eXtensions - Saturday 1 October 2022


Saturday Comment: The Sky is Falling Again; Apple Announcements Coming; LiDAR on iPad Pro and iPhone; Apple Watch Arrives Here; Meta Overreaches

By Graham K. Rogers


Apple is doomed again: it depends on whom you believe most. New products are expected soon; but will this be before or after the Q4 2022 financial report from Apple in late October? Pompeii archaeological work is made easier with the iPad Pro and LiDAR. I try out Laan Labs 3D Scanner App: good potential for iPhone and iPad users. Positive reports on the Apple Watch Ultra. This and the Apple Watch 8 are now available in Thailand. Meta, the overreacher.

This week Apple announced that its 4th quarter results for 2022 will be released on 27 October: almost a month from now. With share prices under attack after it was revealed that Apple was reducing iPhone 14 orders - actually going back to the original order numbers - Wall Street is in a panic right now with Apple falling from $151, with a small rally on Thursday to $144 and down to $138 on Friday with much hand-rubbing and "I told you so" from the pundits. In a comment from MacDailyNews Jim Cramer explains how this is done and specifically mentions Bloomberg.

Some are still reporting falling sales of the iPhone 14, while others say they are rising. I expect that in the couple of weeks before the Q4 2022 announcement there will be several doom stories about Apple which will force the share price down some more. This week the NASDAQ index fell from 11,108 to around 10,500 with a recovery to 10,738 Thursday. Much of the rest of Wall Street shares and indexes look similarly grim. I wonder how much is waiting to be made when it all recovers: as it always does.

iPhone 14 Pro and Max
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max - Image courtesy of Apple

Sometimes, just after the quarterly announcements, Apple releases a product or makes some announcement. At the end of October that would leave less time for sales worldwide of some devices, including new Macs, so I sense that between now and 27 October would be a better time for such product updates. A week or so before the financial report would put a gloss on the share prices. I am keeping my fingers crossed about a new iPad Pro with M2 chip. I like the iPad Pro with the M1 chip. It is a workhorse for me and I would benefit from such an update even if it is only about 18 months since I bought the last one.

A few months after the last iPad Pro announcement, the iPad mini was updated to its 6th generation with the A15 Bionic chip and the USB-C connector. I bought one right away and passed the older iPad I had on to a friend. Most of my work is done on the iPad Pro, the 13" MacBook Pro and an older Intel-equipped Mac Mini at the office. I do not use the iPad mini as much and sometimes find it needs charging or that there are several updates waiting.

iPad mini
iPad mini - Image courtesy of Apple

This week, in a long list of updated apps, Capture One was shown. I had forgotten I had downloaded this; but I noticed in the information that this supported tethering. This is one of the items on my list of wants for the iPad Pro. I know it is possible as the Hasselblad app that I downloaded and tried supports this for its own digital cameras.

I downloaded Capture One again onto the iPad Pro, but before I could use it for the 7 day free trial, was faced first with signing up for a subscription, then because I use another account for apps, would have needed to create a second account with Capture One. I gave up and deleted the app. I have plenty of ways round this; and if I really needed tethering, I would switch to the Mac. Connecting a DSLR to the iPad Pro and taking a photo does not work, although turning it off then on again showed the images I took for a test. I wish Apple would allow tethering.

As is normal there were several beta releases for Apple operating systems this week, including Ventura and iPadOS. It was widely reported that access to the Stage Manager feature, which was earlier limited to iPads with Apple silicon (M1 and whatever follows) had now been expanded to include some older iPads with A-series silicon. However, this new ability was restricted somewhat in that external displays could not be used.

The release of iPadOS 16 had been delayed and this was rumored to be due to problems making Stage Manager work properly. The first update will be to iPadOS16.1. The next iPads which are rumored to be coming in the next week or so were held back because of this which seems unusual for Apple. However, Apple is loath to ship any product that is not working properly, although some have slipped through. What we expect is a perfect tool out of the box. The iPhone 14 Pro had some camera problems perhaps due to 3rd party developers not updating their software in good time. It was certainly a software problem and the release of iOS 16.0.2 fixed this and other problems.

I read an article on Patently Apple earlier in the week about excavations at Pompeii and how using the iPad Pro had revolutionized data collection and note-taking for some archaeologists. There were comments in the article about ESRI's ArcGIS Survey123 app. I looked this up in the App Store, as I wanted to see if there was any way this could be used by students; for example, civil engineers when they examine sites, although there is already a lot of software available for such professionals. It did not quite fit, but I also looked at a number of other apps that ESRI have developed. Eight are listed at the bottom of the ArcGIS Survey123 page. Looking a bit deeper into the Patently Apple article, there was something more useful to me.

One of those featured in the content was also using a LiDAR app with ArcGIS Survey123 to create 3D maps of the trenches. There was a link to the 3D Scanner App by Laan Labs. One of the earliest apps I found was Laan Labs' iTimeLapse Pro which is still on my iPhone. I first downloaded this in 2010. I last looked at this in June 2017 with the switch to 64-bit apps and noted that it was not running perfectly. After a while, however, iTimeLapse Pro was updated and now works fine: really well, actually. Apple Photos does have a time-lapse feature, but all videos are reduced to 30 seconds. This can make far longer videos and there are several adjustable parameters.

I downloaded the the 3D Scanner App to the iPad Pro and had a quick try in my condo. The results, even with the way I did this were interesting enough to make me look deeper. I also installed this on the iPhone and made a longer scan of the area round my office. Saving of the files allows sharing across the devices, but it is not straightforward. On the iPad Pro, I followed the steps after reading the FAQ on this, then had to do the same on the iPhone. Once both were set up, the data was transferred. It is probably easier to make a scan using the iPhone, but viewing is perhaps best on the larger screen of the iPad.

3D Scanner App on the iPad Pro
3D Scanner App on the iPad Pro - Screenshot of first scan showing onscreen menus

The 3D image can be rotated through X, Y and Z axes. It can also be scrolled and magnified. It is available for viewing in a number of formats (flat, textured, wireframe) and measurements between specific points can be made. I also made a further scan of the office area, adding to the data from the first image. This needs to be sent to iCloud separately. Looking at these early images, understandably glass windows do not scan well. Scanning the same points from different angles may help build the complete image correctly.

3D Scanner App on the iPhone
3D Scanner App on the iPhone 13 - Screenshot of scan showing improving image display

My first try produced a folder with 334 files; the second had just under 2,000; the third, which built on the second was just short of 6,000 files and took some while to synchronize between devices. The FAQ suggests either copying a folder or moving it to the 3D Scanner folder on the iPad Pro. In cases where a network is limited, the Move command worked better for me. It is also possible to use AirDrop which needs WiFi and Bluetooth: sharing via the personal Hotspot will not work.

Apple Watch Ultra I will not be buying an Apple Watch Ultra (Image courtesy of Apple). Not that I do not want one. The specifications are far in excess of my needs and it would be a waste of my cash for such a well-engineered product. I am still mulling over whether to go for the Apple Watch 8, however. This is finally available here, but with an estimated delivery date of 20-26 October (ordered on 30 Sep).

Reports about the Apple Watch Ultra have been unusually positive and both the 8 and Ultra have seen some extreme testing, including (as with the iPhone 14) crash testing in cars. Well, at least we know the features will work. The closest I have ever come to testing a feature (apart from waterproofing) is Fall Detect on the Apple Watch.

I have never actually fallen. Rene Ritchie showed how hard this is to do as reflexes cut in and we protect ourselves when trying to fall; but the warning has come on a couple of times when I have turned rapidly when sitting in office chairs. These also have backs which move and that has been a trigger too: sit down or lean backwards too fast and this may activate.

The last time I saw this was a couple of weeks ago coming out of the bathroom. I swiveled round to walk into another room and the Watch started its countdown: ready to phone a friend or emergency services (not that this part works in Thailand), but it will send a message to a friend.

The testing of the new Apple Watch Ultra has seen some extreme attempts to break the device. Joe Wituschek (iMore) reports on the video attempts of Sam Kohl from iupdate to do damage to the device. The tests were coupled with testing an Apple Watch 8 which did show damage relatively quickly once Kohl moved to harsher methods. The Ultra, though, was another matter and with more than 50 strikes - really heavy hitting - on a number of surfaces, it was not clear if the glass would break. The titanium surround was taking a beating with dents and chips, but not the glass. Eventually, with some unusual effort, Kohl had a pixel or two go, and then the screen went. The glass itself was chipped but did not actually crack or break. That is one serious watch. Let us see who produces the first class action lawsuit because the Apple Watch 8 does not have the same level of protection as the Ultra.

It is widely reported that Meta is having problems: revenue and retaining users. Jaron Schneider (PetaPixel) among others reports that the stock is trading at unusual lows. The announcement of the Metaverse was the tipping point for me having spent condiderable time over the last couple of years looking at the ways Facebook (in particular) abuses personal data. It was clear that - as well as in appearances in Washington DC - the CEO was not wholly in touch with the real world. As Schneider writes, it has been hit by the privacy debate, but there is little evidence this has had any effect. As I see it, the only driver (as with Uber) has been growth. MacDailyNews was scathing and among the comments from MDN was this group of instant messages from Zuckerberg during Facebook's early years:

Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuckerberg: Just ask
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SSNs
Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.
Zuckerberg: I don't know why.
Zuckerberg: They "trust me"
Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks

This week, despite the number of concerns that have been raised about the way data is collected and used, an inquest in the UK would not say that a 14-year old girl had committed suicide, but blamed pressures from social networking sites (Peter Wanless and Beeban Kidron, Guardian). This is being seen (at least in the UK) as a wake-up call to Silicon Valley. Angus Crawford and Bethan Bell (BBC News) write that "Instagram and Pinterest used algorithms that resulted in there being "binge periods" of material" that were not asked for. The report also includes a comment from the Prince of Wales: "No parent should ever have to endure what Ian Russell and his family have been through."

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)



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page

All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2022