Tuesday Morning News
The New York Times has a story this morning about Apple’s new tax haven, following close scrutiny of its tax practices in Ireland. With nearly US $269 billion in cash, and over $128 billion of that offshore, Apple has reportedly moved its operations to Jersey in what seems like another move designed to avoid taxes. It’s important to note that Apple’s US operations only account for about 30% of its worldwide profits, with the rest coming from overseas locations, making tax havens like Ireland and Jersey strategically important for Apple’s financials.
The story on Apple’s tax practices has apparently had such an impact that Apple has chosen to release a statement entitled “the facts about Apple’s tax payments“. Apple sets the record straight about its tax practices: no operations of investments were moved from Ireland following changes to corporate restructure in 2015, Apple pays billions of taxes to the US at the current rate of 35% from overseas investments, and Apple’s effective tax rate on foreign earnings is 21%.
Austin Mann’s review of the iPhone X cameras says that the iPhone X is the first iPhone to give us a telephoto lens that’s as close to on par as the wide-angle as we’re going to get, with a minor improvement to the telephoto lens’ aperture and the addition of optical image stabilisation meaning that the both lenses can now perform in low-light scenarios. Combined with the HDR OLED screen, where blacks are actually black, the iPhone X is a fine device for mobile photography.
TechCrunch provides details on how the face-tracking technology works to allow features like Face ID and Animoji to work. The tech itself is pretty crazy, and although there are potential privacy concerns, developers are still limited on what they can do with the information provided by the TrueDepth camera system. While developers can specifically ask for the user’s permission to allow face-tracking technology within their own apps, apps that currently use this are rare.
It should come as no surprise that with two sides both made of glass, the iPhone X is “the most breakable iPhone“. I mean, sure, the iPhone 4 had two glass sides as well, but both devices don’t defy the laws of physics, no matter how well they’re designed. Glass will crack or shatter on impact, and with iPhone X repair pricing as high as it is, you’ll want a case.
The removal of the home button on the iPhone X presented an interesting dilemma for the keyboard, which traditionally sat at the bottom of the screen, but above the keyboard. Moving the keyboard to the bottom of the screen on the iPhone X would have had resulted in poor usability, and where it is now — about two centimetres above the bottom — results in great usability, but wasted space. Why not use that space for frequently used emojis, or something?
The second developer release of iOS 11.2 tells us about introductory pricing for subscription apps. Apps offering subscriptions within the app will be able to offer discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions, with free trials of subscriptions already being possible under the current pricing scheme.
The technical explanation of why iOS 11.1 autocorrects the letter “i” to the letter “A” followed by a box with a question mark has to do with unicode. Specifically, Variation Selector 16, normally used to Emojify the previous character, is being substituted where it shouldn’t be. Apple has confirmed that a fix will be coming as part of the second developer beta of iOS 11.2.
Apple has finally won a ruling from May 2014, with the US Supreme Court refusing to hear Samsung’s appeal of the decision which will see them pay $119.6 million to Apple for infringing on the latter’s slide-to-unlock, text prediction, and other utility patents.
Animoji are taking over social media, and Twitter in particular has been rife with them over the past few days. The hype seems to be slowing down, but the Animoji dub of famous movies is still worth a few laughs.