Monday Morning News
Teardowns of both the new Retina MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar show almost no new changes. That’s not entirely surprising, given that both models already had USB-C and/or Thunderbolt 3, so compared to the iMac that’s less internal changes. Highlights of the relatively minor changes include the new butterfly switches for the MacBook, new glyphs for the control and option keys, and very low repairability scores.
Apple has posted a teaser for Taiwan’s first Apple Store. Speculation says the Taipei 101 location will open before the end of the month, despite no solid information otherwise, and Apple has covered the usual black boards signalling an imminent opening with a massive work of art from Taiwanese paper-cutting artist Shih Yi Yan.
As it turns out, making $80,000 per month on the App Store is pretty easy. An investigation into an App Store scam involving a $400/month subscription for a bogus virus/malware scanner tells us about how Apple might be making some of the insane numbers that the App Store currently racks up. If nothing else, it’s a good look at what Apple could be doing to improve aspects of the App Store for unsuspecting users, and here’s hoping Apple implements some of the recommended changes to App Store search ads and recurring subscription visibility.
Bloomberg thinks the next iPhone will not have gigabit LTE connectivity. Apple’s current litigation with Qualcomm is the reason cited, with Qualcomm offering a cellular modem capable of gigabit speed but Intel not currently offering a competing product. It’s possible Apple could still use Qualcomm modems in the next iPhone, but with Apple leaning towards a dual-supplier strategy, if anything the Qualcomm modems will be limited to not show the disparity between the two variants.
Six Colors details improvements to podcasts shared at WWDC. It’s mostly quality of life improvements, with extensions to Apple’s podcast feed spec getting some additional fields to specify whether an episode is part of a season, or is a full episode, a teaser, or bonus content. This opens up new possibilities for podcast apps to display differing content, either for serial podcasts or for extra special episodes, and podcast apps will also know whether to download full seasons of podcasts or individual episodes.
One of the cool things about Apple’s use of higher-efficiency image and video formats is a roughly 50% reduction in storage space. HEIF for photos and HEVC for video offer file sizes roughly half of their current counterparts, all without any real quality loss. That said, I JPEG probably won’t be going anywhere soon, at least until some app advertises compatibility with HEIF files.
A comparison of the advertised specs of the iMac Pro with comparable PC workstations sees an advantage for the Mac when it comes to both price and features. While it’s not a perfect comparison by any means (you can’t buy the iMac Pro just yet, and by the time you can, PC parts will likely have come down in price) it’s a lot of food for thought, especially when you factor in the all-in-one design of the iMac and sheer coolness factor of the space grey Magic Keyboard, Trackpad, and Mouse.
MacRumors shows off the customisable Control Centre in iOS 11. Besides fitting everything onto one page, the new Control Centre also allows you to customise the toggles and sections as you see fit. If you don’t use the flashlight or stopwatch shortcuts, why not swap them out for a low power mode toggle, or one to start a new screen recording? If I have one gripe with the new Control Centre, it’s that you can’t re-arrange the radio toggle, music, or volume or brightness sliders.
We haven’t heard much about the first tvOS 11 beta, but what we do know is that it will allow Apple TVs to automatically pair to AirPods. Being able to pair a set of Bluetooth headphones to the Apple TV is one of those things I keep forgetting about, and might be one of the features that mean I get an Apple TV if I ever own, you know, an actual TV.
An official pair of Apple-branded sneakers from the 90s are up for auction, and the starting bid is $15,000. They do look pretty cool, but there’s no way you’d wear them if you paid that much.