Tuesday Morning News


Originally published at: https://appletalk.com.au/2018/11/tuesday-morning-news131118/

A teardown of the new iPad Pro shows that while Apple’s magical slab of glass is just made up of hardware after all, iPads remain resolutely difficult to repair. Like many iPads that have come before it, the new iPad Pro has liberal use of glue throughout, and while some components like the new USB-C port are modular and can be replaced easily enough, you still probably won’t want to go through the rigamarole of taking off the display and glass to do it yourself.

Thankfully, the Mac mini is far less complicated. Everything will be familiar to you if you’ve opened up a previous Mac mini, although there are a few notable changes from older models. A big fan now greets you as you take off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna, and then you’ve basically arrived at the all-in-one logic board, complete with regular RAM slots that mean you can upgrade the RAM yourself.

Concerns have been raised over Apple’s inclusion of their T2 security chip in all modern Macs. That concern stems from the fact Apple themselves have confirmed that the replacement of certain parts will require Apple’s diagnostics suite to be run or result in an inoperative system and incomplete repair, and although it’s currently unclear whether not running Apple’s diagnostics will prevent a successful repair, the implication is that this kind of requirement prevents DIY and unauthorised third-party repairs of Apple products.

Apple has started an iPhone X display module replacement program for touch issues. Apple has determined that in some cases, a component on the iPhone X display module may fail causing the display or a part of it to not respond, or respond intermittently, to touch input, as well as an issue where the display reacts despite not being touched. For once, this particular issue affected myself — and although I had my device display replaced under warranty, Apple is issuing refunds to those who paid for a repair for the issue, covering the problem for up to three years after the first retail sale of the device.

Similarly, Apple has also started up a replacement program for 128GB and 256GB SSDs included with the 13-inch MacBook Pro Escape. A limited number of Touchless 13-MacBook Pros, sold between June 2017 and June 2018, have an SSD affected with an issue that can result in data loss and drive failure. You can submit your serial number to confirm if your MacBook Pro is one of the affected models, and arrange a free repair if it is, although Apple makes special mention of backing up your data before bringing in your Mac for repair.

Two new iPhone rumours claim Intel has accelerated its 5G modem timeline. It’s this chip that could find its way to the 2019 iPhone, not the 2020 iPhone as previously rumoured. A different rumour says Apple may be switching the antenna technology it uses for the iPhone X, XS, and XR devices. Those devices currently use six LCP antennas, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims next year’s iPhones will have four MPI antennas and two LCP antennas.

An Apple patent describes a pair of reversible over-ear headphones, which use specifically-placed microphones to determine their orientation and automatically adjust left and right output as necessary. There’s also some cool ideas regarding beamforming, the same tech used in the HomePod, to make calls have the same kind of clarity that lets your HomePod hear you from across the room.

Speculation from Macworld says the Mac’s transition away from Intel may be happening sooner than you think. With performance of ARM chips now on-par or above their Intel equivalents, there are increasingly more and more reasons why Apple moving Macs to ARM makes a lot of sense.

Rogue Amoeba, developers of Mac audio utilities Audio Hijack and Loopback, tell us about the improved workings of Apple’s new Retina MacBook Air and Mac mini. Those devices allow simultaneous output to the headphone jack and the speakers, which lets you do some cool things with audio routing and sending different audio sources to different inputs.

A quick iPad Pro tip from Steven Troughton-Smith tells us about two-finger cursor movement for text input and selection. It’s a big deal if you’re using your iPad to any kind of writing task.