Monday Morning News
We open this week’s news with Re/code’s claim Apple will hold their October event on the 16th. It’s widely expected the event will feature updates to the iPad, alongside the launch of OS X Yosemite, with the possibility of an entirely new iMac, one that comes with a Retina display. I’d also put a Mac mini refresh and possible iPod updates on the table, although we haven’t heard any rumours regarding the latter.
Over the weekend, reports of a new kind of OS X malware made headlines. Over 17,000 Macs have been infected globally with the “iWorm” malware, which is designed to collect data and perform limited system tasks remotely. The worm was controlled via a Reddit search for its command and control servers, which could then further compromise any infected machine. The Intego blog has a more extensive look into how it works (including how to see if you’re infected), while Apple has already updated its built-in malware definitions to prevent new installations.
Apple are facing another lawsuit, and the Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation alleges Apple locked users into iPods via iTunes Music Store DRM, creating a monopoly in the process. AppleInsider reports the plaintiffs are seeking $350 million in damages, and it might come as no surprise that the folks from RealPlayer are behind much of the class-action lawsuit, saying Apple purposefully patched iTunes over several versions to disallow playing “Harmony” (RealNetworks’ workaround for iTunes DRM) content.
After their purchase of Beats earlier this year, Apple are looking into the prices of streaming music subscriptions. As part of their upcoming revamp of the Beats service, they want to make the service available for less than $10 a month, adding new features to the service along the way. But MacRumors says discussions with music labels is ongoing, and said revamp isn’t expected until sometime next year.
If you’ve been wondering about the breakdown of iPhone 6 to iPhone 6 Plus models, Digitimes is saying the iPhone 6 Plus accounts for 60% of iPhone 6 shipments. But a few things about that figure seem a little off: a number of outlets reported constraints on the iPhone 6 Plus ahead of its launch, and anecdotally, the handful of retail outlets I’ve been in contact with suggest lower iPhone 6 Plus shipments compared to iPhone 6 units. Not to mention, the usage stats from web analytics clearly show the iPhone 6 as the more popular device, as far as units accessing websites goes.
Yesterday marked the third anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death, and Tim Cook’s email to employees reminded them to take a moment to “appreciate the many ways Steve made our world better.” IClarified has published his letter in full.
Apple added a bunch of new encryption as part of iOS 8, so that even they can’t decrypt the contents of your device if you forget your passcode. A technical look at how that’s possible explains that it’s all to do with the secure enclave: no software can extract the UID used to encrypt your data.
The Sweet Setup’s favourite app for Markdown writing on the Mac is Byword. They claim it’s the “the best of the bunch because it hits the sweet spot between simplicity and functionality”, offering “just enough features under the hood enough to make you a happy and more productive writer”.
Developer Jonathan ‘Wolf’ Rentzsch talks about recovering from a failed drive used in Apple’s software RAID. While Disk Utility can create the array for you, it’s more than a little useless when it comes to actually recovering from a failed drive — for that, you’ll have to brush up on your diskutil.
In a strange move, Disney has pulled Tiny Death Star and Star Wars Assault Team from the App Store permanently. Both were popular mobile games focused around the Star Wars franchise, and Touch Arcade reports the move was done so Disney could focus on priority titles, like the Star Wars version of Clash of Clans. Because that’s exactly what we need, more innovation on the App Store.
Frasier Speirs writes slowing down might be good for Apple, given recent software issues. Stephen Hackett agrees, saying he thinks Apple’s moving too quickly when it comes to software — a company that prides itself on experiences shouldn’t be letting the kinds of issues we’ve been seeing go live to millions of customers.
A long, long, time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, Apple iLife and iWork software came in boxes. Not many remember those white packages of fun, but those that do probably also remember when software came on polycarbonate pieces of plastic, too. Ah, the good old days. (Hat tip to Stephen Hackett, who posted up a bunch of older boxed copies of iLife and iWork.)