Monday Morning News
Apple’s guided tour of the iPhone X tells you about all the new stuff, including how to use Face ID, Animoji, and Portrait Lighting. Ignoring the impossibility of holding an iPhone that still while doing a demo of all the new features, it’s a great, practical introduction to the great iPhone X-only features. There’s also the Apple support article on using gestures to navigate your iPhone X, if that’s more your thing.
The most useful part of the Wall Street Journal’s review of the iPhone X is the quick reference guide to what all the buttons do. Click the link, scroll about a third of the way down, and check out the missing manual for the iPhone’s buttons and on-screen gestures for interacting with Control Center and apps. It’s nothing that hasn’t been published by Apple before, but this is the only place I’ve found which collects all of the button functions in one place.
Another Apple support article tells us about the Super Retina display on the iPhone X. It’s interesting that Apple has chosen to publish potential issues with the OLED technology used in the display, with Apple noting that off-angle shifts in colour and hue being normal, as well as burn-in being a thing, despite Apple assuring us that they’ve done everything they can to reduce the effects of OLED burn-in. It certainly raises questions about the longer-term longevity of the display.
The customary iPhone X teardown from iFixit gives us a peek inside the internals of Apple’s latest and greatest. The iPhone X has a much different internal design than previous iPhones, with a stacked logic board that takes up less space within the device. The internal design also allows for a dual-cell battery design that iFixit says is more about using up the available space than purely increasing the size of the battery, but the iPhone X still has a larger battery capacity than the iPhone 8 Plus.
Ben Bajarin notes that wireless charging is a bit hit and miss, and he largely attributes the problem to Qi being an open standard. Without specific guidelines to solve problems such as getting the alignment just right (and keeping it that way to allow the wireless charge to happen), you end up with a phone that hasn’t charged. Apple’s own support article on wirelessly charging your iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X even specifically mentions that the vibration from an incoming notification may cause your iPhone to shift out of position.
On the other hand, if you prefer a good, old-fashioned cable to charge your iPhone, great! The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X all support fast-charging. But that’s where the good news ends: your new device doesn’t come with this capability out of the box, you’ll need a USB-C to Lightning cable, as well as a power brick that supports the USB-C Power Delivery spec. While third-party power bricks support both and can be cheaper than the Apple equivalent, we all know that USB power bricks aren’t created equal.
The most impressive app update to add compatibility with the iPhone X display is from Halide, which received a significant redesign to take full advantage of the edge-to-edge display. Halide 1.5 uses both screen “ears” to display a histogram and exposure information, and features a one-hand friendly design.
Other app updates include 1Password, which adds support for Face ID and a “Quick Copy” feature, while Overcast bundled an iPhone X interface with other user experience improvements as part of version 4.0. Plenty of other apps have been getting iPhone X user interface fixes for the larger screen, but it’s still too early to call out apps that haven’t. We have to give those poor developers a few days, at least.
Apple’s Q4 2017 financial results were announced on Friday in the midst of Australia’s iPhone X launch, and it was another record quarter for the company. Apple made US $10.7 billion profit from $52.6 billion in revenue, with the company selling 46.7 million iPhones, 10.3 million iPads, and 5.4 million Macs. The transcript of the conference call following the results has Apple CEO Tim Cook repeating the fact that Apple doesn’t disclose the split between 8 and 8 Plus sales, or revealing specific numbers about iPhone X pre-orders multiple times.
Seeing as it’s Apple support Monday, the weirdest Apple support article I’ve seen in recent history goes to the one which describes an issue where typing the letter “i” autocorrects to a capital “A” followed by a Unicode symbol. Apple’s suggested fix? Try setting up a text replacement. I mean, what is going on over in Cupertino…