Rumours regarding this year’s iPad Pros say the device is unlikely to have a regular headphone jack. While the display size is expected to stay the same, a minor reduction in body size will hopefully mean Apple is reducing the bezels on those devices even further. Face ID on the iPad Pro will be portrait-only, like it is on the iPhone X, and Apple will also be moving the Smart Connector to the lower edge of the device near the Lightning port, prompting a possible change for this year’s iPad Pro Smart Keyboard.
Every month, we’ll be bringing you a handful of whimsically wordier reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes these will be reviews of their latest laptop, inside stories from the annals of Apple history, or even timely republished interviews with Steve Jobs following the just-passed tenth anniversary of the App Store. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- July saw the first hardware update to Apple’s laptop lineup since June last year. Depending on which way you look at it, Apple’s timing was either perfect or way off the mark, as the refreshed 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro somehow managed to land right in the middle of a cacophony of keyboard-related complaints. The good news is, both machines got slightly more than the usual speed bump, making them the fastest and most secure Mac laptops ever released. As for keyboard reliability, while Apple’s stuck to their butterfly-switched guns and added a silicon barrier to prevent dust and debris from throwing a spanner in the proverbial works, it remains to be seen what long-term reliability is like. Samuel Axon from Ars Technica has the full review.
From marketing to design decisions, we can see exactly which professional users Apple targeted with this refresh: video editors, software developers, music producers, photographers, and, to a lesser degree, scientific researchers. The refresh doesn’t necessarily serve every kind of professional who has ever wanted a high-performance Mac, but it generally does an admirable job of offering something to get excited about for people in a wide range of professions.
If you’ll recall, Apple is rumoured to be releasing three iPhones this year. Two will have OLED displays in 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch sizes, while the third will be a 6.1-inch LCD version, with all sporting the same edge-to-edge display design as the iPhone X. Now analysts are claiming Apple will possibly delay the release of the middle sized LCD iPhone by one month due to suspected manufacturing issues to do with backlight bleed.
This morning’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update for MacBook Pro improves the stability and reliability of 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, but that’s just what it says on the box. What it actually does is fix the MacBook Pro CPU throttling issue. This morning’s patch is expected to result in more consistent performance across the board, with Apple attributing the performance dips to a missing digital key in the machine’s thermal management system.
A series of Apple internal repair videos have leaked via a YouTube channel that uploaded the videos about a month ago. They’re for current products like the iMac Pro and the iPhone X and cover topics such as re-calibrating 3D Touch and replacing the speaker and battery in the iPhone X, so I’m surprised Apple hasn’t taken down the videos. Then again, it was just a weekend in the US, so either watch or download them now.
The launch of a new clean energy fund in China is a bit of positive news for Apple. Ten suppliers and Apple will invest a total of US $300 million over the next four years into what’s being called the China Clean Energy Fund, to invest and develop clean energy projects in China to both increase the use of renewable energy in Apple’s supply chain and address climate change as a whole. It’s hoped that the clean energy fund will allow smaller suppliers easier access to clean, renewable energy.
One of the available CPU options on the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro is a 6-core Core i9 processor running at 2.9GHz from Intel’s eight-generation family of processors. While this yields the best performance we’ve ever seen from a Mac laptop, a video on YouTube now claims the thermal design of the laptop results in the chip throttling down under load. Thermal throttling is normal, but this particular issue seems to be that we’ve never seen this much thermal throttling before.
In what’s probably the first component leak for this year’s iPhones, we now have a single picture of what’s purported to be the glass panels of the 2018 iPhones. They all have the same edge-to-edge screen design across the board, with a small notch section at the top of each that will likely include the components for Face ID, proximity sensor, front-facing camera, and the earpiece.
Key sales executives have left Apple’s operations in India, following lacklustre sales of iPhones in the region. Bloomberg’s reporting on the issue paints a grim picture for Apple’s sales strategy in a market that seems more attracted to the cheapest devices possible and not necessarily what’s “best”. Selling devices a few generations old in an attempt to hit key price points was always going to be a bit of a bet, but it’s possible that this will turn out to be more of a stumble than a stall.
According to Bloomberg, Adobe will soon be launching Photoshop for iPad. It’ll be shown off at a preview event in October, slated for general availability sometime in 2019. The move represents a different approach to mobile device strategy for the company that has thus far seen fit to mostly ignore the iPad, as smaller apps fill the gap left by the industry-standard image editing application, but I guess better late than never.