Monday Morning News
While the announcements at WWDC were all about the software, rumours claim this year’s Apple Watch update will make the change to solid-state buttons with haptic feedback. Like the not-really-a-button Home button on the iPhone 7 and 8, replacing the physical click of the side button and the Digital Crown with a haptic feedback will improve water proofing, although Apple is said to be keeping the scrolling motion of the Digital Crown.
Everyone’s favourite analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with new iPhone rumours, care of his new company TF International Securities. Kuo says that Apple’s pricing strategy for this year’s iPhones will be “more aggressive”, which suggests lower priced hardware and a simultaneous September launch for all models. With the larger 6.5-inch OLED iPhone still expected to come in at roughly the same price as the current iPhone X, with any luck the rest of the lineup will drop by a few hundred dollars.
Although WWDC wasn’t a hardware event, the changes in iOS 12 give us some idea about what might be in store for new iPads. The changes in iOS 12 for iPads, particularly around Apple changing gestures to work like they do on the iPhone X, hint at updated iPads with Face ID and no home button in the future. Swiping up from the dock on the iPad now brings up the home screen, and swiping down from the top right of the display brings up Control Centre; both gestures that iPhone X users will be familiar with.
Patents are always good for new hardware speculation, and AppleInsider speculates a newly-granted Apple patent could be a portable blood pressure measuring instrument. If it ever sees the light of day, the cuff-like wearable would be Apple’s first health-focused medical device, capable of communication with another device such as the iPhone or Apple Watch.
For some reason, Apple quietly replaced the 29W USB-C power adapter with a 30W version the day before WWDC. While 30W isn’t enough to charge a MacBook Pro, it’s more than enough for the 12-inch Retina MacBook, and more than enough for fast-charging an iPad or iPhone. The new 30W USB-C power adapter remains the same price as the old version, although it still doesn’t come a cable.
Nieman Labs presents us with the data on why Apple brought Apple News to the Mac. You’ve probably read some commentary on the rise of mobile web usage, but the desktop is still important, particularly in the workplace. Not to mention, Apple News was probably one of the easier apps for Apple to port to the Mac, on a purely proof-of-concept level that showed it could be done.
Daniel Jalkut says Apple’s official acceptance of free trials for all apps is merely them rubber-stamping the unofficial workaround developers were previously using. While it’s nice to know that free trials will be supported going forward, this version of free trials lacks in several key areas which mean free trials are only applicable for some use cases. And while free trials are all well and good for new customers, existing customers of an established developer still don’t have access to paid upgrades of new apps via the App Store.
No-one’s doubting the sheer coolness of Apple’s AR tech, but as TechCrunch points out, there’s a long way to go before it cashes the cheques Apple execs have been writing. Holding up an iPad for extended periods of time should tell you that there’s got to be a better form-factor for AR applications for it to become truly mainstream, whether that’s a pair of glasses or something that’s a little more ergonomically friendly.
AppleInsider explains how Apple’s using some improved APIs to make everything smoother in iOS 12. Performance was a big focus in iOS 12 this time around, and some background smarts and improvements to APIs resulted in optimisations that can be applied across the board, making things feel a great deal snappier than previous releases.
The favicons in the macOS Mojave developer beta or the Safari Technology Preview are slightly better than their Chrome counterparts simply because they check for a vector-based favicon instead of relying on the more-compatible but less complex .ico. It’s just another one of the ways that proves the details matter.