Wednesday Morning News
Apple has announced the dates for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Those planning on going to the app developer cornucopia should mark off the 8th to the 12th of June, and like last year, tickets will be issued in a random fashion to developers who have registered for WWDC. Even if you can’t make it, Apple says in their press release that more sessions than ever before will be streamed.
Apple has seeded the first beta of iOS 8.4 to developers, which includes a revamped Music app. The new design of the Music app is supposed to accommodate a more streamlined design for iTunes Radio, with Music also getting improvements to the “Now Playing” screen, as well as global search capabilities. 9to5Mac go hands-on with the update to show us a few of the changes.
Meanwhile, the iOS 8.4 beta also moves audiobooks to the iBooks app, giving them an playing interface that’s similar to the one used by Apple’s Podcast app. Audiobooks also get their own app in the iOS CarPlay interface, for what it’s worth.
With many Apple Watch pre-order dates now well into June, Apple has responded by saying deliveries could arrive sooner than expected. Conspiracy theories about Apple artificially limiting stock to create demand aside, this seems like textbook Apple (and/or customer satisfaction) to me: under-promise, and over-deliver.
Apple Pay in China has been delayed, thanks to bank negotiations breaking down. UnionPay doesn’t want to give Apple a cut from each of their transactions, even though the 0.15% Apple takes is small compared to the 2% typically charged by credit card payment companies. It makes me wonder about how we’ll fare here in Australia, seeing as we’ve already got a thriving contactless payment ecosystem all ready to go.
Apple has acquired Israeli camera tech company LinX Imaging. In a deal worth some US $20 million, Apple confirmed the purchase by giving the Wall Street Journal its usual acquisition statement, and it’s expected multi-aperture cameras could find their way into mobile devices in the future.
ResearchKit is now available to developers, which means researchers looking at creating easy ways of gathering data from medical research participants can now look into creating their own app for that kind of thing. While we weren’t expecting ResearchKit to be announced alongside the Apple Watch just last month, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of an impact it will have.
Ars Technica tells us the story of running Windows on the Retina MacBook, and you’d think that Apple’s drivers wouldn’t be up to scratch, or that the Force Touch trackpad doesn’t work. But while there are minor software and hardware quirks, the experience is “mostly fine”.
MacStories tells us about Flashlight, a utility which adds over 160 features to Spotlight. Following a beta period last year which was only described as “a terrible hack” (by the developer, no less), Flashlight has now hit 1.0. And what’s more, it’s also free and open source.
The Mac Observer’s article on how to pretend the Apple Watch is a failure no matter what is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to read with my breakfast this morning.