Friday Morning News

Speaking at the TIME 100 Summit, Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company never wanted to maximise user time on its devices. TechCrunch claims it’s disingenuous for the company that built the real-time push notification system to claim that it wasn’t for the express purpose of increasing user engagement, to which the only recourse is to switch off push notifications entirely. But Cook also says that they’re working towards healthier smartphone habits, starting with what the company announced at last year’s WWDC, and continuing to improve as time goes by. Importantly, he says that you shouldn’t use your phone when you’re with other people, because that would be doing the wrong thing.

Apple has started a voluntary three-prong AC wall plug adapter recall program, aimed specifically at those who purchased Apple’s World Travel Adapter Kits. The wall plug adapter designed for use in UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong is the one that needs replacing this time around, although if you still have any of the Australian "circular" duck heads, you can still get those swapped out at your local Apple Store, too.

Renders of the triple-camera setup on the rear of this year’s iPhone give us some idea of what the final device will look like. It’s also been rumoured that this year’s iPhone will have an all-glass back, with a camera "bump" that uses the same glass as the rest of the rear of the device, giving the whole thing a more designed look as opposed to a device with a separate camera bump. No word on durability, but given that we’ve had bumps for a few years now without any major scratching incidents, I’d say that isn’t going to be an issue.

Rumour also has it that mouse support may be coming to the iPad Pro as part of an accessibility feature. The idea is that with the iPad Pro’s USB-C port, you can plug in a regular mouse (via an adapter, as I’m not aware of any mass-market USB-C mouse, although I’m sure you can find one via some Chinese electronics shop) and use a mouse on iOS just like you would on a normal computer.

Ask anyone who works with photo importing on iOS, and they’ll tell you how awkward having to manage their photos, first getting them onto their iOS device, and then using them in their iOS photo editor of choice, is. According to rumours, iOS photo-importing workflows will improve with iOS 13, which will introduce APIs to allow third party apps to import photos directly from external sources, removing one step of the process.

Beat’s Powerbeats Pro will still ship in May, although only in Black to start off with, with other colours available later. The truly wireless headphones offer the best of AirPods, while also providing a different fit than Apple’s standard AirPods/EarPods shape allows for, including an over-ear hook that means your Powerbeats Pro will stay in your ears.

Casey Johnston’s misfortune with keyboards on Mac laptops continues to be bad, with her latest purchase of a 2018 MacBook Air suffering the same keyboard reliability issues that have been widely documented. Johnston laments the lack of any official support from Apple for everyone suffering from the same keyboard reliability issues, although the company did recently move to make keyboard repairs available in-store for next-day turnarounds. The latter is clearly a move to help alleviate some of the customer frustrations, although it would be nice if the keyboard wasn’t so finicky in the first place.

I can’t believe you wouldn’t have already heard it elsewhere if you were a Beyoncé fan, but her album Lemonade is now available on Apple Music after three years of Tidal exclusivity. Note that you could always purchase it on the iTunes Store at any time within the previous three years, but if you enjoy streaming things instead of owning them, then by all means, go ahead and listen. Formation and Freedom are the two hits, by the way.

A watchOS concept is a nice look at what could come out of Apple one year for watchOS, but given the slow pace of watchOS updates it seems unlikely that we’ll see the depth and breadth of changes in any single release by Apple. They seem to be happy with a slower pace of innovation on watchOS, and I’m not sure why — perhaps their market position means they don’t need to continually pushing the envelope when it comes with watchOS features, but it sure would be nice.

Apple has a new YouTube channel dedicated to the Apple TV, which makes a lot of sense now that Apple will be focusing on TV and original programming in the near future. There’s previews, clips and behind-the-scenes shorts across all of Apple’s TV efforts, as well as some promos for some of Apple’s other video efforts.

Notable Replies

  1. Personally I’d rather see the whole back case the same size as the ‘bump’ to allow a high capacity battery, let’s not keep letting design (i.e the thinner and thinner ethos) win over practicality.

  2. Wait, hold on a second. Have you seen the inside of an iPhone? I don’t think they would be able to meaningfully add any extra battery capacity without making the device a brick.

    Even if they did what you I think you’re suggesting, and make the entire back case flush with the camera bump, I don’t see how they could put an extra battery in there. Even if they do some setup where they chain battery cells together so the battery isn’t some frankenstein-like creation where it’s thicker in some parts and not others, have you seen a smartphone battery that’s ~3mm thin that can then connect to the main battery? I know I haven’t.

    Put it this way - the iPhone 3G was 12.3 mm. Current iPhones are (not only thicker than their aluminium-backed predecessors), but come in at 7.7mm. What kind of device are you thinking of that’s not as thick as one of the original iPhones, yet is thick enough to accomodate this extra battery capacity that you speak of?

  3. The iPhone Xr is 8.3mm vs the 7.7mm of the XS and it’s completely ok in my hand (yes I bought one).

    And it’s got better battery life than the XS, if the new iPhone went to 8.3mm then they could offer better battery life and better cameras.

    Slimmer isn’t always better (but more battery life IS).

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