Rumour has it Apple has acquired privacy-focused AI startup Silk Labs. The company developed on-device machine learning services and software, processing data without sending it over the internet, something that Apple themselves currently does. While Apple hasn’t confirmed the acquisition in their normal way, the company only had a dozen employees and was relatively unknown.
The Sydney Morning Herald has the inside story on Apple News curation as it pertains to Australia, telling us about Apple News’ Australian editors that reaches 5 million Australians every month, with Australia being one of the three countries that has access to Apple News, and Sydney being one of the four international outposts of Apple news editors. But why Apple is now in the news business is a little more complex, with editors saying that while many publications can choose to publish on Apple News, its the editors jobs to surface the best, unbiased, balanced, content.
There aren’t any third-party, MFI-certified, USB-C to Lightning cables, and that’s mostly on Apple, given that they don’t currently sell the official Lightning parts or offer MFI certification to third parties. That may change in mid 2019, but even then we might not see an untangling of the USB-C bag of hurt, with various power delivery wattages supported and different capabilities from cable to cable, meaning that it seem unlikely iPhones will make the switch anytime soon.
A security vulnerability found in iOS 12.1 was exploited by a pair of hackers at this year’s Mobile Pwn2Own contest to retrieve a recently deleted photo. Hackers used a malicious Wi-Fi access point and leveraged an exploit found in Mobile Safari’s JIT compiler to remotely retrieve a photo that had been sent to the “recently deleted” album — something that users have access to do themselves.
Over at Six Colors, Jason Snell’s review of the 2018 iPad Pro has a slightly different take on the whole “iPad is a computer” conversation that’s been happening recently. Snell writes that even though Apple’s message is that the iPad Pro is in the same league as computers, it’s an altogether different sort of computer, one that introduces new paradigms and ways of working that mean it can replace your laptop — if it wasn’t let down by its software.
An issue affecting some Apple IDs surfaced yesterday, where Apple device owners found that their Apple ID had become locked through no action of their own. Unlocking an Apple ID requires answering security questions and entering a phone number, although it’s unknown why the Apple IDs became locked in the first place. Apple can lock Apple IDs out for security purposes, but it’s unclear whether that has happened here.
A teardown of the new iPad Pro shows that while Apple’s magical slab of glass is just made up of hardware after all, iPads remain resolutely difficult to repair. Like many iPads that have come before it, the new iPad Pro has liberal use of glue throughout, and while some components like the new USB-C port are modular and can be replaced easily enough, you still probably won’t want to go through the rigamarole of taking off the display and glass to do it yourself.
IFixit’s teardown of the 2018 MacBook Air (are we calling this thing the Retina MacBook Air, or what?) shows us many similarities to Apple laptops that have come before. And so it should, given that this year’s MacBook Air update is mostly about it getting features other Mac laptops have had for years now, including Apple’s latest butterfly keyboard, Force Touch trackpad, and Apple’s T2 security chip.
The good news is, the battery in the Retina MacBook Air can be replaced separately. Previous MacBook and MacBook Pros have required entire top case replacements including keyboard and trackpad whenever a battery replacement was required, as pointed out by MacRumors, due to Apple gluing the battery into the top case. While the battery in Retina MacBook Airs is still glued to the top case, Apple will be providing Apple Stores and Apple Authorised Service Providers with the tools necessary to remove and reinstall a new battery.
Reviews of the 2018 MacBook Air and 2018 Mac mini are out, and even though both have a storied history, we’ll start with the Mac mini. Marco Arment uses the Mac mini as many people do, as a home server. Arment says there’s almost nothing worse and almost everything better about the new Mac mini, which is the ideal Mac update. The form factor is the same, which he says is the right tradeoff for the performance and ports the Mac mini now offers, all of which is enough to move the Mac mini more into general-purpose desktop territory than relegating it to home server duty. It’s a fantastic little computer.