Wednesday Morning News

12188-5815-IMG_0969-lThe Wall Street Journal is reporting Apple is planning a 25-channel TV service that will include ABC, CBS, and Fox, with other channels like ESPN and FX tacked on. If you’re disappointed by the US-centricness of the news, you’re not alone — thanks to content deals between Apple and the various media companies, there’s a good chance this will turn out to be US-only for a good period of time, much like Apple’s exclusive partnership with HBO when it announced HBO Now on the Apple TV just last week.

Apple’s Global Volunteer Program is “designed to encourage Apple employees in select locations to volunteer in their local communities”, according to MacRumors. Unlike the rumour of a streaming TV service above, the program is available in the US, Sydney, and Cork, a city in Ireland.

On the surface, the new Force Touch trackpad in the new MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display looks indistinguishable from its previously clicky predecessor. But beneath the surface lurks a clicking experience like no other: a series of sensors detect how hard you’re pressing down, and vibrates to let you know you’ve clicked appropriately. It’s one of those things that has to be experienced, says AppleInsider.

As part of the Apple Watch introduction to Apple Retail locations, Apple created its own magnetic charging bracelet for the device. The bracelet both presents the device in an attractive way to prospective customers, as well as keeping it charged for demos. It’s kind of like the stands Apple uses for iPhones, only a little different.

Rob Griffiths has put together an all-in-one Apple Watch spreadsheet, for those looking to compare models, sizes, and the various bands on offer. The pricing he uses is the US pricing, but at least he’s been nice enough to use metric measurements for the sizes and weights of the various combinations of Apple Watch.

What, exactly, does the USB 3.1 Gen 1 designation of the new USB-C port on the MacBook mean? Turns out, USB 3.1 doesn’t mean USB 3.1 — as Ars Technica explains it, the “Gen 1” part actually signifies this is plain old USB 3.0, which comes with a theoretical max bandwidth of 5Gbps (not the 10Gbps of USB 3.1).

If you’re looking past the new MacBook because it has only one port and doesn’t come with the famed MagSafe connector, I’d wager that you’re not the target market for Apple’s latest portable. You know what other device only comes with one port and requires a whole bunch of adapters? The iPad. And when was the last time you sent your iPad flying because you tripped over its charging cable? Ben Brooks says the lack of a MagSafe on the new MacBook isn’t that big of a deal, and I’m inclined to agree.

MacStories checks out Skala Color, a great colour-picking app for OS X that, strangely enough, comes with the US spelling of colour.

MacStories also talked to a few indie developers, looking at a day in their lives. One part of their interview talks to Australian indie Philip Simpson, one of the guys at Shifty Jelly, working on both Pocket Weather and Pocket Casts.

Now that Apple has added yet another unremovable app to our iPhones with the Apple Watch app in iOS 8.2, it’s high time the company also added the ability to delete the built-in apps that come with the iPhone. Make it an option, Apple. Put it in Accessibility, if you really want to.

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