Tuesday Morning News
Apple has released the first bug-fix update for iOS 12, with iOS 12.0.1 available right now. The update mostly fixes minor issues to do with the iPhone XS and XS Max, including the one where some devices did not immediately charge when plugged in, the one where they would disconnect from 5GHz Wi-Fi networks and reconnect to 2.4GHz ones instead, as well as restoring the original position of the .?123 button on the iPad keyboard.
And since that’s all there is in terms of news this morning, we’ll cover some older stuff that you might have missed (but wasn’t shared in the news, either). The New York Times starts off by saying that even if you don’t have a new iPhone, iOS 12 contains enough improvements for it not to matter. And if you’re worried about performance on older devices, you shouldn’t be, given that Apple’s focus on performance for iOS 12 extends to those devices, too.
In August, some Trend Micro software was removed from the Mac App Store by Apple after it was found to be uploading user browsing history. Trend Micro initially denied the allegations its software was stealing user data and uploading it to China, then later discovered some of its software was indeed uploading the previous 24 hours of browsing history to an AWS server in the US, reportedly for “security purposes” to see if the user had come into contact with any malware.
We also missed this story about eBay’s head and gaze-tracking software, built by an intern who wanted an easier way to shop online. The resulting software which tracks head movements and allows interaction with pre-existing apps using the iPhone X TrueDepth camera and ARKit is called HeadGaze, and is available as open source so anyone can potentially integrate this into your app, and their demo HeadSwipe app puts it to good use by demoing the experience as you might use it on eBay itself.
The Verge’s review of the Logitech Crayon tells us about the cheaper Apple Pencil alternative. For the Crayon’s $35 difference compared to Apple’s official stylus, you’re missing out on pressure sensitivity and some promise that it will work with future iPads, but if you have a sixth-generation iPad and want something that might be a little more comfortable for kids, then the Crayon might be worth looking into.
MacRumors gives us the run-down on how to use the Walkie Talkie feature as part of watchOS 5. It definitely seems like the kind of thing you’d only use with close friends or family that you talk to all the time, and either consider texts too impersonal or something. Given that it’s push-to-talk, maybe the accessibility crowd loves it also.
There’s also a few more useful Siri Shortcuts that let you do things from calculate tips, convert a burst photo into a GIF, and override a common Siri phrase to use your own source, like using your weather app of choice instead of Apple’s built-in Weather app.
AppleInsider did some back-of-the-envelope maths and gives us an idea of when Apple will ship its 2 billionth iOS device, and when the company will ship its 2 billionth iPhone. While they do have to make some assumptions around the numbers and timing, it’s possible that the 2 billionth iOS device could be shipped in the current quarter, although we’ll have to wait until 2021 to see if Apple will ship 2 billion iPhones, provided unit sales stay the same.
Optimise Mac Storage joins a long list of Apple features that seem like a good idea on paper, but are often maddening due to a lack of configurable options, or even a way to stop or pause the process of syncing your files. It’s made all the more frustrating given that it seems to work perfectly well on iOS, where nothing is downloaded until you explicitly tap on it.
One of Apple’s more recent surveys asks iMac Pro owners what they like about the machine, specifically calling out hardware features as a potential factor in the purchasing decision. It’s not uncommon for Apple to send out surveys to owners of new products, but it definitely seems like the company is doing research for the future Mac Pro.