Monday Morning News
The New York Times published a story last week about the human-centric approach to news curation in Apple News. It’s low-key a profile of Apple News’ Editor in Chief Lauren Kern, former editor at the New York Magazine, who explains that the Apple News team puts a lot of care and thought into the stories they feature. The human approach to news curation is almost surprising, given the news industry’s tendency towards algorithm-driven analysis and content that’s biased towards clicks, rather than content.
With an Apple event on Wednesday, MacRumors gives us the skinny on what to expect. New iPad Pros are an almost certainty, with the Apple Pencil also seeing its first hardware revision since its introduction in 2015. The iPad mini and MacBook Air also have good chances for updates, with the MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini all being given an outside chance of seeing any kind of hardware refresh.
The iPhone XR teardown from iFixit shows us that it’s an amalgamation of the iPhone X and the iPhone 8. While that’s an explanation that makes a lot of sense given that the iPhone XR itself combines the edge-to-edge and top notch display of the iPhone X with upgraded internals (including copper wireless charging coil), the actual internals aren’t that much different from previous iPhones.
John Gruber’s own iPhone XR review roundup discusses two major points about the iPhone XR worth calling out. Some reviewers think the LCD display is the biggest differentiator compared to other top-notch iPhones, while others say the single rear-facing camera is the biggest difference, and Gruber says that he’d choose to have the second telephoto camera over an OLED display any day of the week.
Carriers are indicating we’ll see a launch of iOS 12.1 this week, likely a few hours after the Apple event. The launch of iOS 12.1 will see three major things: eSIM support for the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max, Group FaceTime, and however many new emoji Apple are cramming into this release to get people to upgrade. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for Australian telcos to get support eSIM, given that we now have a decade of iPhones in Australia and one major telco still doesn’t support Visual Voicemail — you know, the feature that made it into the launch keynote of the original iPhone.
An updated copy of the iPhone User Guide on the Book Store contains new features from iOS 12.1, supporting the rumour of a release this week. The guide also mentions some devices won’t be compatible with Group FaceTime, even though they’re capable of running iOS 12. The iPhone 5S, 6, and 6 Plus in particular, will only support audio-only Group FaceTime, which itself seems like a limitation related to graphics processing power.
The Verge has a guide on getting the most out of iOS 12 shortcuts, from getting started with Shortcuts to giving you some ideas about what you can do. While I lack the imagination to come up with shortcuts of my own, the good news is there is an almost infinite number of people willing to come up with shortcuts for things I find useful anyway, even if I’m not using them every day.
Qualcomm has claimed in a court hearing that Apple is now $7 billion behind in patent royalty payments. AppleInsider explains that while Apple doesn’t directly license patents from Qualcomm, it does indirectly contribute to Qualcomm’s revenue through a maze-like network of manufacturing partners that do — and ever since Apple decided to kick up a stink about Qualcomm’s licensing practices, it also directed its partners to withhold further payments to Qualcomm.
Nuance has discontinued Dragon Professional Individual for Mac, meaning that although all support and updates for Version 6 will cease, customers with a valid version 6 license will be able to use the software in perpetuity. With the introduction of offline dictation with macOS Mavericks in 2013, I wonder what the use cases of Dragon Professional was.
The eagle-eyed among you will have seen some iOS 12 marketing shots that include an iOS lock screen with a special weather widget that’s unlike any other widget or lock screen notification. As it turns out, this special weather report is only available when you have a Do Not Disturb schedule set, and have Bedtime mode turned on.