Tuesday Morning News

Just like that, Apple announced the availability of the special edition Product(RED) iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It looks great, and the red glass is every bit as vivid as the aluminium versions that we’ve seen before. For the first time, the Product(RED) iPhone also a black-bordered screen on the front, with all previous Product(RED) iPhones having the white-bordered screen. It’s a welcome change, and if the iPhone X wasn’t a thing, then I would strongly consider buying this one. Pre-orders open today, with the device being available in retail stores this Friday.

A revamped page on all of Apple’s Product(RED) products show us the full collection of devices and accessories, while also providing information about how Apple has donated over US $160 million to the fight against AIDS. New to the lineup is the leather folio for iPhone X, which comes in a slightly darker shade of red and will also be available to purchase later today.

All of Apple’s worldwide operations are now powered by 100% renewable energy, which is an incredible feat. Retail stores, offices, data centres, and co-located facilities in 43 countries are powered by renewable energy, and where that isn’t directly possible in some areas, I believe Apple offsets by producing power to make up for it. Apple is also getting its suppliers in on the act, with a total of 23 suppliers committing to producing Apple products with 100% renewable energy.

A new rumour claims we’ll see an iPhone with three rear cameras next year. It’s said Apple will be following in the footsteps of one Huawei device with three rear cameras, with the usual standard and telephoto lenses, and an additional monochrome lens. While anything is possible (especially when it comes to Apple rumours), this seems oddly reminiscent of the time a razor manufacturer decided to put five blades on their razors.

The South Korean Fair Trade Commission has been investigating unfair sales practices by Apple, which required carriers to purchase minimum volumes of iPhones regardless of sales numbers, forced them to meet part of the cost of warranty repairs, and obliged them to pay for and run Apple-created iPhone ads. The South Korean FTC has found Apple guilty of all of the above, and seems likely to impose a fine on Apple.

Apparently, we don’t need Apple to bring touchscreens to MacBooks, seeing as we can now do the same with $1 of hardware. Project Sistine is an ingenious take on using a mirror and the MacBook’s in-built webcam to make at least part of the screen usable as a touchscreen, with some cool computer-vision processing being applied to detect the difference between a hover and a touch, thanks in part to the MacBook’s reflective display.

An iMovie for iOS update has been released which now lets developers make App Store video previews right from within the app, now also including support for the iPhone X screen resolution as well as a bunch of other bug fixes.

Also in update news is the update for Office for iOS, which now lets users open Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from within the iOS Files app, either from the standard Share Sheet or with a single tap, depending on how many times you’ve previously opened that kind of document type.

Last but not least, the Australia expansion to the iOS version of Civ VI is now available as a $8 in-app purchase. Interestingly, while The Mac Observer mentions that the in-app purchase to unlock the full game unlock is currently available for half price until May 17, that doesn’t seem to be the case in the Australian App Store, where it shows up as $46.99. Seems like a bit of a raw deal to me.

Over at TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino tells us about the popularity of mobile gaming in light of the recent high-profile launches of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Mobile gaming is going places, and Apple holds the reins thanks to a sensible lineup of devices that means developers have less testing to do to ensure a good player experience.

Notable Replies

  1. I was thinking pre-orders for the Red iPhone 8 might start at 5pm AEST since that’s midnight in Cupertino, but upon actually RTFA it’s 5:30am PDT - so I guess I’ll order it later during a bout of insomnia

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