• Wednesday Morning News

    Consumers spent over US $10 billion on the App Store in 2013, according to a recent press release from Apple. That's a heck of a lot of apps. App sales in December alone hit over US $1 billion and three billion apps downloaded, making it the most successful month in App Store history, the press release notes.

    Apple has released the third beta of iOS 7.1 to developers, which contains bug fixes and improvements. The update features small visual changes to the Messages, Phone, and FaceTime icons, which have had their gradients adjusted ever-so-slightly, and the dialler and slide-to-power-off graphics have been revamped. There's even the option to turn off parallax when setting a new home screen wallpaper.

    ComScore's most recent numbers on US smartphone market share points to how Apple's market share continues to climb. They're now at 41.2%, compared to Android's market share of 51.9% in the US but when it comes to usage share breakdown by manufacturer, Apple leads the pack.

    If you make one new year's resolution this year, make it be backing up your Mac on a regular basis. With so many varied options for backing up these days, it just doesn't make sense for you to lose data anymore. ZDNet gives you a few options locally, off-site, and in the cloud, whilst TUAW shoots down common excuses.

    Mophie has announced Space Packs, which are like battery packs with an added twist. The twist, in this case, is that they also have built-in storage not like a small compartment for trinkets or credit cards or anything, but storage that's able to be accessed by the phone via an app, like other implementations of similar capacity-expanding options.

    Lens add-on manufacturer Olloclip has announced their 4-in-1 Photo Lens for the iPad mini with Retina display, iPad Air, and regular old iPad mini. Like the same product for the iPhone, the iPad version of the 4-in-1 will come with a fisheye, wide-angle, and two macro lenses, and should be available later this quarter.

    The march of the iOS 7 game controllers continues, with the RP One looking suspiciously like an Xbox controller. Like the SteelSeries Stratus announced yesterday, it connects to your device via Bluetooth which also makes it compatible with your iPad as well as your iPhone.

    Brett Terpstra has had his Caps Lock key remapped to an escape key for some time now, and he's become so used to it that he decided to take the whole thing a step further and make it into a custom "hyper" modifier that simultaneously sends Control, Shift, Option, and Command keys to OS X. His blog post shows how you can do the same on your Mac.

    The products Apple doesn't have time to improve include the somewhat neglected Safari Extensions Gallery, a page for finding useful Safari extensions that was only recently updated. But when Apple's busy updating websites that no-one visits, other products languish: why doesn't FaceTime support group chats yet, when iChat support group video conferencing years ago?

    MacRumors has a piece on how Angela Ahrendts' (months later I'm still working on how to spell her name right) Burberry experience could drive the future of Apple Retail. They link FastCompany's profile of Apple's newest exec, but I think the interesting question will be how she handles the online experience, as well as how she'll improve Apple Retail both physical and online.
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