Katie's Week in Review: May 15, 2016

It was a bit of a slow week for Apple news as it feels like we’re starting the pre-WWDC lull. Nevertheless I was able to find a few links of note for the week ending May 15, 2016:

  • There has been an ongoing question the last few weeks of whether Apple Music was deleting files from users computers. Some speculate there was a problem with the Apple music service while others pondered whether the iTunes interface was just so unintuitive that users were accidentally deleting files themselves. An Apple spokesperson confirmed to iMore this week there is in fact a bug in iTunes that impacts a small number of users and results in iTunes removing music from their local libraries. Serenity Caldwell writing for iMore, has more details and says that Apple is planning a fix via a software update sometime next week.
  • As reported by Federico Viticci on MacStories, Apple appears to be shortening App review times. Currently, review times are down to about 1–2 days compared to the 7–10 days it took apple to review apps int he past. It’s unknown whether this is a conscious effort on Apple’s part to shorten the review process or whether this is just a seasonal dip. However long review times have been a criticism of many App developers.
  • App Camp For Girls has a new purple T-shirt on sale (hurry - sale ends in 4 days!) with all the proceeds of the sale going to Michelle Petruzzi Memorial Fund which support the App Camp For Girls Program. Michelle was the Operations Manager for App Camp who passed away at the age of 36 after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer. If you want to help honor her memory and support a great cause, consider picking up a snazzy T-shirt, I’ve already ordered mine.
  • Jason Snell over at SixColors has posted his review of the 2016 MacBook. While the design of the MacBook is the same, it received a nice speed bump thanks to internal upgrades. As Jason discusses, this is a laptop that has invited a lot of criticism but also very intriguing. I’m keeping an eye on what Apple does with the MacBook Pro line in 2016 but I haven’t totally discounted the possibility that this may be my next laptop.
  • Apple has released its fourth update to Safari Technology Preview this week which included fixes for connecting to the 1Password Extension as well as watching videos on Netflix along with general bug fixes.
  • David and I have spoken quite a bit about security on recent episodes of Mac Power Users (see episodes 316 and 320). One area that has come up is the “Internet of Things” or connected devices which Jeff Gamet, writing for The Mac Observer says is a security disaster. These are devices that we use in our homes and to collect information about ourselves via cameras, sensors and microphones, but sometimes they come with significant security flaws that can be ripe for exploit.
  • Instagram got a new look this week. As John Voorhees for MacStories writes, Instagram said goodbye to skeuomorphism with its new icon and redesign. I’m okay with the new icon. Though what I really dislike is the new timeline - that isn’t really a timeline. Ugh.
  • I’ve professed my love for the Amazon Echo. As reported by Mark Bergen at Recode, Google is preparing an answer to the Echo, code-named ‘Chirp’. Google already has their own voice assistant so it was only a matter of time before they decided to play in this space given Amazon’s success. Now the question is when will Siri finally be revamped and let out out of her iOS prison?
  • Speaking of Siri, she recently had a starting role with actor Neil Patrick Harris in Apple’s latest commercial “Thank You Speech.” While not nearly as funny as the Cookie Monster ads, it’s pretty cute. The video is below.
  • Finally, my thanks to Agenda Minder for their sponsorship of the site this week. Agenda Minder is a personal productivity app for the Mac that helps you prepare for your meetings. Click here for more information on how you can advertise on this site through an RSS sponsorship.