‘Shot on iPhone’ mini-documentary goes under the sea

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A “Shot on iPhone” film about wildlife conservationists visits a watery realm.
A “Shot on iPhone” film about wildlife conservationists visits a watery realm.
Photo: Apple

A short documentary about the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme is the latest entry in the “Shot on iPhone XS” campaign, which shows what’s possible with the the advanced cameras in Apple handsets.

The 8-minute video is a full of crystal-clear video taken beneath the waves. Watch it now:

Apple TV+ hires new head of documentaries

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Molly Thompson brings decades of experience to the Apple TV+ management team.
Molly Thompson brings decades of experience to the Apple TV+ management team.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple’s upcoming streaming video service now has someone in charge of documentaries. Molly Thompson previously held a similar role at A&E Networks.

Action and comedy shows have so far grabbed the most attention at Apple TV+, but clearly educational programming will play a big part too.

Smart speaker installed base could top 200 million this year

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HomePod Volume Controls
Perhaps a rising tide of smart speaker sales will help HomePod.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The number of smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod in use around the world is expected to keep growing strongly for years to come. It could pass 200 million in 2019, and pass 500 million in 2023.

Analysts from Canalys indicate the installed base of these devices is now surpassing the number of smartwatches in use. And smart speakers could even outnumber tablets before the end of 2021, they say.

Apple could invest $500 million in Apple Arcade

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Apple Arcade is something of a loot box for Apple.
Apple Arcade is something of an expensive loot box for Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s upcoming game service could be getting some major seed money. A new report indicates the iPhone maker might be spending over $500 million to build its stable of games.

And analysts from HSBC predict Apple Arcade will bring in more revenue than Apple TV+, this company’s streaming video service.

Republican lawmakers flame Apple for censorship in China

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China’s population of 1.4 billion makes it a huge potential market for Apple.
China’s population of 1.4 billion makes it a huge potential market for Apple.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A pair of GOP congresspeople have strongly criticized the decision to remove songs from artists critical of the Chinese Communist Party from Apple’s streaming music service in that country.

The move highlights the compromises the iPhone maker has to make in order to offer its products in a very lucrative market.

Beautiful iPhone XII concept kills the notch and buttons

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Check out a proposed iPhone XII with a screen that curves around all four edges.
Check out a proposed iPhone XII with a screen that curves around all four edges.
Photo: Kevin Noki/ConceptsiPhone

One way to make the iPhone’s screen larger without increasing the size of the device itself is wrap it around all four edges. An artist‘s video imagines how such an iOS handset would look, with no physical buttons and an under-screen camera.

Watch his concept video now:

macOS concept proposes dumping free-floating windows

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Perhaps the MacBook should adopt split-screen multitasking instead of floating windows.
Perhaps the MacBook should adopt split-screen multitasking instead of floating windows.
Photo: Thomas Weinreich

Many people want their iPad to work more like a MacBook. A concept video proposes the opposite: having macOS function more like iOS on a tablet. That means no more free-floating windows.

Watch the video to see the idea in action:

Apple’s share of global computer market grows

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iMac Pro
Sales of Macs didn’t have a stellar quarter.
Photo: Apple

Global shipments of laptops and desktops were on the decline in the first three months of this year, and Apple also saw a drop in Mac shipments. But there is a silver lining: the company did better than some of its rivals so its share of the global PC market actually increased.

The same was true for Mac sales in the United States.