Tuesday Morning News
The smallest of iOS updates was released this morning, but chances are you’ll only see it if you have an iPhone 8 Plus. Apple’s release notes for iOS 12.3.2 say that the update fixes an issue where the Camera app could capture Portrait mode photos without the associated depth effect on some iPhone 8 Plus devices, which seems like a very strange issue to begin with. Either way, someone at Apple felt it needed its own version of iOS to deal with the problem, so here we are.
In a piece praising Apple’s hardware efforts over the past couple of years, Marco Arment says that not only are Apple listening to the feedback we’re giving them, but they doing so to the extent that the new Mac Pro is a true celebration of computing. It’s everything that pro users were asking for — a fast, upgradeable, machine that is exactly what the Mac Pro should be, to many people. The fact that it follows other recent hits such as the iMac Pro and powerful Mac mini shows that Apple still loves the Mac, no matter what you may read or hear elsewhere.
WWDC was unprecedented this year in having Apple employees guest on podcasts, and all of the appearances have been rounded up by MacStories, in case you missed any. One such podcast, Mac Power Users, had the chance to talk to Apple product manager Doug Brooks about the new Mac Pro, which Brooks said was designed with the 8K workflows of the future in mind, even though that may not be the norm today. The low-impedance airflow system helps keep all of that computing power cool, and wheels were a natural fit for a machine with such grab-inspiring handles.
Which just about makes the only real problem with the Mac Pro being its price. Previous cheesegrater Mac Pros have hardly been affordable for those that who aren’t doing the work to justify the expense (i.e. those of us that just want the most powerful desktop Mac), but the Mac Pro takes that to an entirely new level. But the Mac Pro is just one piece of the puzzle — if you’re a pro that wants all the latest and greatest Apple hardware, that’s going to set you back a serious amount of coin. Macworld might have a point when they claim that Apple’s pro products are becoming less attainable for the professionals they’re aimed at.
And if we’re talking about price, we might as well talk about a pricey monitor stand. Apple’s Pro Display XDR might set new standards for monitors in the industry, but having an optional US $999 stand borders on absurd territory. Everything about the stand is great, from the height adjustment, tilt, and being able to rotate the display into portrait mode. But did Apple really make the right decision by choosing to show it off as an optional extra? Would the price of the Pro Display XDR really have been more palatable if they had said it was $1000 more, but included the stand? I’m not so sure, and Engadget says it’s hard to see the justification if you’re not the kind of individual that needs that kind of hardware for your day job.
Despite its minor controversies, Sign In with Apple is a great privacy focused option for users, who never provide their real email addresses to apps, and keep their personal information secure from any sort of hack. In their piece pointing out a number of answers to common Sign In with Apple questions, TechCrunch also says that developers will get benefits too, like offering their users a low-friction way to be associated to a particular app, along with all the fringe benefits that allows, including two-factor authentication and more.
In an interview with CNBC, former Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell talks about the legal cases he worked on during his time at Apple. Sewell doesn’t go into a lot of detail, but reveals what it was like during the Apple vs Samsung litigation days (350 external lawyers reviewing documents numbering billions), or how negotiations between Apple and Google for the default search engine on iOS took four months, not days or weeks. It’s probably not unusual for a company of Apple’s size, for Apple’s legal team to have a budget just shy of a billion dollars a year, right?
A new feature in iOS 13 includes a nice QoL improvement to the "an app has been using your location in the background" notifications that you get after granting location permissions to a new app. The background location usage notification now includes a little map of where the app has used your location, with app-specific reasons for using your background location also included in the notification.
Australian-developed notepad/calculator app Soulver 3 is now available for the Mac. The headlining new features are dark mode support, date and time maths, subtotals, and a redesigned user interface. You can read the full release notes over at the Soulver website, and while there’s no upgrade pricing for owners of previous versions, Soulver 3 currently has launch pricing of $19.95 until June 30.
Apple has revealed new colours for its Beats Solo3 wireless headphones, with the Club Collection coming from a collaboration with a fashion-focused YouTube channel NAYVA. All four colourways will be available starting today for $299.