Benny Ling

Friday Morning News

Apple’s iMac Pro is now available to order. The base configuration comes with an 8-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W processor, with 32GB of DDR4 ECC RAM, 1TB of Flash storage, and AMD’s Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics card with 8GB of RAM. The price might be a tough to swallow $7,299 in Australia, but it compares favourably to the US list price. Still, there’s got to be some kind of market for an all-in-one, pro-level machine that’s non-upgradeable, and The Verge says that if you’re planning to buy an iMac Pro, you should really know what you’re buying it for, more so than any other Mac.

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Wednesday Morning News

Apple has updated the iMac Pro page on its website with a release date for Apple’s most powerful all-in-one. In Australia, the iMac Pro will be available on Friday, with YouTube personality Marques Brownlee saying that only the 8 and 10 core versions will be available to order this week, with the 14 and 18-core versions coming next year. Brownlee’s first-week impressions after a week with the iMac Pro say that it’s much, much, faster than any Mac before it.

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Tuesday Morning News

Apple has confirmed to BuzzFeed and a number of other outlets that it is acquiring Shazam. Apple says the Shazam team will be joining as part of Apple Music, with both teams working together to deliver a great music experience to users. I’m interested to see how this turns out; while I’m unsure what Shazam can offer as part of Apple Music, perhaps there’s some kind of music discovery integration that I’m not seeing.

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Monday Morning News

A zero-day HomeKit vulnerability discovered in iOS 11.2 allowed unauthorised access to connected accessories. While details about how the vulnerability weren’t disclosed, the ramifications were pretty serious as this wasn’t a fault of individual accessories, but with the HomeKit back-end. This allowed Apple to roll out a server-side fix which temporarily disables remote access to shared users, with Apple also saying it would be restoring that functionality in a future update.

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Friday Morning News

Apple continues to flip-flop between metal and glass-backed iPhones, following a rumour that claims next year’s iPhones will return to a metal back design in a variety of colours. There are benefits to both approaches; metal backs are generally lighter than glass, but glass backs allow for simpler antenna designs. Evidently, Apple hasn’t made a decision on which material they prefer, so perhaps they should go with a completely different material instead.

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Thursday Morning News

Consumer Reports ranks the iPhone X lower than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in their 2017 iPhone rankings. Their reasoning includes battery life and durability differences; despite the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X all having similar double-sided glass designs, the iPhone X fared worse than the 8 or 8 Plus in their drop tests. Battery life on the iPhone X as tested was also lower than the iPhone 8 Plus, with the X coming in at 19.5 hours compared to the 21 hours of the 8 Plus.

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Wednesday Morning News

The legal battles between Apple and Qualcomm continue, with the latest being Apple claiming Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 820 processors infringe on eight of Apple’s battery life patents. While specifics of the patents are hard to find, the patents are said to cover technologies which allow processors to draw as little power as possible, and allow processors to quickly ramp up and down to decrease power usage over time. In other battery life news, rumours from the supply chain claim that future iPhones will have Apple-designed power management chips within two years.

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Monday Morning News

It was a pretty crazy week for Apple security this week, leading up to the somewhat unexpected, eyebrow-raising weekend release of iOS 11.2. The release was supposed to include support for Apple Pay Cash, a US-only personal payments system, but despite previous betas including the feature, it seems to have been turned off for the public release, perhaps to be re-enabled sometime this week when iOS 11.2 was originally supposed to be released. Either way, there’s a bunch of other minor changes in the release, besides bug fixes.

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Good Reads for November, 2017

Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of positively personalised, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes they’ll be in-depth analyses of Apple’s latest and greatest, how developers are designing for a never before-seen form factor, or the best review of any iPhone, ever. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • November was, somewhat unsurprisingly, all about the iPhone X. It’s been a month since the iPhone X was released to the masses and most apps are getting updated for the edge-to-edge display. The iPhone X is unlike any iPhone that came before it due to the rounded corners, no home button, and the TrueDepth camera system cutout that everyone keeps talking about, and that presents unique challenges for developers. Samuel Axon of Ars Technica talked to some developers about the changes they’ve had to make in their apps, and my only hope is that it all hasn’t been for notch.

The iPhone X is the most significant change to the iPhone in several years. It has a higher resolution and a different screen shape. It disposes of the home button and adds or changes touch gestures. Every one of those changes could create work for designers and developers… and then there‚Äôs the notch. You can expect more phones to do this, not just from Apple. But how do you design around it? How much work is it to adapt an app for it? Is it, as some critics say, bad design?

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Friday Morning News

A serious security flaw within macOS that allowed a disabled root account to become enabled with a blank password was fixed by Apple yesterday, and will soon be automatically applied to machines running macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, if it hasn’t already. Apple’s notes for Security Update 2017-001 says the issue was caused by a “logic error”, with Apple also sharing a statement to press outlets containing an apology for the error and the promise of auditing the development process to help prevent this kind of issue from happening again.

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