Tuesday Morning News
John Gruber’s review of the new iPad Pros starts off by telling us about impressive CPU performance that’s on par with the latest MacBook Pros in both single and multi-core benchmarks. The new Apple Pencil is great, improving on all the ways that the original was such a breakthrough product in the first place, and the size reduction of the 12.9-inch model makes it more attractive if you want an iPad to use on the couch, even if it’ll likely be the most expensive couch computer you will buy.
And that’s kind of the problem, isn’t it? Why would you be paying as much as a laptop for a computer that isn’t a computer? Despite all of the computing power available in the new iPad Pros, along with whatever creative advantages the new Apple Pencil has, The Verge’s review of the new iPad Pro says it’s still an iPad, with all of the limitations and disadvantages that name carries. Even the inclusion of USB-C doesn’t do much besides allow the iPad Pro to connect to displays without an adapter. The new iPad Pro may be the best iPad yet, but whether it can replace your computer or not will depend entirely on the kinds of things you do on a computer.
New AirPods seem to be getting closer, with a new model of wireless headphones getting certified by the Bluetooth Special Interests Group. While new AirPods are rumoured to have health-sensing capabilities, recent certification says there’s a good chance Bluetooth 5.0 will be supported by this AirPods hardware update.
Apple pulled last week’s watchOS 5.1 update after some reports of devices stuck on the Apple logo after installing the update and rebooting. Today’s watchOS 5.1.1 update promises to resolve that issue, allowing you to update your compatible Apple Watch if you haven’t already, giving you access to some brand new full-colour watch faces, support for Group FaceTime, and new emoji as part of the iOS 12.1 update.
Apple’s latest SEC filing has been digested by MacRumors, who tell us about Apple’s 132,000 employees (9000 more than last year), US $14.2 billion spent on R&D (an increase of over $3 billion), and $4.1 billion spent on warranty claims (down from $4.3 billion the year prior). There’s also notes about Apple’s business being affected by international trade disputes, which MacRumors says almost certainly refers to ongoing trade negotiations between the US and China.
The Financial Times claims Apple is considering investing in US-based iHeartMedia, the company behind popular radio company iHeartRadio. The latter filed for bankruptcy protection in March, with $20 billion in debt. Rumour has it iHeartRadio is looking for something more akin to a marketing partnership, and several investors have been considered including Apple for an equity stake in the company worth tens of millions.
If Apple’s most recent product releases seemed more expensive, it’s not just you. Macworld says that US pricing of Apple’s latest iPhones, Apple Watch, and iPad Pro, and even MacBook Air and Mac mini all carry a price increase over their predecessors. Whether this is Apple taking a leaf out of the iPhone X playbook and applying it to their other product lineups is anyone’s guess, but it’s at least somewhat promising to see the company acknowledge that pricing of Apple products in other markets is quickly becoming unsustainable, given foreign currency drops against the US dollar.
The Apple subreddit says the new iPad Pro is the second-thinnest Apple device ever released. The 5.9mm thickness of the iPad Pro is second only to the now-discontinued seventh-generation iPod nano, which came in at a tiny 5.4mm. It’s thinner than the latest generation of iPod touch, and thinner even than the iPad Air 2, although not by much.
Apple has added the iPhone 5 and some early-model MacBook Pros with Retina displays to its pilot program allowing Apple Store and Apple Authorised Service Providers worldwide to repair devices that are technically obsolete, but can be repaired dependent on parts availability. The iPhone 5 will be able to be repaired until 30th December 2020, while the iPhone 4S and mid-2012 15-inch MacBook Pro will be able to be repaired through to 30th November 2020, starting at the end of the month. MacRumors has more details.
Two new colourful variants of the Hermés band are available for Apple Watch owners. Both the single tour and double tour now come in an Amber/Capucine/Rose Azalee colour combination, which is nice and all, but I still prefer the increased contrast of the Indigo/Craie/Orange colour combo.