Thursday Morning News

Fantastical iconJust when you thought Apple won’t be using sapphire displays in their products anytime soon, thanks to the demise of GT Advanced, a rumour suggests Foxconn will be stepping up to the sapphire plate to produce sapphire displays for Apple’s next iPhone. It all stems from news Foxconn has reached an agreement to set up a new factory just outside an existing iPhone 6 assembly plant, which should aid in their efforts to supply Apple with both sapphire and displays.

In the continuing see-saw between Apple and Samsung, MacRumors reports Apple are heavily relying on Samsung for component production for the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. Samsung is supplying RAN, NAND flash storage, and batteries under the new deals, with the company also expected to produce the processors for the Apple Watch, which still has no firm release date other than “early 2015”.

In other production news, Apple is set to discontinue the iPhone 5c next year, halting all production of the device in the middle of 2015. Like the 8GB entry versions of the iPhone 4 and 4s before it, it seems the iPhone 5c’s days are numbered. The iPhone 5c always seemed like a weird one to me, an unnecessary hardware revision that added a degree of differentiation between it and the newer iPhone 5s, sure, but to what end? To add a splash of colour to the iPhone lineup, or to show off some cases with holes? Your guess is as good as mine.

Apple is looking for a virtual reality app engineer, and while we probably won’t be seeing anything along the lines of Oculus-like hardware from the company anytime soon (the job posting specifies apps), it’s possible Apple are working on something that’s more like the Samsung Gear VR, a head-mounted unit which uses a smartphone to do most of the heavy lifting.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are happening this weekend, and Flexibits are kicking things off early with a sale on all Fantastical software. Fantastical for iPhone (now $1.99), iPad (now $4.99), and Mac (now $12.99) are all up to 65% off if you buy them via the iTunes or Mac App Stores, making the excellent calendaring software cheaper than ever before. But if you’re using something else and love it, I’ve like to hear about it in the comments.

I’ve never really understood SnapChat. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, or maybe it’s because there’s more to it than meets the eye. An explanation of the original ephemeral messaging service over at MacStories goes a long way to explain why people are using the service for more than just copious selfies, although it’s still used for that too. Not that I would know, or anything.

TUAW talks about the WeMo Maker, the latest in the Belkin lineup of Wi-Fi connected things. It’s easily the most interesting of the WeMo series so far, allowing tinkerers to connect up a device and do stuff with the press of a button or via a sensor. The example they give is setting up the Maker to sense something (a garage door) and then do something (close it if it’s open, or open it if it’s closed), but there’s plenty of other possibilities out there.

The latest news regarding the Steve Jobs film is that Universal Studios has picked up the film. Michael Fassbender is the latest in a long line of actors set to play Steve Jobs, while Natalie Portman is reportedly set to play Lisa Brennan. I will enjoy watching this movie when it eventually comes out.

Civilisation: Beyond Earth is now available on the Mac, and like most PC ports, it’s an Aspyr title. The game was originally released on PC around a month ago, so it’s not too bad timing wise.

Apple co-founder Ron Wayne is selling a collection of early Apple documents, including proofs of the manual for the Apple-1, and a set of blueprints and drawings of the case for the Apple II. The collection has an estimated value of between $30,000 and $50,000, if you’re looking for something special to add to your own collection of Apple memorabilia.

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