Thursday Morning News

Apple’s Newsroom tells us how educators all over the world are using iPads as tools for communication in cases where the native language of the country may not be the native language of their students. From classrooms in Germany teaching German as a second language, teachers in France sending students home with French language homework on an iPad, or even in Sweden where iPads are being used by teachers to teach maths lessons in Swedish, the iPad is helping teachers all over the world break down language barriers and remove much of the anxiety that comes with learning.

The Information is claiming that Apple was investigating an acquisition of Intel’s German-based 5G smartphone modem business, which was where Infineon was based before its acquisition by Intel in 2011 for US $1.4 billion. While reports have claimed that Intel was exploring options for its 5G smartphone assets after they announced they were exiting the market, the move makes a lot of sense when you consider that Apple’s own 5G smartphone modems are still a few years away, and if Apple does acquire Intel’s 5G smartphone modem assets, that could be the shot in the arm that Apple needs to accelerate their own program.

A lengthy post from Federico Viticci over at MacStories talks about his initial thoughts on iPadOS. While the rumours claimed we would see some iPad-specific features this year, I don’t think any of us were expecting Apple to come out and release an iPad-specific version of iOS packed with changes to take iPad productivity to the next level. Serious improvements to multitasking and app-based workflows will be a huge boon for iPad productivity, whether you’re starting out or using your iPad as your second computer, and the changes to file management are a net positive in terms of interactivity with other platforms and more traditional file-based storage. It’s clear that with iPadOS, Apple thinks the iPad is a different beast than it was a couple of years ago.

All the changes to NFC in iPhones coming as part of iOS 13 have been covered by TechCrunch, who says that NFC capabilities are being greatly expanded to allow writing to generic, blank NFC tags, as well as being able to read NFC tags via native protocols. That means developers will soon be able to create apps to read standard NFC tags, including those in passports and identity cards. The Japanese government has already announced it will add support for reading the country’s national ID when iOS 13 launches later this year, while over in the UK, the UK government’s NFC passport reader app will work on iPhones as part of the changes to NFC in iOS 13.

There’s dozens of smaller features in iOS 13 that didn’t get any on-stage time at WWDC, but luckily we have a great Apple blogosphere that covers all the smaller stuff for us. MacRumors talks about some of these smaller features, including reading goals in Books, an option to silence your phone when an unknown caller is calling, and a plethora of other smaller visual and functional changes across the board.

You might not need iMovie on your iOS device for rotating videos anymore — at least once iOS 13 comes out, anyway — but yesterday’s iMovie for iOS update added a green and blue screen feature as well as 80 new soundtracks and ClassKit support for iMovie in the classroom. The green screen feature is particularly cool as it lets you do some creative stuff, and coupled with the new picture-in-picture and split-screen effects, should allow for more varied composition in your mobile movies.

Apple also released a new version of its iCloud for Windows app yesterday. Now available via the Microsoft Store, the iCloud for Windows app lets Windows users access iCloud-specific features like iCloud Drive, their iCloud Photo Library, and more, although it seems limited to mostly file-based operations and not some of the cooler things iCloud can do if you use it with an app, although there are options to allow you to sync iCloud-specific data to your Windows PC.

9to5Mac pulls no punches in telling us that now that watchOS 6 brings streaming audio APIs to the Apple Watch, it’s time for Spotify to ship these features or stop complaining about Apple’s anti-competitive practices. Bradley Chambers rightly points out that even before WWDC, Spotify could have chosen to ship an Apple TV app or an Apple Watch app that synced playlists and podcasts for offline playback, but they simply chose not to.

Memos is a small little iOS app that adds full-text search to all of your photos. All of the data processing happens on-device, and nothing is transmitted to any servers — it’s been mentioned on John Gruber’s podcast before, but since I don’t do podcasts, I had to find out via other methods.

Apple’s Bondi Apple Store re-opens on the 29th of June at 9:30am, which should mark the re-opening of a store with a Today at Apple forum, a video wall, and probably redesigned accessory display walls and shelves.

Notable Replies

  1. I’m still taking a wait and see approach to iOS 13, my iPad 2017 is already a bit sluggish and my iPad Mini 4 is down right glacial in it’s performance. The improvements in functionality are no doubt going to come at the expense of greater system overhead which may well cause performance slow downs. Interestingly SWMBO’s iPad 2018 (which has I believe an A10 not an A9) doesn’t suffer the same lag (the iPad Mini 4 is an A8).

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