Monday Morning News
A teardown of the 2019 MacBook Pro with fourth-generation butterfly keyboard shows that there are minor material differences between this generation and its predecessors. In particular, they confirm that there’s a different kind of switch cover material in this year’s butterfly keyboard revision, although it’s unknown what possible issue may have solved by moving from polyacetylene or TPU material to a nylon in the switch cover material, or an even more minor change in the metal dome switch material. At the end of the day, it may be months before we get any kind of feel if these keyboards are any more reliable.
John Gruber wants vibrant tapdown states in iOS 13, saying that it’s possible this year’s version of iOS will be more than just iterative changes. While I think dark mode is a lock, there’s whisperings that more substantial changes are on the cards, and a pre-iOS 7 vibrant tapdown state to indicate when a list item has been touched was on the ways that iOS added a little joy to the experience of using your iPhone, instead of the bleak grey that happens now.
And with WWDC just around the corner, it’s probably time for some iOS 13 concepts. This one by Alvaro Pabesio thinks Dark Mode is a likely addition to iOS this year, and focuses on the kinds of things that we’ve been hearing with regards to iPad-specific productivity and multitasking features. There’s also a re-imagining of the Continuity feature, which now expands between iOS devices, as well as serious upgrades to some of Apple’s built-in iOS apps like Reminders, Music, Mail, Messages, and more. It’s definitely one of the more polished concepts I’ve seen.
If Apple are going to say something about the pro-focused Mac Pro at WWDC, then it’s also possible they’ll say something about the Apple pro display that was originally teased by Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller back in 2017. While the new display has all the features you’d expect, including DCI-P3 support, HDR, auto-brightness, Night Shift, and True Tone technology, the only way I can see it getting a mention is if Apple’s modular Mac Pro does. Otherwise, there’s only an outside chance it does.
Before the paint dried on iOS 12.3, Apple released iOS 12.3.1 late last week to resolve issues with the previous version. Apple’s release notes say iOS 12.3.1 fixes an issue that could prevent users from making or receiving VoLTE calls, as well as two minor Messages issues. The update is available now via the usual update mechanisms.
Former Apple SVP of Apple Retail Angela Ahrendts spoke to Bloomberg about criticism levelled at Apple Stores during her tenure as retail chief. In a very short piece, Ahrendts dismissed the criticism, saying that none of the criticism was based on fact, with the facts that she knew telling the full story; retention rates at an all-time high and historic highs for customer loyalty.
A security researcher has discovered a flaw in Apple’s Gatekeeper macOS security mechanism that allows executables stored on external storage (either directly connected or network shares) to be considered safe by Gatekeeper, preventing them from being scanned on execution. This could potentially allow an attacker to send a malicious link to an individual, which then downloads and mounts a network location, allowing the attacker to run any code they choose. Apple were supposed to address this issue in macSS 10.14.5, however it remains in the latest version of macOS.
Apple’s latest acquisition is Tueo Health, which was a startup working on an asthma monitoring app. While Apple has not confirmed the acquisition via its usual statement, MacRumors claims that the acqusition was an acquihire rather than an acqusition to be absorbed into the Apple fold. With Apple focusing on health monitoring, it’s possible that Tueo’s knowledge of sensor technology could be used to improve the health monitoring capability of future products.
The answer to a lack of HomeKit accessories for your wanted vertical turns out to be "make your own". HomeKit app developer Matt Hochgatterer has gone one step further with the reveal of HKCam, an open-source, DIY, HomeKit-compatible, home security camera project. The GitHub page has all the instructions you need to build your own, with the required hardware consisting of relatively inexpensive components and a housing that you can 3D print yourself.
Taiwan’s second official Apple Store will be located about ten minutes from the first, at the Xinyi A13 shopping mall slated to open later this year. While no official date or time has been posted, the design of Taiwan’s second Apple Store closely matches similar outdoor locations, presumably with ground-to-ceiling glass walls and the same interior design as updated Apple flagships all over the world.