Thursday Morning News
John Gruber questions yesterday’s claim from the Wall Street Journal that at least one new iPhone will be getting USB-C. Instead of making Lightning EarPods the shortest-lived Apple product in recent history, it would have made sense to switch to USB-C last year. The smart money would be on the fact that Apple will ship a USB-C charger with this year’s iPhone, not an iPhone that has a USB-C port.
As pointed out by Macworld, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus has already removed the physical home button in favour of a virtual button. If the rumours are true, the next iPhone could do away with that, too, instead being capable of sensing fingerprints anywhere you place you fingers on the display. Macworld’s argument for and against removing Lightning on iPhones makes some kind of sense, but I’m just not sure if it’s the right time.
Facebook has launched its video app for the Apple TV. Well, kind of — Facebook Video is bundled with the Facebook iOS app, and lets you watch videos that were shared by friends, from pages you’re following, or even stuff that you’ve watched recently. There’s an auto-play feature that can’t be turned off, even if the lack of any kind of search limits the app’s usefulness a little.
Speaking of the Apple TV, a cool feature I didn’t know about is called Top Shelf. It turns out that if you put a folder of apps on your top shelf, you can scroll through the contents of that folder without having to jump into any particular app.
If you connect a compatible Ethernet adapter to your iOS device, using something like Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter, then you now get a cool interface that shows you some settings that relate to it. I’m sure it’ll come in handy for those that need to look at what IP address they have on an iPhone connected to ethernet.
Apple has expanded availability of carrier-billing for the iTunes Store and App Store to three additional carriers in Austria, Italy, and Singapore, but no word on when the feature will be coming to Australia. That said, the US doesn’t get carrier billing either, so I’m not sure what the deal is there.
I haven’t signed into my .Mac-based AIM account for years, but AOL has announced that it will be disabling older and less-secure methods of sign-in to AIM as of March 28. You’ll still be able to use AOL’s standalone chat app to sign in, but otherwise your third-party client may need an update.
The revised version of the LG UltraFine 5K display with better RF shielding so it can be used within two meters of wireless routers will start shipping from the Apple Online store starting March 7.
Matt Gemmell writes about using the iPad for note-taking and planning. Unsurprisingly, he’s using a combination of GoodNotes and the Apple Pencil to accomplish two of the tasks on his list of going iPad-only.
Unfortunately, Oculus Rift support for Macs is not currently on the roadmap, and won’t be for at least six months. It makes a lot of sense — Apple’s generally sub-standard graphics hardware would mean that a lot of work would have to go into optimising the experience so it’s not completely garbage.