The Firmware-Download Edition Monday, July 31, 2017

Apple Firmware Release May Reveal iPhone Plans, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Nobody digs into Apple software releases like Steve Troughton-Smith. And this is a big one. Apparently Apple released a firmware download for the HomePod (not due until the end of the year!) on its servers, and inside that firmware there’s information about future iPhone hardware and support for an infrared face unlock feature code-named Pearl ID.

Apple Issues Statement Regarding Removal Of Unlicensed VPN Apps In China, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Unsurprisingly, Apple says that it is complying with regulations put in place by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology earlier this year that require VPN apps to be licensed by the government.

Apple’s Capitulation To China’s VPN Crack-down Will Return To Haunt It At Home, by Mike Butcher, TechCrunch

So we can see where Mr Cook is under pressure. China is Apple’s second market after the US and has far more potential for growth. To stay in the country he must walk a delicate balancing act with the famously restrictive authorities, while growing sales.


But perhaps the biggest headache Tim has is that Apple not have a leg to stand on when it is once again confronted with governmental censorship elsewhere.


Why Logitech’s “Flow” Is A Desktop Revelation, by Leigh Stark, Pickr

So many of us have at least two computers on our desk. It could be a Mac and a PC, or two of each, plus a little more, and that makes Logitech’s latest concept super useful, and very very cool.

Introduced earlier in the month, Logitech Flow is a rather unique concept, providing a way for one mouse to connect to up to three computers, and not just connect, but also control.

Flux 7 For macOS Makes Hand Coding Easier, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Flux, the web design application for macOS, has been revved to version 7. The software can work with everything from a modern site using HTML5 and CSS3 to legacy sites built on older technologies.

Microsoft's Windows Phone Keyboard For The iPhone Is Dead, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Microsoft first released its Windows Phone keyboard for the iPhone more than a year ago, with a unique one-handed mode. Microsoft is now removing it from the App Store and encouraging users to download SwiftKey instead.


Apple Eyeing Green Energy In Australia, by AFR

Global technology giant Apple's environmental boss Lisa Jackson says the company is looking at expanding into Australia's energy market including a stake in solar and wind projects.

With Apple purchasing solar farms across the world to help its target of being 100 per cent renewable, Ms Jackson said the company was looking at all options to reduce its carbon footprint in Australia.

The Absurdity Of Honolulu's New Law Banning Pedestrians From Looking At Their Cellphones, by Henry Grabar, Slate

The way to stop drivers from killing pedestrians is to make the roads safe. More than four in five pedestrian fatalities occur outside intersections, which is not surprising: Americans suburbs are designed for cars, and people without them are condemned to play Frogger. Too often, the response is to blame the victim—rather than reformin the system that puts people in danger in the first place.