TechCrunch is asking the important questions this morning, starting off with the one about when we’ll see a new Apple Watch. It’s inevitable that we’ll see new Apple Watch hardware, but when? Predictions say a new Apple Watch could appear as early as March this year, but there’s been no other whisper on timing, especially not for something that could be labelled as the Apple Watch 2.0. I guess the longer Apple delays the new model, the less they have to worry about people who bought ultra-expensive Editions crying foul about upgrades.
Well, that was fast: after releasing the first developer beta of iOS 9.3, Apple has seeded an update in the form of iOS 9.3 beta 1.1. It’s possibly the first time I’ve ever seen a point update for a beta release, but MacRumors says the release fixes an installation issue.
Apple is exiting the ad sales game. While iAds themselves won’t be going anywhere, the in-house team that sells advertising is going away in favour of a more traditional publisher-based scheme. Publishers selling iAds will keep 100% of the revenue they generate, and Apple doesn’t have to expend hours on something they’re not good at, as revealed to BuzzFeed.
Now that we’ve all had a chance to shoot through Apple’s release notes for the iOS 9.3 beta, MacRumors has a roundup of the new features. New 3D Touch quick actions have been introduced for a number of Apple’s own apps, allowing easier access to things such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings, while the new Night Shift mode cuts down on the amount of sleep-impeding blue light emitted by your iPhone at night. The Apple Watch app can now automatically switch between any paired Apple Watch, which means you can start joking about your day and night Apple Watches any time now.
The first beta of iOS 9.3 has been released to developers, and Apple has put together a preview of the new features on its website. The headlining features are a multi-user mode designed to be used with devices shared amongst students, for example, although Ars Technica suggests Apple won’t make this feature available for home users. IOS 9.3 also brings a F.lux-like night mode, Notes protected by Touch ID, and other improvements to News and CarPlay.
One of the biggest stories from the weekend was Apple’s registration of three different domain names, including apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto. MacRumors points out that this is all just more fuel for the Apple Car fire, and with mounting evidence that Apple may get into the motor vehicle game, for now we play the waiting game until Apple decide to reveal something.
The latest in Apple’s acquisitions is Emotient, a facial expression startup. Emotient’s primary use case was analysis of consumer reaction to ads, determining whether a response was positive or negative based on facial expressions. For once, there’s little to no speculation on what Apple may do with the company, but here’s mine: what about photo streams that automatically collate the best photos from your trip overseas? That’d be pretty cool.
We’re just 7 days into the new year, and Apple’s first official communication for the year is them telling us about their record-breaking holiday season on the App Store. Apple’s press release says customers spent over $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases over the fortnight ending January 3rd, with January 1st marking the App Store’s biggest day in history with over $144 million spent.
Apple has announced special versions of the Apple Watch Sport, available for sale for Chinese New Year. The yellow gold aluminium and regular silver aluminium models — both with Product(RED) Sport bands — will be available for purchase until February 22, with pricing starting at SGD $518 and $598 for the 38mm and 42mm models, respectively.
Just before the new year, Twitter released version 4.0 of its Mac app. And that’s just about where the good news ends, because by most accounts, the new Twitter for Mac is a step backwards from the previous version. While it supports some of Twitter’s latest features (video playback, animated GIFs), in other respects the new Twitter for Mac just isn’t as usable as the old version. Perhaps it was because it wasn’t built by Twitter, but perhaps it simply needed more time in the oven.