Wednesday Morning News

An Apple Newsroom post tells us about Apple’s partnership with Tiffany and Co to source gold sustainably, from local miners that are committed to restore and improve the land that they’re operating on when they’re done. Apple says they’re continuing to use recycled materials wherever possible, like the aluminium in the Mac mini and the MacBook Air, but at the same time ensuring that they’re responsibly sourcing materials that are harder to reuse.

Changes in iOS 13 will allow Siri to play music, podcasts, audiobooks, and radio from third-party apps, and it’s said that Apple and Spotify are discussing whether that means Siri will be able to play Spotify content. According to The Information, Apple Music will still be the default music streaming service on iOS devices, but Siri will play nicely with Spotify so Apple aren’t seen as anti-competitive or favouring their own products and services over those from other companies.

Apple is opening up university student IDs in Apple Wallet to more US-based universities, allowing students to add their student ID cards to Apple Wallet to get into buildings, buy lunch, and more. Apple is adding support for CBORD, Allegion, and HID-branded devices and campus credentials to allow even more students to add their student IDs to Apple Wallet, which also works with Apple Wallet’s Express Travel Pass to allow usage without having to verify with Face ID, Touch ID, or even having an app open or the device unlocked.

Apple’s Maps data revamp has spread across the US, with northeastern cities and states getting higher-quality mapping data and visuals from the results of ground-based surveys and people driving around in vans. Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Maine now have the updated maps, joining Texas, Louisiana, and south Mississippi which received updated maps last week.

Macworld reminds us that although there’s a lot of hype around Apple Card, there’s a few aspects that shouldn’t be overlooked. In terms of benefits, the Apple Card falls into the middle ground, and for the most part, it’s just another credit card, albeit targeted at a financial system that’s somewhat worse off than what we have in Australia. Yes, it has some nice integrations and perks, but it’s not magic.

9to5Mac wonders what Apple’s motivations in podcasting are. Now that competitors are starting to look into podcasting, there are rumours that Apple may start funding original podcasts. But why? Perhaps it’s about offering a breadth of content — with Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, maybe someone is more likely to stay in the Apple ecosystem. Or maybe it’s just about offering an original podcast offering alongside Apple’s other programming in the form of Apple TV+.

Parallels Desktop 15 is out for new and existing customers, with the biggest change being the use of Metal graphics API to power DirectX in Windows. There’s changes to better support the upcoming release of macOS Catalina (as both hosts and a guest), as well as better transitions between Windows and macOS software, otherwise known as Parallels’ "Coherence" mode.

Ditto is a cool new tvOS app that lets you mirror up to four devices simultaneously to one Apple TV. AirPlay only lets you broadcast one device to an Apple TV at a time, but for those times that you want to display more than one device, Ditto should do the trick. While there’s a free 30-day trial available, you’ll need to subscribe to continue using it.

AirPower may go down as one of Apple’s most high-profile cancelled projects in history, but that hasn’t stopped other companies from taking (some) of AirPower’s ideas and integrating them into their own. Courant’s latest wireless charger only has five Qi charging coils compared to AirPower’s rumoured 32, but the premise of being able to place up to two devices pretty much anywhere on the charging mat is still there.

If you’re still looking for a Mac-based RSS reader, NetNewsWire 5 is now in beta, developed by the same person that originally came up with the NetNewsWire name. Download it and give it a spin to see how you can get updates from your favourite websites without algorithms influencing what you see and what you don’t!

Notable Replies

  1. kyte says:

    Nice. I have used a bazillion different RSS readers, NetNewsWire was the first. I dont have a current licence for it but if its free, now, I guess I’ll give it another whirl. Newsbar and Reeder are the most recent for me, but neither seemed to hit the spot.

    [edit] Although, with requiring Mojave… I shan’t be able to use it on my MacBook running Sierra. Maybe I should have another attempt at dosdude1’s patch.

  2. I would love to see Apple offer Security Cards to businesses as well as travel cards (Opal/Myki etc) as a more open platform, even if it’s in restricted circumstances. Of course it would also require business to get on board with passes on personal devices, something many struggle with even though I’d argue they are far more secure, far less likely to be lost and just as easy to cancel as a physical card… one day.

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