Wednesday Morning News
Update Tuesday strikes again, with Apple releasing both iOS 8.1.3 and OS X 10.10.2 overnight. The iOS update contains the usual generic bug fixes, security, and performance improvements, but also claims to reduce the storage capacity required for future software updates and a few other insignificant issues. For its part, the Yosemite update comes with security fixes and is Apple’s second shot at fixing Wi-Fi issues in its latest version of OS X, as well as adding the ability to browse iCloud Drive from within Time Machine.
I won’t be around later this morning to cover Apple’s financials from its quarterly earnings call, but TechCrunch reports Apple has topped smartphone shipments in China for the first time. It’s a pretty big milestone for the company, especially seeing as China is a market Apple is super interested in and is currently in the process of expanding its Retail footprint in. Apple’s earnings call later today will have more numbers, but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s edition of the morning news.
Ever since the demise of the free iTunes single of the week, a couple of outlets have said Free on iTunes is the new replacement. It’s possible that it’s a US-only, trial-stage thing though, as I’m not seeing the banner on the Australian iTunes Store. The Mac Observer is, though, and has commentary on Free on iTunes.
Apple has been granted a patent relating to snap-on iPhone game controllers and accessories, reports AppleInsider. Physical joysticks and other accessories save precious screen real estate when playing games, and Apple wants a more elegant solution than stand-alone controllers, although they may turn out to be the better solution depending on your requirements.
The Photos app on the iCloud website has been given a few new features, as it now allows you to zoom in on photos that you have uploaded to the website. You can also send photos via email directly from the website, which makes sense as iCloud has always has an email client.
Apple has announced the shutdown of the web-based version of TestFlight. Starting February 26th, developers will no longer be able to access the beta-testing services of the legacy TestFlight and are instead encouraged to migrate to the TestFlight Beta Testing service offered as part of iTunes Connect. Developers seem divided on the issue: some think it’s a shame the older version is going away, but from what I’ve read, the new TestFlight isn’t so bad.
The suite of 1Password apps was updated yesterday, with the Mac, iPhone, and iPad versions of the password storage app getting a bunch of new features. IMore runs through the new Login creator and two-factor authentication features (the latter of which is only for 1Password Pro users), and on the Mac side, syncing improvements abound.
In other app update news, MacStories breaks down the new media enhancements in Twitterrific 5.9, which now supports media previews for a massive number of third-party services. Rich media previews are the name of the game, and Twitterrific is leading the pack when it comes to supporting third party services.
Also from iMore yesterday was a look at whether Microsoft’s OneNote could be a true Evernote competitor. The answer turns out to be somewhere between yes and no, with the app itself being a solid note-taker, but lacking Evernote’s expanded ecosystem to truly satisfy all your note-taking needs.
On the back of an article from Engadget asking when Apple became the boring one, TUAW says Apple is as boring as it has always been. But it turns out being boring might be Apple’s greatest strength, even though it led to Microsoft’s eventual downfall.