Tuesday Morning News
Apple has updated the AirPlay webpage, telling about the expanded capabilities of its wireless communication protocol. Notably, mentions of AirPlay-enabled smart TVs are now present and talked up, with "leading TV manufacturers" integrating AirPlay 2 directly into their TV models, negating the need for separate Apple TV hardware to mirror your iOS or Mac display to your TV. New controls are also coming to iOS devices, allowing you to control your AirPlay 2 TV directly from your iPhone. All of the above are listed as coming soon, but it’s an eye-opening change from Apple’s previous AirPlay and Apple TV strategy that’s only present on the US AirPlay webpage, not the Australian one.
Samsung and LG are among the first big-name TV brands to add AirPlay to their TVs. Samsung says support for iTunes Movies and TV shows will be coming to 2019 Samsung Smart TV models along with AirPlay 2 support. Compatibility also coming to 2018 Smart TV models via a future firmware update, with iTunes Movies and TV shows on Samsung Smart TVs being available in over 100 countries at launch, and AirPlay 2 on Smart TVs being available in over 190 countries. LG’s press release is fairly similar, with LG also claiming HomeKit support for their 2019 range, allowing you to assign and use Siri keywords to make things happen on your TV from your iOS device.
The Verge’s analysis of Apple’s strategic shift to allow iTunes Movies and TV shows on devices other than its own, as well as opening up AirPlay to be on TVs as well as third-party speakers, says that this all makes a lot of sense. Apple is increasingly prioritising services revenue, and for the amount that they’re spending on original video content, they want the maximum payoff which means scaling where that content is available, not just Apple TVs. But there’s still some unanswered questions that will determine how well this all pans out — while Apple can ship software updates to its own products, Nilay Patel can’t see them having much control over how often Samsung Smart TVs are updated.
New renderings of what’s purported to be this year’s iPhone show off a large rear-facing camera array, with three camera lenses, a flash, and microphone. It’s a significant departure from even the dual-lens configurations of old, and would result in the largest camera bump yet, but it’s still early days, and it’s possible that we’ll see a completely different final design.
Apple isn’t at CES per se, at least not as an exhibitor, but being one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world, their presence is certainly felt. For starters, their Las Vegas billboard campaign is a play on the well-known Las Vegas slogan, saying that what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone. People have pointed out that it’s only true in certain cases, particularly if you don’t download third-party apps that can include tracking code and other third-party analytics, but at their core, Apple devices are focused on your privacy.
Griffin and Belkin have shown off their USB-C to Lightning cables at CES, the first third-party USB-C to Lightning cables of their kind. US pricing for these USB-C to Lightning cables seems to be on par with Apple’s pricing for its own offerings, with availability said to be within the next few months.
It may be a new year, but new betas of iOS 12.1.3 and watchOS 5.1.3 are continuing to be released as part of Apple’s developer and open beta release cycle. We’re now up to the third beta of this release, and while only bug fixes are expected to be part of this release, the really interesting stuff will have to wait until WWDC.
AppleInsider reports new sensor technology could enable infrared sensors capable of operating through OLED displays, potentially allowing Apple and other device manufacturers to sense ambient light levels and proximity from behind a display. For Apple, that would mean a reduction in the size of the notch currently used to house multiple components that make up Face ID, although I’m sure as technology progresses, we’ll get closer to true edge-to-edge displays.
The developers behind iOS coding app Codea have shown off concepts of drop-down menus within an iOS app. And not just the kind of scrolling selectors that you currently see, but actual drop-down menus within iOS app UI that may be needed by more complex apps.
The Verge makes the moral case for iMessage on Android. Whether you think it will ever happen or not, something’s got to give between the umpteen different messaging "standards" we currently have, whether that’s Android’s support of the SMS successor RCS, Apple’s ow iMessage, or the very 90s-era technology of SMS.