Tuesday Morning News

Further details have emerged about the previously-rumoured cheaper MacBook and iPad. Digitimes has sources which claim Apple will be releasing an entry-level MacBook this year, and now we know that it’ll probably have a Retina display, possibly as an updated version of the MacBook Air, although it’s unclear whether this will indeed be a cheaper MacBook Air or an updated MacBook with a larger 13.3-inch screen. Similarly, cheaper iPads and a new iPad Pro are also on the way, slated for release within the next few months.

TechCrunch reports Apple has partnered with Ito World, adding bike sharing data for 175 cities across 36 countries to Apple Maps. Brisbane’s own CityCycle is supported, as is Monash’s BikeShare service, and although there’s no way to know how many bikes are available at each station or how many empty stations there are, it’s definitely a start and puts bike-sharing on the map.

Apple’s latest acquisition is digital magazine subscription service Texture. It seems like a good fit — Texture has been claimed to be the “Netflix of magazines” by other outlets, with 200 of the world’s best magazines available for a single subscription. Although, I have to confess this is the first time I remember hearing about the app, despite it being featured by Apple in the Best Of the App Store list in 2016.

Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue is at the SXSW conference, and his interview discussing media and entertainment gives us some insight into Apple’s plans for media, including the important role of curation and original content. Cue said Texture will be integrated into Apple News, somehow, and Apple News is unique because it isn’t focused on advertising. And while Apple is “all-in” on original content, there’s little to no chance of Apple buying a company like Disney or Netflix, because Apple wants quality, not quantity.

Which is weird, because Apple just made a deal for an animated musical from the creator of Bob’s Burgers. It’s the latest in a long line of original productions ordered by Apple, all without some kind of video streaming platform beyond Apple Music to access and view them on. They’re undoubtedly working on something, but what? And when will it be released?

Several Apple engineers will be discussing AR/VR and display tech at the upcoming Display Week convention. 9to5Mac points out that while it’s unlikely they’ll be discussing any kind of future plans Apple has for AR/VR, several sessions will be focused on micro-LED tech and its potential applications.

In the latest round of updates to Apple’s Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod accessory certification program, third-party accessory makers can now certify Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapters and USB-C to Lightning cables. Now that I think about it, this might be the reason why we haven’t seen any third-party USB-C to Lightning cables or Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapters.

The fifth developer betas of iOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4 and tvOS 11.3 have been released to developers. Seeing as we’re five betas deep, the iOS and macOS updates have also been released to members of Apple’s public beta-testing program. Given that this beta comes just a week after the previous one, there’s a good chance we’ll see the public release by the end of the month.

Textor is a brand new iOS app that is a no-frills plain text editor that integrates with Apple’s own Files app. MacStories says that while it offers all the niceties of a modern iOS app, including support for Split View and support for the iPhone X and iPad Pro’s screen resolutions, it’s otherwise pretty bare-bones. Which probably explains the price — Textor is free.

Calendar 2 is a popular calendar scheduling app that is available via the Mac App Store and interestingly enough, contains a cryptocurrency miner. What’s even weirder is that Apple seems to be OK with this, although there’s been no official comment, Calendar 2 remains available on the Mac App Store despite disclosing that it includes a mining feature — at least for now, as the developer will be removing the mining feature from the app in a future update.

Notable Replies

  1. I feel like I already have this with my library card and the zinio app.

  2. A cheaper MacBook would be great to replace my wife’s ageing 2011 MBA since she doesn’t really need more power. Mind you last time I checked the specs the current spec MBA isn’t really a big update to the current system, at least for the sorts of use she has (basic web browsing and creating photo books in Blurb). The real problem is she needs 512GB+ of storage which usually means stepping up to a near top of the line machine. Personally, I still prefer the older keyboards too :smiley:

    Will be interesting to see what actually comes out, but a low(er) cost machine can’t hurt Apple’s market share (and is a gateway drug).

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