• Thursday Morning News

    A number of third-party content providers have made their way to the Apple TV, but there's not much in the package for Australians. HBO GO and WatchESPN are the two headlining channels, and there's also Sky News, Crunchyroll, and Quello. The problem of international content and delivery would most likely be solved if there was some kind of Apple TV SDK. Not so that we would get fart apps on the Apple TV, but so that Apple-vetted content providers could submit their own channels. Still, good to see momentum building in the right direction.

    Design schematics for the lower cost iPhone and iPhone 5S have been revealed to case manufacturers, which of course means they have also been revealed to us. Like previous rumours and case designs show, the lower-cost iPhone will indeed have a curved back, but a curved back more similar to the fifth-generation iPod touch rather than the iPhone 3G/3GS. The iPhone 5S, on the other hand, is expected to have the same form factor as the iPhone 5, following the Apple tradition of a spec-bumped S-generation iPhone.

    The latest on the Retina iPad mini is an analyst who says the Retina iPad mini won't arrive until early 2014, with a thinner model to be introduced later this year. If this rumour turns out to be true, we can expect a thinner iPad mini around September one without a Retina display, but powered by an A6 chip and iOS 7.

    Apple has signed a deal worth $30 million with the Los Angeles School Board of Education, where iPads will be rolled out to every student in each of the 47 schools in the Unified district. The LA Unified School District plans to have a device in every child's hands by 2014, and this initial rollout is expected to put a big dent in that goal. It's worth noting the LA USD is the second-largest school district in the US, second only to New York City Department of Education.

    Looking at videos downloads alone, Apple are raking in some $1.75 billion per year. Over 350 thousand videos (TV episodes or movies) are downloaded from the iTunes Store every day, a new statistic we just learned today thanks to Apple's PR release for the Apple TV update. The graphs from Asymco show a steady growth for video downloads over the past few years, with video taking up a slightly larger chunk of the overall iTunes media juggernaut.

    The automatically generated password for the Personal Hotspot feature in iOS is easily recognised: it's a short English word with some numbers added to the end. With those parameters in mind, researchers have crunched the numbers and realised that it's also easy to crack: one high-end graphics card can crack that password in about 50 minutes, and if you have a cluster of those graphics cards, you can crack that password in under a minute. Thankfully, there's an easy way to stay secure: use a custom password.

    The first developer build of the 10.8.5 update for OS X Mountain Lion has been seeded to developers and Apple Retail staff members, and with Mavericks on the way later this year, it's highly possible this will be one of the last point updates for Mountain Lion. Apple are asking testers to focus on Wi-Fi, graphics, wake-from-sleep, and PDFs.

    A post from Neven Mrgan postulates that Apple designers who designed the icons in iOS 7 were using the icon grid wrong. The icon grid was designed by Jony Ive as a way to harmonise icon design across the board, but without adjusting the icons created by the grid (i.e. changing them to look "good" via use of a designer's intuition), the icons came out looking like they do. An opposing theory states that it's this intuition that has meant we have ended up with the interfaces and designs that we have, and that using something as rigid as a grid has meant that we've come up with new ideas and a fresh perspective.

    While we're talking about icons: Louie Mantia has his own take on the iOS 7 icons, which I'm a big fan of (the gradient background with mostly plain white glyphs is a great look), and this redesign of the iOS 7 share sheet also has similarly-designed icons. Meanwhile, Max Rudberg tells us how our icons and interfaces should look now that iOS 7 has been unveiled in all of its un-skeuomorphic glory.

    Steve Jobs on legacy, from an interview with NeXT in 1994: "All the work I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time I'm 50". Technology is such a different field, and Jobs acknowledged nothing holds up for 10 or 20 years. Good message.
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