New Year Weekend
In this section, we recommend the content that we liked most this week. It may not be new, and have a range of formats, the only thing that matters is that it managed to distinguish itself from everything else we heard, read or viewed in the past week.
Interviews with Apple executives are rare, and one with Phil Schiller is not to miss. We don't get to know anything about future products obviously, but we gain insight into the development of products already released. For example, Phil is particularly proud of two deceivingly simple products: the Apple Pencil and the AirPods. Aldo, we think of them as peripherals instead of computers, they are complex devices that arise from the famous software, hardware, and ecosystem integration existing at Apple.
From my perspective, the much-exaggerated news that Apple was purposely slowing older devices only happened because it was Apple. Maybe the engineering team solved a problem without communicating it to the marketing team; perhaps they never expected this would become a problem. Whatever the reason my take is that Apple´s fault was of lack of communication. If they had framed it from a different perspective, for example: "Our latest update resolves hardware crashes on some older devices with aging batteries. Unfortunately with time and use some cells may not be able to provide the necessary power necessary for an iPhone to achieve peak performance without rebooting. To avoid this situation, we carefully limit the maximum performance of some devices. Affected devices will notify their owners recommending a batterie exchange to restore full capabilities. The people affected by this problem will also benefit from a 50% discount on their batteries replacement because we care about our users." Hopefully, they would write a statement better than mine, but you get the point. This article provides detailed information on how the throttling mechanism affects the iPhone.
The Apple Maps had an almost catastrophic launch. Orders of magnitude inferior to Google Maps, in some cases the disparities were laughable. Over the years they have evolved significantly, and even I recently changed from Google to Apple Maps. Despite this, Google was years ahead in development, and it still has a lead over Apple, that maybe it will maintain for a long time.
NASA best work was always achieved by problem-solving, even when there's no problem to solve at all. When it comes to microgravity and human biology you can never be too careful. Even today there are a lot of unanswered questions about how our bodies work in space. Once, things we take for granted were on Earth, like nutrition, weren't completely understood. Did our bodies mechanisms for moving food through the entire digestive system work without Earths gravity? No one was sure. Some of the early short-lived missions aimed to answer that. Fortunately, they found out that peristalsis or, the involuntary muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract, could still happen. As usual Atlas Obscura presents us and a great bite-sized article so you can shew on.
The App Store is always evolving. Today it's well beyond the simple repository of apps you can buy that it used to be in the not so distant past, and far beyond what the competition offers. I've been very positively surprised when Apple updated the App Store last year. It finally feels more like a community of like-minded developers, curators, and users. Apps are easier to preview, with beautiful videos and photos, and my favorite addition, the Today tab. In it, you'll find frequently updated content on App development, stories about the developers, app curation, and the usual daily app lists and app of the day. We chose two examples for developers of games we love that we think you'll enjoy.
As we progress to OLEDs (and future microLED) having more black elements on the screen makes for better battery life. Since both, these technologies achieve perfect deep black levels by essentially turning off those diodes the screen ends up using much less energy. Unfortunately, Apple has still not released a dark mode like it did on the Mac, but we'll bet that it's coming soon. Before that, you can already take advantage of many 3rd party apps that do provide a dark mode. This Lifehacker article will help you find all of them.