Summary of “It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone”

The same company that always seems to turn up when it’s time to cross into a new era of technology: Apple.
There’s another, more important reason for Apple to take on tech addiction: because it would probably do an elegant job of addressing the problem.
Every tech company needs a presence on the iPhone or iPad; this means that Apple can set the rules for everyone.
With a single update to its operating system and its app store, Apple could curb some of the worst excesses in how apps monitor and notify you to keep you hooked.
For starters, Apple could give people a lot more feedback about how they’re using their devices.
Mr. Harris suggested that Apple could require apps to assign a kind of priority level to their notifications.
Apple could set rules for what kind of notifications were allowed in each bucket – for instance, the medium bucket might allow notifications generated by other people but not those from the app itself.
Apple released a statement last week saying it cared deeply “About how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them,” adding that it had a few features on addiction in the works.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Steve Jobs changed the future of laptops 10 years ago today”

“It’s the world’s thinnest notebook,” said Steve Jobs as he introduced the MacBook Air 10 years ago today.
Jobs introduced the MacBook Air by removing it from a tiny paper office envelope, and the crowd was audibly shocked at just how small and thin it was.
We’d never seen a laptop quite like it, and it immediately changed the future of laptops.
Most didn’t even have full-size keyboards, but Apple managed to create a MacBook Air with a wedge shape so that the thickest part was still thinner than the thinnest part of the Sony TZ Series – one of the thinnest laptops back in 2008.
It took Windows laptop makers years to catch up to the MacBook Air, all while Apple’s laptop kept winning praise from reviewers.
Even today, Apple still sells the MacBook Air at a starting price of $999 with a design and display that now feels too dated against the modern competition.
It’s still possible Apple might surprise us with a new MacBook Air, but given its position between the 12-inch MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro options, it feels unlikely.
The existing MacBook Air hasn’t been updated for nearly three years, and it certainly looks like it’s now living out its final days after being so influential for so many years.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Bill Gates limits tech use for his kids”

Bill Gates has set strict rules in his home regarding the use of cell phones and other technology.
For all his success in designing world-changing technology, Bill Gates has set surprisingly strict rules for how his kids can use that technology, the billionaire philanthropist has said in multiple interviews.
“You’re always looking at how it can be used in a great way – homework and staying in touch with friends – and also where it has gotten to excess,” Gates told the Mirror in April 2017.
Each of Gates’ three kids – ages 15, 18, and 21 – has grown up in a home that forbade cell phones until age 14, banned cell-phone use at the dinner table, and set limits on how close to bedtime kids could use their phones.
Gates told the Mirror his kids routinely complained that other kids were getting phones much earlier, but the pleas did nothing to change the policy.
Gates has some company in his old-school approaches to smartphone regulation: Steve Jobs, the famed Apple CEO and inventor of the iPad in 2011, didn’t let his kids use the product at home.
“We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs told New York Times reporter Nick Bilton shortly after the iPad’s release.
According to educators Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book “Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber,” it should be telling that people like Gates set strict rules on tech use.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple Finally Finds a Hit With Strange Headphones”

When Apple launched AirPods in September 2016, they were an easy target of ridicule.
Apple said the AirPods would be available in late October, but then suffered from supply-chain issues.
We all had our fun with the strange design and troubled launch only to see AirPods score a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate and dominate the market by September 2017.
Apple has made sure that the onboarding and connectivity experience work better when you’re using its proprietary products, and for some users, that’s enough of a selling point to grab AirPods when making the switch to wireless.
“I see AirPods out and about now, [which is] different than a year ago when, I think, Apple made a good effort to get AirPods into influencers’ hands. They would have had a botched rollout if they hadn’t figured out how to get them to the right people in the early weeks. even though they knew they were going to have supply problems,” says Brian Blau, a Gartner analyst who lives in the Bay Area.
“You have to think maybe Apple was leading that charge and then people got used to it and thought, ‘You know, maybe the AirPods thing wasn’t as bad as we thought it was.
A handful of similarly unusual-looking AirPod alternatives have likely helped Apple’s version seem regular, though their own successes have varied.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple develop AirPods as wearables, and the company could implement features like fitness tracking or, maybe further down the line, augmented-sound capabilities similar to Nuheara’s technology.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to check if Apple is slowing down your iPhone”

Apple recently admitted that it has been throttling the performance of certain iPhones with older batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
To prevent unexpected shutdowns that sometimes occur when processors don’t get enough power, the company dialed down the speeds of iPhone processors in units with those batteries.
Apple rolled out its performance-throttling measures for the iPhone 6 and newer models to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: 1.4 GHz. iPhone 6S and 6S Plus: 1.84 GHz. iPhone SE: 1.84 GHz. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: 2.34 GHz. Note that your older iPhone may not be throttled if you’re running an older version of iOS. For the iPhone 6, 6S, and SE, Apple’s performance-throttling feature was introduced in iOS 10.2.1.
Even if your older iPhone isn’t being throttled, it could still be worth getting a battery replacement by Apple.
Chances are the battery capacity in your older iPhone model has degraded over the months and years you’ve owned it, and you can get improved battery life with the new $29 replacement Apple’s offering.
The best way to check your older iPhone’s battery life is to take it to an Apple Store.
Set up an appointment, and an Apple Genius will run your iPhone through the company’s tests.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Our favorite-and least favorite-tech of 2017”

We’ve polled each member of the Ars Technica reviews team about their favorite and least favorite tech products of 2017.
Sometimes there’s a difference between the best tech product of 2017 and your favorite.
Ron Amadeo Favorite: OnePlus 5T. The Google Pixel XL 2 is the best Android phone you can buy, but I’m a sucker for good, cheap devices, so I’ll have to pick the OnePlus 5T as my favorite product of the year.
My least favorite product of the year is probably Samsung’s new voice assistant, Bixby.
We’re used to Samsung shoveling piles of half-baked software out the door with every smartphone release, and sure enough, Bixby is a slow, barely working “Me too” product, with no redeemable qualities.
Siri is useful because it is on all your Apple products.
The Google Assistant is useful because it’s on most Google and Android products and any voice commands access the Google apps you’re using everyday anyway.
Because it’s so dominant, it gets away with driving out better products and services from would-be great tech companies on both the Web and mobile.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple apologizes for iPhone slowdown drama, offers $29 battery replacements”

Apple says in its letter that batteries are “Consumable components,” and is offering anyone with an iPhone 6 or later a battery replacement for $29 starting in late January through December 2018 – a discount of $50 from the usual replacement cost.
This is a significant change in attitude around iPhone batteries – a decade ago, when the first iPhone came out, Apple said most iPhone users would never need to replace their batteries.
iPhone owners have long believed Apple artificially slows down older phones to drive new sales.
Apple had actually announced this change to performance along with iOS 10.2.1 a year ago, as the fix to a problem with the iPhone 6 that caused unexpected shutdowns if older batteries couldn’t provide enough power to the processor.
For its part, Apple continues to insist that it’s never artificially slowed down phones – just that it’s aggressively managing phone performance to maximize the lifespan of iPhone batteries.
Processor speed is just one piece of the battery- and performance-management puzzle, according to Apple: iPhones with older batteries may also more aggressively dim their screens, have lower maximum speaker volumes, and even have their camera flashes disabled when the system needs more peak power than the battery can provide.
In any event, Apple has a long way to go rebuilding trust with its customers – this story broke well past the tech press and hit TV morning shows and local news with zero nuance about “Smoothing instantaneous peaks” and battery chemistry degradation.
In its letter, Apple says “We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible.” If Apple is serious about that, and equally serious about the battery being a consumable, these first two steps are just the beginning of a major reset in the way we think about maintaining the most important devices in our lives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Apple admits it slows older iPhones, confirming Geekbench report”

Apple on Wednesday said a software feature released last year makes your phone operate more slowly to offset problems with its aging lithium ion battery.
As batteries get older, they don’t hold their charges as well as newer batteries, and can have worse problems when the charge is low or the temperature is cold.
The operating system slows down your device to prevent it from shutting down, Apple says, but only in cases of cold temperature, a low battery charge or very old batteries.
“The battery life issue for Apple, and iPhones, is a fascinating one because the average life of an iPhone is so much longer than other devices,” he tweeted.
For some people, the solution to a slower, older iPhone may be to update the battery instead of purchasing a brand-new device.
Apple charges $79 to replace the battery of an iPhone that’s no longer covered by a warranty.
Apple has faced criticism about how difficult it is to replace iPhone batteries.
If you opt to replace your iPhone battery, the feature that slows down the phone will automatically turn off.

The orginal article.

Summary of “and how it’s empowering him after his heart attack”

Scott Killian never imagined his Apple Watch might save his life, but that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when he had a heart attack in the middle of the night.
Who wears his Apple Watch to bed three to four nights a week for sleep tracking, says his Apple Watch woke him up around 1 am with an alert from a third-party app called HeartWatch saying his resting heart rate was elevated while sleeping.
Killian experienced mild indigestion which can be a sign of a heart attack, but says he generally didn’t feel sick.
His Apple Watch charted his heart rate at around 121 beats per minute in the middle of the night while data previously captured showed his average resting heart rate at around 49 beats per minute.
Then the hospital took a blood test and discovered an elevated enzyme that signals a heart attack has occurred or is occurring.
Killian plans to stop boxing after his heart attack, but he purchased a home workout machine to maintain his physical activity.
“There’s a really big psychological deficit to having a heart attack in that your feeling of being strong and healthy evaporates overnight,” Killian told me.
Apple Watch not only saved Scott Killian’s life, but now it’s empowering him to manage his life after the heart attack.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Silicon Valley Kowtows To China”

Why do CEOs such as Cook, and Google’s Sundar Pichai, attend these types of events? What is the impact of their participation in and statements at these events likely to be? How much influence do these large companies have over China’s internet regulation and what do they stand to gain or lose by publicly supporting internet freedom? -The ChinaFile Editors.
Shaun Rein, founder and managing director of the China Market Research GroupChina employs the power of its wallet-both the State’s and the consumer’s wallet combined together-to reward brands that heed the wants of China politically, while using this same power to punish countries and, increasingly, companies that go against China’s wants politically.
The rewards China bestows on the these foreign internet companies can be huge-China is Apple’s largest market outside of the United States.
Zeng Jinyan, writer, scholar, activist, and documentary filmmakerAt the 4th World Internet Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended Apple’s removal of VPN apps from the app store in China, saying that China should not be criticized.
Chinese long have known that Apple products sold inside China are not the company’s authentic advanced technology.
Apple products sold in China are modified to suit the Chinese government rather than Chinese consumers.
Chen Weihua, chief Washington correspondent for China Daily and the deputy editor of China Daily USA. This is not a new debate at all.
I want to repeat my argument in the Google case in 2010: If you want to help change China for the better, you should involve China in your work and be there on the ground.

The orginal article.