• Wednesday Morning News


    Apple updated the MacBook Air overnight, and just as the rumours predicted, it's the smallest of spec bumps. Processors across the board went from 1.3GHz to 1.4, and slightly better battery life, with the 11-inch model going from 8 to 9 hours and the 13 from 10 to 12. The models also got a $100 price drop in the US, which translated to a $50 price drop on all but the base model 11-inch, in Australia. AppleInsider calls the new MacBook Airs the most affordable mass-market notebooks in Apple's history.

    There are two things we know about the iPhone 6 right now: it'll be big, bigger than the current iPhone, and thin, much thinner than the current iPhone. One analyst has suggested Apple will favour this thinness over everything else, which may include dumping optical image stabilisation for a camera's that's flush with the chassis, not one that protrudes like on the iPod touch. A separate post on MacRumors says the camera will instead feature electronic image stabilisation with an even bigger pixel size for better low-light photography.

    Apple is said to be using space-saving system-in-package designs for production of its rumoured iWatch, with supply chain sources reporting the iWatch is slated to enter production in small quantities ahead of a launch in the second half of this year. "Rumors have indicated Apple's iWatch will contain several different biometric sensors allowing it to track health-related statistics like heart rate, sleep quality, movement, and more', writes MacRumors.

    Office for iPad has been updated with support for printing via AirPrint. Users can now print from each app in the Office suite for iPad, as detailed by Ars Technica, who also note the support is pretty basic thus far, and doesn't go beyond a few basic options. Notably, there's no print preview option to see how your spreadsheets or presentations will look on the page. In other update news, both the Mac and iOS versions of Clear have been updated to include Reminders integration and a set of cool new sound packs.

    There's probably one app you're not using to get things done on iOS, and that app is Launch Center Pro. By making use of URL schemes, there's not a lot you can't do with the app, provided your "target" app supports URL schemes in the first place, of course. MacStories' comprehensive guide to Launch Center Pro shows just how great it is in terms of jumping between apps in iOS.

    Shawn Blanc wrote about the updated Flickr app for iPhone a few days ago, and he says "it’s a fantastic app sporting one of the best iOS 7 updates I’ve seen" in his extensive review. It may have been inspired by Instagram, but the Flickr app goes above and beyond — especially with those design details, as showcased by Brian Lovin over at his blog.

    Louise Bishop has ten tips for a successful app for any aspiring app developer (or current developer, even). The App Store is a crowded place these days, so how do you stand out? Following these tips would be a good start.

    The Lumocase is a pretty neat idea. It's a cases that uses electromagnetic energy from the iPhone to show notifications depending on the type of message that came in — it can tell whether you just got an SMS or are being called, for example, although it might have trouble differentiating between iMessage and an SMS. Still, it doesn't need any batteries to run, which makes it kind of cool in my books.

    Apple's 7:1 stock split may make it easier for Apple shareholders to buy and sell Apple stock, but what about a hypothetical 10,000:1 stock split? If it's stock liquidity Apple wanted, a 10,000:1 stock split would mean Apple shares go from almost $600 a share to just over a five US cents, making Apple stock accessible to everyone.

    CNBC has named Steve Jobs as the most influential business leader of the past 25 years: "His creative genius revolutionized not just his industry and its products, but also everything from music and movies to smartphones. He provided a platform for others to create and distribute apps, bringing innovation and change to an even wider sphere. Apple's co-founder tops our anniversary list of the 25 most transformative leaders, icons and rebels of the past-quarter century. More than any other member of our group of extraordinary entrepreneurs and executives—all outstanding leaders—his vision spurred changes far beyond his industry and put an indelible stamp on the wider culture."
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