Friday Morning News
Apple’s Newsroom has a small feature on photographer Rachel Short, who, after being involved a car accident, was diagnosed with a C5 fracture in her spine, leaving her quadriplegic. Before the accident, Short says she would shoot with a variety of cameras, but now, she prefers to shoot with an iPhone, focusing on the image rather than the technical aspects of what makes up a good photo. Short says technology opens up so many possibilities for people with disabilities and limited mobility, and having the iPhone able to let her enjoy her photography is just one part of that.
Apple is highlighting accessibility as part of Global Accessibility Awareness day, and the front page of Apple’s website highlights the accessibility features in Apple software. While Apple’s existing accessibility features page doesn’t seem to have been updated since last year, it’s still a good refresher about the ways Apple is empowering the differently-abled to use technology in a way that enriches their lives.
There’s a similar accessibility focus on the iOS App Store, which I can’t link here for obvious reasons. But over there, as covered by TechCrunch, Apple has a bunch of Shortcuts aimed at helping all users perform everyday tasks more quickly. There’s also interviews with developers, athletes, musicians, and more about how they use accessible technology, which sends the message that you don’t have to be in a wheelchair to benefit from accessibility features.
The Information has, uh, information, on Apple’s strategies involving 5G modems. According to their sources, Apple’s in-house efforts on a 5G modem are further off than originally thought, with Apple’s own 5G modem purported to be ready by 2025, much later than the 2020 or 2021 initially reported. Intel has said multiple companies have expressed interest in their 5G modem assets, leading them to reconsider their position of leaving the 5G smartphone modem business, despite stiff competition and a lack of collaboration hindering progress internally.
Motherboard reports that it’s almost impossible to tell if your iPhone has been hacked. A recent vulnerability in WhatsApp has revealed that while iOS devices are generally more secure than traditional computers as a result of them being more locked down, that same lockdown, sandbox-type architecture means that it’s exceedingly difficult to tell when your device has been affected by some zero-day exploit. How do you tell if some nefarious process is running in the background? How do you access a device remotely to tell if it’s been compromised in any way?
An interesting patent says Apple could have used pinhole-sized holes in an iPhone display to facilitate fingerprint reading, suggesting that an iPhone sans home button could still have used some form of Touch ID. The patent seems to describe something very similar to optical fingerprint technology, where light is reflected off a fingerprint to sensors, but using pinholes in-between display pixels in the display instead of a transparent screen. It’s a fascinating idea, and I wonder why Apple didn’t go ahead with it.
Macworld tells us about six powerful utilities that make the Mac worth using. Yes, iOS users have their shortcuts to chain together individual actions, but you know what’s cool? Using Keyboard Maestro to automate pretty much any aspect of user input you care to name. Or having a clipboard manager for everything you’ve ever copied, as well as all the little things you use the menu bar for.
Twitter’s TweetDeck has been updated with a new tweet-composing interface, that lets users on the Mac create polls, include GIFs in their tweets, and an emoji picker that’s slightly different to their current. People are up in arms about Apple’s anti-competitive practices when it comes to the App Store, yet I don’t hear about anyone complaining that third-party Twitter client developers are treated like second-class citizens.
There’s now a Mac version of the Twitter Archive Eraser, which will can delete your tweets en-masse. You can choose what to keep or delete everything, which should prevent your tweets from being used against you in the future. It’s a great tool for managing your tweets, if you feel inclined to delete them on a regular basis.
The Steam Link app is now available on the App Store, which lets you stream PC games to your iOS device. How successful your streaming is depends a lot on your home wireless network, although simpler games more suited to either the touchscreen controls or one of the iOS-compatible gamepads should fare better than something that requires whole-keyboard input. As pointed out by Ars though, the iOS version of Steam Link lacks access to the Steam store, presumably so Valve avoids Apple’s 30% cut of all in-app purchases. Anyone else think the icon looks like the Discord icon, or is it just me?