Ben Lovejoy


Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two novels.

He is old enough to have owned the original Mac, and still has his Mac Portable in a cupboard as he can’t quite bear to part with it, despite the fact that he has no idea where the power supply is. He is occasionally tempted to turn up to a Genius Bar with it.

He currently owns a rather upgraded MacBook Pro 17, a MacBook Air 11, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and Thunderbolt Display 27 – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

Ben Lovejoy's Recommended Gear


AAPL: 118.03

Stock Chart

If you’re buying gifts for music lovers in your life, there has never been a better time to do it: there’s a vast range of products to choose from at every price level. But here I’m focusing on the premium end of the market – a main gift for someone who you love as much as they love music!

These are products consistent with my philosophy of buying the right thing once. Gifts that will be appreciated as much a few years down the line as they will when first unwrapped.

Let’s start with headphones …  expand full story

The average Apple Watch owner interacts with their Watch 60-80 times a day, but most of that usage doesn’t involve anything more than looking at the watch face, checking the time and information displayed in the complications. The least common thing people do on the Watch is read emails.

These are among the findings of two very different studies noted by Fortune. Wristly’s latest update provides a whole raft of data about what people do with their watches, based on a large panel of 1450 owners, but relying on users to estimate their usage. A Stockholm University study took the exact opposite approach, studying a mere dozen owners, but analysing video from wearable cameras to measure what people actually did rather than what they reported …  expand full story

November 25

AAPL: 118.03

Stock Chart

Following Monday’s report that Apple is planning to launch Apple Pay in China in February of next year, Bloomberg reports that it has reached a preliminary agreement with UnionPay to use its card-processing terminals. The agreement was an essential step along the way as UnionPay has a monopoly on card-processing in China.

The agreement is provisional, as it still requires the individual banks to agree. They have reportedly been reluctant to agree to the 0.15% cut Apple takes of each transaction. Given the transaction volumes involved, that soon adds up to a significant chunk of the tiny percentage banks charge retailers.

That isn’t the only hurdle Apple needs to overcome …  expand full story


Not too long after the first rumors surfaced, Apple has given its usual non-confirmation that it has acquired Faceshift, the company behind the technology Star Wars used to animate the faces of CGI characters. It’s not an obvious fit for Apple, so what could be the thinking behind the purchase?

Like Apple’s patents, it is sometimes easy, I think, to read too much into some of the company’s acquisitions. Sure, it doesn’t go around acquiring companies randomly, but it may not always be after the complete package. It may well be that there is some small element of the company’s technology that Apple wants, or it may be an acquihire – where it’s the engineers rather than the specific tech the company wants.

But in this particular case, there is reason to suspect that Apple does have an interest in the broad brush-strokes of what Faceshift does …  expand full story

November 24

AAPL: 118.88

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Update: Apple said it had examined Mr Mouritzen’s Apple Watch and found no evidence it had caused his reported injuries. Additionally, the company noted that the damage to the Apple Watch band is external and there are no active electronics in the band that could have caused the band to heat up.

Danish news site Ekstra Bladet reports that a man received severe burns from his Apple Watch, and has been waiting for several weeks for the results of an Apple investigation. Photos accompanying the report (below, not for weak stomaches) seem to show two long burn marks on the wrist of Jørgen Mouritzen, together with what appear to be burn marks on the strap.

Mouritzen and a witness to the event say that they are both certain the heat came from the Watch itself and not from any external source …  expand full story

We’ve seen the Apple Pencil being well received by high-profile artists even before launch, but I’ve so far seen little on what pen guys think of it. The Pen Addict filled in the gap with a review in which Myke Hurley said that it provided the digital handwriting experience he’d been waiting for.

Sure, I like to doodle and scribble as much as the next person, but all I wanted to know was if the Apple Pencil would give me the digital handwriting experience I had wanted for so longTL;DR: It does … 

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Pebble smartwatches just got a little smarter, allowing some iPhone owners to reply to text messages directly on the watch – something that has so far been possible only on the Apple Watch.

Pebble is excited to introduce Text Reply for iOS, a beta feature making us the first non-Apple smartwatch to bring voice and text replies to our iPhone users […]

After setting things up, users can respond with a voice reply or pre-defined text to incoming items from the iOS Messages app.

There are, though, a few disclaimers …  expand full story


November 23

AAPL: 117.75

Stock Chart

Apple seems to be working hard with its card company partners to promote Apple Pay in the UK. Alongside a MasterCard promo offering free travel in London, Visa Europe is today launching a two-month long ad campaign designed to emphasize the speed, ease and reliability of the service.

Featuring a central theme of anticipation, the campaign uses imagery that captures the pause before a primary action – the weightlifter before pressing the lift, the pianist before striking a chord, the chameleon before making a strike – the scenes then snap into the dramatic conclusions as an analogy to how fast, easy and reliable using a Visa card in Apple Pay is in everyday situations such as paying to use the Tube or in a café … 

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Futurama fans may have been disappointed when the series ended, but if you want one last venture into the futuristic cartoon world, there’s an iOS game on the way. Fox has teamed up with German developer Wooga to create a game to be entitled Futurama: Game of Drones …  expand full story


Apple is making good progress with its aim of having 40 retail stores open in China by next October, announcing that the 27th store will be opening on Saturday in the Chaoyang Joy City shopping mall, Beijing. It will be the fifth Apple Store to open in China’s capital city.

Apple has doubled its year-on-year revenue from China for two quarters running, with the country already representing a larger market than Europe and on track to become a bigger one that the USA …  expand full story

November 20

AAPL: 119.30

Stock Chart

We reported recently on an Apple patent application for a ‘panic mode‘ on an iPhone, where using a specific finger on the Touch ID sensor could do anything from locking down the phone to calling 911 and starting audio and video recording.

There are pros & cons to the idea, of course, with one 911 operator saying that a similar Blackberry function has resulted in “thousands and thousands” of false emergency calls, each of which have to be treated as real calls for help until demonstrated otherwise.

But if we waited until someone manually dialled 911, it seems to me that there’s merit in some of the other ideas …  expand full story


Developers of pro apps have long complained that Apple’s App Store policies are a barrier to them creating iOS versions of popular Mac apps. The launch of the iPad Pro has brought the issue front and center, with a number of developers sharing their thoughts with The Verge.

There are two key issues, they say. First, pro apps are expensive, and users want to satisfy themselves that they are worth the money before they pay. Free trials are the usual way to achieve this with desktop apps, but the App Store doesn’t allow them to offer the same option for iOS apps …  expand full story

Apple has officially acknowledged an issue reported by multiple iPad Pro owners on Reddit and Apple’s own support forum, in which some units become unresponsive after charging. We’ve even happened upon a few dead iPad Pros at the Apple Store for which an Apple employee shyly asked us to avert our eyes while he did a hard restart.

Some users report that the device won’t wake after charging, while others who left it switched on say that the Pro fails to respond to either the touchscreen or the home button. The problem can be resolved by a force restart, and this is the action Apple recommends while it investigates …  expand full story


November 19

AAPL: 118.78

Stock Chart

Tim Cook has consistently spoken out against the possibility of converging iOS and OS X devices, most famously saying that “you can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but these things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”

He repeated this line earlier this week, stating that Apple wants to make “the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world – and putting those two together would not achieve either.”

However, some of your comments suggest that not all of you agree, so we’ve adopted the suggestion of one commentator and posed the question …  expand full story

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