Wednesday Morning News
At Apple’s annual general meeting earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook let slip with anything even close to resembling a roadmap for Apple. Speaking to investors and shareholders, Cook said that Apple was on track to double services revenue by 2020, with a long, great, roadmap of fantastic products related to the Apple Watch and AirPods. Cook also said the company was "planting seeds" and "rolling the dice" on future products that will "blow you away", despite that sounding like Cook telling shareholders what they want to hear.
In an interview with NPR, Cook also discussed Apple’s ideology on privacy as it relates to health. Cook believes that Apple’s avoidance of acquiring user data for advertising has been one of the reasons that people are willing to give their health data to Apple, with that trust being a key part of Apple’s work in the health space. Cook also believes that privacy is a requirement when it comes to personal, sensitive data like health information, which aligns with Apple’s overall focus on privacy across its products and services.
In a paywalled article looking at 180 members of Apple leadership, The Information tells us about the shorthand Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller uses to shoot down bad ideas. In the anecdote, NFW — short for no-something-way — was used to shoot down a feature pitch by the Spotlight team a few years ago, and sure enough, the feature was shelved.
IFixit follows up their previous post on the stage lighting effect exhibited by some MacBook Pros dubbed flexgate, saying that 2018 MacBook Pros have a display backlight cable that’s a mere 2mm longer. It’s a tiny difference, but means that the cable that is the likely culprit of the issue in the first place has a little extra give, preventing it from suffering any kind of fatigue associated with over-stretching when the laptop is opened past 90 degrees.
Back in 2018 (but only recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office), Apple acquired several patents from failed smart home startup Lighthouse AI. Lighthouse’s patents mostly deal with security features based on computer vision, visual authentication methods, although not all of them have been granted by the US PTO.
Research company Strategy Analytics claims the Apple Watch made up half of the smartwatch market last year. While the claimed 51% figure is still the majority, it’s down on 67% from 2017, with competitors Samsung and Fitbit gaining popularity at (generally) more affordable price levels than the Apple Watch.
There have been many Beats special editions latest, and the latest of these is the BeatsX sacai Special Edition, which eschews a part of the regular flat cable design in favour of a beaded cable in partnership with Japanese fashion house sacai. You’ll be able to pick them up at an exclusive pop-up shop in Paris starting two days ago, otherwise they’re also available from the Apple US Online Store for $150 in three colour variations.
In case you think the viewing angles of your iPhone are a little too good (or just want a little privacy so you can look at your cat pictures in public in private), Belkin has released privacy screen protectors for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Useful for those who don’t want anyone looking at their state secrets on their giant-screen iPhones.
Soor is a new third-party Apple Music client for the iPhone, capable of mostly replacing the built-in Music app. Soor is focused on one-handed usability, supporting gestures and customisation that you won’t find in the regular Music app, and although you’d think that this, along with its native use of the MusicKit API means it’s a good replacement candidate, MacStories says its let down by limitations that prevent it from having many of the social or useful features of Apple Music.
New videos from Apple have been added under the "There’s more to iPhone" umbrella, telling us about how the iPhone is about data protection, the ability for iPhones to be disassembled by robot, and how you can remotely lock and erase an iPhone, if it comes down to that.