Monday Morning News

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has thoughts and observations on last week’s iPhone announcement, and he pulls no punches when he says the notch on the screen of the iPhone X offends him. Even worse, not only are Apple embracing the notch as part of the iPhone X design, they’re also embracing it as part of their software, too, when they could have chosen to minimise it with the OLED display. Skeptics point out that Face ID probably won’t be as good as Touch ID, but Gruber’s impressions say otherwise. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The Verge writes that with the notch on the iPhone X, Apple are turning a design quirk into a defining feature. In much the same way that Face ID replaces Touch ID, the notch replaces Apple’s home button as iPhone branding, and if I had to do some crystal-ball gazing, I’d have to say that the notch won’t be going away with next year’s iPhone. Sure, it’s incredible technology and all that, but Apple turning it into a design compromise and leveraging it as branding is genius, when you think about it.

One thing you’ll always notice about Apple’s marketing is that they never spend too long on specs. And if they do, it’s only so they can tell us, in plain English, what that means for our experience. Portrait mode lighting, then, was Apple talking directly to the youths who take selfies, the folks who are using Snapchat to plaster filters all over their faces. With both front and rear-facing cameras featuring the Portrait Lighting feature, you can bet Apple wants them to buy the iPhone X.

A minor detail spotted in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X specs say that all three devices fast-charge to 50% battery capacity in 30 minutes, but there’s a catch. You have to be using a USB-C power adapter to get faster charging, either the 29W one designed for fast-charging the iPad, the 61W used for charging the 13-inch MacBook Pro, or the 87W one used for charging the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Plus, you’ll also need a USB-C to Lightning cable, which doesn’t come with the power adapter. That’s at least $104 worth of accessories.

Six major advertising groups have published an open letter to Apple detailing their concerns with Apple’s new intelligent tracking prevention measures included as part of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Apple’s intelligent tracking prevention reduces the usage of cross-site cookie usage, making it harder for advertisers to track customers across websites and therefore, market to them.

TechCrunch says the launch of iOS 11 later this week will give a second chance to QR codes and NFC. With a built-in QR reader in the iOS 11 camera, and the ability to read NFC tags, devices with iOS 11 will be able to interact with the real world in new ways.

An update to PCCalc prepares for iOS 11 by including a few AR-related Easter eggs. There’s an AR mode which lets you drop objects into your current environment, and a car you can drive around. Weird.

Macworld has a few questions and answers about AirPower. We don’t know everything about AirPower just yet, but we can infer a few things based on what Apple said in the keynote, as well as what they’ve shared to members of the press.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have smaller batteries than any iPhone with the iPhone 6/6S/7 design, but still somehow maintain their battery life compared to their predecessors. The battery capacity drops aren’t huge, but it’s still interesting — perhaps more circuitry was needed to make magnetic charging work?

Kirk McElhearn writes about how developers will suffer from the removal of the iOS App Store from iTunes. I discovered on the weekend that there’s no way to get an iTunes link for an iOS app on my Mac, short of Googling and hoping I get iTunes results on the first page. McElhearn says this iTunes release feels like a mistake — there’s too many things that just don’t make sense, or feel like they were properly considered.

With the main iPhone now on number 8, and the iPhone ten being the iPhone of the future, speculation about how iPhone numbering will play out from here is an interesting thought experiment. Will we see the iPhone 9 next year? Will the successor to the iPhone X be the iPhone XI?

Notable Replies

  1. I said when the iPhone 7 was released that Apple should have shifted their phone range across to USB-C rather than keep using Lightning for technical reasons.

    I remain convinced that’s the case now but sadly I suspect it’s not going to happen.

    But being able to use a single charger across the MacBook Pro, iPad Pro and iPhone ranges would be wonderful.

  2. Still, Apple could include a USB-C charger and cable in the box with iPhones now, even if they’re keeping Lighting as the connection standard. That way, when they do switch over it’ll be less of a shock.

  3. So what spec are they actually using for fast charging? I have to assume USB-C PD.
    http://thewirecutter.com/blog/quick-charge-usb-c/

    Bah. I just had a long and detailed post with links and whatnot which I lost by accidentally hitting back on my mouse (I should really disable those buttons since I never use them except by accident).

    The short version, what difference to different chargers actually make to charge times (if any)?

    Stock Apple USB-A charger 1A?
    Aftermarket USB-A charger 2.4A?
    Aftermarket USB-A charger with QC? <- does this do anything at all?
    Is there a maximum amount of power that the iPhone can draw from USB-A?

    Apple USB-C charger (29W/61W/87W)?
    Aftermarket USB-C charger?

    I can’t wait for the independent test of charge times using the different options.

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