Monday Morning News
The latest update to Apple’s clean energy program include 44 Apple suppliers that have committed to run their Apple-related production activities on 100% clean energy. That’s nearly twice as many as Apple had previously, which will allow the company to beat its previous goal of bringing 4 gigawatts of renewable energy into its supply chain by 2020. Although Apple’s global operations are now run on 100% renewable energy, and have been for a year now, manufacturing accounts for 74% of Apple’s overall carbon footprint, so it’s just as important that Apple continues to work with suppliers committed to using renewable energy.
A new report claims Apple is investing over US $500 million into the launch of Apple Arcade, its subscription service for games. The Financial Times says Apple will spend "several million dollars" to secure and develop each of the launch titles, bringing the total expenditure to well over half a billion dollars by the time Apple Arcade launches later this year. That’s even despite the lack of recognisable, well-established IP, with many of the launch titles being shown off so far being brand new IPs from many smaller studios and indies.
Apple faces a new antitrust investigation in the Netherlands over whether it favours its own apps over that of its competitors, at least when it comes to Apple News and Apple Music apps. The linked piece by Bloomberg says the investigators are specifically investigating the availability of Dutch apps for news media in the App Store, but may extend to other categories including music, given Spotify’s recent claims of Apple’s anti-competitive practices.
Meanwhile, Apple has come under fire from yet another patent troll. Seven Networks based in Finland specifically setup an LLC in Texas so it could file suit against Apple in the Eastern District of Texas, a jurisdiction notorious for favouring claimants in patent cases. This time around, Apple is accused of infringing on 16 patents covering everything from iCloud, macOS, iOS, and more.
There’s a new web interface for podcasts, which now lets you listen on the web. While being able to open and play podcasts on the web is cool and all, this is a feature that Apple Music has had for a while now, although perhaps this is just one of the things that had to be released before the rumoured upcoming release of the standalone podcasts app later this year.
Apple now requires you to confirm new subscriptions in apps with a second step, which a lot of outlets are reporting as one method to curb the amount of scam and accidental subscriptions that happen on the App Store. The second modal dialog should hopefully prevent accidental subscriptions when using devices with Touch ID, since Touch ID is required to start a new subscription anyway, although it would also be nice if the second dialog did the maths and showed the total subscription price for a standard timeframe like a month or a year.
With WWDC just a few short months away, now is as good a time as any to get some wish lists happening for the next big releases of Apple’s software platforms. 9to5Mac kicks us off with their watchOS 6 wish list, which mostly contains enhancements to existing features, rather than anything specifically new. We all want custom watch faces, but when will Apple deliver?
TidBits has advice on what to do if you disable your iPad or iPhone gets locked out by too many incorrect passcode entries. As it turns out, the only fix for this problem is to connect to a computer and erase the device, at which point you can restore from a backup if you have one handy. For some reason, I always thought that you could just connect to the computer that you used to sync the device, which would then unlock it, but maybe that was changed a little while ago and I’ve just never noticed; Apple’s support article on the issue certainly seems to suggest the erase and restore is the only solution.
Pixelmator Photo was released last week, and the MacStories review of the latest photo editing app on the iPad gives us a good overview of how it all works. It’s a photo-editing app first and foremost, which means no image editing features like layers, but as long as you’re OK with its limitations, then you can start to understand its simplicity and ease of use.
New videos from Apple show us how to enable heart alerts and fall detection for owners of the Apple Watch Series 4.