WWDC 2019 dates: All but official

Joe Rossignol at MacRumors has been digging for some details on the upcoming WWDC:

Apple has yet to announce the dates for its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2019, but MacRumors has uncovered evidence that confirms the event will take place June 3-7 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

WWDC took place June 4-8 in 2018 and June 5-9 in 2017 at McEnery, so it would be natural if WWDC 2019 were scheduled for the same week of June. The weeklong conference has been hosted in the first half of June every year since 2007 and at McEnery specifically since 2017.

No real surprises here, but it’s funny to watch Apple still trying to cover their tracks – after things have been published.

Of course hotels are (and have been) pricey down there for that week, as Casey Liss points out:

Of course hotels are catching up to WWDC:

More bad news for Apple’s Enterprise Certificate program

Josh Constine once again has some more details about Apple’s Enterprise Certificates and their lack of control over at TechCrunch:

Given the number of policy-violating apps that are being distributed to non-employees using registrations for businesses unrelated to their apps, it’s clear that Apple needs to tighten the oversight on the Enterprise Certificate program. TechCrunch found thousands of sites offering downloads of “sideloaded” Enterprise apps, and investigating just a sample uncovered numerous abuses. Using a standard un-jailbroken iPhone. TechCrunch was able to download and verify 12 pornography and 12 real-money gambling apps over the past week that were abusing Apple’s Enterprise Certificate system to offer apps prohibited from the App Store. These apps either offered streaming or pay-per-view hardcore pornography, or allowed users to deposit, win, and withdraw real money — all of which would be prohibited if the apps were distributed through the App Store.

This is yet another instance in which it was shown that Apple isn’t controlling their Enterprise Certificate program. Looks like Facebook and Google were just the very top of the iceberg.

WSJ: Apple wants to “keep about half” of news service subscription revenue

Paywalled Wall Street Journal piece about Apple’s upcoming news service:

In its pitch to some news organizations, the Cupertino, Calif., company has said it would keep about half of the subscription revenue from the service, the people said. The service, described by industry executives as a “Netflix for news,” would allow users to read an unlimited amount of content from participating publishers for a monthly fee. It is expected to launch later this year as a paid tier of the Apple News app, the people said.

Remember when developers called the 70/30 split highway robbery? Now imagine how well a 50/50 split went over.

Apple Music Connect is going the way of Ping

Zac Hall writing for 9to5Mac:

Apple has started notifying Apple Music artists that it is removing the ability for artists to post content to Apple Music Connect, and previously posted Apple Music Connect content is being removed from the For You section and Artist Pages in Apple Music. Connect content will still be viewable through search results on Apple Music, but Apple is removing artist-submitted Connect posts from search in May.

Looks like history is repeating itself here.

Facebook Portal to become Echo competitor

Alex Heath writing for Cheddar:

Facebook is about to jump into the consumer hardware business in a big way with a video chat device named “Portal,” which will put it in direct competition with Amazon’s hugely popular line of Echo voice-controlled devices, Cheddar has learned.

The device is designed to work in the home and represents Facebook’s first serious foray into selling consumer hardware, people familiar with the matter said. Rather than position the device as a smart assistant akin to Amazon’s Echo speakers, Facebook intends to pitch Portal as a way for families and friends to stay connected through video chatting and other social features.

I’m sure people, especially in Germany, will have some feelings about Facebook selling a device with a camera and phone for your home. Then again, people are for some reason buying Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. Despite being around one of the Echo devices and watching people interact with it on a daily basis, I still fail to see why I’d want one of these.

99% of the things they are used for can even be done with Siri on your wrist or phone. Free bonus: you won’t become the product in the process.

Temporarily fix the macOS High Sierra bug that gives full admin access

Using macOS High Sierra? Make sure to give your root user a password, because of this serious security issue:

Update: Check the Mac App Store for Apple’s official fix. It’s being automatically pushed to your Mac as well.

Comparing the dual lens system on iPhone X and iPhone 7 Plus

Dan Provost compared the camera systems in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X:

I created a test to hopefully get a rough idea of how much light is required before an iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X decide to switch to their respective telephoto lenses in 2X mode. I placed an object (in this case, an old Rolleiflex camera) on a white backdrop, and flanked it on both sides with two LED studio lights. I set up the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X on tripods (using the Glif, natch) and positioned them to keep the framing as similar as possible. Then, starting from a completely dark room, I slowly raised the light levels and observed when the lens switched on each camera.

Dan shows the comparison of the two devices in a short video.

The limitations of Face ID

Rene Ritchie put together a list of things Face ID currently has issues with:

There’s been so much effusion and so much FUD written about Face ID, Apple’s new biometric facial identity sensor — for iPhone X that it’s been hard to sort fact from fiction. Apple did a pretty good job setting expectations at the September event but there’s never enough time to cover everything.

Using gestures in Apple Maps to zoom in and out

Dave Mark writing for The Loop:

I love this tip. Here’s how to do it:
– Bring up Apple Maps.
– Double-tap in the map, but on the second tap, don’t lift your finger. So tap-lift-tap-leave.
– Now [with the finger still down] slide up or down to zoom in and out.

As Dave notes Google Maps supports the same gesture. It actually has supported this for ages and I always found myself trying to do this in Apple Maps. With iOS 11 I was happy to find out it finally works the same. Well, I should rather say works similar, because the directions are flipped on Google Maps: move your finger up to zoom out and down to zoom in.

Backup and Restore: Fusion Drive and the macOS High Sierra Beta

If you’ve been using the macOS High Sierra Beta on a Mac with a Fusion Drive you’ll want to pay attention to Apple’s announcement and instructions:

Beta versions of macOS High Sierra made a change in the disk format of systems by converting them to use the new Apple File System. The initial release of macOS High Sierra will provide support for the new Apple File System as the default boot filesystem on Mac systems with all-Flash built-in storage. If you installed a beta version of macOS High Sierra, the Fusion Drive in your Mac may have been converted to Apple File System. Because this configuration is not supported in the initial release of macOS High Sierra, we recommend that you follow the steps below to revert back to the previous disk format.

In other words, you’ll have to back up your Mac, format your drive, reinstall the final version of High Sierra and restore your data.