Simple Scan →

Greg Pierce, the developer behind great apps like Drafts, Tally, and more is out with a new app that I am loving. It’s called Simple Scan, and it’s the fastest and least-annoying way I’ve ever seen to scan documents with the iPhone and iPad.

Here is how Greg describe it:

Do you love the Apple Notes document scanner, but would you like more flexibility in sending the scans to email, messages, files, or other apps? Then Simple Scan is for you. Simple Scan is the quick, easy way to scan paper documents to optimized, searchable PDF documents (or images) and send them almost anywhere.

I’ve tried a bunch of different scanning apps over the years and most of them are just too cluttered or come with goofy business models.

Simple Scan is different. Here’s the whole UI:

Simple Scan

This is an app clearly made by the guy who makes Drafts, as it’s all about taking information and sending it somewhere. While I often scan documents in Apple Notes, and know that I can do it in the Files app, this app is the perfect tool for scanning documents to save for later or send to another person.

The business model is also simple, as you can see. It’s just $4.99 a year or $19.99 forever. I instantly did the latter. Simple Scan is in the App Store now.

Kbase Article of the Week: Power Mac G4 Mac OS ROM 1.8.1: Document and Software →

Apple Support:

During testing, Apple has discovered a potential issue which may cause data corruption or system crashes in certain situations on Power Mac G4 (PCI Graphics) systems. The Power Mac G4 ROM 1.8.1 Update includes fixes for the following:

  • Data or file corruption with Virtual Memory on
  • Photoshop crash when Extensis Photo Tools is installed

Apple recommends that all customers with Power Mac G4 (PCI Graphics) systems install this new Mac OS ROM to prevent the data corruption problem and ensure the greatest stability in your system. Since this issue has already been addressed in Mac OS 9, as well as Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) systems, this update will not install on this version of the Mac OS, or on these Power Mac systems.

Pretty wild to think Apple pushed a ROM update to a machine to fix an issue with Photoshop. 1999 was a different time.

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Speaking of Engadget… →

Mia Sato, writing at The Verge, which was famously founded by a bunch of folks who left Engadget many years ago:

The nearly 20-year-old tech publication Engadget is laying off staff and restructuring editorial teams today with a new focus around traffic and revenue growth. The changes are designed to give the outlet a stronger emphasis on commerce revenue, while removing key editorial leaders from its newsroom, including its editor-in-chief.

Engadget, which is operated by Yahoo, will lay off 10 employees, according to people with knowledge of the situation who say staff were “blindsided” by the decision. In addition to cutting staff, the editorial team will split into two sections: “news and features” and “reviews and buying advice.” The news teams will focus on traffic growth, while the reviews teams will report to commerce leaders.

I know several of those 10 folks, and to a person, they do great work. Yahoo continues to murder once-great web properties.

Odysseus Lunar Lander Tipped Over (Updated) →

Cheyenne MacDonald, writing at Engadget:

It turns out Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus spacecraft didn’t land upright after all. In a press conference with NASA Friday evening, the company revealed the lander is laying on its side after coming in a little faster than expected, likely catching its foot on the surface at the moment of landing. Fortunately, Odysseus is positioned in such a way that its solar panels are still getting enough light from the sun to keep it charged, and the team has been able to communicate with it. Pictures from the surface should be coming soon.

While the initial assessment was that Odysseus had landed properly, further analysis indicated otherwise. Intuitive Machines CEO and co-founder Steve Altemus said “stale telemetry” was to blame for the earlier reading.

The good news is that all but one of the payloads are on the upward-facing side, so some scientific work may still be able to get done, assuming the lander continues to function as expected.

Update: It looks like the lander will have a much shorter life than expected, possibly ceasing communication as early as February 27.

Apple’s Sports Features are Messy →

Jason Snell:

When I got my first demo of the new Apple Sports app, I admit to being a little surprised: didn’t Apple already do live sports scores? Hadn’t I just seen the Arsenal score and play-by-play on my iPhone on Sunday morning when I was in the kitchen making breakfast?

I had. And it has led to a lot of confusion about what the Apple Sports app does and doesn’t do, which highlights just how scattered Apple’s current effort to bring information to sports fans really is. I imagine that it wasn’t planned to work this way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple connects all of its disparate sports pieces eventually, but in the meantime things are a little confusing.

Let me attempt to clear it up a little bit.

I for one hope that Apple Sports becomes the single stop for all things scores, stats, and news for the teams I follow.

Vice.com Shutting Down →

Alexander Saeedy and Alexandra Bruell at the Wall Street Journal, via Apple News:

Vice Media said it would stop publishing content on its flagship website and plans to cut hundreds of jobs, following a failed effort by owner Fortress Investment Group to sell the embattled digital publisher and its brands.

The moves were laid out in an internal memo from Chief Executive Bruce Dixon, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

“It is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously,” Dixon told employees in the memo. He said the company could partner with established media companies to distribute its content. “As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on vice.com.”

Nick Heer:

This is a real shame; Vice had some of the best privacy and security coverage in the industry. I am sure I have referenced the site’s work at least dozens of times. Its record is imperfect, especially recently, but it has published solid, creative reporting for decades. Four of its former writers founded 404 Media last year, and other have found new gigs. Still, if all these articles disappear from everywhere but the Internet Archive, it will be a deep loss.

Intuitive Machines Makes History →

Aria Alamalhodaei, writing at TechCrunch:

Intuitive Machines has landed a spacecraft on the lunar surface, in a historic first for a private company.

Flight controllers confirmed the landing at 5:23 p.m. CST, though the exact condition of the spacecraft is unclear as engineers work to refine their signal with the lander.

“What we can confirm without a doubt is that our equipment is on the surface of the moon and we are transmitting,” mission director and Intuitive Machines CTO Tim Crain said. “So congratulations IM team, we’ll see how much more we can get from that.”

Apple Launches Apple Sports to Track Sports Scores →

Today’s the opening day of MLS, and Apple has a new iPhone app out for sports lovers. Here’s a bit from the company’s press release:

Apple today introduced Apple Sports, a free app for iPhone that gives sports fans access to real-time scores, stats, and more. Designed for speed and simplicity, the app’s personalized experience puts users’ favorite leagues and teams front and center, featuring an easy-to-use interface designed by Apple. Apple Sports is available to download now in the App Store in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada.

Everyone’s favorite Report Card Daddy Cal fan Jason Snell spoke with Eddy Cue about the new app:

“I just want to get the damn score of the game,” Cue says. “And it’s really hard to do, because it seems like it’s nobody’s core [feature].” In a sports data world increasingly driven by fantasy and betting, Apple’s not trying to build an adjunct to some other app business model. (There are some betting lines displayed in the app, but there’s also a setting down in the Settings app to turn them off if you don’t want to see them.)

“We said, ‘We’re going to make the best scores app that you could possibly make,’” Cue said.

I love Eddy Cue.

The app is pretty straightforward. It pulls in any favorite teams you’ve set in the TV app, and you can add additional favorites. If you’re freaking out that your college football team isn’t listed, don’t worry, an update will be coming to add them before they get started later this year.

My beloved Memphis Tigers don’t play basketball until this evening, but in poking around the app this morning I was a little surprised at the lack of notification settings, especially given how much control sports fans have come to expect in this area thanks to apps like ESPN or Sports Alerts. I will report back after I see how this all sorts out.

In terms of data, the app has everything I would expect as a basketball fan, including play-by-plays, team stats and full box scores. However, you can only go back in time one day to see data from previous games. I would like to see Apple have historic data in the app, at least for the current season. I’d also like to see widget support, but I can see that coming in an update easily enough.

More on Accessibility and Vision Pro →

Zach Knox has published a very insightful article exploring the accessibility ramifications of Apple’s new platform:

I have low vision. A kind you can’t really correct for with glasses or contacts. I also bought Apple Vision Pro at launch. Why would I do this? Well because I’m a nerd who wants to see the future, but also because I was fascinated to see how Apple would handle accessibility for this new product. Apple’s track record on accessibility in the past decade has been stellar, in my opinion, with their teams adding powerful options every year and ensuring every new platform has accessibility support built in from the start.

After watching Apple’s WWDC23 session on visionOS accessibility, I knew accessibility on visionOS was an important point for them. But even after consuming as much information on the platform as I could, I knew I had to try it for myself to know the answer to the important question: how well does it work for me?