Week 4–1, November 2021
“Big thoughts are fun to romanticize, but it’s many small insights coming together that bring big ideas into the world.” — Scott Berkun
● We have seen several apps like Instagram and YouTube replicating the TikTok style with a vertical short video feed, and now Spotify is also joining this list. The company has been testing a new feature in its mobile app that basically adds a vertical feed of music videos that users can scroll through to find something they like.
● Apple is continuing to enhance the music recognition service Shazam, which it originally acquired back in 2018. In a new update, Shazam for iOS should now be able to recognize even more songs. According to the release notes, the app’s listening recognition technology has been updated to listen “harder” and “longer” to recognize what’s playing.
● A bizarre bug in the Twitter app for iOS has emerged over the last several days. According to a number of complaints from users, the Twitter app is unexpectedly repeatedly logging people out of their accounts. The bug apparently primarily affects iOS 15 users, and Twitter has confirmed that it is investigating.
● Apple recently updated its website to indicate that an upcoming iOS 15 and watchOS 8 feature that will let you add your driver’s license or state ID to your iPhone and Apple Watch in participating U.S. states has been delayed until early 2022. Apple previously said the feature would launch in late 2021.
● Apple has halted sales of nearly all of its products in Turkey in response to a worsening economic crisis in the country. As reported by CNBC, inflation in Turkey is nearly 20%, while the country’s lira currency has plummeted by as much as 15%. Apple has halted sales both in-store and online.
● Apple today shared its highly-anticipated annual holiday ad for 2021. This year, the video was shot entirely using an iPhone 13 Pro. Entitled “Saving Simon,” the video comes in at 3-minutes long. Check it out below.
● Wdgts was one of the first apps to bring widgets to iOS 8’s Notification Center in 2014, and it let users easily access a calendar, currency converter, and even a calculator. After seven years, developer Tanmay Sonawane — who’s also behind Soor music player — introduced Wdgts 2 with a major redesign to the app.
● One complaint from new M1 Mac owners is that there doesn’t seem to be any way to enable 1440p Retina scaling on external monitors. Apple has never officially supported this on sub-4K monitors, but there were workarounds for Intel Macs that don’t work with any of the M1 machines. Fortunately, there is now a solution. MacWorld points to a third-party solution.
● Apple’s main chip manufacturing partner TSMC will begin producing Apple’s first in-house 5G modem chips for the iPhone in 2023. The move, which has been under development for several years and enhanced by Apple’s 2019 acquisition of the majority of Intel’s modem business, will allow Apple to shift away from Qualcomm as a supplier for the important chips that support cellular connectivity.
● Journalists, lawyers, politicians, and human rights activists have all been targeted by NSO’s Pegasus software, and Apple has now said that it will send security alerts to customers whose devices may have been compromised. It has already done so for at least five Thai activists and researchers.