Monday Morning News
The latest rumour from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will transition away from its Butterfly switches keyboard design, which should just about be the best possible news that we’ve heard from Apple in a while. Kuo claims that a refreshed MacBook Air, to be released later this year, will become the first laptop to move back to a more traditional scissor switch design, offering both longer key travel and added durability via a new glass-fibre mechanism. It’s also likely that an updated MacBook Pro will use the new scissor switches, but not until 2020.
A slightly wilder rumour seems to think that Apple will release a foldable iPad with 5G as early as 2020. This foldable iPad will have a screen size similar to the current MacBook, around 12-inches or so, making it similar to the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. But MacRumours is bullish about 5G support, saying that it seems unlikely Apple would include 5G tech in an iPad before bringing it to the iPhone. I’m inclined to agree.
A paywalled article at the Wall Street Journal explores Apple COO Jeff Williams as Cook’s successor, at least in the COO role. Most recently, Williams has been praised for his involvement in the Apple Watch, turning it from a fashion accessory when it first launched to a health and fitness device capable of doing a lot without an iPhone. Williams has also received positive feedback regarding his involvement in the iPhone 4, making his role much more about product than what we might think from an operations perspective.
In an interview with GQ, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue discusses Apple’s upcoming video streaming platform, Apple TV+. Cue says Apple’s drawcard in the original programming space is that Apple TV+ will have the best shows. GQ highlights how Apple’s TV programming will be suitable for all ages, and although there have been reports that Apple SVPs have been interfering with the creation process by writing notes on scripts, Cue denies that’s ever been the case, and Apple leadership has always left the folks alone, as they’re the ones that know what they’re doing.
Chinese company Xiaomi have come out with a Memoji-like feature called Mimoji, which is one character removed from Memoji. Like Memoji, Mimoji are virtual, customisable avatars created with augmented reality, and if you’ve seen the two styles side-by-side, it’s hard to separate the two as they have incredibly similar art styles. That said, it’s not as if Apple owns any of the Memoji IP, so anything goes.
Back in 2016, Apple was accused of anti-competitive practices in South Korea, where local telcos were bound to onerous conditions if they wanted to carry the iPhone. Minimum order quantities dictated by Apple, shared costs of warranty repairs and replacements, and telco-bourne costs for running Apple’s own TV ads for the iPhone, being the three big ones. Apple has since proposed a settlement agreement with the South Korean Fair Trade Commission, which in this case seems to be an out-of-court settlement.
Apple’s support article on using an external graphics processor with your Mac has been updated to include specific chassis for various graphics card families, based on thermal and power requirements of different kinds of graphics cards. You’ll note that all of Apple’s recommendations are for AMD graphics cards — Nvidia support in macOS is still nowhere to be seen, and it’s unclear who’s at fault here, although Nvidia seem happy enough to point the finger at Apple.
There’s now a native macOS version of Microsoft’s To-Do day planner and checklist app for macOS. While the Microsoft-owned Wunderlist is still around and remains one of the best to-do apps, Microsoft’s own To-Do app is quickly gaining support as a simplified day planner and task list that crucially, syncs with Outlook, which will make it worth a look for anyone already invested in other Microsoft products, either at work or home.
A 2015 profile of two designers on Jony Ive’s team give us some idea of how the vent holes on the new Mac Pro came to be. Bart André plays with geometrically complex designs that are then machined, and although he describes it as a hobby, at times those designs make it into products. As it turns out, one such pattern he was using as a coaster sounds very much like the same three-dimensional lattice that the new Mac Pro uses.
Macworld says although Jony Ive may be leaving Apple, that doesn’t mean the company is doomed. They give us three examples of when high-profile execs have left the company no worse off than they were before. Two of the examples given are Scott Forstall and Tony Fadell, and I’ve leave you to guess the third — or take a peek after the jump.