Monday Morning News
It’s the morning before WWDC, which means that there are a lot of posts out there telling us what we should (and shouldn’t!) expect from Apple. Software and stability seems to be the flavour of the month, with Ars Technica saying that Digital Health is likely to play a part in iOS 12, and while we’ll probably also see a new version of macOS previewed at the event, it’s not currently known what that will have in terms of new features. The chances of new hardware are low, but we’ve had a hardware-less WWDC before.
MacRumors echoes the hardware-less WWDC sentiment, saying that this year will be all about updates to Apple’s software platforms. There’s a lot of ground to cover between iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, and if there’s time left over, it’s possible there could be some surprise hardware announcement. I just wouldn’t be putting money on it, as no hardware seems to be ready for a launch within the next month.
Although we haven’t heard about any concrete speculation regarding the next version of macOS, you don’t really need rumours when Apple are the ones doing the leaking for you. An Xcode preview video uploaded to the Mac App Store — which currently doesn’t support app preview videos, at least in its current form — provides hints at the kinds of changes we’ll see in macOS 10.14, with a new system-wide dark mode, an Apple News app for the Mac, and, of course, a sneak peek at Xcode 10.
An update to ARKit for iOS, expected to be previewed at WWDC with the help of some third-party developers, will allow more than one iPhone to see the same virtual object. That’s a pretty big deal for multiplayer AR implementations, potentially allowing for AR-powered Pokémon battles or the like. Even better, the process is described as being privacy-aware, with all data shared locally between the two devices and nothing uploaded to Apple’s servers.
A cool thing Apple are doing this year is celebrating recipients of WWDC scholarships, with a story in the iOS App Store showcasing their apps. It’s not known how Apple picked the 20 or so names and apps that they’re showing off from the hundreds of WWDC scholarships given out, but 9to5Mac points out that all of the apps bar one are free, with the paid app occupying the lowest pricing tier.
Over the weekend Apple released macOS 10.13.5, which brings Messages in iCloud support to the Mac. That’s about it, but the extensive page of security updates which details the CVEs the update resolves mean you should probably consider installing it.
Renders of this year’s iPhones give us an idea of what the rumoured 6.1-inch iPhone will look like. The renders look much like a slightly larger version of the current iPhone X, which lines up with the rumours that claim it will be a cheaper version of the flagship iPhone, with perhaps a few corners cut to bring the price down. It’ll still have a notch and no home button, if that’s what you’re worried about.
The Wall Street Journal claims Apple is looking to expand their ad sales strategies, which could represent a big change in business strategy for the company. While it’s well-known that smartphone sales are on the decline thanks to global smartphone marketplace saturation, it seems like a pretty long bow to draw that Apple are changing direction entirely to focus on something as mundane as ad sales.
The Verge wonders if Apple will address MacBook Pro keyboard issues at WWDC. While it’s certainly a possibility given recent media coverage, it goes against Apple’s modus operandi of refusing the acknowledge hardware issues until the repair extension program is released quietly a few years later. The best we can hope for is a revised keyboard design that isn’t so failure-prone in the next MacBook Pros.
Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber says you might as well be using the scary option of wiping your iOS data after 10 failed passcode attempts. The chance of your iOS getting wiped is pretty low, given the increasingly longer lockout period after subsequent incorrect passcode entries, which makes this feature less dangerous than you might have thought. Then the question becomes: why is this an option at all? Who does this option protect against? It’s previously been proven that there are ways around the guess limits, which government agencies will certainly have access to.