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 an M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air 11, 12.9-inch iPad Pro (LTE 256GB), iPhone 13 Pro Max (256GB), Dell Ultrawide 49-inch monitor, an Apple Watch (Series 4 WiFi) and multiple HomePods – he 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

Apple has long been expected to transition to fully portless iPhones at some point, and for most users that makes perfect sense. But we’re seeing growing reports that the iPhone maker is first going to switch from Lightning to USB-C, and that raises a key question.

Is USB-C just a brief interim stage before iPhones go fully wireless, or do USB-C iPhones have a longer future … ?

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HP monitor includes pop-up webcam with Center Stage-style tracking

An upcoming USB-C monitor from HP includes a pop-up webcam with Center Stage-style tracking. The monitor is aimed at professionals who want reasonably high pixel density, but who don’t need the colorspace required by audiovisual pros …

At least two high-profile former Apple employees are assisting the unionization efforts of retail store employees, with additional advice from Google walkout organizers.

Former Apple software engineer Cher Scarlett, who organized a pay survey when she worked for the company, played a key role in the formation of Fruit Stand Workers United at the Grand Central Apple Store …

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May 13

The Elon Musk Twitter deal is now ‘temporarily on hold,’ says the billionaire, in a tweet today. Twitter had told him that spam and fake accounts represent fewer than 5% of users, and Musk now says he wants to see the evidence for this.

While Musk followed up with ‘Still committed to acquisition,’ some are suggesting that this is not the case …

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It seems scarcely a week goes by without a new antitrust threat to Apple, and the latest is a proposed federal Digital Platform Commission. Its remit would include addressing anti-competitive behaviors by digital stores, which would include the App Store.

US Senator Michael Bennet argues that although the DoJ and FTC already do “admirable work,” they don’t have the tech expertise required to offer robust oversight …

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A check on Macs available for immediate shipping from Apple shows that these are now limited to just three models. Other Macs involve waiting anywhere from one to two weeks all the way up to 11 weeks, depending on both model and country. Some of those who have already placed orders are seeing even longer waits.

It’s the latest measure of Chinese supply chain problems that Apple estimates could cost the company as much as $8B in lost revenue this quarter …

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The “‘abandoned apps” crackdown last month announced by Apple – and a similar move by Google – could see a total of 1.5 million apps removed across the two app stores.

That would, according to a new report, amount to around a third of all available apps …

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May 12

We learned yesterday that a proposed new EU CSAM scanning law for tech giants would force Apple to revisit its own plans for detecting child sexual abuse materials. The company had quietly set these aside in response to a huge amount of controversy over its proposed approach.

Many had feared that the proposed law would involve yet another assault on end-to-end encrypted messaging, and this has now been confirmed by wording in the document …

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Ookla’s Speedtest maps come to iOS and give a more realistic picture of latency

Ookla’s Speedtest maps – originally only available in the Android app – have now come to the iOS one, too. This lets you see at-a-glance how different mobile carriers compare in your area, as well as identify problem spots …

Today saw key Apple supplier Foxconn warn that revenue could slip this quarter due to both slowing demand and growing supply-chain problems.

The company’s chairman said that there were many uncertainties in the market, and that Foxconn would be looking to further diversify to reduce its dependence on smartphone assembly …

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For years now, Google hasn’t seemed particularly interested in the tablet market, but yesterday the company announced that it’s working on what might be the company’s first real iPad alternative – a new Pixel tablet due for launch sometime next year.

Apple getting some serious iPad competition could be just the thing we need to finally spur the company into taking iPadOS more seriously, and having the software catch up with the hardware …

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May 11

It’s official: Apple’s groundbreaking portable music player is no more. All we’re left with now is memories of the iPod, and perhaps that one last model some plan to keep forever.

The decision was inevitable. Most of us now use our iPhones and streaming music services to listen to music. The other role played by the iPod Touch – as a device for kids too young to have a phone – has largely been supplanted by the iPad. All the same, it’s still a somewhat sad moment …

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Update: The EU has now announced the proposed new law. More details at the bottom.

Apple’s CSAM troubles may be back, after controversy over the issue of scanning iPhones for child sexual abuse materials led to the company suspending its plans.

A report today says that the European Union is planning a law that would require tech giants like Apple to detect, report, and remove CSAM, and that we’ll see a draft of the new law as early as this week …

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The only examples of a USB-C iPhone we’ve seen to date have been DIY versions, but Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple will make the switch from Lightning to USB-C next year, in the iPhone 15.

The report comes as something of a surprise, as although Apple has adopted USB-C for Mac and iPad, it had seemed the company planned to stick with Lightning until it switches to a completely portless phone …

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May 10

We’ve been seeing growing interest in the formation of Apple Store unions by retail staff, frustrated by stagnant wages at a time of rising inflation, or other working conditions issues.

The prospect of unionization is one which often fills management with fear. This isn’t surprising given the confrontational nature of most management-union relationships. But there is a much more cooperative model out there, and Apple currently has a golden opportunity to adopt it …

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Apple has today been granted a patent for a graphical display concept it calls virtual paper, and two things struck me about it – one about its origins, the other about what it may tell us about future Apple design language.

The patent is for a visual representation of paper in three-dimensional form, which is, of course, the type of user interface most applicable to the upcoming Apple mixed-reality headset

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Apple has reportedly started development work on a new type of display for foldable iPhones or iPads. The technology described is similar to that used in Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3.

One of the challenges of creating robust foldable screens is making them thin enough to survive continual folding and unfolding for a number of years …

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May 9

The White House has announced deals struck with 20 internet service providers to offer cheaper broadband for tens of millions of Americans – with millions qualifying for a $30/month cap for unlimited data. The initiative was made possible by bipartisan support …

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A dozen Jony Ive possessions he thinks you should buy

The Financial Times has a set of a dozen Jony Ive possessions Apple’s former design chief thinks you should buy. You won’t be surprised to learn that most are extravagant, such as the $123 platinum-plated pencil eraser seen above, but one of them does start at just a few dollars …

Apple remote working has been a bone of contention for many US workers after the company insisted that almost everyone should return to the office at least three days a week. But there is one US team who is making extensive use of remote working: US engineers managing production in China.

Apple engineers are said to be using a combination of live-streaming video and augmented reality, with iPads the main device in use …

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