Wednesday Morning News

ApplePaySplashSA_GEO@2x.pngApple’s fourth quarter results saw the company generate $46.9 billion in revenue, posting $9 billion in profit for the same time period. Apple sold 45.5 million iPhones, with a small drop on gross margins compared to the year-ago number. Apple highlights their services revenue, which grew 24% to reach an all-time high of $6.3 billion. Commentary from the usual conference call will be out later this morning, but we’ll cover it tomorrow.

The latest release of macOS Sierra has a few clues about the new MacBook Pro. According to an image found within macOS Sierra 10.12.1, the new MacBook Pro will lose the function key row, replacing it and the escape key with an OLED touch panel as previously rumoured. What’s more, the addition of a Touch ID sensor in the top right-hand corner of the keyboard area will allow for Apple Pay payment authorisations, as well as acting as a near-invisible power button.

The virtual keyboard within macOS Sierra confirms the lack of a function key row, as it lacks the row of function keys altogether. Previous versions have included the function keys, but not in macOS Sierra, suggesting that Apple will indeed replace the function keys with an OLED touch bar.

9to5Mac says that this is the year to pay attention to MacBook Pros. If the rumours turn out to be true, it’ll be the first significant upgrade to the MacBook Pro lineup since the advent of Retina displays, which were always going to make their way to Macs after being debuted in iPhones and iPads. Apple might not be doing much about the form factor — there’s only so many ways you can design a laptop — but any kind of touch-sensitive OLED function bar could turn out to be pretty great.

Bloomberg reports Apple is still developing a car operating system in Canada. Apple has hired engineers formerly from BlackBerry’s QNX division, which would become a key part of Apple’s car project in the future.

Apple has announced the release of the Beats Powerbeats3 wireless earphones, which have Apple’s new W1 wireless chip on board for a better wireless audio experience. For us Aussies, the Powerbeats3 will be out in the first week of November. Meanwhile, Apple’s own AirPods are nowhere to be seen, and we are quickly running out of October for Apple to meet their “late October” release date. Maybe this Friday?

There’s a new version of iStat by Bjango out, and it’s a little different to iStat Menus. The iStat Server transmits your computer’s (Mac, PC, and Linux) statistics to the new iStat 3 client on Macs, iPhones, and iPads. The interface looks incredible for a stat-heavy app, and I’m also a huge fan of the icons.

Popular iOS VNC client Screens has been updated with a new dark mode and trackpad feature, both of which are in-app purchases. They’re both a part of the Screens 4.2 update, which MacStories says also contains many quality-of-life improvements, in addition to the new in-app purchase features.

Gruber has words about iMessage as a platform, saying Google are doing everything they can to prevent iMessage and FaceTime for becoming the de facto standards of text and video communication for mobiles.

Thanks to Aspyr and their Mac-porting prowess, Civilization VI is now available on the Mac just three days after its release on Windows. If you purchased Civilization VI on Steam, you already own a copy of the Mac version, otherwise those looking into empire-building can pick up their own copy from Steam for US $69.95.

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