• Thursday Morning News

    Welcome one, welcome all, to the very first edition of the 2014 morning news. In this episode, I'll be giving you a rundown of the "best of 2013" posts, as well as a number of Mac Pro reviews. If you have any suggestions for news items, or improvements to the news itself, post a comment below or send me an email: news@mactalk.com.au is the address you're after. Now, for some news…

    Anandtech's Mac Pro review is the only review you need to read. We've come a long way since the PowerMacs and Mac Pros of years gone by, and the latest Mac Pro is a screamer. It's also much smaller than any of its predecessors, thanks to some ingenious design on Apple's part. Engadget and The Verge have reviews of their own, with Engadget calling it "small, fast, and in a league of its own".

    John Gruber's look back at 2013 is another retrospective that is worth a read, as it lays down the law for everyone that said 2013 was a lost year for tech. Sure, there weren't any massive paradigm changes like we've seen in previous years, but incremental change has its own benefits. A fingerprint sensor? A slow-motion video camera? In a powerful, internet-connected device that fits in your pocket? If that's not from the future, I don't know what is.

    Tim Cook's email to Apple employees reflecting on the year gone by gives an Apple perspective about what happened over the past year. He tells employees about Apple's big achievements, and includes this little teaser at the end: "we have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love."

    They were a little late to the party, but the TUAW editors have posted their choices for best products of 2013. A popular iPhone battery case, the Mophie Juice Pack Helium, makes the cut, as does the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Case for iPad.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with publishing lists of the best apps, nothing at all. But Gabe from MacDrifter has done something different and put out a list of the best apps he's used that don't enjoy as much time in the spotlight as others, but are still damn useful in their own right. His list of "underdog apps" is worth its weight in gold.

    A good animation can make a good app great, and to that end, Beautiful Pixels' list of the best UI animations in apps for 2013 is definitely worth checking out. There's some delightful animations in apps out there, and it's almost a shame many people won't experience the thought and joy that goes into some of these.

    Touch Arcade's Game of the Year was Ridiculous Fishing, a game I confess I haven't played, but their best iPhone and iPad games of 2013 contains some interesting picks. There's Backflip Madness, for example, that looks like any other game you might spend two minutes on here or there. And interestingly enough, Touch Arcade also has a list of the best free iPhone and iPad games of 2013, which says a lot about the market in general.

    OS X Daily has their own best of posts, and their best Mac OS X tips of 2013 are sure to teach you a thing or two about your Mac that you didn't know before. Their best iOS tips of 2013 is similarly worth looking into.

    Chris Rawson from TUAW breaks out the snark machine and tells 9to5Mac how inaccurate their reporting was for the year gone by. Rawson went through every 9to5Mac post for the last year and summarised how accurate they were. His findings might not be as bad (or as good) as you think.

    But now that we've seen what 2013 was, what's next for Apple in the upcoming year? MacRumors has already got the ball rolling with a number of rumours and possible products that we didn't see last year that we might see this year. I'm still waiting on a smartwatch, Apple, and what about the Apple HDTV? All I really want this year, though, is a 4K display.
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