Monday Morning News

The launch of a new clean energy fund in China is a bit of positive news for Apple. Ten suppliers and Apple will invest a total of US $300 million over the next four years into what’s being called the China Clean Energy Fund, to invest and develop clean energy projects in China to both increase the use of renewable energy in Apple’s supply chain and address climate change as a whole. It’s hoped that the clean energy fund will allow smaller suppliers easier access to clean, renewable energy.

There are many cheaper devices that aim to mimic the appearance of iOS, and even some brand-name devices that go so far as copying the design, but Motherboard’s story of a US $100 counterfeit iPhone X is something else. It’s a surprisingly good copy of iOS for the cost, and you’d might even have a hard time telling the difference if you had never used the real deal. But peeking under the covers reveals something that doesn’t have the same level of R&D as Apple’s flagship, and has a few extra security and privacy issues, to boot.

On Friday, news broke that Apple had submitted plans for a revised design of its proposed Federation Square location. Instead of the golden pagoda originally put forward which would have at least been distinctive, we now get an Apple store design that’s like any other aluminium rectangle. It’s a nice design, don’t get me wrong, but just goes to show that you can’t please everyone.

Internal documents provided to Apple Stores and Apple Authorised Service Providers confirms the thin silicon membrane on the keyboard is designed to prevent debris from entering the keyboard mechanism. While it remains to be seen whether the redesigned keyboard will hold up over time, additional testing by iFixit tells us that the membrane at least helps dust and other fine particles from interfering with the butterfly key mechanisms.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro might be getting all the press due to thermal issues when configured with the six-core i9 processor, but the 13-inch 2018 MacBook Pro now has four full-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports. Previous models only had full-speed ports on the left-side of the laptop, due to a lower number of PCI Express lanes on those CPUs, but that limitation has now been removed.

Speaking of Thunderbolt, all versions of the 2018 MacBook Pro have Intel’s new Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controller chip. While this theoretically means that DisplayPort 1.4 is supported on those models, the graphics card requirements mean support for an 8K display is limited to the 15-inch models, making the machines have the same compatibility as previous models: two 5K displays (or four 4K displays) on the 15-inch, and one 5K or two 4K displays on the 13-inch.

New US trade rulings could introduce a 10% import tariff on the Apple Watch, although it’s unlikely that this will affect local pricing of the Apple Watch in Australia. Other tariffs could apply to future Apple products, with AppleInsider even claiming tariffs on steel and aluminium could affect Mac Pro pricing.

Before iOS 12 was revealed, everyone wanted changes to the way iOS notifications worked. Now that we know what the changes to iOS notifications will entail, is everyone happy? I think the answer is “pretty much” — the changes mostly addressed everyone’s complaints about iOS notifications.

But we’re now up to the 11th iteration of iOS that has third-party apps, and there’s still no way to set default apps for email, messaging, or browser. The integration between apps is now good enough that there’s less and less of a need for system-wide defaults for apps, but hey, people are still asking for it, so maybe it’s still needed.

MacStories takes a look back at the iPhone 3G, the successor to the original iPhone and for many of us, our first iPhone. There were plenty of welcome changes from the OG iPhone, including a regular headphone jack (RIP) and faster networking, but by far the best change was that it was available in 22 countries at launch, compared to the six of the first iPhone.

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