Wednesday Morning News

In what’s probably the first component leak for this year’s iPhones, we now have a single picture of what’s purported to be the glass panels of the 2018 iPhones. They all have the same edge-to-edge screen design across the board, with a small notch section at the top of each that will likely include the components for Face ID, proximity sensor, front-facing camera, and the earpiece.

TechCrunch’s review of the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro tells us about a machine that’s designed for creative pros. While Apple’s own press release for the machine talked about the ways the machine was applicable to developers, Apple’s latest laptop efforts say volumes about their current strategy of not compromising power for portability. There aren’t that many new features or changes to make it a must-have upgrade, especially if you own the previous generation (or two), but it’s a nice one nonetheless.

The fourth beta of iOS 12 has been seeded to developers, and Apple’s release notes specifically call out a number of new issues with some iOS 12-specific features like Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, and also the App Store. For those with an iPhone X, the mobile signal status bar may be inaccurate on the home or lock screens, which seems like a strange thing to break between beta releases. There are also corresponding beta updates to watchOS 5, tvOS 12.

Another change to USB Restricted Mode in this fourth beta of iOS 12 continues the cat-and-mouse security game. This time around, having USB Restricted Mode turned on requires a passcode to be entered every time a device is plugged into a computer or other USB accessory capable of data transfer. It’s a smart workaround to the issue that allowed USB Restricted Mode to be bypassed if a USB accessory was connected in the one-hour window since the last unlock, further increasing the security of iOS devices.

Meanwhile, the third beta of macOS Mojave has been made available to members of Apple’s public beta testing program. Seeing as it aligns with the fourth developer beta released earlier this week, it means we should see the third beta of iOS 12 land for public beta testers tomorrow, if Apple follows their usual cadence of developer and public beta releases.

MacRumors takes us through the new Photos features found in iOS 12. They tell us about the For You tab in Photos in iOS 12, which replaces the old Memories tab by giving you access to sharing suggestions for photos, your old Memories, as well as shared album activity. Search was also improved in iOS 12, with many new keywords added for you to search through your photos.

With more and more devices getting USB-C ports, it’s probably about time you considered a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C dock for your desk if you plug in a number of peripherals. Although USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports look the same, their capabilities are different, which may impact the kind of thing you’re trying to do. Either way, Ars Technica has recommendations for both categories of devices, telling you about their flaws and strengths.

Apple has removed the paid app Qdrops from the App Store, an app which published information about the Qanon conspiracy theory. I have no idea what any of that is about, and something tells me that I probably don’t want to know as it seems to be something involving the US, where there’s currently no good news.

Personal stories about the App Store from the MacStories team wrap up their week of App Store coverage on its tenth anniversary. I don’t want to take anything away from their stories by summarising them poorly, so you should definitely read them for yourself.

Similarly, Tidbits ponders the impact of the App Store ten years after its introduction. It’s not hyperbole to say that the App Store kicked off entirely new ways of selling apps to a worldwide audience, and now that everything has an app store, there’s plenty we can attribute to its success, despite its flaws, walled garden and all.

Notable Replies

  1. Nice! Still a bit pricey, but I feel like it’s one of those things that you get over the initial investment and love it to bits for years to come.

  2. Docks are magical things. My workplace has just moved to a standard Dell laptop + dock solution which has also meant that all unoccupied desks have a dock + peripherals which allows anyone to move anywhere whenever needed. It also removes the IT overhead when moving desks as you leave your dock and screens and just move… at least so the theory goes.

    I used to have a Thunderbolt Dock for a 2011 MacBook Air. It wasn’t cheap but it did add in USB3 (which the MBA didn’t have) as well as ethernet, display port and all the other goodness that a dock provides. It was great for sitting down at a desk with a big monitor and all the peripherals (and high speed ethernet) with only two cables in that case. I also had a Thunderbolt display for a while that was even better being all integrated, although I appreciate that is anything broke I was SOL.

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