Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Craig Federighi Says Apple Intends to Address APFS Support for Fusion Drives 'Very Soon'

Apple is planning to share news on APFS support for Fusion Drives "very soon," Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi told MacRumors reader Jonathan in an email this afternoon. 

Federighi shared the detail after Jonathan sent him an email asking whether or not APFS was still in the works for Fusion Drives, which combine a hard drive with flash storage to provide the speed of an SSD with the affordability of a standard hard drive. Fusion Drives are used in iMacs and Mac mini machines.


In response to Jonathan's question, Federighi gave a short but enticing answer, which we verified:
Hi Jonathan,

We intend to address this question very soon...

Thanks,

- craig
With the launch of macOS High Sierra, Apple introduced a new Apple File System for Macs that have all-flash built-in storage. At the time macOS High Sierra was introduced, Apple said that the initial release of the software would not allow Fusion Drives to be converted to APFS, but confirmed APFS support would be coming at a later date.

Since then, iMac and Mac mini owners who have Fusion Drives have been eagerly waiting for Apple to implement support for the feature, but in update after update, no APFS support for Fusion Drives has materialized.

Federighi's statement suggests that APFS will be added as a feature in an upcoming software update, perhaps the macOS 10.14 update that's expected to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.


For those unfamiliar with the new Apple File System, it's a more modern file system than HFS+ and has been optimized for solid state drives. It is safe and secure, offering crash protection, safe document saves, stable snapshots, simplified backups, strong native encryption, and more.

Apple Supplier TSMC Begins Production on Processors Destined for 2018 iPhones

Apple supplier TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has started production on the next-generation 7-nanometer A12 chips that will be used in the 2018 iPhone lineup, reports Bloomberg. 

TSMC in late April announced that its 7-nanometer process node has entered into high volume manufacturing, but did not specify that it was working on the Apple A12 processors set to be built into the iPhones that are expected in September.


The new 7-nanometer chips will offer approximately 40 percent power and area benefit over the 10-nanometer process used for the A11 processors in the 2017 iPhones. As Bloomberg says, the chips will be smaller, faster, and more efficient.

TSMC is believed to be the sole partner Apple is working with on the A12 chip. TSMC was also Apple's only supplier for the A11 chips in the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus.

All three of Apple's 2018 iPhones are expected to adopt the A12 chips that are currently in development. Rumors suggest Apple is working on a second-generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone that's a successor to the iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch OLED iPhone that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus," and a lower-cost 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.

Along with A12 chips, all three are expected to include a TrueDepth camera system for Face ID capabilities and an edge-to-edge design with minimal bezels and no Home button.

Nintendo starts selling cheaper Switch bundle without dock in Japan



Nintendo is now selling a cheaper Switch package in Japan that doesn't include the TV dock. The “Switch 2nd Unit Set” is ostensibly aimed at households that already have a Switch hooked up to the family TV and therefore don't need a second dock, but it could also be an option for players who only plan to use the system as a handheld device.
The 24,980-yen ($226) bundle comes with the Switch tablet, two Joy-Con controllers, and two Joy-Con strap attachments, meaning you're saving 5,000 yen (~$45) on the regular Switch package. It's not just the dock that's excluded, though — the Joy-Con Grip and HDMI cable are obvious exclusions, but the lack of an AC adapter will be a bigger problem for anyone who doesn't already have one. The dock and...
Continue reading…

IBM built a handheld counterfeit goods detector



Just a month after IBM announced it's leveraging the blockchain to guarantee the provenance of diamonds, the company has revealed new AI-based technology that aims to tackle the issue of counterfeiting -- a problem that costs $1.2 trillion globally.... read more

Edge Sense is maturing with HTC’s U12+

Edge Sense has always been a gimmick — but who can blame HTC for embracing a gimmick. The company’s mobile division has been struggling in recent years, so why not embrace the novelty of a squeezable side input? The tech got a bit more support when Google embraced it for the Pixel 2, renaming it Active Edge in the process. 
With today’s announcement of the U12+, HTC is introducing Edge Sense 2. The company promised it would keep updating the feature, and this new flagship is starting to making it that much more compelling. The second generation doesn’t make it an essential feature, but some key additions point to how more sensors on the sides of the handset could turn it into more than just a glorified additional button for the phone.
Some of the coolest additions here are the ability for the phone to recognize which hand is holding it and adapt the interface accordingly. When held in a single hand, the feature offers up multiple options, including the ability to lock screen orientation for video viewing and squeezing to take photos or shoot video. And, that functionality is customizable, meaning users won’t get locked into a devoted Bixby button-style situation here.

Also worth noting on the Edge Sense front is that HTC has swapped out the mechanical buttons on the side of the phone, moving instead toward haptic feedback. It takes a little getting used to, but the upshot is that it helps keep the phone that much more water-resistant, and fewer moving parts means less opportunity for breakage — always a good thing.
As far as the other ways HTC is working to distinguish its latest flagship, the six-inch handset retains the “Liquid Surface” design language found on the U11. The glossy service is even more aesthetically distinct this time out, with the addition of the Translucent Blue color scheme, which offers a cloudy and colorful peek into the phone’s innards.

The camera deserves mention here, too. Granted, it’s a tough place to distinguish your handset these days, but the U12+ scored a 103 from DxOMark, which puts it ahead of the rest of the handset market, save for the Huawei P20 Pro with its ridiculous three cameras. Highlights for its two cameras include super-fast autofocus and HDR Boost 2 for improved images in poor lighting conditions.
HTC’s made a point of upping its game on the audio front, and that continues here with loud built-in speakers and a pair of active noise-cancelling earbuds. Inside is a Snapdragon 845, coupled with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage. All in all, it’s looking like a solid handset.
There’s no notch on the screen this time out, but the company implied in a meeting that that’s something likely to arrive on the next-gen flagship. The phone goes up for pre-order today and will start shipping early next month. No word on pricing yet, but HTC tells me it won’t be “dramatically different” than its predecessor.

How to Request a Copy of Your Apple ID Account Data

Apple now allows its customers to download a copy of their personally identifiable data from Apple apps and services. This can include purchase or app usage history, and any data stored on Apple servers, including the likes of calendars, photos, and documents. 

This article outlines the steps you need to take to request a copy of your data from Apple. Apple promises to fulfill all data requests within seven days. Bear in mind that the size of the data download depends on the items that you choose to include, but Apple will divide it into multiple files to make the download more manageable.

How to Request a Copy of Your Apple Account Data

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to privacy.apple.com
  2. Enter your Apple ID email and password, and authorize two-factor authentication on another device if prompted.
     
  3. On the Apple ID & Privacy page, click Continue.
     
  4. Under "Get a copy of your data", click Get Started.
     
  5. On the next page you'll see a list of data categories. Click the selection box next to each category that you want include in your download. You can refine inclusions from certain categories by clicking Show more to reveal sub-categories of data, or click Select All to include all your information.
     
  6. Click Continue
  7. Using the dropdown menu on the next page, choose a maximum file size that you want to download (1GB, 2GB, 5GB, 10GB, or 25GB). Apple divides the data into files of this size or smaller. You can review your selection below the dropdown.
     
  8. Click Complete Request to confirm.
Apple will email you to let you know it is preparing your data, with a reminder that this process can take up to seven days. As a security measure, Apple uses this time to verify that the request was made by you.

You can view and check check the status of your request at any time by visiting privacy.apple.com/account.