• Monday Morning News


    Following rumours saying they were about to roll out iBeacons in their Apple Retail Store locations, Apple are now using iBeacon tracking for app-enhanced personal shopping. It's supposed to track your location within the Apple Store, so that when you walk past some iPhone accessories or the iPod table it gives you prices and other information. Early experiences of the technology seem mixed however, and The Verge says that even though the potential is there for some greatness, it isn't quite there yet. Oh, and it's only in Apple Stores in the US for now, although I expect it'll be rolled out to other Apple Stores worldwide in the future.

    Apple's developer page shows a 74% estimate of devices now using iOS 7, as measured by the App Store during a 7-day period ending December 1, 2013. That number is in line with other estimates based on web access and analytics from other companies.

    The real reason Apple bought Topsy, according to this post on LinkedIn, is that Topsy could very well be Apple's answer to Google Search. If there's one area that Apple just can't touch Google at the moment, it's search, and Topsy could slot right into that role. If true, Topsy could prove to be one of the most important acquisition this year.

    Concept art of the oft-rumoured iTV/Apple TV set show a curved display set in a gaudy golden enclosure, or a much nicer black. I'm not really sure about the curved display for a TV set, but hey, if anyone could pull it off, Apple could.

    Macminicolo has been putting SSDs in Mac Minis for a little while now, and they have learnt a few things about the various brands and offerings. They recommend the Samsung EVO 840 as the current SSD of choice based on the number of units they've had to return (exactly zero), and also give a word of caution about a bug in Mavericks' Disk Utility that will hose your drive, if you're not careful.

    Speaking of Mac minis, Facebook is jumping on the Mac mini bandwagon and is now building supercomputers with stacks upon stacks of Mac minis. A report from Wired tells us that Facebook are using the Mac minis for testing their iOS app, where hundreds of thousands of tests are performed every few hours.

    Kyle Lambert's extremely realistic finger painting of Morgan Freeman has caused a little bit of a stir on the internet, with skeptics saying it's a fake. But comparing the final image with the original reveals little that's exactly the same, suggesting that it is, in fact, the real deal. The developer of Procreate has also chimed in, saying the Procreate file they looked at was indeed genuine.

    Macworld's review of the Pencil from Fifty Three finds a nifty stylus that's also a bit niche. Features such as palm rejection and blend mode with your finger are only available in the Paper app, which might be a disappointment for those who were wanting to use the palm rejection for note-taking.

    The Typo Keyboard Case for the iPhone 5 and 5s seeks to add a hardware keyboard to your iPhone. It adds quite a bit of length to the overall iPhone size when attached, making the iPhone about 30% longer. It connects up to your iPhone via Bluetooth, and even has a backlit keyboard for low-light typing. It might be useful for those missing their Blackberries, but apart from that it's probably not worth considering if you're already good with the built-in iOS keyboard.

    Printers are unquestionably the most hated of peripherals. Mike Wehner from TUAW wants Apple to make a printer that's Designed in California, which should hopefully make it better in every way possible.

    Forget the gold iPhone 5S, what about a solid gold iPhone 5s? "Instead of the typical gold finish, this one comes in solid, 24-karat gold covering the edges, top, bottom, and back. You can also choose the platinum or rose gold additions and if you're really feeling like showing off, go ahead and upgrade it with Swarovski style embellishments on the logo, bezel, and more." The Swarovski crystals are a nice touch.

    Ember from Realmac Software has invented a clever way to deal with customer feedback. If you're feeling happy, you can write a review, contact the Ember team, tweet about Ember, or tell your friends. If you're feeling confused, you can read the getting started guide or contact the Ember team. And if Ember makes you feel angry, then all you can do about it is contact the Ember team.
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