In-the-NewsThe iPad operating system has come a long way from when the iPad was introduced in 2010.  And every once in a while, we get advanced features, such as multitasking and the ability to use an external mouse with an interface even better than the one on a Mac.  Nevertheless, I often find myself wishing that the iPad’s operating system was more powerful, and I’m not alone.  This week, José Adorno of 9to5Mac explains why he wishes that the iPad operating system was more sophisticated, especially on the iPad Pro.  I heard a similar and even better argument for the same thing by Federico Vitticci on the latest episode of the Connected podcast, starting around the 62 minute mark.  The processor in the iPad Pro is incredibly powerful, better than most computers, but there are still many times when the iPad cannot do what a computer can do simply because of the limitations in the operating system.  Hopefully, Apple will address this in the next update to the iPad operating system, and we should get a sneak peek when Apple has its WWDC conference in about six weeks.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Last year, California attorney David Sparks reviewed the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack.  He started his longer review of this $99 battery ($89.95 on Amazon) that connects magnetically to the back of an iPhone with a one-sentence review:  “The MagSafe Battery Pack is overpriced but super convenient.”  As of this week, it is even more convenient.  The original version of that product charged an iPhone using 15W of power (if connected with a cable to a 20W or higher source), but that’s not the way that one would normally use that product.  Normally, you would be out-and-about and then you would connect the battery, and in that mode, it provided a slow 5W charge.  Apple updated a support document this week to note that if you update the firmware on the MagSafe Battery Pack, it can now charge on-the-go with 7.5W.  It’s nice to see that 50% improvement.  For many months now, my plan has been to buy a MagSafe Battery Pack whenever I saw a need for it.  But so far, the battery on my iPhone 13 Pro has been working so well that I don’t see a need for convenient and portable charging.  Nevertheless, if you own this product or have been thinking about buying it, now it is better.
  • Sparks also provides a tip that I didn’t know: if you type * # 0 6 # * on your iPhone, you will immediately see a screen containing your iPhone’s EID, IMEI, IMEI2, and MEID numbers, just in case a tech support person ever asks you for those.
  • In an article for Attorney at Work, Joan Feldman and Joy White ask a number of legal technology experts—Catherine Tang, Brett Burney, Camille Steel, Catherine Sanders, Juda Strawcyznski, Tom Lambotte, and Neerino Petro—to share some of their favorite apps.
  • Dan Goodin of Ars Technica reports that while Apple’s App Tracing Transparency (ATT) feature—the one that requires apps to ask for your permission before tracking certain activity—is slowly become less useful as companies find ways to circumvent ATT.
  • Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac reports on a class action lawsuit filed in Russia against Apple by iPhone users who are upset about Apple’s withdrawal of Apple Pay as a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 
  • Apple’s Maps app can provide cycling directions, but only for parts of the United States.  Justin O’Beirne, who tracks updates to Apple Maps, notes that this month Apple added cycling directions for some additional areas in the Midwest (including Chicago, Columbus) and the Northeast.  He speculates that Texas and the Gulf Coast might see cycling directions next.
  • If you use an Apple Card (credit card), Mike Peterson of AppleInsider reports that you can now earn 3% Daily Cash at Ace Hardware.
  • You can currently get the silver version of AirPods Max—the over-the-head version of AirPods—for $100 off on Amazon.
  • Meanwhile, Apple’s HomePod—which it no longer sells—is now being sold for more than the original $299 price because there is nothing else quite like it on the market according to Sean Hollister of The Verge.
  • In an article for Macworld, Glenn Fleishman explains how you can search for photos on your iPhone or iPad that contain a picture of text—but unfortunately, you cannot do this in the most natural place to perform such a search: the Photos app itself.  Apple needs to fix this.
  • Tim Higgins of the Wall Street Journal reports on Apple’s efforts to design its own chips, first on the iPhone/iPad and then for the Mac.
  • Every day, I play Wordle on my iPad.  Vice President Harris also plays Wordle every day, and she describes her Wordle passion to Claire McNear of The Ringer.  In that article, Harris also reveals that security concerns prevent her from being able to text anyone.
  • Speaking of security, Tristan Green of The New Web reports on not-yet-published research that reveals that many video conferencing apps still capture your voice data even if you have the mute button turned on.  We need to wait for publication to find out which apps on which platforms do this.
  • And finally, if you take advantage of Apple’s trade-in service when you purchase a new iPhone, what happens to your old iPhone?  Some of them are refurbished and resold, but others are taken apart and recycled.  The robot that Apple uses to take apart iPhones for recycling is called Daisy, and YouTuber Sara Dietschy created a video of Apple’s facility in Texas to show how it works.  Pretty neat stuff.