Monday Morning News

Following months of complaints about the reliability of its laptop keyboards, Apple has started a keyboard service program for MacBook and MacBook Pro models released after 2015. It’s about as close as we’ll get to an official admission that Apple knows there’s an issue with the old and new butterfly switch designs, and while The Outline points out that individual key or whole keyboard replacements may not fix the issue permanently, the silver lining is that if you own or are planning to buy one of the affected machines, you’ll be covered for keyboard issues for up to four years after the first retail sale of the unit.

The Keyboard Service Program page on Apple’s support site has the details. There’s a list of symptoms which includes letters or characters repeating unexpectedly, letters or characters not appearing at all, or keys that feel sticky or that do not respond consistently. There’s also a full list of models covered, and like many previous repair programs, a short note to say that if you’ve paid for such a repair in the past, you can contact Apple regarding a refund.

While it’s possible that Apple have made changes to the MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards since their introduction to reduce the likelihood of failures, the fact that we’re still talking about it suggests that’s not the case. Which means that we’ll probably have to have a significant keyboard design to fix the issue, making this keyboard repair program a bit of a band-aid fix, like many of Apple’s previous repair programs which rarely fixed the underlying issue.

Apple now has plenty of original programming and nowhere to show it. The Hollywood Reporter claims the most likely course of action is for Apple to acquire an existing media company, where buying an existing streaming service makes a lot of sense, if only to integrate it into their own offerings. The devil will be in the details, and with 2018 quickly passing us by, the clock is ticking for Apple to show their hand.

Similar speculation from Macworld says the opposite, that Apple knows enough about worldwide content distribution via iTunes and the App Stores to introduce a brand new streaming service. And although Apple has commissioned plenty of original programming for its new streaming service, you’ll probably also want some kind of back-catalog so that you’ll be more likely to pick Apple’s streaming service over the current crop of competitors.

Reports of a security researcher claiming you could successfully brute-force four-digit iPhone passcodes are false. While the original explanation seemed plausible enough, Apple’s official statement provided to iMore says the report was in error and the result of incorrect testing, closing this particular chapter, but continuing the game.

A new lawsuit against Apple says key flicks and 3D Touch actions infringe on patents for a user interface device. The original patent from 2003 describes buttons associated with a number of functions, similar to how the iOS keyboard shows multiple characters when a single key is held, or how an icon can show actions when 3D Touch is used from the home screen.

While Apple discontinuing colours of Apple Watch bands is nothing new, the quiet discontinuation of the Modern Buckle band is the first of its kind, and the first of the original launching bands to no longer be available. I thought it was a nice design, even if it was only available for the 38mm Apple Watch.

Sydney Airport’s offical flight-tracking apps have been killed off, following a change in usage since the iOS app’s introduction in 2011. I wasn’t even aware that airport-specific apps were a thing, given that any good airport usually has enough displays to give you that information pretty much wherever you are in the terminal.

Back in 2009, Apple launched artist lessons within GarageBand. It pitched them as a way of learning popular songs (of the time) on piano or guitar by the artists behind them, selling them for $4.99 a pop. Now those lessons are free, which means there’s never been a better time to learn how to play Love Song, by Sara Bareilles, or have Sting teach you Roxanne.

Notable Replies

  1. AVC says:

    These kinds of apps were usually used by people before getting to the airport, not whilst they were inside the terminal. However the hassle of downloading an app over just going to the airport’s website is probably the main reason they were killed off. However most major airports still have their own apps available on the App Store.

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