Friday Morning News
Apple has taken the wraps of its Carnegie Library location in Washington, DC, which will be opening this Saturday. Apple’s most extensive historic restoration project to date, with many of the original details of the space preserved during its transformation into Apple Retail Store. Like many recent Apple Stores, Carnegie Library will feature an open forum where Today at Apple learning sessions are held, as well as the Genius Grove, an area dedicated to personalised tech support and advice. While there are those that oppose turning once-public spaces into yet another commercialised space for consumerism, I have to say that there are definite historical benefits to have someone like Apple do it.
In contrast, Bloomberg reports the declining allure of Apple Stores for specific customer types. In an interesting sort of dichotomy, it’s reported that those looking to buy one thing can only find staff who want to help with repairs, while those that want something repaired can only find staff that want to sell them something. Bloomberg’s interviews with current and former Apple Store staff say there’s more of a focus on brand-building than there is customer service, which is again contrary to clear evidence that Apple’s customer service is top notch, at least when compared to other companies.
The standalone Music app coming as part of the next version of macOS won’t be made using Marzipan as previously thought, but instead will be an AppKit app based on iTunes. 9to5Mac reports that this standalone Music app will include many of the features already included with iTunes, although not everything, as this standalone Music app will focus solely on music just like its iOS counterpart. That being said, it’s possible that an older version of iTunes will be kept around for those that need the ability to deploy apps.
Case renders of this year’s iPhone align with rumours that say we’ll get three cameras on the flagship iPhone — the iPhone XS successor — arranged in a rounded rectangle shape along with the flash and microphone. It’s said that the lower-priced iPhone — the iPhone XR successor — will also get an extra camera, arranged in the same rounded-rect, which allows for the possibility of case compatibility between the two models if their dimensions are the same, although that also depends if Apple are going to change screen sizes.
This year’s AirPods refresh is going to be with us for a while, with Apple reportedly going to sell the very similar AirPods well into 2020. AppleInsider says third-gen AirPods could adopt an all-new internal design and sell alongside the current model, although they’re not expected to be released until much later this year, or early next year.
Nike are bringing AR technology to the shoe-fitting business, with the Nike Fit app set to measure foot size starting in July. It will tell you what your ideal size is for a particular Nike shoe, which can come in handy if Nike knows that any model runs a little smaller, or if people will similar-sized feet preferred a slightly larger or smaller size. AR tech has been used for years now, but having a company as large as Nike adopting it for something like shoe sizing still feels novel.
9to5Mac says that the latest Outlook for iOS app adds new Apple Watch complications for the Infograph and Infograph Modular watch faces, but that’s clearly not the case, as I’ve been using the Outlook’s Infograph Modular complications since shortly after the Apple Watch Series 4 was launched. Perhaps this is Microsoft’s fault for including them as part of its release notes, which do say that the Outlook app for iOS is now much faster than it was before.
StopTheNews is a simple Mac app that forces Apple News links to open in Safari, instead of the Apple News app. It’s a useful tool if you’re on a version of macOS that has Apple News, but prefer to do your web-based reading in a real web browser, instead of the version that you get in Apple News.
Downlink is a new Mac app that puts near real-time satellite imagery on your desktop. You can download it free from the Mac App Store, and overall, it’s pretty cool. It reminds me a lot of a Mac app I used to use way back when I first picked up a Mac. EarthDesk was its name, although there are quite a few alternatives around.
A new drone flyover of Apple Park tells us that there’s now a mysterious rainbow-shaped stage at the centre of Apple’s spaceship campus. MacRumors has dug up some background info on how it came to be (it involves Jony Ive), but as for why it’s there, speculation says that it may be used for a WWDC-related event early next month.