Benny Ling

Thursday Morning News

After just one day in court, Apple and Qualcomm have agreed to drop all litigation worldwide, with the two companies reaching a global patent license agreement and chipset license agreement. Apple’s press release on the issue uses surprisingly positive language in telling us about Qualcomm’s achievements, which makes me wonder: what kind of internal discussions needed to happen at both companies behind closed doors to get to where we are today?

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Tuesday Morning News

Details have been shared with 9to5Mac regarding what may be included in this year’s version of iOS. According to their sources, iOS 13 will include a system-wide dark mode, and multitude of multitasking improvements on the iPad, including the ability for apps to have multiple windows. There will be a new undo gesture that won’t require physically shaking your device, as well as better detection for when websites continue serving up mobile-optimised versions, even when you’re on a larger screen like the iPad. Last but not least, there’s also a new volume HUD which will be great for everyone that’s ever adjusted the volume while a video is playing.

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Monday Morning News

The latest update to Apple’s clean energy program include 44 Apple suppliers that have committed to run their Apple-related production activities on 100% clean energy. That’s nearly twice as many as Apple had previously, which will allow the company to beat its previous goal of bringing 4 gigawatts of renewable energy into its supply chain by 2020. Although Apple’s global operations are now run on 100% renewable energy, and have been for a year now, manufacturing accounts for 74% of Apple’s overall carbon footprint, so it’s just as important that Apple continues to work with suppliers committed to using renewable energy.

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Thursday Morning News

Judging from the rumours, it seems the breakup of iTunes is really happening this time, despite this being one of the most long-standing Apple rumours around. According to multiple sources, standalone Music, Podcasts, and TV apps are going to be included in the next version of macOS set to be revealed at WWDC in June, with developer Guilherme Rambo now saying on 9to5Mac that the new apps will be built using Marzipan. Although new apps will be introduced, it’s expected that iTunes will be sticking around for a little longer.

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Tuesday Morning News

The internet is up in arms over the fact the Netflix iOS app no longer supports AirPlay. Netflix confirmed the feature’s removal over the weekend, saying "technical limitations" now prevent iOS devices from streaming video to Apple TV, despite the feature being available since 2013 and working well up until last weekend. A further explanation from Netflix says that the change was due to them not being able to get information on the kind of device Netflix video was being shown on, as more and more devices become AirPlay compatible, but that seems like more of an excuse than an actual reason.

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Monday Morning News

Heritage Victoria has rejected Federation Square management’s proposal to demolish the Yarra Building to make way for an Apple Retail location in its place. According to The Age, Heritage Victoria said that the proposed Apple Store design would have been "visually dominant", and the demolition of the Yarra Building would have diminished the public square. An Apple spokesperson has said that the company would no longer be pursuing its plan for a location in Federation Square, which presumably means no Melbourne CBD Apple Store for the foreseeable future.

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Thursday Morning News

The New York Times has some particularly introspective reporting on Apple’s media ambitions this morning. Despite not joining up to Apple’s News+ subscription service due to wanting to have their brand remain separate from every other publication in Apple News, The New York Times makes a good point about Apple’s one low price for all-you-can-eat news and magazines a great selling point for casual consumers. Price is also probably why a number of outlets did join forces with Apple to be available on hundreds of millions of devices worldwide.

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Wednesday Morning News

Optus now carries the distinction of first Australian telco to support eSIM on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. There are a few caveats, including needing to go into an Optus store to purchase an eSIM QR code to activate your new eSIM, and the fact that the eSIM has to be tied to an Optus post-paid plan. But the advantages of being able to have two phone numbers in your mobile likely outweigh the small hoops you have to jump through to get it all setup. Optus doesn’t appear on Apple’s support page for wireless carriers that support eSIM, but that’s not too unsurprising given the fact that I have seen no press about this feature.

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Monday Morning News

Late last week, Apple announced it had cancelled its AirPower wireless charging mat project. In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple said that AirPower would not achieve its own high standards, leading to the overall cancellation of the project entirely. While Apple says that they continue to believe in a wireless future, evidently a charging mat with multiple — even many — charging coils proved too difficult of a technological hurdle for the world’s biggest tech company. The whole saga makes me wonder why they pre-announced it in the first place, why they waited so long to tell us what was going on, and why AirPower leaks and rumours were happening in the weeks leading up to last week’s Apple event.

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Good Reads for March, 2019

Every month, we’ll bring you a handful of carefully curated, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Some will be commentary on the sad state of logging bugs for Apple, others will lament Apple’s one-size-fits-all strategy for certain accessories, while others still may speculate on Apple’s strategy with regard to various aspects of their business. All I know is, bring your Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • March saw the release of updated AirPods hardware. Now with optional wireless charging case and a new wireless chip for always-on Hey Siri capabilities as well as a little more talk time, Apple’s AirPods can now be seen everywhere. The tiny earbuds have exploded in popularity seemingly overnight, and GQ spoke to Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive to try and find out why. As it turns out, there’s a lot to like about AirPods, but it’s more than that, too. When Ive was asked about why using AirPods for the first time leaves you looking like a puppy might look at a butterfly, he said:

I think this was common on the initial reaction to the AirPods—it’s a reaction based on an academic understanding of them, rather than a practical daily understanding of them. What we tend to focus on are those attributes that are easy to talk about, and just because we talk about them doesn’t mean that they’re the important attributes. All that means is they’re the ones that are easy to talk about.

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