iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Are Now Available

Sure, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 aren’t as exciting as some of the other previous releases from Apple, but I’ve still been looking forward to their release over the past few months. I didn’t bother installing any Developer or Public betas until the fourth or the fifth one in the cycle, that too only on my 10.5-inch iPad Pro. So I’m going in with relatively fresh eyes.

There are some remarkable updates being rolled out today by various developers that I’ve been beta testing over the last two months. Similarly, our team at Readdle is shipping a slew of incredible features as well, for our Spark, Documents, PDF Expert, Calendars and Scanner Pro apps. It’s been a massive effort to deliver these updates on Day 1, and everyone is excited to hear your feedback. Try them out, we’re sure you’re gonna love it.

Stephen Shankland, reporting for CNET:

The teams behind the Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge browsers have banded together to improve extensions, the add-ons you can download to customize the software. That should mean your extensions will work better and come with a better security foundation to protect you from malware.

On Friday, the teams unveiled a discussion and development forum at the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, dedicated to developing standards for extensions. The forum, the WebExtensions Community Group, gives engineers a place to build a unified and more secure core foundation for extensions.

At WWDC 2020, Apple introduced the WebExtension API for Safari on macOS Big Sur — an effort to enable cross-platform browser extensions. However, I’m yet to see a change in the Safari extensions ecosystem because of that. Here’s hoping this new WebExtensions Community Group brings about a change.

Apple today announced that it’s not possible to enroll into the Apple Developer Program through the Developer app on iPhone & iPad using local payment methods in Canada, France, India, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, and Spain.

Developers can start and finish their membership purchase with local payment methods on iPhone or iPad. And since membership is provided as an auto-renewable subscription, keeping it active is easy.

I still remember the days when you had to FAX a enrollment form to the US to enroll into the membership.

Apple has announced a Service Program for AirPods Pro that exhibit sound issues such as crackling/cracking sounds or similar issues.

My AirPods Pro, which I purchased in December 2019, developed this issue in early May and due to the ongoing pandemic and associated lockdowns, finding an appointment at an Apple Authorized Service Center was ridiculously difficult. Thankfully, I managed to get one in October 2020. Although both the AirPods Pro had the issue, Apple only replaced one of them and somehow “fixed” the other one.

Apple says that the program covers affected AirPods Pro for 2 years after the first retail sale of the unit, so I’m glad I can get them replaced again if the issue comes back. There have been far too many of these issues I’ve seen on Twitter, so I’m guessing it won’t be long before I have to run to the ASC again.

Apple Adjusts App Store Pricing in India; Apps Get Pricier Due to Addition of 2% Equalisation Levy

Apple today informed its developers about upcoming tax and price changes to the App Store Pricing for apps and in-app purchases in a few different countries.

When taxes or foreign exchange rates change, we sometimes need to update prices on the App Store. In the next few days, prices of apps and in-app purchases (excluding auto-renewable subscriptions) on the App Store will increase in Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa. These increases also reflect the following tax changes:

The company has adjusted the pricing of apps on the iOS and Mac App Stores for India by adding a 2% Equalization Levy that was implemented from 1st April, 2020 . This is in addition to the 18% GST already implemented. The last major change to app pricing in India came in January 2018, where the prices of apps were reduced by ₹1.

After the addition of the 2% Equalization Levy, the App Store pricing for India has resulted in pricing of apps going up by at least ₹10.

App Store Pricing Change in India in October 2020
App Store India Pricing October 2020

While this pricing change for apps is not applicable to existing auto-renewing subscriptions, Apple does indicate that developers can increase the prices for new subscribers.

Remember, just because the prices have gone up and you’re paying more for apps, it does not mean that the app developer ends up getting more of your money. As Apple says in the announcement.

Once these changes go into effect, the Pricing and Availability section of My Apps will be updated, and your proceeds will be adjusted accordingly and calculated based on the tax-exclusive price.

Apple (Emphasis mine)

Last week, I had the pleasure of making another appearance on Orbital — the Gadgets 360 podcast hosted by my friend Pranay Parab. Come hear us discuss Apple’s October 2020 event announcing the new iPhone 12 lineup and the HomePod mini, along with the preposterous pricing in India.

We recorded this while my both my primary and backup ISPs were down, and I literally had to go the extra mile to make sure the recording reaches him, so I’m glad it turned out this well.

New iCloud Storage Pricing for India (Updated)

Update: 12th August, 2020 with new iCloud Storage Pricing for India in 2020.

At it’s annual September event, Apple announced updated pricing and revised tiers for storage on iCloud. Although the Free Tier remains at 5GB, the paid tiers have been revised from 20GB, 200GB, 500GB and 1TB to only three — 50GB, 200GB and 1TB, costing $0.99, $2.99 and $9.99 respectively.

This new pricing is now active and here’s the iCloud Storage pricing for India.

iCloud Storage Pricing for India in 2020
iCloud Storage Pricing for India in 2020

Due to the addition of 18% GST and fluctuations in the US dollar value, Apple has adjusted the pricing of iCloud Storage in India.

50GB of iCloud storage costs ₹75 per month in India, followed by 200GB at ₹219 per month. Apple has upgraded the 1TB storage tier to 2TB, which comes in at ₹749 per month. So for a small bump in the price, you get double the iCloud storage.

The old article from 2015 is below:

iCloud Storage Pricing for India

As you can see, the 20GB paid tier has been revised to 50GB now and the pricing has been updated to INR 65 for 5GB, INR 190 for 200GB and INR 650 for 1TB of storage.

Jason Snell, writing on the Six Colors blog:

The trend in laptop design, since the very beginning, has been toward lighter and thinner laptops. In 2001 Steve Jobs boasted about the mind-blowing one-inch thickness of the Titanium PowerBook G4; 19 years later the average Mac laptop is half that thickness.

But it’s one thing to know that laptops trend toward thinness and lightness. It’s another to see a chart that lets you visualize it. So I dug through the specs of past Mac systems at EveryMac.comand averaged the weight and thickness of the Mac laptop product line for every year since the first Mac laptop, the hilariously heavy Mac Portable, hit the scene.

Fascinating graphs. The dive in 2008 in both the graphs is my favorite.