Wednesday Morning News


John Gruber’s thoughts on yesterday’s Apple event summarise what was a fine event at Apple’s Town Hall location. He thinks the iPhone SE is a great model iPhone, the new display tech on the smaller iPad Pro is at least as good as its bigger sibling, but interestingly, his prediction on Apple removing Watch bands from sale seems a little off; there’s no precedent that I’m aware of where Apple has removed Watch bands from sale, they’ve just added to the collection every time.

Let’s talk about the iPhone SE, because while it isn’t the first time we’ve seen a smaller-sized version of a flagship smartphone from a smartphone manufacturer. Ars Technica says it might even make other companies offer smaller-sized versions of their flagship devices, and a hands-on from Jason Snell over at Macworld tells us about the differences — cosmetic and otherwise — between his iPhone 5s and the iPhone SE (check out the matte chamfered edges on the iPhone SE).

The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple writes that the iPhone SE is an iPhone 6s in an iPhone 5s body, which is mostly true. The only real feature the iPhone SE is lacking is the 3D Touch display, which I’m not sure Apple could justify putting in a device other than their highest-end iPhone without introducing it as a member of the “current” iPhone model, instead of an “alternative” model.

The good news is, the iPhone SE has the same 2GB of RAM that the iPhone 6s does. The bad news is, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has 2GB of RAM compared to the 4GB RAM found on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which may pose an issue down the track for app switching and not having to reload web pages.

And that’s not the only hardware oddity between the smaller and larger iPad Pros: for some reason, the display on the smaller iPad Pro is marginally better than the one on the larger, with a wider colour gamut, True Tone display tech, and overall less reflectivity. There’s also a better camera on the smaller iPad Pro, which is why it’s a little strange to see that the smaller iPad Pro misses out on the USB 3 found in the larger iPad Pro.

A hands on with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro from Macworld says that it’s a worthy successor to the iPad Air 2, which is at least a victory for Apple if nothing else. What’s less clear is why you’d buy one over the larger iPad, and I think many people will find themselves in an iPhone-like situation, where deciding between the two sizes comes down to usage and portability.

Along with all the hardware releases yesterday, we also saw the release of iOS 9.3, which has been seven betas in the making. MacStories has a collection of new features and tidbits, showing us features as Night Shift and password-protected Notes.

Six Colors shows us how to access password-protected notes in the new version of OS X 10.11.4, which also came out yesterday.

Ars Technica’s look at tvOS 9.2 says it fixes all of the issues with the Apple TV, which included text input and home screen layouts.

Last but not least today, the FBI chose a great day to bury their news about moving to vacate the hearing between themselves and Apple, which means Apple doesn’t have to comply with the government’s request to assist the FBI in unlocking the device, at least for now. But the reason why is a little more chilling, as the FBI has said they’ve discovered an alternative unlocking method that doesn’t require Apple’s input.

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