Friday Morning News
Look closely at Apple’s quarterly results, combine them with analysis from Strategy Analytics, and you’ll find that Apple and Samsung are basically tied for the title of world’s largest smartphone makers in Q4 2014. “Both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones during the three-month period of October through December”, writes MacRumors, but the difference is that while Samsung reported a 27% quarterly decline in profits, Apple posted its biggest quarter yet. In other news, Apple’s R&D expenditure has risen 42% year-on-year, now sitting at just under $2 billion per quarter.
Apple’s Back to School promo is now live in Australia and New Zealand, and those eligible for education discounts on machines will receive an additional Apple Store Gift Card with their purchase of any qualifying Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Previous years have offered App Store gift cards, but Apple has switched things up a little this time around.
An iTunes Connect issue presented developers with the wrong accounts after logging into the portal with their own credentials. The issue was first noted overnight, and Apple temporarily pulled iTunes Connect shortly after — Apple has since acknowledged the issue on its developer status page, but now we’re also seeing TestFlight weirdness.
For the first time since October 2013, Apple Remote Desktop has been updated. ARD 3.8 adds support for Yosemite systems, which includes a bit of a UI refresh to bring the remote management tool up to date with the new look and feel of OS X Yosemite. ARD licenses can now be migrated to the Mac App Store from those who installed from a disc, Ars Technica reports.
Apple was originally planning to launch its revamped Photos app sometime early this year, but it has quietly removed all references to “early 2015” on its website. Now, there’s just a single help article that says it’ll be available “at a later date”. Apple’s already got a lot on its plate for early this year, but personally I’d like something that’s had enough time in the oven rather than something half-done.
Microsoft’s acquisition of iOS email app Accompli has turned out to be Outlook mobile. The new Outlook-branded apps are identical to the previous Accompli versions, although that probably won’t be the case for too much longer. For the time being, there’s actually a decent version of Outlook for mobile devices, and Macworld takes a look. Outlook mobile is free, on the App Store.
Like pretty much everything Apple these days, the features are great when they work, but it’s the consistent inconsistencies that are maddening. This “working sporadically” thing is why Bob LeVitus has a love/hate relationship with Apple’s handoff and continuity features.
Rene Ritchie wants a guest mode in iOS 9, for those rare times when you’re handing your phone off for someone else to use. Instead of adding Touch ID authentication to every app, Ritchie says a guest mode could be the more elegant solution.
Facebook’s latest update gives Foursquare-style tips for places, but the feature is only limited to a handful of US cities now. If you’re anywhere in the world, you might just have to stick with Foursquare.
If you’re a Sons of Anarchy fan, you might be interested in the adventure game from Orpheus Interactive. It’s in the same cell-shaded style as recent Telltale titles of the same genre, and plays more or less the same, too. If that’s not really your thing, the darker Indigo Prophecy remake is out on every Apple platform, upgraded with HD graphics.