Wednesday Morning News
Apple announced overnight that its 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference will take place from June 4 through to June 8 in San Jose, California. The WWDC ticket lottery is back, with Apple advising that members of its developer program will get from now until March 22 to apply, and there are also 350 WWDC Student Scholarships available, giving the younger or members of STEM organisations the ability to apply and get to see what’s in store for developers.
Although WWDC is traditionally a software-focused event that will probably give us a pretty good overview of the next versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, there’s a good chance we’ll see some kind of new hardware released at the event. Rumours say an 11-inch iPad Pro with reduced bezels and the possibility of a removed home button will be on the table, but anyone hoping for anything more, including iPhones, is probably dreaming.
Meanwhile, Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat accessory for iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods is still rumoured to be launching in March. I don’t expect there to be much fanfare when Apple launch AirPower, but I do wonder if we’ll have an Apple event before WWDC in June. The last time we had an Apple event before WWDC was back in 2016, which gave us the 9.7-inch iPad Pro with True Tone display and the iPhone SE.
Apple Music now has 38 million paid subscribers, which is two million more than it had last month. The latest Apple Music numbers were revealed by Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue at the SXSW conference, although Apple’s aiming to take a bigger bite out of the two billion people with the financial and technological requirements for streaming music.
Apple wants artists to sign up to its Apple Music for Artists program, an analytics tool that provides insights into fan listening habits. Metrics such as overall plays, purchases, and radio spins are found within the numbers provided, and artists can also get access to geographical data about listeners dating back to 2015, when Apple Music first launched.
Updated brand assets for Apple Music and iTunes are now available from Apple. It’s similar to the Made for iPhone program update, in that it’s mostly a logo update — the iTunes Store now uses the same star that the iOS app does, and there’s a new text lockup that can be used, giving designers a little more flexibility when promoting their work.
Even though the iOS Markup feature can be used to draw shapes and callout attention to certain aspects of a screenshot, you shouldn’t use it to redact sensitive information. Minor image adjustments can reveal the sensitive info, even from multiple passes of the markers, which appear to be solid once you draw over it a few times. If you really insist on redacting sensitive info with iOS Markup, use one of the solid opaque shapes with the colour fill of your choice. It’s a few extra taps, but your privacy is probably worth it.
Shaun shared this great tip about getting caller ID from the White Pages app yesterday, and I though it was cool enough to share here. As it turns out, the White Pages iOS app can identify numbers for businesses and the government, giving you the ability to tell who a call is coming from.
YouTube’s iOS app is getting a dark mode today, which the company says is one of the most-requested features since introducing a similar feature to its web interface about a year ago. Third-party apps may have had alternate colour schemes, but now YouTube’s official app has a dark mode to call its own.
Now that HomeKit is gaining popularity, MacStories takes a look at how the Home app can be improved. A complete Home app makeover would improve usability, particularly for basic Home interactions, or for anyone wanting to do even slightly more advanced than turning some lights on or off. Home is too complex because of its insistence on separating accessories into rooms, zones, scenes, and automations, while at the same time, it’s also too simple because it lacks basic features like timers.