Monday Morning News
Australian retailer Myer announced on Friday that it would stop selling Apple products in-store and online. The move comes as part of changes to Myer’s overall strategy in an ever-changing and online-focused retail landscape, with a spokesperson saying that the company would not be "chasing unprofitable sales". Myer also says the space currently used by Apple products in their own stores, either as mini Apple Stores with their own wooden display tables or alongside other products, would be able to be used in a more productive and effective way.
Ahead of Apple’s event tomorrow morning where the company is rumoured to announce both a video and news subscription service, The Verge has a look back on Apple’s TV efforts over the years. It’s pretty crazy to think that all of this happened way back when Apple introduced the original Apple TV in 2007, which at the time was all about accessing iTunes content either on the device itself, or attached to a Mac. While it remains to be seen how successful either of Apple’s news or subscription services will be, there’s a good chance they’ll be popular enough based on Apple’s size alone.
Apple Music has been given a slight revamp of the Browse tab, which now highlights different playlists according to genres. Region-based daily top 100 playlists feature front and centre, and other themed playlists are now featured more prominently than before. Both macOS and iOS are able to access the updated Browse tab within Apple Music, either via iTunes on the Mac, or the Apple Music app on iOS.
It’s a rumour that’s nearly as old as the iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped at least one outlet from claiming that this year’s iPhone will feature a more powerful charging brick and a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box. Many see Apple including the standard 5W power adapter as a cheap move, even though there’s probably some evidence that says slow charging prevents battery deterioration over time.
Depending on who you ask, last week’s iMac updates were exactly the kind of thing we want from Apple: a minor, speed-bump type refresh of an Apple product staple. The only problem was that the iMac continues to hold the undesirable title of being the only Mac in the lineup that features a spinning disk hard drive by default. It’s possible that Apple are waiting on a bigger redesign before moving the iMac to all-Flash storage, but with every other Mac already there in some form, it’s time for Apple to stop using Fusion drives and start putting SSDs in iMacs.
And that’s exactly what MacStories points out, saying that while the design of the iMac is fine and has been for several years now, the iMac deserves a modernisation that keeps some of the iconic looks of the all-in-one desktop, while bringing the iMac into the modern era. It’s not that the iMac looks dated, per se, but the aluminium design has been around since late 2012.
Six Colors has a tip on using Spotlight to search for video files using a codec that will probably not be supported in this year’s version of macOS that will be dropping 32-bit support. One of the casualties of going 64-bit only will be QuickTime, along with all the plugins and formats that it currently supports. Updates to iMovie and Final Cut have put the writing on the wall, as far as unsupported codecs goes, so all you have to do now is track those files down.
Logitech’s Crayon stylus is a strange one, in terms of iPad compatibility. At the moment, the Crayon only works with the base model iPads — including the recently-announced iPad Air, and iPad mini — and not the iPad Pro. The upcoming release of iOS 12.2 is looking to change that, with Crayon support on the currently-shipping iPad Pros with USB-C and Face ID. The Crayon carries its own limitations compared to the Apple Pencil, but it’s also quite a bit cheaper than Apple’s offering.
Horace Deidu’s review of the new iPad mini is less product review and more product strategy analysis, but he says it’s another example of Apple’s "good, better, best" product strategy, falling neatly into the "good" slot for those that want access to the full range of excellent iPad apps, but in a more portable form factor and at a more reasonable cost. For a lot of people, the iPad mini can be the gap between a phone and a laptop, and that’s the exact place it should be in.
Apple is doing a fun thing ahead of tomorrow’s event, showing us a "live stream" of an empty Steve Jobs Theater with the on-stage screen setup like an old CRT display. Occasionally, there are snippets of various things shown, such as now, which seems to be showing an aerial shot of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Chris Evans has reportedly called too, although Apple missed that call.