MacMost: News & Notes

Recent news, rumors, and notes of interest about Apple, Macs, iPhones, iPads and technology in general.

Updated 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models hit the Apple Store today. The new MacBook Pro includes an 8th-generation processor and is now at a lower base price of $1,299 with a Touch Bar, Touch ID, True Tone screen and T2 security chip. The new MacBook Air also has a True Tone display and a new lower base price of $1,099.
Apple updated Pages, Numbers and Keynote to dot-one versions with new features for macOS and iOS. The updates are available for free in the app stores.
Apple released public beta versions of their two main operating systems today. The developer betas have been available since the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier in the month.
When macOS Mojave included the News, Home, Stock and Voice Memos apps for the first time, a lot of people rejoiced that these standard iOS apps could finally be used on a Mac. But the results were a little disappointing as the apps lacked the look, feel and often features of standard Mac apps. But Craig Federighi, the head of software at Apple, admits that they know about these shortcoming and are planning on fixing them.
The Dashboard, a feature that showed widgets of information over the Desktop or on a deparate space, will no longer be part of macOS start with Catalina later this year. The feature has been around since OS X Tiger in 2005, but was depreciated in Yosemite where it was turned off by default. Some of the same widgets are now available in Notifications Center in recent versions of macOS.
Shortly after the announcement of macOS Catalina and iOS 13, Apple released beta versions to developers. Leaks from these testers have given us more information about the new operating systems.
Are you curious to see whether your Mac, iPhone, iPad or other Apple device will run the new operating systems announced at the WWDC 2019 keynote? Here is the complete run-down of the minimum system you need to run them.
Apple has been feeling the pressure lately from the European Union and class-action lawsuits to open up the iOS App Store or allow alternative marketplaces for apps. In response, Apple has posted a new webpage explaining the principles behind the App Store.
In a surprise announcement, Apple launched a seventh-generation iPod Touch with an A10 processor and storage options going up to 256GB. The previous model used an A8 and maxed out at 128GB.
In a surprise, Apple updated the high-end MacBook Pro line with new Intel processors. The most advanced models now have 8-core processors for the first time. Both the 15-inch and 13-inch models are new.
The new TV app introduces a recommendation feature that offers customized show suggestions. There are also new sections for movies, shows, sports and children’s shows, in addition to a navigation bar. A Channels feature allows you to view content from a subscription channel such as HBO, Comedy Central, CBS and Starz.
Bloomberg is speculating that a highlight of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next month will be major updates to built-in Apple apps. Improvements will come to apps such as Reminders, Messages, Books and Maps. Find My Friends and Find My iPhone may be combined into one app.
Apple reported $2.46 per share in earnings, beating the $2.37 estimate thanks to a new high of $11.5 billion in services revenue. Overall revenue was $58 billion.
Recent generations of MacBook keyboards have been plagued by issues that have had users going back to Apple Stores for repairs. Apple has been replacing keyboards in most cases without much question and quickly, usually within a few days, and even if AppleCare has expired.
Analysts are forecasting a new model of AirPods by the end of the year. Unlike the second-generation AirPods which just arrived weeks ago, the third-generation will have a new form factor and a higher price, while another model may keep the same price and form, but with a new manufacturing process. They may also include noise-canceling.
The fight between Apple and Qualcomm over mobile chip patents has come to an end as the two companies reach a settlement. Apple will make a payment to Qualcomm and license their technology for six years. Qualcomm has been asking Apple for royalty payments on mobile technology patents, while Apple has insisted that Qualcomm has nothing to do with the technologies.
Sites are reporting that we may finally see the division of the iTunes app into multiple programs. This has already happened on iOS and tvOS, where separate TV, Music and Podcasts apps exist. So it wouldn’t be a surprising move.
Yet another rumor suggests that Apple will put out a new iPhone late this year with five cameras. Several sites have mocked up iPhone backs showing three cameras, which would total five after you include the two front-facing cameras. Current iPhone models already include a regular and telephoto lens on the back. The new camera would be a wide-angle.
Beats announced their AirPod-like Powerbeats Pro earphones which include two independent wireless in-ear pieces and a charging case. Unlike AirPods, the Powerbeats include a hook that goes around the ear and four different sizes for the tips.
In an announcement that surprised many news and rumor watchers, Apple issued a statement saying that it will not pursue producing a wireless charging mat. “After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project,’ said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering.