Thursday Morning News

As per Apple’s financial results that were released yesterday, this was the first quarter in more than three years that Apple saw growth in iPad revenue. No matter which way you’re looking at it, there’s a big gap between where the iPad was at over 18 million units per quarter, to the just over 10 that Apple is now moving. Turns out, if you give the iPad a little attention, you can turn that frown upside down. Or something like that.

Six Colors also has the transcript of Apple’s conference call with analysts after their financial results were announced. Apple CEO Tim Cook gave us an overview of Apple’s business as a whole, saying that services was now a Fortune 100 company all on its own, then turned over the reigns to Apple CFO Luca Maestri to give us the breakdown on Apple’s financials, followed by the usual Q&A session.

It was during the conference call that Cook spoke about Apple’s involvement in autonomous systems. While everyone knows that Apple is doing something with vehicles, Cook suggested that Apple were interested in doing more with autonomous systems than just cars. Cook said there were many different areas of autonomous systems than just cars, leaving the rest up to speculation.

It’s been over six months since Apple released AirPods, and still have a six-week shipping time. On the conference call, Cook explained this as continued production difficulties and said Apple was doing everything they can to make AirPods as fast as possible. My question is: what kind of production difficulties take more than six months for Apple to resolve? This is a company with over US $260 billion cash in the bank, remember.

The HomePod firmware is telling us more things about the next iPhone, including how the facial recognition feature will likely work with Apple Pay. And that makes sense, given that Touch ID likely won’t be present on the device — Apple Pay needs some kind of user authentication, and facial recognition seems to be perfectly positioned for that.

A thing that Apple could be doing with autonomous systems is using AI to recognise items being photographed and automatically adjusting settings to ensure the best possible photo. Seems plausible enough, like in the case where you’re panning the camera following a subject, maybe Apple will increase the shutter speed to eliminate motion blur.

TechCrunch originally thought the Apple Watch would soon be adding “yoga” tracking to its list of automatically tracked activities, but it looks like it’s just a new label for optional, manual workout that you can start from your Apple Watch.

Microsoft has accidentally revealed something they’re calling a Touch Cover for the iPad. It’s unclear whether this will be a Smart Connector-compatible accessory or something positioned to work with all iPads, but the inclusion of a battery suggests the latter, more akin to a Bluetooth keyboard. Either way, there’s no release date or anything official from Microsoft just yet.

There’s been a lot of speculation about how the display cutout on the upcoming iPhone will work. The smart money is on Apple integrating it into the display somehow, but the big question will be how the virtual home button works, or what Apple does with the vertically-expanded display.

There’s a new Google Earth app for iOS, and while it’s now a 64-bit app in time for the release of iOS 11, there’s also a bunch of features that bring it up to par with the web and Android versions of the app, including a new flyover feature and explorational/discovery stuff.

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