Wednesday Morning News
Optus now carries the distinction of first Australian telco to support eSIM on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. There are a few caveats, including needing to go into an Optus store to purchase an eSIM QR code to activate your new eSIM, and the fact that the eSIM has to be tied to an Optus post-paid plan. But the advantages of being able to have two phone numbers in your mobile likely outweigh the small hoops you have to jump through to get it all setup. Optus doesn’t appear on Apple’s support page for wireless carriers that support eSIM, but that’s not too unsurprising given the fact that I have seen no press about this feature.
A teardown of the fifth-generation iPad mini shows us that while Apple’s smallest tablet is nearly identical to previous generations on the outside, on the inside, things have changed quite a bit. Some, like the front-facing camera upgrade going from 1.2MP to 7MP are a serious upgrade, while others like the redesigned battery disconnector are mostly minor design changes. Tablets continue to be mostly battery, and that’s certainly the case with the iPad mini, too.
Sources from Apple’s supply chain say Apple will launch an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2020, that will have both smaller and larger displays than this year’s models. The proposed display sizes aren’t nice numbers, coming in at 5.42 inches, 6.06, and 6.67 inch sizes, but new touchscreen tech coming in the all-OLED lineup will allow Apple to make iPhones thinner than ever before.
Meanwhile, a separate rumour claims two-way wireless charging and larger batteries will be making their way to iPhones this year. Two-way wireless charging will be great for giving your AirPods a top-up while you’re at your desk at work, and I think everyone can get behind larger batteries so you don’t have to charge your device as often. But then again, this isn’t a S-year, so here’s hoping that those aren’t the only new things coming to this year’s iPhones.
The headline from CNBC says Apple has slashed the price of iPhones in China. The truth is that Apple has reduced the cost of iPhones by 6%, in line with tax changes making products from certain manufacturers cheaper, Apple included. There’s a lot to be said for accurate reporting, but I’ll begrudgingly give them the point that Apple probably lowered prices due to lower than expected iPhone sales.
AirPower is dead, so it’s time for some alternatives. Our own discussion topic in the forums has a few suggestions, but there’s also plenty of advice on the web about what other multi-device wireless charging mats are available on the market. The Wirecutter thinks they have the best Qi wireless charger pick, 9to5Mac has a roundup of multi-device wireless chargers, and iMore’s list covers everything from multi-device wireless chargers to even a wired option for those that prefer their electricity to travel through cables.
Apple has been sued for swollen batteries in Apple Watch devices. The class action lawsuit alleges that Apple Watch devices may experience swollen batteries that crack the display or cause it to pop out of the Apple Watch housing altogether, causing the potential for serious injury to the wearer. Apple has acknowledged swollen batteries in some Apple Watch models and has offered replacements outside of the regular warranty period, but the lawsuit says there are plenty of cases where Apple attributes the issue to accidental damage.
The Signal vs Noise blog says Apple’s laptop keyboard issue is even worse than we thought. A third of Basecamp’s 47 employees are dealing with a keyboard issue right now, with the numbers being worse for the third-generation butterfly keyboard with dust-protecting membrane. A Twitter poll gathering more "anecdata" says there are plenty of keyboard failure cases that Apple are not exposed to, with plenty of people just living with the issue, so perhaps there’s something to be looked at here after all.
Speaking of keyboards, Logitech’s latest keyboard offering for the iPad is the Slim Folio Pro backlit keyboard for the 2018 iPad Pro, the one with USB-C, Face ID, and the straight-edged, edge-to-edge display. Doesn’t look like Australian pricing is available just yet, but you should be able to pick one up for about US $120 when they arrive here.
Pixelmator Photo is the company’s latest iOS app designed specifically for photo editing. While you can pre-order the app right now, it’s exactly the kind of thing you would expect from the company that already knows a lot about image editing; powerful, easy-to-use, non-destructive photo editing with support for RAW images and an image enhancer trained on 20 million professional photos to make sure your photos look their absolute best.