Monday Morning News
Apple’s March 27th education event this week reportedly won’t be live-streamed, but the rumour blogs seem to have a pretty good idea of what we’ll see at the event anyway. The first Apple event for the year and Apple’s first education-focused event since 2012 is expected to bring a cheaper iPad and the possibility of a cheaper MacBook Air, although the only real educational news might be the release of iOS 11.3 with ClassKit and an updated Classroom app for teachers to lead students through lessons. We’ll see how it all shakes out on Wednesday.
A cheaper iPad is always good, but it seems unlikely Apple’s going to just drop the price on a device that’s already relatively cheap. Rumours claim this cheaper iPad will feature better performance, with the possibility of supporting either the current Apple Pencil or an updated model, for compatibility with both the regular iPad and the iPad Pro. The cheaper MacBook Air is said to have an outside chance of being released, seeing as — let’s not forget — this is an education-focused event, with limited time for new hardware announcements.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently opened the China Development Forum with comments about the brewing trade war between China and the US. Cook acknowledges that both countries haven’t necessarily benefitted equally from history, but he hopes that cooler heads will prevail this time around, with the leaders of both countries hopefully being able to act rationally moving forward.
Tim Cook also called for well-crafted regulations surrounding data privacy, in light of recent news regarding the misuse of Facebook user information. Cook wants regulation to prevent the misuse of user information, including ways to prevent user information being collated and used in ways without their knowledge, which is pretty much what social networks exist to do.
Apple has proposed new accessibility emojis to the Unicode Consortium. Guide dogs, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, and other accessibility-related emojis are all part of Apple’s submission to better represent individuals with disabilities, with the initial list not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible depictions of disabilities, but merely a starting point.
Another study from the developers of the Cardiogram app and researchers at the University of California has shown that the Apple Watch can detect abnormal heart rhythms with incredible accuracy. A 97% accuracy rate beats out the KardiaBand, an FDA-approved Apple Watch accessory that also monitors heart rate. The developers note that the Apple Watch isn’t a replacement for a traditional EKG to detect abnormal heart rhythm issues, but can assist in their diagnosis much earlier.
Analysts claim we’ll see an iPhone with a foldable display in 2020. While the analyst from the Bank of America seems to think Apple is working on a foldable phone, it’s one thing to have a permanently folded-display like in the iPhone X, and another thing entirely to have a display that can be folded and unfolded at will.
MacRumours tells us how to enable better Bluetooth audio codecs for your Bluetooth headphones. Even though your Bluetooth cans might support a more advanced audio codec like AAC or aptX, some fall back to the standard Bluetooth audio codec SBC for audio playback when connected to your Mac. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get your devices talking to each other with better fidelity.
Hilariously, the Church of England now accepts contactless donations, including Apple Pay. I’m surprised it’s taken this long.
Also somewhat humorously is the fact Apple has fixed their ad that showed off a visual bug in iOS, before they fixed the bug itself. To be fair, the ad was probably the easier fixed of the two, with Apple seemingly playing whack-a-mole with public, sometimes serious, bugs for the last few months.