• Monday Morning News

    Apple's as-yet unreleased Mac Pro has once again shown up in benchmarks, this time running the latest version of Geekbench. Single-core performance is down thanks to the lower clock speed of the Xeon E5 processors used in the new Mac Pro, but multi-core performance is about what you might expect. Apple's Online Store still says the Mac Pro is coming December, which is fast running out.

    According to one rumour, Apple's smartwatch will be released in October next year, and will feature wireless charging. The rumour cites a 100mAh battery that can be recharged from up to a metre away, but that battery seems far too small to be useful; by comparison, that's about the same battery capacity as the previous generation iPod nano.

    Apple has released the second beta of iOS 7.1 to developers. The update has speed and user interface improvements, and 9to5Mac has a few screenshots of the changes. It's also rumoured iOS 7.1 will bring iOS in the Car, the special interface for managing music, messages, and maps to the iOS platform.

    Peter Cohen from iMore reviews the Caldigit Thunderbolt Station, one of the other Thunderbolt docks available for Retina MacBook Pros (or any machine with a Thunderbolt port). If you're after something that solves your lack of IO, the Caldigit is the accessory you're after.

    Shifty Jelly have released Pocket Weather 4, a big update for everyone's favourite weather client. It's a free update this time around, and brings the speed back to all iPhones, as well as a new interface for iOS 7. Pocket Weather already had a great custom look, but the new pixels just make it look more at home with iOS 7, in my opinion.

    Ever since Apple killed off the iTunes DJ feature, I've been looking for something similar for easy music choosing at all the rave parties I host. Party DJ is the iOS app that restores that feature, letting you collaborate with friends on what to play at your next house party/get-together. The implementation isn't as smooth as Apple's was as there are two versions of the app depending on whether you're the host or just a guest, but it's good to see that there is an alternative.

    With the launch of Chrome Apps on the Mac, even Google are getting in on the app scene. These apps you can install aren't just webpages anymore, but have access to local storage and even run on their own processes, separating them from the Chrome browser. You'll need the Chrome app launcher to get started, but that's just a click away.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from his alma matter Auburn University, and you can check out his acceptance speech online.

    Over at Macworld, Kirk McElhearn guides you through the ins and outs of iCloud backups. ICloud backups is just another feature that frees you from the burden of having to plug in your iOS device to your Mac, and always means you have a copy of your personal data available to be restored to another iOS device.

    There's a new option in Accessibility in iOS 7.1 that restores button backgrounds and shapes, which makes it very clear which parts of the screen are tappable. It's a step forward in usability for some, but one can't help but wonder: if Apple are letting users revert all the changes to iOS 7, what was the point of the change in the first place? When does "accessibility" become "usability"?

    Marco Arment weighs in on the whole "rate this app" problem that the internet seems to love commenting on lately. He uses approval guideline 5.6 to argue his case that Apple can't ban apps that show these nagging, annoying, dialog boxes to users, and generally says there's not much they can do to combat it. The onus, then, is on developers to respect their users and for users to rate the apps they like.

    And finally this morning, I know iPad parenting is the new thing these days, but there are a few iOS accessories aimed at kids that take it a step too far, as collected by TUAW.
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