Monday Night News

Off the back of the annual Six Colors Apple report card, rating Apple’s performance across its key businesses, John Gruber has his own Apple report card with additional commentary on how Apple did. While I think it’s a little harsh to give a poor rating when one area particularly sucked and the rest are only so-so, I can see the justification. Relative to the rest of the ratings, the Mac’s overall D grade is in line with the A the iPhone received, the B for iPad and Apple Watch, along with a number of other Apple-related aspects that garnered no remarks.

Apple has hired ex-Microsoft staffer Sam Jadallah, who up until recently was the CEO of smart lock startup Otto. Before that, he spent 10 years as a Microsoft as a vice president, but at Apple he’ll be leading home initiatives, according to CNBC.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard about an Apple acquisition, but word has it Apple has entered into an agreement to purchase San Francisco-based startup PullString for reportedly under US $100 million. PullString is focused on building conversational voice apps for voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and other Internet of Things hardware. It’s rumoured Apple’s acquisition of the voice app company will lead to better Siri APIs, whether that’s for internal Apple developers or third parties.

A recently-granted patent for fingerprint reading seems a little strange. Not the patent itself, which describes a method that uses sonic pulses that can theoretically read fingerprints from anywhere on the display that AppleInsider then speculates could be evidence of Apple working on full-display fingerprint recognition technology, but the fact that Apple are working on fingerprint technology at all. Of course, there are a number of possibilities for this — either this patent has been in the queue for years now, or Apple is keeping their options open, and their competitors off their turf.

A new rumour says that Apple will release updated AirPods hardware in the next few months. Along with AirPower, updated AirPods hardware is expected to come with health monitoring features, and according to this particular rumour, a new colourway. Black is the new white, and although that colour will be less distinctive than the instantly recognisable white that we have now, we probably won’t see them until April at the earliest.

9to5Mac reports Apple directed its mineral suppliers to remove five smelters and refiners not willing to participate in or complete the third-party audit and/or meet Apple’s requirements for the responsible sourcing of minerals. As per Apple’s Conflict Minerals Report, 253 other companies passed the audit, which includes the fact that none directly or indirectly benefit armed groups.

In an interview with NPR, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company will look into an app provided it can substantiate claims the app allows men to track and limit the movements of women in Saudi Arabia. It’s said that the Absher app allows you to list dependents by passport identifier, limiting their ability to travel, which some say is a human rights violation.

MacRumors talks about the problems with classical music on Apple Music. The somewhat esoteric nature of classic music means that the document issues affect all streaming music platforms, including Spotify, while the actual problems from trying to shoehorn classical music genres and “songs” into more contemporary “albums” and the fact that Siri just isn’t very helpful when it comes to classical music.

A library of free, professionally-made ringtones for iOS and Android comes courtesy of iRingPro. They’re now giving theirs away after reconsidering why they were donating all revenue from sales following the sudden passing of co-founder, musician, and audio engineer Jeff Essex. Good on them!

Apple’s latest ad is bokeh’d. I mean that both literally — that’s what the title of the ad is — as well as figuratively, as if you could bokeh an ad like you can bokeh a child. Because what kind of person does that?

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