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Connected, Episode 252: Full Oracle Mode

On this week's episode of Connected:

Federico has concerns about dummy units of the next iPhone. Stephen is troubled by the icon used for Software Update in macOS. Both of them receive a visit from a mystic being named Myke. Oh, and it's World Emoji Day!

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

0:00 01:25:56

Connected, Episode 252

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The Iconography of Apple Maps

Mercury Intermedia, in a post on Medium, shares its extensive documentation of Apple Maps' iconography over the years:

A few years ago we published a post examining the point of interest (POI) icons within Apple Maps titled More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Apple’s Spotlight Location Icons. POI icons have existed in Apple Maps since Google was the maps provider. But with iOS 6, Apple took full ownership of Maps and introduced a selectable, color-coded POI system with all new iconography.

We took particular notice of the icons included with iOS 8 when Apple began using larger versions of these icons at the system level as part of their new Spotlight search feature. Apple has continued to iterate on these icons and has made several additions and refinements. With iOS 10 for example, Apple redesigned the Maps app to use the larger POI icon set directly on the map itself. This post will examine how the system has grown and evolved over the past few years.

If you're interested in design, iconography, or how these things have evolved over time in Apple Maps, the post is a fantastic resource and fun exploration of the little details that make a significant mark on user experience. For example, the article includes quotes from designer Scott Dunlap comparing Apple's icon changes over the years and what purpose those tweaks served, as well as offering feedback for how Maps' icon set could stand more improvement, particularly for greater clarity at small sizes.

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Adobe Marks World Emoji Day with Findings of Key Emoji Survey

Today on World Emoji Day, Adobe has shared the results of its recent survey of 1,000 US emoji users:

Among the emoji users surveyed, the overwhelming majority use emojis to lighten the mood of conversations (93%) and show support to people (91%). Aligned with this finding, emoji users’ top three favorite emojis are 😂 (#1), ❤️ (#2), 😘 (#3). Interestingly, a majority (81%) of emoji users believe that people who use emojis are friendlier and more approachable.

The survey included participants ages 16-73 who use emoji at least weekly. The full report is interesting to explore, as it lists favorite emoji by users' gender and the region of the US they live in. Across all tracked demographics, the laughing emoji was most-used, but the differences in runner-ups are well worth checking out.

Yesterday Apple got a head start on World Emoji Day by sharing a preview of its new emoji coming in iOS 13 this fall. Though there aren't any obvious standouts that seem destined to achieve high levels of use, my personal favorites so far include the sloth and yawning face.

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Connected, Episode 251: The Worrier Warrior

On last week's episode of Connected:

Myke has a story about the beach, Federico has a plan for NFC stickers, and Stephen has some thoughts on this week's MacBook news.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

0:00 01:22:50

Connected, Episode 251

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Adapt, Episode 5: Desktop-Class Safari and the Magic of OCR

On last week's episode of our iPad-focused show Adapt:

Safari is growing up this fall in iPadOS 13 to a true desktop-class browser, and Federico and Ryan detail everything that's new; also, this week’s challenge involves using apps to perform OCR on a 400+ page PDF.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here), and don't forget to send us questions using #AskAdapt and by tagging our Twitter account.

0:00 01:05:38

Adapt, Episode 5

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Video Game Narrative Design and Writing Science Fantasy Novels with Carrie Patel (Part 1)

Today on Dialog, we are joined by video game narrative designer and novelist Carrie Patel. In this first part of our conversation, we explore narrative design in games Patel has worked on at Obsidian Entertainment, including Pillars of Eternity and The Outer Worlds, which is coming to consoles and PC in October.

In this installment of our conversation, Patel explains what narrative design is, how it fits into the video game development process, balancing gameplay and narrative, working collaboratively with a large team from different disciplines, and more. Next week, we'll dive into Patel's Recoletta trilogy of novels and how she balances the demands of writing books and working on video games.

You can find the episode here or listen through the Dialog web player below.

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Apple Disables Walkie-Talkie App Due to Security Vulnerability

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

Apple has disabled the Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app due to an unspecified vulnerability that could allow a person to listen to another customer’s iPhone without consent, the company told TechCrunch this evening.

Apple shared an official statement with TechCrunch:

We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.

Panzarino rightfully points out the parallels of this issue with the highly-publicized FaceTime bug from earlier this year. The one key difference: whereas with the FaceTime bug, when it was reported by a user, Apple didn't respond or take action until the problem received widespread media attention; with this Walkie-Talkie bug, Apple followed up on a customer's report and addressed the issue seemingly before anyone else knew about it. Hopefully this is the sign of improved processes inside the company for handling serious bugs and vulnerabilities.

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