It is Sunday today, which means I’ll talk about the most interesting posts of the past seven days. If you have a few minutes, take a look. I’m sure you’ll find something worth your attention. Let’s begin.
Flickr, one of the most popular photo sharing websites, has recently released a report on the most popular camera brands of the last year. According to this report, the most popular brands of 2014 included Canon with 13.4% of photos taken by cameras of this manufacturer, Apple with 9.6%, Nikon with 9.3%, Samsung with 5.6% and Sony with 4.2%. This is how the Top-5 rating looks like.
A number of Apple Stores across the USA have encountered with iPod shuffle shortages this week. This has caused rumors suggesting that Apple will no longer produce the smallest and the cheapest portable music player in its lineup. As it turned out, this rumors don’t make sense. The guys from Cupertino have no plans to stop the manufacture of the iPod shuffle. This week’s shortage is a result of supplier changes, which have temporarily stopped the production process.
According to the latest reports from reliable sources, a minor iOS 8.1.3 update is currently in the works. It won’t contain noticeable stability improvements or design changes, however, it will fix some bugs and slightly enhance the overall performance of Apple’s mobile operating system. As to the public release, it may take place as soon as next week, since some retail employees have already begun testing the latest version of firmware.
A new OS X bug has been recently discovered by German security researchers. This software flaw allows spammers and hackers get access to IP addresses and other sensitive information through the Spotlight search feature of OS X.
A new photo showing something very similar to the mold for the production of the long-anticipated larger iPad Pro back panel appeared on a Chinese microblogging website Weibo. While there’s no way to confirm the legitimacy of the image, the production mold depicted on it may be indeed for Apple’s tablet with an enormous 12-inch display. Still, it can be an unofficial mold used to create iPad Pro dummies and physical mockups of the device.
According to the latest report from DigiTimes, Samsung has recently won the rights to produce an essential component for the widely-rumored Apple Watch. This component is called the S1 system-in-a-package and it includes such important parts of the wearable device as the processor, mobile DRAM, NAND flash and some other chips. As you might have understood, the S1 package is the main component of the Apple Watch.
Several weeks after the rumor about Apple’s plans to launch Apple Pay in the UK in the first half of 2015, a new one appeared on the Net, which suggests that the guys from Cupertino are currently thinking about the launch of the NFC-based payments service in Canada in the near future. In fact, reliable sources believe that the debut of the new service will take place in March.
Apple has just seeded a new OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 beta to developers for testing. The release comes nearly four weeks after the release of the previous beta and that is a bit strange, since the guys from Cupertino usually make new beta version available for developers once in two weeks. Such a long interval between two releases is probably caused by holidays.
The guys from Cupertino have just notified their developers across the world that they will change App Store prices in the countries of the European Union, Canada and Norway, Iceland and Russia within the next 36 hours. In some of the aforementioned regions the prices will go up, but several countries will experience the decrease of the prices. And there’s a very interesting situation with Russia, where the prices are said to be “changed” without specifying their increase or decrease. There’re two main reasons for all the changes. The first one is connected with adjustments in taxes policy and the second one - with unstable currency exchange rates in a number of countries.
According to what the guys from Cupertino have recently posted on their Support page for developers, iOS 8 is now installed on 68% of active devices. Such a figure shows that over the last month, the number of iOS 8 users has grown 5%. As to the reasons for such growth, they include immense popularity of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as strong smartphone and tablet sales during the holiday period of 2014.
Although Apple haven’t officially announced the release date of its long-anticipated Apple Watch, people familiar with the matter say the big event is set to take place late in March. Moreover, the same sources claim that between February 9th and February 16th, Apple’s retail employees will start testing the wearable device in order to provide customers with the required information about the product and adequate level of support on the launch day and after it.
As you probably know, the guys from Cupertino are expected to release a brand new 12-inch MacBook Air later this year. The laptop will reportedly boast of energy-efficient Intel Broadwell processor, thinner body, better and bigger display and a number of other improvements, which deal with the elimination of traditional old-school connectors from its full-aluminum body.
Below you may take a look at some images showing a high-quality mockup of the next-generation MacBook Air. What we actually see is an incredibly thin laptop with large screen, slightly redesigned keyboard and connectors layout. Still, we should keep in mind that this is only a model, so the actual 12-inch device released by Apple may get a different design.
The guys from Cupertino have recently begun selling unlocked and SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in the USA. Such smartphones are currently available on Apple’s American online store. Still, there’s one drawback: those who plan to purchase one of such carrier-free handsets will have to wait several days. The shipping estimates for the aforementioned models are 3-5 business days.
According to the data that can be found on Apple’s official Investor Page, the guys from Cupertino will officially announce their financial results in the first fiscal quarter of 2015 on Tuesday, January 27th. The conference devoted to the earnings in the first quarter is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM Pacific / 5:00 PM Eastern time. The report on sales and financial results will be published on Apple’s official website immediately after the conference call.