eXtensions - Wednesday 13 October 2021
Wednesday Notes: Apple Event on Monday; Integration with a Mix of Devices; Sharing Content
By Graham K. Rogers
Several reports show that the Intel 16" MacBook Pro is currently unavailable with low or non-existent stocks which is not altogether a surprise; although I bet there are some in Bangkok. There has been much speculation about what will be at the Event, but apart from mentioning the 16" Mac, I am unwilling to second-guess Apple.
It would be wise to backup data if this is not already being done. I have 2 disks I use for Time Machine backups (with a spare at the office) as well as the data in iCloud. I still find that some users fail to backup at all, then start screaming when something goes wrong.
iPhone 13 - Image courtesy of Apple
What I forgot to do was turn off the alarm on the iPhone 11, so the first morning, that went off in another room a long time before I really wanted to wake up. I turned the alarm off and went back to sleep. The old iPhone is now off overnight, but I have still needed to use it for one banking app that did not transfer fully. Another bank app worked immediately. When I tried to set up the Bangkok Bank app on the new iPhone, it failed to accept my details (e.g. 9 digit password rather than the 13-digit Thai ID) and I had to make a trip to a branch to confer with an assistant rather than carrying two phones around.
When I went to a branch, once the assistant had grasped the problem, she helped me set the app up, although with her knowledge she pretty much took over. With the need to use an ATM and enter different passcodes and other details into the app at different times, I was soon lost. In the end her help had this up and running within 5 minutes and I was grateful.
iPhone 11 Pro (left) and iPhone 13 Pro
A large PDF file arrived late in the afternoon. This was a journal article that I have been asked to fix and this was my second run through. I transferred that file from the LINE app on my iPhone to iCloud, then opened it in Files on the iPad Pro where I started to mark up the text. I do not like to rewrite content as there is an ethical problem for me; and how do I know that my changes will be what the original writer intended?
With academic papers (recents include aeronautics, surgical implants and carbon nanotubes) I do not have the expertise to make a judgement call on technical content. Marking up, with what I think it should be in terms of grammar and vocabulary, leaves the decision to the writer.
While that content was open in Files, another colleague sent me a letter that was intended to accompany a submission to a journal. From LINE I moved that to iCloud, then had a quick look on the iPhone. I could see that I could offer a couple of suggestions and that this could be accomplished quickly. With the large file open on the iPad Pro, I picked up the iPad mini. When I had opened the file and connected the Apple Pencil 2 to the device, I was able to make a couple of tidying up suggestions within a minute or so, then send the file back: save, iPhone, LINE.
In the meantime, I had looked through the Abstract of the large paper and found several problems. This was not unexpected with the genesis of the paper when a small team is trying to rescue an unfinished piece of work. We are on Pass number 2. I have not found a way to separate parts of a PDF on the iPad or iPhone, but on the Mac this is quite simple. I opened the same file using Preview and copied the specific page I wanted (this works with several pages as well). In the File menu of Preview, the top command is New from Clipboard. The copied content is used to create a new PDF and that was sent to the supervisor.
Macro shots: With Halide on iPhone 11 (left); others with iPhone 13
There is a short video showing that it works, but he promises a longer version to explain how he made the changes. Two things are certain: his warranty is no longer valid; and Apple will have taken a look at this. With the likelihood of the EU forcing a change on devices to use USB-C, Apple should take this step sooner rather than later.
It is a problem that many such services experience. I remember a while back agreeing to complete a survey for Netflix, but the way it was set out began to annoy me, particularly when it kept circling back to whether or not I share my service (I don't) and how this was done. In the end I just closed the browser page and moved on. That MacRumors article has a lot of information about who is affected, sites involved and what is being done.
A member of my family complained in an online chat that he kept seeing pop-ups on the iPad related to a sports app that a friend put on the device while at the house. I was aghast. The family member is older and somewhat naive with regards to security, although I confirmed that no credit card details were entered on the device. To put the app on, would have involved downloading from the App Store, with my family member's consent although I am sure this was couched in friendly terms.
The visitor logged in while there to watch football, then left. The app was still installed (I told my family member how to delete - that was a new experience for him) and that was why there were several notifications appearing. Not only did the visitor install the app, but said that my relation would be able to login himself, using the account details of another family member. And that is why Netflix is so concerned about sharing accounts. To many people, paying a fee for a service is not like buying a packet of cornflakes. A video service is just not real to many users.
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)
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