Monday Morning News

IFixit’s teardown of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro has some good and bad news. Good news first: there’s a slightly larger capacity battery in this bad boy, which many blogs speculate is to keep the advertised 10-hour battery life even with the addition of the Touch Bar, Touch ID, and T2 security chip. Should you ever need to repair your MacBook Pro, some of the ports are now modular, too. But the bad news is that the flash storage is now soldered to the logic board, preventing any after-market upgrades. Other minor hardware revisions, right after the jump.

The eagle-eyed among you would have noticed that the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a lower clockspeed than its predecessor, with the new coming in at a 1.4GHz quad core compared to the previous 2.3GHz dual core. But don’t let the lower clockspeed fool you, as generational differences mean there’s a increase for both single and multi-core performance in GeekBench, roughly 7% for single-core, and a whopping 83% for multi-core. Even when comparing a 2017 laptop to a 2019 one, that’s quite the speed increase.

One of the most high-profile MDM apps has returned to the App Store after Apple removed many that it found to be abusing MDM technology to invade user privacy. OurPact claimed that using MDM technology prevented it from seeing personal data such as emails, iMessages, browser history, or location data. Apple even updated its App Store guidelines to allow certain categories of apps to use MDM technology, including parental control apps, so it seems this chapter is closed.

Apple has added Lightning-to-Ethernet and Lightning-to-USB C adapters to its Made for iPhone accessory certification program, allowing third-party manufacturers to submit their designs and have them certified. Interestingly, Belkin now offer a Lightning adapter that allows your iPad to charge over PoE, negating the need for a separate Lightning power adapter, and other companies are working on making your Lightning EarPods work with your USB-C laptops.

In tax news, AppleInsider reports the US is planning to investigate France’s proposed GAFA tax, which will apply a 3% tax on French revenue generated by Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon if implemented. The US angle is that the GAFA could potentially be a unfair trade practice, and has announced that it will be investigating further under Section 301 of the US Trade Act.

Singapore’s second Apple Store opened over the weekend, and the Jewel Changi Airport location features a sweeping glass facade that spans both levels. There’s an internal staircase with recessed handrail, forum area for Today at Apple sessions on the bottom floor, and display tables spread across both. I’m interested to see how an airport store will do, but it’s basically a slightly different shopping center location.

Macworld shares their favourite iOS 13 features. There’s the option to silence unknown callers, the fact that you can tap and drag to adjust volume on the new volume indicator that gets out of your way, and the ability to automatically close tabs in Safari after a pre-determined amount of time, as well as many more little QoL touches.

Hong Kong’s Octopus has confirmed that customers will be able to load their Octopus cards onto iPhones and Apple Watch devices via Apple Pay once iOS 13 launches later this year. It’s great news for anyone wanting to use Octopus via Apple Pay for both retail and transit purchases, and it should also support Express Transit, allowing you to pay for things without authenticating, and even when your device is using reserve power.

MacStories has a timeline of iOS accessibility, which all started when Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller talked about the accessibility features on the iPhone 3GS for exactly 36 seconds during the keynote. It’s been ten years since then, and iOS accessibility continues to thrive, with iOS 13 bringing major changes to allowing even more people to access the awesome technology offered by iPhones and iPads.

M.G. Siegler writes that while there are good arguments to be made for Apple to have kept the MacBook around, there’s an equally as good argument that says instead of leaving to languish as part of a confusing Mac laptop lineup, it might as well be shelved for a while, at least until it is reborn as the first ARM Mac. But if you want in on one of Apple’s better laptop experiments, you better find one before they’re all gone for good.

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