Monday Night News

Apple says they’re releasing new emoji as part of iOS 11.1, which even though might not be the bullet-point of the release that you and I look forward to, helps Apple maintain the status quo with the rest of the mobile industry. I’m not sure who is wishing for broccoli emoji, but I can think of plenty of good uses for the sweary face emoji… none suitable for publishing.

A new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says all the major Android manufacturers are now looking into the same 3D face-sensing technology that will be included as part of Face ID on the iPhone X. While we’re all over here waiting for Apple to add an under-screen fingerprint sensor back to the next iPhone when they realise how big of a flop Face ID is, Android makers are jumping on board like Apple is some kind of trendsetter, or something.

Apple general counsel SVP Bruce Sewell is set to retire following his epic tours of duty battling the likes of Samsung and numerous patent trolls in the courts. In a press release, Apple announced Sewell would be retiring at the end of the year, with newcomer Katherine Adams formerly SVP and general counsel of Honeywell joining Apple as Sewell’s replacement as general counsel and SVP of Legal and Global Security.

Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive has spoken at this year’s New York TechFest. AppleInsider has the full audio of his interview, as well as a transcript if that’s more your speed and style. Ive doesn’t reveal much about what Apple has in store for the future, but does has some interesting thoughts on having enough space in our hyper-connected world that we live in, as well as where he thinks technology will be going in the future.

If there’s one thing that I hear every time Apple releases a major version of anything, it’s that older devices simply don’t perform as well as the previous release. There’s something of a conspiracy theory going around that Apple deliberately slows down the latest releases on older hardware to entice you to upgrade, but Futuremark went out to bust that myth, which they did with great aplomb. GPU and CPU performance remains unaffected by which version of iOS you’re running — at least in benchmarks, anyway.

For some reason, Apple added a button buried within the iOS 11 Settings app that turns off your iPhone. Perhaps there was some percentage of users who couldn’t shutdown their devices due to an inoperable touchscreen that worked with taps but not with gestures? Or people more often damage the top end of their screens more frequently than the bottom? Or maybe your sleep/wake switch doesn’t work at all.

If you have one of the new iPad Pros, they come with an included embedded Apple SIM that requires no additional hardware. One of Apple’s worldwide data partners, Truphone, recently announced that data plans would be available in an additional 31 countries by the end of the year. Truphone already supports Australia, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the UK, and it recently added Ireland and Portugal to that list. If you don’t have one of the new iPad Pros, you can always buy the traditional Apple SIM from an Apple Store.

Speaking of the iPad Pro, The Wirecutter tells us about the best iPad Pro keyboard case. It should come as no surprise that Apple’s own Smart Keyboard is their recommended pick — while it’s not the best iPad keyboard around in any respect, it’s the best for most people unless you have some specific need for some other feature.

Over at Hacking With Swift, developers tell us why they still prefer Objective-C to Swift. While Swift is the latest and greatest programming language that is making strides, there’s something to be the said for the maturity of a language like Objective-C, particularly if you’re doing some kind of cross-platform development and have some reason to want to use a C-like language.

Thanks to a mysterious link on the internet, I now have HEVC versions of the Apple TV screensavers on my Mac. For some reason I can’t play the HDR versions even on macOS High Sierra, but if you wanted some gorgeous-looking 4K HDR footage, look no further. (To download, you’ll need to do a little copying and pasting for the screensaver and versions that you want. Or you can just grab them all for posterity.)

Notable Replies

  1. Benchmarks are synthetic tests and absolutely meaningless, iOS 11 definitely slows down older devices such as the iPhone 6, 6S and even (to a lesser extent) the 7. There are 100’s (if not thousands) of people reporting these slow downs and real world experience trumps benchmarks every time in my experience.

  2. I’d be prepared to go with “not the full picture” or “require interpretation”, but claims that a data set is meaningless need to be backed up by better data and preferably a reason why the initial data is wrong.

    Which is why we say that the plural of anecdote is not data. There are thousands of people, and more everyday apparently, who think the earth is flat and many thousands more who think a secret cabal of god-knows-who is spraying mind control chemicals from aircraft.** They are absolutely certain of these things. Things that have no basis in fact.

    A bunch of people thinking a particular thing means very little on its own. A good starting point for making a hypothesis and testing it perhaps - kind of like what the Futuremark people did - but the data one gains from such testing is what counts. If it’s not correct then, by all means, come up with a better test and do it and publish your results, or even point out the flaws in methodology which prevent the test from being accurate.

    ** Fun thing to do with pilots: ask them where the chemtrail switch is in their aircraft and stand back as their heads explode! Do not do this while flying unless wearing a parachute!

  3. I agree. iOS 11 is a terrible performer all round. I downgraded my iPad Pro 10.5 and iPhone SE as a result. Benchmarks don’t matter at all application opening speed, response time ect.

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