Weather Forecasts Are Much Better Than They Used to Be →

Hannah Ritchie:

Weather forecasts are often seen as just a nice thing to have. Useful when planning a Sunday barbecue, or when we want to know if we’ll need an umbrella for the day. But in many ways weather forecasts are absolutely crucial: they can be a matter of life and death.

Accurate forecasts can save lives by giving early warnings of storms, heat waves, and disasters. Farmers use them for agricultural management, which can make the difference between a lost harvest or a harvest of plenty. Grid operators rely on accurate forecasts of temperatures for heating and cooling demand, and how much energy they’ll get from wind and solar farms. Pilots and sailors need them to carry people across oceans safely. Accurate information about future weather is often absolutely vital.

In this article, I look at improvements over time and the global inequalities that need to be closed to protect lives and livelihoods around the world.

We’re Going Matte to the Future

A pair of rumors are circulating about the screens on future Apple devices.

Up first, we have Chance Miller, writing at 9to5Mac:

A new rumor today says that Apple has invested billions in a new coating technology for future iPhone displays. This technology would allegedly make future iPhone displays “more scratch-resistant” and add a new anti-reflection layer, but it won’t be ready for the iPhone 16 this year.

The rumor comes from the account Instant Digital on Weibo, which has previously shared accurate information about upcoming iPhone announcements. Apple has reportedly developed equipment that adds a “super-hard” anti-reflective layer to the iPhone’s display, which is also more scratch-resistant than before.

This report notes that the work needed to create these displays at scale is just now underway, with the designs “only recently handed over to Apple’s supply chain partners,” hence the belief that this won’t be coming to the iPhone 16 line this fall.

Next, we have Hartley Charlton, writing at MacRumors on another report by Instant Digital that claims that the next iPad Pro will have a matte screen option. Charlton writes:

The Weibo user explained that the iPad Pro’s new matte display option will be offered in addition to the standard, glossy glass finish. It apparently features -4° to +29° of haze and may tout some kind of blue-light blocking technology to help protect the eyes. Matte screen protectors for the iPad have become popular, so it is possible that Apple is trying to offer such an option at the point of purchase for those who want it.

It is not known if the matte display option will be “nano-texture” glass like on the Pro Display XDR and Studio Display, but it seems plausible. Nano-texture glass is effectively a matte finish that scatters light to minimize glare, which is ideal in environments with bright light sources. While matte screen coatings effectively reduce reflections, they also make the image slightly more dull and hazy. Nano-texture glass features an etched surface to help preserve image quality.

I would expect that if these reports are true, these new matte screens would not be like the nano-texture glass used by Apple on the Pro Display XDR, Studio Display and the old 27-inch iMac. While its anti-glare properties seem very desirable in a mobile device like an iPad, it comes with a cost when it comes to keeping the screen clean. Here’s how Apple directs users to care of the screen:

If your Apple Studio Display, Apple Pro Display XDR, or iMac has nano-texture glass, follow these important guidelines to prevent damage when cleaning the screen.

To remove dust or smudges from the nano-texture glass screen, use only the polishing cloth that came with your Studio Display, Pro Display XDR, or iMac.

For infrequent cleaning of hard-to-remove smudges, you can moisten the cloth with a 70-percent isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution.

Never use any other cloth to clean the nano-texture glass. If you lose the included cloth, you can order a replacement polishing cloth.

That said, if the iPhone report is correct, whatever Apple has cooking up for the iPhone isn’t going to be ready for iPads that are due any time now. Maybe the company would apply its existing nano-texture glass to a high-end iPad Pro, despite its complexity, and wait for something that would theoretically be easier to care for to come along for the iPhone, which vastly outsells the iPad.

However this shakes out, I think making the iPad and iPhone less glossy is very interesting. Screen brightness can overcome a lot of glare, but if Apple can make its devices less reflective, without harming what makes its displays so great, I’m all for it.

Sponsor: Black Ink for iOS →

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Apple Style Guide: March 2024 →

Hot off the presses, a new PDF from Apple, complete with this silliness:

Apple Vision Pro: Always use the full name. In general references, don’t use the with Apple Vision Pro. It’s OK to use another article or a possessive adjective: Adjust the fit of your Apple Vision Pro.

You put on and take off Apple Vision Pro. When you have it on, you’re wearing it.

And this:

Don’t refer to Apple Vision Pro as a headset. In most cases, use the product name; in
content where the name is repeated frequently, you can use device.

Sponsor: Rogue Amoeba’s SoundSource →

Do you use audio on your Mac, in any way at all? Then SoundSource is for you. SoundSource provides superior control over all audio, right from your menu bar.

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Per-application control: Change the volume of any app relative to others, and play individual apps to different audio devices.

Audio effects, anywhere: SoundSource has great built-in effects, like Magic Boost and Volume Overdrive, as well as a built-in 10-band equalizer to sweeten sound. Advanced users will love the ability to apply Audio Units like “Sound Isolation” to any audio.

Fast device access: Adust settings for your Mac’s Output, Input, and Sound Effects audio devices, instantly. Change levels, tweak the balance, and even switch sample rates, right from the menu bar. You may never need to open the Sound System Preference again!

SoundSource

SoundSource’s “Super Volume Keys” feature can even make your keyboard’s volume keys work with any output device. It’s pretty incredible, and there’s much more to see.

Download the free SoundSource trial, then purchase today. For a very limited time, 512 Pixels readers can get an amazing 33% off. Save $13 with coupon code HACKSS13, through the end of March.