Friday Morning News
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been published in Time advocating for digital and online privacy. In his op-ed, Cook calls for the US Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation to protect and empower consumers to own all of our data that we currently provide — knowingly or otherwise — to online companies that then go on to build vast stores of user profiles. Cook outlines four key principles that would go some of the way towards better digital privacy for all, but there’s plenty more that can be done.
Bloomberg reports Apple will cut back on hiring new employees in certain divisions of the business as a result of selling fewer iPhones than it expected. While Tim Cook said in an all-hands meeting that he didn’t believe a hiring freeze was the solution, he clarified that some divisions would reduce hiring. Of course, the Apple blogosphere has taken this to mean that Apple is even more doomed than it previously was, which is great news — I was beginning to get a little sick of Apple being the top dog.
In Australia, Apple Pay now supports dual-network debit cards, which means you can choose between using the regular credit card network, or paying via Eftpos and potentially avoiding any extra fees charged by the merchant. While that’s all well and good, there’s seemingly no definitive answer on what or how many debit cards are dual-network, with answers ranging from "quite common" to "most". Either way, if your card supports it, you’ll need to remove your card and re-add it to Apple Pay to see the new options.
Digitimes claims we’ll see a new entry-level iPad and 5th generation iPad mini in the first half of this year, and that’s about it. There’s no word on what kind of upgrades we can expect to see, although previous rumours from analysts have said that the new iPad mini might come with a faster processor like that isn’t the most obvious thing in the world.
According to sources, Apple is near a deal for yet another sci-fi original for its video streaming service. This one will be co-written by Simon Kinberg and David Weil, with Deadline sharing Kinberg’s previous work on the X-Men franchise and Weil’s previous work on a fact-based drama about Nazi hunters.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reports a number of the world’s largest companies incorrectly refer to Taiwan and Hong Kong, with 66 incorrectly labelling Taiwan, 53 making errors in referring to Hong Kong, and 45 referring to both wrong, with Apple included in one of those buckets. CASS has previously been linked to the Chinese government, so this might as well be China performing some kind of weird flex.
A new collaboration between Johnson and Johnson and Apple aims to accelerate Afib diagnosis. The multi-year program aimed at heart health will be launched later this year and use the Johnson & Johnson app in combination with ECG readings on the Apple Watch to analyse the impact of Apple Watch on the early detection and diagnosis of Afib. Which seems weird, given that Afib detection on Apple Watch is already working quite well, but I guess more data is always better.
An Apple patent describes automatically opening the camera app when an iPhone is raised to the right position, as if the user were composing a shot, regardless of whether the device is unlocked or not. It seems like a good feature, and could work given iPhones these days have raise-to-wake, but the tricky part would be knowing when to activate the camera app.
Belkin’s Boost Up wireless charging dock wirelessly charges an iPhone in a standing portrait position, as well as an Apple Watch, and even has an extra USB-A port in case you need to charge something else. It’s convenient, but it’s also quite expensive, with Australian pricing coming in at $240 from Apple. MacRumors has the review.
In case you missed it, Apple Music has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Queen biopic. The 16-minute feature is called Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie, focusing on how the lead actor in the biopic transformed to portray Freddie Mercury. Could be worth watching, if you’re a Queen fan.