Friday Morning News

Following the Mac Pro’s footsteps, the Mac mini has now been around for over three years without a spec bump to speak of. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s response to an email about the Mac mini assures some guy that the Mac mini is an important part of the Apple product line going forward, but doesn’t have any details to share about future plans for Apple’s smallest desktop Mac.

TechCrunch has some smart analysis on Apple’s enterprise strategy. If you read between the lines of recent Apple partnerships with big enterprise companies along the likes of S&P, IBM, Cisco, and more recently GE, it becomes clear that Apple think mobile platforms will be the way to go. Apple kind of has a leg up because both products are industry-leading, but standardising those platforms in the enterprise market has implications for regular consumers, too.

Apple’s Michigan Avenue location opens tomorrow, with the Chicago riverfront store featuring an all-glass exterior and carbon fibre roof, designed to be as thin as possible. Apple intends the store to be the latest in its series of town centres, and to that end, they’re kicking off a month-long series of programs designed to support locals in their creative and liberal arts pursuits.

Whatever Apple is doing with their cars with roof-mounted sensors, there’s definitely a lot going on up there. One self-driving car entrepreneur had the chance to get up close and personal with the array of sensors and cameras, noting in a short video that the entire apparatus appeared to be designed to keep actual car modifications to a minimum.

The Outline says the new thin, butterfly-switched keyboards on the latest MacBook Pros are the worst thing about the machine. Keys stop working for no apparent reason, despite Apple publishing cleaning guidelines that involve convoluted motions to free the tiniest specs of dust from the delicate butterfly switch assembly, and from there, it’s a US $700 repair to replace the entire top case.

Sticky keys are also an issue on the new keyboards. While the design of the new keyboards are such that they seem to be designed with tight tolerances to the structure around the keys to prevent to dust or crumbs from entering the mechanisms, that can result in other issues that might mean the key pops right off. And once that happens, there’s a good chance it’ll take out the mechanism with it, making reattachment impossible without a trip to the Apple Store.

Ulysses moved from a paid app to a subscription-based revenue model last month, and today’s latest update brings a whole host of iOS 11-specific features, including drag and drop. There’s also multi-pane editing and image previews, and MacStories has a more thorough run through of the new features in the iOS release, with some of the same changes also making their way to the Mac.

While everyone is talking about Rocket, the Slack-style emoji picker app from Australian developer Matthew Palmer, his other app Vanilla hides menu bard icons in a collapsible arrow, kind of like what you can do on the Windows taskbar. It’s kind of like Bartender.

The Apple Style Guide is something I hadn’t seen before until someone linked to it on Twitter. Interestingly, it bases its editorial guidelines on the Chicago Manual of Style and not others like the Associated Press Stylebook, and hilariously, you can file bugs for the Apple Style Guide on Radar.

Macworld’s slideshow of some of the best iOS games has a mix of slightly older titles with some slightly newer ones. If you haven’t played through The Room Three or enjoyed the tranquility of Prune, I’d recommend checking them out. The app that you should be checking out, however, is the free short comic Protanopia.

Notable Replies

  1. Good grief, that article about the new MacBook keyboards just reinforces my desire to never upgrade to a newer Mac as the repairability is so close to zero its not funny!

    Apple bleat on about caring for the environment but in fact this if so far from the truth it’s not funny, Apple really don’t give a toss about the environment - if they did single item replacement/modular repairs would be possible rather than entire machines, entire top cases etc.

    The continual push for thinner, lighter, sexier is cause for concern as it affects not only the ability to repair the device, it is also likely to hamper the reliability and usability of devices.

    The environment impact is not just manufacturing, but disposal, freight, packaging and no doubt there are other things that I have not thought of.

    If Mr Cook and other Apple execs actually cared about the environment this would not be happening but all they really care about his making obscene profits.

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