Friday Morning News
Apple raised $20 million for AIDS research, as revealed by Re/code. Apple’s holiday campaign as part of World AIDS Day offered apps and exclusive in-app purchases, as well as holiday specials in its Retail and Online Stores. They then donated the proceeds from App Store sales to the Global Fund for AIDS research, with a portion of Retail and Online Store sales also going towards the fund. Tim Cook’s email to employees points out the magnitude of Apple’s achievements this year — but all in all, $20 million is a fair chunk of change for something that annoyed a few users.
The Australian Financial Review says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak just became an Australian citizen of sorts. He’s gained a version of permanent residency for distinguished individuals, and along with his family, has plans to make Australia his home. All of this comes after he became an adjunct professor at Sydney’s University of Technology, and the AFR’s interview with Wozniak also discusses Apple distancing itself from the dogma of Steve Jobs, as well as shaping future young minds.
Inevitably, Apple Pay will make its way to other countries, and a job posting by Apple suggests the UK will be the first country outside the US to get access to Apple’s magical contactless payments. Like Australia, the UK is already familiar with contactless payments, with many retailers already supporting Visa’s PayWave, MasterCard’s PayPass, or AMEX’s ExpressPay for contactless payments. You’d expect similar plans are under way to bring Apple Pay to Australia, but until then, it’s just a wait-and-see type of situation.
A new patent from Apple revamps Touch ID to include extra features on the home button, which could be anything from unlocking the device to potential navigation uses. Apple already added the ability for the home button to detect taps (as opposed to presses) with Reachability on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which makes this all the more possible, according to TechCrunch.
Media outlets wanted the video of Steve Jobs speaking at the iTunes DRM trial to be made public, but a judge has put a stop to all that. Judge Rogers says the video is subject to the same rules as other testimonies in federal court, and can’t be made public.
A newly-released documentary from the BBC claims Apple are failing to protect Chinese factory workers from the harsh realities of mass manufacture. Long hours, ID card violations, poorly-conditioned living quarters, and underage workers were all witnessed by the documentary team. Apple’s response is that “no other company is doing as much” as they are, acknowledging that things could be better — honestly, it’s almost unfair Apple are under fire when they’re the only ones doing anything at all.
The latest iOS 8.2 beta seeded to developers brings back blood glucose tracking for diabetics, this time with the correct measurements by geographical location. The Health app also gets a few extra explanations which describe the various stats tracked by the app, making it a little more user-friendly.
MacRumors reviews the Duet Display, a way to use your iPad as a second screen for your Mac. Unfortunately, they find Duet Display is plagued with lag issues, with abnormally high CPU usage and visual artifacts on some apps. For an app that costs $12.99 on the Australian App Store (the companion Mac app can be downloaded from the Duet Display website for free), you might want to give this one a miss, at least until a few more updates. In other app news, Procreate Pocket brings the power of creative drawing/painting app Procreate to your iPhone, and it’s every bit as good as the iPad version. Procreate Pocket is $3.79 on the Australian App Store.
The state of the iPhone 6 Plus in landscape mode is more overlooked or neglected than outright dire, according to The Newsprint. Some apps take advantage of all that horizontal screen real estate, while others just present the same views as their portrait versions, only… wider. It’d be great to see developers embracing the landscape feature more, but where’s the incentive when it’s a small subset of total iPhone users?
Forget the iOS game of the year, what about the best-reviewed title on the iOS platform? That accolade goes to VVVVVV, despite its fiendish difficulty. Hearthstone comes in at second place, while Threes!, somewhat appropriately, takes out number three. Touch Arcade break down the rest of the ratings.