Friday Morning News
Apple has announced it will be building a new campus in Austin, Texas, less than 2km from its current facilities, at a cost of $1 billion. The Austin campus is expected to accomodate 5,000 employees, with that number growing to 15,000 as capacity is increased, making Apple the largest private employer in Austin. Apple’s announcement of its new Apple campus also came with the news the company expects to open new facilities in Seattle, San Diego, Culver City, and expand its current facilities in Pittsburgh and Boulder over the next three years.
CNBC reports Apple now employs up to 50 doctors across a variety of teams and projects, with all of them working towards the common goal of helping users do more than track health and fitness. It’s possible that Apple’s team of doctors lends credibility to the company when it comes to introducing new health features, as well as helping Apple manage relationships with biomedical companies.
Qualcomm is seeking another ban against Apple devices in China, filing an injunction for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR which would see those devices banned from sale, if granted. A previous attempt by Qualcomm to ban sales of iPhones was thwarted by Apple, claiming that the patent infringement ruling did not apply to iOS 12, although Qualcomm has turned to another Chinese government authority in an attempt to enforce the ban.
Ars Technica has a look at the Apple Watch ECG by someone who has a pre-existing heart condition including atrial fibrillation and premature atrial contractions, both of which show up on an ECG. John Timmer’s condition requires careful monitoring, and while ECG technology has gotten smaller and more portable over the years, the Apple Watch ECG is plenty good enough for noticing variations in the trace.
John Gruber writes about Electron and the decline of native apps on the Mac, which is worrying for a number of reasons. Despite the Mac being the platform for those that care, there are dangerous precedents being set by Apple in none other than macOS Mojave, which includes Marzipan versions of iOS apps that feel decidedly un-Mac like, and the Mojave Mac App Store is worse still. When Apple seemingly doesn’t care about making their Mac apps good citizens on the platform, why should any other developer?
Motherboard tells us to delete all of our apps, off the back off a New York Times investigation into anonymised datasets that revealed apps tracking you throughout your day. While iOS provides solid-enough controls for keeping a leash on what apps have access to your location, background data, photos, and that kind of thing, it’s time to really think before installing yet another app that provides questionable utility and just wants to collect and sell your data. Unless you’re into that kind of thing, of course.
An analysis of Apple portables in their respective pricing tiers is done in US dollars, but is still somewhat applicable to Australia if you bump the numbers up a bit. The new iPads slot into Apple’s pricing scheme nicely enough, sitting in-between cheaper MacBooks and the MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, although the existence of a MacBook Air with 128GB of storage throws the balance out a bit.
1Password has a blog post on whether the Australian Assistance and Access Bill will have any impact on 1Password, and the gist is that it’s too early to say for sure. The Assistance and Access Bill is definitely something to be concerned about, but in its current form leaves too much open to interpretation to make a call either way.
An update to Carrot Weather adds direct support for Netatmo weather stations, The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, and Aeris Weather as weather data sources. Netatmo provides hyper-local weather readings from a station you can own, otherwise there are other good options for sourcing your weather data. The demise of Pocket Weather is coming, and everyone will have to choose for themselves: do you want an inferior app with BOM data, or a great weather app with slightly worse data?
Evidently, the iPhone XR is selling so bad that Apple resorted to giving everyone in the audience of an episode of The Ellen Show an iPhone XR. That part of The Ellen Show also featured Julia Roberts, and was overall kind of awkward.