Friday Morning News

Bloomberg tells us the uncomfortable truth, or what many had suspected given middling reviews of the HomePod when it was first released. Apple’s smart home speaker just isn’t selling as well as Apple had hoped it would, despite widely-praised audio quality over the competition. It’s hard to say what’s driving the poor sales, whether it’s the high price compared to other products in its category, or lack of Siri smarts, but whatever it is, Apple will need to work on it or end up with warehouses full of the things.

A number of counter-points presented by 9to5Mac make a decent argument for the lack of HomePod sales. There’s a bunch of reasons why HomePod sales have tailed off, including target market differences, no reason why you’d want to own more than one (at least for the moment), and the fact that this is Apple’s go at a first-generation product. It’s also entirely possible — likely, even — that everyone expects too much from Apple.

If nothing else, at least Siri is learning new jokes. The responses to “tell me a joke” now include dozens of new responses, suggesting that there’s someone, maybe even a few someones, at Apple that is still working on Apple’s voice-powered personal assistant. Increasing Siri’s capabilities in the personal assistant space will take time.

Apple has started warning users about running 32-bit apps on Macs. The first time a 32-bit app is opened on macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, users will see a warning that the app requires updating to “improve compatibility”, directing users to learn more from the support article. You can also get a list of all the 32-bit apps on your Mac by going into System Report. Speculation says that while 32-bit apps will run on the successor to High Sierra, they may run in reduced performance modes or similar.

Two new documentaries from Australian artist Flume will be released on Apple Music next Friday. Flume: When Everything Was New will tell Flume’s story as a musician, while Sleepless: The Story of Future Classic will tell us about Flume’s relationship with the Future Classic label. Watch them both on Apple Music starting from April 20.

If you want to mount your DSLR lens on your iPhone, there’s now an adapter that can let you do that. Chinese company Cinematic International Company Limited has created an iPhone accessory that lets you mount Canon’s EF lenses, Nikon’s F lenses, and Sony’s E lenses to an iPhone, although calling it merely an adapter is probably a misnomer; it’s more of a platform that you can stick a smartphone on that then connects to your DSLR lens of choice.

MacStories has 11 tips on working from your iPad. There’s some valuable tips on getting more out of your iPad productivity experience, including opening directly to a single note, setting up Favourites in files, and making use of text replacements for often-typed phrases.

Dave DeLong writes that there’s a significant lack of parental controls for iPads. What parents really need is more akin to what we have on the Mac — the ability to set limits on how long kids can use iPads for, ways to set more granular restrictions, and a way to set appropriate usage times so kids aren’t staying up all night watching YouTube videos or playing games.

Macworld takes us through iOS apps that need to be on the Mac. If there’s going to be an argument for running iOS apps on the Mac, or at least making them work better, then the Mac’s lack of apps in a few key categories is as good as any. Wouldn’t you rather listen to podcasts using your iOS client of choice rather than iTunes, which you might not use for anything else otherwise?

The Sweet Setup says the best text editor for macOS is Atom. In determining the best text editor, they also clarify the difference between a text editor and a Markdown editor for writing, but if you’re a developer or work with plain text files a lot, then Atom is the app you should be taking a look at.

Notable Replies

  1. Erwin says:

    Waiting for the hi-fi stereo upgrade

  2. AVC says:

    Everyone knows how lousy Siri is, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a big factor in the slow sales.

  3. Right, and maybe then the price is a little on the high side for just a speaker.

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