Thursday Morning News
After just one day in court, Apple and Qualcomm have agreed to drop all litigation worldwide, with the two companies reaching a global patent license agreement and chipset license agreement. Apple’s press release on the issue uses surprisingly positive language in telling us about Qualcomm’s achievements, which makes me wonder: what kind of internal discussions needed to happen at both companies behind closed doors to get to where we are today?
Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber speculates about why Apple settled with Qualcomm. He theorises that Apple’s dependence on Intel for cellular modems in iPhones, and Intel’s increasing unlikelihood of delivering an Apple-spec meeting 5G modem for the 2020 iPhone, as well as Apple’s own in-house chip team being years away, meant that Apple had little choice but to settle with Qualcomm, the current market leader for cellular modem tech. It’s a strategic move from Apple, even they’re probably still unhappy with some aspects of their Qualcomm deal internally.
Qualcomm CEO has said that Qualcomm’s focus now is to get the kinds of products out that Apple will want to use in iPhones, saying that doing so will strengthen the working relationship the two companies have. The same can’t be said for Intel, who saw the writing on the wall with the Apple-Qualcomm deal, and promptly exited the 5G smartphone modem market altogether, although they will continue to look for 4G and 5G modem opportunities elsewhere.
Apple making iPhones in India has always been on the cards ever since the company identified the country as a key market, but local regulations and high prices/taxes have prevented Apple from being the success it thought it was going to be. To help, Apple will soon be expanding production of iPhones in the country, investing US $300 million to boost iPhone production. The move will allow Apple to dodge a 20% import duty on iPhones it has to import to India, as well as allowing Apple to open its own stores instead of relying on carriers and third-party resellers.
9to5Mac’s second scoop regarding new features for this year’s versions of macOS and iOS is a new feature called sidecar, which will allow a Mac to use an iPad as a kind of secondary display. It’s kind of like a reverse-continuity feature, similar to how third-party application Luna Display currently works to turn your iPad into a second screen for your Mac. Apple’s implementation is said to allow you to move application windows to the iPad, as well as allowing you to use your iPad as a regular graphics tablet for your Mac.
Their third scoop says Apple are revamping the Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps, combining the two and developing a kind of Tile-like tracker for your personal items. The new app, currently codenamed "GreenTorch", will be available on both macOS and iOS as a Marizpan app, with all devices including AirPods able to be tracked from the app. Similar features like location sharing and lost mode will also be available, as well as a new bit of hardware from Apple that will allow people to attach trackers to their devices, which sounds a lot like Apple are going to Sherlock Tile sooner rather than later.
For unknown reasons, the recent-ish macOS 10.14.4 release ups the display brightness on 2018 MacBook Airs to 400 nits, an increase from the 300 nits it was previously. While Apple’s release notes for the update did say it corrected the default screen brightness for those models, no details were known at the time.
An Apple Support article on using the Apple Pencil with your iPad specifically mentions that the charging interaction between the second-generation Apple Pencil and iPad Pro may interfere with some car wireless key fobs, preventing you from unlocking your car while both devices are in close proximity. Apple’s solution is to temporarily remove your Apple Pencil from your iPad, noting that any interference should cease once the Apple Pencil has finished charging.
MacStories covers the TouchType Pro, a Kickstarter for an iPad and Magic Keyboard cover. Sure, Apple’s own keyboard folios exist, but the advantage of the TouchType Pro is that it uses the Magic Keyboard, which you might choose to use with more devices than just your iPad Pro. Like any good iPad folio, the TouchType Pro lets you use the iPad in a number of orientations and angles, and the whole thing folds up nicely — with or without Magic Keyboard — when you’re done.
MacBook Pro keyboard issues aside, there’s now an app for that. No, it doesn’t magically remove all the dust and other particulates from your keyboard, or even un-stick your keys, but Unshaky does prevent the double-letters entered by a faulty keyboard, preventing you from littering your typing with typos and looking like a fool in written electronic communications.