Monday Morning News

Apple’s latest partnership is with VW, who will be providing the Cupertino-based company with electric T6 Transporter vans, which will then be outfitted with Apple’s autonomous vehicle software and used as driverless campus shuttles. The news comes from the New York Times, who claim that both Mercedes-Benz and BMW rejected partnerships with Apple, who has since given up on the dream of an Apple-manufactured autonomous vehicle and is instead developing the software for car manufacturers to license and adopt.

The latest public app rejection is Valve’s Steam Link, which was going to allow users to stream Steam titles from a PC or Mac to an iOS device over a fast Wi-Fi connection. Valve says Apple’s app review rejected Steam Link over “business conflicts over app guidelines”, which reads like Valve thinks Apple is just protecting their own interests. Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller explained the Steam Link rejection to a MacStories reader as a bona-fide rejection based on user-generated content, in app purchases, and so on.

Apple’s latest transparency report on government and private party requests for customer information for the period of July-December 2017 is now out, giving us some insight into the number of requests and devices targeted by government agencies worldwide. For the six month period ending December 2017, a total of 309,362 devices were targeted by 29,718 requests, with data handed over for 79% of cases. Notably, Apple says they’ll be including app takedown requests beginning with 2019’s transparency reports.

9to5Mac says a prototype device from Apple is called “Star”, which they speculate could be a number of different devices. There’s not much information to go on, but they seem to be under the impression that the device will have a touchscreen, SIM card, GPS, compass, is water resistant, and has EFI. It could be Apple’s first ARM Mac, but the smart money seems to be on a low-cost LCD iPhone that looks like the iPhone X.

One free month of upgraded iCloud storage is being offered to users who are currently on the free 5GB storage tier. From what I hear, it seems to be a bit of a trap — there’s apparently very few ways to get back under the limit, and while you may not notice the extra few dollars per month, subscriptions are tricky like that.

It’s rumoured iOS 12 will allow third-party access to the NFC chip on iPhones, allowing them to be used for purposes other than Apple Pay. Being able to get access to your office or apartment building using your iPhone would be pretty cool, but you know what would be even cooler? Being able to pay for public transport with your iPhone, just like they can in Japan.

Jason Snell’s list of iOS 12 wishes is made up of wanting the always-on screen on iPhones, and a bunch of improvements to existing iOS features like Do Not Disturb, Notification Centre, and Control Centre. Snell also wants Apple to commit to system-wide workflow support, following its acquisition of Workflow last year.

Name guessing for the next version of macOS has started, with the proposed names being Mojave, Sequoia, Ventura, or Sonoma. With the new macOS naming scheme being some kind of a conspiracy to get everyone to learn to pronounce the names of Californian locations, I’m putting my money on Sequoia.

Third-party maps integration tops the list of things AppleInsider thinks Apple should improve in CarPlay, but wireless CarPlay and the oft-overlooked feature of multiple screen support, also make the cut. There’s a few other niceties that would be nice to have, just in case someone at Apple wants an extra bullet point on a slide at WWDC.

Winds is a new RSS app for the Mac (and Windows and Linux) that comes with a twist in the form of podcast support. Listening to podcasts while you’re scrolling through your RSS feeds sounds like a good idea, but that’s not something I’ve ever been able to do comfortably.

Mumbrella brings us the news that Macworld Australia is closing down. The news came last Friday in a note from the current editor, Anthony Caruna, who first joined Macworld Australia back in 2004, and took up the editor role back in 2015. There’s something to be said about the realities of printed publications and the changing landscape of online journalism, but those are for another time.

Notable Replies

  1. Erwin says:

    Now that I have a car with CarPlay, it’s the single most used feature while driving everyday - I agree the interface can definitely be upgraded. In one sense, they should just AirPlay the screen so you get everything you need. Unlikely to happen for safety reasons I know.

  2. Have you used CarPlay so that you can give an effective comparison? Having not used either I’m totally in the dark.

  3. No because I don’t have a compatible head unit. I’ve been using Android Auto on my S9+ as it is available as a standalone app without needing a head unit if you don’t have one. Wish CarPlay did that. But since I think CarPlay insists on Apple Maps, I’ll stick with Android Auto. Could be wrong there though.

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