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ExtraBITS for 30 June 2014

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In this week’s ExtraBITS, we’re shocked, but not surprised, to learn that Apple is saying sayonara to iPhoto and Aperture. The company also lowered prices on its iPod touch lineup while introducing an updated 16 GB model, and beefed up to the Apple TV with a few new apps, including ABC News and PBS Kids. Rich Mogull explains why Apple cares about your privacy, and it turns out that the Supreme Court does as well, ruling that warrants are necessary for cell phone searches (while also ruling against the Aereo streaming TV service).

Say Goodbye to iPhoto and Aperture -- After announcing a new Photos app for Mac, due early next year, Apple has confirmed to The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple that it is ceasing development of iPhoto and Aperture. Apple’s statement to The Loop reads, “With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.” The company emphasized that development on its other professional apps, like Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro, will continue.

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Apple Revs 16 GB iPod touch, Lowers Prices -- After quietly introducing the 16 GB iPod touch for $229 in May 2013, Apple has updated that low-end model to add a rear-facing iSight camera and a full suite of colors, while simultaneously dropping the price to $199. The only other difference between the 16 GB model and the existing 32 GB and 64 GB models is the lack of an iPod touch loop, which is sold separately. The larger models also received steep price cuts, to $249 (down from $299) and $299 (from $399) respectively.

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The Real Reason Apple Cares about Your Privacy -- Our own Rich Mogull, writing for Macworld, has penned an overview of Apple’s privacy protections, along with an analysis of why they’re in place. In short, Apple outdoes Google and Facebook on user privacy, because Apple makes its money from hardware, not advertising. Privacy protections, in turn, become a key selling point for Apple’s hardware business.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo -- In a 6–3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of broadcasters in their case against Aereo, the broadcast TV streaming service based around renting individual antennas for $8 per month. The court found that Aereo’s service violates the Copyright Act by playing recordings of broadcast content. While Aereo could conceivably bounce back, CEO Chet Kanojia said before the ruling, “If it’s a total straight-up loss, then it’s dead. We’re done.” In a formal response to the ruling, Kanojia said, “We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done. We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”

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Supreme Court Says Cops Need Warrants to Search Cell Phones -- In a rare unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police need a warrant to search the cell phones of arrestees. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion, “Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life.’”

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Apple TV Gains ABC News, PBS Kids, Redesigned Flickr, and More -- The Apple TV has gained four new channels: ABC News, PBS Kids, AOL On, and Willow TV. Unlike the Watch ABC app, which requires a cable or satellite subscription, the ABC News app is free to all. PBS Kids is free, but requires online activation. AOL On is also free, but the Willow TV app, which features live cricket broadcasts, costs $15 a month. Finally, the Flickr app has been redesigned to allow account logins and offer vastly better photo discovery.

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