Archive for Apple

BREAKING: Apple Releases New AirPods With Wireless Charging

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 20, 2019 by itnerd

The product release parade that Apple has been on over the last couple of days continues today as Apple just dropped a press release announcing new AirPods which will retail for an eye watering $269.00 CDN with a wireless charging case. Yes you read that correctly. Wireless charging which is Qi compatible has finally arrived for the AirPods. If that doesn’t interest you, $219.00 CDN gets you these AirPods without the wireless charging case, and $99.00 CDN gets you the wireless charging case alone.

So what’s different about these AirPods?

  • An Apple-designed H1 chip that enables hands-free “Hey Siri” functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original AirPods. The H1 chip in the new AirPods makes switching between the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac up to two times faster, and enables up to a 1.5x faster connection time for phone calls and up to 30 percent lower gaming latency.
  • Hands-free Siri allows AirPods users to say “Hey Siri” to change songs, make phone calls, adjust the volume, get directions, and more.
  • Up to three hours of talk time per charge, compared to up to two hours with the previous generation.

The new AirPods will be available in store next week and they are available to order now.

I guess this means that the rumors of AirPower being released in the spring might actually be true.

Apple Vs Spotify Is A Fight That Nobody Needs To See

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 20, 2019 by itnerd

Last week the news broke that Spotify, who are pretty much the leaders in music streaming is mad at Apple because of Apple’s control of the App Store. As in Spotify must bend to Apple’s will, use Apple’s payment system, and pay Apple a cut of whatever they sell. They think that’s not fair and they want it to stop. Of course the fact that Apple has it’s own competing streaming service likely doesn’t help to make things better. That’s likely why they filed a formal complaint with European regulators about Apple’s app rules. And then went on a press tour to say how bad Apple is. And created this video to sway your opinion:

Apple in turn shot back in typical Apple fashion. They put out a press release which basically turned this business dispute into some sort of moral crusade that Apple was leading on behalf of its valued users. Which to be clear this is not a moral crusade in any way shape or form despite what Apple may tell you.

But let’s be clear, this is a business dispute that has broken out into the public domain. Spotify wants to pay Apple less money and is also ticked that Apple has a competing service. Apple wants its share of the app store pie because it’s selling less iPhones and they’re shifting to “services” to make up the difference. Their respective business objectives clash with each other and here we are talking about it. Neither one of them have the moral high ground or can call themselves the Archangel Gabriel. What they really need to do is to either sue each other and get it over with, or get in a room and hash out their differences and get it over with. The world has better things to than to watch these two companies fight it out in public as the public really has nothing to gain from this.

Kaspersky Lab Files Antitrust Complaint Against Apple

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 20, 2019 by itnerd

So… It seems that Kaspersky doesn’t like the fact that Apple gets to dictate how apps should behave on its app store. And as a result of that, they’ve filed an antitrust complaint with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service. That I must admit seems really sketchy to me as if it were me, I would have served it up in the US. But given their relationship with the US Government at the moment, I guess that’s possible. But in any case, this is what they are arguing:

Last year, we received a notice from Apple saying that our Kaspersky Safe Kids for iOS app does not meet the requirements of paragraph 2.5.1 of the guidelines for apps hosted in the App Store. Apple had never before had any issues with Kaspersky Safe Kids; the app had been hosted in the App Store, meeting all of the guidelines, for nearly three years.

It turned out that, according to Apple, the use of configuration profiles was against App Store policy, and Apple demanded that these be removed, so that the app could pass the review and be published in the store. For us, that would mean removing two key features from Kaspersky Safe Kids: app control and Safari browser blocking.

Both features are essential. The first allows parents to specify which apps kids cannot run based on the App Store’s age restrictions. The second allows the hiding of all browsers on the device, so kids can open Web pages only in Kaspersky Safe Kids’ built-in secure browser, which protects them from unsafe content.

So, by removing these two features from Kaspersky Safe Kids for iOS, we are massively letting down parents, who expect that their kids will be able to safely use iPhones and iPads that have our app installed. We believe it is essential that all of our customers, whether they are young or old, are completely safe and get exactly what they expect.

And:

From our point of view, Apple appears to be using its position as platform owner and supervisor of the sole channel for delivering apps to users of the platform to dictate terms and prevent other developers from operating on equal terms with it. As a result of the new rules, developers of parental control apps may lose some of their users and experience financial impact. Most important, however, it is the users who will suffer as they miss out on some critical security features. The market for parental control apps will head toward a monopoly and, consequently, stagnation.

It will be interesting to see what if Apple does to respond to this. I’m going to suggest that they could care less. But who knows? They are currently trading shots with Spotify who are accusing them of something similar. And they seem to care about that enough to take a shot at them. So it is possible that they will do the same thing here.

Stay tuned!

BREAKING: Apple Updates iMac Lineup

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 19, 2019 by itnerd

A day after updating the iPad lineup, Apple has updated the iMac lineup which went 651 days without an update.

The iMac lineup has been updated with Intel’s latest 8th-gen and 9th-gen Core processors, including up to a 3.2GHz six-core 8th-gen Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz for the 21.5-inch 4K iMac and up to a 3.6GHz eight-core 9th-gen Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz for the 27-inch 5K iMac. You can get up to 64GB of faster 2,666MHz DDR4 memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage. The base model 21.5-inch 4K iMac in particular has new 32GB memory and 1TB SSD upgrade options for the first time. Radeon Pro Vega graphics options are now available across the new iMac lineup, including Vega 20 for 21.5-inch models and Vega 48 for 27-inch models. The new iMacs start at $1399 CDN and go upwards from there based on the screen size and options that you want. The new iMacs are available for order today and will be in stores next week.

I should also note that the iMac Pro also got a very quiet spec bump as they added 256GB RAM and Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics options to the mix. But you will have to pay big league for those upgrades should you want them. Though Apple has also lowered the price of some of their other upgrade options. Which means that depending on what you need in your iMac Pro, you may save a tiny bit of money or you’ll really have to max out that credit card.

BREAKING: Apple Announces New iPads

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 18, 2019 by itnerd

Earlier this morning this happened:

 

Well, it turns out that Apple did release new products. Specifically new iPads. First up there’s a new iPad Air that has been released. It’s available for order starting today with 64GB and 256GB storage. It comes with the A12 Bionic chip, a 10.5‑inch Retina display with True Tone, and support for Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. It promises Wi‑Fi speeds up to 866 Mbps and LTE Advanced via support for Apple’s eSIM. Finally there’s a claimed battery life of 10 hours. The iPad Air starts at $649 CDN.

Next up is the iPad Mini which starts at $529 CDN. It features A12 Bionic processor, Apple Pencil support, a new advanced Retina display panel. Upgraded cameras bring improved low-light performance and HD video recording. It is available today for pre-order in 64 and 256GB storage capacities, and comes in a Wi-Fi model and in a Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Availability in store will start next week.

#FlexGate, #KeyboardGate, & A Bug I Discovered Show That Apple Is Losing The Plot When It Comes To Them Making Quality Products

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 11, 2019 by itnerd

I’ve written about Apple’s quality issues in the past. For example #BatteryGate, #KeyboardGate, #StainGate, or #FlexGate. Not to mention software issues like their epic security #fail that allowed anyone get into a macOS computer and do whatever they want. Or the more recent epic FaceTime bug that allowed you to eavesdrop on conversations. Now I’ve been hit by one of their quality issues. I’ve come across a CarPlay bug that I reported to Apple last year when I discovered it in iOS 12. The process of dealing with Apple has been shambolic to say the least. But before I get to that, let me tell you about the bug.

In previous iterations of CarPlay, all notification noises are with the exception of text messages/iMessages, some calendar notifications, and maybe some other notifications from CarPlay compatible apps. However since iOS 12, mail notifications can be heard. Not only that, if the phone is unlocked, other notifications can be heard as well. Erasing the iPhone and setting it up as new does not fix this. And I have been able to replicate this on numerous iOS 12 devices in numerous CarPlay compatible cars from something as mainstream as a Hyundai to something more upscale as an Audi. Thus this is a bug where they broke something that worked just fine in a previous iteration. Plain and simple.

I reported this via Apple Technical Support shortly after the release of iOS 12 last year. Here’s what happened next:

  • After reporting this (Apple case 20000015513253 for the record in case someone from Apple is reading this), they originally said that this was normal behavior. Then I called them on that by demonstrating that this bug did not exist on iOS 11.
  • They then closed the case without warning. That forced me to send them a very terse email to their support group to force them to reopen it as my issue had not been resolved.
  • They then had me grab diagnostic logs and even record a video for them illustrating the bug.
  • They had me change numerous settings with no resolution.
  • They have since gone completely silent.

Since they went silent and they haven’t fixed this issue, I’ve decided to go public with this by putting this story up and posting the video demonstrating the bug that Apple asked me to make. Because after all, Google just did that to get Apple’s attention when Google’s Project Zero group uncovered a serious exploit in macOS last November and were forced to go public with it when Apple couldn’t or wouldn’t fix it within Google’s 90 day window to do so:

I am old enough to remember that if you reported something like this, Apple would go out of their way to fix the issue. They would keep you updated on their progress, and they would not go silent. But clearly this isn’t the case anymore. Now this isn’t the biggest bug in the world. I freely admit that. But the issue and more importantly Apple’s response, or lack of response to this issue clearly illustrates that Apple clearly has lost the plot here when it comes to making quality products. And perhaps doesn’t care as it seems to me that they’re too busy trying to get their iPhone sales up rather than address their quality issues. And I am not the only one that says that. Check out this Tweet that I put up on Sunday where Lewis Hilsenteger‏ who is also known as Unbox Therapy. He is a Toronto based YouTuber with 13 million or so subscribers who happens to be dumping Apple notebooks after using them for over 10 years for a Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon X1 because of Apple’s #KeyboardGate issues. I encourage you to watch the video associated with this tweet as it is very damming when it comes to Apple and the quality of their products: 

Apple, you need to get with the program. The quality of your products have dropped to the point where it can’t be ignored either inside or outside the reality distortion field. Your customers are screaming for you to do something and you need to listen to them and respond with something other than the standard silence that you usually respond to issues with. Otherwise you’re going to find that your loyal customers will simply get fed up and abandon your products and never return.

So how about it Apple?

Has Apple Quietly Fixed #Flexgate Related Issues In The 2018 MacBook Pros?

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 5, 2019 by itnerd

iFixit seems to think that Apple has quietly addressed the issues surrounding flex cable failures in the MacBook Pros that have led to a “stage light” effect on the screen, failure of the screen, or both. Something that has become known as #Flexgate. How did they do that? They made the flex cable longer:

However, when MacRumors user Olivia88 noticed their 2018 13” MacBook Pro seemed to have a longer cable than previous models, we were intrigued. Since we were just wrapping up writing the repair manual for the 2018 model anyway, we checked inside our 2018 15” MacBook Pro again to measure its cable against its 2016 predecessor—and found the 2018 cable was, in fact, a full 2mm longer. Since this change appears in both our 15” model and Olivia88’s 13” model, it’s plausible this change is present in multiple, if not all, 2018 MacBook Pros.

Assuming that this does address the issues, that’s great for owners of those MacBooks Pros. But it does nothing for the owners of older MacBook Pros with #Flexgate related issues that Apple will not do anything for despite the fact that it’s a clear design defect. Apple truly has to step up and do something for those MacBook Pro owners as making this design change isn’t good enough. Maybe they need to pay attention to this petition  that has 13000 signatures on it as clearly Apple users feel that this is an issue that Apple must address.