Benny Ling

Wednesday Morning News

New MacBook Airs and 13-inch MacBook Pros are the order of the day. The new MacBook Air gets a True Tone display and a lower price, now starting at $1,699. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, on the other hand, gets a price increase of $100, but at the same time gets the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, Touch Bar with Touch ID as standard on all models, and a True Tone display, just like the MacBook Air. Apple’s Newsroom post highlights lower prices for college students, but the education discounts seem the same as they always have.

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Tuesday Morning News

Leaked photos of what’s purported to be the logic board for one of this year’s iPhones show off a rectangular logic board design. While that makes it more likely to be the iPhone XR successor’s logic board, that’s not saying that Apple could redesign the XS and XS Max successors to have rectangular-shaped logic boards. There’s a different layout of chips and circuitry compared to current logic board designs, but that’s about all we can glean from the shots.

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Monday Morning News

The latest rumour from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will transition away from its Butterfly switches keyboard design, which should just about be the best possible news that we’ve heard from Apple in a while. Kuo claims that a refreshed MacBook Air, to be released later this year, will become the first laptop to move back to a more traditional scissor switch design, offering both longer key travel and added durability via a new glass-fibre mechanism. It’s also likely that an updated MacBook Pro will use the new scissor switches, but not until 2020.

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Thursday Morning News

"History will not be kind to Jony Ive" writes Vice, which seems like a damn shame for a designer that has accomplished so much, and yet will be remembered for making devices hard to repair and impossible to upgrade. While it’s absolutely true that Apple products have become less user-repairable and less user-upgradeable than their predecessors under Ive’s oversight of design at Apple, to pin it all on one man when Apple is an institution seems like an extremely long bow to draw.

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Wednesday Morning News

An Apple Newsroom post shares how the Australian Women’s Cricket Team is using the Apple Watch to track activity and workout data to improve player performance. By utilising an app developed by the Australian Institute of Sport, members of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team have more access to their workout data, allowing coaches and mentors to ensure they’re not overdoing it and risking potential injury, while at the same time being more accountable for the training and energy they are putting in.

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Monday Night News

Make no mistake: Sir Jony Ive is leaving Apple, and John Gruber’s take on the situation is that there’s more than one way to see this. Either you think that Ive is to blame for all of Apple’s missteps of late, particularly in an era of ever-thinner and lighter devices, or that Ive has checked out of Apple for a while now, and all of Apple’s recent product designs haven’t had as much of his influence as they once had. The most interesting take, however, is that without a product guy at the helm, without someone to make those decisions about what products/design are good, and what are bad, Apple may be in the more trouble than we realise.

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Good Reads for June, 2019

Every month, we’ll be bringing you a handful of fantastically formatted, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes they’ll be postulation on Apple’s strategies for its hardware and software platforms, unanswered questions about recent major Apple product reveals, or detailed explanations on how Apple is pushing the privacy and security boundaries with one of their latest features. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • MacStories kicks us off this month with their piece telling us about the differences between Catalyst and SwiftUI. While there’s a lot to be said for Apple revealing two major methods of building apps at the same WWDC, the two are actually very separate in what they’re supposed to do. The dichotomy between Catalyst and SwiftUI, as explained by John Vorhees, gives us some idea of where this is all headed, even if that that future has only just begun.

So, if Catalyst isn’t fully automatic and SwiftUI is the future of UI development across all Apple’s platforms, why introduce Catalyst now? The answer lies in a product realignment of the Mac and iPad relative to each other and the rest of Apple’s product line that’s designed to address weaknesses in both platforms’ software ecosystems.

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Friday Morning News

If you can handle a few bugs here and there, a few unfinished bits and pieces, Cnet’s hands-on with the iPadOS public beta spins quite a yarn about the sheer potential of an iPad freed from many of the encumbrances of iOS that, some say, were holding it back. OK, so maybe that’s stretching it a little. But ask anyone who has used an iPad as their daily driver, and they’ll tell you that all the improvements and changes to the iPad as part of iPadOS are more than welcome on a platform that is basically unparalleled, as far as competitors go.

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Thursday Morning News

Apple has fired back at Spotify’s claims of anti-competitive behaviour, saying that Spotify is already an outlier in terms of the fees it does pay to Apple. According to Apple, none of Spotify’s paying subscribers pay the standard 30% cut to Apple, with 680,000 paying just 15% — 0.5% of Spotify’s total paying subscriber base. Apple’s argument here is that Spotify seems to be growing just fine, despite whatever claims they have against Apple’s App Store being unfair to developers, pointing out that Spotify opted-out of in-app payments back in 2016 entirely by their own choice.

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Tuesday Morning News

Research firm IHS Market is claiming that Apple will release its previously-rumoured 16-inch MacBook Pro in September this year. They claim that the LCD display for this laptop will be supplied by LG, coming in at a resolution of 3072×1920 pixels, a modest increase over the current 2880×1800 resolution of the current 15-inch MacBook Pro. Although it’s said that this new MacBook Pro will come with a new processor, that’s about all we know so far, and I think the only thing that people will really care about is whether it still comes with a Touch Bar, and perhaps more importantly, that divisive keyboard.

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