iOS 10.3 and macOS, watchOS and tvOS updates

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Let’s start with iOS 10.3. The new version adds Find my AirPods and we already covered what you can expect from the new feature. You can see them on a map if they’re connected to an iOS device or you can play an alarm if you have an AirPod hidden below a stack of magazines. And if they’re not around, you can see the last location when your phone was connected to your AirPods.

With iOS 10.3, Apple is rethinking ratings in the App Store with native review prompts and the ability to reply for developers. iOS 10.3 also adds a couple of new Siri features, such as cricket sports scores. There are also various improvements, such as a thread view in Mail and dynamic app icons. More at 9To5Mac.

Some good updates here. Sadly my iMac is too old for Night Shift- not sure what else is limited to newer Macs, but will explore.

Touch ID and Siri helped a boy save his mother’s life

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While much of the credit here goes to the parents who presumably taught the boy what to do in an emergency, and to the child for remaining calm and calling for help, it’s likely that the two iPhone features played an important role. Touch ID meant that the child was able to access the iPhone without needing to know or remember his mother’s passcode, and Siri provided an easier way to call emergency services than having to load the Phone app, select the keypad tab and dial the numbers manually… More at 9To5Mac.

Cool kid and a testament to how easy these features are to use.

Turn your iPhone or iPad into a full-fledged touchscreen laptop

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As published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple’s application for an “Electronic accessory device” describes the company’s take on an oft-attempted, but never fully realized idea.

Specifically, the IP covers a “thin” accessory, a kind of “headless” device that contains traditional laptop hardware like a large display, physical keyboard, GPU, ports and more, but is incapable of functioning without a host. In this case, an iPhone or iPad would slot into the laptop-esque piece of kit to fill the role of CPU.

Aesthetically, Apple’s proposed hardware would be akin to a MacBook, with aluminum mentioned as an ideal enclosure material… More at Apple Insider.

It would be easy to say that we have seen this all before and that products like this have been overtaken by phones and tablets. Unless there is a way to add lots of pro power to a phone in a device like this and to maybe charge it etc, I fear that its future could be limited.

Apple’s surprising(ish) updates

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I’m not sure that the title is correct, but I would be interested to know what you thought of Apple’s hardware updates yesterday.

The fact that there was no event is understandable because these were relatively minor changes, but just maybe it means that there are much bigger changes on the way. Then again, if that were the case why make these changes?

It is hard to know what Apple is aiming for in 2017 after a lacklustre 2016, but I remain hopeful that at least a couple of products will excite us in a big way.

  • The PRODUCT (RED) iPhone 7 is an iPhone 7 and it is red. OK, moving on.
  • The new iPad, yes it is called iPad, replaces the iPad Air 2 and is cheaper, has an A9 chip and it is bigger. It has gained 1.4mm in thickness and 32 grams in weight which could be very important because it shows that Apple can bend when it comes to portability. This is obviously not the device to kickstart iPad sales, but the price drop may help a little.
  • An 128GB iPhone SE is welcome of course, but at a price that is higher than the 64GB version which has been dropped from the line. In the UK, for example, the new 32GB model costs the same as the old 16GB model whereas the 128GB model costs £40 more than the old 64GB model. Have things not moved on in a year to the point that the 128GB model could not receive a price increase? I also wonder if 7 specs would have been included if Apple was really serious about continuing the SE range long into the future.
  • A selection of new Apple Watch bands has been announced alongside the cutting down of default bands. This of course makes sense from a costs point of view, but £49 is a lot for such an item. In fact, it is way too much in comparison to a £5 set of adaptors and a really good quality watch strap, and I mean better quality than what Apple is offering here.
  • The new Clips app is a surprise and may offer some fun. Presumably it will be a default app in future iPhones.

So, that’s it. A few small updates which were rightly marketed in a small way, but what does this tell us about what Apple will do in the rest of 2017? I’m really not sure.

 

I’m kind of sick of some of the bullshit Apple spin…

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Pardon the language that follows, I’ve been drinking, but just a little 😀

I can JUST see Apple’s point, they don’t want to support some of this stuff forever, but does it really hurt anything?

I’m kind of sick of some of the bullshit Apple spin. “Turning on Wi-Fi will improve location accuracy.”, what does that even mean in a world of accurate GPS? Best I can figure is its “lets us build our wifi database so we can tell folks where they are even if they aren’t using GPS”? Is that what it is? Then man up and say it Apple. Or am I misunderstanding?

But back to the point: bad 32 bit performance. Sure, like an app designed to run well on a 2009 chip is going to struggle today just because of the number of bits.

They’re too chickenshit to say “even though this app runs fine, we can’t be arsed to keep up the drivers, we don’t want to be microsoft (always anxious to avoid giving users an excuse to not upgrade) and even though you have apps that are working fine and that you love, they didn’t make enough money for the developer – or for us! on an ONGOING basis, so fuck them and fuck you and the app you love that will only be replaced by a somewhat shittier version, if you’re lucky”

Go ahead, fuck me over Apple, but don’t pretend you’re whispering sweet nothings in my ear with that “oh this app might have performance problems, go talk to the developer” horse shit.

It will be interesting to see the list 10.3 makes. LOL, would be great if they had “people who were sad this app is going away bought this replacement instead” big data helper in that interface – because the whole problem is that developers go away, and sometimes perfectly lovely apps don’t pay their own way in developer time. Kirk

I think Kirk is right on two points. It would take minimal effort to support these apps and you really should not make comments on websites when you have been drinking;)

50 Apple Watch Face and App Concepts

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The good news is that tons of talented designers on Dribbble are trying their hand at designing either a custom Watch face or full-blown app. Here are some of our favorites so far… More at Creative Market.

This is an old article, but the fact remains that Apple is still very stringent when it comes to customising the Apple Watch. Surely the next update will allow downloadable faces.

Non-stop Hi-Res Music while Wireless Charging

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Everyone has seen many jokes and videos made about the lack of phone jack on iPhone 7. You could put a 3.5 mm to a lightning adapter, but that would mean you cannot charge the phone at the same time.

The RES converter was designed as a solution for dual charging and listening. Instead of purchasing completely new add-ons, The RES external digital-to-analog converter (Hi-Res DAC 24 bits 192kHz) attaches to 3.5mm jack and lightning ports, allowing you to play audio and stay charged around the clock… More at kickstarter.

Potentially a very good product and especially if the sound is markedly improved. Would like to see a more original design though. It looks a bit clunky to me.