Every month, we’ll be bringing you a hand-picked selection of the best, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. While these picks could have easily made it into the daily morning news digests, I feel they deserve some special attention because they bring up a particularly important point, or cover some important topic that explains how Apple does what it does, and how they do it better than any other company. Bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- With the recent launch of the Apple TV, what better way to kick off another instalment of Good Reads than with a piece from Universal Mind about the importance of apps coming to the big screen. There will be challenges, of course, but if apps coming to the big screen means publishers who weren’t interested in mobile get on board with apps for the new Apple TV, then that’s a win, in my book.
The tvOS App Store is set to kick off a new gold rush where third-party developers push the boundaries and create a broad range of disruptive new experiences. Like the iTunes Store did for music before it, the tvOS App Store lowers the bar for small content producers to sidestep incumbent distribution systems and access larger audiences.
A live blog from the Wall Street Journal covers everything you need to know (and then some) about Nintendo’s mobile strategy going forward. Its first smartphone title will be Miitomo, and while it won’t be out until March 2016, it’ll use the Mii system to communicate with your friends. TouchArcade has more info on Miitomo, which will be free to play, with in-app purchases, but I’m wondering how much actual gameplay there will be, at least in the traditional sense.
A transcript of Tim Cook’s words after yesterday’s earnings call has thoughts from the Apple CEO on Apple’s financial results, the launch of the iPhone 6s, Apple in China, as well as words about the iPhone upgrade program. It’s unsurprising that many questions were focused around new-vs-old iPhone users, the upgrade program, and so on, because Apple is the iPhone company now.
Apple’s financial results for Q4 2015 are out, and it should come as no surprise that Apple is making more money in the entire history of making money. OK, that might not be entirely true, but it’s probably not too far from the truth: with revenue of $51.5 billion, profit of $11.1 billion, Apple sold 48 million iPhones, 9.8 million iPads, and 5.7 million Macs. MacStories compares the numbers to previous quarters, and it’s interesting to see that while iPhones and iPads have all sold more in previous quarters, 5.7 million Macs is the most they’ve sold in a quarter, ever.
Pre-orders for the new Apple TV are now live. In Australia, the 32GB version will set you back $269, or $349 for the 64GB version. While there doesn’t seem to be any kind of clear consensus on what the storage capacity will be used for besides app and game storage space (and no official word from Apple on caching content capabilities), the new Apple TV ships in early November. If you’re thinking of pre-ordering, consider doing so via the AppleTalk affiliate link.
As first reported by Toby in the forums, Apple Pay badges have appeared in some Apple Maps listings for select Woolworths and Coles locations in Australia. It probably doesn’t mean anything, given that many, many, Australian retailers already support contactless payments, but it gives me hope that we’ll see Apple Pay before the end of the year. MacRumors says Apple Pay badges have been spotted in Apple Maps listings in other countries, and once again, I’m curious to know why Apple Pay was launched in the US before other countries with better support for contactless payments.
Apple’s latest environmental feat is generating clean energy for 100% of its operations in China. A solar installation in the Sichaun Province generates over 40 megawatts of energy, producing more than the total amount of energy used by Apple’s offices and retail stores, making Apple’s operations in China carbon neutral, according to the press release from Apple. Meanwhile, it seems Apple still has some way to go in terms of improving working conditions, with the latest report from Chinese Labor Watch pointing out poor working conditions in one of Apple’s iPhone manufacturing facilities.
It must be Update Thursday, because Apple just released a trio of updates. For starters, iOS 9.1 brings a plethora of new Emoji (over 150 in total), changes to how Live Photos are recorded that now detect when the iPhone has been raised or lowered, as well as security updates that break the latest iOS 9 jailbreak, as covered by MacRumors.
Speaking at the WSJDLive conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the new Apple TV will be available next week, with pre-orders opening on Monday (probably our Tuesday) and orders shipping later in the week. There’s still no word on Australian pricing, but given recent price adjustments you’re probably looking at anywhere between $199 for the 32GB model to $299 for the 64GB model, but anything under $250 will be something to write about.