The Adjustable-Amplifier Edition Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Can A Pair Of AirPods And An App Hope To Replace A Hearing Aid?, by Rachel Metz, MIT Technology Review

A Swiss startup is trying to make this reality with an app called Fennex, recently released for the iPhone, that works with Apple’s $159 AirPods wireless earbuds. Alex Mari, CEO of the startup of the same name, says that he chose Apple’s devices and mobile platform for the app in part because of their popularity, but also because he thinks an Android phone would result in more latency when processing sound.

The Fennex app, currently free though it may eventually charge for certain features, is still in its earliest days. Mari says today’s version functions like a “cheap hearing aid”: it simply tests your hearing in each ear and uses those results to act as a personalized, adjustable amplifier. If you’re having trouble hearing in a class, for instance, you could place your phone near the lectern while you’re sitting a few rows back and listening in on a pair of AirPods.

Teen's App Not Being Lost In Translation, by

David Moore knows first-hand how easily a text message can get lost in translation.


His solution is called Sensibility, an iMessage app which allows users to tag messages to help express connotation and tone. Not only that, the app – through machine learning – can pick up on the writing style of the user so messages are automatically tagged over time.

It's just one of the projects the Moore has been working on since returning from the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in June.

Ikea's Smart Home Dares To Make Sense, by Brian Barrett, Wired

They're cheap. They're easy. And most importantly, they'll soon speak HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant with equal fluency.

No surprise, maybe, that a Swedish company embraces neutrality. But as Ikea goes, the rest of the industry may have to follow. Let's hope so, anyway.


Review: Photolemur, The Mac App That Uses AI To Automatically Edit Your Snapshots, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Photolemur is a Mac app that uses AI to automatically edit photos – either individually or in batches. Instead of applying the same edits to every photo, or asking you to choose a filter, it analyses the content of each photo and attempts to perform the appropriate edits for each one.

Canary Security System Gains Two-way Audio Feature, Faster Streaming, & Web App, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Canary already lets you hear audio captured by the home security camera delivered through the iOS app, and starting today Canary Talk will allow you to communicate back from the app to the camera system.


Apple Changed The Maps Icon To Show Its New Spaceship Campus, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

The icon has, since the iPhone’s inception, shown 1 Infinite Loop — the location of Apple’s longtime headquarters. But with the company’s enormous spaceship campus, known as the Apple Park, now opening up, iOS designers seem to have felt it was time to make a change. So instead, the Maps icon now shows a sliver of the spaceship.

Or maybe it’s just this nearby offramp. It’s kind of hard to tell.

Apple Credited With Significantly Boosting Taiwan's Exports To The U.S., by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

Taken in their entirety, the strong financial performance of Apple’s suppliers was enough to increase Taiwan’s overall exports to the United States in July by a massive 12.5 percent year-on-year in U.S. dollars. For those keeping track at home, that’s pretty darn impressive!

China's Guizhou Province To Oversee Apple's Data Project, by Lee Chyen Yee and Cate Cadell, Reuters

The Guizhou government said on its website that the Apple iCloud working committee would be made up of around 10 members, such as Guizhou's Executive Vice Governor Qin Rupei, Deputy Secretary-general Ma Ningyu and other officials.

"The provincial government has decided to form a development and coordination working committee to quicken the setting up of Apple's iCloud project," it said in a Chinese language statement.