Monday Morning News
If I told you Apple was going to replace the 3.5mm headphone jack on the next iPhone with a universal Lightning port, you probably wouldn’t believe me. But that’s exactly what Japanese website Mac Otakara is saying, with the latest rumour claiming Apple will also release Lightning-compatible EarPods alongside the next iPhone. While headphones with Lightning connectors are nothing new, they’re incredibly rare, even after Apple released the spec for Lightning-compatible headphones in June 2014, as noted by MacRumors — but if Apple does go ahead with this move, the user backlash will be immense.
Of course, this wouldn’t have been the first time Apple has alienated its most music-obsessed users, as Wired puts it. And it all starts and ends with iTunes, the software that burdens every iOS device out there. Sure, Apple’s cord-cutting philosophy over the past couple of years has meant that you don’t have to use iTunes, but Apple’s bloated music and device management tool still ticks a few boxes.
Now that Apple Pay has launched in Australia, I wonder what usage numbers are like. Anecdotal evidence suggests not many people have Amex cards (especially not when compared to Visa and MasterCard), and of those, I wonder what the split of bank-issued versus Amex-issued is. In the battle between the banks standing their ground by choosing to explore their own digital payment solutions, and Apple rolling out Apple Pay in partnership with Amex, consumers lose, and Labor’s Ed Husic wants none of it.
Not counting the new Apple TV, the numbers put Apple as owning 20% of the global streaming media player market. That’s from just three models of the Apple TV, and while devices such as Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku’s lineup are nipping at the heels of Apple with 16% marketshare each, Google’s Chromecast takes home the crown with 45%.
In its ongoing efforts to protect the iPhone from damage, Apple has applied for a patent that protects the iPhone’s fragile display with retractable bumpers that detect when the iPhone is dropped and deploy bumpers that save the display from meeting a hard surface suddenly.
The Apple Pencil is notable compared to other styluses because it’s somewhat difficult to get a hold of, as well as being more expensive than the alternatives. But how does it compare otherwise? 9to5Mac’s comparison of the Apple Pencil to the other stylus accessories is the stylus comparison you were looking for.
I’m not sure what Microsoft are doing releasing a beta of Cortana on iOS devices, given that it’ll never be as integrated as Apple’s Siri, however it does offer a number of integration advantages with its Windows counterpart that Mac users sadly miss out on, even if they have access to the same kind of data (reminders, events) via other methods or apps.
Sony is planning to let you stream games remotely from your PS4 to your PC or Mac. Remote Play will let you play games from your PS4 on your Mac or PC, after Microsoft debuted a similar feature on the Xbox One and Windows 10.
Much has been said recently about the Mac App Store and how it’s been somewhat neglected by Apple, and over at Macworld, Rob Griffiths has suggestions on how Apple can fix the Mac App Store. Many of his points are applicable to the iOS App Store, too, which apparently doesn’t need the same kind of attention (it totally does).
Stephen Hackett shows off an iOS 5 screenshot gallery, specifically iOS 5.1.1. Things were different back then, even if they didn’t have as much white design, blur, or translucency as they do now.
Interestingly, Flappy Golf (a combination of Super Stickman Golf 2 and Flappy Bird) has seen a massive uptick in App Store downloads since the school holidays started, with no kind of marketing push on the developer’s part.
With Thanksgiving weekend just past, Jason Snell has a couple of tech things we can be thankful for.