Monday Morning News
The Financial Times claims Apple are hiring automotive experts to work in a top-secret research lab at Apple, one that’s away from the main campus and headquarters at One Infinite Loop. This leads to one of two possibilities: either Apple is working on an advanced CarPlay successor, or they’re working on their own car. And with the Wall Street Journal saying Apple is working on an electric vehicle, there’s a pretty good chance it’s the latter.
Not only that, but Reuters is saying that it’ll be a self-driving electric car. A self-driving car is one thing, but an electric one? Suddenly those images of cars with advanced LIDAR systems on board all start to make sense — Apple has got to get that data somehow, and driving around mapping streets is one of the best ways. It seems all too crazy to be true, but Apple’s plans for a self-driving electric car may actually make some kind of sense.
Apple is now protecting your FaceTime and iMessage accounts with two-factor authentication, if that’s something you’ve enabled for your Apple ID.
Apple has also opened up the iWork for iCloud beta to all users, not just those with Apple devices. Now, anyone can sign up for a free Apple ID and use it to access iCloud, and from there, they can access the iWork for iCloud beta including the Pages, Keynote, and Numbers webapps.
In a world where apps come with a deluge of in-app purchases, it’s nice to see Apple promoting “great games with no in-app purchases” on the App Store, as covered by MacStories. Quality games that let you pay once and play forever are something I can definitely get behind.
Both MacStories and 9to5Mac have something to say about Apple and Pinterest’s curation of apps, especially now that you can install apps directly from Pinterest. It seems kind of strange for Apple to be using Pinterest as a place for app curation when they already do a pretty good job on the App Store, but I guess it’s better to have as many outlets for that kind of thing as possible.
The BBC’s Zane Lowe is joining Apple as part of the Beats Music team, possibly as some kind of music discovery DJ or curator. 9to5Mac also notes Lowe has produced several albums, which could help Apple become a record company — although I’d wager that Beats has enough of that kind of industry experience and influence already.
In developer-related news, Apple has increased the maximum size of app binaries from 2GB to 4GB, which bodes well for low-storage 16GB devices. I’d like to see the distribution of app sizes — I’d put money on the fact most apps are under 1GB in size.
People were in uproar over Apple rejecting screenshots or icons depicting guns or violence, citing censorship issues, but Marco Arment helpfully points out Apple’s own App Review guideslines pretty clearly state icons and screenshots need to be 4+ age rating compliant.
David Smith has a look at how effective App Previews are. You know, the little videos you get on some apps.
Over at Macworld, Glenn Fleishman explains how FileVault 2’s whole disk encryption works, and how it protects the information that’s stored on your hard drive.
One of the reasons I’m glad Apple is showcasing quality “buy once, play forever” games is because of depressing statistics like this one, which says Candy Crush Saga players spent $1.33 billion on in-app purchases in 2014.