Thursday Morning News

IMG_7643Federico Viticci’s list of must-have iPad apps this year runs through apps he uses to get things done, and the sheer fact the vast majority of them are productivity-related is a testament to the fact you can get things done on iOS devices, if you really want to. That said, there’s a few apps that are about consumption, which is good news for the rest of us, as well as all-round useful apps that doesn’t involve complex URL schemes or incredibly powerful workflows. Macworld put together a list of their favourite iOS apps of 2014, too.

Apple has posted up “the story behind The Song“, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at their recent The Song ad, and it looks at the old and new recording technology that makes special moments all possible.

In a note to developers, Apple has reminded them about the upcoming 64-bit requirement. All new apps submitted after February 1st must have 64-bit support and be built against the iOS 8 SDK, while app updates are subject to the same restrictions on June 1. Apple previously announced the new requirements in October, so it’s not as if developers haven’t had any time to get their apps ready.

AppleInsider tells us how to use iCloud Drive on all three platforms: the web, iOS devices, and on the Mac. ICloud Drive means documents are grouped together into separate folders, and it kind of works a little like Dropbox. I haven’t upgraded yet, but I’m guessing I will have to eventually, especially seeing as Documents and Data syncing option has gone away (which has the unfortunate side effect of not syncing my keyboard shortcuts from my iPhone or iPad).

MacRumors speaks of an update to the Continuity Activation Tool, which now supports a number of third-party bluetooth 4.0 dongles. You’ll recall Steeley upgraded the AirPort and Bluetooth card in his older 2011 MacBook Pro to enable Handoff on his machine, and while that’s still an avenue, other users with older machines now have the option to simply purchase an external Bluetooth dongle, instead.

TUAW goes hands-on with the BookBook for iPhone 6 Plus, from Twelve South. To be clear, TwelveSouth make a BookBook for the iPhone 6, too — and the new detachable thin shell case means you get a little protection even when you’re not toting around the full book, if you will.

The Sweet Setup names their favourite Mac app for email, and Mailbox takes home the honour of being the best third-party email app. One of Mailbox’s biggest drawcards is its laser-like focus on getting emails out of your inbox, whether they’re to be actioned later or just archived — and if you use iCloud or Gmail, Mailbox is the client you’re after. On the other hand, Airmail is similarly great if you’re not a Gmail or iCloud user.

An update to Drafts restores the Today Widget, which is now better than ever before, as noted by MacStories.

IMore’s review of iOS 8, three months later, looks at how improvements to the mobile OS have changed. Sure, there were plenty of features that worked well from day one, but plenty of others needed a little extra polish, and depending on who you ask, there are still some that need a little more work.

A reminder that Apple’s holiday return policy is now in effect. Items purchased from the Apple Online Store and received between November 1st and December 25th can be returned through January 8, giving you a little extra evaluation time, just to make sure you (or a friend or family member) is totally happy.

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