Tuesday Morning News
Apple has confirmed to BuzzFeed and a number of other outlets that it is acquiring Shazam. Apple says the Shazam team will be joining as part of Apple Music, with both teams working together to deliver a great music experience to users. I’m interested to see how this turns out; while I’m unsure what Shazam can offer as part of Apple Music, perhaps there’s some kind of music discovery integration that I’m not seeing.
An interview with Phil Schiller talks about how Face ID had to be the complete replacement for anything Touch ID was capable of doing. Face ID had to authenticate within apps, and it had to work for Apple Pay, as well as unlocking your device. Face ID data isn’t shared with third-party developers, either. Schiller also talks about augmented reality and what’s next in the smart home space for Apple.
Apple has knocked back shareholder proposals which wanted the company to do more with greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and human rights. While the proposals were labelled as relating to ordinary business, Apple seems to think its day-to-day focus and regular reviews exempts them from being significant policy issues, meaning that a shareholder vote isn’t warranted. The MacRumors post includes far more inverted commas.
Anecdotal evidence from a thread on Reddit claims poor performance on older iPhone devices could be related to older batteries. Speculation says the iPhone 6 and 6s were affected by changes to the power management system as a result of the iOS 10.2.1 update, which was originally released to address a random shutdown issue that plagued those devices, with a battery replacement restoring near-normal performance on older iPhone 6 and 6s devices.
Apple’s new guidelines that allow for the banning of commercialised or apps based on templates from the App Store is having a negative impact on smaller businesses. Many smaller businesses can’t afford to have a custom app designed, so rely on studios to create apps for them with their own logos and branding. Apple’s move to ban such apps has caught the attention of the US Congress, who says Apple need to be more lenient with the bans to allow for smaller companies who don’t have the resources to develop in-house apps.
Apple has released the first developer beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3. There doesn’t appear to be any new features just yet, but it’s good to see the beta cycle starting over.
Macworld’s Jason Snell writes about the reasons why Apple might not build an iOS-powered laptop. He says that Apple needs to solve some input issues before an iOS laptop gets to the usability level that you’d expect from a traditional computer, but maybe that’s approaching the problem the wrong way; after all, non-Mac laptops have had touchscreens for years now. And any speculation that an iOS laptop would signal the end of the Mac as a software platform seems misguided.
Also from Macworld is Dan Moren’s take on the lack of a Mac laptop middle ground. At the moment, the mid-range Mac laptop is served by the MacBook Air, sandwiched by the MacBook on the low-end and the MacBook Pro on the high-end. But the MacBook Air has only seen minor updates since its original release, so it’s hard to know where Apple are going with the only non-Retina laptop in the lineup.
SuperDuper! version 3.1 now allows for Time Machine-like restoration of files from bootable APFS copies. Not only can you copy files to the backup from a snapshot of the system, but you can also open Time Machine, point it to your backup volume, and see older versions of files and deleted files to restore.
New ads from Apple show off iPhone X features like Face ID and Portrait Mode lighting, even though the latter isn’t an iPhone X exclusive feature.