Monday Morning News


#1

Originally published at: https://appletalk.com.au/2019/01/monday-morning-news210119/

Apple has started selling the iPhone SE on its clearance store, but only in the US, where it retails for US $249 for 32GB of storage, or $299 for 128GB. Unfortunately, every other country misses out when it comes to refurb and clearance iPhones and Apple Watch devices, even though this iPhone SE seems to be Apple clearing out old stock as opposed to Apple bringing back an old favourite.

Some speculation from John Gruber comes off the back off a Bloomberg piece from last week claiming that Apple is planning to slow down hiring in some divisions following Apple’s lowered revenue expectation. As Gruber points out, slowing down new hires seems like a strange move to make if this was just one bad quarter of sales, given that this quarter will still be the company’s second-best quarter of all time. There has to be something else at play here, and even though no one is talking about it, that’s where the r-word comes in.

Apple’s Health Records pilot program has been favourably reviewed by its users, with patients at healthcare providers supporting the medical record storage and sharing feature saying that they found it easy to use and allowed them to better understand their own health. Health Records is still limited to 12 healthcare providers in the US, but wider adoption will hopefully allow for some of the improvements suggested by patients.

US telco Verizon is adding Apple Music as a free perk on some of its unlimited data plans. Unlike the six-month Apple Music trials currently offered by some telcos worldwide (including here in Australia), this is a free subscription to Apple Music for the lifetime of your plan. 9to5Mac notes Verizon currently offers the six-month Apple Music trial as well, so perhaps this has a chance of making it to other telcos.

Apple has announced the open source release of the FoundationDB Record Layer, which, in combination with FoundationDB, are the two technologies that power Apple’s CloudKit. There’s a whitepaper you can read to see how it all works, but it’s fairly technical and might not be that interesting unless you’re a DBA.

A thread on Twitter talks about the HIRES mode on the Apple II, which turns out to be an impressive engineering trick used by Steve Wozniak to implement a high resolution colour display cheaply. If you’re interested in reading more about it all worked from a programming perspective, the linked article gives you a little more.

In his post about Siri’s responses to date-based queries, Dr Drang says that Siri remains blissfully unaware of context. But if you give the personal assistant a little more information, or structure your date-based query in the right way, then you can get the results you expect, even if Siri has to go off and ask Wolfram Alpha.

A minor update has been released for Final Cut Pro X, with 10.4.5 bringing performance and stability enhancements. The release notes literally mention improved performance and stability in certain scenarios and during certain actions, although there are zero new features this time around.

MacRumors says that while you can’t passcode lock an individual app in iOS, you can kind of accomplish a similar sort of thing using Screen Time by setting a zero-hour, zero-minute limit on your app or app category of choice, then setting a Screen Time passcode to let you freely access it for 15-minute blocks at a time. It’s a hack, to be sure, but they’re the best kind of workarounds.

A new video series from Apple highlights how the iPad Pro is a productivity powerhouse. Not only will the video shorts show off new ways to do things on the iPad Pro, but each video was filmed, edited, and designed on an iPad Pro.