Apple has announced the winners of its Shot on iPhone contest, with the ten shots being shared via Apple’s press releases portal. While there aren’t any Australian winners amongst the ten, I like all of the photos, although I’m a little surprised at how only two feature people as the primary subject. Get used to seeing the shots, because they’ll soon be making their way to a billboard or Apple Store near you.
Apple has confirmed they will be closing two Apple Stores in northern Texas. Speculation from multiple sources claims they’re doing so to limit the potential for litigation from patent-holding companies, with the Eastern District of Texas where the stores are located being notorious for its friendliness towards patent holders. Apple, for their part, is directing customers to a new store opening April 13, across the jurisdictional border in the Northern District of Texas.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.