Wednesday Morning News

Apple executivesAny casual observer would be hard pressed to tell you where Jony Ive sits in the hierarchy at Apple. He plays such a pivotal role in the company that it’s hard to see him being anything other than second in command, and yet, his recent promotion to Chief Design Officer means there’s still room to move and rungs to be climbed. The former Senior VP of Design will be handing off managerial duties of both the industrial and software design units to two of his henchmen, Richard Howarth, who becomes VP of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, who becomes VP of User Interface Design. 9to5Mac also has the memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook about Ive’s promotion.

Stephen Fry’s interview with Jony Ive reveals what the newly created position will mean for both Ive and Apple. Being the Chief Design Officer, Ive will spend more time designing and travelling, adding a little something to the design process for the entire company, from hardware and software to everything in between, as well as working on the design for future Apple Stores. As Paris points out on Twitter, does that header image look like a promo shot for a new series of Top Gear to you?

The latest iOS 9 rumour claims it will support Force Touch in the next version of the iPhone, but without any idea of how the feature will be used there’s not a lot to go on. Keyboard and iMessage improvements are also on the list, as well as an Apple Pay launch in Canada.

Meanwhile, the rumour that iOS 9 will bring public transport features to Apple Maps hasn’t died down, with a new rumour claiming Apple Maps will support a handful of North American, Europe, and Chinese cities on launch, approximately half a dozen cities in all. While it’s not outrageous to see Apple launching the feature in Australia sometime this year, I think I’d like Apple Pay first. Hell, I would have taken Apple Pay over the Apple Watch, but I guess that’s easy to say when you don’t have one.

Apple has seeded the fourth beta of OS X 10.10.4 to developers and AppleSeed members, and interestingly enough, it’s the version that drops the much-criticised discoveryd service, responsible for breaking a lot of networks. No word on whether it’ll make a comeback.

Microsoft is bringing Cortana to iPhone, joining Siri and Google Now and vying to be the voice-recognition personal assistant people use.

A review of the TwelveSouth HiRise for Apple Watch from Apple World Today says it’s a really nice stand that does everything right.

Over at Six Colors, Jason Snell says there’s almost too many Apple Watch models to choose from.

Macworld’s look at the Finder icon and the influence of fine art on the Mac is an interesting read.

IMore’s Rene Ritchie looks at the future of Jony Ive and Apple, in light of his recent promotion.

Start the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au