• Thursday Morning News

    Apple still hasn't found someone to run their Retail division, but they have employed Enrique Atienza to oversee Retail operations in the US, at least for the time being. Atienza was previously at Levi Strauss, where he held the position of Senior VP of Retail Americas and Global Store Operations. He starts in October.

    If September 10th is the date when Apple will announce some new hardware, then September 20th is the date when that new hardware is expected to launch. A Japanese business newspaper has leaked the date, specifically mentioning the iPhone 5S and 5C along with the names of Japanese carriers expected to sell the new iPhones on launch. If true, September 20 will likely be the date that all countries in the first wave of releases will see the new iPhone hardware, along with whatever other surprises Apple has up its sleeve.

    The Apple TV has been updated with a new channel for this year's iTunes Festival which happens in September, and if reports are accurate, the Vevo app from a few weeks ago isn't too far behind. The iTunes Festival channel on Apple TV is expected to offer live streams and limited on-demand replays of concerts.

    Ever since Apple included magnets in the iPad and Smart Covers, many other manufacturers have been doing the same thing. There must be some kind of attraction to them, because Ten One is the latest to jump on the ferromagnetic bandwagon with the Magnus stand, a minimalistic stand that uses magnets to support the iPad on a desk. And, would you look at that, I'm all out of magnetic puns.

    Apple's updated iBooks app includes better support for iCloud, ahead of the iOS 7 launch. Not to mention, iBooks will also be a prominent feature of OS X Mavericks when that launches, too. Improved iCloud support is definitely going to be a big advantage, especially if you're using iBooks on multiple devices.

    There's been some good Surface-related discussion in the forums lately, and John Moltz's piece on Macworld starts off with a bit about the tablet that's perhaps more suited to breakdancing businessmen.

    Also from John Moltz is his bit on in-app purchases. Not really a defence of them, but not really a damning, either: Moltz says as much as the tech press seems to disregard apps with in-app purchases (we've all been burned before by an app that asked for an in-app purchase one too many times), as long as you exercise some basic self control, what's the issue? At the end of the day, in-app purchases mean people spend money on apps or games they might not have necessarily spent and on both sides of the fence, isn't that a good thing?

    There's a small button in Disk Utility that allows you to erase free space, but why exactly would you want to do that? Notably, OS X Daily notes the button only seems to be available on machines without solid-state storage, due to how flash storages works with regards to free space.

    Some might say that we've heard very little from Apple this year, and you might be right: besides WWDC, we haven't really had any Apple events. Apple aren't attending Macworld/iWorld any more, so there's no Keynote earlier in the year. But if you look at the Apple-related news, we've actually heard a lot from Apple: there have been a number of product announcements and refreshes, not to mention the usual financial conference calls.

    In other news, the only time it's acceptable to use the camera on an iPad is when you're performing liver surgery. An iPad app recently assisted in a live liver operation, where the camera was used to take images of the patent's liver whilst and app overlaid diagrams on top of the captured image. Don't click through if you're squeamish.
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