Tuesday Morning News
Robots. That’s who will be building your next iPhone, if manufacturing company Foxconn go ahead with their plans to deploy the mechanical machines in their factories, noting that Apple will become one of their first partners. And I don’t just mean humans performing repetitive tasks for little pay, I mean solid metal “Foxbots” capable of assembling 30,000 devices a piece.
It wouldn’t be Update Tuesday without the customary Apple updates, and iOS 8 beta 3 is the one making headlines this morning. The usual bug fixes and improvemenst are there, of course, but a new version of the Find My Friends app is also onboard for the ride. MacRumors has also spotted tweaks to iCloud Drive, Handoff, and Photos, while 9to5Mac reports Wi-Fi calling is now available on iPhones on T-Mobile in the US. (As a side note, this isn’t some kind of FaceTime-over-4G implementation — which already exists — it’s a normal voice service that uses your data connection. Australian carriers are currently testing it, I’m informed.)
Apple has also released the third developer preview of OS X Yosemite. Developer Preview 3 1.0 (a strange version number if I ever saw one) brings the all-important Dark Mode to OS X for the first time, a number of interface tweaks, an updated QuickTime icon, and changes to Settings. But seriously — Dark Mode.
A new profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook from the Wall Street Journal details his plans for new board members. Apple under Cook’s leadership is a place where deep collaboration between employees is encouraged, a place where he’s less involved in product development and delegates tasks to employees. He’s a manager, not a visionary — which may be cause for concern for some, but in my mind is the kind of leader Apple, as one of the largest companies in the world, needs right now.
With larger screens come larger batteries, but Apple’s unending push for thinner devices may mean we won’t get as much of a battery life improvement in the next iPhone as we might have expected. Battery capacity for the 4.7-inch iPhone is expected to be 1,800mAh — up from the 1,560mAh capacity in the current iPhone 5s, but still not massive. The larger display likely means we won’t get much of an improvement either, but again, this is all just speculation at this stage. At the very least, we won’t go backwards in battery life.
The South Korean Fair Trade Commission has ordered Apple and Google to offer easier App Store refunds, calling the current policies unfair to consumers. Currently, requests for App Store refunds are reviewed and granted on a case-by-case basis, and it’s likely that Apple will implement an automated system to deal with South Korean refund requests. No word on whether this will mean changes to refund policies elsewhere, however.
Macworld explores a number of Dropbox alternatives in their post on dropping Dropbox. The storage wars are here, and like the TV series, some services offer much more bang for your buck than others — but for many, the integration Dropbox has with other apps and services will likely have the final say whether they move or stay.
It’s been a while since I posted anything from iLounge, but today their coverage of a Thunderbolt to eSATA and USB 3.0 adapter from Kanex gets them a link. A version with USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet is reportedly coming soon for those of you that prefer more common connections, otherwise you can pick up the former for around $80 soonish.
IMore has posted a guide on how to do almost everything with Touch ID. How it works, how to set it up, how to label your fingerprints, and more.
Touch Arcade has a review of Civilisation Revolution 2. It’s more of a remake of the original iOS port from five years ago, but there’s plenty to like about the title. 3D is the word of the day here, and it looks great, even if there hasn’t been much in way of gameplay changes. Civilisation Revolution 2 is $18.99 on the Australian App Store.