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 16-inch MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air 11, 12.9-inch iPad Pro (LTE 256GB), iPhone 12 Pro Max (256GB), Dell Ultrawide 49-inch monitor, an Apple Watch (Series 4 WiFi) and multiple 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 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

Today

A new Spatial Audio ad (embedded below) has just been posted to the Apple Music YouTube channel, featuring the Masego & Don Toliver track Mystery Lady.

One amusing note is that a lot of people watching the ad will be doing so on devices that don’t support Spatial Audio, so will instead be marveling at the wonders of… stereo.

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Smartphone shipments will grow 12% this year, despite chip shortages – Canalys

Market intelligence company Canalys is forecasting that global smartphone shipments will grow 12% this year, despite challenges posed by the chip shortage. However, it says that phone makers will need to choose their priority countries and regions…

Much as I rely on my Apple Watch, I do need a good reason to upgrade models, and so far Apple has had a mixed track record in persuading me to do so.

I started with the original model, aka the Series 0. My next upgrade was to the Series 3, which sold itself to me primarily on the Siri improvements

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Apple is facing yet another antitrust investigation, though this one seems odd: It’s an examination of the Apple/Google duopoly in the mobile operating system market.

Today’s report from Japan is very light on details …

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A gag order imposed on Apple by the Trump administration should never have been allowed, argues Microsoft president Brad Smith.

We learned last week that the Department of Justice served a subpoena on Apple, requiring it to hand over data on both journalists and members of the House Intelligence Committee …

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June 11

Trackpad gestures are a much-loved macOS feature, but if you wanted to use the Windows equivalent – Windows Precision Touchpad gestures – you were out of luck until yesterday.

Microsoft added the trackpad gestures way back in 2013, and there have been a variety of unofficial drivers to allow them to be used on Macs, but it’s only now that Apple has offered support for them as standard through Boot Camp, in version 6.1.15 …

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I’ve argued for years that moving beyond passwords is something that urgently needs to happen from both a security and usability perspective.

The technical framework to make it possible to abandon passwords – WebAuthn – was agreed back in 2018, and Apple added support for it in Safari last year. Adoption is as yet close to zero, but all that looks set to change, thanks to the latest move by Apple …

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Microsoft OneDrive for Mac is being updated with a significant number of improvements, designed to make it both easier and faster to use. The company used a blog post to lay out its roadmap for upcoming enhancements for Mac users.

Topping the list is Known Folder Move, which is a simple way to ensure that your working documents are always backed-up to OneDrive, no matter which folders they are in …

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A “cold tech war” between the US and China could still leave Apple in the firing line, argues Wedbush, even after the Biden administration rolled back some of the Trump-era policies.

President Biden this week revoked the scheduled US bans on TikTok and WeChat, and has generally been taking a less aggressive stance with China, but there is still plenty of potential for trouble ahead …

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June 10

An IATA Travel Pass app is expected to go live sometime within the next couple of weeks, enabling travelers to prove to airlines that they have received COVID-19 vaccinations and/or tested negative for the infection.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for airlines, representing almost 300 of them …

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M1X MacBook Pro launch would be in November if stats meant anything

We’ve so far had a variety of predictions about when we might expect an M1X MacBook Pro launch. Jon Prosser’s claim of WWDC was of course proven wrong, while Bloomberg was more cautious in suggesting “as soon as early this summer.” We now have another new entry, this one proposing November…

iPod touch prototype looks better than the real thing

An iPod touch prototype has surfaced, apparently showing an alternative design for what would be the 5th-generation model of the device – and, to my eyes at least, it looks better than the model Apple actually launched …

House Democrats are reportedly set to announce no fewer than five US antitrust bills, one of which would in part target Apple’s App Store.

The planned legislation is based on recommendations made in the 450-page antitrust report, which found that Apple was among the tech companies to engage in “deeply disturbing” anticompetitive behavior

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June 9

Siri antitrust concerns have been expressed by businesses, says the European Union’s competition chief, with the same issues being raised about Alexa and Google Assistant. The remarks were made after a consultation process that heard from more than 200 companies over the course of a year.

Competition head Margrethe Vestager said there are four concerns…

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The US Senate has approved $52B in funding to boost US chip production, as part of an effort to address the global chip shortage, and to reduce dependence on China. Apple was one of the companies lobbying for the move.

In total, the US Innovation and Competition Act provides almost $250B in funding for US manufacturing, with $52B of it specifically allocated to chip fabrication. However, it is as yet unclear whether it will also pass in the House …

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One of the new privacy features included in iCloud+ is what Apple calls Mail Privacy Protection. While that’s designed to protect Apple Mail users from overly intrusive marketeers, some are worried that it could badly hurt small publishers of email newsletters.

That’s because it will deny them access to a key metric used to sell the advertising that makes many such newsletters viable …

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June 8

A review of job ads placed by Apple suppliers in China found that over a hundred ads across more than 30 companies were illegally discriminating against Muslim Uyghurs.

Other forms of discrimination found in ads that explicitly stated that the work was for Apple included age limits and bans on dyed hair and tattoos …

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Canalys is out with its estimates for US Mac shipments in the first quarter of the year, and there is mixed news for Apple when compared to PC brands.

On the plus side, Apple experienced dramatic year-on-year growth of 35.7%. This was driven by people working and studying from home during the pandemic, and being willing to spend more money on having good-quality up-to-date kit …

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We got a demo of how Universal Control works during Apple’s demo yesterday, but it left a few unanswered questions.

For example, we saw Craig Federighi drag his cursor from a Mac on the left to an iPad on the right – but how did Universal Control know where the iPad was in relation to the Mac? …

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We yesterday summarized everything Apple announced in the WWDC 2021 keynote, which covered iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, watchOS 8, iCloud+, and more.

Reactions have been mixed, with some suggesting that the event wasn’t as exciting as it could have been, while others have expressed the view that Apple has introduced a solid set of new features that will add up to a significantly better experience …

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