Thursday Morning News

Following reports Apple will focus on reliability and performance with this year’s software updates, multiple outlets still think Apple will allow iOS apps to run on Macs this year. Both Bloomberg and Axios still seem to think Apple will release an updated development framework that will enable some kind of simultaneous macOS and iOS development, although details are still hazy on that front.

An interview with Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller from Sound & Vision tells us a slightly different story about the HomePod. Schiller says the HomePod is the result of some pretty cool advances in technology. You’d be forgiven if you thought the HomePod was an updated iPod Hi-Fi, but the addition of some smart speaker features make it a little more than that, too.

Variety reports the writer and director of La La Land will be writing and directing a drama series for Apple, which will go straight to series. Damien Chazelle has previously worked on a TV series for Netflix, but Apple’s drama will be the first time Chazelle has written and directed every episode, Variety writes.

A piece on Apple’s Newsroom tells us about emerging LA filmmakers doing cool things with Apple software, often with the contrasts of incredible vision and miniscule budgets. The press release says the month-long filmmaking workshop used Apple hardware and software to help filmmakers realise their vision, with some Apple glue making things stick.

The first developer beta of iOS 11.3 was released last week following the public release of iOS 11.2.5. While Apple’s battery throttling controls are still expected to be released in this version, they’re still nowhere to be seen, although we do get a look at a feature called Advanced Mobile Location. AML is only supported in a handful of countries worldwide, but the idea is that it will automatically send your location to emergency services when you call.

There’s also a new version of watchOS out for developers, and MacRumors walks us through the new features. New stuff includes the ability for Apple Watch to work in portrait nightstand mode, Activity information on the Siri watch face, and the return of iPhone music controls from the Watch, which lets you choose between on-iPhone music or on-Watch music.

The latest episode of the MacStories series iPad diaries says typing to Siri is kind of like a smart command line. While Siri isn’t a computational knowledge engine like Wolfram Alpha, it can do a lot when you have connected services, devices, and apps. Typing to Siri also gets around the problems that many people seem to have with Siri not recognising what they’re saying, and if you have a keyboard attached to your iPad, typing to Siri feels natural.

An update to Apple’s Clips app adds a greeting for Chinese New Year, which is an interesting feature update if I’ve ever seen one. There are a bunch of other bug fixes and performance improvements, too.

Rogue Amoeba’s latest app is Farrago, a sound-board app that lets you quickly and easily play audio clips, sound snippets, effects, or anything else. While this particular kind of app probably existed before, having a native Mac app lets you do some neat things, like assign keyboard shortcuts to your clips for frictionless playback of your sounds.

The Verge writes that everyone should copy the gestures on the iPhone X. Removing the home button could be the best thing that Apple ever did for the iPhone, opening a whole world of fun new interactions.

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