MacRumors: Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods 2

Juli Clover writing for MacRumors:

Apple’s AirPods 2 and new Powerbeats Pro earbuds are clearly aimed at different target markets. While the AirPods 2 are for casual listening on a day to day basis, the more expensive Powerbeats Pro are designed for physical activity including sports, workouts, and more.

Juli put together a good comparison between AirPods and the just-announced Powerbeats Pro. Both earbuds have good reasons to exist at the same time. While I would personally prefer using AirPods because of their less obtrusive design, unfortunately genetics aren’t on my side for choosing earbuds. Just like EarPods the wireless AirPods will not stay in my ears so I have to use some sort of in-ear solution (or use regular headphones of course).

As I’m currently using BeatsX – I’m now on my third or fourth pair, I honestly can’t remember – as well as a pair of relatively new Sony WH-1000XM3*, I wonder how or if Apple will update these small earbuds. One can hope they’ll introduce in-ear AirPods – just like they used to make in-ear earbuds for a few years. If they don’t and when my BeatsX break again, because they certainly will, I might have to take a closer look at these Powerbeats. One thing I wish they had is a wireless charging case, especially at this price.

As far as the noise isolation goes, there are various third party tips that isolate better or worse depending on what you prefer. I’ve gotten mine from Comply for years now and they are just perfect once you figure out the correct size. I’m sure they’ll offer some variations for the Powerbeats Pro once they’re out.

Anyway, check out the MacRumors comparison if you’re on the fence between AirPods or the Powerbeats Pro. The new earbuds should be available in a few weeks for 249 USD.

This is how you turn a Raspberry Pi into a HomeKit camera

This article is meant to serve two purposes. Fist tell you – from beginning to end – how to turn a Raspberry Pi, the tiny computer running Raspbian, into a HomeKit camera, that you can access using Apple’s Home app. This works for live streams or just stills.

The second reason for this article is reminding me how specific pieces are done. I keep forgetting specifics because I simply don’t have to do some steps on a regular basis or there are tiny details that I’m not 100 percent sure of. I won’t go too deep into Linux specifics, there are other (and better) places to learn about using the command line. Continue reading “This is how you turn a Raspberry Pi into a HomeKit camera”

WWDC 2019 dates: All but official

Joe Rossignol at MacRumors has been digging for some details on the upcoming WWDC:

Apple has yet to announce the dates for its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2019, but MacRumors has uncovered evidence that confirms the event will take place June 3-7 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

WWDC took place June 4-8 in 2018 and June 5-9 in 2017 at McEnery, so it would be natural if WWDC 2019 were scheduled for the same week of June. The weeklong conference has been hosted in the first half of June every year since 2007 and at McEnery specifically since 2017.

No real surprises here, but it’s funny to watch Apple still trying to cover their tracks – after things have been published.

Of course hotels are (and have been) pricey down there for that week, as Casey Liss points out:

Of course hotels are catching up to WWDC:

More bad news for Apple’s Enterprise Certificate program

Josh Constine once again has some more details about Apple’s Enterprise Certificates and their lack of control over at TechCrunch:

Given the number of policy-violating apps that are being distributed to non-employees using registrations for businesses unrelated to their apps, it’s clear that Apple needs to tighten the oversight on the Enterprise Certificate program. TechCrunch found thousands of sites offering downloads of “sideloaded” Enterprise apps, and investigating just a sample uncovered numerous abuses. Using a standard un-jailbroken iPhone. TechCrunch was able to download and verify 12 pornography and 12 real-money gambling apps over the past week that were abusing Apple’s Enterprise Certificate system to offer apps prohibited from the App Store. These apps either offered streaming or pay-per-view hardcore pornography, or allowed users to deposit, win, and withdraw real money — all of which would be prohibited if the apps were distributed through the App Store.

This is yet another instance in which it was shown that Apple isn’t controlling their Enterprise Certificate program. Looks like Facebook and Google were just the very top of the iceberg.

WSJ: Apple wants to “keep about half” of news service subscription revenue

Paywalled Wall Street Journal piece about Apple’s upcoming news service:

In its pitch to some news organizations, the Cupertino, Calif., company has said it would keep about half of the subscription revenue from the service, the people said. The service, described by industry executives as a “Netflix for news,” would allow users to read an unlimited amount of content from participating publishers for a monthly fee. It is expected to launch later this year as a paid tier of the Apple News app, the people said.

Remember when developers called the 70/30 split highway robbery? Now imagine how well a 50/50 split went over.

Bloomberg: These are the things to come with iOS 13 and the next iPhones

As has become a tradition Mark Gurman and Debby Wu have some new details about the upcoming iPhones, iPads and iOS 13:

For 2019, Apple plans successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — code-named D42 and D43 — and an update to the iPhone XR, said the people. The larger of the new high-end iPhones will have three cameras on the back, and other handsets could eventually come with the upgraded system, too, the people said.

iPhone tldr:

The follow-up to the current iPhone XS Max will come with three rear cameras, that will allow for a larger field of view which means Apple will increase the zoom compared to current models. Software might make it possible to “repair” a photo or video that has been cut-off using this camera. Live photos will capture more frames, going up from 3 to then 6 seconds.

The hardware will look largely be the same, but Apple is testing a version with USB-C. Bigger changes will come next year with the introduction of 5G capable models.

iOS 13 tldr:

iOS 13 will have dark mode, improvements to CarPlay. It will certain enhancements for the iPad like a new home screen, support for tabbed apps, just like a browser tab and better file management.

iOS 13 is most likely to be shown at Apple’s developer conference which usually takes place early June. New iPhones are usually presented in September. According to Bloomberg there won’t be new iPad Pros this year.

I personally have reached the point of where I have to question myself more and more if buying the most recent iPhone on a yearly basis at the end of September. However, the iPhone X was a completely new design with many new features. I also got the iPhone XS Max, because I missed the bigger screen of the previous Plus models after going with the X a year before.

I keep wondering what they need do to make me buy the next iPhone in September 2019? USB C for me would be a reason. But I somehow don’t see this happening. I feel like it might be more likely that they remove the port completely and turn the iPhone into an Apple Watch without any ports at all.

Another aspect is the ever better camera. But unless they have something that works in the realms of Google’s Night Sight I’ll have to see it before actually pulling the trigger.

Apple Music Connect is going the way of Ping

Zac Hall writing for 9to5Mac:

Apple has started notifying Apple Music artists that it is removing the ability for artists to post content to Apple Music Connect, and previously posted Apple Music Connect content is being removed from the For You section and Artist Pages in Apple Music. Connect content will still be viewable through search results on Apple Music, but Apple is removing artist-submitted Connect posts from search in May.

Looks like history is repeating itself here.

One more about iPad apps for shells and ssh

A while ago, almost a year now, I wrote about Terminal for iOS. Now with the iPad Pro 2018 being available — and even before that with the release of the first iOS 12 beta in June — I‘ve started using the tablet more and more again. It also didn‘t help that the display of my MacBook Pro went in for service because of a display discoloration and yet another keyboard issue.

This meant I went out to look for a new ssh client for work. For the past few months I‘ve primarily been using Termius instead of Prompt 2. The main reason is that development of Prompt seems to have been halted for a while and Termius offers a couple of features, for example Mosh support.

At the same time there‘s also been a nice development called iSH, a shell for iOS which allows you to use a growing number of tools that you‘re used to on Linux on your iPhone or iPad. It‘s available as a beta on TestFlight or you can clone it from their GitHub repository.

Waiting for the USB C overlords chargers to arrive

In late October Anker promised the arrival of a couple new USB C chargers, dubbed PowerPort Atom PD 1, Atom PD 2 and Atom PD 4. The first, single port version, was due to arrive in late November but as of now they‘re still nowhere to be found.

They’re about the same size as the blocky 5 Watt charger Apple still likes to ship with every iPhone to date, while Anker’s new Gallium Nitride charger offers 27 Watt and a USB C port. Chargers that offer more than one USB C port are still rare to find, which makes the Atom PD 2 and PD 4 especially interesting to those of us who prefer to travel with only one charger instead of many different ones for smartphone, tablet, watch and notebook. This is what USB C promises but still has to cash in on, because of this lack of chargers.

This lack also shows itself in portable/travel-sized USB C hubs, like the ones we have had with traditional USB for a long time. It’s hard to find a USB C hub, that has one input and — for the sake of argument — say five USB C outputs that you can use to attach your peripherals. For now I‘d take a USB C charger with at least two ports to be able charge my iPad Pro and MacBook Pro with a high-wattage at the same time. It looks like the PD 4 might be a good fit, should it ever arrive.

Oh, and there‘s also this, especially for devices with just one USB C port and nothing else, like the new iPad Pro: Where‘s the USB C dongle that has a headphone jack and a USB C port to charge the device from?

Update 1: There’s a new HyperDrive dongle listed on Kickstarter now.

Update 2: It’s now the end of February 2019 as of writing this update, and there’s still quite a lack of supply for Ankers Atom PD 1, no matter if you use Amazon.com* or Amazon.de* (where it doesn’t show up in the search results at all).

Fixing Python zlib errors in macOS Mojave Beta

Just leaving this here for my own sake, after having to deal with these annoying issues on the macOS Mojave Beta. When trying to build various Homebrew apps that use Python (or are Python) I ran into something like this:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/local/bin/pip3", line 11, in
load_entry_point('pip==10.0.1', 'console_scripts', 'pip3')()
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 476, in load_entry_point
return get_distribution(dist).load_entry_point(group, name)
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2700, in load_entry_point
return ep.load()
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2318, in load
return self.resolve()
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2324, in resolve
module = __import__(self.module_name, fromlist=['__name__'], level=0)
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/_internal/__init__.py", line 20, in
from pip._vendor.urllib3.exceptions import DependencyWarning
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/_vendor/urllib3/__init__.py", line 8, in
from .connectionpool import (
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/_vendor/urllib3/connectionpool.py", line 36, in
from .response import HTTPResponse
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pip/_vendor/urllib3/response.py", line 3, in
import zlib
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'zlib'

The fix is as follows, thanks to sfdye over at GitHub:
$ brew update
# (Re)Install CLT (command in one line):
$ sudo installer -pkg /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/Packages/macOS_SDK_headers_for_macOS_10.14.pkg -target /

Then reinstall your Homebrew Python version with something like
$ brew reinstall python@2

That stopped these zlib errors for me.