Thursday Morning News
A major update to Apple’s Logic Pro X on the Mac and GarageBand on iOS devices is the first cab off the rank this morning. Logic’s interface has been tweaked slightly to give it a more flatter look while also being brighter, something Apple changed due to feedback from users. The update to Logic also brings Touch Bar support to the pro music creation app, with both timeline-like support and keyboard shortcuts. As for the iOS version of GarageBand, there’s a few improvements in terms of how the app handles mixing effects, and a few more features to allow audio pros to capture quality audio on the go.
A newly discovered form of Mac malware has probably in the wild for years. Apple has released an update to macOS that protects it from the Fruitfly malware, which can capture screenshots, webcam images, and then remotely connect to other machines on the same network. It’s possible that the only reason Fruitfly has evaded detection all this time is because of its highly-targeted nature — the only reported cases of infection have been from biomedical institutions, prompting speculation it has been used for some kind of espionage.
A rumour originating from Apple’s supply chain says we’ll see Apple go all-out this year for the iPhone’s tenth anniversary. Not because they’re celebrating a decade of iPhone, but because they can. A massive 5.8-inch wraparound OLED display will be named the iPhone X and feature sensors embedded into the display “allowing for a seamless edge-to-edge front panel”, while the current 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones will also get minor updates.
It’s possible there are plans for an update to the Apple Pencil, with current rumours pointing to a release alongside new iPads in a few months. Exactly what this new model of Apple pencil would feature over the previous is unknown, but Apple could always improve things such as the antenna and build in some magnets to help anchor the device to an iPad when not in use, says MacRumors.
I’m starting to feel a little jealous of the Japanese iPhone. Not only does it feature support for Japan’s Felica contactless payments/public transport payment system, but now it also supports Japan’s QZSS, their version of GPS. Interestingly, the Apple Watch Series 2 is also listed as supporting QZSS.
The US Federal Trade Commission is suing Qualcomm for forcing Apple to use their modems. The FTC alleges that Qualcomm used “onerous and anticompetitive supply and licensing terms on cell phone manufacturers”, requiring Apple to use its baseband processors from 2011 to 2016. Qualcomm has since denied the complaint.
Apple has been sued for not choosing to lock-out devices when driving to prevent texting and driving. Julio Ceja wants sales of iPhones in California to be halted until Apple implements a lock-out solution, which would be also released to current iPhone owners in the form of a software update.
Over at the Loop, Dave Mark draws parallels between the new, more responsive haptic engine in the iPhone 7 to similar tech used in the Nintendo Switch. More responsive haptic feedback allows for a wider range of sensations, like the click of a wheel spinner in iOS or the feeling of marbles in a box, as used in Switch demos.
One of the unexpected benefits of people leaving Apple is that they’re somewhat free to talk about the company, or at least, more free than they would be if they still worked for Apple. Chris Lattner recently left Apple to work on autonomous driving at Tesla, and on the latest Accidental Tech Podcast, he talks about development tools and internal projects at Apple.
Macworld’s wishlist for AirPods improvements includes support for more gestures, and a more responsive version of Siri to do basic things like increase the volume.