Friday Morning News

Apple has released the first public beta of macOS 10.12.4 to members of its public beta testing program. The update brings Night Shift mode to the Mac, along with other bug fixes and performance improvements. Similarly, iOS 10.3 has now been made available via Apple’s public beta testing program — if you want to check out how Find My AirPods works, then now is the time.

No Apple news post would be complete without some kind of lawsuit against Apple, so to that end Apple are now being sued for using part of a Jamie xx song in one of their new iPhone ads. As detailed by Ars Technica, the lawsuit isn’t a copyright case — instead, Apple’s use of part of a Jamie xx song, which contains samples from a song by The Persuasions from their 1971 album, allegedly violates The Persuasions’ lead signer Jerome Lawson’s right of publicity. And the crazy thing is, it took my longer to type out those sentences than the actual ad is.

John Gruber has more details on how Apple will allow developers to respond to App Store reviews. Apple is limiting how often apps can prompt for reviews to three times per year, and while I’m still skeptical of how useful the feature will be for big-name developers, for indies it could be a valuable tool.

Apple is said to be joining Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and IBM in an AI research group that will “study and formulate best practices, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society”. The Partnership on AI hasn’t announced Apple’s membership just yet, but Apple are expected to confirm later next week.

The closure of Simply Mac Apple resellers in the US has led to numerous comments from other Apple Authorised Service Providers, who say they’ve been “slowly strangled” by Apple on margins, who also expect “free labour”. Even long-time Apple resellers and service centres are somewhat looked down on by Apple, with up-front profits falling and Apple’s own performances in recent years contributing to a slowness.

Microsoft has released a standalone OneDrive client on the Mac, which will allow IT administrators to manage and deploy the Mac OneDrive client. The current OneDrive client is only available via the Mac App Store, which presents issues for management and deployment.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard of Wine, now that Boot Camp and virtual machines are more widespread. But the app compatibility layer is back with Wine 2.0, which now allows Mac users to run Microsoft Office 2013 (no, that isn’t a typo) and 64-bit Windows apps on their Mac.

AppleInsider goes hands-on with a new version of Air Display. The iPad app turns your iPad into a second screen for your Mac over a wired connection or over wireless, and from what I gather, it’s a lot like Duet Display which does a similar sort of thing.

Apple’s iOS app icons have a very specific shape, and one possible explanation is that the app icons are not rounded rectangles because Apple’s devices aren’t rounded rectangles. Like everything else Apple, it’s so well designed that you don’t even think about it, but there’s a lot to it.

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