Friday Morning News

tcr4fmiwXxB6fuVEWith yesterday’s announcement that ASX-listed Vita Group would be closing the remaining Next Byte stores starting in January 2016, a chapter in Australia’s reseller history will be complete. But this isn’t an eulogy for what was formerly the largest Apple Premium Reseller in Australia, that at one point had as many stores as Apple themselves now has, but rather, merely a paragraph announcing the demise of a company that has seen profits decline around the time Apple Australia started opening their own Retail stores. No, the eulogy will come a little later, but for now, I guess this is the beginning of the end.

In other local news, Reuters reports the reason Apple has had such a hard time convincing Australian banks to sign up to Apple Pay is because the big four have already done the hard work in rolling out contactless payments technology. Australia has one of the highest adoption rates of contactless payments worldwide, and that’s a new thing for Apple who have no real leverage to negotiate with. It’s a similar situation to what happened in the UK, although now a handful of banks support Apple Pay.

A story published in the SMH tells the tale of MasterCard’s reaction to what Apple have done with Amex in rolling out Apple Pay to countries outside of the US and UK. MasterCard claims American Express isn’t subject to the same regulation that itself and Visa are burdened by, saying the only reason Amex had rolled out Apple Pay was because of its ability to charge merchants a much higher fee compared to MasterCard or Visa, meaning there was more slice of the pie to share with Apple. While you can hardly feel sorry for MasterCard — the obvious solution to prevent Amex from pinching your customers is to accept lower fees and adopt Apple Pay — the piece does go some way towards explaining why Amex had Apple Pay first.

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s explanation of the battery hump (don’t call it a hump) says it’s a design that supposed to be easier to put on and take off, saying the silicon material helps aid the process. Speaking to Mashable, Cook also says the idea behind the Smart Battery Case is to be used overnight, not as an every-day kind of thing.

IFixit has taken apart Apple’s Smart Battery Case, and there’s no real surprises contained within. It’s basically exactly what you’d expect: a battery strapped to some basic electronics, wrapped up in a silicon and microfibre liner.

AppFigures shares Apple TV App Store stats. There’s currently over 2,600 apps available for the Apple TV, and with current growth rates, that number is set to hit 5,000 apps in a month and 10,000 apps not too much longer afterwards.

Federico Viticci has published another epic, this time looking at iOS task management app 2Do. His deep-dive on how he’s getting stuff done might not work for everyone, but has some great tips on how he’s making one iOS app work for him.

GoPro has updated its iOS app, updating it to support the Apple Watch. If you’ve got a compatible GoPro, the app can now let you “preview shots, toggle between capture modes, and begin and end recording”, according to MacRumors.

A rumour claims Apple is working on its own GPU technology, which AppleInsider says could bring all of its SoC development in-house.

Is it a game? Or secretly an app to weigh items? Actually, it might be both: Steady Square hides behind the persona of being a game, but has a somewhat obtuse object-weighing system, thanks to Force Touch on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Steady Square is free, on the App Store.

Notable Replies

  1. I could never understand why the app stores gloat about the number of apps when 90% of them are absolute garbage. The apps so far on Apple TV are no exception. The number of quality, useful apps is a metric worth knowing, and pretty much all of those appear on every app store - even the Windows store to a large extent.

    Apple TV: 2,000x fireplace apps, 500x 2048 apps, 40x racing car apps and 60x apps worth using.

  2. I’ve never held much stock in App Store numbers either, but from an Apple marketing perspective,even if there are a hundred apps you have installed on your device, multiplied by the millions of iPhone users, that means people are bound to find an app that fills their particular niche.

  3. As the Group operate many Telstra retail stores I guess this is seen as a conflict of interest with Telstra’s partnership with Microsoft. Some reports on the GPU technology is Apple is developing their own graphics cards/chips but time will tell.

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