• Thursday Morning News


    Apple has acquired Matcha.tv, a video discovery and recommendation service. Apple reportedly paid anywhere from $1 to $1.5 million for the startup, which used to provide recommendations to users before it was quietly shut down in May. The service aggregated content from a variety of sources such as Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and more, but only provided recommendations based on user preference.

    There's been a bit about the lower-cost iPhone lately, and John Gruber starts our proceedings this morning with his piece making the case for a new, lower-cost iPhone. He's absoloutely right in that Apple should get rid of the iPhone 4 and 4S if only to be done with the 30-pin dock connector once and for all (like Apple did with the fourth-generation iPad), but he doesn't think the lower-cost iPhone should come at anything below feature-parity, software wise.

    Benedict Evans has a different opinion, and his position on defending iOS with cheap iPhones comes from the perspective of market share. It's almost universally known that you can buy a cheap Android phone (in Australia, that means sub-$350-ish) from any manufacturer these days, but the cheapest iPhone a model that's still being sold almost three years after its introduction starts out at $450. Eventually, market share would have mattered to Apple, which is why this lower-cost iPhone might make a lot of sense.

    The beta iCloud website has been updated to match the look and feel of iOS 7, bringing the decidedly texture-less look to the web for the first time. The login box now blurs the background, and each of the apps within iCloud have also been updated with new icons and fonts, matching what you see in iOS 7 to a tee.

    I've often wondered what impacts battery life on my portable devices, and Macworld has done a little investigating to see what does and what doesn't affect battery life. Screen brightness definitely has an adverse effect on battery life, whilst it seems that streaming from an iPad to an Apple TV doesn't.

    Apple's Core Technologies Overview is a 35-page PDF document that explains what the new features in OS X Mavericks are all about. It's a little on the technical side, but it's extremely well written, and goes a long way in explaining exactly how new technologies in OS X Mavericks work.

    When it comes to online storage on the iPhone and iPad, you have a couple of different options. Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft's SkyDrive are just three of the options available, but there are a few other options such as Box.net and SugarSync that also give you storage in the cloud. IMore has a look at how their apps compare.

    Today, on Kickstarter: as much as I love the design of the iMac, the backward-facing ports on the back of the machine are incredibly awkward to use, always requiring you to rotate your iMac around just so you can see where to plug in that USB stick. The Access.io is a little accessory that lets you access just one USB port and headphone jack from the front of the machine perfect for simple use-cases.

    Apple has been granted a patent on the glass entrance of their Shanghai and 5th Avenue New York stores, for the cylindrical glass entrance and iconic, most-photographed-location-in-New-York glass cube, respectively. If that kind of design nerdery is in your interests, you can read about the patents on ifoAppleStore, who first posted about them last year.

    Forget oh-ess-ten versus oh-ess-ex. I don't think the names of Apple products are especially convoluted, but for some reason, people call Apple products the weirdest things. Peter Cohen seems especially vexed by this issue, going so far as to ask the question: does Apple have a branding problem?
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