Week 4

5 screen shots showing iOS 16.3 features

MR Headset. Details dropped on Apple’s long awaited mixed reality headset. Leaning heavily into “& Beyond,” the community was abuzz with news from Bloomberg on how the new headset might work using a combination of eye- and hand-tracking for interacting with on-screen elements. The splash of cold water was the tentative price around $3,000(!?), placing it firmly into the luxury range for many consumers (yikes!). I’m currently in the “wait & see” camp, sharing many of the same concerns voiced in this post from Daring Fireball.

iOS 16.3. The public version of iOS 16.3 was rolled out to compatible devices. Among the new features are support for physical security keys, adjustments to SOS Emergency calls, and a few other changes and bug fixes. Of the bug fixes, two that I’ve encountered directly are issues with Siri not understanding music requests nor understanding some requests while in CarPlay. Check out the included video for a walkthrough of the new features.

Android 14… will prevent the installation of older outdated apps. The next major version of the world’s most popular mobile OS will block apps — including sideloading — from developers who have failed to keep up with the Google Play Store guidelines. The idea here is to improve security and privacy against malware that targets older SDK versions, protections against which are enforced by newer apps. For more info on Android 14, check out this rundown.

Messenger. Meta announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption for Messenger. Over the next few months, Meta will gradually upgrade chats for millions around the world as it works towards a default encrypted experience. Some of its standard features like emojis and reactions are also being folded in as the company expands testing. I don’t have to be a Facebook user to know that having your chats encrypted — by default — is a good thing.

Mastodon. Ivory, a third-party client for Mastodon, officially launches on the App Store. Developed by Tapbots, Ivory seek to enhance the Mastodon experience as users — and developers — continue their exodus from Twitter. This hands-on review, complete with screenshots, will give you an idea of the features that you can expect, should you be so inclined to give Ivory a go. Note: It runs on a subscription model and you will run into a paywall with certain functionality (I did immediately).

From the desk of…

I thought I’d change things up a bit and give you a behind the scenes view of how I put this weekly letter together. Typically, throughout the week, I comb through the various daily tech news emails I’m subscribed to, saving links to pertinent articles, and writing about them little-by-little as I go. As you can imagine, it’s quite a bit of work, but I don’t mind since I’m scanning and reading those articles anyway. It’s a real labor of love.

This week, I tried a different approach, leaning more on the weekly summaries that hit my inbox on the weekends as well as visiting the various tech mags and newsrooms directly (push vs pull). The goal I was hoping to achieve was to provide the same quality content with the top mobile related news, but with less effort and faster publishing. But given that we’re now at the end of the week and I’m just now getting this online (my goal is always Monday which never happens), I’d say it was… er, not as successful as I’d hoped.

Nevertheless, in the spirit of experimentation, I’d say it was worth the effort. It’s always good to question your process instead of following it blindly. How else will you ever improve?




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