Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Tuesday, June 4, 2019!
1. The big things from WWDC 2019
Apple’s back. That’s the feeling out of Apple’s WWDC, with a solid range of touches and improvements to its software platforms and products, plus some hardware, receiving new features or updates.
So, what were the big things that mattered?
- A whole bunch of upgrades are coming with the new iOS 13, including a dark mode, lots of small updates to native apps, swipeable texting in Messages (hello Swype!), Reminders gets overdue tweaks, while Apple unveiled more Apple Maps improvements that have been rolling out including their own take on Google Street View (finally). Siri also has a more natural sounding voice. You can finally rotate your recorded videos too.
- There’s no question Apple continued its push to take the best of Android and put it into the iPhone.
- Here’s my colleague Eric Zeman’s take: “Android and iOS are more similar than ever, and that’s a good thing”.
- iPads now get a more dedicated platform called iPadOS, signifying that the iPad has grown into being a useful device, and not just a screen for consuming media.
- iPadOS is more tuned for the iPad large screen experience, starting with a better home screen, web browser support for desktop sites (rather than mobile).
- It also has a range of improvements to its file system, multitasking via split-views, and even mouse support via accessibility settings. Finally, files can now be accessed from a USB drive, SD card, or hard drive. That’s been a loooong time coming.
- There’s a solid deep dive from MacStories on iPadOS.
- Apple also said it is building its own single sign-in feature. This would allow users to sign into third party websites – like how you can log into Spotify with your Facebook account – but using Face ID for authentication. There’s a bit to it, but there are already grumbles about Apple’s heavy-handed approach to getting developers to adopt it.
- tvOS has received multiuser support, and now allows Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 controllers to be used for gaming.
- And so does iOS 13, meaning both iPhone and iPad will support controllers too, which is a big change for mobile gaming in Apple land.
- watchOS 6 steps up with a dedicated app store, and there’s a new app protecting you from gradual hearing loss while period tracking is now built-in to Apple Health. Another step into health and wellness.
- And iTunes is on its last legs but wasn’t quite killed off. Still, we all know it’s doomed…
New hardware: It’s a Mac, but it’s probably not for you:
- Apple released a new Mac Pro, coming this fall.
- This is a powerhouse machine designed for those that a) need macOS and b) need extreme levels of power, such as creators working with graphics, 3D CAD modeling, editing 4K or 8K video, audio. It starts at $5999, and guesses are open for the price for a maxed out spec device. And yes, it looks a bit like a cheese grater.
- That’s expensive, but Apple isn’t taking shortcuts here, offering server-grade parts and high-end hardware at the top-tier offerings, although the base-model GPU isn’t great.
- It’s not a consumer, or even prosumer device but a true enterprise/server-level computer. It’s the kind of thing offered at a business where the IT spend is in the millions each year.
- There’s also a new monitor, called the Pro Display XDR, which Apple says is “the first 32-inch Retina 6K display ever”.
- It matters because Apple is selling it not as a great monitor for creatives but as a professional reference display, which is a completely different category and means it’s not really for you unless you’re at Pixar working on the color precision in Toy Story 4 – or something.
- Hilariously, the monitor doesn’t come with a stand, and Apple has a “Pro Stand” it sells as an extra for $999. This announcement caused a stir: the audience audibly gasped and laughed after this detail, even from the pro-Apple audience sitting in the keynote (YouTube).
All in all:
- WWDC was a good day for most Apple users, with iPad users arguably seeing the biggest benefits.
- It was a good day for Hollywood special effects/CGI studios and developers that can and will spend a fortune on new hardware too.
- It probably wasn’t a good day for independent creators who still need professional gear but have a budget. They now find themselves between a MacBook Pro with dodgy keyboard, and a $12000 spend for a new Mac Pro. It’s never a bad time to mention the Hackintosh community.
- More: “Apple is now the privacy-as-a-service company” (TechCrunch).
2. A bad day for big tech, as reports the House, DOJ and FTC are investigating Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple: House Judiciary Committee launches tech antitrust inquiry amid reports DOJ, FTC may take action (Gizmodo). DOJ has scooped up responsibility for Google and Apple, while the FTC could be going after Amazon and Facebook.
3. A genuine shock yesterday in the world of Samsung: Samsung has announced that it has signed a deal with AMD to use its graphics architecture designs for its mobile devices and Exynos chips, replacing ARM and its Mali GPU designs. Why, and will RDNA deliver on its promises? Gary Explains has the answers! (YouTube).
4. Google Pixel 4 wish list: At least 6GB of RAM, better battery life, and more versatile cameras (Android Authority).
5. Here’s how Xiaomi’s radical under-display selfie camera works (AA).
6. Google explains why you couldn’t access it (or YouTube or Snapchat) on Sunday (blog.google).
7. Here’s everything Apple tried to kill at WWDC 2019 (Gizmodo)
8. Tesla pickup truck to cost less than $50,000, ‘be better than F150’, says Elon Musk, who really does say a lot of things (Electrek).
9. The unlikely origins of USB, the port that changed everything (Fast Company).
10. Having 25 cups of coffee per day? You’re good, says this study (CNN).
11. The world’s largest (and furthest) offshore wind farm just came online, capable of generating capacity of 1.2 gigawatts (Earther).
12. What was your ‘I don’t get paid enough for this’ moment at work? (r/askreddit).
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