Every month, we’ll be bringing you a handful of carefully-considered, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes, these will be a look back at how a product is doing, one year on, and other times, a deep-dive into why Apple didn’t invent some new-fangled thing you see every day on the web. Bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- Before we get into some pieces discussing the Apple Watch one year after its release, I want to point out that Apple did not invent emoji. Emoji are everywhere on the web these days, and Apple and other smartphone manufacturers are adding new emoji with almost every point release of their operating systems. But not all emoji are created equal, and what you see on one platform may end up being (very) different on another.
Granted, the iPhone did have a 20-month head start at exposing the English-speaking world to emoji. Plus there’s that whole thing where Apple features are mysteriously assumed to be the first of their kind. I’m not entirely surprised that Apple’s font is treated as canonical; I just have some objections.
Apple’s first CareKit apps were revealed yesterday. The four apps contain post-care modules designed to monitor the progress of someone who has recently undergone medical treatment, with other modules recording health and activity data, analysing that information, and sharing the results with medical professionals. The four apps include one for diabetes management, one for depression medication management, as well as two apps for reproductive and maternal health. And since CareKit is open source, all the apps and their templates are available on Apple’s GitHub.
The second coming of Apple Pay in Australia is thanks to ANZ, who now support Apple’s mobile payments for ANZ-issued Visa and American Express cards. People have already been able to add their ANZ-issued cards to the Wallet app on the iPhone, and Apple’s Apple Pay site has also been updated with the news, which also notes MasterCard support is coming soon. ANZ marks the first of the big four banks to offer Apple Pay in Australia, and Reuters reports Apple is continuing discussions with CBA, NAB, and Westpac.
The numbers from Apple’s Q2 2016 results go a little like this. Apple made $50.6 billion in revenue, $10.5 billion in profit, and while those aren’t record-setting numbers for the company, they’re still strong results. MacStories has a few graphs to help you process the numbers, and Apple also announced an expansion to its capital return program to $250 billion.
As it turns out, you don’t need Apple’s assistance with unlocking iPhones when someone simply gives you the passcode. The iPhone 5S running iOS 7 involved in an on-going drug deal investigation in New York was unlocked on Friday after the passcode was provided to the authorities, with the US Government no longer requires Apple’s assistance in the matter. Ars Technica reports it was the original owner who supplied the passcode.
FBI Director James Comey says the FBI paid upwards of $1.3 million for access into the San Bernardino iPhone. Despite the device generating no new leads but somehow still contributing to the investigation, Comey says it was worth it from his perspective, even though it’s about the same amount as Comey will make in his position.
Apple has settled a Siri lawsuit dating back to 2012. A patent was granted in 2007 that described natural language interface using a constrained intermediate dictionary of results, and as part of the settlement, Apple has agreed to pay $24.9 million in order to continue using Siri, as well as being free of lawsuits based on the same patent for three years.
The first-ever update to Apple’s MacBook brings Skylake processors, faster storage, and even more battery life than the original, which launched around this time last year. The early 2016 MacBook also comes in a Rose Gold colour option, and interestingly enough, Apple has decided to keep the single USB-C port and not add Thunderbolt to their ultraportable. In Australia, the new MacBook retails at $1,999 for the 1.1GHz m3/256GB version, or $2,449 for the 1.2GHz m5/512GB configuration.
Ask, and you shall receive… as long as you’re asking for the WWDC 2016 dates, and as long as you’re asking Siri. Siri has apparently revealed the dates for WWDC this year, which will run from June 13 through to June 17. Although Apple’s personal assistant didn’t offer any information about location, there’s a good chance WWDC will happen at Moscone West in San Francisco.
Apple’s answers to questions about Apple and the environment reveal what the company thinks is the average product lifecycle for first-time Mac and iOS device owners. In conducting the Product Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Assessment, Apple assumes OS X and tvOS devices will be used for four years, while iOS and watchOS devices will be used for three years, which probably isn’t too far off the mark.