Monday Morning News

Welcome back! After a small break over the Christmas and New Year period, the AppleTalk morning news is now back in action. As always, I’m happy to take any feedback you have, good or bad. Post a comment, or write me a direct message on Twitter. Now, on with the news!

When we left you last year, Apple’s AirPods had just been released after months of delays. While online pre-orders quickly blew out to over six weeks, Apple seems to have made some sort of effort to make AirPods available in-store just before Christmas, and I know a few people who walked into an Apple store and picked up a set. For those that haven’t had the chance to try out AirPods, either in-store or with a pair of their very own, Six Colors writes that they’re pretty great, as far as totally wireless earphones go, but they’re not perfect.

Of course, with any new Apple product it’s customary to tear them down. IFixit’s teardown of the AirPods shows us some of the components inside that make some of the magic happen. There’s infrared proximity sensors, batteries in both each individual AirPod and their charging case, and other intricate electronics.

While my own quest for AirPods continues (I’ve been refreshing iStockNow for almost two weeks with no joy), the Ars Technica review of AirPods says that they’re a fine type of wireless headphones for a certain type of person. Ars points out the reliance on Siri for simple things such as changing the volume and changing tracks. You can double-tap the AirPods for play/pause, but that’s about it.

Complaints of poor battery life with Apple’s new MacBook Pros were also heard before the break, but what’s really going on here? An attempt by Ars to explain the battery life issues says it could be an issue with how Apple tested their battery life, something about the chips using more or less power than before, or something else entirely.

Interestingly, Apple removed the “time remaining” estimate from macOS 10.12.2 for all users, not just those affected by battery life issues on the new MacBook Pro. The estimate was always just that, an estimate, allowing you to manage your own power usage. What’s even more interesting is that they removed it despite there being dedicated hardware to keep track of battery energy input and output, which could have contributed to inaccurate estimates in the first place.

Stephen Hackett feels like the Mac is becoming a marginalised product at Apple. It’s hard to blame them, given the importance of the iPhone and iPad to Apple’s financials, but it’s entirely possible that the Mac’s glory days are over, and the only reason it’s being kept alive now is that it’s needed as the dev platform for iOS devices.

Bloomberg has a piece on how Apple alienated Mac loyalists. They write that although Apple is somewhat dependent on Intel to release CPU upgrades worthy of a speed bump in Mac models, but maybe the reality is that there’s no more innovation possible on the Mac platform without making significant changes. After all, machines can only get so thin and so light before they disappear entirely.

Last year Matt Gemmell bid farewell to the Apple Watch. Notifications weren’t that useful, and after forming habits about being active and doing daily workouts, the time and date was all that remained. And and watch can do that.

The reason you won’t see Super Mario Bros on the iPhone is because Nintendo doesn’t think that’s creative enough to charge money for it. That and more from Wired’s 7 things Shigeru Miyamoto told them about Super Mario Run on the iPhone.

How is Super Mario Run doing, anyway? A Japanese press release from both Nintendo and Apple says that Nintendo’s first real foray onto iOS devices is going well to the tune of 40 million downloads in the first 4 days.

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