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.

The most popular apps and games of 2017 are being shown off by Apple on their new mini-site. While app and game of the year awards are localised, in Australia the app of the year matches the one in the US: Calm took out the spot for iPhone app of the year, while Splitter Critters was the iPhone game of the year. Affinity Photo and Hidden Folks took out the top spots for app and game of the year on iPad, respectively.

It must be that time of year, because Flickr has release their report of the most popular cameras. It’s no surprise that the smartphones now make up the majority of the most popular camera models, with the iPhone in particular taking out 54 of the top 100 device spots.

TechCrunch reports Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that he hopes and is optimistic for apps that have been removed from the Chinese App Store to make a return. It’s not a huge stretch to know he’s talking about VPN apps, as well as more mainstream apps like Skype and other peer-to-peer communication apps which offer end-to-end encryption.

Apple has classified the 2011 Mac Mini as obsolete, meaning you can no longer get parts or service coverage for the machines. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given that the machine was discontinued in 2012, but with the current Mac mini model growing a little long in the tooth, it means any current model Mac minis should be covered for a long, long time.

The latest update to iTunes increments the version numbers in the usual fashion, also containing bug fixes and performance improvements. No amount of bug fixes will bring back the App Store to the app, but maybe we’re better off without it in the short term.

About a month ago I was seeing some strange app updates pop up. The release notes for some of the apps mentioned that they were compatibility fixes for iOS 9, but others simply said that the releases were signed with Apple’s latest signing certificate, with no other changes. Unfortunately, some thorough investigation turns up some interesting possibilities, but no confirmation of why old apps had updated re-pushed.

Craig Hockenberry talks about how not to do accessibility. Accessibility on the Apple Watch, particularly the Bold Text feature, seems to be a hot mess — while it successfully bolds text as you’d expect, it also appears to bold graphics, too — which can make already tiny Watch icons look bad.

Safari has a show-all-tabs mode that you can invoke by using the Command-Shift-\ keyboard shortcut, and from there you can Command-F to search all of your open tabs.

Ars Technica talks about the future of Nintendo’s mobile gaming efforts, given the lacklustre estimated revenues of its most recent release, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Everyone wants Nintendo to make first-class games for the mobile platform, but when the company isn’t happy with the revenue it’s making, it seems like a hard fight to justify more resources for potentially less payoff — especially when the Nintendo Switch seems to be such a runaway success.

Start the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au