Friday Morning News

Another day, another straight-to-series order from Apple. This time around, it’s a half-hour scripted comedy from Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, with Variety reporting it as the duo’s first collaboration since the TV series “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”. Not much is known about the comedy other than how it will be set in a video game studio, which may have something to do with some kind of Ubisoft involvement in the production.

BuzzFeed has the official statement on why and how the InfoWars app has remained available for download on the App Store, following Apple’s removal of the associated podcast. Apple said in a statement that it supports all points of view offered on the App Store, as long as the apps were respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow the overarching App Store guidelines. It’s a reason that sounds familiar what Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey claimed, although it could be argued that the InfoWars app already violates Apple’s content guidelines, even though Apple doesn’t seem to think so.

The latest entry in Apple’s Machine Leaning journal says Apple used data from the US Census Bureau to come up with “combined statistical areas”, each of which had their own distinctive place names and POIs, gleaned from Apple Maps data. A little machine leaning later, the end result is that if you ask Siri about a well-known place in your locality, Siri should be able to give you the right answer, and not point you to somewhere on the other side of the country.

Apparently spam calls are so much of a problem in India that the Telecom Regulating Authority of India developed an anti-spam phone call app, which allows users to mark and report spam calls. Of course, allowing access to phone call logs is something that Apple doesn’t want to allow on iOS, and now, the back-and-forth has resulted in a threat of iPhones being “derecognised” or blocked from connecting to India’s mobile networks. Apple wanted to continue negotiations, but the TRAI suggested that the only challenge they would accept was the one that took place in court. The entire thing seems pretty wild, if I’m honest.

One Apple supplier claims the company’s depth-sensing TrueDepth camera technology is coming to three new iPhones this year. Higher shipping volumes of the vertical cavity surface emitting laser modules that power Apple’s TrueDepth system right around the time Apple is expected to ramp production for this year’s devices mean we could see more iPhones with the tech than we initially expected.

Apple’s VP of Education John Couch has shared some of his thoughts on the future of education and his work at Apple in a new book. In it, Couch says the enthusiasm for computers that Steve Jobs had, especially for learning and education, is tempered by the slow pace of change in many educational institutions, with many places still not using devices to their full potential.

Now that Apple’s a trillion dollar company, perhaps it’s time for them to fix some of iCloud’s biggest problems. This kind of ties into the piece I shared yesterday about Apple not doing the right thing by their customers for ever-increasing services revenue, but maybe if we’re going to pay for additional iCloud storage, perhaps Apple can improve the service for every user.

AppleInsider tells us about the myth of Apple’s hardware business, which is, depending on who you read, either impossibly difficult and not worth bothering with, or ridiculous easy given the captive market Apple holds. Daniel Eran Dilger says both camps are wrong, explaining Apple’s early struggles selling hardware in part one, although you’ll have to wait until Monday for the second half.

Font Book is a long-time macOS app that’s probably, at this point, as core to the OS as Chess or DVD Player is. Still, it’s nice to see Apple’s support page for the app being updated to feature the very modern emoji craze.

Your game for this weekend is Hole Down, a $5.99 bouncing, block-breaking game that has all the charm of the creator’s previous titles, including the great Rymdkapsel and fantastic little puzzler Twofold, Inc.

Notable Replies

  1. The problem as I see it (based on having worked in strategy and architecture for a tertiary, and my wife working as a secondary teacher) is that primary and secondary are all in when it comes to modern learning, but they are hamstrung by tertiary. They’re trying to teach their students to be future thinkers, agile learners, technology focussed, etc, but then when they get to university they are shoved back into the lecture/exam boxes. So until tertiary providers make the leap there’s no way primary/secondary can make the progress they’re wanting.

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