Friday Morning News

We kick off the last news post for 2018 with the Apple showing off someone else’s holiday cheer, sharing holiday season photos shot on iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. The Apple piece is quick to point out how new camera features like Smart HDR, Portrait mode, and larger pixels improve your photos, and they also direct you to Apple’s iPhone photography mini-site which has even more tips on getting the most out of your iPhone camera.

Apple has appointed John Giannandrea to its executive team in the role of Senior Vice President of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Giannandrea joined Apple in April this year from his former position leading Google’s search and artificial intelligence unit, and now he’s working on developing Core ML and Siri technologies, as well as advancing and tightly integrating machine learning across all Apple products and services.

Apple says some 2018 iPad Pros come slightly-bent brand new out of the box, and what’s more, that’s not considered a defect. Instead, Apple chooses to offer the explanation that it’s a by-product of the manufacturing process, and happens due to cooling of some components during manufacture. While it seems unlikely Apple will be replacing devices for this issue, if it becomes enough of a thing there’s a good chance Apple will do something about it, but until then, I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about it.

In the ongoing battle between Qualcomm and Apple, the former has won a ruling in Munich saying that Apple devices infringe on Qualcomm intellectual property related to power saving features in smartphones. Apple is appealing, and in the meantime, will be suspending sales of the iPhone 7 and 8 across its 15 stores in Germany. The Verge reports newer devices are unaffected, and the iPhone 7 and 8 will continue to be available via German telcos and third-party retailers.

A change to App Store Review Guidelines suggest Apple will soon allow in-app purchases to be gifted to friends and family. MacRumors says that as many apps make the move to subscription pricing, being able to gift a subscription makes sense, although it’s unclear how this will be handled, as the current gifting UI can be performed directly from the app’s App Store page. It’s possible Apple could allow in-app purchases to be gifted via this method also.

Apple’s Chinese release notes for the iOS 12.1.2 update confirm that it addresses the Qualcomm patents we’ve been wondering about. A new animation when force-closing apps and a redesigned share sheet for setting contact and wallpaper images are both changes in line with Qualcomm’s patents. Apple has since released a second update to iOS 12.1.2 for iPhones, although it’s unclear why.

It seems the release of iOS 12.1.2 was solely to address Qualcomm’s patents, with confirmation across the Apple blogosphere that the usual bug fixes and security updates were not included in the build released earlier this week. Instead, Apple has now released the second developer beta across its software platforms, with macOS Mojave 10.14.3, iOS 12.1.3, tvOS 12.1.2, and watchOS 5.1.3 all now available for download.

Apple has quietly added indoor maps to a number of Australian locations, including a number of Westfield shopping centres, and the Brisbane and Melbourne airports. Interestingly enough, while the Brisbane and Melbourne airports show up on the US page for iOS feature availability, they’re nowhere to be found on the Australian page for iOS feature availability, and indoor maps for Westfield shopping centres aren’t mentioned on either, although I note that the list of shopping malls that have indoor maps is limited to city, not brand.

Over at Macworld, Jason Snell takes a look back at Apple’s year gone by. While some Macs were updated and some Macs weren’t, the iPad Pro received one of the best updates ever, while the iPhone was mostly iterative off the back of the success of the iPhone X last year.

One of Apple’s coolest tricks is use of magnets, as evidenced by liberal use of magnets in the 2018 iPad Pro to attach the Smart Keyboard Folio. But as MacStories shows us, magnets have been used in Apple products for decades, from the latch-less iBook G3, the iMac and Apple Remote combo, as well as MagSafe and the Apple Watch charging puck.

There’s 10 days left in the year, which means it must be time for the MacStories round up of must-have iOS apps. This year, 60 apps have been organised into nine categories, so whether you’re looking for something new to replace an app that hasn’t been updated since Obama was president or are just wanting to justify your own app picks, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re looking for something to distract you from friends and family or just want something to do on your shiny new iPad, Tropico was released for iPad for the first time this week. You can either play through the campaign or go hog-wild in sandbox mode, but either way, it’s a great game for anyone interested in playing a government. Or dictatorship, if that’s how you roll.

The news returns on January 7th. There will probably be either a December-edition of Good Reads or some kind of Christmas wrap-up post in the forums, but otherwise, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, and we’ll see you on the other side.

Notable Replies

  1. What a cop-out! This is absolutely terrible behaviour from Apple, there is clearly an issue with the device and/or the manufacturing process and the bent units should be replaced.
    I see a class action suit on the horizon.

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