MyAppleMenu - Thu, Oct 29, 2015

Thu, Oct 29, 2015The Speaktenna Edition

Inside Apple's Perfectionism Machine, by Lance Ulanoff, Mashable

It's a recurrent theme in my conversations with Schiller and John Ternus, vice president of Mac and iPad engineering. As they see it, much of the innovation — certainly something like the speaktenna — inside the 2-pound, 0.5-inch-thick laptop would not have been possible without disparate teams working together.

In the case of the speaktenna, Apple engineers did everything in their power to fit the maximum amount of technology possible into the tiny anodized aluminum chassis. This included creating new battery chemistry and forms to support a terraced battery design that marries perfectly with matching cutouts in the chassis. There's even a deeper level of terracing cutouts in the body that aren't for more battery power, but to cut down on the overall system weight.

"We realized we could not create a great antennae and a great speaker because we'd be compromising," Ternus said. "Both of those elements need space. Antenna elements are small, but they need cavity; they need space to resonate."

The answer was to make the speaker and antenna teams collaborate to create something new.

Apple's Newest Software Update Will Shut Off Your iPhone Alarm While You Sleep, by Jay Hathaway, Gawker

All signs point to Apple’s new overnight update feature, which asks you if you want it to install the latest iPhone operating system while you sleep. Or, apparently, oversleep. What the update feature doesn’t tell you is that when it’s done installing the new system software in the middle of the night, it restarts the phone and switches off any alarms you had set on it.

Television's Future

The New Apple TV: Apple Ushers App Developers Onto Their Customers’ Biggest Screen, by John Yanarella, Universal Mind

The new Apple TV is set to become a one-stop hub for a broad range of experiences, everything from quick glances for vital information to new kinds of immersive entertainment, communication, education, and e-commerce experiences.

The potential for tvOS apps goes well beyond media consumption and gaming—we can expect to see enterprise dashboards; collaboration and planning tools; dashboards and configurators for the Internet of Things (IoT); educational courses, training videos and manuals; innovative use of ResearchKit to facilitate life-changing medical studies; and new kinds of online showrooms and storefront experiences.

The Apple TV Gets Smart, by Walt Mossberg, Re/code

And, as good as Siri has become, it feels limited on this device. It needs to work on all or most of the apps, not a few. It doesn’t even work in the Apple Music app. And it’s odd that it can’t handle all the queries that it can on an iPhone, or speak to you.

I don’t know when, if ever, Apple will reinvent TV. But this isn’t the moment. I can say that, if I were buying a streaming box right now, this is the one I’d buy, if only for the promise of lots of apps.

By making the set-top box a part of its giant app and services ecosystem, the company is moving Apple TV into a future that’s much broader and bigger than Roku’s or Amazon’s. And that makes the case. In effect, while it may not have reinvented all of TV, Apple has reinvented the streaming set-top box.

The New Apple TV Invigorates The Set-Top Box, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Apple TV is on the path to turning the television set into a smarter connected screen. And though it’s the most expensive of the bunch, it will accrue more value over time as software developers expand its capabilities with more apps and games.

The Apple TV You’ve Always Wanted Is Finally Here, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

It’s intuitive, uncomplicated, and — crucially — thoughtful. Is that a ridiculous thing to say about a set-top box? Probably. But it’s also true.

New Apple TV Review: Loads Of Potential—and Lots Of Bugs, by David Pogue, Yahoo!

Apple points out that Apple TV runs a 1.0 operating system, called tvOS. It promises to squash these bugs very quickly. Indeed, a couple of those bugs have disappeared in the last 24 hours. It also blames some of the bugs on the app makers. For example, that “Who’s in this episode?” thing work only in iTunes and Netflix shows, which explains why it doesn’t work in the Fox app.

All of that is fine, but you have to wonder: Why is Apple still frantically squashing bugs three days before the product ships? (The answer is, no doubt, “Because we can’t miss the holiday season, no matter what.”)

Siri Adds Voice To Apple TV But Where's The 4K?, by Edard C. Baig, USA Today

After more than three years, the arrival of an improved Apple TV is something Apple fans will surely cheer. But if you're looking for something less expensive or have or will soon get a 4K TV, you're best turning to one of Apple's streaming rivals.

Apple TV’s Siri Search Will Soon Include Apple Music, by Brendan Klinkenberg, BuzzFeed

Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Siri is coming to Apple Music on Apple TV at the beginning of next year. [...] Extending Apple TV’s universal search to Apple Music turns the streaming box into a voice-controlled music player. It’s a savvy consolidation of the living room entertainment system, positioning the new Apple TV as a sort of one-stop shop for video, gaming, and music.


Microsoft Is Merging Its Outlook And Sunrise Apps, by Tom Warren, The Verge

It's a refined look that brings small, but useful, features like the date on the calendar button, and visual cues to make it easier to navigate Outlook for iOS. Calendar event details have been tweaked to provide more information, and overall the app just looks a lot better.

Microsoft’s Email Boss On How Email Is So Not Dead Yet, by Ina Fried, Re/code

Sonos Play:5 (2015 Edition) Review: It’s Difficult To Imagine A Better-Sounding Networked Speaker At This Price, by Michael Brown, TechHive

Sonos knocks one out of the park with the all-new Play:5. This is a spectacular speaker either on its own or as part of a whole-home audio system.

How To Turn Off Your Monitor Without Turning Off Your Mac, by Topher Kessler, MacIssues


What Makes Good Code, by Erica Sadun

Apple News Format Docs Appear In iOS Developer Library, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today


Why Apple Pay’s Canadian Launch Bypassed Banks, by David Berman and Tim Kiladze, The Globe and Mail

A source said the launch likely had less to do with Apple’s strategy for entering Canada specifically, and more to do with a global push that aims to negotiate by credit-card network rather than bank by bank.

BBC iPlayer App Coming To Apple TV 'In Coming Months', by Leo Kelion, BBC

The catch-up app is not ready to launch alongside the revamped set top box when it goes on sale this week, but the broadcaster signalled it would be soon.

Flipboard, Once-Hot News Reader App, Flounders Amid Competition, by Douglas Macmillan, Wall Street Journal

In recent weeks, the news reader app’s co-founder, Evan Doll, and its chief technology officer, Eric Feng, have left, adding to the talent drain in the past year that includes the heads of finance, product and revenue.

The exodus comes as Flipboard’s investors, which bet $210 million on the company, have put more pressure on co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mike McCue to revive the business model or find a buyer, according to people familiar with the matter.

How Apps Can Help (And Harm) The Homeless, by Laura Bliss, The Atlantic

Darcel Jackson wants technology in the hands of San Francisco’s homeless. Homeless himself for a stint last year, Jackson knows firsthand how a lack of Internet and mobile access can foil prospects of finding a job, a home, and stability when you’re living on the streets or in shelters. It’s a digital divide underscored by the wealth of technology parading around and even building the city.

The Future

Thanks for reading. Now go watch some TV.