December 2017

Friday Morning News

The latest Apple Watch rumour from Bloomberg says the company is developing an EKG monitor for a future model. It’s part of Apple strategy that will turn the Apple Watch into an ever better medical device that everyone wears, on top of the already life-saving heart rate monitoring that the Apple Watch offers, and an in-built EKG would only allow the Apple Watch to detect even more heart abnormalities with greater accuracy.

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Thursday Morning News

Apple announced plans for a new Apple Store in Australia, located in Federation Square in the Melbourne CBD. Melbourne has been asking for a CBD location for a while now, hoping it could be like the other cool states, but I’m not sure they were asking for Apple to turn public space into a commercial venture for its own gains. Apple’s press release is telling, containing language like “increase the public space” and “improve access to the Yarra”. The building itself looks OK, I guess.

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Wednesday Morning News

Apple is being sued for the new App Store logo found in iOS 11. Chinese clothing brand KON has a very similar “A” or triangle shape constructed from three lines, and they’re currently suing Apple for violating Chinese copyright law. KON wants Apple to publicly apologise for using its logo, stop selling devices that use the App Store icon, and pay compensation for economic losses incurred. It’s all kind of funny, when you think about Chinese copyright law and the amount of copycat products that have come out of China.

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Monday Morning News

John Gruber’s first impressions of the iMac Pro at Apple’s hands-on event in New York City tells us about the serious, professional iMac Pro. It gives Apple a foothold into the world of pro-level appliances, kind of like the old trash can did. Over at Six Colors, Jason Snell says that most people shouldn’t buy an iMac Pro. You’ll know if you need an iMac Pro, and if you don’t know, you probably don’t.

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Friday Morning News

Apple’s iMac Pro is now available to order. The base configuration comes with an 8-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W processor, with 32GB of DDR4 ECC RAM, 1TB of Flash storage, and AMD’s Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics card with 8GB of RAM. The price might be a tough to swallow $7,299 in Australia, but it compares favourably to the US list price. Still, there’s got to be some kind of market for an all-in-one, pro-level machine that’s non-upgradeable, and The Verge says that if you’re planning to buy an iMac Pro, you should really know what you’re buying it for, more so than any other Mac.

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Wednesday Morning News

Apple has updated the iMac Pro page on its website with a release date for Apple’s most powerful all-in-one. In Australia, the iMac Pro will be available on Friday, with YouTube personality Marques Brownlee saying that only the 8 and 10 core versions will be available to order this week, with the 14 and 18-core versions coming next year. Brownlee’s first-week impressions after a week with the iMac Pro say that it’s much, much, faster than any Mac before it.

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Tuesday Morning News

Apple has confirmed to BuzzFeed and a number of other outlets that it is acquiring Shazam. Apple says the Shazam team will be joining as part of Apple Music, with both teams working together to deliver a great music experience to users. I’m interested to see how this turns out; while I’m unsure what Shazam can offer as part of Apple Music, perhaps there’s some kind of music discovery integration that I’m not seeing.

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Monday Morning News

A zero-day HomeKit vulnerability discovered in iOS 11.2 allowed unauthorised access to connected accessories. While details about how the vulnerability weren’t disclosed, the ramifications were pretty serious as this wasn’t a fault of individual accessories, but with the HomeKit back-end. This allowed Apple to roll out a server-side fix which temporarily disables remote access to shared users, with Apple also saying it would be restoring that functionality in a future update.

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Friday Morning News

Apple continues to flip-flop between metal and glass-backed iPhones, following a rumour that claims next year’s iPhones will return to a metal back design in a variety of colours. There are benefits to both approaches; metal backs are generally lighter than glass, but glass backs allow for simpler antenna designs. Evidently, Apple hasn’t made a decision on which material they prefer, so perhaps they should go with a completely different material instead.

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Thursday Morning News

Consumer Reports ranks the iPhone X lower than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in their 2017 iPhone rankings. Their reasoning includes battery life and durability differences; despite the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X all having similar double-sided glass designs, the iPhone X fared worse than the 8 or 8 Plus in their drop tests. Battery life on the iPhone X as tested was also lower than the iPhone 8 Plus, with the X coming in at 19.5 hours compared to the 21 hours of the 8 Plus.

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