December 5, 2019

Snippet: How Apple Pulled Off Its Epic Snowball Fight ‘Snowbrawl’ Ad ☍

Simon Dumenco for Ad Age:

It was indeed shot with iPhone 11 Pros, but if you’re imagining that the kids in your life can easily film something this awesome-looking in your backyard, well, Apple’s own “making of” video (also below) will quickly disabuse you of that notion. It shows director David Leitch (“Deadpool 2,” “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”) working with a surprisingly large team, including stunt coordinators, to make the short film. Apple’s own description of “Snowbrawl” suggests that you can “Make your holiday videos epic with the highest-quality video in a smartphone, ever” if you buy the latest iPhone, but, well, it’s a little (read: way) more complicated than that.

I love when Apple goes all-in on some sort of creative project. As a company, they don’t need to, but demonstrating that the camera on a phone you may already have in your pocket is good enough for their advertising is way better than sharing specifications. Hiring a Hollywood director and crew to do it is just showing off.

Snippet: Apple Alters Maps and Weather to Show Crimea as a Russian Territory ☍

Chris Welch for The Verge:

When used within Russia, Apple’s Maps and Weather apps now list Crimea as being a Russian territory. The move, reported by BBC News, is the latest example of Apple kowtowing to a government’s demands to keep its devices and services in good standing. The company faced significant criticism in October for removing the Taiwanese flag emoji from the iOS keyboard in Hong Kong.

This latest change stems from Russia’s roundly condemned annexation of Crimea in 2014. It only applies when Crimea is viewed or searched for with Apple Maps inside Russia; elsewhere in the world, Crimea isn’t labeled as Russian territory.

I know I’m a few days behind on this, but I wanted to weigh in—while I understand that Apple has to navigate some weird diplomatic waters with some foreign governments, moves like this feel gross. I’m guessing this is a bit of a rock-and-a-hard-place situation for Apple and they’re trying to comply in those regions as best they can, while still doing what is right outside of those regions.

What happens if everyone using iOS devices in Crimea goes into Maps, tapped on a place/business/etc., and used “Report an Issue” that the item in question is not in Russia?

December 2, 2019

“Not forgo computers, but to decide you want to use a computer only when you need to. In other words, people find it quite easy to kill an entire day on a Mac without knowing how, and more difficult to do the same on an iPad. And that’s a plus for the iPad.”

November 21, 2019

Snippet: T-Mobile’s John Legere Was Never a ‘Cool CEO’ ☍

Karl Bode for Vice:

T-Mobile’s trash-talking CEO John Legere will be stepping down in April, a decision industry watchers say could harm the company’s controversial $26 billion merger with Sprint.

In a statement, T-Mobile said that Legere would be stepping down on May 1, 2020, replaced by current Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert. […]

Under Legere, T-Mobile has been a notorious union buster, creating illegal fake unions in the hopes that employees wouldn’t join a real one. The company also supported the repeal of net neutrality and broadband privacy rules, attacked groups like the EFF, and cozied up to the Trump administration to gain approval for its unpopular, competition eroding merger with Sprint. […]

Modern T-Mobile was born from the remnants of the DOJ’s decision to block AT&T from buying T-Mobile in 2011. The blocking of the deal forced AT&T to pay a $4 billion break up fee, money then used to propel T-Mobile to success.

Ironically, a company born out of government opposition to wireless consolidation is now pushing for one of the most controversial megadeals in industry history. The shift, driven largely by T-Mobile majority owner Deutsche Telekom, forced Legere into a role that’s in stark contrast to the brash, consumer-friendly persona he’d built since 2012.

It’s been fun to watch Legere’s antics over the past few years. Some of the things T-Mobile has done under his direction have been good for the wireless industry, but I think anyone who doesn’t see that there’s a bit of a facade (and maybe a heel-turn) is fooling themselves. This has seemed to be breaking down more now than in the original “Uncarrier” days and I think Legere is going to exit at the right time for himself.

Snippet: Tim Cook Appears Alongside Trump in Re-Election Campaign Ad Shot in Mac Pro Plant in Austin ☍

John Gruber:

I’ve been on board with [Apple CEO Tim] Cook’s stance on engaging Trump. Participating in Trump’s technology council does not imply support for Trump. Engaging Trump personally, in private phone calls and dinners, does not imply support. But appearing alongside Trump at an Apple facility in a staged photo-op is implicit support for Trump and his re-election.

This wasn’t a promotion for the Mac Pro or its assembly plant. It was a promotion for Trump. This video makes it look like Trump’s trade policies have been good for Apple and that Tim Cook supports Trump. Both of those things are false. Even Trump’s predictable claim that this is a new facility is false — Apple, in what at the time was a high-profile shift, has been manufacturing Mac Pros at the same facility since 2013. Apple isn’t bringing Mac Pro assembly back to the U.S. because of Trump’s trade policies; Apple is keeping Mac Pro production here solely because Trump granted Apple an exemption to his tariffs — tariffs that he himself clearly does not understand.