Wednesday Morning News

Apple’s latest iOS 12.1.2 software update didn’t confirm that it resolves whatever patent dispute Qualcomm and Apple are currently arguing over, despite Qualcomm’s recent victory of a sales ban of the iPhone 6 through to the iPhone X in China. Qualcomm says that Apple “continues to flout the legal system by violating injunctions”, although there seems to be a lot of confusion and very little clarity on what patents, exactly, has Qualcomm all riled up about, besides a vague description of “resizing and reformatting photos for use as wallpaper” and “switching between apps”.

The Wall Street Journal reports on Apple’s efforts in India. Unfortunately, Apple has had little success in a region that should be an untapped market for iPhone marketshare, but the problem seems to be that iPhones are too expensive, relative to the cost of competing devices. Competitors seem to tweak devices in meaningful ways like battery life and even cheaper models, while Apple sticks to its guns and continues to offer the same iPhones that it has elsewhere, almost as if it is hoping that the power of branding will get the job done.

Mobile payment service TWINT in Switzerland has resolved one of their issues with Apple. Following a complaint to the Swiss competition commission, TWINT initially said that Apple Pay was making its own QR-code scanning app impossible to use due to the automatic activation of Apple Pay when devices were brought close to TWINT mobile terminals, despite Apple having a method for apps to disable the automatic Apple Pay activation since iOS 9. TWINT’s other issue of whether Apple can continue to block the NFC chip in the iPhone for use solely with Apple Pay is less likely to be resolved as easily, as it will have far-reaching effects worldwide.

A reverse-chronological list of Apple Store holiday displays tells us about the promo images, wallpaper, and displays that Apple Stores have shown off for the holiday season. It’s a decidedly northern-hemisphere centric list, as most of the displays feature plenty of snow, but it’s still cool seeing all the different ways Apple Retail has celebrated the season so far.

Apple is giving away six audiobooks of classics like Pride and Prejudice, and Winnie the Pooh narrated by celebrities. Pride and Prejudice is narrated by English actress Kate Beckinsale, The Secret Garden is narrated by Karen Gillian, and there’s four others.

Today’s Darkroom 4.0 update brings a brand-new iPad app, and MacStories has the review. The iPad app is every bit as good as you imagine, with integration to iCloud Photo Library giving Darkroom a slight advantage over something like Lightroom’s requirement of manually importing images. The controls are plentiful and perfectly usable, and keyboard shortcuts for iPad users round out an excellent update.

An update to Launch Centre Pro now lets you automate tasks using NFC. While background reading of NFC tags requires an iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR, launching the app to read an NFC tag on any other device probably means you could have just launched the entire task sequence yourself, as pointed out by The Verge.

If you own a HomePod, you probably don’t want any house guests influencing your personalised recommendations with their horrible great taste in festive season favourites. Telling Siri to switch off your listening history will prevent any kind of recommendation-poisoning, like when someone else watches hours of kids shows on your Netflix account.

Over at the 68k Mac Liberation Association forums, user ants turned their Mac SE/30 into a Spotify player. Well, kind of – while all the actual hard work of streaming Spotify is done via the speakers themselves and a Spotify Connect device, the SE/30 still does much of the controlling. The Mac app they put together is the best part about it, displaying 1-bit album art alongside your playlists and currently playing track.

New videos published by Apple give us short-and-sweet instructions on doing thing on the Apple Watch. There’s six new videos showing off Apple Watch basics, which come just in time for the Christmas.

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