Originally published at: http://appletalk.com.au/2018/03/friday-morning-news090318/
A translated rumour from a Taiwanese outlet has a few different rumours. An even cheaper iPad is apparently in the works, giving consumers an even better value entry-level iPad, while speculation says there’s also going to be a 6.1-inch iPhone at a lower price point than ever before, thanks in part to the use of LCD display tech instead of OLED. A more affordable MacBook Air and half-price HomePod are also on the cards for the second half of 2018, even though I think it’s a little early for Apple to be eating into HomePod sales.
Apple has released their 2018 supplier responsibility report. The 12th annual supplier responsibility report details the progress Apple is making towards improving working conditions at supplier facilities, protecting the planet, and ensuring responsible material sourcing. Apple has made a bunch of progress this year, although it doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, with all final iPhone assembly locations now certified as zero waste to landfill and more of Apple’s products now made using renewable energy.
With Apple hosting Everyone Can Code workshops around the world, the learning to code session at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired was the first for blind and visually impaired students. 17 students participated in the workshop, learning to write code on iPads without ever seeing the screen, thanks to Apple’s VoiceOver accessibility technology, showing us that although Apple’s accessibility tech might not be used by everyone, it’s invaluable for those it is used by.
Patently Apple tells us about a new patent application from Apple which seems to describe a Lightning cable capable of creating a water-tight seal. Some kind of mechanism, either on the plug itself, or located on-device, will form a water-tight seal when the Lightning cable is mated with the port, with the simplest being a tapered Lightning plug that starts thin but then increases in width towards the cable end.
Americans are being reminded that their tax agency, the IRS, doesn’t take payments via iTunes Gift Cards. Little do they know that’s old hat for us Aussies - the ATO released a media statement saying they do not take tax debt payments via iTunes Gift Cards over two years ago.
The Verge makes the case for using the iPhone X without a case. With very few exceptions, no case that you use on your iPhone X will protect the device enough while also allowing you to appreciate the edge-to-edge display. But vanity has a cost, and for some, that could be the cost of an out-of-warranty repair — here’s hoping you have AppleCare+ or some other kind of insurance.
Deckset recently hit version 2.0, and 9to5Mac reports they’re also leaving the Mac App Store. The developers want to offer special pricing for education and volume customers, which the Mac App Store doesn’t allow, and want to be able to release updates without the Mac App Store’s burdensome review and approval process.
Speaking of app updates, Workflow’s latest update adds a “mask image” action, support for Things task automation, extracting text from PDF documents, and more. MacStories runs us through the changes, but it’s nice that an iOS app acquired by Apple is still getting regular feature updates.
A new iOS 12 concept takes a stab at redesigning the Music app and other aspects of the music-playing experience. With more of Apple’s focus being on Apple Music these days, the default music player is pretty important. Even if I don’t agree with some of the decisions, it has to suit such a wide range of use cases that it’s a challenge.