Wednesday Morning News

Apple’s Q2 2018 financial results were just announced, and while we’re going to press a little early for some of the detailed notes from the follow-up conference call, we’ll quickly cover the breakdown of the numbers. Apple posted US $13.8 billion profit on $61.1 billion revenue, with the company selling 52.2 million iPhones, 9.1 million iPads, and 4.1 million Macs.

As part of its financial results, Apple also announced it would be starting a new share buyback program to the tune of $100 billion and increasing its dividend by 15%. TechCrunch reports that this move comes off the back of Apple beating financial expectations for Q2, with the move also being described as huge in terms of returning capital to investors.

The third developer betas of iOS 11.4, macOS 10.13.5, tvOS 11.4, and watchOS 4.3.1 have been seeded to developers, with the open beta versions being released at the same time. AppleInsider covers the minor user-facing changes in the latest iOS 11.4 beta, which include fixes for issues where the Control Centre volume control did not reflect the true volume of the device, as well as a fix for an issue using 3D Touch after unlocking.

Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber shares additional details on Apple’s cross-platform UI project. The original rumour was leaked under the codename Marzipan, but Gruber says that isn’t what the project is called. Whatever the name, Gruber says it’s likely that it will be some kind of “declarative control API”, which he likens to declaring UI elements instead of writing code specifically for all of the properties of a button, even though declarative control might not solve any Mac and iOS cross-platform programming issues.

A rumour suggested Apple could be looking to purchase an existing media company as a way to add to its growing editorial direction, with Condé Nast being the name thrown around. Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg discounted that rumour by saying that the company publishing Ars Technica, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair was not for sale, but it’s possible that Apple are still looking to purchase some media company.

We’re adding another bank to the list of Australian banks and financial institutions that offer Apple Pay this morning, with Suncorp announcing yesterday that Visa Debit cards issued were now compatible with Apple Pay. Finder notes that Suncorp, along with American Express and ANZ, is one of the three Australian financial institutions to offer contactless mobile payments with the three major digital wallets of Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

The folks at iMore tell us how to use Time Machine in an age of discontinued AirPorts and Time Capsules. I find the title of their article a little strange given there’s plenty of ways to continue using Time Machine without a Time Capsule (as they point out), even though the last method of using a supported NAS isn’t officially supported by Apple; see Apple’s Time Machine support article on what is.

Microsoft is putting new features into Outlook across all platforms, including the ability for users to draft an email on mobile and continue on desktop. Quick replies will be making the jump from mobile to desktop and web, as well as other minor integrations with Office 365.

9to5Mac tells us about a new iOS Twitter client, which is the first time in a long time I’ve typed those words. Flitter seems well designed, has a bunch of sensible customisation options, although I’m not sure how it works without some of the streaming notification features that Twitter recently announced it was going to remove. Still, it could work for some people.

The latest update to Halide for iOS includes an Apple Watch companion app, which shows a realtime preview and can trigger Halide’s shutter remotely. A self-timer is now included in the main app, as well as improved privacy and accessibility controls that let you control whether you want your location geo-tagged in your photos, and/or limit location sharing with social media.

Notable Replies

  1. An interesting concept that I hadn’t considered is the demise of the TimeCapsule. This was one product that the average Mac user could purchase, plug in and get a significant benefit in terms of backup, something many (most?) people totally overlook. As that article points out there are other options available, the only official one accessible/particle for most people being attaching an external HDD…

    Which makes me wonder: What proportion of devices sold are laptops vs desktops? The idea here being that it’s somewhat harder to keep an external HDD connected to a portable device which is where the TimeCapsule was really valuable for pretty large amounts of data. Assuming it’s laptops this leaves a (potentially) large hole in the market. (I wonder what % of people actually use TimeCapsule).

    So what are Apple’s plans for people here?

    Everyone pay for iCloud? (Although it’s not quite the same solution).

    Will Apple open up their official endorsement for 3rd party TimeCapsule solutions? What does an official TimeCapsule so that a NAS can’t anyway? On those lines I’ve had my TimeCapsule backup fail and need to start again a bunch of times over the years so I can’t imaging I’d be losing much without official Apple Support should I go down that path.

  2. Buying BackBlaze? (in the extremely minuscule chance this actually happens you heard it here first)

  3. At this point they have enough money to buy the entire internet… something I’m sure they have probably considered :stuck_out_tongue:

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