MyAppleMenu - Wed, Sep 23, 2015

Wed, Sep 23, 2015The Human-Experts Edition

The Hit Charade, by Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

Bringing in human experts is a clever way for Apple to differentiate itself. Despite having pioneered the digital distribution and storage of music, it now finds itself lagging behind streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and Tidal. None of these emphasize curation by human experts as much as Apple Music does. And while the algorithms that all these companies use for recommending songs have improved greatly in recent years, there’s no real musical understanding or appreciation going on. It shows. The algorithms employ statistical techniques to parse listener data, making an educated guess as to what you might like. There is still no algorithm that can account for human taste.

Apple, Your Anti-Choice Tendencies Are Showing In Your App Store, by Jess Zimmerman, The Guardian

Let me repeat: an app that accurately states politicians’ publicly held positions on reproductive rights and sex education is considered “mean-spirited” and “defamatory”.

Ghost Busting

XcodeGhost Apps Haunting iOS App Store More Numerous Than First Reported, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Security researchers have both good and bad news about the recently reported outbreak of XcodeGhost apps infecting Apple's App Store. The bad: The infection was bigger than previously reported and dates back to April. The good: Affected apps are more akin to adware than security-invading malware.

Apple Taking Steps To Prevent Another Large-Scale App Store Breach, by Daniel Van Boom, CNET

"In the US it only needs 25 minutes to download," Schiller told Sina, admitting that in China getting Xcode "may take three times as long." He told the Chinese publication that, to quell this problem, Apple would be providing an official source for developers in the People's Republic to download Xcode domestically.

Apple Urges App Store Developers To Validate Their Xcode Version Following Hacks, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

Apple has provided developers with a command line tool for validating that their version of Xcode is not infected. Apple also has recommended that developers install a clean copy of Xcode downloaded directly from Apple’s Developer Portal (via the Mac App Store) before submitting a new app or app update to the App Store.

More iPhone Reviews

The iPhones 6S, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

New-number iPhones (4, 5, 6) are about showing off Apple’s design prowess. The S models are about showing off Apple’s engineering prowess. Storage capacities and battery life are unchanged from last year’s iPhones. Everything else — the materials it’s made from, the performance of its custom CPU/GPU, the quality of the cameras, the smoothness of the user interface — is noticeably, tangibly improved.

Testing iPhone 6s’s 3D Touch And Live Photos Features, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

You might wonder, why not just shoot a video? The short answer is that there will be tiny moments in life where you would never have guessed you wanted to shoot a video, and now Live Photos has a chance to capture them.


There is a short learning curve for Live Photos. If you move your camera immediately before or after taking the photo, the movement will show up in the animated photo. Several of my Live Photos were ruined because I put the phone down too quickly after taking the picture. Apple said it planned to modify the feature in a software update so that it did not capture those quick movements.

Books, Digital And Analog

The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, And Print Is Far From Dead, by Alexandra Alter, New York Times

Now, there are signs that some e-book adopters are returning to print, or becoming hybrid readers, who juggle devices and paper. E-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the Association of American Publishers, which collects data from nearly 1,200 publishers. Digital books accounted last year for around 20 percent of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.

Google’s Grab Of Oyster Suggests Ebooks, Like News, Are Becoming “Content” Read On Big Platforms, by Laura Hazard Owen, Nieman Lab


Apple Notifying iPhone 6s Pre-Order Customers About Shipping Delays Ahead Of Pope Visit, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has started sending emails to customers who may be affected by shipping delays caused by Pope Francis' visit to the United States, letting them know that they may not be able to receive their iPhone 6s and 6s pre-orders on launch day.

Pixelmator Updated With iOS 9 Support, iPad Multitasking, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Boom 2 Review, by Hollin Jones, MacLife

A good way to boost and fine-tune your Mac’s audio output for music and movies.

Basil 3 Is Now On iPhone And Will Spruce Up Your Cooking, by Christine Chan, AppAdvice


What Apple’s Ad Blocking Fight Is Really About, by Larry Downes, Washington Post

Apple, of course, makes its money not from ads but rather from hardware and paid content. But even if Apple’s motives are more self-interested than simply helping its fan base enjoy commercial-free content, the company is tapping into a deep vein of buyer’s remorse we consumers share over a Faustian bargain made long ago with ad-supported media.

IPhone 6s’s Hands-Free Siri Is An Omen Of The Future, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

The ubiquity of voice-controlled assistants changes the way we interact with them. When Siri and other voice systems were new, they seemed gimmicky. Nobody quite knew what to do with them, and interactions veered toward the awkward. But the more assistants there are, and the more you use them, the more natural they feel — and that means the more you’ll use them, feeding the cycle.

Singapore’s Funky Apartments Are Like Candy For The Eyes, by Zachary Slobig, Wired

Peter Steinhauer has spent more than two decades in Asia, photographing everything from Hong Kong’s brightly shrouded skyscrapers to bustling markets in Indonesia and beyond. But when he and his family moved to Singapore a few years ago, he was stumped by what to shoot—until he saw the massive, candy-colored apartment buildings.


I've just deleted all my music from iTunes library, so that Apple Music doesn't match them onto my iCloud's music library, so that Apple Music will not be so buggy.

And it seems to work: so far, adding music and playlists to My Music works, and Apple Music is a much more pleasant experience for me. I now listen only to music from Apple's catalog, and I don't listen to my purchased music anymore.

And I realized this experience is so complete-opposite from Steve Jobs' iPod days.

Good Job

The perverse joy of Apple Watch telling me I filled the Activity ring while I'm eating ice cream on the couch.

— Jeff Carlson (@jeffcarlson) September 23, 2015

Thanks for reading.