Thursday Morning News

Over at Six Colors, Jason Snell’s review of the 2018 iPad Pro has a slightly different take on the whole “iPad is a computer” conversation that’s been happening recently. Snell writes that even though Apple’s message is that the iPad Pro is in the same league as computers, it’s an altogether different sort of computer, one that introduces new paradigms and ways of working that mean it can replace your laptop — if it wasn’t let down by its software.

As previously announced by Apple in a press release, you can now order the 15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD’s Radeon Pro Vega graphics card. Apple claims these new graphics card upgrades offer up to 60% better graphics performance than the previous highest-end option, but they’ll cost you. In Australia, the Radeon Pro Vega 16 is a $400 upgrade on top of the base $4,099 price of the higher-spec 15-inch MacBook Pro, with the Radeon Pro Vega 20 being an additional $160 on top of that.

Apple has updated its website with a new section of gifts for the upcoming holiday season, even though I will continue to say that anyone who can afford to give away iPhones to anyone they’re not directly related to probably has too much money. For everyone else, Apple’s holiday return policy is now in full effect, with items being delivered between now and 25th December being eligible for return until 8th January 2019.

There are new colour variations of the Nike Sport Band and regular Sport Loop, both exclusive to the Nike app for iPhone and probably not being sold separately via Apple themselves. Both the new Smokey Mauve and Celestial Teal Sport Loops are reflective, like the most recent Sport Loops included with the Nike+ Apple Watch Series 4, and there’s also a lovely green Olive Flak version of the Nike Sport Band. If those don’t particularly tickle your fancy, a Product(RED) Sport Loop is also available for the first time.

Apple has released an updated version of what I still consider to be one of its weirdest accessories that it currently offers, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock. There aren’t any external changes that any of the usual Apple blogs can figure out, so it’s likely that this is simply an internal change.

Apple is investigating the curious case of an iPhone X that “exploded” as soon as it was updated to iOS 12.1. This definitely seems like a curious coincidence rather than anything intentional, unless you’re telling me that a small percentage of iPhone X devices are supposed to smoke and catch fire when updating to a new version of iOS 12.

The next major version of Pockets Casts is out, with version 7 bringing a brand new design, syncing of your Up Next playlist across every device you sign into (including the web), listening history, and a bunch more cool features that have been detailed in the announcement post, otherwise the update is waiting for you in the App Store, on the web, on your Mac, and even on Windows. There’s an open beta for Android users, too.

An interesting app called iSH is a project to get a Linux shell running locally on your iOS device, using a usermode x86 emulator and what appears to be a version of Alpine Linux. There’s a TestFlight beta now available, otherwise you can just go ahead and contribute to the code given that it is open source.

OS X Daily is back with another great tip about re-enabling a “Save As” shortcut in the File menu of many default Mac apps. They point out that while you can create your own keyboard shortcut for it to show up everywhere it’s supported, you can just as easily hold Option to get it to show up in supported apps.

With Apple shrinking the third generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro down while keeping the overall screen size, there are some that would like an even larger iPad. There’s some evidence to say that iOS would work perfectly fine with two apps side by side, with some room left over for what would normally be the the “pop-over” app. But whether Apple will do a 15-inch iPad Pro largely depends on whether they think it will do well enough to justify the R&D — otherwise, they might already have done it.

Notable Replies

  1. avolve says:

    I have been looking at Apple Watch chargers/docks, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock (whilst, like all things apple, overpriced) to be the most appealing for what I have seen so far (not that I can afford one).

  2. I actually have one of these docks, or to be more precise, my Wife has one which we got back in the series 0 days when there were not really any other options. I’ve got a $10 eBay rubber thing that simply hold the stock magnetic charger so the watch connects sideways in a way that allows nightstand mode.

    Very similar to this one:

    The Apple one is a very nicely weighted piece of kit that holds the watch in a way that means it doesn’t fall off (which mine can do since it holds the watch up in the air). I’d love a second one but can’t justify the cost.

    At $129 I feel like it’s stupidly expensive considering you can buy a stand alone 2M USB charger for $65 or save $20 and only pay $45 for a 1M charger (that extra 1M of cable is really expensive!).

    Sure this comes with a lightning cable AND a watch charger so that’s maybe $29 worth of extra value, but lets face it, this is a dock, that cable is getting plugged in and being forgotten about. There is ZERO reason it needed to be a lightning cable over a dumb micro USB or even integrated cable. But then it does match the rest of the eco system standards so maybe that’s OK.

    If it came with a little charger brick it would be a reasonable price, sadly it does not.

    It would also be very nice if Apple were to release a dual USB charger brick since so many people would have at least two devices, like phone and watch, which likely charge overnight in the same place. And that’s before you have people who are all in and have iPad, iPhone, Watch and Airpods. But power solutions is probably a whole other topic!

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