Benny Ling

Thursday Morning News

We haven’t heard all that much about Marzipan since it was released, but today Bloomberg speculates that Apple may use the framework to combine Mac, iPad, and iPhone apps by 2021. You can see the appeal, both for developers and for Apple: by allowing developers to create apps that run across each of Apple’s hardware platforms, it will hopefully allow for developers to write code once, encouraging a broader variety of software on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. There are still a number of technical hurdles to make this a reality, but with Apple potentially moving Macs to ARM in around the same timeframe, perhaps this is all closer than we think.

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Tuesday Morning News

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has emptied the magazine, letting loose with Apple rumours left, right, and centre. While we’ve already heard about some of his predictions for Apple hardware this year, new stuff includes a completely redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro, a ceramic Apple Watch when the fifth generation is released later this year, and a 31-inch 6K display that will mark Apple’s return to the professional display scene. The rest we’ve more or less heard about already or can expect given Apple’s usual hardware release cadence, including updated iPads, iPad Pros, iPod touch, iPhones, AirPods, and the upcoming Mac Pro which will be "easy to upgrade".

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Monday Night News

Off the back of the annual Six Colors Apple report card, rating Apple’s performance across its key businesses, John Gruber has his own Apple report card with additional commentary on how Apple did. While I think it’s a little harsh to give a poor rating when one area particularly sucked and the rest are only so-so, I can see the justification. Relative to the rest of the ratings, the Mac’s overall D grade is in line with the A the iPhone received, the B for iPad and Apple Watch, along with a number of other Apple-related aspects that garnered no remarks.

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Friday Morning News

Variety reports that there’s a good chance we’ll see some clips from Apple’s original programming at their as-yet-unconfirmed March event, even though the launch of Apple’s streaming video service is still months away. While we’re likely to get news about Apple’s news subscription service at next month’s event, Apple is expected to ask its partners for some kind of marketing campaign before the launch of its streaming video service, which is itself expected to have content from Apple’s original programming efforts, as well as content from its launch partners.

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Thursday Morning News

Buzzfeed claims Apple is planning an event for March 25, where we will likely see Apple unveil its news subscription service. No mention of Apple’s video streaming service, and upgraded AirPods hardware and new iPads are also unlikely to get any keynote time. Rumour has it that Apple’s news subscription will be $10 per month, with Apple taking half that and passing the rest onto publishers, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Wednesday Morning News

The schedule for the McEnery Convention Centre in San Jose gives us some clue as to when WWDC will happen this year. A 2019 events calendar from the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs lists a "Team San Jose 2019 WWDC" event on June 6, organised by Apple, providing evidence to when this year’s WWDC bash will take place. A little extrapolation says that WWDC will be held from June 3-7, which looks to be roughly the same timeframe as previous years.

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Tuesday Morning News

Additional details of Apple’s proposed retail location in Melbourne’s Federation Square have been posted online. You’ll remember that the original Pizza Hut-style pagoda drew criticism from pretty much everyone for not being in theme with other Federation Square architecture. While the new design is much more modern and incorporates double-story sliding glass panes across its four storeys, there’s also a reduced footprint to allow for more public space and foot traffic.

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Monday Morning News

Apple released iOS 12.1.4 last week, fixing an issue with Group FaceTime which allowed the calling party to surreptitiously listen in on their callee’s audio. The security content of iOS 12.1.4 tells us about all four CVEs included with the update, crediting both the teenager that first reported the issue to Apple, as well as Texas-based software engineer who also reported the issue to Apple. Apple also says they will be compensating 14-year old Grant Thompson for discovering the issue under Apple’s public bug bounty program, as well as contributing to his education.

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Good Reads for January, 2019

Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of automatically attractive reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes they’ll be comparisons about the difference 10 years makes when it comes to app design, interviews with Apple execs, or running commentary on the state of Apple technology as it affects us today. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • We kick off Good Reads this year with a visual comparison of apps since the introduction of the App Store way back in 2008. While we’re now past the 10th year of the App Store, the recent introduction of the 10 Year Challenge is a good opportunity to see the changed design paradigms of iOS apps, whether that’s less typing input overall, less prominent buttons to interact with, or even changes to overall navigation style. We have larger screens than ever before, and at times, that means more of a focus on content, as shown on the Flawless blog on Medium.

Just last year App Store celebrated its 10th birthday. In 2008 it launched with 552 apps and some of them are still live inside your iPhones. Time has passed and design trends have changed dramatically. #10yearchallenge is a good opportunity to see how fast the evolution is and notice changes in the oldest iOS apps. Can you spot the difference?

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Friday Morning News

Just when you thought a major bug in Group FaceTime was set to be the biggest Apple news story of the month, Facebook comes along, says "hold my beer", and gets their Enterprise Developer Certificate revoked by Apple for abuse of the Enterprise Developer Program as part of their ongoing mission to collect more and more personal data. It all started when TechCrunch published details of Facebook’s Project Atlas, a scheme which turned out to target teenagers between 13-17, collecting private messages, chat logs, emails, web activity and history, and ongoing location information, paying them a meagre $20 per month for their personal data which Facebook collected under the guise of "Facebook Research", intended to gain insights on usage patterns and trends.

Once the story broke, Apple PR responded: "We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data."

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