Benny Ling

Tuesday Morning News

Rumour has it that the iPad Pro Smart Connector will be a feature on this year’s iPhone. Unlike the iPad Smart Connector, it’s said that the iPhone’s Smart Connector will be used for charging and potential VR/AR applications, possibly in the form of future accessories. While the Smart Connector has been used for keyboards on the iPad and not much else, I wonder if Apple will open up the Smart Connector to third parties in the future.

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Friday Morning News

The ACCC are taking Apple to court over misleading consumers about their rights when it comes to getting devices repaired under warranty. Under Australian Consumer Law, free warranty service must be provided when goods don’t meet consumer guarantees, even when they’ve had repairs done by a third party. This all came about because Apple pushed an update which disabled devices that had unauthorised third party repairs. The ACCC investigated and found Apple telling consumers that they were no longer entitled to service, due to their unauthorised repair, and that “Apple cannot, by itself, extinguish the consumer’s right to a remedy for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees”. We’ll have to see how this all breaks down in court.

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Thursday Morning News

New iPhone rumours claim this year’s iPhone will retail for slightly less than US $1000. Contrary to previous rumours which speculated an over-$1000 pricing model, one analyst is now claiming that the model with 256GB storage will retail for between $950 to $1000. A new report from a Chinese blog also states that it’s possible the launch will be pushed back to October or November, due to issues in manufacturing the next big thing.

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Wednesday Morning News

The good news is, Apple is working on a totally-redesigned Mac Pro that will be the Mac of my dreams. It will be able to accommodate high-end CPUs and GPUs, in a modular design that’s easy for Apple to push out updates for on a regular basis. Apple says they’re also working on releasing Apple-branded pro-level displays to go along with this mythical xMac that we’ve wanted for years.

In a small roundtable discussion about the Mac, John Gruber, Matthew Panzarino, Lance Ulanoff, Ina Fried, and John Paczkowski were invited to discuss the Mac lineup with some top Apple brass, including Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, John Ternus, and Bill Evans. According to Gruber, Phil Schiller broke the news on the Mac Pro by telling us about how Apple is currently rethinking the Mac Pro, so they can re-architect it to be the flagship it has always intended to be, as well as keep it up to date with regular updates and spec bumps, just like every other Mac in the lineup.

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Tuesday Morning News

For years now, Apple’s iOS devices have used graphics processors from Imagination Technologies. Now Apple has announced that it has been developing its own graphics processors, and will be moving away from Imagination products within the next two years, causing Imagination’s shares to fall dramatically as a result. Imagination says they think it’s unlikely that Apple could go it alone after using the company’s PowerVR series of GPUs for so long, at least without violating Imagination’s patents or IP.

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Monday Morning News

Just before we hit publish on the news on the Friday, the ACCC issued their statement denying authorisation for the banks to collectively bargain with Apple and boycott Apple Pay. ACCC Chairman Rod Sims notes “the ACCC is not satisfied, on balance, that the likely benefits from the proposed conduct outweigh the likely detriments”, saying that “while the ACCC accepts that the opportunity for the banks to collectively negotiate and boycott would place them in a better bargaining position with Apple, the benefits would be outweighed by detriments”.

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Friday Morning News

A teardown of the fifth-generation iPad shows us that it’s very similar to the original iPad Air, at least in terms of internals and construction. While the specs of the fifth-generation iPad are exactly the same as the iPad Air 2, there are very subtle differences between the two models, making it difficult to tell the difference unless you know what to look for. Notably, the fifth-generation iPad lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating, making it slightly heavier and thicker than its iPad Air predecessors.

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Thursday Morning News

Now that the cat’s out of the bag with Samsung’s latest release, a new rumour claims the next iPhone will be called the iPhone Edition and move the Touch ID sensor to the rear. The Touch ID location change doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given that Apple has been patenting methods to embed a fingerprint reader in the display, but the rumour about dual vertical cameras is interesting, and I’m curious to know why they’d change the setup.

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Wednesday Morning News

The security content of iOS 10.3 isn’t particularly exciting reading, but gives you an idea of the kinds of “bug fixes” that have some sort of real-world impact. CVEs are referenced to give you a sense of common security issues and vulnerabilities, and of particular note is CVE-2017-2384, which would have allowed a local user to discover websites visited using Private Browsing. Apple improved SQLite cleanup in order to address this issue.

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Tuesday Morning News

The latest supplier responsibility report from Apple tells us how they’re improving working conditions and protecting the planet by implementing stricter standards for its suppliers. 2016 saw Apple audit 705 suppliers, 95% of which complied with the 60-hour maximum work week, with similar improvements and reductions in waste emissions across the board.

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