Friday Morning News
IFixit’s teardown of the 2018 MacBook Air (are we calling this thing the Retina MacBook Air, or what?) shows us many similarities to Apple laptops that have come before. And so it should, given that this year’s MacBook Air update is mostly about it getting features other Mac laptops have had for years now, including Apple’s latest butterfly keyboard, Force Touch trackpad, and Apple’s T2 security chip.
While iFixit doesn’t have a teardown of the 2018 Mac mini, they do have a guide on replacing the RAM on that Mac. It’s easy — perhaps not quite as easy as previous models, but easy enough that if you have the tools, you should be able to accomplish it without too many dramas. You’re still removing the entire logic board from the computer, which is always a harrowing prospect, but at least you’re not relegated to using special paint scrapers or other prying tools to get the case of, as with previous Mac minis.
New Product Environmental Reports from Apple on the new Mac mini and MacBook Air champion the energy efficiency and recyclable materials used in the construction of those Macs. There was plenty of snark on Twitter about the new MacBook Airs being made from the recycled aluminium of old iPhones, while over 60% recycled plastic is used in the construction of the Mac mini.
Apple Music has new distribution partners, with CD Baby, The Orchard, and Kontor New Media joining Apple’s Preferred Distribution Program. These new services will allow artists and bands choosing to distribute their music via those specific companies early access to Apple Music and iTunes analytics, as well as providing concert footage for everyone else.
Without 3D Touch, the iPhone XR lacks a way for users to activate rich notifications, either to simply view more details, or reply to a text message or otherwise action an email right from within the notification. This issue is solved with the latest iOS 12.1.1 update, currently in beta with developers, which will allow iPhone XR owners to open rich notifications without the awkward slide and view dance that is currently required.
Satechi has revealed its USB-C hub for the iPad Pro with plenty of ports. It has a USB-C port for power delivery, a regular USB port, one HDMI port, and even a headphone jack, but it’s unclear who, exactly, needs this kind of product. Maybe if you were regularly projecting your iPad Pro onto a display and attempting to import photos from a USB to SD card adapter, but otherwise you could easily get away with just one dongle.
MacStories has a thorough comparison of the two premier Markdown editor offerings on iOS. Both Ulysses and Drafts offer powerful editing features and are truly excellent writing apps in their own right, but there are differences between the two apps and the extra miscellaneous features they offer.
Macworld suggests that Apple’s price increases may one day have the unintended side effect of turning privacy from a right to a privilege, attainable only by those that can afford it. While they claim Apple could offer lower-priced devices to cater for those that can’t afford the latest and greatest, they make no mention of the second hand market which often provides cheaper devices with all of the privacy protections Apple products come with.
Given that Apple’s 2018 iPad Pros are the second-thinnest devices it has ever made, an explanation of why Apple chooses thin devices over battery life is a good one. As it turns out, having devices thinner than the competition is, somewhat unsurprisingly, a competitive advantage for Apple. As better technology increasingly levels the playing field, it’s up to Apple to create devices which continue to be nicer than whatever else its competitors are doing.
The Verge writes that Apple CEO Tim Cook talking to Lana Del Ray was the most human moment at Apple’s event last week. Their comments about who was more nervous were a little burst of humanity, reminding us that despite being CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world, updating product lines that had been untouched for years, or a popular artist that had just released an album with an unmentionable name, they’re both just people.