September 28, 2023

Snippet: Watch Linda Yaccarino’s Wild Interview at the Code Conference ☇

Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge:

On Wednesday evening, X CEO Linda Yaccarino appeared onstage at the Code Conference with frustration and protest. “I think many people in this room were not fully prepared for me to still come out on the stage,” she told interviewer Julia Boorstin, senior media and tech correspondent at CNBC.

Yaccarino sounded rattled. She’d found out earlier in the day that Kara Swisher, a Code Conference co-founder, had booked a surprise guest to appear an hour before her: Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety. He has been an outspoken critic of the direction Elon Musk has taken the site.

This is giving “I didn’t do the reading assignment and we’re discussing it in class today” vibes.

Snippet: Apple’s Next iPhone SE Will Be the One to Retire the iPhone 6 Design ☇

Andrew Cunningham for Ars Technica:

The report claims that the iPhone 14 will serve as the basic template for the next iPhone SE, like the iPhone 8 has served as the template for the last two SE refreshes. Like the iPhone 14, the new SE is said to have a 6.1-inch screen with an OLED display panel and a notch instead of a Dynamic Island. The report doesn’t mention whether the phone will get an upgrade from the iPhone 14’s A15 Bionic chip; although, given that the current SE already uses the A15, a newer chip is definitely possible.

The report claims that the phone will get a couple of upgrades that the iPhone 14 doesn’t have—a USB-C port to bring the phone into compliance with various regulations requiring the port in new smartphones, plus the new programmable Action Button that currently only exists on the iPhone 15 Pro.

While I avoid most rumors on this site, this seemed especially interesting. It’s always fun to talk about the newest, top-of-the-line iPhones in September, but the SE is an equally important part of the lineup—it generally sells for longer than a year (second-generation SEs were still being sold as a dirt-cheap option long after the third-generation model was available) and is an excellent, entry-level option for Apple’s lineup.

Part of me would love to see the fourth-generation SE build off of the 13 mini design, but most people like bigger phones and something based on the 14 makes sense. This also allows a much larger battery, something that has hurt the second- and third-generation SEs, as well as the 12 mini and 13 mini. Moving to USB-C is mandatory, while the Action Button will sort of future-proof it in the lineup for awhile. Depending on when it’s introduced, it could outright replace the current SE and 13, slotting below the 14 nicely.

September 27, 2023

Snippet: Punkt MC01 Legend is the Post-BlackBerry QWERTY Phone Your Thumbs Deserve ☇

Kevin Michaluk for CrackBerry:

This is where the Legend comes in. Speaking to Punkt’s founder, Petter Neby, I learned that the MC01 has been in his mind for years and he still thinks about it daily. It is a phone he strongly wants to commercialize — both for himself to use and for all of us who crave a quality post-BlackBerry messaging phone delivered in a package that doesn’t compromise privacy. Until he’s able to do that, the MC01 remains, well … just a legend.

This post is from last December, but probably something you had not come across either. In my own phone timeline, I skipped the BlackBerry era, but I’m a sucker for weird tech footnotes. Much like Apple working on the iPad before the iPhone, It seems Punkt was working on the MC01 Legend before the MP01 and MP02 before shelving it. If they were ever to bring it to market, I doubt it will be a big seller, but I’d definitely be curious about picking one up. Maybe it’s because I miss the days of weird and unique phones?

September 20, 2023

Snippet: The New FineWoven iPhone Cases are Very Bad ☇

Allison Johnson for The Verge:

Folks, what you’ve heard so far is true. Apple’s new FineWoven iPhone cases and accessories are bad. Like, really bad. I’ve been puzzling over them for the past week, looking at them from different angles. Picking them up, setting them down, petting them. Seven days later, I still can’t make sense of them and have no other choice but to say it out loud: FineWoven is very bad. […]

If I’m putting one of these cases on my phone, I’m inevitably going to scratch it on accident with a jagged fingernail edge, or it’s going to come into contact with my car keys. And when you scratch FineWoven, the results are seemingly permanent. When we first inspected the cases after picking them up at Apple Park, Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel picked one up and ran his fingernails across it five times — and that was all it took to leave a trail of indelible scuffs on the fabric. The scratches are still there a week later, no matter how many times I’ve tried “buffing” it out by rubbing my finger over it.

I think Apple needs to be called out for these, not because some folks preferred leather, but because these cases aren’t going to hold up. I ordered one alongside a new iPhone and the case arrived Monday. While I kind of liked the feel of it, just removing it from the box led to a permanent scratch on the inside from the cardboard. I initiated the return process almost immediately, giving that the record of the shortest time I had an Apple product in my possession. While they’ll probably protect the phone from bumps and scrapes, it seems that they’re going to wear extremely fast and in a bad way. A case shouldn’t be more fragile than the phone it’s holding.

September 17, 2023

Snippet: Tim Cook on Why Apple Still Uses Twitter ☇

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

On the heels of Apple’s “Wonderlust” special event, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with John Dickerson for an interview on CBS Sunday Morning. In the interview, Cook discussed Apple’s environmental goals, while also touching on the company’s decision to continue using Twitter, investing in Texas, and more.

When asked by Dickerson whether Apple should cease advertising on Twitter, Cook had an explanation (of sorts) for Apple’s continued commitment to the platform.
“It’s something that we ask ourselves. Generally, my view is Twitter’s an important property,” Cook said. “I like the concept that it’s there for discourse and there as a town square. There’s also some things about it I don’t like.”

Apple should move away from X Twitter full stop. While the service still has some decent traffic, I doubt many people are learning about Apple’s products through it. Plus, there’s no control over where those ads will appear—do you really want a post talking about the new iPhone next to some homophobic, racist, antisemitic, or just willfully ignorant tweet? I’m guessing that Tim Cook and Apple are probably placating Elon Musk just a little as he’ll white to regulators that the biggest company in the world is bullying him, which is not a great look either. It’s a tough spot and I think the better path forward is to slowly ease your way out of it, rather than just abandoning it completely.