Wednesday Morning News

The legal battles between Apple and Qualcomm continue, with the latest being Apple claiming Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 820 processors infringe on eight of Apple’s battery life patents. While specifics of the patents are hard to find, the patents are said to cover technologies which allow processors to draw as little power as possible, and allow processors to quickly ramp up and down to decrease power usage over time. In other battery life news, rumours from the supply chain claim that future iPhones will have Apple-designed power management chips within two years.

Another rumour from Digitimes says Apple will be looking to release an even cheaper iPad next year. The $469 starting price of the current regular 9.7-inch iPad isn’t bad, but the rumour claims next year you’ll be able to get an incredibly capable tablet for somewhere in the $300 range — perfect for casual consumption usage scenarios.

Apple has agreed to pay US $15.4 billion to Ireland in back taxes. Apple was found guilty of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland last year, and Ireland’s finance minister says the two entities have reached an agreement with the money expected to be paid by Apple in the first quarter of the new year after originally challenged the EU court order.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken about how Apple contributes to the Chinese economy at the World Internet Conference. Cook said there are 1.8 million App Store developers from China, earning a total of US $16.9 billion, which accounts for about a quarter of App Store revenue globally. With Cook being a major proponent of security and privacy, MacRumors notes he appeared to choose his words carefully in front of his state-sponsored guests.

Three new colours have been added to Apple’s online store for Apple Watch bands, with the same colours also available as silicon cases for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. The Dark Teal colour reminds me of Apple’s Midnight Blue from a few years ago, and if you want to stand out, there’s always the Spicy Orange and bright yellow Flash options.

The tvOS 11.2 update for the fourth and fifth generation Apple TV fixes one of the problems with Apple’s streaming box. The new Match Content option now lets you choose optimised HDR and frame rate settings to match the content you’re playing, so you’re not viewing movies at an unnatural 60 fps, or plagued with content that looks unnatural due to HDR (or lack thereof, as the case may be).

Meanwhile, the release of watchOS 4.2 brings Apple Pay Cash support to the Apple Watch. For those of us outside of the US without access to the wonderful world of mobile person-to-person payments, you can now control HomeKit-compatible sprinklers and faucets with the Apple Watch, as well as support for tracking downhill snow sport activities by third party apps.

Apple has purchased podcast search startup Pop Up Archive. The Oakland-based company previously ran the audiosear.ch website, a full-text search and podcast discovery service, and now they’ve been acquired by Apple for an unknown sum, presumably to bolster the company’s own podcast discovery tools.

MarsEdit 4 is out today, and it’s a major update to a popular Mac blogging tool. Using a dedicated Mac app to write, publish, and review blog posts has some advantages over writing straight into the browser, including offline support, and there’s plenty of people that use MarsEdit as a local copy of what they have on their blog. There’s a 14-day free trial available, with upgrade pricing for anyone who has purchased MarsEdit in the past.

The MacStories review of the iPhone X begins with a look at the iPhone 4, a device that has been widely claimed to be among the best iPhone upgrades over the previous model, despite radical changes to the design. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but it’s in my Instapaper list.

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