Monday Morning News
You can always tell when the news and rumours surrounding an upcoming product have reached fever pitch, because all the big blogs will start reporting the most frivolous of things. This story from 9to5Mac, for example, says that Apple Retail Stores will be outfitted with safes to house the gold version of the Apple Watch, which will also have a slightly different sales process to differentiate it from the other versions. At least that last part aligns with their previous piece saying the Apple Watch will either be a failure or a success based on its pricing and sales experience.
So they have something to demo when the Apple Watch likely launches in March and before it ships in April, Apple has asked some high-profile developers to have apps for the Watch ready to go by the middle of the month. MacRumors mentions one of Apple’s biggest Apple Pay partners to have an app ready to go by that date.
Apple’s latest Retail location in Chongqing, China, is almost a direct clone of its Shanghai counterpart. It features a very similar glass cylinder, and even has the glass spiral staircase as seen in Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store. This has to be some kind of inside joke at Apple, right? Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks it’s hilarious Apple are copying themselves in a country that’s sometimes better known for copycat products. Or maybe it’s just Apple’s Retail Store design for China.
Apple has more cash reserves than it knows what to do with, but the problem is that money is tied up all over the world. U.S. Senators keen to get that cash back in the States are proposing changes to tax legislation which means companies like Apple could bring the cash back into the US at a lower tax bracket.
An iTunes update over the weekend brought with it a new Notification Center widget that features some basic playback controls. You can enable the new widget if you’ve already installed iTunes 12.1 by hitting the Edit button in Notification Center and then adding the iTunes widget.
Speaking of software updates, OS X 10.10.2 was supposed to fix Yosemite’s Wi-Fi issues, once and for all. But Macworld says that’s not quite the case, with many users still seeing Wi-Fi flakiness introduced with Yosemite. What’s worse, the 10.10.2 update also seems to have introduced intermittent kernel panics with Thunderbolt storage devices (thanks, Iain!).
IPhones already get reasonably dim on the lowest brightness setting in the dark, but a quick tip on Medium says you can enable an obscure accessibility feature to get the screen even dimmer, in case your retinas are still being burned from the light.
The built-in email client on iOS is actually pretty fully-featured, even for people who need to triage things or quickly churn through an overflowing inbox. A few handy tips and tricks from iMore will let you brush up on what it can and can’t do, and some of the tips regarding drafts are particularly useful.
MacRumors has a review of Adonit’s updated Jot Pro and Jot Mini styluses. Styli. Digit-replacements. Pointing-apparatus. Whatever.
ILounge checks out the Harmon Kardon Solo wireless headphones, which work over a regular Bluetooth connection and can pair to your smartphone via NFC. They have an inbuilt battery, and can be charged via USB for convenience.
VineKids is exactly what it says on the tin, featuring a child-friendly interface that’s been streamlined down to make it easier for kids to use, and content that’s suitable for developing minds. It’s free, on the App Store.
I know drinking before 9am is so faux pas, but I’m pouring one out for TUAW this morning. The site for Apple enthusiasts has been around for an insanely long time, and was one of the first Apple-related sites I started reading way before I started doing daily news posts. I confess they’ve fallen off a little in the face of some stiff competition, but still offer up occasional gems now and again. I’ll miss The Unofficial Apple Weblog, which ceases publication on February 2nd, 2015.