Monday Morning News

The Six Colors report card for Apple in 2016 has responses from Apple writers over Apple’s performance in a number of categories. The number rating from 1-5 reflects the fact that Apple scored poorly in areas where they didn’t release updates, while products that did see updates were either marginally higher or about the same as the previous year. The commentary from some of the writers is also insightful.

Neil Cybart’s list of questions for Apple in 2017 speculates about the possible updates to product lines, but it’s possible that there are too many questions and not enough answers. I’m skeptical that Apple would be capable of releasing an update to all three iPhone display sizes at once, for example, given that there’s no precedence for it and whatever other updates Apple has been working on in the background.

Apple wasn’t at CES this year, even though they’re arguably the largest consumer electronics company in the world. Dan Moren explains their absence from the trade show as Apple not being about the gadgets. There’s a lot of different products on show at CES, some of which will a different niche than others, but Apple hasn’t shown an interest in ultra-high res TV screens, internet-connected replacements for every-day items, or drones.

Rumour has it this year’s iPhone update will have even better waterproofing than its iPhone 7 predecessors. An IP68 rating has been touted as being the new standard, which would allow the iPhone to survive for 30 minutes in metre-deep water. By comparison, the iPhone 7 is currently rated for IP67, which is splash-proof and protected against small periods of submersion in shallow water.

The US Appeals Court has ruled that App Store customers can go ahead with a lawsuit claiming Apple created an app monopoly by not allowing app distribution outside of the App Store. Apple originally requested the lawsuit be dismissed due to the fact that developers set prices for apps, but the Appeals Court has ruled that customers purchase apps directly from Apple, not from developers.

Also from the appeals circuit is the original Apple vs Samsung design lawsuit, which will attempt to determine the amount Samsung owes Apple for infringing on the patented design of “a rectangular front face with rounded edges and a grid of colourful icons on a black screen”. We’re now 10 years into the iPhone, but this is the lawsuit that just won’t die.

When apps launched on the Apple TV, they were limited to 200MB. Apple has just updated their Apple TV app guidelines to allow apps to be up to 4GB in size, which will allow more graphically-rich apps and games on the Apple TV. Apple is now accepting submissions for these larger titles.

MacStories tells us about a little Mac app called Tooth Fairy that lets you switch which Bluetooth device your Mac is connected to with a quick drop-down menu and an optional keyboard shortcut.

Brett Terpstra’s best of 2016 list for Mac productivity recommends apps in the categories of productivity and communication, design, photo, audio/video, utilities and developer tools, and also has the top iOS apps.

AirPods still aren’t widely available in Apple stores, but they will be soon. Until then, there’s a bunch of AirPods ads from Apple.

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