Friday Morning News

9_9_14_event_big“Wish we could say more.” That’s the teaser that accompanied press invitations to Apple’s September 9 event, which I guess is now all official-like. The invite itself gives nothing away, but it’s widely expected we’ll see the announcement of a new iPhone as well as the entirely new product category Apple keeps harping on about. Speaking of which, Bloomberg is now saying Apple’s wearable will be positioned as an iPhone accessory, akin to similar efforts from other smartwatch manufacturers.

In iPhone part leaks today, we have SIM card trays and home buttons in various colour configurations. The rear logo of the device has been given a cursory once-over, and we also get a look at the internal speaker and vibration motor. One analyst claims all 5.5-inch models of the iPhone will get sapphire displays, while only “some” 4.7-inch models will get the same treatment, depending on the spec. That would certainly provide some serious model differentiation, if it turns out to be true.

Even Wired are getting in on the iPhone hype-train, citing sources who say the next iPhone will include NFC for mobile payments. They’re saying the next iPhone will feature its own payment platform, a solution which will involve NFC in some way. The exact implementation details remain a mystery for now, but there’s talk of it being integrated with iBeacons, somehow.

For some reason, Apple are building a massive structure at the location of the September 9 event. It’s three stories high and surrounded by security personnel, and no-one is saying anything regarding what the structure is for. Interestingly, while Apple has used the Flint Center on just three previous occasions, the last time was in 1999, when Steve Jobs introduced the iMac SE.

Apple has won a design patent for the iconic Fifth Avenue glass cube, the most photographed location in New York City, and now, a “patented ornamental building“. The redesigned cube uses 15 panes down from the original 90, at an estimated cost of $6.7 million, AppleInsider writes.

If you’ve ever wanted an iPad web browser that uses keyboard shortcuts, does MacStories have the app for you. You’ll need a separate bluetooth keyboard to take advantage of UpTime’s keyboard shortcuts, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the keyboard warriors among you. The shortcuts are even similar to Safari’s, so you should be able to jump right in.

Minuum’s variable-height custom keyboard for iOS 8 seems like an interesting idea (opening up more space for actual content), but I wonder how it’ll work in practice.

IPad note-taking app Notability is now available on the Mac, and one of its biggest drawcards is Mac-iOS note syncing, thanks to iCloud. With automatic Dropbox and Google Drive backups, the OS X app has been optimised for the Mac.

Tapdaq has collated the complaints of developers into one big blog post, asking developers what the one thing that frustrates them about developing for the iOS platform. Reading through the list gives the sense there’s definite room for improvement.

Finally this week, my favourite new website is the one collecting a list of weird iOS apps. Fake Shower, for example, simulates the sounds of someone having a shower — but goes one step further and calculates the amount of water saved for yourself, personally, and globally thanks to using this app to fake a shower. Sure, OK.

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