69.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Xvida Wireless Charging Stand

We have a deal on the XVIDA Wireless Charging Desk Stand kit. It includes both a Qi wireless charging stand and a case for your iPhone with magnets that then stick your iPhone to the stand while charging. That makes for a smaller footprint for the stand and protection for your iPhone, too. You can get the stand and case for iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone SE for $69.99 through our deal.

New Apple Maps is Undergoing Public Test in the UK

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple Maps icon

Public tests of the new version of Apple Maps have reached the UK and Ireland. Justine O’Beirne noted the change, the first time the update has been rolled out beyond U.S. shores.

In the past, Apple has spent between 16 and 49 days publicly testing its earlier expansions… and the more populated the area, the longer Apple has typically spent testing. All of this suggests that Expansion #9 will go live for all Apple Maps users sometime between mid September and early October. Given past patterns, iOS 14 is also likely to be released during this same period—so it seems that Expansion #9’s release might coincide with iOS 14’s.

Directors of Apple TV+ ‘Boys State’ Discuss ‘Girls State’ Sequel

· Andrew Orr · Link

Boys state Apple TV

The directors of documentary “Boys State” on Apple TV+, Jesse Moss and Amanda Mcbaine, discuss the film. They also mention they are actively developing a sequel to examine a similar program called “Girls State.”

We’re actively developing what we call a sibling, or sequel, to this film which is a look at a Girls State program.  Had there been, as Steven Garza says early in the film, a “people’s state,” we might have been drawn to an experiment that brings both girls and boys together in the same space. The film we made does provide an unexpected and we think valuable look at masculinity in this moment. It’s hard to know how the dynamics would be different, either within an all female space, or a space in which there was equal representation. It’s something we think about a lot.

Sign Documents and Get Signatures on Any Device $49.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

DottedSign Pro

We have a deal on a 1-year subscription to DottedSign Pro, an electronic signature platform. With this service, you can import documents with your device camera, or from your photos, email, Google Drive, Dropbox, Kdan Cloud, or other apps. It offers real-time status updates for each signer, as well as reminders and automatic expiry dates. It’s $49.95 through our deal.

‘Mintegral’ iOS App SDK Caught Hijacking Ad Clicks

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of skull and programming code to indicate malware

An iOS app SDK called Mintegral was found to contain malicious code that would hijack ad clicks so that iOS thinks a user clicked on one of its ads, instead of those belonging to a competitor. This SDK is used by over 1,200 apps representing over 300 million downloads per month.

The malicious code was uncovered in the iOS versions of the SDK from the Chinese mobile ad platform provider, Mintegral dating back to July 2019. The malicious code can spy on user activity by logging URL-based requests made through the app. This activity is logged to a third-party server and could potentially include personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive information. Furthermore, the SDK fraudulently reports user clicks on ads, stealing potential revenue from competing ad networks and, in some cases, the developer/publisher of the application.

Apple Extending Legal Proceedings Against Firm With Green Pear Logo

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Prepear Pear logo and Apple logo

Apple has escalated its claim objecting to the green pear logo of the Prepear app, filing new opposition with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Patently Apple has the latest on a case it thinks it is not doing much for Apple’s reputation.

The logo in question is owned by a company called Super Health Kids, Inc. The company created a meal planner and grocery list app called “Prepear” that helps people discover recipes and more. Unless Apple is planning to offer a similar app expanding their reach into health related apps and features, it’s difficult at this point in time to believe that Apple is trying so hard to stop a logo that has no resemblance to an Apple. It’s clearly a pear. No one will ever say, except for the Apple lawyer filing this nonsense: oh look, Apple has a new logo. It’s not going to happen. It’s not a logo found on a desktop, a notebook, a smartwatch, a tablet or smartphone.