Wednesday Morning News

It’s a bit of a stretch in terms of timeline, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest research note claims Apple may debut an iPhone with in-screen Touch ID as soon as 2021. According to Kuo, who has now released a rumour that isn’t about this year’s or even next year’s iPhone, it’s possible that the critical technical issues that prevent Apple from releasing a device with both Touch ID and Face ID will be solved over the next 12-18 months, allowing for an iPhone with both authentication methods built in.

Kuo also says that whatever increased tariffs Apple faces by moving production out of the US and back to China will likely be absorbed by the company, leading to no rise in pricing for Apple’s hardware in the US. Kuo predicts that Apple will continue to invest in production outside of China as well, although it’s unclear whether he means additional Asia-based production, some production going back to the US, or even some combination of the two.

The latest from Digitimes is that Apple will launch 5G MacBooks in the second half of 2020. While many other laptop manufacturers already offer laptops with built-in mobile data capabilities, Lenovo, HP and Dell are set to introduce their own 5G laptops later this year, with Apple following with their own 5G laptops later next year. Apple has never offered a laptop with mobile data connectivity, but perhaps the advantages of 5G will be enough to change all that.

Apple Card launches today in the US, at least for those that signed up to be notified of when it was going to be available. Apple Card Preview, as it’s being called, is a limited release of Apple Card before the full rollout later this month. While there’s a lot of fanfare being made about Apple’s simplified take on the credit card, for those of us with more contemporary banking systems there’s not all that much to get excited about, even though the apps and integration of Apple Card are second to none, if you own an iPhone.

An Apple Support document tells you about how to use Apple Card, including how to see your spending history and how to review individual transactions. The same support article says that for now, Apple Card does not support exporting transactions to third-party apps like financial apps like Mint. Apple has also uploaded videos to its YouTube channel showing you how Apple Card works.

The Apple Card customer agreement has specific restrictions on what you can use the card for and what you can do with your device while you have an Apple Card. Specifically, you won’t be able to use Apple Card on a jailbroken device, nor can you purchase cash, cash equivalents, cryptocurrency, casino chips, or even lottery tickets — all of which aren’t too unusual.

Over in the US, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Apple’s sales agreement with Amazon that squeezed out many independent retailers from the platform. The indies were encouraged to apply for Apple Premium Reseller status to continue selling Apple hardware on Amazon, but that came with minimum requirements which many weren’t able to meet consistently. Now big daddy antitrust has opened the front gate and is walking up to the door, and you better believe he’s going to knock when he has a case.

The iPad Pro has just one USB-C port, but one is all it takes to extend the amount of peripherals you can plug into it. Enter the world of USB-C hubs, which The Verge has helpfully rounded up and given us several different options to choose from depending on what kind of use case you have. Need to plug in everything under the sun? There’s probably a USB-C hub for that.

If you’re concerned about Siri capturing your recorded audio for grading, despite Apple having suspended that program while it works out a more privacy-focused method of doing so, you can turn off Dictation on all your devices to prevent them from recording audio. It seems a little strange to turn off Dictation for a Siri-related feature, but that’s what the Apple blogosphere is saying.

Macworld has reasons for why the Apple Pencil would work on the iPhone, and while it still seems a little silly to use a full-size Apple Pencil on the iPhone, I can see a smaller version allowing for more precise input. There are times when your pudgy fingers don’t cut it, which is when the Apple Pencil will work just fine.

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