Benny Ling

Friday Morning News

The Verge’s review of the Apple TV 4K says that the 4K support is good when you get free upgrades of your existing iTunes content, but nothing special compared to other similar streaming boxes/sticks from other manufacturers. Instead, it’s basically a video format war that says you don’t get Dolby Atmos support, no YouTube in 4K, no Disney or Marvel movies in 4K, and even makes some 1080p content look bad due to how the Apple TV now supports 4K, but prioritises certain refresh rates over features.

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Thursday Morning News

Reviews of the Apple Watch Series 3 are out, and the consensus seems to be that the device is very close to the ideal device for the 21st century. It allows you to stay connected to friends and family, without the distractions of Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of the internet, and all of that is hampered only slightly by the somewhat limited battery life when you’re solely using mobile networks for connectivity. Now all we have to do is wait for the telcos to tell us how much we’ll be paying for iPhone freedom — so far, only Optus has announced pricing.

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Wednesday Morning News

Reviews of the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are out, and the verdict seems to be that if you own an iPhone 7, the changes aren’t huge enough that you’d want to upgrade straight away. Sure, the True Tone display is nice. Better cameras are nice. Wireless charging is nice. All of the new and improved details of the new devices are nice, but as The Verge tells it, you can basically get much of the same things with iOS 11, a few apps, and a cheap case. If you have an older iPhone, the decision is a little easier — the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus is the best default option for many people.

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Tuesday Morning News

TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino interviewed Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi about Face ID on the iPhone X. As part of training, Apple gathered raw sensor data from exhaustive scans of user’s faces, but Face ID won’t transmit your face to the cloud to further train its algorithmic engines to better recognise different types of faces. When you enrol your face in Face ID, it stays on-device. Even when you decide to grow a beard, or shave one off, Face ID will train to recognise your face even without that feature, and it’s all done on-device.

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Monday Morning News

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has thoughts and observations on last week’s iPhone announcement, and he pulls no punches when he says the notch on the screen of the iPhone X offends him. Even worse, not only are Apple embracing the notch as part of the iPhone X design, they’re also embracing it as part of their software, too, when they could have chosen to minimise it with the OLED display. Skeptics point out that Face ID probably won’t be as good as Touch ID, but Gruber’s impressions say otherwise. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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Friday Morning News

David Pogue of Yahoo clarified with Apple what really happened when Face ID failed to recognise Craig Federighi’s face on-stage during a demo on Wednesday’s event. When the undisputedly best Apple presenter went to demo the new iPhone X, the first phone he picked up and attempted to unlock with Face ID prompted for a passcode. The official reason from Apple is because the device was handled by multiple staff who weren’t C-Fed, Face ID failed multiple authentication attempts, prompting for passcode input just before Hair Force One went to the backup. A small gaffe, sure, but nothing unfamiliar to anyone who’s used Touch ID.

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Thursday Morning News

It’s hard to get a feel for how cool Apple’s new Steve Jobs Theater is without being there. The next best thing is a wonderful photo essay put together by Dan Frommer of Recode, about what it was like to attend the first event there. The glass of the above-ground part of the theatre is tall and imposing, and you can tell that everything has Apple’s signature attention to detail. I wish I could have been there.

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Apple’s September 2017 Event Wrap-Up, We Knew Something Edition

It was incredibly touching to open Apple’s first-ever event at the Steve Jobs Theater with his voice. Before anyone stood on stage to tell us all about the new Apple Watch, the new Apple TV, or the new iPhones, it was great to hear Jobs talking about what keeps Apple, Apple. Amidst all the design details of the Steve Jobs Theater, from the revolving elevators to the exquisitely crafted staircases, Jobs shared words about being true to who we are, and remembering who we are. And with that, it was on with the show.

Well, kind of. Apple CEO Tim Cook had a quick spiel about Apple Park, this being the first event in Apple’s new space, and it looks pretty great. The new visitor centre, with its own Apple Store and augmented reality experience, will be open later this year, and just like you might expect, it’s all powered by 100% renewable energy.

Apple SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts talked about Apple’s retail transformation. If you’ve been reading the news you’ll know what this is about; Apple’s been revamping the retail experience in a number of different stores worldwide, and they’re incredibly proud of transforming retail outlets into modern town squares. Ahrendts discussed a few new upcoming stores, including the return of the glass cube at Apple’s redesigned Fifth Avenue location, the Carnegie Library Apple Store, and Chicago’s latest flagship store on Michigan Avenue.

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Tuesday Morning News

This time tomorrow, we’ll know everything we need to know about the next iPhone. Overnight, Steve Troughton-Smith confirmed the amount of RAM in the next iPhone, with both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus coming with 3GB, and the regular iPhone 8 getting 2GB. Those numbers are on par with Apple’s current RAM inclusions, with the iPhone 7 having 2GB and the iPhone 7 having 3GB, so there’s nothing really new here.

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Monday Morning News

With Apple’s big event happening on Wednesday for those of us in the GMT+10 timezone, Ars Technica has a summary of what we’re likely to see from Apple’s big reveal. I’d consider the next iPhone lineup — whatever they actual devices are going to be called — a lock, along with an Apple TV hardware refresh to bring 4K and HDR support to the masses. There’s talk of an updated Apple Watch with LTE, and finally, we’re also expected to get release dates for iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, tvOS 11, and the rest of the software that Apple has been beta testing for the past few months.

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