2015.09 Whimsy: The Most Heartening Thing I've Ever Seen from the App Store

2015.09 News: Apple's New OS for Handhelds

You don't operate a small, touch-sensitive, handheld mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) the same way you do a larger, keyboard-equipped computer (desktop or laptop). So the operating-system software for each of those 2 major types of devices must necessarily be different in some major respects. Thus Apple gives us iOS for the handhelds and Mac OS X for the computers. It seems that the long-range corporate strategy is to get them to operate more and more like each other as time goes by, and some of that's in evidence with the latest release of iOS, Version 9, due out today.

Good news, as always, is that it's free. Somewhat shakier news is that it's only available via download from the Internet, and it's huge. It'll take quite a while to suck it all into your device, so don't start the process for your iPad or iPhone unless your battery is fully charged or it's plugged into a power source. The article above doesn't mention it specifically, but I expect that the size of iOS 9 may also crowd out the amount of memory left over for other apps, which is ironic, given that one of the big talking points about this release is that it'll let you view multiple apps simultaneously on your handheld devices.

Speaking strictly for myself (Richard S. Russell), I'm dreadfully incompetent at using my iPad's virtual keyboard. I much prefer the actual physical keys on my iMac and MacBook Pro. Therefore I use my iPad almost exclusively as a camera or data-viewing device, not for data creation. Yet I marvel at watching my friends who've become accustomed to their iPhones' dictation capabilities generate content almost as fast as they can talk. Since voice-recognition capabilities are supposed to be notably more powerful in iOS 9 (including a smarter Siri who "knows" you better than ever), bridging the gap between the 2 types of physical devices may be further off into the future than we've expected.


2015.09 News: Apple's New IGadgets

Well, today was the day all the salivating early adopters have been looking forward to. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a slew of new iGadgets. In keeping with Apple's penchant for hype, Cook claims that the new iPhones, which look an awful lot like the old iPhones, are "completely new". Also, Apple takes another run at getting TV right and rehabilitating the concept of the wristwatch.


2015.07 News: Feeling Jealous Yet?

In its review of Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system (yes, they skipped over 9), Time has identified 5 new features to make Apple users jealous. Read the article, then come back here and tell us how jealous it's made you.


2015.07 Tip: Auto-Parsing in "Contacts"

You know how the "Contacts" utility (formerly "Address Book") has separate fields for street address, city, state, zip code, and country?

And you've probably figured that, if you want to copy and paste an address, you have to do each of those fields individually, right? 4-5 separate C&P operations? Turns out not. You can just copy the entire original, even if it's on a couple of separate lines, like this:

and when you click in the "Street" box and do a paste, "Contacts" is smart enuf to parse the address out into the proper fields for you with just a single operation:


2015.07 News: Possible Problem with Apple Music

The following message was distributed via the Computer Risks periodic bulletin. It's reposted here as an "FYI" item. I have no independent confirmation of it, but as Holly always used to say at the end of the newsletter, caveat emptor:

One risk of jumping onto a new product release is the possibility of side
effects that damage or destroy your data -- as some Apple Music enrollees
are discovering. On the Apple discussion forum and elsewhere users are
complaining that thru some unexplained mechanism their existing playlists
and album art are being corrupted by Apple Music. Playlists that have taken
hours to compile become useless. Also there are reports that user meta-data
describing the song (genre, artist, notes, etc.) is replaced by meta-data
from Apple music. See https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7104745


2015.06 News: Apple Turns on a Dime

Within a day of Taylor Swift calling out Apple on its proposed policy of not paying royalties to musicians whose work people were streaming for free during their 3-month Apple Music trial period, the humongous corporation nimbly turned on a dime and reversed itself. Now that's good management!


2015.06 Inspiration: Think Different

For no particular reason, just because I happened to be thinking about it again today, here's my all-time favorite television commercial, Apple's Think Different.