Friday Morning News
Via Daring Fireball comes news from the Wall Street Journal, who report Apple deleted rivals’ songs from users’ iPods (by directing users to restore their iPods to factory settings, it seems). Gruber writes it’s a conflation of two separate issues (rival music stores’ music files and rival music stores’ DRM) when the reality is much simple. Apple only ever supported their own DRM on iPods, Apple supported non-DRM music files, and Apple never really wanted DRM in the first place, dropping it at the first opportunity they were given.
Eddy Cue has spoken about Apple’s DRM policies regarding music on the trial, saying DRM was necessary in order to secure deals with record labels. Apple’s FairPlay DRM allowed Apple to partner with record labels who were originally resistant towards the idea of an iTunes Store, as they already had their own music stores. The Verge has a good summary of the case so far.
What goes up, must come down: a sketchy rumour from MacRumors says Apple are planning a new 4-inch iPhone for 2015, perhaps bringing back the iPhone 5 series design for better one-handed usage. MacRumors also says the device, due to be released in the latter half of 2015, will be aimed at female users who want a slightly smaller phone, but I know plenty of guys who think a 4.7-inch display is too big.
Apple are looking at hiring a Maps Engineer in order to expand community crowdsourcing features beyond just a “report a problem” button in the Maps app. Apple also wants to try their hand at Siri and Passbook integration in Maps, which will mean more useful location data and/or awareness for users.
Apple’s auditorium in their new campus is expected to cost $161 million, according to a building permit. It will seat around 1000 people, and will give Apple a truly awesome stage for new product unveilings and other announcements.
Apple released an update for Safari for OS X Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite earlier this morning, but has since pulled the update. No reason has been given for the retracted update, although Apple’s security release notes still remain available.
Boom 2 amplifies the sound coming from your mediocre laptop speakers by boosting audio levels and playing with the EQ, and the new app now tailors the boost to each specific Mac. IMore has the review.
Instapaper’s 6.1 update kills off the modal save dialog, which was one of my biggest gripes about using the Instapaper save extension in Tweetbot (then I started using Tweetbot’s action instead, and all was right with the world). Handoff support in the new app also lets you resume reading on another device, too. In other app news, Firefox is coming to iOS because that’s where the users are. And remember Slingshot? Version 2.0 of the app is a very different beast to the Slingshot that launched, with photos now sticking around for 24 hours.
In new app news: Desk is a new app for publishing, but all I’m seeing is yet another minimal writing app with built-in support for a number of online publishing platforms. Still, it does look kind of nice, and supports Markdown, shortcuts, and oEmbed. On the iOS side of the new app fence, Wire is… I’m not sure what Wire is, actually. A social network? The next Ello? Oh, it’s a text and audio communication app, kinda like Skype.
Touch Arcade check out the new Game of Thrones game from Telltale Games. Fans of the TV series may be disappointed with the game, however, as the Game of Thrones game has little to do with the TV series and more to do with the A Song of Fire and Ice universe. Still, if you’re into the books you might find the game enjoyable.