Saturday Morning News

Apple locks batteries on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR to the device, preventing third-party battery replacements (even with genuine Apple parts) from being correctly recognised by iOS, resulting in no battery health information being displayed. Apple’s statement to iMore’s Rene Ritchie on the issue says that it wants to protect customers from damaged, poor quality, or used batteries, saying that the informational message does not impact the usage of a device after an unauthorised repair.

In other battery news, the US Federal Aviation Administration has banned MacBook Pros with recalled batteries from flights, singling out devices like it did with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7. But The Verge says this is standard procedure for the FAA, who bans any device with recalled batteries, whether they’re smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Seeing as there’s no way to visually tell which mid-2015 15-inch MacBook Pros are affected, it’s unclear if any action will be taken at airports, unless you’re telling me that the TSA will now be typing the serial number of your MacBook Pro into Apple’s support webpage before allowing it onboard.

Vodafone now supports provisioning eSIMs on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR. Their page on eSIM support says you can change from a physical SIM to an eSIM in-store, which then frees up your SIM card slot for another number (or vice versa). While Optus has had eSIM support since April, Vodafone’s official eSIM support for the latest iPads puts them slightly ahead of the game in this regard. Interestingly, Apple’s own support page on Australian telcos with eSIM support hasn’t been updated, but I’m not too surprised — like Optus’ eSIM support, this is an exceptionally quiet telco launch.

The seventh developer beta of iOS 13, iPadOS 13, tvOS 13 and watchOS 6 has been released by Apple, closely followed by the sixth public beta. It’s unusual for an update to be released on a Friday, but maybe we’re just getting closer to general availability. MacRumors covers the very minor visual changes so far.

One possible reason for a Friday release is that new iPhones will be released soon. A file discovered in the latest beta suggests new iPhones will be announced on September 10, which gives us a few weeks before invites need to be sent out and Apple confirms an iPhone event in September. It seems likely that new iPhones will launch with iOS 13, so if Apple wants the general availability release date of iOS 13 to be around that time, the Friday beta update makes sense.

Apple has sued Corellium, a virtualisation company offering perfect replicas of iOS devices aimed at security researchers. For once, it’s Apple doing the suing, saying that Corellium has infringed on its copyrights in its copied versions of iOS devices, saying that the code, graphical user interface, icons, everything has been taken wholesale and is being sold by Corellium to its customers, who can then go on to discover potential security issues and sell them on the market instead of reporting them to Apple.

9to5Mac reports App Store editorials are now available on the web, with App Store Preview pages now showing the full story instead of just a preview and a redirect telling you to open the App Store on your iOS device. It’s good news for those that wanted access to read the stories behind the apps, or check out the app recommendations from an actual computer instead of spending time in the App Store app. Although you’ll still need to get an App Store story link in the first place, which makes it a far cry from being a browse-able web site of App Store stories, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

MacStories breaks down all the advantages of Sidecar on macOS 10.15 Catalina and iPadOS 13, which seems like it will be one of the major features that prompt people to upgrade to both software platforms. It’s a serious step up in terms of Mac and iPad interaction, and there are basically no downsides — even the list of Macs that official support Sidecar is easily bypassed, if you know what you’re doing, and like the best Apple features, it just works.

NSHipster has a breakdown of the macOS Accessibility Keyboard, which is a software keyboard that comes with a customisable layout if you need a little more flexibility. This customisability opens up a whole host of interesting applications if you’re not afraid of a little behind-the-scenes scripting, from boilerplate/canned responses, to a soundboard, to pretty much anything else that you can access and use via AppleScript.

Last but not least, the weirdest piece of news from the week is that iJustine now hosts Final Cut Pro X training. The course, iJustine teaches FCPX, is available on the Mac App Store and covers FCPX basics in a 16-part course, complete with some of her own videos to use as editing material. What a world we live in.

Notable Replies

  1. Erwin says:

    Wow, weekend issue too - thanks!

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