Wednesday Morning News

In an interview with CNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook does some damage control by saying Apple’s ecosystem of devices and services is "probably underappreciated" by Wall Street naysayers, many of whom have recently commented on Apple’s updated financial guidance for the holiday quarter. Apple being doomed is nothing new, Cook says, with the former COO saying that he’s heard the same story for years now, ever since Apple started taking the spotlight. Apple’s focus continues to be on the long-term health of the company, not short-term revenues or profits, and in that respect, Cook says Apple has never been better, with a product pipeline that has never been better, and an ecosystem that has never been stronger.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal might well be one of those naysayers, calling the iPhone XR the phone that’s failing Apple. They ascribe almost all the blame to the poor iPhone Tenor, blaming it for Apple’s poor performance in China and elsewhere, due to it being both not fancy enough and too expensive for prospective status-seekers and regular folks wanting their next iPhone. While there’s plenty of reasons for iPhones not selling as well as they used to, it’s unclear that the iPhone XR is the cause of Apple’s troubles. And with Apple no longer reporting unit sales — not that we would have received a breakdown between XR vs XS devices anyway — we’ll probably never know for sure.

Over at The Loop, Jim Dalrymple says that Apple’s updated earnings guidance is primarily a China issue, not an iPhone one. In his original press release, Tim Cook said that most of Apple’s revenue shortfall came from Greater China, where over 100% of the company’s year-over-year worldwide revenue decline originated from. It’s simple economics, similar to what happened when Apple released the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which led to their own small bubble, only on a global economic scale. And besides, it’s not as if it’s all bad news, as there’s plenty of good takeaways from the press release, too.

Apple has shared the official list of AirPlay 2-enabled TVs on its iOS HomeKit/AirPlay compatibility page. Along with the 2018 and 2019 models from Samsung and LG that we’ve already heard about, there are also some Sony and Vizio TVs that will be getting AirPlay 2, the latter of which will even see some models dating back to 2017 receiving an update to allow AirPlay 2 compatibility. Again, no mention of any of these TVs on the Australian HomeKit/AirPlay compatibility page, so I really hope that this isn’t some US-only thing.

News from CES today is largely uninteresting unless you’re into HomeKit accessories, and even then it’s not that exciting. But Yubico offering an iOS-compatible version of its YubiKey physical security key with Lightning and USB-C is interesting, particularly given that it will allow iOS app developers an API that will allow them to use YubiKeys to login to apps.

New photos claim to show an unreleased iPad mini with redesigned antenna and no camera flash. That’s about all the information we can get from just the rear enclosure, but gives us some inkling of hope for an updated iPad mini, which hasn’t been updated since the fourth-generation iPad mini was released in March 2017.

TechCrunch reports some European iPhone users who are saying that the iPhone doesn’t offer enough privacy, despite Apple’s claims that everything that happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone. As it turns out, people want to use search engines other than the four currently offered, as well as wondering why location services settings currently allow for location-based Apple ads and other Apple interests when you turn them on. None of this is new, but does make for another chapter in the saga of you can’t please everyone.

Everyone loves a good data visualisation, which is one of the reasons I continue to scrobble all the music I listen to to Last.fm. Spotify already gives you a pretty great "year in review" wrap-up, but there isn’t really anything official for Apple Music owners, which is strange given that all of the data is already being collected. MacStories took it upon themselves to build a Shortcuts-based workflow to collect all the data points and present them to you in an easily-digestible format, and it looks great.

Macworld has advice on what to do if Migration Assistant fails or reports errors when moving your data from one Mac to another. There’s a few different things you can try to get the data migrated across, ranging from the slightly technical to downright arcane. Ignore what I believe is a minor formatting issue towards the end.

It’s still early days, but the weirdest Apple-related story of 2018 may just be the one about the US Golfing Association investigating 16-year old amateur golfer Lucy Li. USGA takes their amateur golfing very seriously, with rules that say amateur golfers can’t use their skills to receive compensation, personal benefit, or financial gain, either directly or indirectly, for any kind of promo or ad. The USGA is currently investigating whether Li’s involvement in Apple’s "close your rings" promo constitutes a breach of the rules, and if so, could be the end of her career before it even begins.

Start the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au