Thursday Morning News

Apple is reportedly looking into LTE connection issues affecting some iPhone XS and XS Max devices. Posts on Twitter and on the MacRumors forums say Apple are reaching out to owners who have complained of reception issues, with at least one user being asked to install a baseband logger to track connectivity to mobile phone towers. While this doesn’t appear to be an issue affecting all iPhone XS and XS Max devices, it’s comforting to know Apple are investigating anyway.

In August, the Australian government proposed laws which would impose fines of up to $10 million for companies that did not provide access to private encrypted data linked to suspected criminal activities. Now, four major tech companies have publicly opposed the bill, with Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon lobbying politicians under the Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet group. A spokesperson said that “any kind of attempt to create tools to weaken encryption is a huge risk to digital security”, and with such strong opposition, it’s hard to see this legislation being passed.

The jury’s still out on whether we’ll see an Apple event this month, but that doesn’t stop the speculation. MacRumors says Apple has held an event in October in six of the last eight years, with many of those happening towards the end of the month, and invitations going out a couple of weeks prior. If Apple is planning on having an event later this month, it means we’ve got a couple of weeks before we can expect anything official, which means it’s over to the rumour mill.

The Wall Street Journal put the Fall Detection feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 to the test using a professional Hollywood stunt double. Turns out, the feature works mostly as expected, despite plenty of reviewers being unable to trigger Fall Detection by fake-falling/diving into couches or beds. Probably for the better.

And over at the Washington Post, they put the Apple Watch Series 4 through its paces with several seniors. Members of the age 55-plus community weren’t entirely convinced about another tech device that required daily charging on top of a relatively high barrier to entry price-wise, despite its much-vaunted health monitoring features. All besides one weren’t convinced it was a necessity, and the one that did was already a happy Apple Watch owner.

A more traditional review of the Apple Watch Series 4 by Six Colors says there’s plenty of aspects improved by the latest iteration, including but not limited to the screen which makes everything nicer to look at and interact with. But there’s a strange dichotomy between the Series 4-exclusive watch faces and those that come before it, with new types of complications not being backwards compatible with previous watch faces. Jason Snell explains this a little more in his piece for Macworld, where he says that Apple needs to revisit all of its watch faces to introduce some kind of consistency, both in regards to the complications it offers and what developers can do with them.

An internal Apple service document says the 5K display found in the 2014 and Mid-2015 27-inch iMac is under constraint until mid to late December. According to the document, any customers affected by a display issue requiring replacement are being offered a free delayed replacement, or $600 (or local equivalent) off a new model iMac if they choose to “trade-in” their current iMac.

Apple’s own Apple Store app now supports Siri Shortcuts, with Apple claiming it’s an even faster way to pre-order the iPhone XR later this month. After you set and trigger your Siri shortcut phrase, Siri will pull up your pre-order in the Apple Store app ready for you to complete, and today’s update also includes an optimised layout for the larger display on the Apple Watch Series 4.

The most important thing about yesterday’s emoji teaser from Apple, coming soon as part of iOS 12.1, is that the phone emoji will lose its old design with screen bezels and positively antiquated home button. No, wait. The most important thing is that there’s going to be a kangaroo emoji. Finally, Australians will be able to express themselves using something other than a flag.

This incredible LEGO version of Apple Park is kinda cool, even if fails to capture some of the finer details of Apple’s new campus. I mean, it’s LEGO.

Start the discussion at