Numeric Citizen Introspection Newsletter #14

This is my introspection summary on my numeric life for 2021-09. A new iPhone iteration came to be with great photography upgrades. Remembering 9/11 too.

Numeric Citizen Introspection Newsletter #14
September was the month of the iPhone 13 launch, which added the macro photography support.

Posts highlights from my Numeric Citizen Blog, microblog, my Medium page or finally from my Numeric Citizen I/O blog.

September came, the iPhone 13 came with it.

I got my new iPhone 13 Pro on September 24th. As soon as I could, I went out for my first Photowalk with it. As expected, coming from an iPhone 11 Pro, it wasn’t just an iterative upgrade. I came back impressed but, 5G1 wasn’t a thing yet. I later figured out that I had to contact my provider to upgrade my smartphone plan.

I am going back to the office, NOT so fast!

September marks the partial return to the office, once a week, each Thursday. I’m mostly positive about this, as soon as it’s only for one day a week.

Sideloading of apps is still a thing.

First, consider this post by Marco Arment, a well-known developer, on the future of the App Store, to which I responded. Not everyone is on the same page, though. It’s the case with Mike Rockell, to which I responded too (and here too, on my Medium page). In a word, I don’t want this to happen.

Another iterative update, iPadOS 15, is welcomed.

I wrote a detailed article on how iPadOS 15 is helping me as a blogger. The problem is that I’m using less iPadOS 15, more macOS Monterey now that I’m using a MacBook Air for content creation, like building this newsletter issue.

1️⃣ While the iPhone 13 Pro is not killing real cameras anytime soon, and it is getting better and better each year. However, with computational photography, it seems there is much more room to grow. As noted by John Gruber, computational photography might be the only way for Apple to get over the iPhone's limited internal space for more glass.

2️⃣ Is buying an AppleCare+ protection a good idea? Well, it might be. Blogger “Basic Apple Guy” did the maths and yes, it does make sense. The thing is that we never know in advance if we will need to take advantage of it. For me, the question comes down to buying some peace of mind. It’s close to being priceless. Mathematically, I don’t think it is a judicious investment, as I never claim any repairs.

3️⃣ Does Apple screw up sometimes? You bet. The latest could be the Safari 15 address bar redesign. When my wife upgraded her iPad to iPadOS 15, she noticed and talked about what happened to Safari?

4️⃣ Thirteen could be a lucky number for Apple. The iPhone 13 is popular in China. We will have a better indication of the iPhone 13 popularity when Apple announce their financial results at the end of October.

5️⃣ Can’t count how many people would like Apple to replace the iPhone Lightning port with USB-C. European regulators are asking. I would prefer Apple to think ahead of the curve and go portless if something has to change2. It won’t be an easy move to swallow for people with car accessories, for example. How would one connect the iPhone to CarPlay?3 Is it about control and money? it depends who you ask. Again, Gruber has a good piece on the subject.

First, consider having a look at this brilliant photo montage. Elderly people are looking at a reflection of themselves when they were young. Brilliant and touching.

The iPhone 13’s camera subsystem is a great upgrade for people coming from the iPhone 11 or earlier. My early experience so far is very positive. I’m testing using both the stock Camera app and Halide. I’m still trying to figure out the benefits of ProRAW, though. A notorious photographer, Austin Mann, went for a safari in Tanzania with the iPhone 13 Pro. There are some incredible pictures over there.

The previous tweet starts a great thread discussing the iPhone 13 macro photography capabilities and what it means for amateur photographers. Photography techniques have never been more accessible. But, what about traditional cameras? Well, sales have dropped 87% since 2010, and prices went to the roof. Why? I don’t have the answer to this question, but I know that the return on the investments doesn’t look like it to be on par with the amount of money you can spend on recent camera gear. There is an interesting discussion in “We Live in the Era of Post-Peak Camera Demand… So What’s Next?” on the PetaPixel website. I encourage you to watch the 30 minutes video too.

By looking at the tweeted photos in the previous tweets, maybe drones are making a dent in photography.

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Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer” — The Washington Post. It’s hard to comprehend what is happening when thinking about climate change impacts. But, when people are repeatedly exposed to burning forests, cities and flooding, maybe they can start to get it. And, also from the Washington PostPeople around the world increasingly see climate change as a personal threat, new poll finds”, because they see close enough the threat, they are starting to realize that change is needed. And change must come from all of us.

Apparently, Apple is getting some money from Google to let them be the default search engine for the web on the iPhone. I mean, a lot of money. Am I at ease with this? Not really. It is like if Apple put a price on our privacy non-protection, at 15 billion dollars. A year. Could Apple create its own search engine, more privacy friendly? Is Apple willing to drop revenues from Google in the name of privacy protection? That would be much more courageous than removing the headphone jack.

Still, on the subject of privacy protection, we should remind ourselves that safety often comes down to our behaviours. For example, don’t give your Apple ID password to anyone4, even if you get requests to do so, verbally or by email or any other means. Surprisingly, it seems easy to fall into the trap.

"You always hear Americans say, 'I know my rights,' but you never hear an American say, 'I know my responsibilities and obligations.'" — Morris Fiorina on Reddit
HODINKEE founder Ben Clymer once remarked that to really understand the Apple Watch, you have to commit to it, and I think that's more true now than ever.
Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say. — Edward Snowden
Apple’s iOS update is the annual consolation prize for people not buying the newest iPhone model. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars, you can add a little zest to your perfectly fine older generation iPhone (or iPad) for free — Heather Kelly, The Washington Post
Part of the complexity here is that US, UK and EU regulators will produce different rules on different timelines. What happens if EU regulators require side-loading but US regulators do not? — Benedict Evans

1️⃣ Do you remember the day of 9/11? Where were you when you first heard the news about the attacks? What were you doing? I remember precisely that moment. I was at work. At first, it was about a possible plane accident with the World Trade Center. We tried to look at news sites, but the internet was barely usable. We rushed to the TV in the cafeteria. I still think of these events quite often. In retrospect, it is fascinating to remember the internet was back in the day. Flash technology was the leading technology used to stream video content at the time. Now that Flash is no longer working gone is a lot of video content of these events. Troubling.

2️⃣ What should be a computer company in 2021? Depending on whom you ask, you could get entirely different answers, like this one. Remember when Apple dropped the “computer” from their name? I remember listening to the special Apple event being Steve Jobs announcing the change. Think of this as the “Nike” moment for Apple.

3️⃣ Speaking of Steve Jobs, a long, long time ago, he used to wear a Seiko watch during the early Macintosh years. Unfortunately, the original watch is no longer available to buy by there was a re-edition in 2017. I tried to search the web to see if there was a way to buy the watch. It’s only available on eBay for a lot more money than I’m willing to spend. I’d like Apple to introduce a watch face inspired by the Seiko watch.

I’d love to own one of these.

4️⃣ The Townscaper game trailer is officially out. I’ve been in love with this game for a while now, and I’m happy to report that it is working on the M1 MacBook Air. Now, if only it could come over to the iPad. 🕹

In the read-later service and applications space, something is happening: to launch a new reader later application and service. As a subscriber to and Pocket, I’m very curious to see this new Reader app in action. I’m waiting to get my invite to the private beta. 📖

I’ve been experimenting with Twitter’s Revue newsletters service recently. I must say that I really like the experience over there. I have built three newsletters with it. The latest issue represents what I plan to use the service for: documenting special events happening in the world of Apple. I’m not planning to quit Substack anytime soon, don’t worry. Head to my Revue profile, see for yourself, and maybe subscribe to the Through Apple Observer’s Eyes newsletter!

This concludes the Numeric Citizen Introspection Newsletter #14 for September of 2021. I would love to get your feedback and read your comments. Thanks for being a subscriber. Thanks for reading! 🙏🏻


5G network is probably the most hyped feature in the recent history of tech.


That would be a great middle finger to regulators without a clue about tech in general.


Wireless CarPlay was not widely available the last time I checked.


Don’t share any of your passwords, for that matter!