Ben Lovejoy

@benlovejoy

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

June 17

AAPL: 95.33

-2.22
Stock Chart

The first true mobile phones back in the 1980s did exactly one thing: phone calls. It wasn’t until 1994 that carriers introduced what was then a revolutionary idea – using mobile phones to send text messages. I’m old enough to remember when only geeks did it, and it took several years before it really took off as a mass-market thing.

Fast-forward to today and, for many of us, the very least-frequent thing we do with our phones is use them to make phone calls. When I do make a voice call, I’m as likely to use a VoIP app like FaceTime or Skype as I am the actual phone app on my iPhone.

With iOS 10, Apple makes that behaviour likely for even more people. The VoIP API effectively allows apps like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook calling and others to be integrated into the iPhone every bit as deeply as the phone app itself …

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Update: Apple has now issued a statement.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China. We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.

Bloomberg reports a Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruling that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus violate the design patent of a Chinese phone, and that Apple must cease sales of both models within the city.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus infringe on Shenzhen Baili’s patent rights because of similarities to its 100C phone, the Beijing Intellectual Property Office wrote in its decision. Apple, whose iconic gadgets helped define the modern smartphone industry, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Bizarre intellectual property rulings are not unusual in China – witness Apple losing the exclusive right to the iPhone trademark there last month – but this one does appear to set a new record, as the iPhone 6 looks nothing like the Baili 100C …

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9to5toys 

June 16

AAPL: 97.55

0.41
Stock Chart

Developer Andrew Wilk tweeted screengrabs of what appears to be an early version of Dark Mode in the first iOS 10 beta, running in Xcode.

Mac Aficionados responded with their own screengrabs, saying that they’d found it in iBooks, Safari, Alarm and iTunes, though it’s unclear whether the iBooks example differs from the existing app-specific dark mode introduced in iOS 9 …

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9to5google 

June 15

AAPL: 97.14

-0.32
Stock Chart

Update: A YouTube spokesperson responded to us with the following statement: The overwhelming majority of labels and publishers have licensing agreements in place with YouTube to leave fan videos up on the platform and earn revenue from them. Today the revenue from fan uploaded content accounts for roughly 50 percent of the music industry’s YouTube revenue. Any assertion that this content is largely unlicensed is false. To date, we have paid out over $3 billion to the music industry – and that number is growing year on year.

Nine Inch Nails frontman and Apple Music exec Trent Reznor has told Billboard that YouTube is built on stolen content:

Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous. It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That’s how I feel about it. Strongly.

Reznor made the comments in an interview alongside Apple SVP Eddy Cue, VP Robert Kondrk and ‘no official job title’ Jimmy Iovine in which the three discussed the lessons they have learned through launching the streaming music service …

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electrek 

While Apple introduced its App Transport Security feature in iOS 9, which ensured that all connections between apps and servers must be encrypted, it wasn’t compulsory for developers to use it – and Google even helped them disable it.

All this will end on January 1st next year, reports TechCrunch, when Apple will require all apps to use HTTPS connections to servers to ensure that only encrypted data is transmitted …

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Supply-chain sources cited by the variously-reliable Digitimes suggest that Apple maybe gearing up to launch the second-generation Apple Watch alongside the iPhone 7, in September.

Shipments of chips and components for the second-generation Apple Watch are set to begin in the third quarter, the sources indicated.

The time-frame is of course vague, but component production sometime in the July to September range would be compatible with Apple launching the Watch with the iPhone 7. If the next iPhone is an iterative model, as widely expected, then a new Watch could give the launch event more punch.

The same report suggests that Apple may be hoping for a significant boost in sales …

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June 14

AAPL: 97.46

0.12
Stock Chart

Reactions to yesterday’s keynote have, as usual, been mixed – but there has been a distinctly disappointed note to much of it. In particular, those not following the rumors as closely as 9to5Mac readers have expressed frustration at the lack of hardware announcements. One Reddit thread along these lines was at 1550 comments and counting at the time of writing.

Who needs hardware when you get emojis?

RIP Mac Pro

What have we done to anger the apple hardware gods? Do we need to sacrifice an apple II ?

This is really really disappointing. Unbelievable that the rMBP hasn’t been updated in over a year and the prices have stayed the same.

Others weren’t happy about what they saw as the limited focus on Macs in general, one commenting that ‘they spent longer on iMessage than they did on macOS.’ But despite the lack of hardware, and of major surprises in general, my view is that yesterday’s announcements didn’t disappoint …

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9to5toys 

Apple was today granted a patent for what it describes as a ‘consumer electronic product [which] includes at least a transparent housing and a flexible display.’ The accompanying drawings show a device which has a display which completely wraps around the device – covering front, rear and sides – with only tiny bezels at the top and bottom.

While Apple uses generic language throughout most of the patent text, it does use the example of a smartphone in places, and the main drawing clearly shows an iOS device with a phone icon present, indicating that the company has an iPhone in mind.

If you’re wondering about one oddity in the drawings, there’s a reason for that …

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One of the challenges Apple has faced in making its services truly personal and proactive is its focus on privacy. While Google unashamedly collects masses of data about its users, even going to far as to scan emails for boarding passes and restaurant reservations in order to provide automated reminders, Apple has been extremely conservative in the amount of data it collects.

We even learned a few months ago that any collection of customer data requires sign-off from three ‘privacy tsars’ and that getting permission can take a year.

A feature Apple mentioned yesterday almost in passing seems to allow the best of both worlds – collection of data while ensuring user privacy – but a leading cryptography expert has questioned whether Apple’s approach is really safe …

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June 13

AAPL: 97.34

-1.49
Stock Chart
9to5google 

A couple of weeks after suggesting that Apple is moving to a three-year cycle on major iPhone updates, Nikkei is back with another pessimistic report. Citing an unnamed source ‘at a major supplier,’ the piece predicts that total iPhone sales for the year will be 210-220M, the lower number representing an 8.6% year-on-year drop.

The view is reportedly backed by Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, who is said to have told staff that demand for iPhones “will remain feeble until at least early next year.” Foxconn declined to comment on the report.

Suppliers say that Apple has been over-estimating demand when placing orders, and that one marketing decision has also caused issues …

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We’re following construction progress of Apple’s Campus 2 via a series of drone videos and renders, but Popular Science got invited in for a closer look at some of the unique features of the building.

The piece starts out with some stats, among them that there are around 3,000 sheets of glass, the heaviest of which weighs 7000 pounds. And it’s the glass that’s been one of the great challenges of the project …

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electrek 

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