Monday Morning News

RxiAO3oJcjIKmaPZApple’s statement on battery life differences between the Samsung and TSMC-manufactured versions of the A9 SoC as found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus confirms there is a 2-3% variance. Anandtech’s investigation into the issue attempts to explain why the difference was perceived to be larger than Apple’s stated figures, which mostly comes down to testing methodology, but also says there’s no real conclusion until more thorough testing can be performed.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a German newspaper that Apple was hiring engineers that Tesla had previous fired, saying Tesla had always joking called Apple the “Telsa graveyard”. His comments were later backed up a series of tweets, one which said he doesn’t hate Apple and he’s glad they’re doing an electric vehicle, and another which says the Apple Watch will have compelling functionality by version three.

The New York Times reports Apple has deactivated its News app in China over censorship concerns. Instead of developing the necessary censorship for hiding sensitive news items, Apple appears to be avoiding the problem completely by disabling News outright.

Apple has removed several iOS apps that installed root certificates on the platform, compromising encrypted connections to web servers. The apps were originally designed to block ads within ads, something even content blockers for Safari weren’t able to do, but they did it by monitoring encrypted web traffic, a massive security no-no.

Apple has quietly bumped the specs of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2 to include Bluetooth 4.2, which “promises up to 2.5x faster speeds and up to 10x greater data capacity over its predecessor”. Unfortunately, it looks as though we’ll be missing out on the increased speed and bandwidth upgrades, as a post on Ars says that requires new hardware, while other Bluetooth 4.2 features can be applied via firmware updates and software.

OS X El Capitan brings the ability to automatically hide and show the menu bar, which can be enabled in System Prefs as The Mac Observer shows.

Wired takes a closer look at the adhesive lining found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which protects components and connections from liquid damage. While waterproofing isn’t on the official list of features, the new iPhone will probably survive a few splashes here and there better than ever before.

If you’re into iOS podcast clients, Marco Arment has released Overcast 2. Streaming is the headlining feature here, although Overcast’s new business model is free for everyone (with all features unlocked), with an optional $1 monthly patronage. Federico Viticci has a look at the update over at MacStories, also including an interview with Arment himself.

I enjoyed Kanye West’s ranting over the weekend, where the artist tweeted about his hate for in-app purchases in kids games. He makes a good point, though.

I feel entirely justified hating on the usability regression that is Safari View Controller in the new Tweetbot, which provides no good way to dismiss it without doing a little upwards scroll then reaching up to tap the dreaded “Done” button. A few ideas from Studio Neat on how to fix it include putting a close button at the bottom of the UI, if not showing the UI all the time.

Tweetbot 4 also has an issue which results in words wrapping and un-wrapping with annoyingly noticeable frequency. Dr Drang explains that it’s to do with proportional numbers in Apple’s San Francisco font, which is being used for the character counter.

Speaking of San Francisco, the secret of Apple’s new typeface is that it’s better than Helvetica in a number of ways: not only is Helvetica the worse choice for smaller displays, but San Francisco is actually a family of fonts which displays well on any platform.

Notable Replies

  1. It’s no big deal, but given the choice we’d all take the one with 2-3% better performance am I right!?

  2. recd says:

    Yep, given the choice I’d take the one with better performance, even though deep down I suspect that the margin of error in these tests might be greater than 2-3%

  3. But Apple had to know about this, that’s the thing. It’s not as if they didn’t do all manner of testing with both chips to verify they were “within spec”, and if so, they must have thought the trade off of performance varation was worth whatever the alternative (stock constraints, etc) was.

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