About the Author

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 technothriller novels , a romcom novel and an SF novella series.

He is old enough to have owned the original Macintosh. He currently owns a maxed-out 2016 MacBook Pro 15, a MacBook Air 11, 10.5-inch iPad Pro (LTE 256GB), iPhone X (256GB), Apple Thunderbolt Display, an Apple Watch (Series 3 WiFi) and two HomePods – 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’s known for his op-ed pieces (Opinion, Comment and Change My View) and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review:

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.

If you enjoy his work and would like to express your thanks, you can save this link as your Amazon bookmark. It will take you to the usual U.S. homepage, and you’ll shop as usual at the same rates, but Amazon will pay a small commission (typically 2-4%).

Ben Lovejoy's Favorite Gear

July 20

AT&T promised in January to launch mobile 5G service in a dozen cities by the end of the year, though without naming any of them at the time. It later named three of them, and has now added the next three …

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My colleague Bradley Chambers recently wrote that his single biggest disappointment with WWDC was that Apple made no move to announce an upgrade to the 5GB free iCloud tier.

One of our readers, Sahil Malik, made a wry comment on the $6,699 maximum cost of the new MacBook Pro:

I hope it still includes the free 5gb iCloud thing.

As his comment implies, the 5GB free tier is now nothing less than an embarrassment …

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WhatsApp further restricting message forwarding to address the fake news problem

In the run-up to the US mid-term elections, we’re seeing social media companies making greater efforts to address the problem of fake news. Twitter recently said that it was suspending work on its verification program to devote all its attention to addressing fake news, and WhatsApp has now announced its own measures …

The original Apple Watch is currently set to face an import tariff of 10% under the latest edition of tariff proposals seen.

While iPhones, iPads and Macs should be exempt, the smartwatch is one of a number of devices currently slated to fall foul of the Trump administration’s trade war with China …

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July 19

Spotify thinks letting customers block followers is ‘a good idea’ but no plan yet to implement

Spotify has responded to a feature request for the ability to block followers, saying that it is a ‘good idea’ – but it has no current plans to implement it …

Isolated reports of Apple Pay transactions showing the wrong stores

A friend contacted me yesterday to report that his iPhone was displaying the wrong stores for some of his recent Apple Pay transactions, and it seems he’s not alone in this …

Ken Segall – who was creative director of Apple’s ad agency for 12 years, leading the Think Different campaign – has addressed the oft-debated topic about whether the company is less innovative in the post-Steve era …

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Chinese smartphone brand Huawei claims to be on track to sell more smartphones than Apple by some point next year – a big claim given that it sold 153M handsets last year against Apple’s 215M …

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It’s long been expected that Apple would be the first company ever to achieve a market cap of a trillion dollars, but of late there has been increasing speculation that Amazon may get there first

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TSMC optimistic about 2018 iPhone sales after period of ‘lethargic’ smartphone demand

Apple A-series chipmaker TSMC is optimistic about sales of this year’s iPhones, forecasting ‘high single-digit’ sales growth following ‘lethargic’ demand for smartphone chips …

July 18

Twitter puts verification reform on hold; Instagram testing silent block feature

Twitter is pausing its efforts to reform the blue check-mark verification process. The company says that it is currently directing all its efforts to addressing the fake news problem in the run-up to the US mid-term elections …

A security researcher who analyzed more than 200 million Venmo transactions said that she was able to learn ‘an alarming amount’ about the private lives of users thanks to a privacy weakness in the app.

Anyone can track a Venmo user’s purchase history and glean a detailed profile – including their drug deals, eating habits and arguments – because the payment app lacks default privacy protections …

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With major new product launches, Apple typically seeds review units to friendly sites ahead of time, with an embargo ensuring that all the reviews land at the same time.

With the 2018 MacBook Pro refresh being more of an iterative update, the company hasn’t done that this time around, so we’re seeing a drip-feed of reviews. But there are now enough out to get a good sense of how the new machine is being received …

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Update: It appears the TechCrunch report is based on a misunderstanding. Post updated to reflect our own understanding of the position, including a statement made by Apple to us.

A reported change to the way iCloud data is stored for Chinese iCloud accounts has raised further concerns about the ease with which the government could access sensitive information.

TechCrunch reported that data has been moved to servers owned by China Telecom, a state-owned company – but that report appears to be based on a misunderstanding …

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July 17

GOP congressman tries belt-and-braces approach to restoring net neutrality, with ACLU support [U]

The US Senate may have voted to restore net neutrality, but getting it through the House is a bigger hurdle. However, we’re now at least one step closer thanks to one Republican congressman taking a belt-and-braces approach …

T-Mobile is extending Simple Global, the scheme that pretends to offer you free unlimited data when travelling, to 210 countries – up from the previous 140.

We say ‘get what you pay for’ as what you actually get free of charge is 2G data, but it will now offer a chargeable option for LTE data …

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If you’ve ever been bored while waiting in line for a ride at a Disney theme park, the company has a solution – a kind of reverse augmented reality app …

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I haven’t yet seen any particular reason to give Microsoft’s Edge browser a try, but one feature added to the beta today looks neat: you can now use a photo from your camera roll to perform a search in your choice of search engine.

This is not just a reverse Google Images search, where you can search for a photo already online, but is smarter than that …

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So far, we’ve heard many reports of this year’s iPhone line-up, and seen some claimed schematics, along with renders based on them, but a photo posted today claims to give us our first look at actual components from the 2018 iPhones.

They reportedly show the glass front panels, which cover the displays, for all three models: the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED models, with the 6.1-inch LCD model in the middle …

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July 16

Early standing desks didn’t really get much traction. Few people wanted to be standing all day, so it was only when adjustable sit-stand desks came along that they increased in popularity.

Apple is so committed to them that it is ensuring that every employee at its new Apple Park campus has one, a discreet button moving them between sitting and standing positions.

We’ve reviewed a couple of sit-stand desks, but nice ones aren’t cheap – a problem Dutch company Upstaa set out to solve …

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