Thursday Morning News

New emoji are coming to the iPhone in Spring, which means they’ll either arrive with iOS 13, or one of its more minor updates later in the year. Apple highlights new emoji which allow for more inclusive and diversity in emoji, new disability-focused emoji, as well as plenty of updates for existing emoji categories like food, smileys, clothing, and animals.

Bloomberg reports Apple are investigating either funding the creation of original podcasts, or inking deals with existing media companies for exclusive podcast rights. It’s a concerning move, especially in the context of Spotify also offering podcasts on its platform — either Apple feels threatened by this move and wants to act, or they just want have some measure of control over podcasts as a medium. It’s worth noting that podcasts remain one of the last free mediums, not controlled by any one company or available on any specific platform, which is why all of this is so worrying.

A paywalled article at The Information tells us about the ways factory workers sneak pre-release iPhone parts out of the factories they’re manufactured in. Apple’s New Products Security Team was created to prevent exactly these kinds of leaks, which can happen when security guards are complicit in sneaking parts out, but even in those cases, due to the difficulty of pressing charges in a foreign country, workers aren’t usually heavily penalised when they’re caught.

MKBHD has shown off dummy models of this year’s iPhones, sent to him by leaker Sonny Dickson. While the models look like finished iPhones, the only information they can really give us relates to the design of the devices, which wasn’t particularly difficult to work out if you had seen or read about any of the leaks so far.

The fourth beta of iOS 13 has been released to developers, and MacRumors’ summary of the changes says most of it is all pretty minor. 3D and Haptic Touch are still being included in this version for the time being, and there’s other minor visual changes across the board.

The new MacBook Air has a slower SSD than its predecessor, but it’s unlikely to be something most users will notice unless they’re already pushing the limits of their machines. Speculation says Apple needed a cheaper SSD to allow it to drop the price of the laptop, but I’m sure you won’t have to look too hard to find someone to argue that one of the world’s largest companies went the cheapest route so it could generate some positive press, or whatever other reason they needed.

Apple has pushed a second silent update to macOS to resolve the security vulnerability introduced by web videoconferencing platform Zoom. So far, I haven’t been able to find any details about what Apple’s fixes actually do, which makes it hard to know if your, or any particular Mac, has been patched.

Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber answers the question of whether this kind of silent software update falls under the umbrella of "nonconsensual technology", which has been used to describe the increasingly frequent practice of software doing things that you didn’t want it to, often as a side effect of it doing something that you did. Anyway, Gruber says it’s not, because you can uncheck a checked-by-default box in System Prefs to turn off these silent updates if you truly don’t want them, even though there’s basically no indication they’ve been installed, or what they’re doing.

DuckDuckGo is now using Apple Maps for a lot of their web searches, and to that end, they’ve added a dark mode view to both desktop and mobile. Apple Maps may not be quite up to the same data quality level as Google, but there’s something to be said about keeping your web searches private.

A rumour claims Apple’s rainbow logo could make a return to some new products as early as this year. While I’m a big fan of the retro Apple logo, it’s unclear which devices will get the rainbow logo, and/or why. But sure, rainbow Apple logo on my iPhone. Why not?

Notable Replies

  1. Apple and Zoom being silent on this issue is wreaking havoc in my office. We have several zoom rooms all over the world and we usually push things out through JAMF and the silence of this update means we can’t track which Macs have the updates and which do not. It’s unacceptable.

  2. I can kind of understand urgent updates being forced on users - to not just protect the individual but also the herd (and if managed well without removing anything/ feature/ etc other than the nefarious issue) (Not saying I’d like it either - but understand.)

    But the clown n dagger approach? Not good.

  3. Erwin says:

    Those new iPhones don’t look that different or exciting. I was hoping for USB-C.

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