Monday Morning News

Apple is rumoured to be moving away from Intel modems in future iPhones. For reasons unknown, the company won’t use Intel modems for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth starting in 2020, even though the company currently uses cellular modems from Intel alongside ones from Qualcomm as it has done in the past. Speculation claims Apple could either move to another supplier of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips, or come up with its own in-house design, just like it has for mobile CPUs.

CNBC reports that tech companies could see wins in health care by playing to their strengths. For Apple, that’s about bringing design and consumer trust to the table, improving the health and wellbeing of its employees and customers, and staying away from anything heavily regulated. The US healthcare system is a lot different to other parts of the world, but this idea that Apple and other tech companies can make a difference where others have failed is intriguing.

A US music distributor claims Apple Music’s subscriber counts have overtaken Spotify in the US. While both music streaming services have around 20 million paying subscribers in the US, Apple Music now has slightly more, although exact numbers weren’t published. A growth rate of around 4 million paying subscribers per month has previously been speculated for Apple Music in the past, but if this is a significant enough number, we’ll hear official confirmation from an Apple exec sooner or later.

A beta of Apple’s upcoming Shortcuts app for iOS 12 was released this weekend, with anyone with a developer account able to apply for the beta. Initial observations about Shortcuts tell us about the burning questions we had, saying that while it has a new coat of paint and a few new capabilities, it’s mostly the same app as Workflow, although Apple are making minor improvements to capabilities across the board, including system shortcuts and new functionality.

Which is pretty good timing, given that Siri is now at the centre of yet another patent lawsuit filed against Apple. Advanced Voice Recognition Systems Inc filed a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly infringing on their patent for speech recognition and transcription among users having heterogeneous protocols, which translates to Siri’s capability of processing commands across multiple devices and protocols.

If you’re trying out iOS 12, included with all the other new stuff is an AR measuring app from Apple that you should be checking out. It’s nothing new if you’ve used AR measuring apps before, but hopefully Apple is using new ARKit 2.0 APIs which allow it to be more accurate than previous offerings.

The AirPlus is an AirPods accessory that adds wireless charging in the form of a silicone case that wraps around your original AirPods case. It’ll be superseded by Apple whenever they decide to release an official AirPods wireless charging case of their own when AirPower is released, but for now a successful Kickstarter campaign and Indiegogo are putting this one the radar.

AppleInsider says that the Touch Bar is well implemented, but serves no useful purpose. While that’s a little harsh, there’s probably some truth there; there’s potential for the Touch Bar to be really great, even if that’s accomplished by having a third party app that lets you customise it even more.

Comments from 9to5Mac say that while it’s understandable Apple wanted a mapping system of its own to rival Google’s, but questions still remain about the kind of resources its throwing at the project, for what seems like little gain to us outsiders.

Apple’s latest Shot on iPhone videos celebrate the pointy end of the World Cup, including the Aborigine community-focused Heart of Australia.

Notable Replies

  1. I really don’t get all the Touch Bar hate in the world. It’s such a benign thing, I mean would you rather have a row of static keys that rarely get pressed? Or a LCD touch bar that can show contextual options depending on your app? It’s like you’re getting something for nothing, so what’s the downside?

    I actually get a lot of use out of the Touch Bar, so I’ve never really related to the naysayer opinions. It’s super useful I reckon.

  2. Honestly? I’d rather have a row of static keys that I used quite often than a touch bar that would be used for exactly the same things as the row of static keys.

    That’s one reason why I bought the MacBook Pro without the touch bar.

    There is a saying “A solution looking for a problem to solve” which applies here I think…

  3. I like the idea of the touchbar, if it had useful commands it could be handy, although the pessimist in my says the command you want will never be there :stuck_out_tongue: I’m also a pretty heavy user of keyboard shortcuts to keep my fingers on the keys, ring able to extend that to the touchbar would be nice.

    That said, the keyboard its feel and more importantly it’s reputation, have been the primary reasons we haven’t really seriously considered a replacement for my wife’s aging 2011 MacBook Air.

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