With Managing Editor Josh Centers on the job, we have a nice set of ExtraBITS for you to read this week, including articles about how the iPad could interfere with pacemakers, how iOS encryption is slowing down law enforcement, concerns about Apple’s weak and confusing photo management story, Apple breaking into the Fortune 10 for the first time, and a nice overview of iPad writing tools.
iPad Could Interfere with Pacemakers — If you want to stay heart healthy, you should exercise, eat right, not smoke, and… stay away from iPads? As Bloomberg reports, 14-year-old Gianna Chien has discovered that the 30 magnets in the iPad 2, which are used to hold the Smart Cover in place, could accidentally disable a pacemaker if the user falls asleep with the iPad on his or her chest. Apple warns of this danger on page 126 of the iPad User Guide, but how many of you read that far? Chien made the discovery while working on a science fair project, which sadly didn’t win first place. (We hope the media coverage of her project helps makes up for that!)
Apple’s iOS Encryption Baffles Police — Despite recent complaints about iOS security, it’s effective against at least one group: law enforcement. According to Declan McCullagh at CNET, police departments around the country are sufficiently stymied by iOS device encryption that they’re turning to Apple for help. They’ve flooded Apple with so many requests for assistance decrypting confiscated iPhones that Apple is putting them on a waiting list of up to 4 months. Of course, the flip side of this story is the suggestion that Apple has a backdoor method of cracking iPhone encryption.
Peter Nixey’s Open Letter to Apple about Photo Management — Developer and entrepreneur Peter Nixey has posted an open letter to Apple emoting about problems with and proposing solutions to managing photos on Apple devices. Nixey’s main complaints revolve around the lack of useful iOS tools for photo management, duplicates and confusion in Photo Stream, Photo Stream’s inability to sync videos, and devices with too little storage. He suggests a new paid Apple service that would store the canonical version of a user’s entire photo and video collection in iCloud, allowing access from any of that user’s devices. Fingers crossed that Apple realizes just how broken the current system is and addresses these and other complaints!
Apple Breaks into the Fortune 500’s Top Ten — Apple’s tumultuous stock price has pushed it into and out of the top spot among U.S. companies by market capitalization, but that doesn’t help with the Fortune 500 list, which ranks companies by gross revenue. Not that Apple’s doing badly there either — in the 2013 Fortune 500, Apple jumps from 17th place all the way to 6th, cracking the top 10 for the first time and giving a more accurate picture of how Apple compares with other corporate giants.
A Writer’s Analysis of iOS Writing Apps — Writer, counselor, and longtime TidBITS reader Gary Bloom has tapped out an elaborate comparison of writing apps for iOS, in which he cleverly compares each one to a house. He even kindly mentions our review of Nebulous Notes; though it’s not our “favorite” writing app, per se, we just liked it enough to give it a review! If you write on your iPad, this article is a must read — his favorite app may surprise you.