Wednesday Morning News
Apple’s latest push for original video programming sees the announcement it is developing a drama series based on professional American basketball player Kevin Durant. While the “Swagger” series hasn’t gotten the official green light to have a season shot, edited, and produced, there’s probably a good chance it will be if Apple execs decide they like the series. Note also that we’re yet to see any of the half-dozen TV shows that Apple has commissioned from the US $1 billion fund it set aside for original programming.
A series of tweets from Steven Sinofsky, former President of the Windows division at Microsoft, includes his take on the recent perception that Apple’s software quality has been in decline. Sinofsky gives us some perspective on what it must be like at Apple, saying that simultaneous hardware and software development on the size and scope of Apple, on an aggressive year-long release schedule since the nineties, is something we just haven’t seen before, so everyone’s idea of what is high-quality and what isn’t is skewed.
TechCrunch reports analytics firms saying more people purchased Apple Watch devices than Swiss watches during the last holiday season. Despite being estimates based on market data (Apple doesn’t provide exact numbers of Apple Watch shipments, although some very good estimates exist), the combination of the release of the iPhone X alongside the Apple Watch Series 3 meant that many people upgraded, allowing worldwide Apple Watch shipments to overtake Swiss watch exports for the first time. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Apple are destroying the Swiss watch industry, but there are certainly indicators.
Documents relating to the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton in 2016 reveal the thoughts of one FBI agent and bureau lawyer, with both parties expressing their disdain for Apple’s privacy-focused standpoint. AppleInsider has a summary of the exchange, including a nice bit of context to help you orient yourself in the privacy debate of the time.
If you are, in fact, crazy enough to currently own two HomePods in the hopes that Apple will be adding stereo playback sooner rather than later (or simply choosing which colour your like best and returning the other), you can setup your very own stereo HomePod pair with some help from Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil app. The workaround is to use two instances of Airfoil, sending the left channel to one HomePod, and the right to the other. Presumably Apple’s AirPlay 2 will be more sophisticated than this.
Microsoft’s Cortana app has been updated with a native iPad interface. It’s basically the same as the iPhone one, only a little larger to take advantage of the iPad’s larger display. In other news, I just realised that no one comments on Cortana’s voice recognition accuracy or capabilities, probably because no one is using Cortana.
9to5Mac has a review of the Yohann, an expensive but beautiful and practical wooden iPad stand with three discrete modes of operation.
QuickTime’s built-in screen recording feature is pretty good, but if you need a few extra features or want a little more customisation, Kap is the open source screen recorder that you may have been looking for. Shortcuts let you record quickly, and numerous export options make sharing clips easy.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say I read a review of an iOS feed reader app, but MacStories has a look at Fiery Feeds 2. The successor to Fiery Feeds supports all the popular feed services, with smart custom actions for sharing items. Version two brings modernisation to the entire app and a subscription model, separating premium features.
Feral Interactive has announced they’ll be releasing the Mac port of Rise of the Tomb Raider sometime after March. The release will be the 20th Year Celebration edition, which will include all of the DLC already released on other platforms. No further details are available at this time, but it will be something to look out for if you’re into Mac gaming.