Apple | Marten IT Blog

Apple issues second iOS 13, iPadOS 13, tvOS 13, watchOS 6, macOS 10.15 betas

The new builds can be acquired by developers in the beta as an over-the-air update on devices enrolled into the program, or via the Apple Developer Center. Public beta versions of each operating system normally arrive a few days after the developer betas, though so far they have not been made available for the milestone versions, and are made available via the Apple Beta Software Program website.

Information about the new features of the new operating systems for the different platforms is available on a variety of sources such as
AppleInsider, Catalina Preview , Apple Developer - Beta 2 Release Notes as well as a host of other locations such as TechRadar that reported on the WWDC 2019 event.

One of the many significant changes are with the MacOS which will lose support for 32 bit apps and the iPadOS will have much better functionality with using storage devices for files. Something that has been a long time coming but most probably held back to avoid cannibalising the Mac sales.

Apple WWDC 2019

Apple will be conducting their Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, June 3rd (US PDT).
It is expected that announcements will be made about the next MacOS 10.15, iOS 13 and as usual, many other announcements ranging from new initiatives to potentially new hardware.
Many IT magazines and bloggers speculate on what to expect. Sometimes they are completely wrong and other times mostly right. It is interesting to speculate but we do not need to wait too long to get the real facts.
theverge published a story found
here and another from MacRumors.

iPod touch (2019) 7th-generation review

Earlier this week the iPod touch received a modest upgrade, arriving with little fanfare via an Apple press release. The new 7th-generation iPod touch has little in the way of new features, but it does receive a CPU spec-bump that takes it from an iPhone 6-era Apple A8 to an iPhone 7-era A10 Fusion chip, not to mention double the RAM of the previous generation.

Full article can be found

Apple is fixing the keyboards on Macbook Pros

Following on from some users having experienced issues with their Macbook Pro’s butterfly keyboards, Apple will extend its keyboard repair program, in a bid to appease Apple laptop owners who have been frustrated by stuck or double-typing keys.

Source article:
Apple Fixing Keyboards

App Store antitrust suit against Apple to proceed

Is this just another money grab by get rich quick lawyers? The arguments are complex. For example, Apple pays for and supports the infrastructure that allows for the apps to be distributed. It takes measures to ensure that the apps are not malware and actually do what they state they are intended to do, thereby giving a level of security to the customers.

I have no way of knowing if 30% is too much or a fair price for the marketing, security and infrastructure supplied to developers. What is the alternative? If you allow apps to be purchased wherever then you end up with the problems faced with the Android market where malware runs rife.

It just seems to me that it is like the arguments with the Book Store where Apple let the publishers determine the price they wanted to charge for their books. Amazon takes a big cut too and determines the prices to be charged on the publishers' books and yet, it was Apple that was dragged through the courts when their system seemed much more equitable for the publishers than did Amazon’s.

Source: Itnews

Apple sued over RIM-developed USB charging technology following preemptive action

In an article appearing on the AppleInsider website, they state "Non-practicing entity Fundamental Innovation Systems International on Monday filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming the tech giant infringes on multiple patents covering USB charging and communication technologies."

It is interesting to note that these types of cases keep coming up where a "non-practicing" entity that have purchased some patents for the sole purpose of extorting money but do not actually use them for the purposes intended.

My opinion is that if a company or someone buys patents then they can only be used as a basis for litigation if these patents are actually being used by the owner or the owner has clear plans on how they will be used within a reasonable period of time.

In the absence of laws that restrict the ability of trolls to extort money, perhaps another approach is to keep these trolls in court until they have no further resources left to fight the case. This course of action should only be available when the entity is non-practicing in relation to the patents.


Apple bans Facebook from tech tools for tracking teen browsing habits

Apple Inc said on Wednesday it had banned Facebook Inc from a program designed to let businesses control iPhones used by their employees, saying the social networking company had improperly used it to track the web-browsing habits of teenagers.

Apple offers what are known as certificates that let businesses have deep controls over iPhones, with the potential to remotely install apps, monitor app usage and access, and delete data owned by a business on an iPhone. Apple designed the program for organizations whose staff use iPhones for official duties, when privacy needs are different from phones for personal use.

Reuters. (Click the link to read the full story)

Apple says decryption should 'alarm every Australian'

Apple has laid out some of the ways it could be forced to spy on its customers if the decryption bill before Australian parliament passes into law.

The bill “could allow the government to order the makers of smart home speakers to install persistent eavesdropping capabilities into a person’s home, require a provider to monitor the health data of its customers for indications of drug use, or require the development of a tool that can unlock a particular user’s device regardless of whether such tool could be used to unlock every other user’s device as well", Apple said in a parliamentary submission.

In the submission, Apple said, "The encryption technology built into today’s iPhone represents the best data security available to consumers. And cryptographic protections on the device don't just help prevent unauthorized access to your personal data — they're a critical line of defense against a criminal who seeks to implant malware or spyware, and use the device of an
unsuspecting person to gain access to a business, public utility or government agency."

They go open to say "While the bill presents many questions and opportunities for clarification, we focus our comments on several overarching themes: (1) overly broad powers that could weaken cybersecurity and encryption; (2) a lack of appropriate independent judicial oversight, (3) technical requirements based only on the government’s subjective view of reasonableness and practicability, (4) unprecedented interception requirements, (5) unnecessarily stifling secrecy mandates, and (6) extraterritoriality and global impact.".

Apple offering credit for iPhone batteries replaced before discounted repair program

Apple added a feature into iOS 11 the ability to reduce power requirements by slowing down the phone to avoid sudden shutdowns when the battery had reduced in performance due to age. They initially allowed for cheap battery replacements but have now offered a credit for older phones as well.
It was interesting to see this unfold as Apple's intention was meant to assist users of older devices to avoid having unwanted shutdowns when the battery was operating at substandard levels. Of course the ambulance chasers saw an opportunity for money for nothing.
The reality is that batteries lose their ability to hold a charge the older they are and after a finite number of recharges. So those seeking damages for a probably undetectable slow down are leeches when in reality, Apple was doping them a favour.
Apple since provided the ability to see the state of the battery and you will be able to choose between changing the battery at a heavily discounted price, allowing the phone to slow down to prevent sudden shutdowns, have an unreliable device or perhaps just get a new phone.
With the current iOS you can check the state of your battery. Go to Settings/Battery/Battery Health. It will give you information about the maximum capacity of your battery. You can also see what is consuming the battery's charge.

See AppleInsider for the full article.

Apple: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

When Apple introduced the iPhone X, rather than focusing on the advances in the phone with things like the FacedID which unlike Apple's competitors, actually made it work properly. The unrelenting critics of the "notch" and other aspects of the phone were obviously designed as a distraction to detract.
Every time Apple introduces something new, no matter how innovative, the detractors try to find something wrong and if they cannot do it, then they make it up.
On Medium they published an article that shows that since the iPhone X was introduced, others have copied the design, despite being critical of it in the first place.

The Trouble With HomePod Reviews

With its HomePod speaker, Apple has once again reshuffled existing genres. As an almost singular representative of the new consumer computational audio devices, HomePod’s slippery algorithms defeat quick and easy reviews.
My personal experience has been very positive. Despite some criticism about Siri, I have found it to work well. The sound quality is excellent with exceptionally good bass for such a small speaker as well as consistent clarity.
Others try to compare HomePod with cheaper speakers but the reality is that you get what you pay for and if it is sound quality you are looking for, the HomePod wins out.

Article source:

Nikkei again claims ‘weak demand’ for iPhone X despite much evidence to the contrary

In an article published on Nikkei, they once again predict weak demand from the sales of the iPhone X. This, like every other report by Nikkei has always been proven to be false and not based on any real data or facts.
One may wonder why they persist in every year with the same predictions for every iPhone. In the last one the share price of Apple dropped for a short time until they reported record sales and profits. Perhaps that is their intention to affect the market and make profits for some?

As stated in a post on MacDailyNews:
Even if a particular data point were factual it would be impossible to accurately interpret the data point as to what it meant for our overall business… There is just an inordinate[ly] long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what’s going on. Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 23, 2013

iPhone X was the best-selling smartphone in the world in the December quarter according to Canalys, and it has been our top selling phone every week since it launched. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus rounded out the top three iPhones in the quarter. In fact, revenue for our newly launched iPhones was the highest of any lineup in our history, driving total Apple revenue above our guidance range… The iPhone X was the most popular and that’s particularly noteworthy given that we didn’t start shipping until early November, and we’re constrained for a while. The team did a great job of getting into supply demand balance there in December. But since the launch of iPhone X, it has been the most popular iPhone every week, every week sales. And that is even through today, actually through January… We feel fantastic, particularly as it pertains to iPhone X. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 1, 2018

In another article, it completely contradicts Nikkei.

MacOS and iOS Updates

Apple has released supplemental updates for macOS to 10.13.3. and iOS 11.2.6 to fix a bug that caused devices to crash when trying to process specific Unicode characters.

The problem relates to rendering certain Indian characters which could cause the device to crash.

Apparently some mischievous people have intentionally inserted these characters to cause problems for those unfortunate to have encountered them.

Its always a good idea to keep devices up-to-date, especially relating to security issues.

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