Although I’m not actually here, I still though it’d be nice to schedule my end-of-month Good Reads post. Because I really enjoyed reading some of these Apple-related pieces from the blogosphere this month, and thought you would too — bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- Depending on what parts of the Apple blogosphere you’ve been reading this month, you’ve probably come across something or other that says music sales are declining. And since the iTunes Store is the largest music vendor in the world, sooner or later, that’s going to affect Apple’s bottom line. So how does Apple beat the likes of Spotify and other streaming services? Fast Company says one possibility is making a streaming service of its own.
In hindsight, iTunes Radio now looks like a piece of Apple’s new music plan that just happened to come first—but it was always meant as a supplement to an on-demand service. In the future, instead of iTunes Radio offering a download button next to each track that plays, it could be a button offering access to all of this artist’s discography instantly.
OK, first things first: Apple has announced a special event, to be held at the Yerba Buena center for the arts. What many are expecting to be the definitive Apple Watch event revealing more details about the wearable will happen on March 9, which makes it early Tuesday morning for us Aussies.
Talking to Apple Store employees in Berlin, Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will be water resistant, capable of withstanding a shower or a little rainfall. Cook also revealed he charges his Apple Watch every night, confirming earlier reports about day-long battery life for Apple’s wearable. As for Apple Pay rolling out in Europe, the only thing Cook had to say about that was that Apple were looking at a “sometime before the end of the year” timeframe.
I’ve never really been into making New Year’s resolutions. Much like Valentine’s Day or other internationally-recognised special holidays, I figured if I was ever going to embark on a journey of self-improvement (or bestow gifts upon my loved ones or that special friend), I was going to do it for no particular reason, “just because”. Sure, Christmas and birthdays are always nice reminders, but special occasions don’t preclude being nice to people the rest of the time. New Year’s resolutions, I told myself, were for those that liked to make hilarious jokes about what resolution their computer monitor was (mine is 3840×2160, thanks for asking), or for those that needed the extra motivation of a new year to change an aspect of their lives.
That all changed last year, when I told myself I’d eat less fast food. Depending on who you ask, “fast food” can have a pretty broad definition, but giving up McDonalds and KFC seemed like a good baseline, and the beginning of 2014 seemed like a good a time as any to start. Over the past year, I can count the number of times I’ve eaten Maccas or KFC on one hand — hardly impressive, I know, but goals work better if they’re both realistic and achievable. Besides, I’m new to the whole “New Year’s resolution” thing, remember? Small steps.
Yet more Apple Watch pricing speculation kicks off this morning’s news, this time from Dave Mark from The Loop. Mark writes Edition pricing will probably start at around $5,000, which more closely aligns with watches from Tag Heuer, rather than Rolex; definitely on the upmarket side of the scale, yet not in the stratosphere.
A press release from Apple says they’re planning to build even more data centers. Located in Europe this time instead of the US, Apple will spend $2 billion on two European data centers running on 100% renewable energy, although it’s not specified whether this will be purely solar or a combination of sustainable energy models. The Verge reports both data centers will be used to power Apple’s vast array of online services.
Continuing the Apple Watch price speculation this morning is John Gruber, who published a piece over the weekend discussing the various price points of the Apple Watch. He has it on good authority that the Edition models will cost somewhere in the vicinity of $20,000, which is what he calls “Bananas Town” — on the other hand, if Apple price the Edition model at $5,000, they’d sell millions because you simply can’t buy a solid gold watch for that kind of money, let alone one with the kind of technology Apple plan to pack into it.
When it comes to questions about the Apple Watch, the question of how Apple will market the device comes up just as often as how much the Apple Watch will cost, or when it will become available. AppleInsider points to a rumour claiming Apple will market the device in unique displays, perhaps featured at high-end department stores in Paris. It remains to be seen how Apple will be marketing a luxury timepiece in its own Retail locations, which don’t exactly give off the same vibe as a jewellery store or other high-end fashion store.
The former CEO of General Motors has warned Apple against entering the car business, saying people who don’t operate in the industry have a tendency to underestimate exactly what it entails. The Verge reports Dan Akerson saying what Apple should be doing is helping car manufacturers with in-car electronics, which is kind of what they’re already doing with CarPlay, but there’s plenty of other low-hanging fruit that Apple could lend a hand with.
Rumour has it Touch ID will be making it way to other Apple devices in the not-to-distant future. Taiwanese website Apple.club.tw claims the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad could all be getting fingerprint-sensory goodness for both security reasons, but also for another: Apple Pay. It’s certainly plausible, but I can’t imagine Apple rolling out such a feature if Apple Pay, say, wasn’t available outside of the US. I wager we’ll need Apple Pay in a few more countries before we get Touch ID in hardware.