Linked List Archive

The Initial Charge Linked List is a collection of notable links and brief commentary, with entries regularly added throughout the week.

The 10.2-Inch iPad ➝

I haven’t had a chance to share my thoughts on the new iPad quite yet, I’ve been a bit busy lately — in a good way. But this is some pretty solid updates. A larger 10.2-inch display, Smart Keyboard support, Apple Pencil support, the A10 Fusion chip, and more.

I am disappointed that Apple didn’t announce new iPad Pros as well, I was all geared up and ready to upgrade my aging iPad Air 2. But I guess I’ll have to wait a bit longer before I introduce a new iPad into my workflow. Although this new iPad is an excellent option, the prospect of moving another of my devices to USB-C is just too attractive.

I am left wondering why the iPad Air exists, though. This new iPad is so close to the iPad Air in terms of features, power, and screen size, but at a much lower price point. And if you’re interested in a more powerful iPad, the iPad Pro isn’t that much more expensive than the Air. Why would someone purchase an iPad Air when the other options seem so much more enticing?

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Plex Partners With Lionsgate to Expand Its Collection of Free Streaming Movies ➝

I can imagine a future where I don’t pay for any streaming services at all. Plex already stores all of my ripped DVDs and Blu-rays, adding in free streaming of Warner Bros. and Lionsgate content will give us access to quite a bit content all in one place.

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Apple Watch Milanese and Leather Loop Bands Fall to $99 ➝

I bought a black Leather Loop for my wedding a few years ago and have worn it a dozen or so times since then. It’s a nice band and I find it even more comfortable than the Sport Loop. For dressier occasions, it’s just perfect. But my favorite watch band remains the Woven Nylon style, which I’m still a bit irritated that Apple discontinued.

With this price drop, though, I think I might pick up the Meyer Lemon Leather Loop for myself. And maybe buy one of the Milanese Loops for my wife so she can have a more dressy option.

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Apple TV+ ➝

Coming November 1 for $4.99 a month. And much like Apple Arcade, the subscription can be shared with up to five family members.

Here’s the thing about the pricing, though, you might never have to actually pay for it directly. Apple is offering a free year when you purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV. If you buy Apple products with any degree of regularity, you’ll likely be able to string these free years together indefinitely.

If not for the free year deal, I don’t think I’d pay for the service. I’ve been watching less and less content from for-pay streaming services lately. My wife and I spend most of our TV time watching YouTube, game shows on Pluto TV, and various sitcom reruns with our over-the-air antenna.

But who knows, maybe I’ll watch something on Apple TV+ and end up getting hooked.

Update 9/18/19: Apparently the free year of Apple TV+ is limited to one per family, a there won’t b any way to string these together or stack the offers for multiple years.

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Apple Arcade ➝

Coming September 19 with over a hundred games for $4.99. And you can share the subscription with up to five family members. That’s a great price. As long as the games are good, I can’t imagine this not being a hit.

I’m sure I’ll give the service a try, at least during the one month trial, but I’m not sure if this is something I’ll keep long-term. I already have a pretty big backlog of games on Switch that I haven’t played yet. And I haven’t seen anything on the service that’s more compelling than what I have on Switch — Super Mario Odyssey, Celeste, and more.

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Search Ads for Competing Products ➝

A great collection of links and quotes from Michael Tsai. Apparently Google lets companies purchase ads on search results using a competitors’ brand name as the keyword. The folks at Basecamp were essentially forced to purchase ads for their own name in order to prevent competitor’s ads from being listed above their own, organically high ranking homepage.

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‘iCloud Clusterfuck’ ➝

Craig Hockenberry:

The months since WWDC in June have been a terrible experience for both customers and developers alike and the literal center of the chaos was Apple’s iCloud syncing service.

For us, it all started with customers reporting lost Linea sketches in their iCloud Drive. Initial investigations led to a common factor: all of the people affected had installed the iOS 13 beta release.

And when I say lost, I mean really lost. Entire folders were either gone or corrupted. Apple’s mechanism to recover deleted files was of no help. The customers with weird folder duplicates were the “lucky” ones.

I installed iOS 13 on my iPhone relatively early on in the beta cycle. I ran into issues with Shortcuts and promptly downgraded back to iOS 12 a few days later. Since then, I’ve stayed far away from the idea of running the beta on any of my devices.

Here’s the thing, the data I keep in iCloud is just too darn important for me to take a chance with. Especially with beta releases like we saw with iOS 13.

Luckily, there is an eventual happy ending to this story, though:

Now it appears that the entire stack is getting rolled back and there won’t be new iCloud features in iOS 13 (at least initially.) I honestly think that’s the wisest course of action at this point. My only wish is that Apple would make an official statement.

If it’s broken, fix it before it ships. And that’s exactly what Apple appears to be doing.

I really like Craig’s suggestion for the future, too — iCloud simply can’t be a beta again. But I actually think having the ability to backup and restore all of your iCloud data is a more attainable first step that would mitigate a lot of fear from situations like this in the future. Essentially, Apple could prevent beta releases of iOS from touching iCloud data unless the service first confirms that the user has completed a download of an iCloud backup file. Then, if anything goes wrong, the user can at least restore from that point.

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128GB Storage Options on iPhone ➝

If I had the option to purchase a 128GB iPhone last time around, that’s the model I would have bought. But with a little one on the way, I plan to buy an iPhone with the largest storage capacity I can reasonably afford.

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