About wireless charging with the iPhones 8 and other devices

Ben Bajarin has some valid points regarding wireless charging, which is a new thing for the iPhone world. As he Ben notes, the same issue is valid for Android as well.

The problem in a nutshell is that you really have to be careful how to put down and place your device on the wireless charger. I remember having the optional magnetic charging dingus for my Nexus 4 and also back then you had to be careful to hit the exact right spot and actively watch for the charging notification. Sometimes it would slightly slip while attached to the dock and stop charging. You usually wouldn’t notice.

The same is true today, for example when going to a Starbucks that has the wireless chargers integrated into their tables while handing out little adapters to plug into your iPhone or other devices. You have to meticulously put your device down and once again wait for the charging buzz or whatever your device does to tell you it’s charging.

It’s a horrible user experience at this point. It requires you to carefully align your phone and then it’s not necessarily as fast as using a simple cable. Ben notes that the alignment issue might get better when Apple’s own AirPower device ships next year but that remains to be seen. For now, just give me a cable to plug in.

Tim Cook visits Cincinnati

Tim Cook today went to CTS in Cincinnati and posted a photo of himself at the factory:

Of course the internet did what it does best:

Peak iPhone Rumor? Achievement unlocked.

iOS 11 beta 5 changes blue “Bar of Shame”

RIP Bar of Shame (iOS 11 Beta 1 – Beta 4)

With today’s fifth iOS 11 beta Apple has changed the behaviour of the blue bar that showed up whenever an app was accessing your location in the background. This made it obvious to users that some apps might be doing nefarious things in the background without them previously knowing about it. But apparently Apple didn’t like the blue bar and changed the way it works.

The developers can now decide whether or not they want to show the bar or not (if the app is in AlwaysInUse mode), negating the effect the previous impelementation had: telling users about potentially bad developers. Apps that have WhenInUse enabled will still show blue bar, which is helpful for navigation apps, because it gives easy access back to the app when you switch apps.

It’s currently not clear as to why Apple moved back from the previous four beta releases. One theory is that developers don’t test enough with the blue bar showing and breaking the app layout in the process if the bar is pushing down the content. At the same time there were some other issues with the bar showing, like removing quick access to the top of a document, list view or website.

This blue shame bar aside iOS 11 brings a few nice additions to the location privacy. Up until iOS 10 apps could optionally support the WhenInUse flag to access a users location. Starting with iOS 11 devs have to support all three settings: Off, When In Use and Always. It’s no longer just black or white for developers that didn’t want to support WhenInUse. (I’m looking at you, Uber.) Users now have a better option at their disposal to block apps’ access to their location.

HomePod firmware: The things we know about Apples upcoming hard- and software so far

On July 27th, 2017 Apple erroneously released an OTA update for AudioAccessory1,1 – aka Apple HomePod. Developers like Steve Troughton-Smith, Guilherme Rambo or Avery Magnotti immediately dug into the firmware and soon thereafter found the first details Apple certainly didn’t want to be out in the open yet. Here’s a summary we know thanks to Apple and these developers:

I’m sure there are more details (I’ll try to add new ones them as they appear) but these are some of the most interesting ones.

iPhone 8: Embrace the notch

There’ve been numerous iPhone 8 – or iPhone Pro or whatever you want to call it – leaks surrounding the recent release of the HomePod firmware. Now user interface designer Max Rudberg went ahed and created some mockups giving us some ideas how the upcoming iPhone UI could look like (current iPhone for comparison on the left):

Image: Max Rudberg

Given the leaked iPhone 8 glyph that shows the device and a distinct notch, I’d say Apple will embrace it (image 2 on the mockup). That said maybe it’ll change based on usage especially given a black OLED screen requires the least amount of power and the black looks actually black.

Tesla Model 3 screen UI mockup

Scottish designer Andrew Goodlad went ahead and re-created the Tesla Model 3 screen for the web so you can have a look at it in case you’re not one of the few lucky ones who got the actual car yet.

After clicking around for a little bit the whole thing looks loaded with tiny details. The information density, just based on using it on a browser, feels way too high. I assume it’s a different story once you’re sitting in the actual car, using a bigger screen while actually interacting with it using your fingers. Maybe I’ll play with this mockup on a big iPad Pro in my car later on to get a slightly better impression.

Adobe sinks final nail in Flash’s coffin

Adobe announces end of life for Adobe Flash:

Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

They finally realized it as well.

Twitter removes its eggs

Twitter has just announced that it will be replacing the default egg avatar with a new more human shaped default profile photo.

We reviewed many variations of our figure, altering both the head and shoulders to feel more inclusive to all genders. When the shoulders were wider, the image felt overly masculine, so we decreased the width of the shoulders and adjusted the height of the figure. As a result of these iterations, we ended with a more gender-balanced figure. We chose grays because they feel temporary, generic, and universal. With that, we included a higher contrast color combination to make this image accessible for those with visual impairments. Because of its coloring, the new profile photo also gives less prominence to accounts with a default profile photo.

The news comes after yesterday’s change how replies work on Twitter.

Nintendo has no additional content planned for Super Mario Run

Takashi Mochizuki for The Wall Street Journal:

The Mario game, on the other hand, gives players only one chance to pay—the $9.99 charge to advance to the game’s higher levels. A Nintendo spokesman said the company didn’t plan to release additional content, either free or paid.

Nintendo doing what it usually does best: deliver, but not without some annoying pitfalls. This is just one of them. Another one, just for Super Mario Run, is the way the DRM works. Thought about installing and playing the game while staying in a hotel with the all-too-common crappy Wi-Fi? Forget it.

Even if you thought: Hey, I can install the game somewhere on fast Wi-Fi and will be set. No, you’ll have to download another chunk after you started playing. But even after that the game constantly phones back home to make sure you don’t have an illegal copy. And even on a 16M connection this randomly results in an error message.

Then you get to pay 10 bucks to unlock all levels. Something many people managed to be unaware of – despite all the news before it launched – just judging by the reviews in the App Store. I wonder how people will react once they notice this game is instant abandonware?

And don’t get me started about the nowadays usual ignorance when it comes to push notifications: