Thursday Morning News

Apple’s latest press release reveals a US $350 billion contribution to the US economy over the next five years. Apple’s latest set of investments include the creation of 20,000 new jobs, part of which will involve a new Apple campus designed to house technical support for customers. Apple is also increasing the Advanced Manufacturing Fund by an additional $4 billion, taking it to $5 billion total.

As part of Apple’s plans to invest back into the US, the company will be moving an undisclosed portion of the US $250 billion it currently holds overseas back to the US. Even with recent changes to the tax code which provide allowances for companies to bring back money to the US with lower penalties, this still comes with a $38 billion tax bill. The Verge claims Apple already has about $36 billion set aside for this very purpose.

If you want to get your news from Siri, now you can. Siri’s latest “give me the news” command defaults to the ABC in Australia, but you can also use Seven or SBS as your sources, but what you get back depends on how you invoke it. I could only appear to get Siri to start playing podcast news bulletins during short testing earlier this morning. Either way, TechCrunch says this is a good example of upcoming HomePod functionality.

High school student Rebecca Kahn was asked to interview a person of interest in the technology, and she emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook responded, and Kahn conducted a phone interview on a variety of topics, including women in tech, kids learning to code, and human rights issues. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but it does make for a pretty cool story.

A rumour claims next year’s iPhones will have a smaller notch as Apple looks to improve Face ID technology by combining the front-facing camera and Face ID. At the moment, Face ID requires three separate components to function; a floor illuminator, dot projector, and infrared camera. Combining some of all of these components would certainly mean less space required on the front of the device.

The Sweet Setup has a lengthy post on using an iPad for photography workflows. The iPad is more than just a mobile editing workhorse — if you’re shooting on-location and need to play some music, the iPad can do that, too. Then there’s all the great apps you can use to manage and store photos, as well as the big one of editing, and then saving and sharing.

An image-less post tells us about pain points in the iOS 11 Music app. Dave’s gripes all seem to stem from usability issues, whether that’s because things are strewn about haphazardly, or there’s not enough information density for the wide expanse of music. Also, his last point about smart playlists reminds me that it’s been a while since we’ve seen dynamic playlists on iOS, something that I should really write something about.

A deep dive into how SecureBoot works on the iMac Pro gives us the technical details on how the feature affects things like booting into Windows, Target Disk Mode, and even things like NetInstall and NetRestore. There’s still a bunch of unanswered questions that can’t be discovered via pure experimentation, but for the most part, it seems like a positive step forward.

It’s been ten years since the introduction of the MacBook Air. While the original design was unveiled in a paper envelope, it wasn’t without its own set of issues. It took Apple a few revisions to get to SSDs as standard, but by the time they did, the world had settled on the MacBook Air as the template for the “ultrabook” category of laptops, and now, the MacBook Air is probably the best-selling Mac. MacStories takes a look back at the MacBook Air story so far.

The latest ad from Apple isn’t exactly from them. But their FileMaker subsidiary is doing something different, with former stars of “The Office” portraying farmers in a three-minute spot called “Farm Time”, describing how they use FileMaker to run their operations. Whatever sells enterprise software, I guess.

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