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 currently co-writing a screenplay.

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 maxed-out 2016 MacBook Pro 15, a MacBook Air 11, 9.7-inch iPad Pro (LTE 128GB), iPhone SE (64GB), Apple Thunderbolt Display and an Apple Watch (series 1) – 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 Favorite Gear

Today

AAPL: 149.51

-3.95
Apple Glasses will look more like sunglasses than Google Glass ...
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The headline isn’t quite fair: Google has actually reinvented Glass as an enterprise product, and I’m sure it will be successful in that field. The application shown in the video – a technician carrying out a wiring task by referring to head-up video displays rather than paper manuals – makes obvious sense. I’m confident there will be many more engineering and business applications that will prove equally successful.

But it also seems clear that Google has abandoned all hope of selling Glass as a consumer product. It wasn’t just that normal people reacted badly to the device (of which more in a moment), it was also that the geeks who so enthusiastically lined-up to buy the Explorer Edition mostly found that the novelty wore off. It wasn’t too long before most devices were gathering dust.

If the rumors are correct, and Apple is indeed planning to launch its own smartglasses, can it succeed in turning the technology into an appealing consumer gadget … ?

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TransferWise, a service that allows you to send money to people in other countries at a much lower cost than through banks, will soon support Apple Pay in the USA and elsewhere.

Customers will no longer have to enter bank account or payment card details, but will instead be able to select Apple Pay as the source for the funds. The card linked to the Apple Pay account will then be debited …

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Rumors that Apple is working on augmented reality glasses have been growing for some time, and a patent application published today shows how the same approach might be adapted to both a smartphone screen and smart glasses. It also describes how the two devices might be used in tandem.

This embodiment is particularly useful when using a head-mounted display comprising the camera and the screen. For example, the head-mounted display is a video-see-through head-mounted display (HMD). It is typically not possible for the user to touch the head-mounted screen in a manner like a touchscreen. However, the camera that captures an image of the real environment may also be used to detect image positions of the user’s finger in the image. The image positions of the user’s finger could be equivalent to touching points touched by the user’s finger on the touchscreen …

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9to5toys 

When Michael Patterson and his partner Candice created the animated pencil sketch animations for A-ha’s music video Take on Me back in the 80s, they did all the drawings by hand and it took them 16 weeks, working flat out.

Video game company Trixi Studios has now used Apple’s ARKit to create an app that achieves the same thing in real-time …

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Samsung has just reported its highest quarterly profits of all time, hitting $12.65B in the quarter ending in June – putting it ahead of Apple’s projected profits of around $10.54B.

Samsung shares also out-performed AAPL in the last twelve months, gaining 63% against 59% for the Cupertino company …

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Yesterday

AAPL: 153.46

0.72

Foxconn reportedly settled on Wisconsin for its TV & monitor display plant

Foxconn’s first planned U.S. manufacturing plant is reportedly set to open in Wisconsin. This was first rumored last month as one of seven candidate states …

9to5google 

President Trump claimed in a WSJ interview that Tim Cook has promised to build three large manufacturing plants in the U.S. – without specifying when this might happen, where they might be located or what they might make.

“I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he’s promised me three big plants—big, big, big,” Mr. Trump said as part of a discussion about business-tax reform and business investment. “I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”

But there is every reason to doubt this, no persuasive reason to believe it – and little basis for believing it would matter much even if it were true …

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A report on the latest cochlear implants from hearing-aid manufacturer Cochlear has revealed that Apple worked on Bluetooth protocols for direct connection to iPhones – and now licenses it to manufacturers free of charge.

Cochlear implants are used by people who are profoundly deaf, and need to be surgically implanted into the ear. They usually connect to phones via an external device, which are quite obtrusive. What Apple has developed in conjunction with manufacturers of the devices is a protocol which allows that intermediary device to be eliminated, allowing direct connection to an iPhone …

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Niantic blames carriers for Chicago GO Fest failure; says other festivals will go ahead

After Niantic’s Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago turned into something of a disaster – with many attendees unable to use the game at all, and others unable to login or suffering crashes – the company has laid most of the blame at the feet of carriers …

electrek 

Apple’s Find My Friends app can be a really useful way to share your location with your partner, family and friends, but it relies on everyone having an iOS device. Google has just solved that problem by bringing its Trusted Contacts app to iPhone. The app first launched on Android last year.

In addition to working across platforms, it also offers an additional level of control …

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July 25

AAPL: 152.74

0.65

I wasn’t alone in expressing disappointment when Apple discontinued the Apple Thunderbolt Display without announcing a replacement.

The company did later announce that it does now have some display plans in the works – but possibly only a very high-end one designed specifically for use with a much more powerful (and modular) Mac Pro.

We’re hoping that it will be offering something more mainstream as well. I wasn’t impressed by the LG 5K UltraFine Apple was pushing as its official recommendation, and haven’t yet seen anything else that grabs me. Indeed, the wishlist I posted at the time still doesn’t seem to exist …

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Predictions for a ‘strong second-half’ for Quanta computer support expectations of an Apple Watch Series 3 being launched in September …

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When we first started seeing renders based on the ‘notch’ design now expected for the iPhone 8, the cameras, sensors and speakers stood out as they were shown surrounded by visible screen.

We yesterday saw a render based on a different approach: turning the status bar black so that it blends in with the notch, at least if the front of the phone is black. This provides a much neater look, though it could be argued that it detracts from the ultra-thin bezel appearance.

We’ve now been sent a mockup based on a third possible approach …

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9to5toys 

Adobe last year teased a new Mac and Windows photo editor, with the project known as Nimbus. The app appeared to borrow heavily from the simplified iPad version of Lightroom, with a key feature being that both images and edits are stored in the cloud. The idea was that users should be able to switch back and forth between desktop and mobile editing.

The company promised a beta version sometime this year, and it appears that we may now be getting close as Adobe accidentally made a download available to some Creative Cloud customers …

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The latest Consumer Intelligence Research Partners data for the April to June quarter showed that Apple was attracting more Android switchers than at any time in the past 12 months.

The good news for Apple is that relative to earlier quarters, they attracted a higher percentage of iPhone buyers from Android phones. In the past three quarters before the June 2017 quarter, Android owners had represented 14% to 17% of iPhone buyers. With lengthening upgrade cycles and a growing percentage of owners with the most recently released models, continued platform switching will be important to the success of the next iPhones …

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[UPDATE: Apple confirmed to us that any systems that are up to date, running El Capitan or later, are protected. We’ve also confirmed from those in the know that the issue has been fixed since around January and only affected older and out of date Macs.]

A security researcher has discovered a piece of Mac malware that allows an attacker to activate the webcam to take photos, take screenshots and capture keystrokes.

Synack researcher Patrick Wardle says that the malware has been infecting Macs for at least five years, and possibly even a decade …

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9to5google 

July 24

AAPL: 152.09

1.82

Steve Jobs famously compared tablets and laptops to cars and trucks, saying that cars would suit most people’s needs, but there would still be those who needed more powerful and capable trucks. If your automotive needs fall into the latter category, Honda has you covered with a CarPlay option in the 2018 Ridgeline …

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Some rival smartphone manufacturers are waiting to see what features are introduced in the iPhone 8 before finalizing their own plans, according to chip suppliers …

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This year’s Back to School deal, in which Apple offers a free pair of Beats headphones in addition to the normal education discount, is expected to be rolled out in the UK imminently.

A source tells us that Apple is in the final stages of preparations for the UK launch of the deal, which was first announced in the U.S. earlier this month …

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electrek 

Apple’s decision to design its own GPUs for iOS devices rather than license designs from Imagination Tech may have unexpected consequences. A report over the weekend suggests that an equity fund back by the Chinese government is exploring a bid for the company.

Concern is being expressed at the potential security implications of Chinese control over chip designs used in a wide variety of technology, including aerospace and defence equipment …

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