Daring Fireball: T-Mobile Has Started Blocking iPhone Users From Enabling iCloud Private Relay in the U.S.:

This is some serious bullshit. It has nothing to do with improving network quality and everything to do with T-Mobile selling your usage data. Curious how Apple will respond. I’d say switch carriers if you’re on T-Mobile, but if they get away with this, I fear Verizon and AT&T will follow.

I can be fairly confident that Mint won’t follow suit, but who knows… I do hope Apple holds firm on the offering and pushes back, because this is about as anti-consumer as it gets.

Inside Apple Park: first look at the design team shaping the future of tech:

In the distance is a rectangular frame of foliage. In the foreground, a conference table, placed with architectural rigour so that the focal point is dead centre of the screen. The scene is a tiny cross section through Apple Park, the tech giant’s mighty circular HQ in Cupertino, by Foster + Partners. There are 12,000 employees on site here, including the Apple Design Team. This agile but hugely significant department thinks in terms of scope, not scale.

Launch: Vinegar – And a Dinosaur:

YouTube5 was a Safari extension back when Flash was still a thing and hated by everyone. It replaced the YouTube player (written in Flash) with an HTML

I’ve had a creeping distaste for the Youtube site experience for a while, to the point that I’d grab videos to offline to watch them and then delete them over spending time with their video player. This extension fixes that. Worth every penny.

App Store link here

Andy To’s gorgeous 4K iPhone 13 Pro video shot in Mexico City:

This is some breathtaking footage. Make sure you watch in full screen, at the highest resolution your setup will support.

The Old Last-Minute Hardware Design Switcheroo:

My suspicion is that, given how much Apple has been trying to flush-out leaks, that these were designs with A/B access internally to see which things made it to the press…

Killian Bell, writing at Cult of Mac:

Apple Watch Series 7 is not the upgrade most of us expected to see
from Tuesday’s Apple event. The new model doesn’t sport the big
design refresh multiple sources said was coming. It doesn’t even
pack a new chip.

Is this the upgrade Apple wanted to deliver this year? Or is it
a last-minute substitution that Cupertino had to settle on
because the refresh it really wanted to deliver just wasn’t
ready to roll out?

Based on the evidence, we’re going to say it’s the latter.

The only way this could be funnier is if Bell included the theory that perhaps Apple changed the hardware at the last minute because the flat-edge designs leaked.

This is not how hardware works. These designs are set long in advance. In fact, from what I’ve heard, the flat-edge watch designs might be legitimate leaks, but they’re next year’s designs. That’s how far in advance Apple works on hardware — they were already in the advanced stages of designing the 2022 Apple Watches months ago. (Aesthetically, I am not sold on a flat-edge design for the watch. The round edges are iconic and organic.)

You can argue that Series 7 is a marginal upgrade over Series 6, but with an all-new screen (brighter and bigger), all-new crystal (more durable), and 33 percent faster charging, there are upgrades, and none of them could be slapped together.

CODA – Apple TV+ Press

August 19, 2021

CODA – Apple TV+ Press:

Seventeen-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the sole hearing member of a deaf family – a CODA, child of deaf adults.

This is on my to-watch shortlist… But everything I hear about it is amazing.

Apple TV+ has been punching way above its weight on delivering great content.

Netflix Rolling Out Spatial Audio Support – MacRumors:

Netflix is rolling out support for Spatial Audio on the iPhone and the iPad, based on reports shared by MacRumors readers and on Reddit. A Netflix spokesperson also confirmed to MacRumors that the rollout is underway.

More of this please…

Have an iPhone? Here’s why you shouldn’t close apps | Boing Boing:

People have told me I should shut down apps on my phone to conserve the battery charge and improve performance. But this video says the phone’s operating system is designed to manage open apps to optimize memory, performance, and battery charge and that I should let it do its thing. The only time to close an app, according to this video, is when the app is frozen or is not running properly.

The embedded Youtube video link

elementary OS 6 Odin Available Now ⋅ elementary Blog:

How do you get a bold, friendly new Linux UI? By shamelessly copying it from macOS apparently. Still, depending how faithfully they copied, it might actually make for a usable Linux distro.

What’s the Point of Apple TV Hardware?:

With Apple TV+ available on everything now, anyone can enjoy the content, yes… But every other streaming box kinda sucks in other ways, and the Apple TV box still is the best experience I’ve had with a set-top device. Others capture your data, throw ads at you, have horrible interfaces… Whereas Apple TV really just gets out of your way.

Speaking of Mark Gurman, his Power On newsletter continues to be an excellent read. His main topic this week argues that Apple TV (hardware) is “mostly pointless”:

Most importantly, buying an Apple TV no longer gives users a
content advantage. We are in the age of streaming services like
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, and business models have
shifted so that every service is available on every device — phones, tablets, TV sets, streaming sticks and game consoles.

Apple, known for its closed ecosystem, is even embracing the shift
by offering many services on smart TVs and boxes made by
competitors. […] That made the Apple TV a mostly pointless
accessory, and consumers seem to agree: 2020 data from Strategy
Analytics
found that the Apple TV holds 2% of the streaming
device market.

The product isn’t without its benefits, though, for the Apple
ecosystem’s most loyal users. Integration with HomeKit, Fitness+,
AirPods and the iOS remote app is useful. The new remote control
and faster chip in this year’s version are definite improvements,
and the box is getting SharePlay and Spatial Audio support later
this year. Still, I don’t see these enhancements moving the needle
for most people.

I’d argue that Apple TV is a quintessential Apple product: its primary point is to deliver a superior user experience for those who care and are willing to pay a premium for it. If you look only at “content” there’s little reason to buy an iPhone or Mac or iPad, either. The Mac in particular seems an apt comparison. The reason to buy a Mac instead of a PC isn’t that the Mac can do things PCs can’t, but that what you do on a Mac is delivered through a superior experience. That’s Apple TV, too — especially now that Apple is shipping a good remote control. For a lot of us, it clearly delivers a superior and more private user experience that is worth paying a premium for.

2 percent market share is really low, no question about it, but if you look at those market share numbers from Strategy Analytics, no TV platform has a dominant position. It’s a remarkably diverse market, with no platform over 12 percent share. And Apple’s market share isn’t just any random 2 percent of the market, it’s 2 percent at the very high end of the market. It’s a premium product for Apple’s core customer base.