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  • Rumor claims 2019 iPhone will get 10MP TrueDepth camera, stick to Lightning

    command_f said:
    I think the Lightning connector is physically superior to USB-C (having used an all-USB-C MBP since late 2016). I do see the need for USB-3 speeds, especially when setting-up a new phone or pad, but I continue to believe that Apple could engineer that into Lightning in a backwards-compatible fashion.

    Putting USB-C on the other end of the cable seems more important to me. With my MBP 2 years old and Apple's apparent drive for USB-C, I couldn't believe that my new iPhone XS needed a dongle to connect to my MBP. So let's have a brave drive for the future at the charger/host end of the cable first.
    You do not require a ”dongle” to plug the XS into your MBP, you simply need a cable. 
    You are technically correct of course. The point is that what comes in the box is not interoperable: a MacBook Pro and iPhone XS, out of their respective boxes, cannot be connected using the cable supplied. I said dongle because, living in the real world with a laptop, I have found essential, and bought, a USB-A dongle (well, two actually). I have also now bought a USB-C to Lightning cable.

    If Apple believes that USB-C is the future (and the MBP, plus statements at its launch, suggest that they do) then why does the iPhone, two generations later, not come with a USB-C charger and cable? Or with a USB-C cable in addition to the USB-A one (which would be analogous to the inclusion of a headphone dongle with previous generation iPhones).

    It's not the cost at issue, it's the lack of system thinking and integrated ecosystem that used to be a hallmark of Apple kit (the "it just works" bit)  Transitions are always difficult but Apple doesn't seem to be consistent on this one.
  • How do a pair of HomePods compare to a $180 soundbar?

    When comparing audio systems, it is essential to equalise the sound levels of the systems. At all reasonable levels, a louder playback will gain a quality advantage; this is down to the extra detail revealed by boosting the volume of the quieter parts. This is a common problem when trying to compare sound quality, be it of different systems or different versions (eg remastered CD vs original CD - it may not be a coincidence that remasters are usually louder than their predecessors).

    While they were playing at a lower level, the HomePods were disadvantaged (I think the story acknowledges that but it's a bit subtle in saying so).
  • Here are all the big changes to Apple Maps for 2017-2019

    2 points that makes Google Maps much more useful than Apple Maps.
     - the global coverage.  Apple announces support for public transport city by city, Google does it country by country.  At the pace Apple is announcing a global coverage of public transport will be for the next century
     - the integration with search engine.  You look for something in the search engine and the location is automatically available in the Google Maps on any device you have.
    For developers: integration in your own developments.
    And another:
     - Streetview. See your destination before you leave: my favourite example is when I was driving into Sydney for the first time, lots of traffic and lots of one-way streets. My hotel was on a block corner but where was its car park entrance? Once I knew that, I knew which one-way street to approach on.
  • Apple confirms iOS 12's 'USB Restricted Mode' will thwart police, criminal access [u]

    I prefer to think of this as keeping out the bad guys. In my book, in the UK, that doesn't include the security agencies. YMMV.

    However, it's a Good Thing that Apple is doing this, the agencies should have (be given) different and better methods. Interestingly, the ex-head of GCHQ (UK's equivalent of NSA) is on record as opposing backdoors: he says they're technically difficult and and open to abuse ( About what has been said here in the past.

    BTW The original story is here (but it may not be accessible outside the UK):https//
  • FBI warns public to reboot Wi-Fi routers to counter 'VPNFilter' malware

    I thought it was us Brits who were supposed to see the black cloud around every silver lining!

    There is a world-wide malware threat to WiFi routers so the FBI puts out a warning and some easily understood, easily actioned advice to US citizens. Isn't that their job? Isn't that a good thing?

    If you follow the Symantec link in the article, you'll find that the FBI's advice is effective; not 100% effective but nonetheless helpful. Part of the issue here is that people never changed their routers' passwords, with that audience the FBI needed to keep it simple. The bigger fix involves firmware updates and basic security hygiene and the FBI notice goes on to describe this; it may be simple to the audience here but not so much to the world at large.
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