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, 12.9-inch iPad Pro (LTE 256GB), iPhone X (256GB), Apple Thunderbolt Display, an Apple Watch (Series 4 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

August 7

Apple Watch Fall Detection has been credited with saving a number of lives, thanks to its ability to automatically call emergency services if it detects you falling and you don’t confirm that you’re ok.

But the feature could get even more sophisticated in future, with the ability to send comprehensive data to emergency services so they can get a sense of your condition before the ambulance arrives …

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A Facebook iOS gaming app has been forced to launch without access to any games, thanks to an App Store policy which bans streaming gaming services.

Facebook Gaming on Android allows users to play games, as well as watch the gameplay of popular streamers – but iOS users cannot play games …

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The Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese apps was further escalated yesterday with an executive order banning transactions with Tencent and TikTok owner ByteDance. That hasn’t gone down well, as TikTok threatens a legal challenge to the order, saying that it is unlawful.

The company said it was ‘shocked’ by the order, which shows ‘no adherence to the law’ …

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Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that a quality problem has emerged during testing of iPhone 12 camera lenses from one of Apple’s suppliers. Coatings on the wide-angle lenses were found to have cracked.

The problem was spotted during a high-temperature, high-humidity test designed to ensure that the cameras can cope with use in tropical climates …

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August 6

Geekbench tests show that the base-model 2020 iMac is around 20% faster than the 2019 equivalent in multi-core performance.

The bottom-end Intel Core i5 3.1GHz machine achieved a multi-core score of 5688, compared to the 2019 base model’s 4746. Single-core performance was 1090, which is only 6% faster than last year’s 1027.

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Twitter opens up anti-troll feature to all iOS app users [U]

Twitter tested an anti-troll feature earlier in the year, allowing select users to choose who is able to reply to their tweets. The experiment was clearly a success, as the latest version of the iOS app makes the feature available to all …

Apple takes great pride in its Accessibility features, promotes them heavily, and has won awards for them. For someone living with a disability, the right technology can literally be life-changing. Apple’s technology helps many people live a more independent life.

There is, though, still room for improvement. To better understand the differences Apple technology makes, and the gaps that still exist, I interviewed Colin Hughes, a 55-year-old Brit who has severe muscular dystrophy – a muscle-wasting disease which leaves him effectively quadriplegic, unable to use either arms or legs …

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Apple’s artificial intelligence (AI) chief says that Apple is using machine learning in almost every aspect of how we interact with our devices, but there is much more to come.

John Giannandrea says he moved from Google to Apple because the potential of machine learning (ML) to impact people’s lives is so much greater at the Cupertino company …

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Back in July, Morgan Stanley argued that buying AAPL was too risky, stating that the current stock price was unsustainable. It’s now been joined in this view by Bank of America.

The bank downgraded AAPL from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral,’ but there was an element of contradiction in the note to investors …

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After Trump announced that TikTok would be banned from the US unless it was bought by an American company, the White House has now said it wants to ‘clean’ Chinese apps from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Apps like WeChat had previously been referenced but not directly threatened by the White House, but the administration is now seeking to block this and other Chinese apps from the US as part of a 5-point plan …

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August 5

An automated mistake by Apple resulted in the company remotely killing all of a Mac developer’s apps. Users were unable to open them, and a message flagged them as malware, advising users to delete the apps to avoid damaging their Macs.

Developer Charlie Monroe, creator of the Downie video downloader, among other apps, said that Apple didn’t even send him a message saying it had happened, and for several hours he didn’t know whether he still had a business or not…

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Getting your hands on discount iTunes cards has never been difficult in the past. Keeping an eye out on 9to5Toys or searching on ebay would normally bring up cards at 15-20% below list price.

Stores like Best Buy would also incentives for buying from them. But finding such deals is already proving difficult …

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An Apple battery has received a safety certification in South Korea, and the design and specs suggest that it’s destined for a future 13-inch MacBook Air model. One possibility is that the battery is for the first ARM MacBook Air.

Above, you can see the 2020 MacBook Air battery on the left, and the new battery on the right …

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August 4

T-Mobile has today switched on a standalone 5G network, and is promising better coverage and performance. It says the move will see its 5G coverage extend to almost 2,000 more towns and cities.

Carriers have so far piggy-backed sub-6Ghz 5G service onto their existing LTE networks. This is an effective way to roll out coverage quickly, but does come with some limitations …

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New feature lets you easily fact-check WhatsApp messages

Social media is the main way hoax messages get traction these days, so a new feature has been added to let you easily fact-check WhatsApp messages …

Apple customers no longer the #1 target for phishing attempts

Last year, Apple customers were the number one target for phishing attempts, scammers sending emails with links to fake Apple websites in an attempt to get their hands on Apple ID credentials.

Security company Check Point said that’s changed this year, and Apple is now only 7th on the list …

Fears have been raised that President Trump’s TikTok ruling – banning the app in the United States unless US operations are bought by an American company – could see China take revenge on Apple.

Two government-backed Chinese newspapers have both suggested that the White House ruling is unacceptable, and demands a response …

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August 3

More than a thousand ‘deceptively real-looking’ fake iPhones were used to carry out an AppleCare fraud operating between Hong Kong and Switzerland.

Two Chinese citizens, a mother and son, have been charged with fraud. The son faces a four-year prison sentence, as well as being expelled from Switzerland, where he has lived for almost 20 years …

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Warren Buffett’s $35B stake in AAPL tripled in value to $104B

Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway has seen its $35B stake in AAPL triple in value to around $104B following the stock reaching a new all-time high on Friday …

A Chinese company that has accused Apple of patent infringement wants to ban Siri in China until the case is finally decided. It is asking the court for an injunction of the sale of all products which include Siri – which is almost everything Apple makes.

The application follows an earlier court victory in which Xiao-i (whose full name is Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Co) was awarded a Chinese patent for a virtual intelligent assistant …

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