Archive for September 14, 2022

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Kindle 2022

Todd Haselton:

Amazon on Tuesday announced a new entry-level $99 Kindle e-reader with several improvements over the prior model.

The biggest change is the display, which is a lot sharper than the earlier $89 Kindle. That means text will look clearer when you’re reading, instead of slightly blurry. The sharpness is now on a par with Amazon’s more expensive $140 Kindle Paperwhite.


The new Kindle also has a backlight, but it doesn’t have some of the more advanced backlight features in the Kindle Paperwhite, like the option to change the white balance to an orange hue for reading comfort.

Finally, it uses USB-C. It’s $119.99 without lockscreen ads. Amazon’s product page refers to this as the 2022 release. Otherwise, I guess it would be the Kindle 11.


Plus, Pro, Max, and Ultra

Hartley Charlton (Reddit):

In his latest post on Medium, Kuo explained that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have seen “neutral” and “good” pre-order results compared to the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Delivery wait times of more than four weeks may indicate good demand for the new high-end devices. It is apparently “unclear” whether Apple will increase shipment forecasts of its Pro models, but there is a “growing” chance that it will cut orders of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, which currently account for around 45 percent of the entire lineup’s shipments.


If demand for the two standard models do not improve, Apple may cut iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus orders as soon as November.

Francisco Tolmasky:

If true, then the iPhone may be developing the same problem the iPad has: products reverse-engineered from PRICE instead of USE. The iPhone mini made sense to be “worse,” so it didn’t feel cheap. The iPhone 14 however just feels like “the cheap one.”

Below I showed an iPad lineup where the differentiation (and marketing!) was based on USE CASE and not price, so no one feels like they’re “settling.” For example, the “low end” iPad Go is positioned as “rugged,” what you take on a hike or give your kid.

The price-based product segmentation works even worse for Apple products because everything is expensive, and there’s plenty of price overlap between Pro and non-Pro.


The end result is you don’t really feel like you got “the perfect phone for you,” but instead some weird compromise of trade-offs you could afford. The product matrix makes you feel sad when you should feel great.


This reminds me of Tim Cook’s recent leaked emails regarding iPhone XS sales from 2018[…] Pricing the XR too close to the XS without many new features meant that most people just upgraded to the higher tier iPhone.

Dave B:

The gap between the Pro and non-Pro line is by far the biggest it’s ever been, and it’s still just a $200 price difference.


I understand Apple wants to save some features for the Pro models, but this feature gap is too large, to the point that the non-Pro is now feeling like a mid-tier phone, with last year’s processor and old display technology.

The iPhone 13 mini, or even the regular iPhone 13, seems like a solid alternative if you don’t want to pay for the Pro features.

Adam Scheinberg:

iPhone Pro Max: max = bigger
M1 Max: faster
AirPods Max: different product entirely

AppleTV: an app
AppleTV: a piece of hardware

Apple TV+: base features
iCloud+: base features
iPhone Plus: bigger, same features

Macbook Pro: more features
iPhone Pro: more features
AirPods Pro: different product entirely

M1 Ultra: most powerful
Watch Ultra: same power, different product


Gassée on Apple Services

Jean-Louis Gassée (tweet, Hacker News):

I suggested a simpler, sharper statement: Apple makes personal computers, small, medium, and large. Everything else Apple does has but one raison d’être: They push up the volumes and margins of the company’s main hardware products.


My feeling is that Cook and his team are way ahead of us — or me, anyway. They’ve known for a while that Apple has entered a different era. With no Next Big Thing on the horizon — with Devices in a safe-but-slow incremental upward incline — the company has been compelled to move into conquest mode with its Services. This forced change in priorities has consequences, the compass needle points in a different direction. The reward system, people hired, career opportunities, “How We Do Things Here” culture…everything changes.


It pains this aging geek to think such thoughts, but I can’t help but assume that Apple will evolve into a different sort of company.

Dave B:

This has already been apparently for a while in software.

Look at apps like Apple Music and the TV app. Those apps are not built for the user; they’re built like billboards to sell the music & tv services.

This shift in Apple’s North Star has already begun and it’s worrisome.

Michael Love:

I agree, the problem is that Apple isn’t actually that good at making services and most of their services profit comes from some combination a) rent-seeking lock-in, b) being installed by default, or c) system integration unavailable to third parties.

Ken Kocienda:

Company missions speak to potential employees as much as to prospective customers. If the CEO always talks about services, it will attract people who want to work on that as a mission. It also drive away people who want to work on a different mission, like making great products.


iOS 16 Text View Breakage

Jeff Johnson:

Apple automatically opted in UITextView to TextKit 2, for both Apple’s apps and third-party apps. The developer must explicitly opt out of TextKit 2 to use the old TextKit 1 behavior.


Apple’s typical way of preserving binary compatibility is to opt in an app to new features only if it’s compiled with the new SDK. This would have solved my problem, because my discontinued app is of course not compiled with the iOS 16 SDK.

Update (2022-11-09): Daniel Jalkut:

Perhaps the biggest risk for malfunction lies in scenarios where some significant customization is expected to work, but not in a way that affects the text view’s decision to carry on using TextKit 2. One such example is when it comes to customizing the drawing of the insertion point cursor.


By default, starting in macOS 13 Ventura, the above customization will fail, because it is evidently not supported by TextKit 2. The simple workaround, for the time being anyway, is to force your text view to use TextKit 1.