Apple came this close to bringing back the away message
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Apple came this close to bringing back the away message

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So close! | Image: Apple

Apple has a habit of, if not innovating outright, then at least presenting the most polished version of existing ideas. Its Universal Control, for instance, is basically a Logitech thing, done beautifully. One of its announcements at WWDC yesterday missed that mark but came achingly close to bringing back a defining feature of the dial-up days.

The announcement in question is, of course, Focus, a new set of features meant to help iPhone users let people know when they are not to be bothered. “It turns out, it’s even easier to step away and focus if people know we’re busy,” Apple’s SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi said. “So we created an easy way to signal to others when you’re doing that.” Focus solves the problem of either:

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