September 21, 2018

iFixit Teardown of the iPhone XS and XS Max

iFixit has their hands on the latest iPhones (and they do): 

Last year’s iPhone X had a weird name and the most advanced internals we’d ever seen in a teardown. This year Apple turns it up to eleven with the bafflingly-named iPhone XS and XS Max. In a teardown first, we’re taking apart both phones simultaneously—so grab ahold of your Roman numerals and let’s get started.

Go go go.

The latest

from each category.
September 20, 2018

AirPower’s Continued Development Hinted in iOS 12.1 Beta

If you recall, I mentioned AirPower’s almost-dead state based on anonymous communications from within Apple. Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac has some new information:

The complexity of AirPower has apparently caused a slew of issues for engineers, which is why it’s still not for sale more than a year after its announcement. Originally, Apple said AirPower would be available “in 2018,” so while the company technically hasn’t missed its deadline, it’s clearly running down to the wire.

However, new evidence from the iPhone XS and iOS 12.1 suggests that, while it may be delayed, development of AirPower continues.

Looking into iOS 12.1, we noticed that the component of iOS responsible for managing the charging interface that appears when using AirPower has been updated, which means that Apple is still actively working on the project.

Furthermore, a picture of the “getting started guide” that comes packaged with the iPhone XS clearly mentions AirPower. “Place iPhone with screen facing up on AirPower or a Qi-certified wireless charger,” it reads. The image was shared on Twitter by Gavin Stephens.

Fantastic news.

Hodinkee: ‘How Apple’s Awesome Motion Watch Faces Are Made’

From Stephen Pulvirent at Hodinkee:

“We probably could have done this digitally, but we actually shot all of this practically in a studio” says Alan Dye, Apple Vice President of User Interface Design, of the motion faces. “What I love about the fact that we did this is that it’s just so indicative of how the design team works. It was really about bringing together some of our various talents to create these faces. There are of course art directors, and color experts, and graphic designers, but also model makers who helped build these structures that we would eventually, you know, set on fire.”

There’s a video, too, that’s frankly mesmerizing. It is so cool to watch (sorry/not sorry) how they accomplished this. Using real materials and filming them versus coming up with something on a computer lends credence to Apple knowing how to do something just that much better than what was required. I look forward to giving these a try soon.

(h/t Daring Fireball)

All the iPhone XS and XS Max Reviews in One Place

Launch day for the iPhone XS is tomorrow. While we wait, it seems only pertinent to round up all the reviews for the iPhone XS and share them in one page. 

Note: I didn’t bother splitting them out by XS and XS Max. There is no need. Both phones are the same except for their size. It doesn’t make sense to differentiate them just as little as it makes sense to review two different sizes of the same model television. 

September 19, 2018

Tim Cook on Good Morning America

Tim Cook sat down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America and did an exclusive interview. This was nothing short of the softest of balls as far as interviews go and of course he prepared his remarks, but like Dave Mark over at The Loop said, he nails the enthusiasm. 

Building a Moon Base Today

I came across this video by way of and immediately recognized the design. Kurzgesagt is an amazing educational YouTube channel. 

Doctor and Medical Device Company Take Issue With Apple’s ECG Claims

Regarding Apple’s claims of 98% accuracy when detecting aFib (Atrial Fibrillation), Dr. Venkatesh Murthy, a cardiologist from the University of Michigan had this to say to Health News Review:

Neither of these sets of data have been published or peer-reviewed … In both of these data sets, researchers knew who had AFib. The numbers will change significantly when tested on a large population of people.

“The big problem with this conclusion is that this population has a prevalence of AFib that is probably 100-fold larger than Apple’s target market,” Murthy said. “This is not good. However, the major caveat here is that we are still lacking most of the information needed to be sure how this experiment was done, so we really are just guessing.”

I can understand his concern. It’s jarring, especially in the medical community, when a big-name tech company that’s never made mainstream medical devices before comes out and says they’ve added this medical functionality to their product and it’s 98% accurate.

The onus should be on Apple to provide the study data and prove that claim. 

Just as well, medical device company AliveCor had some beef with Apple when it said it was the first OTC (over-the-counter) device to receive FDA clearance, a claim they believe should rest squarely on their KardiaBand. Unfortunately they failed to consider the fact that the KardiaBand is not a smart watch, nor a single purpose device at all. The KardiaBand is entirely useless without an Apple Watch, itself; one cannot buy a KardiaBand alone and expect to be able to monitor heart rhythm. Therefore, while it technically is the first OTC product, it is not the first device. The article in Cardio Brief even calls it an “accessory.” 

The distinction is there for those who bother to look. 

Spending a few moments reading some of its reviews on Amazon, the KardiaBand doesn’t seem to be faring too well with consumers, running with a 2.5/5 star rating. 

Now, their new product is a much more substantial reader that can detect up to 100 different diseases. There isn’t much info on this new device besides the fact that it’ll have 6 leads which should be more accurate in measurement gathering. We don’t even have a name yet and certainly not a price. I wouldn’t be surprised if it landed in the same $400-500 price range as the Watch itself. 

For most consumers that want a watch, this won’t matter. Do you pick the dedicated device that’s likely to be expensive and still buy a Watch that does almost the same thing? Probably not. Those who have actual heart problems won’t rely on the Watch for a diagnosis. AliveCor should understand that. If I had to guess, AliveCor took the defensive position because they saw Apple build into the Watch something they spent a lot of time on and wanted to become a decent slice of the Watch band market. Now, their band has no purpose and the announcement of their dedicated device so early screams “don’t forget about us, we’re relevant, too!”


September 18, 2018

Co-Founder of Salesforce Buys Time Magazine

Martin Crutsinger, AP:

Time Magazine is being sold by Meredith Corp. to Marc Benioff, a co-founder of Salesforce, and his wife [Meredith], it was announced Sunday.

“We’re pleased to have found such passionate buyers in Marc and Lynne Benioff for the Time brand,” Meredith president and CEO Tom Harty said in a statement. “For over 90 years, Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation.”

The prospective sale is expected to close within 30 days. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Benioff said he and his wife were investing “in a company with tremendous impact on the world, one that is also an incredibly strong business. That’s what we’re looking for when we invest as a family.”

This sounds like fantastic news. The Washington Post has done well under Bezos’ wing and I’d expect Time to do well, too, under Benioff’s. 

September 17, 2018

Additional Details About What Happened to AirPower

Writing on his blog, Sonny Dickson says:

According to our sources, the broad feeling of many working the project at Apple is that the device may be doomed to failure, and may not be viable at all unless significant advancements can be made.

I brought up AirPower yesterday in the recap of John Gruber’s post about the most recent Apple event. This post just further solidifies the rumors that AirPower has entered a state where it’s not likely to ever be completed. Sonny’s post goes into pretty great detail about the specific issues the development team is facing. I can’t imagine it’s uncommon for projects to face substantial setbacks like this, but what blows my mind (and many an Apple pundit, alike) is that they announced this so soon.

As someone that has several wireless charging mats and an iPhone X, Watch, and AirPods, I would have liked to see AirPower come to be. Right now, one gets a mat, one gets a wireless-cable mix, and the third gets a regular USB-A to Lightning cable. 

The Apple of just a few years ago wouldn’t have announced AirPower until it was close to if not entirely ready for shipping. Last year they mentioned it, said nothing, then all but eliminated reference to it. I can’t say it’s over–there’s a chance it’ll make its way out into the daylight–but odds aren’t good. 

MacStories’ iOS 12 Review

iOS 12 released to the public, today. If you’re like me, you downloaded and upgraded, already. If not, MacStories’ iOS 12 review will set you straight. 

iOS 12, available today for the same range of devices that supported iOS 11, feels like a reaction to changes that have occurred around Apple and consumer technology over the past year.

While iOS 11 may go down in Apple software history as the touchstone of the iPad’s maturity, it will also be remembered as one of the company’s most taxing releases for its users. You don’t have to look far into the iOS 11 cycle for headlines lamenting its poor stability on older hardware, plethora of design inconsistencies (which were noted time and time again), and general sense of sluggishness – issues that may have contributed to a slower adoption rate than 2016’s iOS 10.

Written by none other than iOS aficionado Federico Viticci, It comes in eBook format if you’re a MacStories club member and an audiobook option (narrated by Mike Hurley from the podcast network) for $9.99. You’ll find a plethora of large, beautiful animations and screenshots taking you through every nook and cranny of iOS 12. 

Spend an afternoon reading (or listening). You’ll be glad you did. 

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography