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

Yesterday

Update: Yujingguang, also known as Genius Electronic Optical, has now denied the report.

Smartphone-use lens modules Genius Electronic Optical (GSEO) has maintained its production is still running without issues, and demand from its brand handset clients remains normal.

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 …

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Apple does give us a lot of control over Notifications on both Macs and iOS devices. You can choose which apps are allowed to show them. You can choose where to allow them (Lock Screen, Notification Center, Banners). You can choose between temporary or permanent banners. You can choose the times they are allowed to be displayed. And you can snooze them at other times.

But I’d like more control than that, and the above screengrab shows why …

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Britain’s BBC is trialing a clever new piece of technology that lets you use your iPhones and iPads as a kind of surround-sound speakers for your Mac.

You can try it today with a demo, and then listen to a radio drama series which uses it …

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Foxconn smartphone revenue dropped by 15% in the second quarter of the year, according to the company’s latest earnings report. Although Foxconn has a number of phone clients, the majority of its smartphone revenue comes from Apple.

The company had previously warned that the impact of the coronavirus crisis on smartphone demand would be ‘enormous‘ …

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Can police demand you unlock your phone if they want to examine it for evidence? Courts in different states have given different answers to this question, but New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled that the answer is yes. The court decided that a suspect can be forced to use his passcode to unlock his phone.

Despite the ruling coming from the state’s Supreme Court, however, that may not be the final, definitive answer …

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August 11

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 …

I mentioned last month that I’ve always avoided OS betas in the past, and that remains my firm and unwavering policy where macOS is concerned. However, testing the public beta of iOS 14 on my iPhone, and iPadOS 14 on my iPad, didn’t reveal any nasty surprises, so I’m hoping to have the same experience with watchOS 7.

The majority of you are doing the sensible thing and waiting for the official release. That’s especially smart with the Watch, as there’s no ability to remove the beta: once you’re on watchOS 7, you’re stuck with it. But I figure it’s a relatively low risk for two reasons …

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Kanye West’s presidential campaign ballot filed 14 seconds late, blames iPhone clock

Kanye West’s presidential campaign appears to have hit a bit of a snag after his ballot papers were filed in Wisconsin some 14 seconds after the deadline. West’s campaign lawyer had a variety of reasons he thought this shouldn’t matter, including suggesting that the iPhone clock is ‘notoriously faulty’ …

Abode’s HomeKit alarm system is probably the best one on the market for Apple users, and the company has just announced that the system is coming to the UK.

You can place a pre-order today, with a 20% launch discount, and should receive your system next month …

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Amazon Music podcasts are on the way, with the ecommerce giant also planning on making podcasts available on its audiobook service, Audible. This will almost certainly mean that podcasts are natively supported on Echo speakers, rather than requiring third-party skills.

Apple is still the best-known source of podcasts, but Spotify has offered podcasts for a few years now and has really upped its game in the past 18 months – including a controversial $100M exclusive. Other ways to listen to podcasts include TuneIn, iHeart Radio, Pandora, and Radio.com.

Just like Spotify, Amazon is headed for controversy with its approach …

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August 10

Large filament bulbs and more coming to Philips Hue range

Large filament bulbs – with their vintage look – are very much in vogue when it comes to home decor, and it seems Philips is getting in on the action with new Hue bulbs coming as early as next month …

A report today suggests that Apple Store staff t-shirts may have been made by a Chinese company which is believed to have used forced labor in its production.

The claims against the garment company have been taken seriously enough for US sanctions to be imposed …

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PSA: Posting your running achievements online could reveal more than you intend

People half-joke that if you don’t post the logs from your run or cycle ride, it didn’t happen. But posting your running achievements on social media could reveal more than you realize …

A report earlier today cited a potentially huge WeChat threat to the future of the iPhone in China. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is concerned that the Trump administration could force Apple to remove the WeChat app not just from the US App Store, but globally.

Kuo warned that this could see a massive 30% reduction in global iPhone sales, and if that sounds hyperbolic, it’s likely not …

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It’s more than a year since we first heard that an official WhatsApp iPad app was in the works – along with a Mac one also – but it has so far come to nothing. A new report today may explain this.

We explained last time the rather messy situation with Mac and iPad apps …

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Stereo headphone inventor Koss last month sued Apple, alleging infringement of five patents on wireless headphones. The lawsuit targets both AirPods and Beats wireless headphones.

Apple is now hitting back with a six-point countersuit. Five of the counts ask for a court to rule that Apple has not infringed each of the five patents listed in the original lawsuit, while a sixth one claims that Koss has no right to sue anyway …

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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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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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