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iMore Show 694: The Best Use of Taffeta Since Prom Dresses

iMore show 694
iMore show 694 (Image credit: iMore)

COVID-19 is having a massive effect on the tech industry as companies deal with delayed component availability, missed revenue targets, and canceled trade shows. Focus is shifting to Apple and the possibility that this summer's WWDC could be canceled. What's the fear vs. reality of the situation?

How close is Apple coming to releasing a MacBook based on an ARM processor of their own design? Rumors are suggesting it could be as soon as 2021.

Last up, wireless OS recovery may be coming to iOS sooner than later. It paves the way for a future with portless phones, but also enables an iOS device to be recovered without the use of a computer.

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Jim Metzendorf has been using Macs since 1994. He is a podcaster, freelance audio/video editor, and author of ‘The Professional's Guide to Audio Podcast Production'. Jim also teaches audio production at a college in Cleveland, Ohio. Follow him on Twitter: @jmetzendorf

  • Just one thing. About the iOS assistive touch cursor. Lory seems convinced that it was just a trial run for the 'real thing', which is the mouse/trackpad pointer for the masses. Have you ever considered the possibility that it is not, and never was, a run up to this? Maybe it really is an accessibility feature, and will always remain so? Maybe it's working exactly as intended? I have a 91 year old mother, who had to be coaxed to give up her feature phone and use an iPhone, and only after she had gravitated to the iPad for several years. She gradually became comfortable with the iPad (at first an iPad Mini with a Clamcase Pro, and now an iPad 6 gen with a Brydge keyboard) by using Facetime with me (I'm in another state), and a little bit of iMessage with my sister. It finally stuck. But we had a lot of trouble at first getting her 91 year old fingers to work with the touchscreen. Evidently the capacitance of her skin has changed with age. I had to fiddle with various accessibility settings around touch to get things where it didn't confuse her (I forget what I changed). One thing I learned. You really can't appreciate those accessibility issues, and what works and doesn't work, unless you're working with a person who is experiencing them. I have not tried hooking up a mouse to her iPad, because this juncture, things are working for her. But I just ask Lory to think empathetically (not suggesting she lacks empathy; this is hard stuff), and try to imagine what problem the assistive touch cursor solves for some people. Maybe, even though this is a problem for the minority, it's really a bigger deal than adding a pointer cursor to iOS for the masses. Usually, with Apple, it's all about the numbers, but....accessibility issues (kind of like Pro users) are a minority case that deserve special treatment, because these people have few options. There's a guy working at my local Apple store that is legally blind, who sells stuff to people. He was showing me how he can get around MacOS and iOS, using accessibility features. This is really amazing stuff. So....maybe....the assistive cursor feature is actually not half-baked at all (I don't really know, honestly). And I'm not against Apple adding the pointer to iPadOS, as long as they do it really well, and don't dilute what's great about iPadOS (see Mike Simon's column about this at MacWorld; he's opposed to it). But what I was really wanting to hear you say, and I kept listening for it was, "as long as it doesn't lose value for people that were using it for accessibility". I guess this struck a nerve. So much of the commenting class for Apple's product really looks at everything through the prism of the mainstream user; people talk about WWDC and what hardware will be announced (which kind of annoys me; it's about Developers and software, you know, or it should be?), and after years in the wilderness, Apple has finally thrown pro users a few tiny bones (Mac Pro with 28 cores, 16 inch MBP with 64 Gb, and larger battery, at the expense of weight), and pundits get snippy about it. Jason Snell writes 'you shouldn't buy the Mac Pro', as though he can possibly know what *I* need. Similarly, I just ask that you give a little thought and accompanying words about the people who depend on this assistive feature. I submit that it's highly likely (although I don't know for sure) that they depend on this feature, and this is far more important and probably a far more black-and-white issue than whether the mainstream gets to use a trackpad to cut/copy/paste as well as touching the iScreen. Not chastising you, or I am, only very gently. Just....try not to always think through the eyes of the mainstream; it's hard, but it's important. Apple does great stuff with their accessibility features, but more is needed. I'm no expert, at all, but it's very clear to me this is very, very hard stuff to do right. Let's keep those people in our minds when we ask for things.
  • Oh one more thing. Sorry. Why, when pundits talk about the portless iPhone, does no one ever, ever, ever, ever bring up the most important use for iPhone ports of connect Xcode to it to deploy code. Yes, you can deploy code wirelessly for the last couple of years, but it's much much slower, and more error-prone. Yes, Xcode has simulators, but a lot of your development still has to be done with a device. Something that non-developers may not realize, is that *anything* that slows the edit-compile-link-run-debug cycle slows the rate at which we can deliver new software to users. Seriously. BigTime. A lot. So, unless you're happy with the apps that came on your phone, and will never download new ones, you don't want ports to go away on the phone. Developers.....we're the source of all that stuff you like on your phone.