Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
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iPhone 12: The cat’s out of the bag
Well, there goes four months of enjoyable speculation. The
iPhone 12’s entire specs list just got leaked online. There will be four models, two new screen sizes, more storage, more RAM and the biggest ever battery on an Apple handset.
(If you’re wondering what happened to the famous Apple secrecy, imagine how much harder it is to plug leaks when all your engineers and designers have to take prototypes home with them.)
Okay, it’s not quite case closed just yet. Because not one but two trusted sources came out with detailed spec leaks this week, and they don’t quite agree: one says the iPhone 12 Pro will definitely get a dynamic ProMotion 120Hz display, and the other says it may be “nerfed in software” to save on battery performance.
Also, let’s face it: we won’t know for sure if the leaks are accurate until the phone is announced, and Apple probably has a bunch more surprises up its sleeve.
Apple buys a VR company ‘for $100m’
Apple buys smaller companies so often that it has a boilerplate comment that gets sent out to journalists who ask what’s going on. “We generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.” Fair enough, so we’ll have to do the discussing ourselves.
which Apple acquired this week, broadcasts live music and sporting events in virtual reality, and is the ninth VR-related acquisition the company has made in recent years. Its tech and staff could be put to work creating VR output for Apple TV+, or even a VR version of WWDC for home viewers. We’ll all be home viewers for that, of course, because
Dub Dub is online-only this year, and it would be nice to feel like we’re actually in the room.
(Note that the $100m figure is speculative. Apple, of course, has not disclosed how much it paid.)
Logic Pro’s ‘breakthrough’ update
Apple has released version 10.5 of its Logic Pro X music production software. Maybe it feels like the company always says this, but this one is apparently
a ‘breakthrough’ update.
We’ll put that to the test in our upcoming review by a qualified expert, but in the meantime here’s the considerably less qualified Apple Breakfast Verdict: the Live Loops feature looks cool (it was a popular inclusion
in GarageBand) and Quick Sampler, which lets you construct a playable instrument from a single sample, is a really nice idea.
Bugs and problems
That’s quite enough good news. Let’s go rapid-fire on some bugs and other problems with Apple products that cropped up this week.
Some iPad Pro users complain that the new Magic Keyboard is
draining their devices’ batteries excessively. (It hasn’t got a battery of its own, so of course you’d expect the keyboard to draw some power from the iPad. But some of the figures we’re seeing are alarming:
Tech Advisor tested it out and found that the iPad Pro 12.9in’s battery life fell from 11 hours on its own to just 7 hours with the Magic Keyboard.)
Vulnerabilities in Thunderbolt could be leaving your Mac open to hacking. A security researcher claims that a device costing a few hundred pounds could be used to copy the security ID of your Mac and perform port-based attacks.
Finder bug in macOS Catalina is making Macs crash. It affects the copying of large files.
The rumour mill
We’ve already talked about the iPhone 12, but there’s lots more coming down
Apple’s product pipe, if rumours are to be believed.
The iPad and iPad mini are
both getting bigger screens in the forthcoming updates, according to one of the most reliable analysts on the circuit.
patent activity points to blood pressure monitoring coming to the Apple Watch.
A 14in MacBook Pro is in the works, but it
won’t be here until 2021.
And finally, so very much to say about the over-ear headphones that Apple’s been reportedly working on. They’re going to be called
AirPods Studio, and will feature
‘head and neck detection’ so they know exactly where you’re wearing them and what they should be doing.
As for the vanilla AirPods, the next version of those has been
postponed until 2021. (Allegedly. All of these are allegedly. It’s the rumour mill!)
The games we play
Macworld wrote about some excellent games this week. If lockdown is starting to grate, relieve some boredom with our guides to the
best free iPhone games, the
best Mac games, and (if you’re a subscriber, or interested in trying out the free trial) the
best games on Apple Arcade.
That last one is approaching the final throes of a long and (if we say so ourselves) heroic endeavour. We’ve reviewed 116 of the 121 games on Apple Arcade. The end is in sight.
News in brief
A ragbag of miscellaneous Apple-related news items to finish. In no particular order:
Donald Trump’s White House is putting pressure on Apple
to manufacture its processors in the US. Probably just sabre-rattling, given the president’s fondness for America First sloganeering, although Apple is well aware of the power of perception and has made a big deal in the past of its trashcan Mac Pro being assembled on home soil.
On the subject of manufacturing, Apple appears to be encouraging a third firm to
compete with Foxconn and Pegatron for the iPhone assembly contracts. Not much fun hearing that if you’ve just had to
lay off thousands of workers.
Apple is preparing to
get its employees back to work.
And, to finish on a sad note, the 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and Pro models just joined the
‘vintage and obsolete’ list. Amazing how time flies.
That’s it for this week. Stay Appley!