Tuesday Morning News

applewatch4Happy Netflix Australia day, people! Before you throw out your VPN or DNS hack to get access to Netflix AU from your Apple TV, bear in mind that the catalog between Netflix US and Netflix AU differs, with some estimates putting the deficit of the latter at upwards of a couple thousand titles. Plus, many TV shows and movies just aren’t on the Australian Netflix. Boo!

Elle Australia has shown off the Apple Watch. Model Sara Smith was given three variants to play with (under high security, mind you), and Amanda Spackman’s resulting column, “how to style the Apple Watch” says the watch is the hero and requires no other accessories. Editor-in-chief writes it probably won’t change your life the way the iPhone did, but it is “a fun new piece of arm candy that will look good on your wrist and impress the boys”.

If a rumour from the supply chain is to be believed, Apple has halved the number of Apple Watch orders it originally had planned, due to manufacturing challenges associated with the display. It’s claimed the OLED display of the Apple Watch has led to Apple reducing shipments to just 1.5 million units per month, down from the 3 million units the company originally expected. While we don’t know whether this will affect Apple Watch inventory at the launch next month, I guess this is why Apple has pre-orders available.

A refreshed version of the Apple Wireless Keyboard has briefly showed up on Apple’s online store. The new version has the same keys for adjusting backlight as found on Apple laptops, even though no Apple Wireless Keyboard to date has had backlit keys — perhaps this will be the first. The “eject” key on the top right corner has also been replaced with a power button, but would it be too much to also want the new butterfly key mechanism in the updated version, for the trifecta?

The fifth beta of OS X 10.10.3 includes an update for Yosemite Recovery that should be installed by all users when the update eventually drops. The update also brings fixes for the Photos app, as well as minor changes to the way Wi-Fi captive portals work under the new OS. Members of Apple’s public beta testing program can install the update now, otherwise we should see the update within the next couple of weeks.

Apple is now offering a feature called Customer Match to iTunes Radio Advertisers, as well as automated methods to buy ads on the service without going via the iAd team. The Mac Observer explains Customer Match as a way to target listeners in an anonymous way, but then goes onto say it uses email addresses and phone numbers to cross reference listeners, but I’m probably missing something.

MacRumors puts two products from ioSafe and Synology though the fire and the flames, literally. In a test that I suspect was more spectacle than rigorous testing method, the set fire to both products to see if they lived up to the claims of fire-proofing — the ioSafe is rated to withstand 815ºC for 30 minutes, while the Synology BeyondCloud NAS has no such protections.

Instagram’s latest app is Layout, for putting together photo collages. You can adjust the layout of the photos you place in your collage in a multitude of ways, and best of all, the app is free. (Interesting side note: just like Hyperlapse, Layout is iOS-only for now and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future, although at a guess there’s less technical challenges involved in porting Layout to Android.)

An interesting issue affecting some third-party headphones and the port on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus means that some companies have started shipping small “spacers” with their headphones in order to prevent accidental Siri activations. The Wirecutter highlights the issue, saying the MFI program exists to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

Wrapping up the news this morning is what happens when you plug a Mac Plus into the modern web. A fascinating tale of a machine that just isn’t equipped to handle the new technologies since the late 80s.

Start the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au