Monday Morning News

CiVtTCPWUAAXiFnA billion dollars. That’s how much money Apple invested into Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, and according to Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the investment will help Apple better understand the Chinese market. Didi Chuxing completes 11 million rides per day and 87% of the ride-hailing market in China, and is valued at over $20 billion despite losing recent marketshare in competition with Uber. John Moltz’s satirical take on the news is that it will somehow help improve Apple’s software and services.

John Gruber notes that Google’s keyboard for iOS isn’t the keylogger that everyone automatically assumes a Google product is. The Gboard privacy statement says it only sends Google Searches and anonymised usage statistics to Google, with nothing else typed on the keyboard sent.

For whatever reason, Gboard also appears to be US-only for the time being, as noted by The Loop’s Dave Mark in his usage notes on the app. Mark writes that swipe-typing is great, and although the use of Google’s Roboto font on iOS is a little jarring, helps the keyboard stand out from Apple’s own.

The Verge points out no third-party iOS keyboard has access to the voice-to-text dictation offered by Apple’s own keyboard. Switching between keyboards is still a pain even if you know about long-pressing the globe icon to select which keyboard you’d like to be using, but aren’t these problems on other platforms, too?

While the rest of the world is clamouring to get their credit cards into Apple’s Wallet app, the UK is taking it one step further and experimenting with putting a digital version of the driving license in Wallet.

MacRumors says many Apple users are running into widespread freezing issues with the OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 update, with a force restart needed to bring the system back to life. While many cases are occurring on the Early 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, there’s plenty of other cases too.

HomeKit accessories are about to get smarter, if a recent Apple patent is anything to go by. Apple’s patent for an automated environment has centralised accessories that automatically track and record environmental variables, automating functions such as turning on home heating systems and the like.

Just in case you thought iTunes has been deleting your tracks, Apple claims there’s potentially a bug in iTunes that removes local music in favour of Apple Music files, and will be releasing fixes in the very near future.

Macworld’s re-imagining of the Smart Connector says it doesn’t really do a lot other than power and data transfer, which Lightning already does. So there’s gotta be a bigger picture here, right?

An in-depth guide to security and privacy for OS X 10.11 El Capitan on GitHub points out a number of mostly technical ways to make your Mac more secure and give you a little more privacy.

Notable Replies

  1. I tried GBoard over the weekend and found it was pretty OK. Its autocorrect is a little different from the iOS keyboard, so that takes a little getting used to, but the search function is neat.

    However, it didn’t play nice with Commbank’s app as it seems to disable the numpad. I had to exit out of the app and change the keyboard settings back to default so I could use it.

  2. Electronic cards, I’ve been waiting a long long time for more places to get on board with this concept.

    I’ve long since scanned all my loyalty cards (and my drivers licence) in an effort to slim down my wallet. The scanned versions are starting to work at more and more places since it requires a newer image type scanner vs the older style laser jobs, but these are becoming more and more common so it’s great. Most places are able to simply type in the number if all else fails.

    The one that’s still an issue is ID cards. Clubs seems to be unwilling to accept a scanned copy even though I’m clearly over 18 (more than a little…) so it’s not an age problem… If anything I would say that people on the front desk expect to see a little piece of plastic and anything outside that is all too hard to comprehend… or it’s probably also got something to do with the pokies :frowning:

    Places like Boost Juice and Myer have gone to the extent of having their own app, while it means they can deliver extras, it’s another thing to have to dig and find somewhere on your phone (and keep logged in). Having that is passbook entry would be simpler for what is 98% a static card.
    That said, I’d rather have an app than a plastic card. MyGov could handle your medicare card and your drivers licence. I’d like to say private health care card too (even if it’s just a scan) but I suppose that’s up to the provider a little too (who can always provide their own app).

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