Wednesday Morning News
Bloomberg has a report this morning on why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo. Their story on early HomePod designs and how Apple never saw the HomePod as more than just an accessory lead to its current status — a product that was announced before it was ready, while competitors snap up the part of the market that’s still into home audio speakers.
The Financial Times reports Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn using students working overtime to manufacture the iPhone X. While Foxconn says that the student interns were working voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, working overtime is in violation of Foxconn’s labour policies. Both Apple and Foxconn are working to remediate the situation, with the former continually working towards supplier responsibility by improving working conditions.
The latest rumour from DigiTimes says Apple is working with Taiwanese company TSMC to improve the manufacture of micro-LED displays. While no display in any Apple product currently has a micro-LED display, it’s easy to see why Apple would be investing in the tech; micro-LED displays carry much of the same advantages as OLED displays do, including improved colour accuracy, contrast ratio, and true blacks, but with the added advantages of being even thinner than OLED displays, whilst also being brighter and more energy efficient.
The Age tells us the story between Apple Australia and disgraced Australian wellness blogger Belle Gibson. Apple promoted Gibson’s story and her “The Whole Pantry” app without verifying the details, and worse, email correspondence between the two parties reveals just how into the narrative they were. Following the reveal of the con, Apple quickly severed ties with Gibson, removing her apps from the App Store and any promotional material from its website.
Apple and other companies have pulled Skype from Chinese App Stores at the request of the Chinese government. While no official explanation has been provided for Skype’s removal, speculation says it’s due to the inbuilt encryption offered by the Skype client, preventing effective communication monitoring. It’s said that other VoIP apps have suffered the same fate.
Regardless of what you think about Apple’s chances of releasing an updated iPhone SE, renderings of a possible “iPhone SE 2” take the TrueDepth camera system notch and edge-to-edge display from the iPhone X and cram it into an iPhone SE-like design. While there’s no posted dimensions for the concept iPhone, I’d imagine that they would be very similar to the current iPhone SE’s diminutive dimensions.
Studio Neat carried out some experiments with low-light photography and the iPhone X. They put an iPhone X side-by-side with an iPhone 7 Plus to see how much more light the iPhone 7 Plus needs before it will activate the telephoto lens, instead of using a cropped image from the wide-angle lens. They also have a great explanation of why Apple does this — no surprises here, but it’s to do with the wider aperture of the wide-angle.
Macworld’s Dan Moren says Apple are betting big on AR, following rumours Apple may be looking at building their own AR headset. There’s a tonne of advantages if Apple decide to go down the wearable route, including being able to have a much more immersive AR experience compared to holding a rectangular slab out in front of you to give you a little window into the AR world.
Gabe from Macdrifter has used the 10.5-inch iPad Pro ever since it was released, doing as many of his day-to-day tasks on it. His comparison to the Mac has some good points about using an iPad Pro as your main computer. While powerful apps such as Workflow exist on iOS that let you do some incredible things, the Mac ultimately wins in the ways that the iPad falls flat; particularly in the multitasking, keyboard, and working within apps. Conversely, the iPad Pro still holds the portability crown, and there’s nothing like the Apple Pencil as an input mechanism.
The triple button dance required to perform a hard reset of your iPhone X rates among the most convoluted. Apple’s support article on how to force restart your device has the incantations required, but even more puzzling is why the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus have a different hard reset button combo compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. None of those devices have a physical home button, but why is the combo different? The devices don’t even share the same combo to activate the emergency SOS feature.