Friday Morning News

The ACCC are taking Apple to court over misleading consumers about their rights when it comes to getting devices repaired under warranty. Under Australian Consumer Law, free warranty service must be provided when goods don’t meet consumer guarantees, even when they’ve had repairs done by a third party. This all came about because Apple pushed an update which disabled devices that had unauthorised third party repairs. The ACCC investigated and found Apple telling consumers that they were no longer entitled to service, due to their unauthorised repair, and that “Apple cannot, by itself, extinguish the consumer’s right to a remedy for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees”. We’ll have to see how this all breaks down in court.

Apple, along with Microsoft, Google, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto, have been targeted as part of a crackdown from the ATO with regards to international companies and their tax evasion tactics. The total tax bill for these companies is somewhere under the $3 billion mark, and while it’s not clear how much of that Apple owes individually, estimates put Apple’s tax bill between $250 and $800 million.

Apple’s Clips app is out. The Verge describes it as an iMovie for the next generation, regardless of how hard Apple tries to position it as some kind of social sharing app. It’s a fun little app that lets you put together clips and add your own effects, but interestingly Clips won’t run on the iPhone 5, 5c, or the fourth-generation iPad.

Speaking of iPads, Ars reviews the cheap and cheerful fifth-generation iPad. It comes in exactly one screen size, looks a bit like an iPad you might have seen before (even though the internals are slightly different), and perhaps most importantly, represents Apple’s admission that sometimes you do need to build something new to address the middle ground of products.

The 2016 Panic report tells us about the company’s year in review. Firewatch was the main focus of Panic last year, which was pretty cool because it’s a great game and deserves all the awards it has received. Whilst there weren’t a huge number of major feature updates, Panic’s apps were constantly being updated, and there’s plenty to look forward to this year.

After it was revealed new iMacs were going to be released this year, speculation around their possible specs has also cropped up. I’m not sure iMacs have the thermal capacity to be fitted out with Xeon processors, but other improvements in other components is certainly a possibility.

It’s said Apple has signed a two-year deal with Samsung for 92 million OLED displays. No prizes for guessing what they’ll be included in.

A separate rumour claims a Retina MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar is currently in development after the mixed reactions to Apple’s latest innovation. And honestly, that seems about right: people either love or hate the Touch Bar, even though most begrudgingly agree that Touch ID on the Mac is pretty great.

MacRumors says that “constant negativity” from pro users led Apple to decide something had to be done. Apple’s announcement earlier this week that it’s working on an entirely redesigned, modular Mac Pro was a surprise to many, even though it might not ship until 2019. I’m not sure how to feel about the whole “constant negativity” thing, though. Is that really the best way to make people listen?

Over at Macworld, Jason Snell breaks down the Mac Pro announcement from earlier this week. It was something we weren’t expecting from Apple, but what they delivered was almost as surprising as the delivery itself.

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