Apple has named former SVP of Operations Jeff Williams as its Chief Operating Officer, elevating Williams to a C-level position within the company and using a title that has been unused since Tim Cook was named CEO in one fell swoop. Apple’s press release announcing the leadership changes also names Johny Srouji as SVP of Hardware Technologies, a position that will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
To show they’re still hip and with it, Apple has added a Star Wars-themed radio station to Apple Music. While the station offers a selection of tracks from previous Star Wars films, it’s rumoured that if you listen to the station backwards you’ll reveal the secret plot where Jar Jar is proven to be the lead villain of the entire Star Wars franchise, or something along those lines. I think I read about that on the internet once.
Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi appeared as a guest on episode 139 of The Talk Show. Despite the entire episode going for 3 hours and 20 minutes, Federighi’s talk with Gruber goes for about half an hour. For those that can’t handle a podcast that long, there’s a transcript of their discussion over at Daring Fireball, for you to send to your Instapaper queue.
Taylor Swift has announced her 1989 World Tour Live concert video will be an Apple Music exclusive, available to both subscribers and members currently on the free trial. Re/code says Apple will also get to use Swift’s likeness in promotional materials, which includes Swift-branded iTunes Gift Cards, something I absolutely need to get my hands on, provided they’re available in Australia.
Welcome to the last week of news for 2015. Like everyone else, we’ll be taking a bit of a break over the Christmas a New Year period, returning on January 4th, 2016. From all of us here at AppleTalk, have a safe and merry Christmas, and we’ll see you in the new year! But first, some news…
John Gruber’s take on Apple’s Smart Battery Case was that “looks good” was way down on Apple’s list of priorities, which was designed first and foremost, to provide an extra kick of battery life. Gruber writes that it’s the exactly the kind of product that Apple would design — a product designed to solve a problem, even if it looks somewhat inelegant.
With yesterday’s announcement that ASX-listed Vita Group would be closing the remaining Next Byte stores starting in January 2016, a chapter in Australia’s reseller history will be complete. But this isn’t an eulogy for what was formerly the largest Apple Premium Reseller in Australia, that at one point had as many stores as Apple themselves now has, but rather, merely a paragraph announcing the demise of a company that has seen profits decline around the time Apple Australia started opening their own Retail stores. No, the eulogy will come a little later, but for now, I guess this is the beginning of the end.
In revealing the best apps and games on the new Apple TV, BuzzFeed talked to Apple SVP Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue about the new Apple TV and the future of television. Cue says Apple is seeing a very similar thing happening on the Apple TV that also happened on the iPhone with regards to games, and also unveiled details about a new app for the iPhone that would give you all the features of the Siri Remote on your iPhone.
Apple’s latest accessory is the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6s. It’s the first battery case Apple has released, and while that carries a certain connotation that Apple know and acknowledge battery life issues, it’s possible that Apple just wanted a slice of the third-party battery case market. Apple’s Smart Battery Case retails for $165, on both the Apple Online Store and (presumably) in-person at any Apple Retail location.
After some users reported raised limits on the number of tracks that could be matched with Apple Music and iTunes Match, Apple has officially confirmed to MacRumors that the limit has been raised to 100,000 songs. The raise before the end of the year was expected, as Apple’s Eddy Cue had previously said they were working on it, with the expectation that it would go live before the end of the year. And so it has.
Everyone’s favourite analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted the launch of a 4-inch iPhone in early 2016. The device will be an upgraded iPhone 5s, but with the A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s. A colourful metal casing will differentiate the device from the current quartet of iPhone colours, and so long as we’re not calling it the cheaper iPhone, we’ll have to see how this rumour pans out.