Thursday Morning News
One of the most visible changes to iOS 13 is Dark Mode, which comes to iPhones and iPads after being available on Macs since macOS Mojave last year. It looks good, particularly when Apple’s built-in background wallpapers adapt to the darker shades, and all of Apple’s apps have dark backgrounds with plenty of colour, similar to how the Apple Watch app looks now. Time will tell how long it takes developers to adopt dark mode in their own apps, but with many third-party apps already supporting a dark mode thanks to OLED displays on iPhones, maybe that will be sooner than you think.
The new and improved Find My app allows nearby iPhones and iPads to find your sleeping Mac, even when it’s not currently being used or connected to a network. As it turns out, the question of how Apple can leverage a network of hundreds of millions of internet-connected devices worldwide is answered by a very cool implementation of Bluetooth technology, which can now be used to find what you may have lost. Wired talked to Apple about how this unique encrypted and anonymous location tracking system worked, which we now know relies on key-based cryptography to accomplish is privacy and security goals.
Notes from Six Colors about WWDC tell us about little bits and pieces from the keynote. Sidecar isn’t a complete replacement for whatever solution you may already be using to get your Mac display on your iPad, Apple’s Music app on macOS Catalina is still mostly iTunes, just without device management, podcasts, or TV and movies, and the design of the new Mac Pro makes a lot of sense for a expandable computer with some serious cooling requirements. Apple’s clearly targeting the Mac Pro at professionals that need that kind of power and expandability, and the same can be said for the Pro Display XDR.
But still, there are lingering questions that surround the new Mac Pro. There’s no confirmation on which Xeon processors Apple are using in the Mac Pro, as no Xeon offers the specs that Apple claim. Third-party PCIe module compatibility is also a possibility, if you don’t want to pony up for Apple’s expansion or MPX modules, but is yet to be confirmed. And what exactly are those ports next to the CPU used for? No one knows, and if Apple does, they’re not telling. Yet.
Mouse support is now a thing on iOS 13 and iPadOS. It’s being touted as an accessibility feature designed for those who cannot use their devices with touch input. That means it’s not meant for traditional cursor control like a regular computer, or the general public, but the good news is, it doesn’t appear to be crippled in any way and also supports both USB mice and Bluetooth ones, including Apple’s own Magic Trackpad, gestures not included.
The Find My app in iOS 13 still references a Tile-like tracking device. As per previous rumours, all signs point to Apple developing and releasing its own standalone tracking device for personal items that aren’t your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Tag1,1 will presumably be allowed to attach to any item like your keys or wallet, although it’s unclear when it will be launched as a product.
The iOS 13 features page all but confirms the removal of 3D Touch in this year’s iPhones, as it mentions both peek and quick actions being available in iOS 13. While that’s great for devices that have had access to neither 3D Touch or Haptic Touch until now, the deprecation of Peek and Pop APIs mean that the pressure-sensitive way of interacting with your iPhone is going away. If true, it’s the first time in a long time that Apple has deprecated a hardware feature in its flagship iPhone lineup.
And just when you thought that Apple raising the mobile data download limit to 200MB was nice and all, iOS 13 comes through with the goods and removes the limit entirely. While this seems like the kind of thing Apple could have released as part of a point update to iOS 12, always allowing app downloads over 200MB for those of us with huge data limits makes a lot of sense.
Finally, our long national nightmare of the intrusive iOS volume indicator will be over with iOS 13. Instead of those pesky cubic metre measurements getting in the way of your video, the new iOS 13 volume indicator now starts off large and shrinks to a much slimmer version in a cool little animation, which is basically perfect and what everyone has been asking for for years now.
AppleInsider shows off the new watch faces coming as part of watchOS 6. They’re nice and all, but I’ve barely seen any coverage of any of items that weren’t covered on-stage — where are my watchOS developers at? I want to know about the new watchOS design language, or all the stuff they didn’t have time for or wasn’t as flashy as new watch faces, complications, and improvements to health and activity tracking.
The Verge says that while iPadOS is a huge leap in the right direction for making the iPad feel like more of a distinct experience of its own, at the moment that just means the iPad becomes a better tablet, but still not a laptop. Depending on which side of the fence you sit on, that’s either a good or bad thing, but I know a lot of iPad users that are very happy about the changes. It’s pretty much everything they wanted.
In case you had any questions about the upcoming changes to iTunes on the Mac, Apple has published a support article that should assuage some of your fears and concerns. As previously mentioned, with the exception of device syncing, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, the new Music app should be able to handle everything you were able to do in iTunes. The devil will be in the details, undoubtedly, but I’m sure that if you’re game for trying new technology, then you can adopt to a little change, too.