Nick Heer, on the Samsung Galaxy Fold:
But not this product. Even if we totally ignore the unignorable display problems and questionable reliability, there are so many basic software implementation problems that it’s hard to see this as anything more than a prototype that is years away from being ready to ship to consumers.
Except it isn’t shipping years from now; I still can’t believe Samsung will deliver these things to customers next week. But they will, and those customers will pay $2,000 for an experiment that might break at any time, all so Samsung can say that they were first.
There’s only been about a dozen Samsung Galaxy Fold devices in the hands of people outside of Samsung and about a third of those broke within the first few days. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why Samsung isn’t delaying the product for a few months so they can get an idea of what’s going on before it’s in the hands of customers.
Guilherme Rambo, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:
According to people familiar with the development of macOS 10.15 – which has been in the works for at least two years – the new version will include support for Siri Shortcuts, a feature introduced in iOS 12 which allows users to create custom voice shortcuts for actions that can be done in apps.
It’s also likely that the Shortcuts app – a result from the acquisition of Workflow – will be available on macOS, the inclusion of system-wide support for Siri Shortcuts on macOS 10.15 strongly suggests it. On iOS, the Shortcuts app is not bundled with the system, users have to download it from the App Store. It’s possible that the same will be true for macOS: users will download a Marzipan version of Shortcuts from the Mac App Store.
I sure hope this story pans out. Now that I’m spending more time working on the Mac, I’ve been stuck using Automator as my automation app of choice, which isn’t ideal. I’m a huge fan of Alfred, which offers some of this functionality with its workflows feature, but it’s just never clicked for me. If Apple introduces a full-scale Shortcuts for the Mac, it’s going to take my automation game to another level.
A great review of the Twelve South BookArc by Josh Ginter. I’ve used this stand with my MacBook Air for a handful of months and I’m a huge fan. It gets my Mac out of the way when it’s connected to my external monitor and gives me precious desk space back. It’s pretty snazzy to look at, too.
Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:
Disney+ will launch in the US on November 12, for $7 a month. It will have a very large library of old Disney movies and TV shows — crucially, including titles from its Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars catalog — along with new movies and series made exclusively for the streaming service. It won’t have any ads. And it will allow subscribers to download all of that stuff, and watch it offline, whenever they want.
This is a great deal for a lot of excellent content. But the most important question for me: will Disney+ play nicely with Apple’s TV app?
Matt Day, Giles Turner, and Natalia Drozdiak, reporting for Bloomberg:
Amazon.com Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.
I’m glad I bought HomePods.
Guilherme Rambo, reporting for 9 to 5 Mac:
Fellow developer Steve Troughton-Smith recently expressed confidence about some evidence found indicating that Apple is working on new Music, Podcasts, and perhaps Books apps for macOS, to join the new TV app.
I’ve been able to independently confirm that this is true. On top of that, I’ve been able to confirm with sources familiar with the development of the next major version of macOS – likely 10.15 – that the system will include standalone Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, but it will also include a major redesign of the Books app. We also got an exclusive look at the icons for the new Podcasts and TV apps on macOS.
If I was still maintaining a collection of MP3 and AAC files in iTunes, I’d be a bit nervous about this news. Hopefully this new Music app will give you the ability to sync music files to your iOS devices, but if it doesn’t, anyone that still manages their music in this way will be forced to move to something else.
I’m just glad I decided to move to Plex a couple of years ago — long before the inevitability of iTunes felt like such a certainty.
Matt Wondra, writing on The WordPress.com Blog:
The suite is launching with Happy Schedule, a new take on workforce management. Designed to handle the complexities that come up when business goals are planned around real-world schedules, it helps you treat your employees like humans instead of resources. Using Happy Schedule, Automattic is able to plan 24/7 customer support while offering flexible working hours to our 300+ Happiness Engineers spanning many timezones.
We’ve been using Happy Schedule internally at Automattic for for several months now and it is leaps and bounds better than our previous solution. And it’s so much nicer than any other scheduling system I’ve used during my many years in retail.
If you work somewhere with employee scheduling needs, you should give it a look.
From a Netflix spokesperson, as published by MacRumors:
We want to make sure our members have a great Netflix experience on any device they use. With AirPlay support rolling out to third-party devices, there isn’t a way for us to distinguish between devices (what is an Apple TV vs. what isn’t) or certify these experiences. Therefore, we have decided to discontinue Netflix AirPlay support to ensure our standard of quality for viewing is being met. Members can continue to access Netflix on the built-in app across Apple TV and other devices.
Translation: AirPlay coming to non-Apple devices makes it difficult for us to prevent piracy. At least that’s my interpretation.
But you can just add this to the list of reasons I’m happy that I canceled Netflix a couple years ago — alongside their decision to not be included in the TV app and their decision to remove in-app subscription purchases from their iOS and Apple TV apps.