Monday Morning News
Apple’s letter to the Australian government on the topic of providing the government and law enforcement agencies with easier access to devices says a lot of things, but places particular emphasis on how stronger encryption — not weaker, as the Assistance and Access Bill proposes — is the best way to protect against threats that begin by targeting an individual’s personal device or smartphone. Apple calls out the “dangerously ambiguous” language used by the proposed legislation, requests firm mandates prohibiting the weakening of encryption or security protocols, and wants further clarification on some of the powers the bill would grant the government and law enforcement.
Rumours claim the upcoming iPad Pro will be thinner than the current models, measuring in at 5.9mm compared to the 6.1mm of the current 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Unfortunately, that thinness also means the headphone jack is gone, although it remains to be seen whether this change in thickness will also occur on the larger of the two iPad Pros, with the current 12.9-inch iPad coming in at 6.9mm.
In any case, new models of iPads have been seen in analytics logs that report the same screen resolutions as the current 10.5 and 12.9-inch models, even though their screen dimensions might change due to display size changes in line with an edge-to-edge redesign. Alternatively, Apple could shrink the existing iPads around the display, keeping the same size screen but shrinking the body around it.
Apple will be releasing a clear case to go along with the iPhone XR when it’s released at the end of the month, a fact missed only because the US press release doesn’t mention it, although the one for Canada does. There’s no such mention of Apple-designed accessories for the iPhone XR in the Australian press release, so maybe Apple just plans to surprise us.
Police in the US have been told to avoid looking at devices locked with Face ID, as doing so may count as an unsuccessful unlock attempt and require a harder-to-obtain passcode to unlock the device. We saw a similar thing happen to Apple on-stage when the iPhone X was announced, which forensics company Elcomsoft is all too quick to reminds police departments of in their presentation on iOS security.
The Apple Maps team has been spotted doing on-foot recon in San Francisco, although it’s just a guy with a slightly bulky-looking backpack with some bits poking out and white text. AppleInsider claims this strange-looking setup may provide better transit directions for pedestrians, although I’ll be interested to know how walking around San Francisco translates to better walking directions worldwide.
Leaders of both Swedish political parties have expressed wishes to cancel Apple’s project for a retail location in the middle of Stockholm. The issue seems to be that Apple wants to establish its territory in the public space of Kungsträdgården, and similar to Apple’s own plans for a retail store in the public space of Melboune’s Federation Square, it’s a move that’s drawing some ire from the public. All despite a “TGI Fridays” restaurant (American BBQ chain) currently occupying Apple’s proposed location.
1Password’s journey through the new Mac App Store in macOS Mojave tells us about all the changes that have come to Apple’s somewhat neglected storefront on the Mac. It looks good in Dark Mode, and hopefully some better curation will highlight worthy Mac apps.
Custom watchOS faces are getting closer, although there’s still plenty of hurdles before Apple will officially offer them. That hasn’t stopped developers from creating their own, and if you’re not too dependent on complications to get the most out of your watch face, there are some pretty great designs out there.
Two new videos from Apple show you how to use the Emergency SOS feature on the Apple Watch, as well as how to start a workout. Nothing too wild, but still playing to the Apple Watch strengths.