Wednesday Morning News

Pricing estimates of this year’s iPhones say the devices will start at US $699, which will probably work out to be just under the $1000 mark in Australia. The most likely specs have also shared by industry analysts at TrendForce, but besides the amount of RAM to be included with each new device in this year’s iPhone lineup, they’re not really telling us anything we don’t already know. There will be three new iPhones, two with OLED displays, and one LCD, with one OLED and one LCD being larger than last year’s iPhone X.

Yesterday, the Australian government published a draft of legislation aimed at providing government and law enforcement access to encrypted communications. It’s a complex issue, with iTnews’ Ry Crozier saying that “backdoors or systemic weaknesses or vulnerabilities” won’t be used to access encrypted communications, with the Australian government instead compelling companies “to enable access to a particular service, particular device or particular item of software”. And if the targeted communications company can’t come up with a method “which would not systemically weaken those products across the market”? That’s even simpler: they’ll be punished with fines of up to $10 million, and potentially jail time.

Business Insider tells the story of an closed-doors meeting between Apple and select developers. On that day in April 2017, Apple told developers that they realised the App Store’s core business model would be changing to a subscription/services model instead of one-time payments for apps, and they wanted the developers to start thinking about how they could make subscriptions work, including lowering Apple’s cut of the subscription after the first year.

Security researcher Patrick Wardle demonstrated methods of bypassing user-interface based security measures built into macOS at Defcon over the weekend. Using synthetic clicks to dismiss security warnings might seem obvious, which is why it’s almost surprising that almost no Mac malware uses it, although it’s equally as important to note more recent versions of macOS ignore synthetic keystrokes and clicks on security alerts and dialog boxes. Ars Technica has further details on how it all works.

Recent job listings tell us Apple wants to build its own custom chip for processing biometric data, possibly along the same lines that the company did with the motion co-processors for processing motion information from accelerometers, gyroscopes, and the compass, starting with the M7 as introduced in the iPhone 5S. All we know is, with these job listings only coming out now, we probably won’t see a product with integrated biometric processing for a few years, at least.

According to Variety, Apple’s sci-fi series, set in an era where the space race never ended, has been cast. Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, and Sarah Jones will play a NASA astronaut, while Dorman and Jones will play a prominent NASA couple. Provided it has some kind of plot, it almost sounds like something I’d be interested in watching.

Another day, another Apple patent granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office. This time around, the patent describes a method of user-profiling for voice input processing, which could become a cornerstone if Siri were, say, to eventually offer personalised responses based on whose voice it recognises. The example given is being able to have your HomePod read out messages, but only if the owner of the iPhone is the one issuing the command.

It seems obvious, but there’s a good chance that the updated AirPods wireless charging case will be able to be used with any Qi-compatible wireless charger, and not just Apple’s upcoming AirPower wireless charging mat. While there’s a slim possibility of making the AirPods wireless charging case only work with AirPower, that would introduce needless complexity into what should be a very simple flowchart of “what can I use to charge my iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch?”

AppleInsider has a few tips on getting more out of Apple’s built-in Notes app. If you’re using an iPad with the Apple Pencil, my all-time favourite interaction between the two is being able to double-tap the Apple Pencil on the lockscreen to go directly to a new note. It’s super cool, and way better than putting ink on dead trees.

MacRumors has an interesting piece on the iPhone repair ecosystem. You’ve probably seen countless stores offering third-party iPhone repairs, but how does it all work? Are they worth it compared to the cost of replacement parts from Apple or Apple Authorised Service Providers?

Start the discussion at