Tuesday Morning News

Inconsistencies in battery life testing has resulted in Consumer Reports failing to recommend the new MacBook Pros. Consumer Reports tested the new MacBook Pros with Touch ID, with battery life that varied dramatically from one test to another.

Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said Apple was working with Consumer Reports to understand their testing methodology, as Consumer Reports’ results did not match with Apple’s own internal testing or data from the field. To their credit, Consumer Reports said battery life consistency was able to be fixed via software, and that they would perform additional testing after Apple released such a fix.

A message posted by Apple CEO Tim Cook to an internal Apple message board reiterates his position that Apple are very committed to the Mac and that “great desktops are coming”. The desktop has unique advantages over portable machines, and Cook writes that the far better performance, screen sizes, memory, storage, and more I/O variety as one of the main reasons people consider desktop Macs as really important or critical.

It’s claimed an upcoming version of iOS 10.3 will include a new “theatre” mode, and what’s being described as a “popcorn-shaped” Control Center icon, the latter of which seems like a pretty minor change. Rumour has it that the first seed of this new version of iOS will be coming out on January 10th.

Apple has extended the USB-C adapter price drops until at least the end of March. USB-C to Lightning cables, as well as USB-C to USB adapters and Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapters have all been reduced in price as part of the promo.

A new years activity challenge for Apple Watch users lets you earn a special achievement for closing all three Activity Rings in any full week in January. Even if you don’t earn the achievement for the first week, you’ll still have another three chances, and Apple says you will also get access to a special iMessage stickers for completing the challenge.

A review of AutoSleep from MacStories say there’s more to this automatic sleep-tracking app for the Apple Watch that first meets the eye. AutoSleep hides a lot of detail in its interface, which can help give you insight into your sleep patterns.

It might not be as well-known these days with the demise of optical media, but HandBrake is still a versatile video conversion tool. The app hit version 1.0 over the break, which now includes better default presents and improvement documentation.

Ben Brook’s evolving iPad desktop usage tells us about his year of using the iPad Pro as his desktop computer. The iPad Pro with stand and external keyboard is just as portable as any laptop, and just like a laptop, the battery usually gets pretty low by the end of the day. But the usual concerns people have with using an iPad for day-to-day productivity all have some kind of workaround.

I’ve been refreshing iStockNow for a chance at some AirPods, but website Is In Stock will send me an email once AirPods arrive in an Apple retail store of my choosing, which seems like a much better idea.

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