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Apple and AT&T Activate LTE Band 8 to Give iPhone Users in Puerto Rico Cellular Service by Loon Balloon

21 October, by John Gruber[ —]

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

Apple, AT&T, the FCC and Alphabet’s X division have all put into motion efforts to give residents of Puerto Rico more cellular connectivity.

Apple has been working with AT&T to extend and activate cell service for users in Puerto Rico. To improve what is a terrible connectivity situation there, it’s going to enable a provisional band of LTE that has been recently approved, but not activated in the US and Puerto Rico, where it has not been licensed. This will allow iPhones to connect to Alphabet X’s Project Loon balloons in the region, which were activated today.

This should allow users to send text messages and access some critical online services.

‘It’s All Screen’

21 October, by John Gruber[ —]

Ken Segall:

Apple advertising was always creative and fun, but it was also intelligent and accurate. That’s what made it the industry’s “gold standard” for marketing.

That’s why it makes me nervous when I see today’s Apple playing loose with words and images to sell a product.

Case in point: the “all-screen” iPhone X.

Of course we can see with our own eyes that iPhone X is not all-screen. It has a noticeable edge around the entire display, which even the Samsung S8 does not have. And then there is “the notch” — the object of many a critic’s venom.

I don’t have a problem with the side and bottom edges of the iPhone X being described as “all screen”. It’s not the same as Samsung’s Galaxy Edge sides, but I dislike the way those Edge phones look when I hold them. If there were no notch — that is to say, if the top of the iPhone X looked exactly like the bottom — I would have no problem declaring that “all screen” would be a fair description.

But with the notch? No way. Here’s one simple way to think about it: what does Apple do 2-3 years from now if they ship an iPhone with no notch? Describe it as “Really all screen this time”?

On Apple’s New Chicago Flagship Store

21 October, by John Gruber[ —]

Blair Kamin, architecture critic for The Chicago Tribune:

Chicago’s new Apple store is thrillingly transparent, elegantly understated and a boon to the city’s riverfront.

With its huge sheets of laminated glass and an ultra-thin roof of lightweight carbon fiber the store, opening Friday, is simultaneously present and absent, there and not there. From North Michigan Avenue, you look through its glassy membrane and see the river’s blue-green waters and passing tour boats. A plaza of tiered granite steps spills down to the riverfront.

Looks beautiful — very much in the same spirit as Apple Park.

Tom’s Guide: ‘iPhone 8 Plus vs. Google Pixel 2 Camera Shootout’

20 October, by John Gruber[ —]

They scored it 6-4 in favor of the iPhone 8 Plus but the bottom line is that both are good cameras. My favorite in favor of the iPhone is the fountain photo; for the Pixel, low light no-flash photo.

David Letterman on the Jimmy Kimmel Show

20 October, by John Gruber[ —]

“You’re looking at a man who’s laughing on the outside and crying on the inside. For a year, I’ve been looking high and low, I’ve been trying to find a shirt that looks good untucked. I can’t find one.

Developer Camp 10th Anniversary

19 October, by John Gruber[ —]

The 10th anniversary edition of Developer Camp — formerly iPhoneDevCamp and iOSDevCamp — is being held November 10–12 in San Jose. This is a great event, organized by Dom Sagolla, with a great record of diversity. Use this URL (with the “DF2017” code) and you’ll save 50 percent on tickets. This isn’t a sponsorship — I’m just happy to promote this event, and feel like the DF audience includes a lot of people who would enjoy this.

The Pixel 2 Costs More at Google’s Own Pop-Up Stores

19 October, by John Gruber[ —]

Chris Welch, writing for The Verge:

But the worst part of this is that these pop-ups, which are basically Google stores in the minds of visitors, are overcharging people for the new Google phones. The one in Manhattan definitely is, at least. All models of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are marked up by $30. The $649 Pixel 2 is marked up to $680. The 128GB model is $780. 64GB XL 2? $880, and it’s $980 for the 128GB version.

Apparently they’ll price match the regular rates if you call out this nonsense, but it’s still pretty inexcusable. Not even Verizon itself is charging a penny extra for the Pixels when you buy direct from the carrier. And you’re walking out of here with a Google shopping bag. How is the company okay with this?


Vlad Savov on the Pixel 2 XL’s ‘Awful’ Display

19 October, by John Gruber[ —]

Vlad Savov, writing for The Verge:

I’m a satisfied Android user, and I know for a fact (because I’ve reviewed every other major flagship out there) that no other Android device can bring me as close to mobile nirvana and contentment as these new Pixels do. But for the majority of this week, I’ve opted to use the smaller Pixel 2, owing to just how poor the Pixel 2 XL’s screen is.

This situation upsets me because the 2 XL has numerous desirable advantages over the 2: much smaller bezels, a larger battery that lasts longer, and just a bigger canvas on which I can pen my letter of complaint to LG Display, the maker of the offending screen in question. […]

Another big chunk of the “why” is in the blue cast that befalls the screen if you ever hold it at an angle that’s less than perfectly in front of you. You’ll know this issue from the year 2011, when Samsung was just getting started with its mobile OLED technology and phones like the Galaxy S II looked gorgeous up front but had the weakness of looking blue from almost any oblique angle. The OLED panel on Pixel 2 XL doesn’t even have the decency to look stunning when viewed under perfect circumstances. But it does have that aggravating blue cast that we thought we’d left in the past.

This sounds dreadful. And this is why Apple had to source all of its OLED displays for the iPhone X from Samsung. There’s no way Apple would ship a display like this.

Apple Machine Learning Journal on How ‘Hey Siri’ Works

19 October, by John Gruber[ —]

Deep dive into how “Hey Siri” actually works. I’m really enjoying these layman’s explanations of how these things work. The Machine Learning Journal is the new “open” Apple at its best.

Consumer Reports Expects Tesla’s Model 3 to Have ‘Average Reliability’

19 October, by John Gruber[ —]

Phil LeBeau, writing for CNBC:

There may be only a few hundred Tesla Model 3s on the street, but Consumer Reports already has an opinion on the new car’s dependability.

“We are predicting that the Model 3 should have about average reliability,” said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports.

Why is Consumer Reports making predictions like this? Their entire reputation is built on the idea that their scores are based on rigorous testing and large scale surveys. Is this just clickbait? It comes across as an unjustified hit piece.

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