Tuesday Morning News
A paywalled article from The Financial Times says the European Commission plans to launch an inquiry on some of Apple’s anti-competitive practices, all of which were brought to our attention by Spotify not too long ago. Spotify’s claims about Apple’s unfair advantages it has on the App Store and on the iOS ecosystem in general, compared to those it offers to third-party developers, means that this investigation will be one to watch if it goes ahead.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has appeared in an interview with ABC News in the US, talking about user privacy, device over-use, and what Apple are doing about it with Screen Time. Cook reiterated previous points about not wanting people to be addicted to their smartphones, even though that’s how they make money as a company, and said that Apple were continuing to expand on Screen Time’s capabilities, especially when it comes to making sure parents have the tools to allow them to have control over what kinds of apps their kids are able to access and use.
VentureBeat reports a company called GameClub raising US $2.5 million in funding to resurrect old iOS games. While digital preservation is something that we should be thinking about, GameClub wants to preserve a slice of early iOS history in the form of now-defunct games that have long since been abandoned by their original developers, either because they’re no longer profitable for the time investment it would take to make them run on modern iOS devices, or because the original developers have since moved on. It seems like GameClub will be wanting to re-publish these games under its own banner, which will presumably how the company makes its money back, although that seems like a pretty big bet on how much people are willing to pay for a little nostalgia.
A new iPhone rumour from Ming-Chi Kuo says this year’s iPhones and iPads will include new antenna technology in the form of a new antenna material. A switch to modified PI material for the antenna over the current liquid crystal polymer is said to offer the same RF performance, while also being easier and cheaper to produce. Despite this, Kuo also thinks that Apple will stick to the current LCP tech for 5G devices, as the limiting factors for increased RF performance of LCP are expected to be resolved by then.
A thread on Reddit by an Apple repair tech more or less disproves Apple’s explanation of dust being the primary cause of butterfly keyboard failures. With Apple’s only official published fix for butterfly keyboard reliability issues being a can of compressed air to blow out dust and debris, a teardown of the keyboard mechanisms and thorough analysis of some tests to see if dust is the primary cause seems to conclude that for the issues that are widely reported (double inputs, or no inputs at all), dust is unlikely to be the primary cause.
Motherboard has a lengthy post on turning a premium Windows into the touchscreen hackintosh of your dreams. Hackintosh development has made the process easy enough if you’re even half-OK at following instructions, although if something goes wrong you’ll still want to have some technical knowledge to be able to fix the issue. Regardless of what laptop you choose to go with, they recommend swapping out the wireless card straight off the bat, which is more down to macOS’ limited support than third-party hardware compatibility, but still goes to show that hackintoshes are still about getting hardware to work with macOS as much as they are getting macOS to work with hardware.
There’s been a few posts about the upcoming transition period for macOS, which will see iOS apps explode onto the platform thanks to Apple’s Marizpan efforts. It’s been speculated that the iOS Shortcuts app will also be making its way to the Mac as part of the transition of running iOS apps on the Mac, which raises questions about what will happen to the current Automator app and the future of Mac automation in general, as posed by Six Colors in their post about the potential for a Mac automation schism.
It’s been a few years since we’ve had HomeKit, and only now is it starting to make some ground. With HomeKit’s rising popularity, AppleInsider has a bunch of tips and tricks for getting the most out of your HomeKit-compatible gear, whether that’s making things easier for yourself, or downloading one app to do one specific thing to make your HomeKit setup work for you.
The AirUnleashed wireless charging mat has done its best impression of Apple’s now-cancelled AirPower, providing wireless charging capabilities for up to three devices, including the Apple Watch. You’ll have to put your Apple Watch on a specific place on the mat for wireless charging to work, but otherwise should be able to charge it, your AirPods, and your iPhone at the same time, although you’ll miss out on whatever special AirPower integrations Apple had planned.
Following on from the AR-based success of Pokémon Go, developer Niantic has soft-launched Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in both Australia and New Zealand. Besides using a different IP, Wizards Unite seems to be pretty similar to Pokémon Go, following the same AR formula, and even using the same locations. Time will tell if it experiences the same success as Go has, or even if it continues to last.