Monday Morning News
With Apple’s March event just over a week away, 9to5Mac has a rumour roundup of all the products we’re expected to see. The iPhone SE will mark the return of a four-inch form factor, the regular-sized 9.7-inch iPad will adopt iPad Pro features and name, and people will be thoroughly underwhelmed at even more Apple Watch bands. It’s also likely we’ll see software updates released for all of Apple’s major platforms, with the entire event live-streamed from 3am on Tuesday next week.
We’ll get back to the rumours in a bit, but first, the US Department of Justice has filed a response to Apple’s decision to fight against providing assistance to the government access to an iPhone involved in the San Bernardino shootings. As reported by Ars Technica, the response also wonders why Apple has been so accommodating to Chinese authorities regarding the security of iPhone data.
The latest filing has been blasted by Apple’s chief general counsel Bruce Sewell for “reading like an indictment”, throwing “all decorum to the winds”. The Verge has his full words, which were given on-the-record during a conference call with members of the press after the US DoJ filed their response.
With the debate now going all the way to the top, US President Barack Obama has claimed that he doesn’t have the answers. Speaking at South By South West, Obama said he wasn’t a software engineer and that we needed the tech community to solve the problem, but reminded us we weren’t able to take an absolutist view on the issue.
Over at Medium, Steven Levy wonders why we’re even fighting the crypto wars again, as he puts it. After all, shouldn’t this debate have been settled in the 90s when encryption became commonplace thanks to public/private key pairs? Sure, 9/11 and Snowden have happened since then, but as far as the US Government is concerned, we’re back at square one.
What’s purported to be the rear cover for the next iPhone has revealed removed antenna bands and a redesigned camera hole, although whether this quashes rumours of a dual-lens camera system still remains to be seen.
It’s said Intel’s next-generation SSD tech will make Mac notebooks faster then ever before, with 3D Xpoint compatible with the NVMe SSD tech currently deployed in most Apple laptops.
Ten One’s Blockhead rotates the Apple power adapter brick so that it isn’t sticking straight out from the wall, but instead parallel to it, letting you fit stuff around power outlets easier. Sadly, they only appear to have US versions of the Blockhead available, but it’s still a pretty clever idea.
Over at iMore, Rene Ritchie says popular mass-market apps rule the App Store. While that represents bad news for indies who lovingly craft dedicated apps for any given purpose, I’m interested to know why that’s the case. Is the iPhone simply too popular a platform for indie apps to rise to the top? Do people not care about app quality when it costs money, and there are free apps that do the job for nothing?
The Mac Observer tells us how to use Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback audio utility to enable podcasts guests (or other hosts) to hear any audio played back on your local machine.