Thursday Morning News

Apple’s holiday gift guide has Apple hardware and accessories for the whole family. While an iPhone X still seems like a fairly extravagant gift unless you’re particularly well off, I can totally see AirPods being given as gifts, or at a stretch, even an Apple Watch. Other than that, there’s the usual selection of Apple Watch bands, cases, and other app-enabled accessories. And because Apple’s holiday return return policy is now in full effect, anything you buy from now on can be returned through January 8, 2018.

Apple now holds the fourth spot in global PC shipments. The numbers according to TrendForce put Apple behind HP, Lenovo, and Dell, with Apple’s recent quarter setting an all-time revenue record for Mac sales. Macs now account for just over 10% of the PC market.

Jean-Louise Gassée says that even though the iPhone X represents a risky bet for Apple, they’re not doing so without some kind of insurance in the form of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Apple’s financials from iPhone models has seen its fair share of dips and plateaus, and while it’s probably unrealistic to expect every iPhone release to result in positive revenue growth quarter after quarter, year after year, Apple’s own financial guidance for next quarter speaks volumes about how they think the iPhone X bet will pay off.

Marco Arment tells us about the best laptop ever made. He’s referring to the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which sported the same overall design from its first introduction in 2012 to when it was semi-discontinued following the introduction of the thinner models with the Touch Bar. The older design of the 15-inch MacBook Pro might not have been particularly flashy, it might not have had fancy USB-C ports or Touch ID, but it got the job done.

A former Apple engineering director who worked as Senior Director of Engineering on the Aperture and Photos teams has released RAW Power for iOS. While there’s already a Mac version of the RAW photo editor available from Nik Bhatt’s Gentleman Coders company, RAW Power for iOS brings the same image editing capabilities to iPhone and iPad. It’s free to download, but there’s a US $9.99 in-app purchase to unlock advanced editing features.

You’ve probably seen enough notch-removing apps recently, but the absolutely free Denotichfy takes your iOS wallpaper and spits out a version with a black bar at the top. No mess, no fuss.

There’s also another standalone Animoji video recording app called AnimojiStudio that you can sideload on your device. It offers unlimited length Animoji video recording, and you can even choose to record with or without audio for karaoke shenanigans later on.

MacStories tells us about the original Apple TV. While the first version of the software on Apple’s video-playing box needed a computer with iTunes, the second update let you use the iTunes Store directly for movies and TV shows. The built-in hard drive allowed for local content storage in a time when internet connections weren’t as fast as we have them now, and the rest is history.

There’s a bit of fuss being made over Firefox Quantum, which Mozilla says is over twice as fast as the previous version of Firefox. Firefox has been completely overhauled as part of the revamp, with a new user interface and a speedier rendering engine under the hood. If you were previously a Firefox diehard, it might be worth checking out.

If you’ve decided that you’re going to keep your iPhone X, the best thing about Face ID is that how it learns over time. Teach it how your face looks in different scenarios by putting in your PIN, and next time you intentionally put on a pout and try to unlock your iPhone X, watch it unlock. Just like magic.

Notable Replies

  1. I’m still rocking my 2013 15" Retina Mac Book Pro, I’ve considered replacing it a few times over the last four years, but honestly, I can’t see $4k worth of upgrades in any of the modern units. I’m with Marco (partly from his ATP podcasts too) that it’s a damn shame that Magsafe went away along with USB A and especially the SD card slot. We still live in a world where both are used pretty regularly and I don’t want a box of adaptors to cart around. The older rMBP really does have everything.

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