Tuesday Morning News


#1

Originally published at: http://appletalk.com.au/2018/04/tuesday-morning-news240418/

Apple manufacturing partner TSMC is expected to achieve record profits this year, with Digitimes saying TSMC’s manufacture of Apple’s upcoming A12 SoC for this year’s iPhones with a 7nm process being the main reason for their windfall. With a range of iPhones in various display sizes expected to be released this year, and both LCD and OLED display technology thrown into the mix for good measure, TSMC looks to be well positioned for at least the next year.

The EU is investigating Apple’s purchase of Shazam, with the main concern being the potential for an adverse effect on competition. Shazam currently provides 1 million clicks per day to both Spotify and Apple Music, and if Apple were to shut down Shazam’s Spotify referrals, that could be seen as anti-competitive. The point of the investigation is to ensure that Apple continues to foster this competition, giving consumers the choice of which streaming platform they choose to use.

Rapper J. Cole has broken Apple Music’s day-one streaming record, with Apple Music subscribers worldwide streaming his fifth album KOD 64.5 million times the first day it was available. The day-one streaming record was previously held by Drake’s Views, but with seven of the top ten most streamed songs in a 24-hour period coming from KOD and 66% of first-day KOD streams coming from Apple Music in the US and 60% worldwide, there’s no denying the album made some kind of an impact.

The Apple Store in Palo Alto is set to close in early May, ahead of its renovation that will update the store to the new look and feel, in line with recent revamps of other stores. 9to5Mac says it’s a surprising move, given that the current Palo Alto store design is already iconic, and has been around for less than six years, but we have to remember that outside of Cupertino, Palo Alto’s an important location for Apple.

In case you were wondering about the state of HomeKit-compatible accessories, in the US you can now buy a window air-con that integrates with HomeKit. If you’ve always wanted to integrate an air-con into your HomeKit scenes, then now’s your chance.

AppleInsider has a nice explainer on the differences between MicroLED display tech and the traditional LCD and newer OLED, and why a company like Apple is interested in pursuing new technologies for displays. MicroLED display technology shares similarities to quantum dot tech, but is an even better version that doesn’t require a separate backlight to illuminate the pixels.

A story from earlier this month shares the success Maryland University has had with deploying iPad Pros and Apple Pencils to every incoming student. With 3,600 iPads, 350 Macs, and 110 iPhones managed and deployed by Jamf, the educational institution saves over US $50,000 on apps alone per semester thanks to Apple’s education discount, and up to US $590,000 annually on hardware compared to issuing desktops to students.

Also from earlier this month is Scott Yoshinaga’s take on Apple, love letters, and educators. Yoshinaga welcomes the 500GB of iCloud storage for managed Apple IDs which previously had no way to add additional storage, but points out that for Apple to make real progress with the education market, they need both commitment and communication, neither of which they’ve done consistently, which is where third parties step in and take Apple’s part of the pie. What Apple announced earlier this month for education is a good step in the right direction, but time will tell if it’s going to work out long-term.

9to5Mac has a quick PSA on how to check what apps have access to your iPhone’s camera and microphone. And while you’re at it, remember to check what apps have access to your device’s camera roll, where they can access your photograph location history since the beginning of time.

Two new Apple ads target switchers, with Apple showing us the stylised difference between your phone and an iPhone when it comes to taking portraits, and how the App Store has better quality apps in its App Store than your phone.


#2

I am not really wondering. I am pretty sure that Home Automation is not really a thing yet.

The flaw seems to revolve around home automation being “nice to have” rather than essential. So when you buy any appliance or device, the device is selected on essential requirements first. If it also supports home automation, well thats a bonus. If it also supports your prefered home automation technology, it is a miracle.

For a nerd like me, I have found every device requires a certain overhead of time and effort. I have had to reduce the number of devices I use several times, when the effort and time required to keep them all working and up to date becomes too much. I recently gave up on my Windows 10 VM. It took too much time updating it every month. Time used did not justify maintenance time spent. Will Home Utomation benefits justify setup and maintenance time spent?

My robotic Vacuum Cleaner does a good job vacuuming. It supports automation by WiFi, but practical considerations, together with sometimes flacky performance, mean that the automation potential is best ignored. I always need to close certain doors. I always need to carry it between two levels. I always need to check there is no accidental pet shit in its path.

Unfortunately, for me automated lighting is not a must have.

Heating, cooling and ventilation automation would be good, but the devices don’t support it. I am not going to buy a new heater, new air conditioner, new window winders and new motor driven blinds/curtains. The potential benefits do not justify the cost.

BTW, the supreme irony of my situation is that I am a control and automation systems engineer. I love automating things.


#3

Pretty much where I am at for most home automation stuff. I have no need of automated lighting at all, for example, and I am not about to fork out for new everything just so I can automate.

Probably the one thing I might need, and its not exactly automation as such (in that I still want to be in control of it at all times) is an electronic lock on the front door which could still be operated by a key, but the code for which some trusted individuals might have. I’d like my phone to be able to control it but that is most definitely in the nice to have category.


#4

Automated lighting is a nice to have - I do have some automation such as turning the hallway lights on to 1% brightness at sunset, however I tend to use it more via voice control though, and creating scenes/routines such as ‘Goodnight’ to turn off all lights and the reverse-cycle air-conditioner once I’m in bed or leaving for work in the morning (Yeah, Goodnight isn’t the right word for this use, but whatever)

Speaking of which, I control the air-con using a ~$30 Broadlink wifi connected IR blaster. Automation of the AC is excellent - at 4.30am if the outside air temperature is below a certain point, the heater is turned on to take the chill off and dry the air (mildew prevention) - also turns on at 2.30pm if the air temp is below a certain point and neither my wife or I are home


#5

I have amassed a lot of HomeKit gear over time. Mainly LIFX lightbulbs with a few motion detectors, switches and buttons.

I live in a duplex with an open plan room with a lounge area, kitchen and dining area. There are 8 light fittings in this area. 4 in the lounge controlled by one switch and 4 in the kitchen/ dining controlled by a second switch. Means that watching a movie at night I had the choice of no lights on or 4lights on, with 2 of these either side of the TV. With HomeKit I can turn individual bulbs off or dim them to suit. Also have ones in the garage, front and back doors controlled by motion sensors.

Not cheap, but possibly cheaper than rewiring the house