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Thursdays with Bob: The Future of (Your) iPhone – TMO Daily Observations 2021-09-23

Dr Mac joins Kelly to talk about new iPhones, what to look forward to if you do upgrade, and tips on what makes it a good time to do so.

iOS 15: Turn Off 'Website Tinting' in Safari

Safari on iOS 15 has ‘Website Tinting’, which means the address bar automatically becomes the same color as the webpage a user is browsing.

How To Put the Address Bar at the Top Again in Safari on iOS 15

One of the changes in iOS 15 is that the address bar and tabs in Safari are now at the bottom of the page, but this can be reversed.

See a Clip From 'Foundation' Before it Appears on Apple TV+

A never-seen-before clip from sci-fi series Foundation was released, via Sony, a day before the show premieres on Apple TV+. In a connected interview, showrunner David S. Goyer reiterated to Sony’s Senior Director, SIE Content Communications Sid Shumun that it could take 70 or 80 episodes to fully adapt Isaac Asimov’s legendary novels.

Apple Launches 'The Spark' Music Documentary Series With Episode About Cuco

Apple launched The Spark on Thursday. It is a documentary that looks into the creative process behind some of culture’s biggest songs. The first episode features Mexican American sing-songwriter Cuco. He explains how he creates songs and how ‘Under the Sun’ took more than a year to complete.

iPhone 13: How Cinematic Mode Was Made

Cinematic mode was one of the big new features in the iPhone 13. In a new interview with Techcrunch, Apple VP Kaiann Drance and Human Interface Team designer Johnnie Manzari explain how it was made.

“We knew that bringing a high quality depth of field to video would be magnitudes more challenging [than Portrait Mode],” says Drance. “Unlike photos, video is designed to move as the person filming, including hand shake. And that meant we would need even higher quality depth data so Cinematic Mode could work across subjects, people, pets, and objects, and we needed that depth data continuously to keep up with every frame. Rendering these autofocus changes in real time is a heavy computational workload.” The A15 Bionic and Neural Engine are heavily used in Cinematic Mode, especially given that they wanted to encode it in Dolby Vision HDR as well. They also didn’t want to sacrifice live preview — something that most Portrait Mode competitors took years to ship after Apple introduced it.

Inside Story: How the Mafia is Getting Involved in Cybercrime

On Monday, police in Europe announced the arrests of over 100 people connected to the Mafia. They were using hackers to support efforts in traditional crime.

The authorities said that the organized crime groups employed hackers who were using phishing, social engineering attacks, and SIM swapping, as well as sending malware to victims with the goal of taking over their bank accounts and stealing their money.

This operation highlights a new trend: traditional organized crime groups, such as the Italian Mafia and Camorra, are now dabbling in cybercrime to support their traditional offline activities, according to Italian and Spanish police investigators involved in the crackdown who spoke with Motherboard.

Bilingual Comedy Series ‘Acapulco’ to Premiere on Apple TV+ on October 8

Bilingual comedy series ‘Acapulco’ will premiere on on Apple TV+ October 8 and a new trailer is available to watch now.

AirPods Market Share Dropped From 41 Percent to 29 Percent

Mashable‘s Alex Perry writes how AirPods revolutionized the wireless earbud space but is currently falling behind.

AirPods market share dropped from 41 percent at the end of 2019 to 29 percent at the end of 2020, according to research firm Counterpoint. That’s still a substantial lead over everyone else, but it does point to what happened in the more than two years since the last AirPods update: Other companies made cheaper and better entry-level wireless earbuds, and consumers took notice.

Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash

Plugable Launches Thunderbolt 4 Hub With USB-C Design

Plugable, a computer accessories company, has launched a Thunderbolt 4 hub with a USB-C design. It’s available to purchase on Amazon for US$189.

Satechi Launches Three Compact Chargers in Time for iPhone 13

Satechi has launched three chargers: A MagSafe car charger, one is a 40W dual USB-C PD car charger, and the third is a 20W USB-C PD wall charger.

Apple Store Staff in Line for Bonuses of up to $1000

Apple Store staff, online sales staff, and AppleCare workers are going to receive bonuses of up to US$1000 next month.

These iPhone Apps Track You Even After You Say No With ATT

iOS 14’s App Tracking Transparency lets you disable app tracking, but these apps do it anyway, according to a recent investigation.

'ShadowDragon' Helps Michigan State Police Surveil its Citizens

An investigation on Thursday shows how Michigan State Police use software called ShadowDragon to collect online data. This helps them identify “persons of interest.”

By providing powerful searches of more than 120 different online platforms and a decade’s worth of archives, the company claims to speed up profiling work from months to minutes. ShadowDragon even claims its software can automatically adjust its monitoring and help predict violence and unrest. Michigan police acquired the software through a contract with another obscure online policing company named Kaseware for an “MSP Enterprise Criminal Intelligence System.”

Microsoft Unveils New Surface Laptop Studio

Microsoft unveiled the new 14.4″ Surface Laptop Studio on Wednesday. Users can alternate between using the device as a laptop or tablet. It also offers Slim Pen storage and charging too, much like the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. A new video outlines all the available features.

Apple Blacklists 'Fortnite' Until Legal Dispute With Epic is Over

Apple has decided to blacklist Fortnite from the App Store until all legal appeals have been completed, according to the CEO of Epic Games.

FaceTime SharePlay and More in iOS 15.1 Beta

The highly anticipated FaceTime SharePlay feature is back in the first iOS 15.1 beta. That’s not all that Cupertino has added, though.

Apple Music Playlist Curated by Deaf People

Apple Music has its first playlist curated by Deaf people. The collection includes music by a variety of artists, including Eminimen, The Commodores, and Kendrick Lamar. It is inspired by the movie Coda, which is available now to TV+ subscribers, and meant to highlight the different ways Deaf people can experience songs.

Adding COVID-19 Vaccination Records to Apple Health

With iOS 15, you can easily store COVID-19 vaccination records on your iPhone. Just scan the QR code, and the information is in Apple Health.

Watch The Dramatic Trailer For Apple TV+ Series 'Invasion'

A dramatic official trailer for Invasion was released on Wednesday. The much-anticipated sci-fi series lands on Apple TV+ on October 22, as part of streamer’s fall lineup.