The internet says people are addicted to their smartphones, and if you look around you, you’ll see that there’s a good chance it’s at least partly true. With iOS 12, Apple introduces Screen Time, a set of smart new features to help you manage the time you spend on your phone. A new page within Settings lets you know how much time you’ve spent on certain categories of apps, letting you set time limits for apps and schedule downtime.
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.
Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of uniformly unedited, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Some of the time, they’ll be pieces you already read from other sources, interviews that should have appeared in the news but I felt deserved a little extra attention, or thought-provoking looks at the past or present state of technology and how Apple fits into the puzzle. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- We kick off this month’s Good Reads with Hodinkee’s interview with Jony Ive. For those that remember when this was first published in early May, this was more of a piece that focused on Ive as a watch designer. Benjamin Clymer compared and contrasted the differences between the technology-centric Apple and the sheer craftsmanship of traditional watch makers. Design is one aspect Apple prides themselves on, and that shows in spades with what they’ve done with the Apple Watch.
I think how much the Apple Watch has impacted watchmaking. And I realize, just like the iPod changed music and the iPhone changed personal communication, the Apple Watch will certainly change not only watchmaking but how we interact with the world around us. I am quite sure it will be for the better.
Bloomberg’s take on what we’ll see at WWDC this year tells us about the things we’ve been speculating about for weeks now. It’s widely expected we’ll see previews of what Apple will be bringing to their software platforms across iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, but the content of those updates remains a mystery. Will Apple focus on Siri improvements to allow HomePod to better compete as a smart home assistant? Or will they dial back the new features and focus on bug and performance improvements? We’ll have to tune in next week to find out.
Analysts say it would be difficult for Apple to switch to an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2019 as previously rumoured. Not only would such a switch make iPhones more expensive overall, but with OLED yields as they are, it’s unlikely Apple would get the kind of volume they need to have every new iPhone come with an OLED display. If the rumours are true, it’s possible Apple is being a little ambitious with this one.
Apple has released the final version of iOS 11.4 to the general public. Multi-room audio with AirPlay 2 is the headlining feature, with Apple’s press release extolling the virtues of being able to request songs to be played on your HomePod in different rooms in your house, as well as the ability to setup two HomePods as a stereo pair. There’s a bunch of new music playback controls in the iOS Control Center to support multi-room audio, but that’s not all iOS 11.4 has up its sleeve…
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.
Apple’s latest partnership is with VW, who will be providing the Cupertino-based company with electric T6 Transporter vans, which will then be outfitted with Apple’s autonomous vehicle software and used as driverless campus shuttles. The news comes from the New York Times, who claim that both Mercedes-Benz and BMW rejected partnerships with Apple, who has since given up on the dream of an Apple-manufactured autonomous vehicle and is instead developing the software for car manufacturers to license and adopt.
Apple’s new data and privacy site lets users download all of the data Apple has on them, including Apple ID info, previous purchases from Apple Stores or the App Stores, AppleCare history, and any data stored within iCloud. While this data download is only available to Europeans for the time being for GDPR compliance reasons, it’s expected the new data and privacy tools will rollout worldwide in the coming months.
Apple has sent out media invites to the WWDC 2018 keynote. We also get a new event page on the Apple website confirming that the keynote will be live streamed on the 4th of June, which works out to be the next day at 3am for us Aussies. Whoever updated the WWDC page on Wikipedia either knows something we don’t about what Apple is going to announce, or is madly speculating. (Thanks, Peter!)