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.

Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber explains Apple slowing down older iPhones due to battery degradation as a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t situation. It’s easy to see this as an issue of Apple covering up iPhone slowdowns on older devices, whether that’s to want to entice people to upgrade or not. Or even as a situation where Apple’s doing the right thing, but going about it the wrong way. There’s definitely case to be made for both arguments. But where an issue affects every iPhone owner, shouldn’t the company do a better job of openly communicating this, instead of trying to sweep it under the rug?

The Verge says that it’s possible all of this could have been avoided, if Apple had done their homework and made better estimates of iPhone battery longevity from the start. While Apple probably did the best they could with the information they had at the time, it’s hard to know which is the lesser of two evils here: should your iPhone perform at peak for two or three years, then experience random shutdown issues, or continue to work normally at a slower pace after that two or three year period?

Apple has relaxed some of the more restrictive App Store submission guidelines, particularly around the use of commercialised templates or app generation services. Now, companies using templates or app generation services can continue to do so provided they’re submitting the app to the App Store under an account owned by the content provider, not, say, submitted by an agency on behalf of their client. Apple also now wants vendors of random-chance loot-boxes to list the odds of receiving each type of item, and as pointed out by Ars Technica, China has had similar rules in place for a while now.

A technical analysis of last week’s HomeKit vulnerability says Apple temporarily made the problem worse when it released iOS 11.2. Khaos Tian explains that HomeKit servers didn’t check for the sender of a remote control message, which means that if you gained access to unique identifiers for authorised devices, as a bug in watchOS 4-4.1, and then separately in iOS 11.2 and watchOS 4.2 allowed you to do, you could control someone’s HomeKit accessories.

I still consider vertical videos wrong. Regardless of your own, uh, orientation on the issue, YouTube will now play vertical videos properly on your phone; vertically, with no black bars either side.

There’s a thorough comparison of the level of detail between Google Maps and Apple Maps. It’s easy to point out the differences between the level of detail between Google’s maps and Apple’s, although I’m not sure it’s as far a comparison as the author attempts to make out. Remember that Google has been in the mapping game for longer than the entire public lifespan of Apple maps, and they probably have a bunch more resources to throw at the problem than Apple does. Still, to those who are navigating their local towns by the satellite fixtures on the roof of buildings, Google Maps is definitely the way to go.

Over at MacStories, Federico Viticci tells us about his must-have iOS apps for 2017. The App Store has matured to the point where there are more competitors for any type of app that you want that it’s mostly personal preference amongst the top-shelf offerings, so it’s nice to read something put together by someone who has clear goals for any app they’re using.

There’s a similar list for Mac apps, even though that list is somewhat smaller than iOS. We got plenty of major updates to popular Mac apps this year, plus a bunch of newcomers to the scene that have companion iOS versions.

If you’re looking for something to play over the Christmas and New Year break, the real, full version of Civilization VI just landed on iPad. You’ll need an iPad, iPad Air 2, or iPad Pro to play, and while the full game will cost US $60, launch pricing currently has that at $30 until January 4, 2018. Just, remember to spend time with friends and family over the break.

The morning news returns on January 8.

Notable Replies

  1. AVC says:

    Thanks for all your newses over the last year Benny!

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