Thursday Morning News

Judging from the rumours, it seems the breakup of iTunes is really happening this time, despite this being one of the most long-standing Apple rumours around. According to multiple sources, standalone Music, Podcasts, and TV apps are going to be included in the next version of macOS set to be revealed at WWDC in June, with developer Guilherme Rambo now saying on 9to5Mac that the new apps will be built using Marzipan. Although new apps will be introduced, it’s expected that iTunes will be sticking around for a little longer.

The UK Home Office has confirmed that it has been working with Apple to allow iPhones to read data stored in secure documents such as passports. Apple has been working on expanding the iPhone’s NFC capabilities to read passport data, so EU citizens applying to continue to live in the UK after it has left the EU will be able to do so via an app that’s currently only available on Android devices, due to iPhone NFC limitations. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid says Apple will make the functionality available before the end of the year.

At the time of Texture’s acquisition by Apple, no details were offered about how much the company paid for the magazine subscription service. Since then, details have emerged regarding the sort of cash that kind of acquisition cost: Apple will have paid at least US $485 million for Texture after the dust has settled, although that’s broken up into $100 million split between the four publishers who started Texture in the first place, as well as guaranteed payouts for those publishers for the first few years; $145 million in the first year, and $240 million for the second and third years.

The Wall Street Journal says Apple Music has more paid subscribers in the US than Spotify does. Back in February, Apple had 28 million subscribers in the US compared to Spotify’s 26 million, and in all likelihood the gap between the two music streaming services has grown even further since then.

Outlets are reporting Apple is no longer charging a US $99 data migration fee when performing Mac upgrades or repairs at Apple Retail stores. I wasn’t aware that this was even a thing, although that’s probably due to how I’ve always done my own data migrations when doing upgrades and/or repairs. It’s nice that Apple are now including it as part of the cost of the upgrade/repair, given how little work is actually involved in performing a data migration in the first place.

The second beta of iOS 12.3, tvOS 12.3, and macOS 10.14.5 is now available, with the major change being the redesigned TV app available on all devices. On iOS, the Wallet app has also been updated to allow for longer transaction histories, as well as a few new icons, likely in preparation for Apple Card.

We already knew that Apple’s T2 chip meant faster video encoding, but there’s never been any way to put a number on just how much faster it makes most video encoding tasks. Now that Apple sells the same CPU in two machines, one with the T2 and one without, AppleInsider was able to put both machines to the test, finding that for non-pro video encoding, you may be able to get better results from GPU video encoding, but for everyone else, the T2 provides a nice little speed boost.

MacStories continues their series on using a Mac from an iOS device by talking about Luna Display and using macOS as another app. It’s a fascinating setup if you’re interested in connecting to a Mac from an iPad, or if you want to go all the way and use Luna Display as the primary screen for a headless Mac you might be running as a server, for example. And don’t worry about using macOS from a touch-input device like an iPad, BetterTouchTool solves some of those problems for you.

A video of Apple’s Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone, or W.A.L.T, shows off an Apple prototype device that never saw the light of day. It was similar to the Newton, but being a desktop telephone, was different enough that people have been drawing parallels to the iPhone. Looking at the clunky interface, it’s kinda funny to think about how we got to the iPhone in the space of 15 years.

Apple’s latest video ad is a quick one that shows off the colourful new collection of Apple Watch bands that Apple recently introduced as part of its Spring refresh.

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