The Giving-Information Edition Friday, December 22, 2017

Apple's iPhone Slowdown: Your Questions Answered, by Shara Tibken, CNET

Is Apple doing this to get me to buy a new phone?

Apple says no, its software feature is aimed to do the opposite: help you prolong the life of your device. Still, it didn't exactly advertise that all you may need to do to have a faster phone is change its battery, and that's causing an outcry.

Apple Had Way Better Options Than Slowing Down Your iPhone, by Jordan McMahon, Wired

Direct battery fixes certainly would have made the most sense. But even allowing that a software tweak was the only way Apple could have proceeded—untrue, but just for argument's sake—it had a much better option than making its software solution covert.

Rather than quietly push out an update that crimped older iPhones, it should have made that throttling opt-in. As it stands, there's no way to avoid having your phone slowed down once the battery reaches its limits. By giving users the choice, and giving them the information necessary to make their own decision, Apple could avoid the frustrations many have expressed over the policy.

Slowing Down Older iPhones May Be The Right Thing To Do, But It Opens A Can Of Worms, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Is Apple being helpful in addressing a known chemical problem? Or is there a specific fault with some iPhones, which Apple is effectively hiding?

The Man Who Uncovered Apple's Software Slowdown Explains Why You Should Still Update Your Phone, by Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC

"If you stuck with an older version of iOS, then what would happen would be your phone would be fast, but it might crash randomly," Poole said. "So that's really not an ideal situation if you're relying on your phone day to day, like most of us are. The other problem with holding back on security updates is you lose the security improvements and fixes that Apple makes with every release, thus putting you in danger of ... hackers and whatnot."

Apple Faces Lawsuits Over Its Intentional Slowing Of Older iPhones, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

Two separate class-action lawsuits were filed Thursday, brought by plaintiffs in California and Illinois, arguing that Apple did not have consent to slow down their iPhones.

Two people from Chicago, along with residents of Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina, claim that Apple’s iOS updates were designed to “purposefully slow down the performance speeds” of the phones “fraudulently forcing iPhone owners to purchase the latest model offered by Apple.”

Playing Video Games As Meditation, by Jason Kottke

The ideas of living in the present and emphasizing control over your reactions to external events (rather than to the events themselves) are found in ancient philosophies like Stoicism and Buddhism. It’s one thing to read about these things, but it was helpful to realize them on my own, in the simplified and sandboxed environment of video game play.

Apple's $5 Billion 'Spaceship' Campus Is Ready For Takeoff — But Some Employees Will Be Left Behind, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

The split between the movers and those left behind has also created a sense of two classes within Apple.

Apple's most valuable talent will be moving to the ring, including executives like CEO Tim Cook, teams full of software developers, and Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive's design teams, which will get one of the nicest spots on the fourth floor of the building.

But less important divisions, like App Store workers and retail operations, are expected to remain in satellite offices scattered around Silicon Valley. This means those people will often have to travel using Apple's shuttle service to another office just to attend meetings.


Live Memories For iOS Instantly Transforms Your Live Photos Into Video Keepsakes, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

The concept of the app is simple: just select the photos you want to turn into a video, choose your video format, and share. Live Memories combines each clip into one continuous video, allowing you to sit back and watch your Live Photos without constantly swiping and pressing.

AutoSleep 5 Adds Automatic Apple Watch Sleep Tracking And Much More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

There are two things I like a lot about AutoSleep’s Watch app. First, I don’t have to do anything to track my sleep. The app just figures out how much I slept based on factors like movement with remarkable accuracy. If AutoSleep is off a little though, you can edit your sleep time in the iPhone app.

Second, I like the glanceable data the Watch app provides. I can see how much I slept the previous night, how that compares to my seven-day average, as well as sleep time, quality, heart rate, and other basic statistics.

Aspyr Ships 'Sid Meier's Civilization VI' On iOS With High-powered iPad Required To Play, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Taking place over centuries, the player must take their civilization from the Stone Age to the Information Age, advancing their culture and researching new technologies over time.


Dozens Of Companies Are Using Facebook To Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads, by Julia Angwin,Noam Scheiber,Ariana Tobin, ProPublica

The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook’s business model. But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers.

Several experts questioned whether the practice is in keeping with the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits bias against people 40 or older in hiring or employment. Many jurisdictions make it a crime to "aid” or "abet” age discrimination, a provision that could apply to companies like Facebook that distribute job ads.

Bottom of the Page

Is this just another bad week for Apple? My guess: much worse than that previous bad week. From here on out, for anything that runs just a tad slower on an iPhone -- be it the OS, first-party app, third-party app, anything -- the blame will goes to Apple and its intentional throttling.

On hindsight, Apple could have done better. Probably an opt-out option would have worked.


Thanks for reading.