A new rumour from the Apple supply chain has Digitimes claiming that next year’s iPhone will feature a time-of-flight 3D sensor as part of the rear camera array. This new tech, similar to the Face ID sensors on the front of current iPhones, will allow for better 3D image capturing, which, among other things, will power even better augmented reality experiences. While Face ID is optimised to work at a certain short distance, a rear-facing implementation would need to work at ranges of many more metres to be useful.
New emoji are coming to the iPhone in Spring, which means they’ll either arrive with iOS 13, or one of its more minor updates later in the year. Apple highlights new emoji which allow for more inclusive and diversity in emoji, new disability-focused emoji, as well as plenty of updates for existing emoji categories like food, smileys, clothing, and animals.
IFixit’s teardown of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro has some good and bad news. Good news first: there’s a slightly larger capacity battery in this bad boy, which many blogs speculate is to keep the advertised 10-hour battery life even with the addition of the Touch Bar, Touch ID, and T2 security chip. Should you ever need to repair your MacBook Pro, some of the ports are now modular, too. But the bad news is that the flash storage is now soldered to the logic board, preventing any after-market upgrades. Other minor hardware revisions, right after the jump.
Thanks to the widely-publicised fallout as a result of a zero-day vulnerability in web videoconferencing app Zoom, Apple has released a silent update to macOS which removes the built-in Zoom webserver, preventing you from connecting to sudden video conferences once you click on a link. The update requires no user interaction on your part and is deployed automatically the next time your machine connects to the internet, and Apple says that their fix will protect both past and present users of the Zoom app, without hindering functionality of the Zoom app.
New MacBook Airs and 13-inch MacBook Pros are the order of the day. The new MacBook Air gets a True Tone display and a lower price, now starting at $1,699. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, on the other hand, gets a price increase of $100, but at the same time gets the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, Touch Bar with Touch ID as standard on all models, and a True Tone display, just like the MacBook Air. Apple’s Newsroom post highlights lower prices for college students, but the education discounts seem the same as they always have.
Leaked photos of what’s purported to be the logic board for one of this year’s iPhones show off a rectangular logic board design. While that makes it more likely to be the iPhone XR successor’s logic board, that’s not saying that Apple could redesign the XS and XS Max successors to have rectangular-shaped logic boards. There’s a different layout of chips and circuitry compared to current logic board designs, but that’s about all we can glean from the shots.
The latest rumour from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will transition away from its Butterfly switches keyboard design, which should just about be the best possible news that we’ve heard from Apple in a while. Kuo claims that a refreshed MacBook Air, to be released later this year, will become the first laptop to move back to a more traditional scissor switch design, offering both longer key travel and added durability via a new glass-fibre mechanism. It’s also likely that an updated MacBook Pro will use the new scissor switches, but not until 2020.
"History will not be kind to Jony Ive" writes Vice, which seems like a damn shame for a designer that has accomplished so much, and yet will be remembered for making devices hard to repair and impossible to upgrade. While it’s absolutely true that Apple products have become less user-repairable and less user-upgradeable than their predecessors under Ive’s oversight of design at Apple, to pin it all on one man when Apple is an institution seems like an extremely long bow to draw.
An Apple Newsroom post shares how the Australian Women’s Cricket Team is using the Apple Watch to track activity and workout data to improve player performance. By utilising an app developed by the Australian Institute of Sport, members of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team have more access to their workout data, allowing coaches and mentors to ensure they’re not overdoing it and risking potential injury, while at the same time being more accountable for the training and energy they are putting in.
Make no mistake: Sir Jony Ive is leaving Apple, and John Gruber’s take on the situation is that there’s more than one way to see this. Either you think that Ive is to blame for all of Apple’s missteps of late, particularly in an era of ever-thinner and lighter devices, or that Ive has checked out of Apple for a while now, and all of Apple’s recent product designs haven’t had as much of his influence as they once had. The most interesting take, however, is that without a product guy at the helm, without someone to make those decisions about what products/design are good, and what are bad, Apple may be in the more trouble than we realise.