Wednesday Morning News

Apple has cancelled the Apple Music Festival after nearly ten years of annual events. Previously called the iTunes Music Festival, Apple’s music-focused event saw some of the biggest names perform on stage at its London Roundhouse location, with Apple streaming the event within iTunes and on Apple Music in more recent years. The event was scaled back from previous iterations, going from nightly concerts to just ten shows in total, but it’s still a curious move given Apple wants to promote Apple Music.

Bloomberg reports Apple is returning to the debt market by selling US $5 billion worth of bonds to finance share buybacks and dividends. This latest round of share buybacks is all part of Apple’s plan to return US $300 billion of capital to shareholders by 2019, with the company already about three quarters of the way through.

A new Apple Store is on the way, with Apple announcing the Tianyi Square store opening on September 16. There’s not much more info beyond the store opening at 10am local time, as per other Apple Store openings, but store number 498 and Greater China store number 48 should be as impressive as the rest of them.

A story in the New York Times says the Boston Red Sox used Apple Watches to communicate to players. It’s alleged the Red Sox stole hand signals from opponent’s catchers, but it’s unclear how the Apple Watch was involved, exactly – the article mentions Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch and then relayed information to players, but did they pass on information using an Apple Watch app? Or was the watch merely used to reference hand signals?

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s latest email to staff pledges support to those affected by the US President’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In his email, Cook refers to those who arrived in the US illegally as children as “Dreamers”, saying that for them, America is the only home they’ve ever known. Over 250 such “Dreamers” currently work for Apple, Cook notes.

Apple’s Beats Studio 3 headphones feature Apple’s W1 chip for better wireless connectivity and reliability, as well as some fancy new noise-cancelling tech that listens to the environment to automatically adjust the level of noise cancellation. With noise cancelling enabled, you’ll get about 22 hours of battery life, but without, that number jumps to 40 hours. The Beats Studio 3 can be ordered online from Apple for $450, but won’t ship until mid-October.

SIM card trays are one of the best indicators of the available colours of the next iPhone, and if the latest round of part leaks are to be believed, the SIM card trays suggest that the next iPhone will only be available in gold, silver, and black. Perhaps Bro’s Gold just didn’t sell as well?

Andrew Marinov says Apple has a localisation problem, saying that the last time Apple added a new language was over 7 years ago, but that just isn’t true. There’s definitely more that Apple could be doing to improve language support, but maybe they’ll make that a priority when they want to go after different markets.

Pixelmator Pro has been announced by the Pixelmator team, and the preview has plenty of adverbs to describe the kinds of improvements. But seriously, the single-window interface looks great, and non-destructive, GPU-powered image editing with machine learning-enhanced editing features is definitely something I can get behind when it launches exclusively on the Mac App Store within the next few months.

Curiously, Apple has released a tenth beta of tvOS 11 to developers. There’s almost zero info on any changes in this particular version, but whatever it is, Apple wanted to get it in the hands of testers before an expected release sometime within the next month.

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