Friday Morning News

Apple’s press release tells us about the great start to the year it had. $240 million in customer purchases on New Year’s Day makes January 1st, 2017 the busiest day for the App Store ever, with 2016 also being no slouch in terms of developer earnings. $20 billion was paid to developers in 2016, up 40% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, Apple has removed the New York Times apps from the Chinese App Store at the request of a government agency. The move comes after Apple was forced to shut down the iBooks and iTunes Movies storefronts in China earlier last year. This shutdown seems to have a similar feel, with an Apple representative explaining that the NYT apps (in both Chinese and English versions) were in violation of local regulations.

The first Apple Watch 3 rumours have started, with a report claiming the next update to Apple’s wearable will feature improved battery life and basically nothing else. No form factor changes is great for those who have invested in multiple watch bands, but surely Apple will have to change the form factor eventually, even if it’s to make it thinner.

The Verge’s report card for Apple in 2016 tells us about the ports that were removed in a year where “every new gadget was also coupled with disappointment”. But they also point out Apple’s unwavering commitment to security and privacy via encryption of its most popular products means that it stands out from others, in a world where more and more things are connected to the internet for all and sundry.

Indeed, 9to5Mac explains a lot of what’s wrong with Apple product launches. They say Apple’s legendary product secrecy creates much of the magic that we feel when we’re watching keynotes in the wee hours of the morning, but at the same time it’s frustrating for those who don’t know what’s coming, or when. All of this wouldn’t be so bad if we had regular product updates, but these days even minor speed bumps are few and far between.

Shown off at CES, Incipio’s OX case for the iPhone 7 brings the headphone jack back. It’s not exactly a new idea, but may be a good option for those who truly need to listen to music and charge at the same time.

TwelveSouth’s ActionSleeve armband for Apple Watch means we’ve basically come full circle. Remember the days when people used to strap iPod nanos to their arms when going for a run? This is the 2017 version, which lets you put your strapless Apple watch in an armband without wearing it on your wrist.

Apple has repeatedly said they’ve tested touchscreens on Macs and the experience is not great. In case you want to make up your own mind, Air Bar now lets you add touch screen support to your MacBook Air.

In case Super Mario Run isn’t your thing, the holiday break also saw the release of Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic on the App Store. Touch Arcade’s review says the controls are nicely ported to a touch interface, and it’s a faithful port that lets you experience everything the desktop version had to offer.

Apple’s best of 2016 list encompasses the best-sellers in apps, music, movies, TV, books, and podcasts. They put it all together and made a fun video out of it.

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