Wednesday Morning News

Yesterday, the ACCC announced the Federal Court had ordered Apple to pay $9 million in penalties for misleading customers about their rights under Australian Consumer Law when dealing with faulty iPhones and iPads. The issue dates back to the “Error 53” saga, where the initial release of the iOS 9.2.1 update disabled some devices which had had third-party repairs performed. Affected users who then sought repairs were then refused service or otherwise led to believe they were no longer entitled to repair coverage, either out-of-warranty or otherwise.

The second beta of iOS 12 is out for developers, and MacRumors takes us through the major changes to battery usage, Screen Time, notifications, and even how iPhone apps on the iPad now display using a more modern device size. While there’s still no word on the open beta release, provided this second dev beta has no issues, there’s a good chance we’ll get it early next week.

There’s also a new watchOS 5 beta for developers, and this one contains a working Walkie Talkie app. Both Apple Watch devices will need to be running the watchOS 5 beta for you to test the Walkie Talkie feature. Interestingly enough, Walkie Talkie seems to be an always-on channel of communication once both parties have consented, lacking the initial setup time of a phone call.

Meanwhile, the third developer betas of iOS 11.4.1 and tvOS 11.4.1 have been released. Bug fixes and performance improvements are the order of the day for what is likely to be the last iOS 11 release before iOS 12, even though there’s no sign of the corresponding macOS or watchOS updates.

9to5Mac has suggestions for making Apple’s Reminders app a true task manager, and it’s probably not surprising that a number of their suggestions are in one third party app or another. Natural language reminders are in Todoist, and Things supports the ability to email-in reminders. But Reminders also needs collaboration on individual tasks (as opposed to the current shared lists), as well as subtasks and attachment support.

App Talk is the latest directory of iOS apps with x-callback-url support, which allows inter-app communication to some degree. The idea is that the more apps support x-callback-urls, the closer we’ll get to a standardised way of working between apps, whether that’s to create a new document in 1Writer, add a new URL to Instapaper, or find the podcast feed of a particular website to add to Overcast.

Speaking of podcasting, the debut of Anchor’s iPad app comes with basic editing tools for podcasts, making it a great option for a mobile podcasting setup. While the iPhone version of Anchor allows you to listen to podcasts, the lack of this feature on the iPad side sends a clear message that the iPad version is for podcast creation, recording little clips and putting them together with minor edits.

Australian developer Will Bishop just released Chirp for Apple Watch, bringing a small Twitter client back to the platform. Core Twitter functionality is included, letting you view your Twitter timeline, posting tweets, as well as liking and retweeting. It’s surprisingly fully-featured, although how much Twitter browsing you want to do on that tiny, tiny screen is another question entirely.

Free trials from Apple’s perspective throws up a lot of questions that don’t necessarily have good answers, which might explain why Apple’s been hesitant to introduce free trials on the App Store. But this doesn’t have to be as hard as people are making it out to be; Apple already offers free trials for Apple Music with some success, so why can’t it do the same for apps?

In words you probably didn’t expect to read this morning: Apple’s HyperCard tech was inspired by an acid trip, according to the story from Bill Atkinson, who then went on to design HyperCard as a way to share information.

Start the discussion at