Friday Morning News

While a new version of AirPods was inevitable after the success of the initial release, Bloomberg claims Apple has two new AirPods in the works. The first, slated for a possible release later this year, will have an upgraded wireless chip, with the other featuring water resistance and planned for next year. As much as I (and everyone else) seems to like AirPods, it’d be great if Apple could release an in-ear version — they can even label it a “sport” version, just make it stay in my ears.

Fast Company has named Apple as the world’s most innovative company. Apple’s focus on hardware and software integration, allows them to deliver the future, today, and Apple’s many varied accomplishments in 2017 — encompassing hardware products, software, and services — earned it the top spot both in the overall list, as well as earning first place in the consumer electronics category.

New devices filed in the Eurasian commission database reveal upcoming devices, and 9to5Mac says the latest filings indicate new iPads are on the way. Similar filings have previously revealed devices that turned out to be the MacBook, iPhone 7, and AirPods, so even though we only have a model number to go off, there’s a good chance we’ll see new iPads sooner, rather than later.

Jean-Louis Gassée tells us about the problems with HomePod reviews, which are plagued by the same issues that all speaker reviews have. The environment you’re listening in plays a critical part, of course, but equally as important are the need for double-blind tests and output volume to be matched as closely as possible, lest one speaker sound louder (and therefore “better”) than another.

John Gruber says a recent iOS update stopped smart punctuation working, but only in Messages. His best guess is that the smart punctuation replacements had unintended consequences when sending text messages, which probably has something to do with the archaic method of sending SMS messages that limits you to ASCII characters, which doesn’t include curly quotes or em-dashes. What’s curious is why iMessages — which, being a much more modern messaging system, presumably aren’t beholden to the same character set limits — are also affected.

The third public betas of iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3, and macOS 10.13.4 have been released, coinciding with the same release developers received earlier this week. As per usual, there are no new changes between the developer and public beta versions, but it’s possible that the general public will get all the new features within the next few months.

Apple’s support page on iCloud security gives us the run-down on the kind of protection your data has in the cloud. Not only is your iCloud data encrypted when stored, it’s also encrypted in transit between your device and Apple’s servers. Some information is also encrypted end-to-end, meaning that only you have access to that data, and no one, not even Apple, can access it.

The Sweet Setup has a complete guide to automations and workflows for Things on iOS. While there’s a full-blown productivity and task management course you can take if you need to take your task management seriously, their guide is worth checking out if you merely want to take your Things usage to the next level of productivity.

Apple are doing some advertising as part of the UK’s BRIT music awards, and they’ve released an Animoji karaoke advert to go along with it. Headbanging kitty FTW.

If you’re looking for something to play this weekend, Alto’s Odyssey is now out. There’s a review from MacStories, otherwise head on over to the App Store and pick it up for $7.99, on the Australian App Store.

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