The Voice-Over Edition Thursday, March 8, 2018

How To Protect Your Apple ID, by Rick Broida, CNET

Needless to say, it's critical that you take every conceivable measure to protect it. There's nothing difficult here, but you just need to devote a little time and diligence. First up: Stop serving up your Apple ID on a silver platter!

With Assist From Apple, Visually Impaired Austin Students Learn Coding, by Lori Hawkins, Austin American-Statesman

The software is part of Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum, which is designed to be accessible to all students including those with vision or other disabilities.

Using Apple’s VoiceOver screen-reading technology, students and visiting Apple engineers worked their way through a series of 3D puzzles to learn to code.

After an hour-long session in the school library, students cheered when they were told they would use the software to fly small aerial drones. After a little practice, they headed outside with their iPads to use their new coding skills to fly and control the buzzing drones high in the sky.

MacBook Air: Why Won’t It Die?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

I keep thinking that the reason Apple is in this state is because of a fundamental error: That 13-inch, non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro is a confusing addition to the MacBook Pro line, and has been since the beginning. It’s not a MacBook or a MacBook Pro (despite its name). What is it? It could have been the new MacBook Air, but for the fact that its starting price was $500 higher.

Maybe Apple should just kill the MacBook Air, rename that 13-inch Pro model to MacBook Air, and slash its starting price to $999. But it probably won’t. Instead, the MacBook Air may keep improbably soldiering on, making it impossible for me to lament its passing.

Apple Axed 10 Smelters And Refiners From Supply Chain In 2017, Maintains 100 Percent Participation In Conflict Mineral Audit, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Apple issued its annual Conflict Minerals Report for the 2017 calendar year to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, noting the removal of 10 smelters and refiners that failed to participate with third-party audits in a timely manner, while another 6 were axed by partner suppliers.


Apple Updates Workflow Automation App With New Mask Image Action & More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The Apple-owned Workflow app has been update today to version 1.7.8, bringing new features and enhancements to the popular automation tool.

Hands On: Writing Blogs On The Mac With The New MarsEdit 4, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

MarsEdit 4 remains a powerful Mac app that's done very well and which is somehow still just a pleasure to write in. We may have to just confine our blogging to it when we're at our Macs.

Sunlit 2.0 Released As A And WordPress Photo Blogging App, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Sunlit makes it a breeze to create short photo blog posts that it calls Stories.

Begin Launches Team Task Management For Slack, by Khari Johnson, VentureBeat

The app was made for teams that spend most of their time in chat apps like Slack, and it touts simplicity as part of its strategy to reach mass adoption.

Square’s Cash App On iOS Now Supports Direct Deposit For Receiving Paychecks Without A Bank, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Cash app on iOS now supports direct deposits, making it so you can receive your paycheck or other transfers directly in the app.


On Focus, by David Sparks, MacSparky

A lot of people are going to some extreme measures in the name of focus and I’m not sure that is necessary or, in the long term, sustainable. It’s like trying to lose weight by not eating. It may work for a day or two but after that, it’s all downhill. Getting better at focus is difficult and it takes time to master. Here’s my list of suggestions for some help along the way.

Bottom of the Page

I imagine somewhere inside Apple, someone is maintaining a list of things-that-can-be-done-on-a-Macbook-Air-but-not-on-an-iPad-Pro. Top of the list: Xcode. And someone has also created a dashboard chart that shows the number of items on this list over time, as well as estimations of number of items still remaining in the next few years.

And at the right-most column of this chart will be a big fat arrow with a big text label that says "Retire MacBook Air and Mac mini, finally."


Thanks for reading.