Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.

ExtraBITS for 18 September 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, macOS 10.13 High Sierra won’t support APFS on Fusion Drives at first, Apple has banned fraudulent “virus scanners” from the iOS App Store, you can now watch HDR iTunes movies on 2017 iPad Pro models, and, speaking of the iPad Pro, Apple has quietly raised the price of many of its configurations.

Initial High Sierra Release Won’t Support APFS for Fusion Drives -- If you converted a Fusion Drive to APFS during the macOS 10.13 High Sierra beta, we have some bad news: the initial release version of High Sierra that Apple plans to ship on 25 September 2017 will not officially support it. This unexpected announcement presumably comes due to problems discovered during the beta that the company hasn’t yet addressed. Apple recommends that you back up the Fusion Drive, reformat it using Mac OS Extended (HFS+), and restore it from backup. The support document implies that Apple will support APFS-formatted Fusion Drives in a later release of High Sierra.

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New iOS App Store Guidelines Ban “Virus Scanners” -- Apple’s updated App Store rules now explicitly ban scam apps that claim to remove viruses or malware from your iOS device, in large part because sandboxing ensures that there’s no way they could do what they promise. Another new guideline requires developers to offer an alternative to Face ID authentication for users under the age of 13, and Apple says ARKit-driven augmented reality apps must be “rich experiences,” not just one-trick ponies. Apple’s goal in updating these policies is to keep iOS app quality high — or at least above some reasonable level.

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HDR Movies Now Available for 2017 iPad Pro Tablets -- With the Apple TV 4K coming, Apple has promised 4K and HDR upgrades to existing iTunes movies at no additional charge. We’re already seeing that on 2017 iPad Pro tablets running iOS 11 — the key is that the latest 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros have HDR-capable displays. Check Settings > TV > iTunes Videos and make sure the Download HDR Videos switch is enabled. Then, in the TV app, on the Library screen, tap a movie to see its listing; you’ll see 4K and HDR badges if Apple has updated the film. The Verge reports that these files on the iPad are 1080p and not 4K, but they do support HDR. Regardless, they look great.

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Apple Quietly Raises iPad Pro Prices -- Apple has quietly raised the prices of the 256 GB and 512 GB iPad Pro tablets by $50. This applies to both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+Cellular models, but the 64 GB models are unaffected. Some have speculated that the price hike is due to increased flash storage costs, but without an official statement from Apple, it’s impossible to say for sure.

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