Tuesday Morning News
The all-new Apple TV app is now available in over 100 countries, when you download today’s iOS 12.3 or tvOS 12.3 software update. As previously promised by Apple, the new TV app lets you subscribe to just the channels you want to watch, letting you download episodes for offline viewing, and sharing those purchases with Family Sharing. Apple allowing channel-specific subscriptions in its TV app is just the beginning of their media-as-a-service strategy, and we’ll see more of it later this year when Apple TV+ launches with Apple’s original content library.
As part of the launch of Apple’s TV app, Samsung has announced that all 2019 models of Smart TVs and certain 2018 models get a firmware update today that enables AirPlay 2, allowing you to send videos to your Samsung Smart TV, and installs the new Apple TV app. As MacStories points out, there are some limitations to what Apple’s TV app can do on non-Apple platforms, which they say is based around "legacy" TV experiences such as when the TV app kicks you out to a content provider’s app, which won’t be on your Samsung TV. As for which Samsung TVs are compatible, well, there seems to be a little inconsistency between Samsung’s list and the one from Apple, not to mention I couldn’t find any Australian-specific model listing.
With iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 out of the way, that only leaves us two updates to talk about. Maybe Apple is waiting for Marzipan to unveil the TV app for the Mac, because today’s macOS 10.14.5 update doesn’t include it, opting instead for bug fixes and performance improvements. There’s also HomePod software update 12.3, which is just about the only Apple product without its own branded OS, although the only new feature there is the ability to join enterprise networks that require credentials.
Oh, I almost forgot — new Pride watch faces are available as part of today’s watchOS 5.2.1 update, with two new analog watch faces and one digital one. The stripes are a lot more tightly spaced this time around, although you’ll still be able to use a limited number of complications with each.
A Supreme Court ruling in the US on an Apple lawsuit dating back to 2011 says the case for whether Apple is using its monopoly over the App Store to overcharge customers can move forward, which, as explained by Ars Technica, can have massive ramifications for iOS software once the dust settles on the final ruling. Not only could Apple have to pay back users who purchased anything on the App Store, but "it could also put pressure on Apple to open up the iOS platform, allowing users to install third-party software without paying Apple for the privilege."
It’s that latter point that is what’s so worrying about the App Store antitrust case. Walled garden as it may be, it does provide some safety and security around knowing the apps that you download are OK to use, or at least have passed Apple’s automated scanning processes. That’s not saying that there are developers don’t do dodgy things in their apps, or resort to other kinds of scams or use shady tactics to exploit their customers, but you know that an app downloaded from the App Store isn’t going to do permanent and lasting damage to your device or the data on it, which is just one less thing to worry about.
A sketchy leak of Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro gives us some idea of what the spec sheet will look like when the Mac Pro launches sometime in 2020. Although it’s possible we’ll see something official from Apple at WWDC in June, the image of what’s purported to be an internal Apple slide shows the exterior of a "Mac Pro 7,1", as well as a reasonable spec sheet that seems extremely unlikely unless Apple has been having clandestine meetings with Nvidia to make their RTX graphics cards compatible with macOS.
An post on Medium discusses designing a dark theme for OLED iPhones, pointing out some of the common pitfalls associated with true black backgrounds. You don’t need a true-black background to save power, and you’ll still be able to meet accessibility guidelines with something less than bright white text on a pure black background, while making things slightly more comfortable to read.
Speaking of design, Procreate Pocket 3 was released over the weekend, and the good news is, it now has more-or-less feature parity with the iOS app. The update is focused on bringing iPad-centric tools and features to the iPhone, with a lot of work having gone into the UI to allow the iPad’s tools to fit on the smaller screen of the iPhone.
A slightly older Shot on iPhone video features some great video of nature captured from all over the world. Although some shots required a little extra hardware, and it’s all been put together with software, it still looks awesome.