Rumour has Apple will be launching the 12-inch MacBook Air this quarter. The machine — which is expected to come with very few ports, whatever they are — is set for a release sometime this quarter, with Digitimes saying Apple are bringing on more staff to help with production. They’re also claiming the machine will replace the 11-inch MacBook Air, instead of being an entirely new product line.
The latest beta of iOS 8.2 for the iPhone adds Apple Watch support and the confirmation of a separate app for Watch-related activities, writes 9to5Mac. A new prompt in the Bluetooth section of the Settings apps mentions pairing an Apple Watch with an iPhone, which shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise seeing as you’ll need an iPhone to do a lot of stuff with the Apple Watch. That said, there’s no sign of the Apple Watch app just yet, but it’s still a little for the Watch’s rumoured March release date.
If the new MacBook only comes with one USB port — one, singular, lonely, USB port — how will you charge it? If Apple were to drop MagSafe from the new MacBook, John Gruber summarises a few of the more popular opinions. Like iPads, maybe the new MacBook will have good enough battery life that you’ll be able to use it unplugged most of the time. Maybe it’ll even charge via inductive currents, like the Apple Watch.
A scary new security vulnerability can permanently give malicious software a backdoor into your Mac. The bootkit requires physical access to the machine, but only so the attacker can attach a Thunderbolt device which overrides the Mac’s default firmware signatures, replacing them with ones which render the bootkit impossible to detect. Even more concerning is that this particular backdoor survives a format and reinstall. Ars Technica has more details.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an entirely new kind of computer with Apple, one focused on portability, with a limited number of ports for peripherals and other connectors. The original MacBook Air made it debut with one Mini DisplayPort, one USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and a MagSafe connector. If the rumours are true, the 2015 MacBook Air will come with just one USB port, which might work out, or backfire entirely. I mean, the iPad has no USB ports and that works just fine, so what’s to say the new MacBook Air won’t be equally as successful?
If 2015 is the Apple Watch, the only other question that needs answering is: when? 9to5Mac is pretty confident we’ll see Apple’s wearable gadget in March, with training expected to start in February. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple hold a special event just for the Apple Watch, because there’s plenty of stuff we don’t know about it — price, accessories, availability (US only?), and so on. I guess time will tell.
It all started with a post from Marco Arment saying Apple has lost the functional high ground. Arment says Apple are placing too much of an emphasis on marketing and PR, but that’s only half of the story: Apple’s moving too fast and spreading itself too thin, and yearly releases of OS X and iOS only exacerbate the issue. John Gruber’s take is that while Apple hasn’t lost the high ground just yet, the company has made an opening for potential competitors to come and take it from them.
Welcome one, welcome all, to another year of daily Apple news with a unique Australian focus. As we kick off the news this morning, I hope you all had an excellent Christmas and New Year break, whether you spent the time with family and friends, or like me, mostly put your feet up and relaxed. But enough of that — it’s time for some Apple-related news. Oh, and if you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement regarding the news, you know where to get in touch with me.
The Christmas holiday period was pretty good for Apple, undoubtedly due to the large number of iPads, iPhones, and iPods being unboxed this year as gifts. Analytics company Flurry puts activations of Apple devices at over half of all devices at 51%, with iPads and iPhones taking out the top spots. Samsung followed behind at 17.7%, and Nokia, Sony, and LG made up the top five.
The last Good Reads of 2014 has more of the same, really: one or two pieces about an Apple product or two, one or two pieces about Apple and its culture, and another little something about how Apple is one of the best companies in the world. Like other Good Reads, all featured works were published in its named month (December, in this case), but this Good Reads is particularly special as it kinds of wraps up a year of Apple news and opinions. Well, I think so, anyway. Your Instapaper account has nothing on this.
- With the Apple Watch coming out sometime this year and only a handful of people outside of Cupertino having gotten hands-on with Apple’s latest, Thibaut Sailly has an interesting look at the device based on currently available information. To date, that’s a document from Apple outlining the Human Interface Guidelines, a couple of marketing pages on Apple’s website, Apple’s announcement at its September special event, and last but not least, an SDK.
Glances are the watch’s notification center, and notifications are the push notifications we already know, only much smarter. Although these features are very similar in their nature, using this new terminology isn’t all marketing. It’s helping thinking and communication when designing, avoiding mixups between what an app does on the phone and what it does on the watch. Use them early on.