Over at Recode, Spotify says Apple is “using the App Store as a weapon“. The streaming music company says Apple has rejected a new version of their iOS app, but the article isn’t clear on why the app was rejected. The consensus seems to be Spotify wanted to remove the option for in-app subscriptions to Spotify altogether — which came at a premium over web subscriptions due to Apple’s 30% cut — but Apple rejected the app on those grounds. Shouldn’t app developers get to choose when they offer subscriptions or not?
Photos from Chinese social media site Weibo show off what appear to be a Lightning-enabled pair of EarPods, which either confirms Apple’s removal of the headphone jack in the next iPhone, or the end of the world as we know it, based on some people’s reactions. Besides the obvious change in connection, the EarPods with Lightning appear to be identical to regular EarPods, although their authenticity is still questionable, at best.
Fastcodesign’s John Brownlee spoke to Apple director of software engineering for location and motion technologies about the year-long journey to optimising watchOS for wheelchair users. Support wheelchair users and allowing them to track their fitness and activity as much as everyone else was important to Apple, a company that’s been traditionally better than average on pushing accessibility features to the forefront.
Previous rumours about a “deep blue” version of the iPhone may turn out to be a much darker version of the Space Grey. Comparisons of Apple products over the years indicates that Apple has had a few variants of their Space Grey colour, although it’s hard to fault them for not understanding the colour — after all, there are infinite shades of grey.
Headphone cords are one of those things you don’t generally think about. At least, not until they get inexplicably tangled in your pocket, leading to you spending a few minutes unravelling a knot more twisted than the plot of any Game of Thrones novel. Or what about when the cord on your headphones snags on a passing object, yanking your earbuds out of your ears? And for us in-ear headphone users, what about when the cord brushes against your clothes, making that annoying rustling sound in your ears? What I’m saying is, there’s probably a reason Jaybird named their newest wireless earbuds the Freedom.
The Jaybird Freedom are a US$199 Bluetooth-powered set of wireless buds. They’re available in four different colour combinations, each with a tasteful accent to highlight the mostly-metal design, although my pick would be the black or white versions. Jaybird says they’re sweat-proof, and judging from the rest of the marketing material on the Jaybird website, they’re aimed at people who live an active lifestyle, people that would enjoy taking their headphones out for a run or a ride. To that end, Jaybird appears to have made every effort to optimise the Freedom for those scenarios.
Apple discontinued the Thunderbolt display on Friday, making the screen something of an endangered species. The Thunderbolt display, first introduced in 2011 and not updated since then, was only really the display to go for if you had a Mac with a Thunderbolt port and wanted a few extra USB ports when connected at your desk. The Thunderbolt display will be available until stocks last, at which point it will be gone — if you’ve ever wanted one, now is the time.
Among the minor changes expected in this year’s iPhone, a longer earpiece cutout and relocated ambient light sensor are the latest to hit the rumour mill. These small changes mean that current protective films will not work on the new iPhone, and due to the consistent rumour about a dual-lens camera in the Plus-sized model, mean that existing cases won’t work, either.
Headphone jacks are the new floppy drives. Debate is heating up over Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from the next iPhone, both on the web and in our forums. Gruber says it’s almost inevitable that the headphone jack will go, so the only question that remains is: when? He says the decision isn’t about device thinness, but about advancing the technology, with only a few minor considerations if the headphone jack gets removed. A minor follow-up piece says there’s two sides to every coin, and in this case, you can be OK with Apple removing the headphone jack and complain about the short-term annoyances.
A paywalled article from the Wall Street Journal corroborates previous rumours that claim Apple is removing the headphone jack in this year’s iPhone. Besides the removal of the headphone jack, only minor design changes are expected in the 2016 iPhone, with the major changes expected to come next year as part of the tenth anniversary iPhone.
With rumours about this year’s iPhone claiming that it will ship without a headphone jack, speculation turns to what Apple will be doing with the included accessories. One website claims Apple will ship a standard pair of EarPods with the iPhone, including a Lightning adapter in the box for to allow regular headphones (and the EarPods) to connect, although MacRumors notes that it’s also possible Apple will come out with Lightning-enabled EarPods for the launch.