Friday Morning News

A new bug discovered in iOS and macOS causes apps and system crashes when a certain Indian Telugu character is sent to devices running versions prior to iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 (both of which are currently in the public beta phase of testing). It’s not the first time text input has caused widespread crashing issues for all affected users. As it turns out, handling unicode is hard, and we probably have emoji to thank. Programming, eh?

The good news is, you won’t have to wait until the next beta releases are released to the public to have the bug fixed. Apple has confirmed to iMore’s Rene Ritchie that they will be releasing a new version of iOS to resolve the issue before iOS 11.3 is released. Given that we’re currently on iOS 11.2.5, presumably that means we’ll see 11.2.6 or something within the next few days.

Apparently none of this matters to Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, who just [increased their stake] in Apple shares( by 23.3%. Apple Inc, is now the company’s largest holding, with the company’s 165.3 million shares worth about $27.7 billion. All of this following previous comments that the tech sector was too volatile for investing in. Notably, Berskshire Hathaway has also dumped 94.5% of its shares in IBM.

Props must go to Pad & Quill, who are now selling a leather coaster for your Apple HomePod. It’s not badly priced, at US $20, but I’m sure that any old beer coaster you have lying around at home would do just fine. For what it’s worth, it’s been found some Sonos One units also make similar marks on wood surfaces treated with oils or polishes.

Estimates say the HomePod costs roughly $216 to build. The build-of-materials figure doesn’t include the manufacturing cost of assembling the discrete components, or any R&D that Apple poured into the device before it was revealed to the public. Analysts claim Apple has reduced their profit margin on the HomePod in order to sell more units. The pessimist in me would say that Apple knew of HomePod’s weaknesses and wanted to get it out there anyway, but the optimist says that’s crazy talk.

Daniel Jalkut discusses some of the HomePod’s disadvantages when it comes to being in a multi-user environment. The problem is, you can hook up your HomePod to your calendar, but then anyone can see what you’ve got planned. You can get HomePod to read and send text messages, but then anyone can read and send text messages on your behalf. Siri is also incredibly sensitive and obnoxiously persistent about responding to requests.

Kirk McElhearn talks us through how iTunes handles albums, EPs, and singles. While all of these nouns made sense when we had physical CDs, the transition to digital hasn’t exactly been a smooth one, and sometimes it can be hard to work out the differences.

MacStories covers the Letterboxd 2.0 update. There’s now a native iPad version which gives you more space to explore the movies you’ve rated or watched, and if you’re into setting up iOS automation workflows, there’s also a little of that built into the new app, too.

Meanwhile, ‘sodes is a new casual podcast player. If you’re looking for something that’s in-between Apple’s own Podcasts app and something with the features and complexity of Pocketcasts or Overcast, ‘sodes might be the podcast app you were looking for.

Apple has decreed that all new apps must be built against the iOS 11 SDK starting in April. All new apps submitted to the App Store must also support the slightly larger screen size of the iPhone X, too, or risk getting rejected.

Notable Replies

  1. I get the annoyance with this. I’m a Spotify user and it bothers me that I can’t differentiate between singles and albums easily, especially in the discover section. But like the author I’m not sure what the solution is. A single can have 6 or 7 tracks sometimes, in which case I’d want it with the albums. Tough one.

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