Wednesday Morning News

silvergray-copyIf 2015 is the Apple Watch, the only other question that needs answering is: when? 9to5Mac is pretty confident we’ll see Apple’s wearable gadget in March, with training expected to start in February. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple hold a special event just for the Apple Watch, because there’s plenty of stuff we don’t know about it — price, accessories, availability (US only?), and so on. I guess time will tell.

9to5Mac also has details on Apple’s rumoured 12-inch MacBook Air, a return to the same form factor as my favourite Mac of all time, the 12-inch PowerBook. Like the 12-inch PowerBook, an artist’s impression of the 12-inch Air pairs it up with a keyboard that’s almost full-sized, but noticeably goes all the way to the edge, making the entire machine narrower than the 11-inch model even though it has a marginally larger display.

Apple just started selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the US unlocked and without a contract, just like they have been doing in pretty much every other country since launch. I’d be OK with it if Apple launched Apple Pay in Australia, but my money is they’ll be doing it sometime this year.

Apple has won a patent for a foldable, flexible iPhone with force gesture controls. The news comes via AppleInsider who has more details on the patent: it describes flexible outer components with similarly pliable internal components such as a battery, circuit boards, wiring, and the like.

News out of CES is that Mophie, Otterbox, and Incipio have all unveiled their battery cases for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Mophie’s lineup includes the Juice Pack Air and Juice Pack Plus, with devices connecting through the Lightning connector on the bottom. These are the first MFi-certified battery cases to be on the market, as far as I’m aware, and Mophie’s Juice Packs for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are now up for pre-order.

Federico Viticci’s thoughts on the recent breakneck pace of Apple include a smart perspective on the issue. He writes that while it certainly feels like more and more unprecedented bugs have made it into OS X and iOS releases, he doesn’t know why. And at the end of the day, people can speculate as much as they want, but having to decide between “doing new stuff” or “fixing bugs” is not a decision Apple should have to make, especially not for a company in their position.

Holding down Option and clicking on stuff in your Mac’s menu bar can often lead to revealing hidden options and extra information. Macworld has a video showing you what it’s all about.

Third-party keyboards on iOS were a great idea, but from what I’ve heard, they don’t work as well as they should. Finer Things in Tech has a few ideas for making them more useful and usable.

With music downloads declining, NPR asks if the world’s most popular music store can adapt to the changing marketplace. People are buying less music because it’s easier to stream it, but with Apple’s only music streaming service — iTunes Radio — only available in the US and Australia, what’s next for the iTunes Store?

Panic’s 2014 report talks about the state of iOS and OS X development from the perspective of a multi-million dollar software development company. It’s an eye-opening read.

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