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.

Bloomberg: These are the things to come with iOS 13 and the next iPhones

As has become a tradition Mark Gurman and Debby Wu have some new details about the upcoming iPhones, iPads and iOS 13:

For 2019, Apple plans successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — code-named D42 and D43 — and an update to the iPhone XR, said the people. The larger of the new high-end iPhones will have three cameras on the back, and other handsets could eventually come with the upgraded system, too, the people said.

iPhone tldr:

The follow-up to the current iPhone XS Max will come with three rear cameras, that will allow for a larger field of view which means Apple will increase the zoom compared to current models. Software might make it possible to “repair” a photo or video that has been cut-off using this camera. Live photos will capture more frames, going up from 3 to then 6 seconds.

The hardware will look largely be the same, but Apple is testing a version with USB-C. Bigger changes will come next year with the introduction of 5G capable models.

iOS 13 tldr:

iOS 13 will have dark mode, improvements to CarPlay. It will certain enhancements for the iPad like a new home screen, support for tabbed apps, just like a browser tab and better file management.

iOS 13 is most likely to be shown at Apple’s developer conference which usually takes place early June. New iPhones are usually presented in September. According to Bloomberg there won’t be new iPad Pros this year.

Breaking: Third-Party Twitter-Apps in June August

Once again Twitter is about to do what we’ve come to expect from the company. From Apps of a Feather:

Third-party apps open a network connection to Twitter and receive a continuous stream of updates (hence the name). For push notifications, this connection is done on the developer’s server and used to generate messages that are sent to your devices. For timeline updates, the stream is opened directly on your mobile device or desktop computer.

This streaming connection is being replaced by an Account Activity API. This new infrastructure is based on “webhooks” that Twitter uses to contact your server when there’s activity for an account. But there are problems for app developers…

This change, currently poised to happen after June 19th August 16th, 2018, means two main things: push notifications will no longer arrive and timelines won’t refresh automatically anymore. Currently there’s no way for third-party developers to fix these things. Twitter has yet to give third-party developers access to the new Account Activity API. But even if they should get access in time to fix their applications, things like push notifications will be inherently limited, essentially rendering them useless:

With access we might be able to implement some push notifications, but they would be limited at the standard level to 35 Twitter accounts – our products must deliver notifications to hundreds of thousands of customers.

Terminal for iOS: A local terminal for your iPhone and iPad

There have been plenty of apps for iPhone and iPad that allow you to connect to a remote server, via ssh for example. I use a mix of Termius and Prompt for these. But now there’s a new, if simple, app in town that gives you a local shell on your iOS device.

The simple yet properly named app called Terminal by Louis D’hauwe currently only includes some basic commands, so you won’t (yet?) find your whole collection of tools. In it’s current status it feels like a great start with hopefully many more features to come in future updates, mostly the mentioned toolbox you can find on most Linux/Unix machines.

Terminal is a free download on the App Store. You can also find the source on GitHub which gives me even more hope that new features will be added quickly.

Apple delays HomePod until Early 2018

Apple just released a statement about the upcoming HomePod:

We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.

Originally scheduled for December this means Apple will miss the upcoming holidays. The question is why did Apple announce it so early, in June 2017, even with a supposed launch in December. Did they run into issues with the production, the hardware or software itself?

watchOS 4.0.1 fixes Apple Watch Wi-Fi (and LTE) issues

When the first reviews of the new Apple Watch Series 3 came out there were a couple of reviewers that ran into issues with their watches trying to use previously saved Wi-Fi networks that use so-called captive portals. You may have seen these portals when using public Wi-Fi hotspots at Starbucks or using in-flight service on your favorite airline. They usually require you to accept their Terms of Service or something similar, which isn’t an issue on a normal device.

If you connected to one of those, say on your iPhone or Mac, they’ll be saved on your other devices as well, to make it easier when you try to connect with them as well later on. The problem is, these Wi-Fi networks are – or were – being synced to watchOS as well. Since the Apple Watch has no interface for you to agree to any ToS, you weren’t able to successfully connect to them. This resulted in the Watch getting stuck half way without a network connection.

For the Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular this also meant that it wouldn’t let go of it and use LTE to get a connection, resulting in zero service – even though LTE might have been available where you were.

watchOS 4.0.1 which was publicly released today fixes this bug. So if you own an Apple Watch you might want to go to your Watch app on your iPhone and look for software updates and install it. Make sure to connect your Watch to the charging puck and not take it off before it’s done updating.