• Thursday Morning News

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has forced Apple's hand and made them agree to a court-enforceable undertaking that will see them extend their standard warranty period to at least two years, as well as ensure better compliance with the consumer benefits for refunds and exchanges in accordance with Australian Consumer Law. Additionally, Apple will also be more diligent about allowing refunds or providing service for products purchased in store that aren't Apple branded, where previously it directed consumers to other suppliers or distributors. The changes are planned to come into effect on January 6th, where Apple will also be assessing old claims where it may have misled customers about their warranty coverage. No official word from Apple Australia just yet about just how they'll go about implementing these changes, but no doubt we'll see a tiny note on their website soon enough.

    A press release from Apple covers a different kind of news: the new Mac Pro is available starting today. I've heard rumours it's in-store, as the online store hasn't been updated yet and still shows a "coming in December" placeholder, but check with your local Apple Store to see whether they have any in stock. The new Mac Pro starts at $3,999 for the quad-core 3.7Ghz base configuration with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.

    Apple will require that all App Store submissions after February 1st be "optimised for iOS 7". "Developers submitting a new or updated app must be built with the latest version of Xcode 5 and must be optimised for iOS 7", says the Apple developer website, which likely just means that they must be complied against the iOS 7 SDK.

    In case you can't think of anything to get friends and family this Christmas, Apple has you covered with their launch of iBooks gifting options on the iBookstore. You can now send iBooks as digital gifts to other Apple users, with Apple adding a feature that has always been possible in the iTunes Store since, well, forever. There's no support for gifting internationally, though, as reported by Serenity Caldwell of Macworld.

    Samsung are copying everything else Apple are doing these days, so it's unsurprising that they're also planning to launch retail stores after hiring an Apple Retail Store designer, one of the inventors of the glass design of the Upper West Side Apple Store.

    In iOS app news, Photos+ from developer Justin Williams of Second Gear is like the normal Photos app on your iPhone, except it supports displaying metadata, albums, and animated GIFs. Federico Viticci from MacStories has the full review of the latest photo app on the block.

    The Verge has reviewed the first iOS game controller cases from MOGA and Logitech, and found that they mostly suck. Besides truly underwhelming support from iOS games, the plastic, cheap-feeling controllers just can't justify their reasonably high pricing. As horrible as on-screen controls might be, there's more than a few cases where they might work better than these separate controllers.

    Matthew Panzarino's sweet Mac setup on The Sweet Setup shows off the hardware he uses, as well as the apps he uses to get stuff done on a day-to-day basis.

    A few iOS games have been released, including Colossatron: Massive World Threat from Halfbrick Studios, and the first episode of the second season of The Walking Dead (the game, not the TV show). Colossatron first made its debut at PAX Australia, where I had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with it. It's not bad.

    TUAW shows off a collection of iPhone carrying cases designed to pay homage to classic game consoles of generations gone by. You'll see no Xbox One or PS4 design here, only classics such as the NES and PS1.
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