Friday Morning News
The Verge’s review of the Apple TV 4K says that the 4K support is good when you get free upgrades of your existing iTunes content, but nothing special compared to other similar streaming boxes/sticks from other manufacturers. Instead, it’s basically a video format war that says you don’t get Dolby Atmos support, no YouTube in 4K, no Disney or Marvel movies in 4K, and even makes some 1080p content look bad due to how the Apple TV now supports 4K, but prioritises certain refresh rates over features.
The good news is, it’s possible for the Apple TV 4K to get support for Dolby Atmos surround sound in a future tvOS software update. And the reason that the Apple TV 4K doesn’t play 4K content from YouTube — one of the largest sources of 4K content besides the iTunes Store and Netflix — is because of a missing codec. Apple seemingly doesn’t want to support Google’s VP9 codec, and it’s the same reason why 4K content doesn’t play within Safari.
Speaking of formats, while iOS 11 does an admirable job of attempting to share a compatible image format when you have HEIC turned on and share an image to an app or to a computer, Windows machines can’t view HEIC images by default, requiring some kind of conversion process before being able to view images.
These kinds of teething issues aren’t out of place when major, established platforms decide to do things differently, and iOS 11 is no exception. The new video and image formats give you better quality at smaller file sizes, but are less compatible than their older counterparts. Control Centre doesn’t disable the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi radios completely, but the big one is iOS 11 dropping support for 32-bit apps.
On the other hand, iOS 11 enables some great new experiences using AR. 9to5Mac has a roundup of a bunch of ARKit-powered apps, even though I’ve found AR surface detection to be mediocre at best. There’s even an ARKit-based Sodoku puzzle solver, although the ARKit limitation means it has issues working with puzzles shown on a computer screen.
On the iPad, shelf apps are making a serious impact on iPad productivity. MacStories has a roundup of the best iPad shelf apps, which act as a temporary storage place for things you’d like access to later. Combined with iOS multitasking features, they’re incredibly useful for getting access to snippets of text, links, emails, or whatever else.
Craig Federighi’s response to a user email is that the 3D Touch app switcher gesture will return to iOS 11 in a future update. It was removed due to a technical constraint, possibly related to the gestures in iOS 11 for the iPhone X, but it will be coming back.
A security issue with iCloud’s Find My iPhone feature was used to lock Macs remotely, which were then held to ransom. Two-factor authentication doesn’t prevent the hack, as iCloud doesn’t need it for Find My iPhone access, so the lesson here is to keep your Apple ID email address and password safe. Or disable Find My Mac, if it’s not a feature that you’ve ever used.
Apple’s latest ads did show off the revamped App Store in iOS 11, but for some reason, they’ve been temporarily removed. While I’m still a little salty about the removal of the iOS App Store from the Mac, the App Store on iOS 11 really makes apps feel special again, even if there’s more of them than ever before. Now that the App Store has been around for years, Apple’s focus should be on quality, not quantity, and it seems like they’re doing just that.
If you’re looking for a puzzle game to play this weekend, check out The Witness. It’s an extraordinarily pretty environment game where you wander about and solve line puzzles, and you’ll be seeing line puzzles for days, possibly even weeks, afterwards. The Witness is $15 on the Australian App Store, but at that price it’s still a steal.