WWDC18 is almost here with the usual wish lists appearing everywhere. Here is mine.
1) CoreText Reboot: as said before it’s time for Apple to revisit their long convoluted advanced layout architecture story yet again and rewrite it. Make Unicode rendering secure, offload rendering to the GPU, intelligently integrate OpenType Variable Type font capability, not via the creaky, crappy OS X era font pallet, and for goodness sakes migrate real vertical layout and other advanced typography goodies high level as possible across iOS and macOS. You know, the GX Vision thing. And don’t tell me Apple you don’t know what that means.
2) Apple Maps Cartography Reboot: the Justin O’Beirne era cartography must die before Apple Maps can be reborn into a fulfilling useful life. Also please use Japanese data suppliers that actually know how to read and write Japanese, and have been to Japan.
The Old Yahoo Inc. backend for the iPhone Stock app was changed recently and has completely lost the ability to search Japanese stocks in Japanese and display Japanese company names. The only way to add Japanese stocks is the English company name or the stock number which is the only ticker information displayed now. Unless you trade Japanese stocks for a living, nobody remembers them by code number.
In addition to those changes there is now a 20~30 minute lag before Japanese stock market prices are updated. The iPhone Stock app used to update Japanese market info within a minute or so and was very handy. Not anymore.
If this is Verizon’s idea if a stock market app backend for Japan, Apple needs to find a replacement ASAP.
KDDI am Wallet Prepaid users got a major update today with person to person payments and ‘Real-time’ Recharge. Person to person payments can be made between au Wallet Prepaid card users with just a phone number and name (kana). Real-time Recharge instantly recharges the exact amount needed if the stored value balance is short at purchase time. Both services are available to au iPhone customers via the updated au Wallet App.
One of the major gripes I had with au Wallet Prepaid was the limited recharge options at the time I used it (2015) and the creaky pre-Apple Pay credit card payment method. Having to sign like a credit card with a prepaid card was dumb but that was the price of using the Mastercard payment network before Apple Pay arrived in late 2016. au Wallet Prepaid is much more convenient in Apple Pay than it is in plastic.
docomo iPhone customers got a big update today, My docomo v2 with a completely new design and iPad support. It’s now easier to see monthly data usage and buy more (naturally) if necessary, access plan options and d Points, finally there is much better integration of multiple device accounts. It used to be that docomo branded Android phones had all the bells and whistles but those days are waning fast.
Unfortunately changing plan options still kicks you over to the My docomo browser page forcing you do make changes there. I’d rather keep all my business in the app but I think docomo will get there eventually.
Today’s big app update is just the first part of the My Docomo makeover. The My docomo web site gets a big refresh this Thursday, February 8.
One last thing, docomo is dropping tethering charges for Ultra Pack data customers that were due to kick in on April 1.
End of service announcements from KDDI and JR East were made a long time ago but today is the last service Mobile Suica service day for KDDI au 3G Keitai ‘flip phones’. It was a good 11 year run.
KDDI au is pushing holdout 3G users to upgrade to 4G smartphones and be done with CDMA support once and for all. Too bad that the rumored Global FeliCa capable iPhone SE 2 isn’t out yet. SE 2 would be the perfect upgrade for Mobile Suica KDDI au users looking for a small inexpensive replacement device.