Supreme Court Ruling On Apple App Store Fee Case Not Expected Until Mid-2019

supreme court ruling on apple store fee case won’t come until mid-2019

As the world turns its eyes Thursday to the hearings in Washington of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, one analyst is looking ahead to one of the cases the Court will be considering this fall.

The report authored by Schachter notes that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Apple v. Pepper, a case concerning the antitrust implications of Apple’s App Store fees, as early as the last week of November. However, the analyst notes that the arguments could be pushed back to early 2019.

“In the scenario that Pepper wins (if court rules that consumers are “direct purchasers” with grounds to sue), the case will continue back in the lower courts,” the note said. “If Apple wins, it is likely that a similar lawsuit will be filed on behalf of developers, not consumers. We believe that under either scenario, this case will call heightened attention to the issue of App Store economics to investors’ analysis, although the Supreme Court decision will not directly impact the model.”

The note says that the case could hurt Apple’s performance if the decision results in lower rates, although that is several steps away. Macquarie, in the note, did not adjust its price target for Apple, keeping it at $235.

A decision is likely to arrive in the spring or summer of 2019.

The Pepper case was first filed in 2011. The case concerns a group of app developers who believe Apple’s App Store fee regime violates antitrust laws. The plaintiffs allege that Apple has engaged in anti-competitive behaviors in taking a cut from developers’ sale proceeds. Also at issue in the case is whether companies like Apple can be sued under antitrust law over App Stores, with the plaintiffs potentially awarded treble damages because of the behavior. Google, which has its own version of the App Store, would also be affected by any ruling.

In May, The Department of Justice filed a brief taking Apple’s side in the Pepper case. Apple appealed to the Supreme Court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the plaintiffs, and the court agreed in June to hear the case during its next term.

Hands-On With The New Depth Control Feature In iPhone XS And XS Max

 the new depth control feature with iphpne xs and xs max

Depth Control, which we’ve featured in the video below, lets you adjust the amount of blurring in the background of your Portrait Mode images, giving you more control over how your images come out.

Depth Control can be accessed after you take a Portrait Mode image by tapping on the “Edit” button of a Portrait Mode photo in the Photos app. At the bottom of the editing interface, you’ll see a new Depth slider, which is what you use to adjust the blurring or depth of field of the image.

In a traditional camera, a larger aperture means more background blur and a shallower depth of field, while a smaller aperture results in less background blurring. This system is what Apple is mimicking with Depth Control.

If you’re new to photography, it’s a bit confusing, but a larger aperture is represented by a smaller number, while a smaller aperture is represented by a larger number. So in the Depth Control slider, which ranges from f/1.4 to f/16, f/1.4 is the maximum amount of blur while f/16 essentially eliminates all background blur for an image that’s sharp throughout.

By default, all Portrait Mode images on iPhone XS and XS Max start at f/4.5, and from there, you can move the slider along the bottom to the left or the right to add more or less background blur. Being able to adjust the depth of field is useful because you can tweak exactly what you want blurred, and it can save some photos that otherwise would have had key details (like the edges of hair or fur) blurred out by Apple’s Portrait Mode software.

Depth Control is limited to Portrait Mode images taken with the front or rear-facing cameras because there needs to be blur to adjust in the image. Right now, editing the depth of a photo is limited to images that have already been captured, but starting in iOS 12.1, it will work in real time too.

In the iOS 12.1 beta, when capturing a Portrait Mode image with the front or rear facing camera, you can tap on the little “F” in the upper right hand corner of the display to access the Depth Control slider to see how more or less background blur looks in real time before taking an image. The camera app will also remember your preferred Depth Control settings from photo to photo, so you can always set it at the depth of field that you like best.

Live Depth Control lets you get the perfect angle and the perfect amount of depth for the portrait that you want to capture so you can make all of your real-time adjustments before snapping the photo.

What do you think of the Depth Control feature in the iPhone XS and XS Max? Let us know in the comments.

15 Things I always Do When Setting Up A New iPhone

15 things you should do when setting up a new iphone

How I set up a new iPhone

This list is pretty much in the same order a do things after setting up my iPhone or iPad as new.

  1. Install 1Password.
  2. Turn off keyboard clicks in Settings > Sounds & Haptics. They drive me nuts so this is always a priority.
  3. Turn off Lock sound.
  4. Change time to 24 hours format in Settings > General > Date & Time. I’m French and grew up on what the US calls military time.
  5. Delete stock apps I never use (Contacts, GarageBand, Keynote, Clips, iMovie, iTunes U, Tips). Doing so doesn’t only help keep things clean, but it also saves tons of storage space on my device.
  6. Create a “Crapple” folder with all Apple apps I seldom use.
  7. Add French keyboard in Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
  8. Add French dictionary, and French-English dictionary in Settings > General > Dictionary. Typing often in both English and French, these two steps are essential.
  9. Enable dictation in Settings > General > Keyboard. I am not entirely sure why but this isn’t on by default. It probably has something to do with privacy.
  10. Set up text message forwarding to my iPad and MacBook so I can also receive SMS (not just iMessages) on these devices. You can do so in Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding.
  11. Set my default iMessage email address at Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
  12. Set iMessage history to one year. After one year, messages will automatically be deleted, which doesn’t really matter since I will have a new iPhone by then. This is done in Settings > Messages > Keep Messages.
  13. Enable Wi-Fi calling in Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling. This is a great feature that most carriers now support.
  14. Turn off call forwarding to other devices to prevent having all my Apple devices ring when I get a phone call. This is taken care of in Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices.
  15. Change the FaceTime default email address in Settings > FaceTime. I make sure the default email address used to place FaceTime calls is the same as the one used as default iMessage email address. I do this for all my Apple devices to make sure all my iMessages and FaceTime calls come from the same email address.

Now that you know my entire process, tell me how you go about it. Do you set up your iOS devices as new like I do, or do you set them up from a backup? Do you have a set up process too? Any question about my set up? Share in the comments below.

Consumer Reports: Biggest Changes For iPhone XS and XS Max Are Faster A12 Chip And Camera Improvements

biggest differences for iphone xs and xs max are faster a12 chip and camera improvements

Up front, Consumer Reports highlights the incremental nature of this year’s iPhone updates. It gives a recommendation that the new iPhones will be most appealing to those with older smartphones.

If you already own the X, there may not be enough upside here to entice you to upgrade. But if you own an older smartphone and are willing to part with a grand or more, you might want to think about picking up one of the new Apple phones.

As for size, CR notes a few differences between the XS Max and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, giving the new 6.5-inch iPhone better marks for reachability/usability.

The skinnier construction on the Note9 makes it easier to hold, but it’s also harder to reach the top of the screen with your thumb. With the Max, you might have a little more trouble wrapping your fingers around the body—especially if you put the phone in a case—but you won’t have to stretch as much to reach the icons on the top row.

However, it does also warn users with small hands that it will be worth trying one out in person before buying one. When it comes to improvements with the XS and XS Max, CR says that the upgraded bokeh effect capabilities and Depth Control feature are notable changes.

Our testers spent a considerable amount of time playing around with the feature in our labs, even comparing it with the bokeh performance of a good-quality DSLR camera.

However, overall image quality is notably improved with the new Smart HDR feature and more. Check out our comparison between the iPhone X and XS Max. The other standout upgrade CR notes is the new A12 Bionic processor.

When we put the phones’ processing and graphics capabilities to the test, the XS beat them all. But the performance of the other contenders wasn’t significantly worse, especially considering the kinds of tasks consumers typically perform with their phones.

As for the new and improved OLED displays, Consumer Reports head of TV testing program, Caludio Ciacci says there’s not much of a difference between the X and XS, but the 6.5-inch display of the XS Max offers more detail than ever.

Ciacci confirmed that the new iPhones have deep black levels and supersharp displays—but he didn’t see differences between them and the other models. Because the XS Max has such a large display, though, it has significantly more pixels than the older iPhones. And, Ciacci says, that gives it the ability to show more detail than phones with similar specs.

Consumer reports plans to dive into battery life and durability with its full review coming soon.

Apple Watch Series 4: Should You Upgrade?

get the new apple watch series 4

If you are considering the latest Apple Watch, you most likely fall in to one of three camps. You either own the previous generation Apple Watch Series 3, an earlier model Apple Watch, or you don’t own an Apple Watch at all. Let’s take a look at each of those scenarios.

This is the easiest call to make. If you have been holding out for an Apple Watch, this is the time to make the leap. The early reviews have been glowing, and Apple seems to have finally nailed down what the Apple Watch is best at.

The hardware has never been better, with all ceramic backs, physical haptic feedback to the Digital Crown, finally larger edge-to-edge displays, and some of the most impressive health features ever packed into a wearable.

To go with is watchOS 5 — by far the most impressive OS yet. It helps performance, introduces new watch faces, goes a long way towards improving Siri, and so much more.

At this point, if you have been debating on getting an Apple Watch, not much should be holding back. Possibly other than the price.

What should you do? If you are ok with the prices, go with the Series 4. Otherwise, there has never been a time to pick up the Series 3 which are still just as fast and nearly as capable but at a new lower price.

I own one of the early Apple Waches

If you were an early adopter to the Apple Watch, you know some of the imperfections that are present. The devices were slow, with somewhat cramped screens, and didn’t exactly know their purpose.

Series 4 has finally figured that out. Health and information are the two biggest selling points of the Apple Watch and Series 4 doubles down on both of those.

The large, edge-to-edge screens look great while not drastically increasing the size of the case. More information can be shared, photos look better, and complications can show much more.

Health-wise — fall detection, heart rate monitoring, ECG, and new workouts included on the Series 3 or with watchOS 5 are all improvements.

Simply put, the Series 4 Apple Watch goes miles beyond the Series 0, 1, or 2.

What should you do? Upgrade! Early Apple Watches were very slow devices, and the earliest don’t even support watchOS 5. Jumping on the Series 4 will be a major upgrade.

I own the Series 3 Apple Watch

One of the most difficult positions to be in is that of just picked up the previous generation. Apple Watches aren’t cheap, so it can be a tough decision on whether to upgrade merely a year later.

There are, however, two good cases for upgrading.

First, this is the first redesign to the Apple Watch. Larger display, better speaker, health improvements, new Digital Crown, all are tantalizing reasons to trade up. This isn’t a minor spec bump that is incrementally faster, but an overall reworking of the hardware.

Second, the third generation Apple Watch is still an excellent device. It has held its value well and will be easier to flip on the second hand market to upgrade to that new, shiny, Apple Watch Series 4

This also happens to be the boat that I’m in. I can tell you why I’m upgrading, which is primarily that new display and the improved cellular connection. For something I use every day, and rely on more and more, I want to be able to get the most out of it.

What should you do? How important is the new screen? If the screen isn’t a big deal to you, go ahead and hold off for another year.


Apple’s Walkie-Talkie App In WatchOS 5 Will Let You Talk To Your Friends In An Instant

apple’s walkie-talkie app in watchos 5 enables you talk to your friends in a minute

With the Walkie-Talkie app, all Apple Watch owners, except for those with first-generation “Series 0” devices, will be able to communicate with each other simply by selecting a contact name and pressing a button.

Opening the app, users are greeted by a splash screen reading, “Walkie-Talkie, a fun way to talk to other Apple Watch users.” Below the message is a list of your contacts. To add someone to Walkie-Talkie, just tap their name to send them an authorization request. Likewise, when someone adds you to their Walkie-Talkie app, you’ll get an automatic request asking if you want to pair.

Users can add anyone, even friends who don’t own an Apple Watch. It would be nice to limit contacts to those who have compatible equipment. To remove a contact, just swipe their name card and press the “X” icon.

Once you have a contact added, the app is enabled by default and a shortcut icon shows up at the top of every watch face. If you don’t want to be interrupted by an audio message, you can disable Walkie-Talkie by swiping down and toggling the “Available” switch to “off,” an action that also removes the shortcut. All watch faces supporting complications will be able to use the new shortcut icon for the Walkie-Talkie app.

Starting a session is straightforward. Select a contact from the list and, once connected, hold down the large “Talk” button while speaking and release when done. If your contact is available they will hear a notification sound and feel a haptic feedback vibration before your voice message is played.

The system works in real time with virtually no delay. Just like real walkie-talkies, only one person can speak at a time and if the other person is sending audio, your “Talk” button turns into a dynamic circular waveform. Spinning the digital crown will lower and raise the volume.

If you try to talk to a contact that has Walkie-Talkie disabled, the app will let you record your message and will try to connect. After about about five seconds, you will get a message saying they aren’t available. If someone tries to contact you while you are not available, you will get a notification that they tried to reach you. Watch will then give you the option to talk to them, open walkie talkie, or dismiss the notification.

We would love to have contacts turn gray in the app if they are not available to talk. That way we wouldn’t have to send a message and wait for the connection to fail before finding out that they are logged off, and they wouldn’t get a notification as a result.

Walkie-Talkie is based on FaceTime audio technology and works over both Wi-Fi and cellular. When you select a contact, a connection is established that stays open for up to five minutes before timing out. By using a live call, nothing needs to be recorded, sent or downloaded, which makes the feature much faster and more private than previous push-to-talk solutions.

First Reviews Call iPhone XS & Max Awesome But Wait For iPhone XR To Decide

 first review call iphone xs and max grest but wait for iphone xr to decide

The early iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews are now being posted online. Not surprisingly, most focus on the subtle differences between the two handsets and the 2017 iPhone X.

Here are excerpts from some of the first iPhone XS/XS Max reviews:

The Verge‘s Nilay Patel explains that “both iPhone XS models are fundamentally just spec-bumped updates to the iPhone X.” He suggests no one with the 2017 handset needs to upgrade, “but if you’re already deep into a preorder, don’t worry: you will love the iPhone XS.”

For everyone else, he explains that “it’s worth waiting to see how the iPhone XR turns out before rushing in — it has the same processor and the same main camera for $750. The only major question is how good its 6.1-inch LCD will look in comparison to the OLED on the XS.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern had similar thoughts. Though she was impressed with both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, she suggests waiting until the iPhone XR launches in October to make a decision.

Imagine Goldilocks only tested the cold and hot porridges and never found the one that was “just right.” Her life might have been entirely different. That’s how I feel about testing the iPhone XS and XS Max—without the iPhone XR—for the past week.

TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino says some might not be happy with this year’s “S” models because they aren’t all that different than the iPhone X. Still, he says that “weakness, however, is only really present if you view it through the eyes of the year-over-year upgrader.” He suggests those iPhone X users will only be happy if you “love what they’ve done with the camera to want to make the jump.” Nonetheless, “As a move from any other device, it’s a huge win.”

Finally, there’s Mashable’s Raymond Wong who actually goes in a different direction. He believes both models offer much more than subtle changes — if you look inside the devices.

He explains:

The time has come for us to look beyond the surface of the iPhone — they’re all gonna look like the iPhone X from here on out. Maybe the notch and the bezels shrink over the next couple of years, but the real game-changing innovations are all happening inside. So start paying more attention to them, because they’re “boring” but will increasingly matter more.

As someone who purchased an iPhone XS Max to replace my iPhone X, I don’t have a beef with anything that was said in these reviews. Nonetheless, I also agree that for the average iPhone owners, it’s a wise choice to wait until the iPhone XR arrives on Oct. 26 to decide which one is best.

As a reminder, you can pre-order the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max now. Both models officially launch in stores this Friday, Sept. 21. Pre-orders for the iPhone XR will be accepted beginning on Friday, Oct. 19.

Did you already order a new iPhone or are you waiting? Let us know below.

Kuo: High Preorder Demand For Apple Watch Series 4, low Expectations For 5.8-inch iPhone XS

 high pre-orders for the apple watch series 4 and low expectations for the 5.8-inch iphone x

In a research note seen by AppleInsider, Kuo says average shipping times for Apple’s flagship iPhone XS Max suggest demand for the premium handset is in line with expectations.

With launch shipments already pushed back one to two weeks, depending on model, the company’s “high price strategy” appears to be paying off. Chinese demand is expectedly strong as the XS Max ticks off that demographic’s most-wanted features with a new gold color option, dual-SIM support and an oversized 6.5-inch display.

Apple’s new dual-SIM solution relies on eSIM technology already in use in Apple Watch and iPad, but the company is unable to market the technology in China due to carrier restrictions. Instead, Apple took the extra step of building a special model for Chinese consumers that supports two physical SIM cards, one on each side of the SIM tray.

Kuo notes average shipping times for XS Max are shorter than the two to three week ship-by dates seen during last year’s iPhone X release, but believes the improvements have more to do with the supply chain than relaxed demand. As such, the analyst is forecasting XS Max to account for 25 to 30 percent of new iPhone shipments.

Demand for the 5.8-inch iPhone XS is lower than anticipated, Kuo says, pointing out most models of the iPhone X successor will deliver to customers on launch day. Considering the numbers, the analyst believes more users are interested in iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, the latter being a new mid-tier iPhone with 6.1-inch LCD screen set to go on sale in October.

On the back “lackluster demand,” Kuo decreased iPhone XS allocation estimates from 15 to 20 percent of all new iPhone model shipments down to 10 to 15 percent.

Picking up the slack is iPhone XR, which moves from 50 to 55 percent up to 55 to 60 percent of new model shipments. More affordable pricing starting at $749 in the U.S. and dual-SIM support in the Chinese market are likely to fuel demand for the aluminum clad iPhone.

“We estimate the shipment peak of XS Max and XS will be in October and XR will start shipping and benefiting supply chain momentum in October,” Kuo says. “We estimate the shipments of the 2H18 new iPhone models will grow slightly year-over-year to 75 to 80 million units.”

Finally, Apple Watch Series 4 is performing better than expected with Apple showing multiple model stockouts in participating launch countries. Kuo attributes increased interest to new functions like advanced heart monitoring and electrocardiogram capabilities.

Currently, Apple Watch ECG support is limited to the U.S., where the company secured FDA clearance for over-the-counter sales, and is not scheduled to roll out until later this year. During its unveiling, Apple COO Jeff Williams said the company is working to bring ECG capabilities to other countries, but failed to offer a timeline on release.

Kuo predicts Apple Watch shipments will reach 18 million units in 2018, with Series 4 accounting for 50 to 55 percent of the whole.

Starting March 2019, iPhone & Watch Apps Must Support Xs Max And Series 4 Hardware

iphone and watch apps must work for xs max and series 4 hardware starting march 2019,

Apple will soon stop accepting iPhone apps that don’t take full advantage the native display resolution of iPhone Xs Max. Likewise, Apple Watch apps must support the new Apple Watch Series 4 hardware.

Apple has communicated these updates in a pair of posts yesterday on its developer portal. The posts invite members of the paid Apple Developer Program to submit their apps and app updates to the improved App Store and the all-new Mac App Store in macOS Mojave.

Starting March 2019, all new apps and app updates for iPhone, including universal apps, will need to be built with the iOS 12 SDK and support iPhone XS Max. All new apps and app updates for Apple Watch will need to be built with the watchOS 5 SDK and support Apple Watch Series 4.

Thanks to its larger display with rounded corners and more pixels, Series 4 can show more content and display more information. That’s especially true when you consider vivid detail achieved via new complication types on the Infograph and Infograph Modular faces.

Apple’s page dedicated to third-party Apple Watch software development includes all of the assets, materials, tutorials and documents needed to get ready for the new watchOS 5 features. Likewise, Apple is providing necessary assets to help developers take their iPhone apps to the next level with iOS 12 and the new iPhone Xs Max screen resolution.

As a developer video explains, apps that take full advantage of adaptive UI layouts and safe area insets should look nice on the Max with minimal effort on the developer’s part. Any app built against iOS 11 or later should run full-screen display mode on iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr.

As of April 2018, all new iOS apps, including universal apps, must be optimized for iPhone X. In July 2018, Apple told developers that updates to existing iPhone and iPad apps submitted for approval needed to support iOS 11 and the Super Retina display or they would get rejected.

In the past two years, Apple has been more stringent with developers when it comes to supporting its latest technologies and form factors. I wish Apple adopted such a no-compromise stance earlier as that would have kept many rarely updated apps or abandoned wares out of the App Store shelves.


Should You Upgrade iPhone X To Apple’s iPhone XS Or iPhone XR?

order apple’s iphone xs or iphone xr

A large chunk of Apple’s audience is already lighting their bank accounts on fire in anticipation of all the neat new gear they can start preordering this week. That’s just the way it is, and partly why Apple can afford to do things like build sprawling, $200 buildings in the heart of Silicon Valley.

No matter the price, or specifications, a lot of people are going to order one of the new iPhones: the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max—a naming convention Apple totally didn’t borrow from that other company.

You, however, are a reasonable Lifehacker reader who isn’t afraid to pay big bucks for sweet, geeky gear, but only if it provides a value and experience that’s greater than that which you already have. In other words, you don’t buy based on hype, and you don’t need an upgrade just because it’s new; you need an upgrade if it’s actually worth buying.

Key specs

iPhone XR: 6.1-inch “Liquid Retina” LCD display; 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB storage; red, yellow, white, coral, black, and blue finishes; A12 Bionic chip; 12MP wide-angle camera; 7MP front-facing “TrueDepth” camera. Ranging from $749 to $899.

iPhone XS: 5.8-inch OLED display; 64GB, 256GB or 512GB storage; gold, space gray, and silver finishes; A12 Bionic chip; 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras; 7MP front-facing “TrueDepth” camera. Ranging from $999 to $1,349.

iPhone XS Max: 6.5-inch OLED display. Everything else the iPhone XS has. Ranging from $1,099 to $1,449.

If you own an iPhone X, congratulations! Your expensive smartphone lasted less time than the iPhone 8, as your relic is no longer purchasable from Apple… but the iPhone 8 (and even the iPhone 7) are still there. This makes sense, of course, since there’s absolutely no reason to buy an iPhone X with Apple dropping three new iPhones (two XSs and an XR) that basically take all the good things about the iPhone X and reconfigure them in different ways.

If you upgrade—and I don’t think it makes sense to upgrade—you’re not getting all that much, hardware-wise. That’s not to say the A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS isn’t faster: Apple claims performance boosts of 15 percent for its two “performance” cores; a speed boost of 50 percent from its apple-design GPU; and a big, juicy brain an eight-core neural engine that can reach 5 trillion operations per second (more than eight times your device’s “meager” 600 billion operations per second).

If you’re a big photography nut—and Apple loves you, if so—the iPhone XS and XS Max aren’t coming out of the gate with a crazy-higher megapixel count for the wide-angle camera or telephoto cameras. There’s a new, larger sensor and improved TrueTone flash, but that’s probably not as monumental as the devices’ “Smart HDR” mode and, the big improvement, the ability to edit a photo’s depth of field after you’ve taken it.

Would I drop $1,000 on that after already paying (at least) $1,000 for an iPhone X last year? No. Are the iPhone XS’ other improvements worth an expensive $1,000 upgrade? No. But you can probably sell your iPhone X for at least $500 or so right now from one of the many trade-in places (or eBay), so that helps soften the blow a bit. Generally speaking, though, I’d wait for next year’s iPhone upgrade—the non-”s” cycle—to really get your money’s worth.