What to expect from Apple in 2019

Expect 2019 to be a big year for Apple’s iPad tablets. And for professional-grade Macs, too. The next 12 months won’t be as significant for the iPhone and Apple Watch lines, though there will certainly be some improvements.

Services and software are as important to Apple as hardware, so expect the long-awaited video service to arrive, and we predict a resurgence in augmented reality games too.

Most of these are based on information that already leaked out. In these cases, we’ll link to articles on the topic. Others are pure speculation, with some wishful thinking mixed in.

iOS 13 makes iPad Pro far more useful

Way back in 2017, iOS 11 brought important improvements to iPad. Last year’s iOS 12 focused on the iPhone, so we think 2019’s version will concentrate on tablets again.

iOS 13 will supposedly bring the ability to work with multiple windows from the same application side-by-side. This is already possible with Safari, but all software may get this feature.

A change we’re hoping for will be additional benefits from the USB-C port in the 2018 iPad Pro. Possible improvements include the ability to copy all types of files to and from external drives, greater support for external displays, and mouse/trackpad support.

An iPad with a trackpad might stop being just a dream this year.
Photo: Brydge

These changes will benefit everyone who’s already purchased the current tablet, and set off a surge of sales. But don’t anticipate a replacement in 2019, as Apple has a pattern of releasing new iPad Pro models every 18. months. But the long-awaited iPad mini 5 could launch this year, alongside a larger budget iPad.

Everything the iPhone won’t have in 2019

Apple is going to skip the two biggest trends for smartphones in 2019. But we’re still expecting some improvments, of course.

Android-based 5G phones will be common by the end of the year, but Apple can’t get a 5G iPhone out before 2020 because it’s depending on Intel for the necessary modem. Making its own won’t speed things up either.

That’s not necessarily a disaster. Carriers will still be building out their 5G networks for years, and so the users of the early Android models won’t get much benefit from them for quite some time.

Also making headlines in 2019 will be a handful of models with folding displays. Investigation into a folding iPhone started in at least 2016, but the company isn’t likely to have anything before 2020. If then. It’s not clear yet whether there’s a market for foldable phones. Apple is apparently going to wait and see what happens with the Android offerings.

So we shouldn’t expect big hardware changes at all, as Apple is reportedly going to stick with the same iPhone screen sizes this year: 6.5, 6.1, and 5.9 inches.

Which isn’t to say there won’t be some enhancements. We’ve already heard about faster Face ID, and the addition of a third camera lens could bring better pictures. All of the 2019 models might have OLED displays, one with an integrated touchscreen. 

There’s been speculation that the 2019 iPhone will have a USB-C port, rather than a Lightning connector. If so, then these handsets will also benefit from the aforementioned improvements coming in iOS 13 for the iPad Pro.

Long-overdue Mac Pro desktop appears

Apple flat-out promised that it’s going to introduce an updated Mac Pro in 2019. The wait has been very long, as it’ll replace a model introduced in 2013.

So far, Apple hasn’t said much specific about this desktop, other than it’s going to be modular and upgradeable.  The goal is to make a computer for “visual effects and video editing and 3D animation and music production,” according to John Ternus, Apple VP of Hardware Engineering.

The processor, RAM, and storage options will surely surpass 2017’s iMac Pro. Other changes will be simple updates for 2019. The current Mac Pro model doesn’t even have USB-C, for example.

The next Mac Pro is being “completely rethought” so it probably won’t look anything like this.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple also intends to release a new new high-end pro display this year.

Apple Watch, AirPods and AirPower, oh my!

2018 was a big year for Apple’s wearable, with screen sizes increasing and the addition of ECG. That suggests this year’s model isn’t going to bring dramatic hardware changes, as Apple typically rests on its laurels the year after a redesign. So far, there have been no rumors of significant improvements coming down the pike, either.

Numerous unconfirmed reports point to updated AirPods coming soon. These are expected to offer noise cancellation and water resistance. Adding “Hey Siri” support is also possible. Expect AirPods 2 to cost more than the originals, though. A complete redesign is expected in 2020.

Apple couldn’t meet its promise to have the AirPower wireless charger out by the end of December, just as it couldn’t get this multi-device charging mat on store shelves in 2017. Third year’s the charm?

Apple TV becomes a service, not just a device

Expect 2019 to be a watershed year for Apple TV. Not so much for the hardware, but for Apple’s streaming video service, which will reportedly launch in the first half of the year. The company created dozens of television programs at the cost of over a $1 billion, and will reportedly make these free to customers who already own an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.

Expect this to spur sales of the Apple TV device. Whether there will be new models to go along with the service is not yet known.

ARKit 2.0 and Augmented Reality go big

The biggest change in last year’s ARKit 2.0 update is shared experiences, a fancy way of saying that two people playing the same augmented reality game can look at the same virtual objects simultaneously. This is going to make AR games far more interesting in 2019.

Lego already introduced an app that embraces this technology, and the next version of Pokémon Go apparently uses it as well. These could be joined by a wave of AR games in 2019.

Whether the preferred platform for AR will be the iPhone or iPad is still up in the air. Phones are lighter but tablets have far larger displays. The next generation iPad could get a new type of scanner that will gave it better AR performance than iPhones. That said, it’s not clear if the first iPad with a Time of Flight (ToF) scanner will be out this year or 2020.

Apple ‘rolling the dice’ on its upcoming products

Apple CEO Tim Cook is very upbeat about where his company is going. He told investors today that upcoming products will “blow you away.”

Cook also indicated that these aren’t going to be just more of the same. Apple is branching out.

The executive didn’t use his speech during today’s annual Apple shareholders meeting to making any specific revelations. Instead, he talked about “planting seeds.”

And he’s feeling very positive about the fruit these will eventually bear. Cook said he’d “never been more optimistic” about Apple’s future.

Some short-term plans

Cook was a little more open about what to expect in the near future. In talking about the Apple Watch, Cook said they’re “pulling the string between wellness and health.” He mentioned the ECG in the latest version, but also the exercise tools built into this wearable. More health-related features are likely going forward.

He said there’s a “long, great roadmap of fantastic” products in its category that includes both Apple Watch and AirPods. An improved version of this company’s wireless earbuds are expected very soon.

In a bit of good news for laptop fans,  Apple’s CEO says they’ve made lowering the cost of the latest MacBook Air a goal. It currently starts at $1,199, after replacing an earlier model that started at $999.

After one investor complained that he couldn’t transfer a movies off his iPad Pro via the USB-C port, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi stepped in to say that new functionality is coming, but he wouldn’t get any more specific. This could be a hint that this fall’s iOS 13 will include more robust file management capabilities. something users have been asking for.

What’s over the horizon?

Apple’s executive team is hardly going to use a public shareholders meeting to discuss the unannounced products that Tim Cook was obliquely referring to. Still, there have been enough leaks that we already know what they’ll be, at least in broad terms.

One of Tim Cook’s “seeds” being germinated is a video-streaming service to compete with Netflix and Hulu. Apple has been paying to have TV shows and movies produced for months, but has so far kept quiet about its plans. That could change later this month.

A long-term project is a self-driving car. Development of this hit a speed bump recently, but the company still has thousands of people working on it. A shipping product is likely still years away, though.

Apple allegedly has a secret team developing a set of augmented reality (AR) glasses. These would take advantage of the ARKit development tools that have been part of the recent iOS versions. When this seed will burst into flower is unknown.

MacFly Pro’s suite of apps keeps your Mac decluttered

Despite the clean lines and sleek exteriors of our Macs, the insides often look like a real mess. Cluttered photo libraries; old web caches; broken extensions; unused configuration files — the list of data that can gum up our Macs is long. That makes staying on top of it all nearly impossible, unless you’ve got time and energy to spare.

MacFly Pro (not to be confused with that guy from Back to the Future) aims to simplify this process. Many Mac users receive a dreaded “Startup Disk almost Full” message before they ever think about Mac cleaning software, but MacFly Pro made a suite of Mac applications that can prevent that message from ever showing up again.

It can take many separate tasks, not to mention a long attention span, to keep a Mac tidy. The MacFly Pro suite also includes an adaptive Smart Assistant that automates most of those steps. It’s at the core of MacFly Pro, watching your system and notifying you of new opportunities to clean your Mac and maximize performance. Automatically and continuously assessing the data stored on your Mac, when it sees a way to reclaim space or improve Mac performance, it notifies you.

MacFly Pro does its work based on background scans that the Smart Assistant conducts. You’ll see a general breakdown of what the software found — system files, duplicates, etc. — along with the option to view the files in detail. Then, you can clear them out with just a click. MacFly Pro never deletes or alters anything without permission.

MacFly Pro also serves as a sentry for resources being consumed in ways you might not think to check.  It targets rarely used applications and configuration files, serving up a report on how much space they’re taking up. That means opportunities for clearing out space you probably wouldn’t spot. Additionally, the Smart Assistant offers an assessment of the overall condition of your Mac, monitoring the system state.

Call in the cleanup crew for better Mac performance

With MacFly Pro, you also get a powerful Cleaner module that removes system junk and file waste that it collects on your hard drive. Temporary files and other common data can sneakily gum up the works of any Mac. Cleaner will check your operating system and send notifications offering a one-click cleanup.

This offers a way to stay on top of Mac file accumulation without having to put in much effort at all. Cache and log files, broken login items and preferences, application data and localization files are just some of the esoteric file types you probably wouldn’t even know to look for. But Cleanup keeps an eye on these and a bunch of other file types, so you can focus on things like, you know, typing.

The right Mac cleaner tools for the job

MacFly Pro’s Tools module deals with big files on your Mac. It manages and can remove application files and documents, music, photos or archives. Just as with the other MacFly Pro modules, you can clean all of it out with several clicks.

The Tools feature also presents an estimated time frame for every task. It marks files that are most likely to hog disk space. That helps you quickly sort out junk data from the stuff you want to keep. That makes it easy to plan around big cleaning jobs.

MacFly Pro’s range of tools prove useful when you need them, and stay out of your way the rest of the time. You could buy the app for a month to see if you like what it does, then spring for the full year if you do.

There is also the download page where you can get a free trial without entering any credit card info. Either way, keeping a clean Mac shouldn’t be taking up your free time. MacFly Pro will save you both space and time.

iPhone X took over two years to develop, marks new chapter in iPhone design, says Jony Ive

In a brief interview with Japanese design magazine Casa Brutus, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive dropped a few interesting tidbits about the development, future technological implications and public reception of iPhone X.

According to Ive, who was interviewed by Casa Brutus in Cupertino, Calif., after last month’s iPhone event, iPhone X represents one of the most difficult projects Apple has undertaken, with an incubation period of more than two years.

That the product was ready in time for iPhone’s 10th anniversary in 2017 was a “wonderful coincidence,” Ive said.

Discussing the inner workings of iPhone X, Ive said the inclusion of Face ID is the culmination of years of work toward a non-contact user interface. From a user’s perspective, features that do not require physical interaction make a device feel simpler, yet at the same time more robust. Ive goes on to say the replacement of Touch ID, a capacitive fingerprint reading solution included in all iPhone models since iPhone 5s, equates to a heightened user experience.

On the handset’s design, Ive said previous models felt like a combination of many different parts, the most obvious being the chassis and display. With iPhone X, the design feels contiguous and integrated. It took may years to achieve that level of fit and finish, Ive said, adding that Apple is already working on next-generation designs.

Looking back to the first iPhone, Ive said multitouch, a feature smartphone users now take for granted, was both its most important feature and the biggest design challenge. Building a new hardware platform meant miniaturizing and incorporating cutting edge components, but also required a rethinking of human interface guidelines.

Over the past ten years iPhone has transformed from a simple telephone/internet/music device to become something much more integral to daily life. That transition continues today, as Ive remembers first using iPhone for phone calls, then video calls with FaceTime and later emoji in iMessage. With iPhone X and the depth-sensing TrueDepth camera system, owners can communicate with Animoji, Apple’s marketing term for emoji characters that animate based on a user’s facial expressions.

Instead of thinking of iPhone X as the ultimate expression of “iPhone,” Ive said the device represents a new chapter in the platform’s history.

Japanese blog Mac Otakara reported on the Casa Brutus interview earlier today.

Brazil Blocks WhatsApp for 72 Hours, 100 Million Users Affected

A Brazilian judge has ordered cellphone carriers to block access to WhatsApp for 72 hours throughout the Latin American country, after the Facebook-owned company refused to hand over information requested in a drug trafficking investigation (via Reuters).

As reported last month, the instant messenger service recently enabled full end-to-end encryption, making all forms of communication sent within the app inaccessible to outside parties as well as the service operator.

Yesterday’s decision by the judge applies to the five main wireless operators in Brazil and affects more than 100 million WhatsApp users in the country, where cellphone charges are relatively high.

This is not the first time the service has been the target of a blocking order. In December of last month, mobile providers in Brazil were ordered to block WhatsApp for 48 hours due to the service’s failure to cooperate with criminal court orders in July and August 2015. However, the following morning, an appeal’s court judge ordered that the ban be lifted for being an unreasonable response, recommending that the company be fined instead.

In March of this year, Facebook vice-president for Latin America Diego Dzodan was arrested in Brazil for not cooperating with an investigation in which WhatsApp conversations were requested, but was released the next day after the Court of Appeal held that the arrest was disproportionate. The judge who ordered WhatsApp’s shutdown on Monday is the same one who ordered Dzodan’s arrest.

Elsewhere last month, members of UK prime minister David Cameron’s inner circle campaigning to remain in the European Union were accused of using WhatsApp to discuss tactics and avoid parliamentary referendum decisions from being subject to Freedom of Information requests. Only last year, Cameron proposed to ban online messaging software that offers end-to-end encryption which could allegedly allow suspected terrorists a safe means of communication.

WhatsApp is not the only messaging service that provides end-to-end encryption; Threema, Wickr, Signal, Silent Phone, and Cryptocat also provide encryption by default. Apple’s iMessage also provides encryption, but does not display key fingerprints for verification. Apple’s own legal issues over encryption came when the FBI attempted to compel the company to unlock San Bernardino terror suspect Farook Syed’s iPhone, before the Justice Department announced it had found an alternate method to gain access to the iPhone in question and dropped the lawsuit.

While WhatsApp has been available as a smartphone app since January 2010, users have only been able to access their accounts on a computer since last year when a web browser client for the service was introduced. Last week, screenshots posted by WABetaInfo on Twitter appeared to show translation requests made by the WhatsApp team indicating that a dedicated OS X client is in the works. WhatsApp is also reportedly set to receive a video calling feature in the near future.

Acquired by Facebook in February 2014, WhatsApp is one of the most popular mobile apps worldwide. According to Statista statistics portal, in February the service recorded more than 1 billion active users worldwide, up from over 700 million in January 2015.

WhatsApp Messenger is a free download for iPhone on the App Store. [Direct Link]

3 questions you have to ask before getting your iPhone repaired

 

What’s worse than having an iPhone screen break? Having a repair shop destroy your phone or leave it barely working. iMonkeys wants you to get your device fixed right – the first time. Here is what you need to know before getting your device fixed:

How long is the repair warranty?

Only choose a repair shop that stands by the quality of their labour and parts. iMonkeys offers a Lifetime Warranty on all parts and labour. Beware of any repair shop that has less than a 1-year warranty. A short warranty means the shop has low confidence in the quality of their labour and/or parts.

Are ALL parts individually tested and validated?

iMonkeys individually hand-tests each part for quality and functionality before it’s sent to our technicians. Unless a repair shop tests their parts in advance, the first time a part is tested will be in your phone. This means you might be returning to get your device fixed again very soon!

Are the screens cheap ‘copy’ parts or original high quality LCD screens and cables?

iMonkeys only uses the highest quality parts to ensure your phone is like new after a repair. We never takes shortcuts in using cheap parts. Although a ‘copy’ part may cost €25 less, using one can have disastrous results. With a cheaper route you’ll most likely experience: shorter battery life, dropped calls, dangerously hot batteries, unresponsive touch screens, dead pixels, and a pink hue on the screen. Yikes!

For a trusted repair, you can be safe in choosing either iMonkeys or waiting in line at an Apple Store to receive a quality repair that will get your device working again.

Unlock Bypass iCloud Activation

“Can you unlock this device for me?”

This seems to be the question of the season as savvy folks look to the used/refurbished device market.
A quick search on eBay turns up hundreds of devices that are marked as “iCloud locked” or “Activation locked” devices. These devices are (almost always) lost or stolen devices and they will never again be usable as designed.

In the old days, pre iOS 7, stolen devices could readily be cleared of their data with a fresh install of the operating system and were ready to go. Even if they were ‘passcode locked’ –didn’t matter, just write over everything and go.

Not anymore. Apple created the “activation lock” or “iCloud lock” which requires that any device that has once been activated under someone’s iCloud account (aka–someone clicked through the normal set up wizard and typed in their Apple ID) has to have that password entered in order to be transferred to a new owner.

This means that:
1.) If you sell a device–you need to clear the iCloud lock. You can either Erase all Contents and Settings or Remove iCloud account—-both of which will require your Apple ID password. Once done, the phone can be sold and the new owner will not encounter the ‘activation lock’

2.) If step one is not done, (even if the phone is completely restored with a new operating system from recovery mode) then the new setup wizard will STILL REQUIRE the password of the original owner in order to be activated and usable.

Since we hear about things like iPhone jailbreaking all the time, it would be normal to assume that there must be some sort of hack or workaround—but there is not.

To be clear. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO REMOVE THE ICLOUD LOCK WITHOUT THE ORIGNAL OWNERS PASSWORD.

That fact doesn’t stem the tide of scammers claiming to be able to remove the activation lock, but all of these are either completely false, will provide an ‘unlock’ that is temporary, or will provide an unlock that is pretty useless since the device won’t be able to talk to the App Store or cell towers. NO METHOD will leave you with a device that will work as designed.

While we’re throwing around the word “unlock”, I’d be remiss to not clarify that some important distinctions. The iCloud or Activation lock that we’ve been talking about is different bag of cats than Carrier lock–i.e. using a phone on O2 and then ‘unlocking it’ for use on Vodafone. That is entirely possible and there are many legitimate unlocking services for carrier/network unlocking.

Also, ‘passcode locked’ when you forget your PIN code or password that the phone prompts you for at slide-to-unlock. THIS isn’t the end of the line. It is possible to erase the phone and restore it without that passcode (you will lose your data) but it can be set up again. AS LONG AS you can clear the iCloud/Activation lock–i.e. you still know your Apple ID password that you use with iTunes.

Still clear as mud?

Here is a cheatsheet:

iCloud or Activation locked—IMPOSSIBLE.

STOLEN DEVICE. AVOID.

Carrier or Network locked—ready for use, but locked to that network. May be eligible for unlocking service (not all carriers allow unlocking)

Passcode locked—Can be erased and restored as new IF not also iCloud locked.

Use an Old iPhone to help your dog or cat!

Brilliant Uses for an Old iPhone

Do you have a problem dog or cat? Do you wonder what they get up to while you are out? Or maybe you come home and find a mess when you get home and wonder which of your animals is responsible. Or maybe you just want to keep an eye on your home while you are out for whatever reason. If you are one such person, then read on, this article is just for you.

dog-selfie-iphone

Now, the trouble with iPhones is that they keep bringing out new models. While this is all fine and dandy, it does create a problem with what to do with old iPhones. If the iPhone needs some repairs, then head over to iMonkeys. These old iPhones still have a lot of use in them, they can be used as music stations, game machines for kids, and a lot else.

But this article is going to focus on one specific use for them, and that’s for spying on your animals while you are away. How is this done? The first thing you need is your old iPhone. This is going to be used as a camera and broadcasting station. The next thing you need is some software. Download an app called AtHome Video Streamer from the iTunes store. On your new iPhone (or Android, or tablet, or laptop for that matter), down load an app called AtHome Camera Free. This is the software that will connect to your iPhone that will be broadcasting your feed.

So how to set it all up?

Set up is surprisingly easy and you’ll be up and running within 10 minutes. Follow this simple check list and you’ll have a basic setup enabling you to keep an eye on your animals from afar.

So, here goes…

Step 1 – Download AtHome Video Streamer from the app store, and install.

Step 2 – Open the app, and you should see a screen with a smaller screen which will show your current view.

Step 3 – For a basic setup, there’s no need to create a login, you can set it up between itself and a few devices to look in on it.

Step 4 – On any device you want to view the feed on, down load AtHome Camera (Free). This is available not only for the iPhone, but also for Android devices too.

Step 5 – One you’ve downloaded and installed the app, run it, and you’ll be presented with a QR capture screen.

Step 6 – Go back to your iPhone where you are sending the feed from, and press the Generate QR code button.

Step 7 – Hover your other device over the QR code that has been generated and your device will then be in synch with the feed device.

Step 8 – Set your feed device up where you want to monitor your room, and then you’ll be able to see the feed on your other device.

There’s a couple of nifty things you can do on the device you’re looking at the feed from. The bottom left button enables you to toggle between hearing what’s going on back home, and switching this off. This can be useful if you want to be able to tell if your pet is distressed in any way.

The next button allows you to record the action, and save it directly to your phone. Now you know how so many people manage to capture daft antics of pets when they are away!

The third button is perhaps the most useful. It’s the microphone button. If your pet is distressed, or worried, you can press and hold, and then speak through it. Your voice will then come out of the speakers on your iPhone and hopefully help to calm your pet down.

You can add a number of devices to the feed device by following the same procedure above for acquiring the QR code. Once the system has this saved, you’ll be able to log in from anywhere.

And of course, this system not only is useful for checking in on your pets, you can also use it as a mini surveillance system for your home, or for making sure your babysitter is doing their job looking after your kids. You can even set it up in your baby’s room to check in on it. Or you could be more creative, and maybe set it up outside to spy on wildlife, or whatever you can think of.

This is a basic setup, but you can also set it up to come on at certain times, record the action, or to activate viewing and recording based on motion.

So as you can see, an upgrade to a new phone does not mean the death of your old phone. It should simply mean a new use for it, and expand on its features.

How to save your water damaged iPhone

Probably the worst thing that can happen to your iPhone is water or liquid damage and this is becoming more and more common these days since we take our iPhone’s pretty much everywhere with us. What’s even worse is that Apple’s iPhone warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage.

If you’re not sure that your iPhone has made contact with any liquids or moisture, check your iPhone’s liquid contact indicators because this is the first thing that the genius’ will do if you take it to an Apple Store. So save yourself a wasted journey and check out the Instructions for yourself. They can be found on the Apple website.

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding yourself the owner of a broken, water damaged iPhone, thanks to a sudden spillage, or moment of clumsiness or stupidity. Whether you’ve dropped your iPhone in rain water, spilled a drink on it, or accidentally left it in your pocket and placed it in the washing machine, water damage to an iPhone is worrying, and most owners consider it the end of the lifespan for their beloved phone.

Whilst you can successfully check yourself if water damage has occurred to your iPhone, always remember that restoring an iPhone after water damage is a specialist job.

What happens when water enters into your iPhone? Why does liquid cause such a problem for your device? How to fix an iPhone with water damage?

Water on any electronic circuit boards causes corrosion, similar to rust on a garden gate, which is known also known as oxidation. Oxidation causes the degradation of the solder joints, which affect the resistance between the circuits. The connections start showing signs of cracks and pits, which stop the flow of electricity to vital parts of the iPhone’s electronic components.   Minerals and ions found in water, especially in salt or chlorine will form clusters that bridge connectors and short out circuits in a matter of hours. In our opinion, an iPhone, which has the highest chance of repair, are the ones that were affected by fresh water.

But don’t despair! Time is of the essence and If you are quick and follow the 5 steps to save your water damaged iPhone detailed in the info-graphic below, the higher the chances are of your beloved iPhone surviving along with all its data.

Save_water_damaged_iphone

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