Thursday Morning News
Buzzfeed claims Apple is planning an event for March 25, where we will likely see Apple unveil its news subscription service. No mention of Apple’s video streaming service, and upgraded AirPods hardware and new iPads are also unlikely to get any keynote time. Rumour has it that Apple’s news subscription will be $10 per month, with Apple taking half that and passing the rest onto publishers, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Apple’s streaming video service is currently targeting an April or early May release, according to CNBC. From what the rumours say, it’s likely that there will be a free streaming component comprised of Apple’s own original content, along with paid subscriptions for content providers. But seeing as it’s a little further out, that’s where the details get a little murky; Netflix is probably off the cards, and content providers like HBO are currently a "maybe". Pricing is also currently unknown.
Apple’s disengagement report filed with the US Department of Motor Vehicles gives us some idea of how its autonomous car project is going, at least when it comes to disengagement events where the test vehicle either has to hand back control to the driver, or cases where the driver has to intervene. Apple registered 871.65 disengagement events per 1000 miles driven, the worst out of all of the companies testing autonomous vehicles.
A follow-up says that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Apple has since provided details about how it changed disengagement reporting in July 2018 to only include important disengagements that would have resulted in accidents or violations of road rules. Under the different numbers, Apple’s results are much better, at least as far as disengagements are concerned, even though it’s hard to directly compare companies to each other given that there are no standards for what counts as a disengagement.
Former Apple senior director of corporate law and corporate secretary Gene Levoff, responsible for Apple’s compliance with securities laws, has been charged with trading on non-public information about Apple’s earnings. In other words, the guy who was supposed to make sure that employees didn’t trade on non-public information, then went ahead and did exactly that on three separate occasions between 2015 and 2016. Given that he also did the same thing between 2011 and 2012, it’s no wonder his employment with Apple was terminated in September 2018.
Former senior director of iPhone partner marketing Frank Casanova has been appointed to a newly-created position of senior director of worldwide product marketing for augmented reality. Casanova is an Apple veteran, having joined the company in 1997, and his appointment to the new role shows just how key AR will be for Apple moving forward.
Apple has updated the British and Australian voices on the HomePod, but the problem is, no one actually owns a HomePod and will know about the update, so we’ll probably never know what the changes are. AppleInsider points to a Twitter post from an Australian that compares the Siri voices on an iPad and on the HomePod, and the HomePod definitely sounds more human, more natural now.
A minor change in iOS 12.1.4 and the latest 12.2 beta to allow faster access to your subscriptions. Now, when you tap on your profile in the iOS App Store, the Manage Subscriptions link is now just one tap away, which will undoubtedly become increasingly important as apps move towards a subscription model.
MacRumors readers surveyed want USB-C instead of Lightning for the wired connection on this year’s iPhone, and there are good arguments for and against. It will be interesting to see if Apple does go with USB-C this year on their iPhone, and what (if any) justification they provide for it.
Apple’s Beats has a new limited edition of the Solo3 Wireless Headphones, and this time around, it’s the Neymar Jr. Custom Edition, celebrating the 10-year career of the Brazilian football star.