eXtensions - Saturday 12 December 2020
Saturday Digression: iPad apps on M1 Macs; Apple Modem Chips; the Apple Monopoly; F*ceB**k and Oculus
By Graham K. Rogers
However there are several apps I have bought over the years which I would love to be able to use on my Macs. Some of these like DarkRoom, Pixelmator Pro and Affinity Photo have Mac and iOS (or iPadOS) versions. I would really like Pixelmator Photo - an iPad only app - to be made available for the Mac. It is one of my favorite image-editing apps on the iPad (particularly the iPad Pro) with just enough of the right sort of tools to make photo-editing quick and easy. It also has an interface that reminds me of the lamented Aperture (and I know I am not alone in this), right down to the way that the tools panel can be located left or right of the screen. Few image editing app developers think of that.
This week, Pixelmator released an update for the app and I checked through the notes really carefully just in case there were some hint about the Mac. I also checked the App Store on the M1 Mac, but it had not slipped by. I am still on hold there. However, what they have done is to improve an already good photo-editing app.
While Pixelmator Pro and Affinity Photo, like Adobe Photoshop and other image editing applications have valuable toolsets that allows editing right down to the pixel level, with several ways in which to change and improve the images (not just photographs), Pixelmator Photo, like Darkroom is a photo-editing app and the changes that can be done with this are more in the type of overview changes. If the contrast is changed, the contrast for the whole image is changed in the same proportions. It is the same with the many other settings available.
This is how I like to edit my images most of the time, keeping faithful to the original idea that I saw when I took the shot. If I do need a specific localized change (such as dodge or burn) that can be done with one of the other apps (e.g. Pixelmator Pro) although I prefer doing this on the Mac using Photos extensions.
A conflict has arisen between the film makers and the studios. The former have artistic reasons for delaying the release of their works until cinemas are open, while the studios (and the cinemas) need income. There have been some compromises with limited movie house shows combined with online services (Warner, Disney, Netflix, Apple) releasing movies through their delivery mechanisms, but the latest Bond movie is still delayed, as is Tenet, although that is about to end, with the director and cast not happy about release decisions.
As part of the online release on 15 December, there is already a 6-minute teaser for Tenet on YouTube. I was already keen to see the movie, but these opening scenes had me hooked. I was pleased to see that the movie is listed in the iTunes Store here so I pre-ordered for its release day. That is next Tuesday, although with international time zones, I may have to wait until Wednesday.
With all the pressure on Facebook, I wondered if someone at Menlo Park had had a hissy fit and pulled the plug: now see how much you need us. To me that would prove the opposite: if a problem with one part of the organization affects all parts, they need to be separated: redundant systems.
There are some in the US Government (and elsewhere) who believe that Facebook is now too powerful. I included a Tweet from Christopher Wylie last time who was in no doubt about this. We have seen the way that social networking sites have increased their sway in elections, particularly with regard to the way Cambridge Analytica used FB data and then targeted advertisements to redirect opinions. Just because Cambridge Analytica is no more does not mean that this has all gone away. The useful Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, showed how pervasive this is.
Another nail in the coffin may (to mix metaphors) have been self-inflicted by Mr FB himself. The robotic replies, and the evasion when asked questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee would not have endeared him to many politicians who were already wary of the way Facebook and Google (in particular) have been playing fast and loose with everyone's data. I have been teaching this for the last few years, but it seems that the politicians have finally caught up.
As if it could not be any worse, Natasha Lomas (TechCrunch) reports that Facebook is facing another lawsuit, this time in Germany, over tying Oculus users to Facebook accounts. When it took over Oculus current users were told they had to move to FB by 2023, while new users had to use Facebook accounts only: sounds like a monopoly to me.
In a comment related to the development of the M1 processors, the president of Qualcomm has considerable praise for what Apple has done and says that this validates Qualcomm's belief that "the mobile user is defining what they expect out of the PC experience". There is some more in an interview with Dieter Bohn, but the report from Joe Wituschek (iMore) has that significant quote.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
For further information, e-mail to
Back to Home Page