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1. The U.S. Department of Justice weighed in on the legal case against Qualcomm Thursday. The DOJ warned that it could hinder U.S companies’ ability to compete in the race to 5G wireless. Even though Apple agreed to settle all litigation, Qualcomm is not out of the woods yet. The Federal Trade Commission is suing for basically the same reason: Qualcomm’s fee structure for companies using its mobile tech is seen as unfair. The DOJ’s filing pits two federal agencies against each other on this point. — WASHINGTON POST
2. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged GT Advanced Technologies and its former CEO with fraud. GT went bankrupt in 2014 after taking advances of over $500 million from Apple and then failing to provide sapphire glass that met Apple’s standards for iPhone screens. Now the SEC alleges that the company misclassified debts resulting from this breach and misled investors about the situation. — SEC
3. #FollowFriday: @stroughtonsmith
Ireland-based dev/hacker Steve Troughton-Smith definitely won Apple Twitter this week with his incredible uses of his homemade tool, marzipanify, to deploy tons of popular iOS apps on his Mac. Here’s his blog post about how it’s done.
The current version of macOS contains the first previews of UIKit apps running on the desktop, and Apple is expected to open that capability to outside developers at WWDC this June. This will allow popular iPad apps to be ported to the Mac without requiring developers to build a separate app. Troughton-Smith has experimentally rolled his own way to do this, and he’s proving that bridging these platforms is a good idea.
4. Apple’s new Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones are now available for purchase in the U.S. and Canada. They sport the same features as the second-generation AirPods, plus more ruggedness for use while exercising, longer battery life and physical playback buttons, in a slightly larger (and $50 more expensive) package. The black model is available now, and three more colors will launch this summer. — MACRUMORS
5. IHS estimates Apple shipped 43.8 million iPhones in Q2. That's higher than other analysts' estimates — over 7 million more than IDC guessed on the low end (which, as we reported Thursday, is mathematically impossible). If IHS is right, iPhone sales “only” dropped 16% year over year. Now that Apple no longer reports unit sales, we have to settle for analysts guessing based on other numbers. — 9TO5MAC
6. Google Fi for iOS has added in-app visual voicemail, bringing it closer to a true replacement for normal cellular carriers. Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which resells other companies’ network capacity with its own services, competing with big carriers on features. Google’s pricing is more straightforward than standard carriers, but the program is still a new experiment. — 9TO5GOOGLE
7. Aetna health insurance customers can now earn a free Apple Watch by participating in the Attain wellness program. Users earn points by exercising, getting check-ups, and building other healthy habits, which can be spent on gift cards or an Apple Watch. This is bound to encourage healthier lifestyles, but it comes with the privacy trade-off of letting your health insurer track you. — 9TO5MAC
8. Warren Buffett is “pleased” with Apple’s Q2 earnings, and Berkshire Hathaway is maintaining its $50B+ stake. — CNBC
9. Google’s unannounced midrange Pixel 3A XL phone has been spotted at a Best Buy. — THE VERGE
10. Ben Hsu of Taiwan swallowed an AirPod while sleeping… recovered it… and it still works. — DAILY MAIL
Jon Mitchell has been a tech journalist since 2010. He covered Apple, Google, and the societal effects of social media for the storied blog ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). He co-hosts Internet Friends, a podcast about life online with occasional lengthy digressions into Apple news. He’s the author of In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times from Parallax Press. He has recently, reticently returned to Twitter at @ablaze.
Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).