Thursday Morning News
Minor software updates have been released across the board, with iOS 12.1.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.2, and tvOS 12.1.1 all getting a version bump. Of those, only iOS and macOS have release notes worth reading, with MacRumors telling us about iOS 12.1.1, which has additional eSIM carrier support (no Australian telcos, in case you’re wondering) and fixes for the FaceTime UI issues to allow one-tap camera switching, and the restoration of the ability to capture Live Photos from a FaceTime call.
MacOS Mojave 10.14.2 has even less release notes, and includes such exciting things as being able to open News items in Safari and resolving an issue that may have prevented iTunes from playing music to third-party AirPlay speakers. There’s a bunch of enterprise-related fixes, the most curious of which is allowing password resets at the login window when a user’s password has expired via a password policy, but I find it hard to believe this particular feature wasn’t already included.
Apple’s clear case for the iPhone XR is now available, letting you show off the most colourful iPhone with a clear case. While the pricing in the US is a reasonable US $39, in Australia you’ll pay $65 for the case, which seems a little steep for a clear plastic case, even if it is scratch-proof and Qi-compatible like Apple claims.
Apple are now also selling the 18W USB-C power adapter included with the 2018 iPad Pros separately. It’s the cheapest entry to fast charging your iPhone or iPad that you can buy, provided you’re OK with paying $45 for the convenience of a faster charge. Like the tiny USB power adapter currently includes with iPhones, the prongs aren’t interchangeable on this particular power adapter, and you’ll also need the appropriate cable for whatever device you plan to charge.
A new patent awarded to Apple tells us about universal AirPods that could detect which ear they’ve been placed in and re-orient their audio output if necessary. These new AirPods would also be capable of performing heart-rate tracking and take body temperature measurements, allowing for health tracking functionality in a package smaller than the Apple Watch.
Six Colors discusses reading comics on the new iPad Pros, and while the software hasn’t changed all that much from what it was this time last year, or even a few years ago, the big picture is that while the 2018 iPad Pros are the ideal form factor for reading comics, it would be hard to recommend the iPad Pro, at its current pricing, purely for the purpose of reading comics.
Apple Music for Business could end up being a new streaming service targeted at businesses that allows for some form of public performance licensing, even though the only mention of Apple Music for Business is in a patent mentioning the name.
The HomePod is going to China in early 2019, which means that Apple will support additional languages for the kind of voice interaction that HomePod has. While this morning’s updates saw a very minor HomePod update, along with an update to Apple’s Shortcuts app, there’s no sign of the corresponding watchOS 5.1.2 update that potentially comes with the ECG feature we’ve all been waiting for.
A copy of the premiere issue of Macworld magazine, signed by Steve Jobs, will be going up for auction later this month. While that particular issue of Macworld is considered rare enough on its own, the fact that it has Steve Jobs’ signature on it means it could go for at least $10,000.
Ethan Marcotte says it’s not about the device, when discussing the point that no-one is using their Apple Watch to browse websites (not seriously, anyway). But as a designer, he says it’s still important to think about and account for various devices with differing screen sizes and connections.