Tuesday Morning News

Apple has won US $539 million in damages from Samsung in the latest chapter of the design and utility patent trial saga dating back to 2011. It’s a long story, but the quick and dirty version is that numerous appeals and verdicts led to a wonderful merry-go-round of re-trials and decisions from juries, the latest of which was whether Samsung should pay damages on sales of their smartphones or just the components that infringed on Apple’s patents; unfortunately for Samsung, the decision is now the latter.

Motherboard reports Apple knew about the potential bendiness of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus compared to the iPhone 5. Although that’s not exactly something you need a degree in materials engineering to work out, given the vast difference in the design between the two devices, internal reports at Apple claimed there would need to be something done to prevent the “touch disease”. It’s this same touch disease issue that later became the subject of at least one class-action lawsuit and caused Apple to release a statement about the bendiness of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and how we now know Apple knew that their latest phones were more prone to bending from regular use than their predecessors.

If you’re wondering why Apple might want to put three rear cameras on the next iPhone, rumours say triple cameras would aid 3D sensing capabilities. This would, in turn enable a whole new world of AR possibilities, with iPhones then being able to calculate the distance to an object via stereoscopic vision. Apple could have decided to put a laser to measure the distance between the iPhone and real-world objects, but I’m sure a third rear camera makes more sense than a single-purpose laser.

New Apple patents describe a flexible hinge mechanism which would allow future laptop designs to be made out of a single rigid material. As someone who has seen their fair share of hinge failures on Apple laptops, I’d be interested to see if this new living hinge design would do anything for the reliability of the hinges on those laptops; 9to5Mac makes the comparison to the dynamic fulcrum hinge as found on Microsoft’s Surface Book, but that doesn’t exactly have the best track record amongst significant deployments of that particular laptop.

Just as long as the new hinge design doesn’t have the same design defects that the VESA mount for iMac Pro seems to have. An iMac Pro repair nightmare tells the unfortunate tale of getting an iMac Pro repaired, only for the VESA mount to prove difficult to remove and re-attach, resulting in scratches when the machine was looked at by an Apple Store. All’s well that ends well as Apple offered a complete replacement unit, but something to keep in mind if you’re buying the VESA-mountable iMac Pro.

The 10th anniversary of Beats by Dr Dre will see a special Decade Collection of Beats hardware. It seems the new collection has leaked early on the web, with the official unveiling set to be in the coming weeks ahead of the sale starting in early June. The limited edition collection of headphones and earphones have special styling to commemorate the occasion, and will retail for the same price as current offerings.

There’s been very few rumours about what we’ll see in this year’s update to watchOS, so MacRumors has a wish list of watchOS features MacRumours readers want to see. It’d be nice if there was a live step-count complication, for example, improvements to the activity and workout apps would certainly be welcomed. But one of these days, Apple is going to have to offer third-party watch faces, which I remain on the fence about whether I want or not.

Calls for better support for keyboard shortcuts on iPad have been answered by Things, of all apps, which has made improvements to the way the app works with an external keyboard in their latest update. The big idea with Things 3.6, MacStories writes, is that “you should be able to fully interact with and navigate through the app without ever leaving the keyboard”, and to that end, keyboard support in Things is now second to none.

The Sweet Setup tells us about differences between a daily journaling app like Day One and a note-taking app like Bear. Depending on your note-taking/journaling workflow, each app has its own specific use-cases that it excels at, but you can use both together fairly comfortably.

Sir Winston is an interesting take on getting a fresh install of macOS setup just how you like it, with the apps you need to be productive, customised settings to your personalised preferences, and more command-line tools than you can poke a stick at. The idea is that you select what you want, nothing you don’t, and then run the script that Sir Winston generates for you and go make a cup of coffee, or something.

Notable Replies

  1. My 6 Plus ended up getting touch disease after almost three years of service. It was replaced with a refurbed unit for the cost of a screen replacement which I didn’t think was too bad since I was looking at getting the battery replaced anyway before handing it on to my son. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to go the same way again with a new (and rougher) user.

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