Wednesday Morning News

Bloomberg’s report on what’s going on with the iPhone 8 tells us about the rumours so far. We’ve seen enough leaks to have a pretty good picture of the kinds of features we’ll see in the next iPhone, even if we’ve seen similar features on competing devices. Bloomberg says that Apple might not always be the first to market with new features or form factors, but there are some new ideas being brought to the table this time around.

Another suspected part leak from the upcoming iPhone shows us what’s reported to be the 3D sensing camera module that will power the facial recognition tech. It’s said the next iPhone’s front-facing camera will comprise a standard camera, an infrared transmitter, and an infrared receiver, all of which will allow the camera and software to recognise 3D faces.

You might think that the introduction of facial recognition might mean the demise of Touch ID. Video footage suggests otherwise, with a newly released video showing what appears to be Touch ID embedded into the Apple logo in the rear of the device. In the video, the device with rear-mounted Touch ID appears to being calibrated by a machine, so it might be possible that the next iPhone will feature both facial recognition and Touch ID.

The latest version of the iOS Simulator has given us a first look at the HomePod setup process. The good news seems to be that HomePods will support English from Australia, the US, and the UK at launch, and after asking a few questions about where you’ll be using your HomePod, you get some quick tips about using HomePod.

New videos buried within the latest iOS 11 firmware show off seemingly unreleased and unpublicised features of iOS 11. There’s a swipe left gesture from the lock screen that opens Control Centre, instead of the camera, and a similar swipe up gesture brings up the multitasking view. Speculation says that these gestures will be used on the next iPhone, but we’ll have to wait and see.

New integrations in Readdle’s Spark email app allow the app to work with popular third-party to-do and reminder apps. Both Spark for macOS and iOS will soon integrate with Things, Wunderlist, Trello, and even Apple’s own Reminders app, with fancy share sheets for every app to give a more customised look and feel.

AccuWeather has found itself caught out in the rain after it was discovered that their iOS app was sharing location data with a third party, even with location services turned off. It seems unlikely that anyone in Australia would be using AccuWeather (unless they just don’t know about the excellent Pocket Weather), but AccuWeather has claimed that all data sent is anonymised and is used for product improvements.

CrashPlan announced this morning that they are discontinuing their consumer backups, which means it’s time to find something else before your subscription expires. While you do get an extra 60 days, TidBits’ Joe Kissell has just the facts, saying that he’ll also have to update his Wirecutter recommendation as the best online backup service to be Backblaze. There’s also a few other ways you can accomplish a similar thing to CrashPlan, depending on your online backup requirements.

Both Parallels and VMware announced new versions of their virtualisation software for Macs. Parallels Desktop bumps the version number to 13 and can be purchased today, while VMware Fusion goes to 10 and will be released in October. Touch Bar support is touted as a major feature of these versions, but there’s also a number of improvements to performance and security for both products.

The Luna Display Kickstarter is a cool little hardware accessory that plugs into your Mac’s mini-DisplayPort or USB-C port to beam GPU-accelerated video to your iPad wirelessly. There’s little CPU impact, and everything I’ve heard about it so far on Twitter has been positive — which might explain why it’s already funded more than 3x its funding goal with 57 days go to. Oh, and because it’s made by the same people that make AstroPad, you can even use your Apple Pencil on your iPad as a touch input for your Mac.

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