The Long-Wait Edition Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Getting A New iPhone Battery Is Often A Frustrating, Weeks-long Process, by Hayley Tsukayama, Washington Post

When asked how many people have tried to get replacements, Apple did not say. But the company told Thune in a recent letter that it has seen "strong demand."

That demand has led to long wait times. Calls to 10 Apple stores in different regions of the country last week revealed that wait times for a new iPhone 6 battery ranged from three to five days to two to three weeks, with no discernible pattern about why certain stores had shorter wait times than others.

Apple Maps Vs. Google Maps Vs. Waze, by arturrr

For Apple, Maps is a basic solution for its average user who wants a maps solution out of the box. Apple Maps does not directly drive ad or subscription revenue for Apple so there is less reason for Apple to incentivize iOS users to use Apple Maps over other solutions. However, Apple does care about user experience, and sandbagging trip time estimates so that users arrive at their destination on time results in a great user experience. Hence, I believe that Apple is intentionally conservative with estimated arrival times.

At the other extreme, Waze (Alphabet) makes money through ads when you use their app. What better way to get people to use your navigation app than by over-promising short trip times when no one takes the time to record data and realize that you under-deliver? If an unsuspecting user opens Apple Maps and sees a 34-minute route and compares that to 30-minutes in Waze, the deed is done. Now Waze has a life-long customer who doesn’t realize they’ve been hoodwinked and Waze can throw at them stupidly annoying ads.

Bad Apple #2: Alphabetize Settings In iOS, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

So why doesn’t Apple provide a similar alphabetical organization within iOS’s Settings app? (Yes, I realize alphabetization would vary by language, but that has to be a solved problem.) The current functional groupings could remain, to the extent that they make sense, but within each grouping, rather than Apple grasping at logical straws that few users would be likely to understand, why not just organize everything alphabetically? And why doesn’t each collection at least have a label that would give the user a hint as to what the connection between the various settings is? Bad Apple!


Let’s consider the possibilities of what the main screen of Settings could look like.

iOS Messages And Smart Punctuation, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

In short: if you stick to dumb quotes, you can put 160 characters in an SMS message. Include just one smart/curly quote, and you only get 70 characters.

I don’t know for sure that this is why iOS 11’s smart punctuation feature no longer works in Messages, but it’s the only explanation that makes sense.

How Does Apple Define Success? Any Way It Wants., by Shira Ovide, Bloomberg

Apple proclaims each new iPhone model is the best one it has ever made. The company says every software update is better than the last. In general, Apple believes everything it does is awesome.

There's a consequence to declaring victory no matter what: It becomes impossible to define success.


10 Essential Tips For Using The macOS Finder More Efficiently, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

A lot of hidden power resides in every Finder window. In this article, we've highlighted some of our favorite Finder tips and tricks to help you work more efficiently with files and folders on your Mac.

Apple Shares New Video Tips On Shooting B&W Photos, Taking Overheads, And Editing Slow-mo Timing With iPhone, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple has released a trio of new how-to videos today with tips on getting the most of iPhone’s camera. Two of three focus on taking better photos, while one shares a tip on editing slo-mo video.

AirPlay 2 Removed From iOS And tvOS 11.3, Hinting HomePod Multi-room And Stereo Pairing Further Delayed, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

In today’s iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 updates, Apple has removed AirPlay 2 support from both platforms, hinting that the feature will be delayed until further down the road, possibly coming with a future iOS 12 release.

Veeer Is A Fantastic (And Free) Window Manager For Mac, by Preshit Deorukhkar, Beautiful Pixels

Veeer is a fantastic, light-weight and free window manager for macOS that helps you get more productive. It allows you to take control of all the application windows you have open on your Mac and lets you move and arrange them in a better way, as and when you need to.

Alto’s Odyssey Now Available On iPhone, iPad And Apple TV, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Alto’s Odyssey is the opposite with rich music and visuals and an incredibly engaging progression of missions and tasks, as well as the endless quest of getting an ever-higher score for the run. The game shines on the iPhone X’s wide-aspect ratio display.


Female-focused Co-working Spaces Offer A Kind Of Career And Child-care Help Still Lacking In Many Traditional Workplaces, by Michael Chandler, Washington Post

The booming co-working industry, launched to accommodate the increasing number of entrepreneurs and corporate employees who work remotely, is now tailoring itself for women by offering workspaces with female-focused networking and career seminars.

Increasingly, these workspaces, as well as those that cater to all working parents, are also offering child care, a service still lacking in many of America’s workplaces.


Judy Fiskin's Funny, Thought-provoking Confessions Of An iPhone Addict, by David Pagel, Los Angeles Times

With every picture and turn of phrase and musical interlude (from Bach to “The Hukilau Song”) you get a sense of Fiskin’s vision, her capacity to make everyday reality look beautiful while leaving it well enough alone. She never calls attention to her talents, which are nothing less than brilliant. Anonymity and genius never looked better or mixed as poetically as they do in Fiskin’s artistry.

The Case Against Google, by Charles Duhigg, New York Times

The implication is clear enough: Google and the other tech titans understand that the landscape is shifting. They realize that their halos have become tarnished, that the arguments they once invoked as a digital exception to American economic history — that the internet economy is uniquely self-correcting, because competition is only a click away — no longer hold as much weight. “When you get as big as Google, you become so powerful that the market bends around you,” Vestager told me. The notion that antitrust law isn’t needed anymore, that we must choose between helping consumers or spurring competition, no longer seems sufficient reason to exempt the tech giants from century-old legal codes. If anything, Vestager’s verdict and state investigations indicate that companies like Google may have more in common with the monopolists of old than most people thought. Silicon Valley’s bigwigs ought to be scared.

“If Europe can prosecute Google, then we can as well,” says William Kovacic, a law professor and former Republican-appointed chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. “It’s just a question of willingness now.”

Why We May Soon Be Living In Alexa’s World, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

When Amazon unveiled Alexa three and a half years ago, it was roundly jeered. Now, against all expectations, even though she’s sometimes unpredictable and unpolished, Alexa is here to stay. And that may be underplaying it; people in tech have recently begun to talk about Alexa as being more than just part of a hit gadget.

Something bigger is afoot. Alexa has the best shot of becoming the third great consumer computing platform of this decade — next to iOS and Android, a computing service so ubiquitous that it sets a foundation for much of the rest of what happens in tech.

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I'm pretty sure, internally, Apple has an idea or two on what success means. Apple probably also has the good idea that nobody outside Apple should know or dictate what success is. Different parties have different priorities that changes over time. You don't want others to hold you to standards you either never believe in or no longer believe in.


I do enjoy playing New York Times’ daily mini crossword. I just wish that, sometimes, someone can explain to me a particular pair of clue/answer.

(I'm not that good at crosswords either.)


Thanks for reading.