WSJ: Jony Ive Became ‘Dispirited’ After Apple Watch and Sometimes Failed to Show Up to Meetings – MacRumors

Ive reportedly wanted to position the watch as a fashion accessory, but some Apple leaders envisioned it as an extension of the iPhone. Eventually a compromise was agreed, and the $349 watch was tethered to the iPhone, with Apple creating a $17,000 gold version and partnering with Hermès.

I don’t have a WSJ subscription, so I’m liking to MacRumors’ article about this. This jibes with what I’ve been saying about the Apple Watch from the beginning. It always seemed that the Apple Watch was a vanity project for Jony Ive, given his interest in watches, and the fact that a disgustingly priced gold model was released. I still remember the look on Tim Cook’s face when he announced the price of the gold model.

The company sold about 10 million units in the first year, a quarter of what Apple forecast, a person familiar with the matter told WSJ. Thousands of the gold version are said to have gone unsold.

I’m surprised that Apple forecast 40 million units, because, if I recall, the rollout to different countries didn’t occur very quickly. However, I’m sure Apple is satisfied at how the Apple Watch turned out.

I find this bit interesting:

According to sources who spoke to WSJ, Ive pushed for the Apple Watch to be made despite disagreements from some executives, who questioned if a device so small could have a killer app that would compel people to buy it.

That is certainly the weakness of the Apple Watch, or at least it was at the beginning. It’s a new product category, but it has been clear over the years – especially the first few models and watchOS versions – that Apple did not have a clear vision for the device, but was just trying to see what worked.

Even now, the Apple Watch is a bit of an odd device. While it is very useful, and I wear one, it doesn’t have any “wow” factor. Sure, I can get notifications, unlock my Macs with it, even make calls without my phone handy (I have the cellular model), but it is still just an extension of the iPhone that, if I didn’t write about this stuff, I probably wouldn’t use.

Source: WSJ: Jony Ive Became ‘Dispirited’ After Apple Watch and Sometimes Failed to Show Up to Meetings – MacRumors

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 89: New Mac Malware, Apple Public Betas, and More

There’s been a lot of Mac malware appearing lately, and Intego has been discovering many serious new threats. We look at some of these malware, discuss an interesting new OneDrive feature, then talk about installing and using Apple’s public betas for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Jony Ive Says Farewell to Apple

When I saw this on Twitter last night, I let out a very loud “Wow!” and surprised my partner who was reading in bed next to me. Jony Ive is leaving Apple after 30 years with the company, and after having designed all of Apple’s iconic products from the iMac to the iPhone, from the MacBook Air to the Apple Watch.

As Mark Gurman points out in a Bloomberg article:

Jony Ive has been leaving Apple Inc. for years

This began after the release of the Apple Watch, and was solidified when “Ive was named Apple’s Chief Design Officer, a role that shifted day-to-day responsibility of the hardware and software design teams to a pair of executives, Alan Dye and Richard Howarth.”

Ive was also named Chancellor of the Royal College of Art in London, and his tenure began in July 2017. The Chancellor is an honorary role, but Ive has participated in many activities at the RCA. And this brought him back to his home country, England.

Ive’s crowning glory is certainly Apple Park, the new spaceship campus in Cupertino, and it’s understandable that he has perhaps gotten bored with the quotidian task of designing the most popular computing device ever made.

Ive will be launching a new company, LoveFrom, together with designer Marc Newson, and their first client will be Apple. They probably won’t do much work for Apple, but this is a soft landing that will not hit Apple’s share price too much.

Ive is one of the iconic designers of computing products, even though his overly minimalist approach can be criticized at times. (Such as removing all traces of color from the macOS Finder, making it drab and utilitarian.) But his influence will live on.

Locations of Media Files in macOS Catalina

With macOS 10.15 Catalina, and the splitting of iTunes into three apps (Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV), media files will be handled a bit differently. Here’s where the various files will be located.

  • Music: By default, these files will be stored in ~/Music . (~ is a shortcut for your home folder, the one with the house icon and your user name.)
  • Apple TV: For TV shows and movies, the default location is ~/Movies . Music Videos, however, will stay in the Music app.
  • Podcasts: Podcasts are stored in a cache folder in ~/Library/Group Containers/243LU875E5.groups.com.apple.podcasts . This is not designed to be user accessible, and the podcast files do not display the original file names. You can, however, drag podcast files from the Podcasts app to the Desktop or to a folder.
  • Books: Since Apple spun off the Books app, ebooks have been stored in a folder in your Library folder: com.apple.BKAgentService. This folder will contain both ebooks and audiobooks. As with podcasts, you’re not intended to visit this folder, and ebook files do not have their original names, though audiobooks do display their names. However, if you select a file and press the space bar to view it in Quick Look, you will see its cover. (This is not currently the case with podcasts; using Quick Look on a podcast file lets you listen to it, but there is no album artwork attached.)

When you upgrade from macOS Mojave, both the Music and Apple TV apps will remember the location of your existing media, if you are using a different folder than the default. And each of these apps has an Advanced preference allowing you to choose a location for its media folder. This means that you can store your music on one volume and your movies and TV shows on another volume, which can be practical for many people with large libraries.

Note that macOS Catalina is just a beta, and this information is subject to change.

Apple’s “Pro” Branding Confusion

Mac proIt’s been a week since Apple announced their new “cheese-grater” Mac Pro, the first non-iMac desktop computer in more than five years. Many Mac users have been griping about the price – it starts at $6,000, but, with lots of RAM and extras, could cost upwards of $35,000 – with an odd sense of entitlement. These people are complaining about a computer that’s not for them, but are acting as if it should be.

Part of the problem is Apple’s use of the term “Pro” in its product names. This new Mac Pro is really a computer for pros, for a very small niche of pros: high-end (movie) video editors, music producers, etc. It’s not for some Mac user in their bedroom, study, or basement. The price tag is not excessive for the target demographic.

But Apple has used “Pro” to market other devices. I have two of them: a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro. Does this make me a pro? I guess in some ways I am. I use my Macs and iOS devices for professional work, but as a writer, the processing power I need is limited. The only work I do that stresses my processors is photo editing, and, to be fair, I find that with my current iMac, I move Lightroom sliders, and I don’t see the changes in real time, so I could use a bit more power. But I don’t need the new Mac Pro. (I did own two of the previous Mac Pros: one cheese grater and one trashcan.)

Apple originally used the “Pro” term to distinguish a higher level of functionality than the standard models. It makes sense to brand devices, such as the iPad, in such a way. It’s a lot better than just having an iPad with three different levels of specs. Same with the MacBook Pro, which was born back when the MacBook was the plastic Apple laptop. The Pro device came with a metal body, faster processors, better video, and more. But then the MacBook (plastic) was retired, and some years later, the MacBook (aluminium) was introduced (alongside the MacBook Air). It’s fair to say that Apple branded itself into a corner.

So we now have a real Pro desktop Mac again, at a price that is really for pros. And this confuses people, because they had come to believe that, with a MacBook Pro or iPad Pro, they were pros.

Maybe Apple should have called the new computer the Mac Pro+.

Three Key Points about Apple’s WWDC Announcements

Apple made some interesting announcements at their Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday. Here are three points to keep in mind.

It’s not for you.

Not every Apple product is for you. Just as the iPod touch, which was recently updated, isn’t for everyone (it’s widely used in industry), the new Mac Pro isn’t for everyone. So don’t gripe about the price (okay, you can gripe about the $1,000 stand for the display, but only because it’s a bit ridiculous; however, it’s a nice stand). Don’t drool over it, any more than you’d drool over, say, a Leica or Hasselblad camera to take vacation photos.

But keep in mind that perhaps Apple will introduce a less expensive Mac based on the new Mac Pro at some point in the future.

It’s just a beta.

I have an Apple developer account, allowing me to access beta software; I need this to be able to write about it as we approach release date. Lots of Apple websites are already writing about the betas of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. But remember, these are very early betas, so any missing features shouldn’t be written off yet. There will be plenty of changes as the software matures over the summer.

It’s not dead.

In spite of what much of the press is saying, iTunes is not dead. First, the app has been renamed, but the iTunes name isn’t gone. You still buy music from the iTunes Store, accessible from the new Music app. Second, you can still buy music from the iTunes Store. I a journalist heard on the BBC news claim, on Tuesday morning, that Apple had killed off their music download service. Third, iTunes has been split into three apps, retaining nearly all the functionality of the current iTunes. Fourth, iTunes isn’t bloated. And, fifth and finally, iTunes on Windows – which represents perhaps 90% of iTunes users – isn’t changing.

Don’t expect Apple to retire the iTunes Store name any time soon. That brand is much too valuable.

Apple Trade-In Weirdness

My current MacBook Pro is about 19 months old. Seeing the new models released this week, I thought it might be time to upgrade to a faster model. I don’t use the MacBook Pro a lot – it’s my second Mac for testing, and for emergencies when there’s a problem with my iMac – but I have found myself using it more lately because it allows me to work in a location other than my desk. I’ve started moving around more in my home office, finding it a nice change of scenery to work in a different room.

Apple has been offering trade-ins on their website for some time now. I used this twice last year, trading in an iPhone 8+ and an iPad Pro. The process was smooth and seamless, and the amount that Apple paid was acceptable, compared to what I might have received by selling the devices on eBay. I used the following formula to determine this:

if Apple price ? eBay net price - (hassle factor selling on eBay)
then accept

Today, I went to the Apple website to see how much I could get to trade in my current MacBook Pro. I entered my serial number, and the device was not found. I then went through a process answering a few questions about the device. In the menu where I was to select the exact model, it was not available; the most recent device shown was a 2016 MacBook Pro.

So I called the Apple online store, and a helpful salesperson checked on her end. She didn’t find the same model either. She found a 2018 model, or a 2016 model, but not mine. For the 2018 model, the price would be around £700, she said, which, according to the formula above, would be acceptable. But for the 2016 model, she quoted £245, which would be ridiculously low. She said that I could send it in for trade-in, and the amount would be somewhere between the two, and I would have the choice to not accept what was offered.

But Apple’s hassle factor now exceeded the potential eBay hassle factor, and I decided to not only not trade it in, but to not buy the new MacBook Pro. I don’t need a new laptop that badly, and I certainly don’t need this kind of hassle. I’m surprised that this specific model doesn’t show up in Apple’s trade-in database, but what has been a smooth process for other devices in the past has too many hurdles for me to bother.

What every Apple user should know about software updates

You use lots of software, and much of it is updated regularly. Updates to apps–and also to the operating system–can provide new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes, and those fixes often remedy security vulnerabilities to protect you from potential threats. All of these are important, and it’s a good idea to keep your software updated. (In most cases, at least.) Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

macOS Notes App Using a Ridiculous Amount of Memory

I recently started using Apple’s Notes app for taking notes and storing temporary bits of text and URLs. I use Evernote for long-term storage of this sort of thing, but Notes is an easy to use tool for me to jot something down – or dictate it – on my iPhone, and have it available almost instantly on my Mac.

However, I’ve noticed that Notes is using a huge amount of RAM. Here’s what it is currently using on my Mac:

Notes ram
That’s 7.38 GB on a Mac with 16 GB RAM. You can also see that there is 7 GB of swap memory (virtual memory) being used.

This has something to do with networking. If I look in Activity Monitor, there are about 100 processes called Notes Networking, each of which is using between 8 and 9 MB RAM.

Notes networking memory

I have no idea why this is happening; this isn’t just a memory leak, but these are processes being spawned for some reason. And my Mac has not been running long; the last time I restarted it was less than two days ago.

I’m not going to waste my time calling Apple, because their support is broken. Nor will I waste my time filing a bug report.

The only solution is to quit Notes regularly and relaunch it.

Why Is Apple Asking for These Documents to Change the Address on a Developer Account?

I have an Apple developer account so I can access beta software for macOS and iOS. I’ve had this account for more than ten years, while living in two countries. In the UK, where I live now, I’m at my third address in six years.

It was time to renew my account, so I went to the Apple developer website to pay for the coming year, and I noticed that I hadn’t changed my address the last time I moved. I proceeded to do so, and was then told that I’d need to upload a document with proof of my address to Apple, something that was never asked before. Here’s the email I received:

Apple dev

I am certainly not uploading a scan of any official government-issued document to any website; I don’t trust anyone to hold on to data that sensitive. (In addition, living in the EU, there are GDPR issues that don’t seem to be addressed.) I’d be happy to upload a utility statement, but certainly not a bank statement. Apple is asking for very sensitive information here, and I find this disturbing.

But why do they even ask for this? This is the first time that they have done so. And what if the account is in the name of a company?

Another point: they only accept documents in nine languages (Brazilian Portuguese, and not Portuguese Portuguese?). What do people in other countries do? Or is it possible that they don’t ask for this document in other countries?

Finally, the upload link doesn’t even work.

Not found

I’m a bit disturbed by this. Apple is requesting very sensitive documents, giving no information about how they are being handled, whether they are compliant with GDPR rules for these documents, and not even saying why they need these documents.