Wednesday Morning News
IFixit’s teardown of the sixth-generation iPad doesn’t really give us any new info about the regular iPad that now supports the Apple Pencil, probably because we already know pretty much everything there is to know about Apple’s newest iPad. There’s a new Broadcom touch screen controller that is likely responsible for making the Apple Pencil work, everything is held together by glue, and it’s pretty much like the iPad before it, at least in terms of the overall hardware and other physical dimensions.
The Verge’s review of the 2018 iPad says it’s very good, just like the iPad before it was. Even though it doesn’t have the smaller bezels of the iPad Pro or some of the Pro’s fancier features, the cheapest iPad turns out to be a great choice for anyone that wants a tablet. And now it comes with support for Apple’s biggest tablet drawcard in the form of the Apple Pencil, it’ll remain the iPad to get if you want a thin and light tablet that’s half the cost of an iPad Pro, but that can run all the same apps.
Rumours from the Apple supply chain claim Apple and its manufacturing partner TSMC may start mass production of microLED displays for the Apple Watch later this year. Small panels designed for the Apple Watch and a rumoured wearable AR device will be targeted first, to ensure the manufacturing process is good enough before moving onto larger displays, which means the tech is still new, and Apple wants to get it right before putting iPhones on the line.
To comply with new UK laws requiring companies with more than 250 employees to publish salary information of men vs. women, Apple has released the UK Gender Pay Gap report for 2018. While the stats say that female Apple employees earn 5% lower on average than their male counterparts, the median hourly rate was 2% higher for women, a difference mostly attributed to men holding senior positions at the company. Apple says the men/women gender distribution is about 70/30, with more interesting gender pay stats in the full report.
Apple has previewed its Apple Business Manager device management solution for enterprise, billing it as a web-based portal to manage and administer people, devices, and content from the one place. It seems similar to an MDM, and has some ability to work with Apple’s Device Enrolment Program or the Volume Purchase Program, at least according to the documentation on the closed beta. It’s said to launch late Spring, and if we’re lucky, we’ll hear more about it at WWDC.
Apple Watch heart rate data has been used against a suspect in a murder investigation in Australia, disproving a daughter’s story of a group of men attacking her mother following a road-rage incident. While it’s a particularly grim tale, it opens up interesting questions about the data that we’re now all recording about our lives. While it might look pretty on a graph or as part of a larger set, would you want that data to be used against you?
MacStories walks us through the changes in watchOS 4.3. It’s not as big an update on the Apple Watch as iOS 11.3 was on iOS devices, but the addition of a portrait nightstand mode is pretty nice for those of us that don’t charge our devices horizontally. There’s also minor, but welcome, improvements to Watch music playback, and minor changes to the Siri watch face to be a little smarter about Activity and updated Apple Music playlists.
Over at 9to5Mac, Bradley Chambers has an extensive post on why Apple’s education strategy doesn’t line up with reality. Going off Apple’s previous education-focused events, Apple seems to have this idea of education that isn’t representative of how education works. At first, Apple wanted to reinvent textbooks, but textbooks aren’t going anywhere fast. Now they seem to be all-in on getting iPads into the classroom, but none of that explains how students are going to meet standardised grade requirements.
The Loop has Apple CEO Tim Cook’s takes on Facebook, Amazon, and privacy, following his comments to Recode and MSNBC. Each of the 2-minute clips gives us a little snippet into what the Apple CEO thinks, and how that affects what Apple does.
The iMore explainer on how HomeKit’s software auth works points out that iOS 11.3 brought about a big change for major HomeKit accessory manufacturers, who no longer have to include Apple’s Authentication Co-processor in their hardware to make their devices compatible with HomeKit. While HomeKit-compatible accessories have been able to be made by hobbyists and DIY-ers for a while now, iOS 11.3 opens up that same capability to big brand names.