Thursday Morning News
The Wall Street Journal talks about the gap between the iPhone XS and iPhone XR this morning, saying it all comes down to Apple’s new strategy of selling the most expensive phones first. Last year, we saw the iPhone X released delayed compared to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which they claim hampered sales of what was a very good smartphone. This time around, Apple are leading with the most expensive device first, and introducing the iPhone XR at a later date for those that either feel they can’t afford the difference, or don’t need all the extra bells and whistles and can wait a few extra weeks.
The estimated bill of materials for the iPhone XS Max is out. The 256GB iPhone XS Max costs an estimated US $443 to make, almost $50 more than the price of a 64GB iPhone X, with the display, chip, and modems accounting for the top three spots in terms of most expensive components. Curiously, the bill of materials for the iPhone XS is nowhere to be seen, although presumably the costs aren’t too much different to the iPhone X that came before it, bearing in mind that all of these are just estimates and don’t account for any of Apple’s spend on R&D, marketing, or any other costs related to the overall iPhone experience.
Speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Reinvent conference, Apple Pay executive Jennifer Bailey says Apple isn’t out to disrupt the banking industry with Apple Pay. The whole premise behind Apple Pay, from an Apple perspective, is an attractive payment method that works with the current standards, with Apple intent on creating great customer experiences. Bailey claims Apple doesn’t want to become a financial institution, mostly because of all the regulation baggage that comes along with that, which may give you some clues as to why the rollout of Apple Pay Cash has been slower than expected.
Apple VP Guy ‘Bud’ Tribble has testified at a US Senate hearing regarding the introduction of federal privacy laws in the US. Similar to GDPR protections in the EU, the proposed privacy legislation would see similar protections offered to Americans, and as you can probably imagine, Apple says they’re fully in favour of that idea, echoing previous sentiments about privacy being a basic human right.
The other big feature found in iOS 12.1 is eSIM support, although you’ll need to be with a carrier that supports it before you’ll be able to take advantage of dual-SIM functionality within iOS. Unfortunately, no Australian telcos support eSIM for the express purpose of being used in an iPhone, although given that all telcos allow you to provision eSIMs for use in the Apple Watch (Telstra’s One Number, Vodafone’s NumberSync, or Optus’ Number Share), this functionality shouldn’t be too far away.
Macworld explains how the background tag reading works for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR owners in terms of being able to read NFC tags without an app open. Those devices can now pop up a notification when placed in proximity of a compatible NFC tag, which should open plenty of doors to new interaction methods.
Just like they did for iOS, Apple has released the first beta of the point-one release of macOS Mojave 10.14.1 to developers just days after the final public release. There’s no notes on what’s contained in this release, but you can probably expect bug fixes and performance improvements that didn’t make the cut for the point-zero version.
And if you haven’t upgraded yet, the instructions for making a bootable macOS Mojave installer USB (if you have lots of Macs to update) are slightly different this year. A very minor change to the createinstallmedia command means you no longer have to pass the location of the macOS Mojave installer file as an argument, which is different to previous years.
NightOwl is the app you’re looking for if you’ve already upgraded to macOS Mojave and wonder if there’s an automatic way to toggle Dark Mode, either based on sunrise and sunset, or at times of your own choosing. And if you don’t like the look of fonts on macOS Mojave, especially on non-Retina external displays, due to disabled subpixel antialiasing, there’s a single command you can run in Terminal to turn it back on.
The Iconfactory has brought their iPad drawing app Linea to the iPhone in the form of Linea Go, a version that’s optimised to work better on the smaller dimensions of an iPhone compared to the vast screen real estate of an iPad. Obviously, you don’t get Apple Pencil compatibility on the iPhone, but you might find a way to make Linea work for you on the smaller screen. Linea Go is $4.49, on the Australian App Store.