ExtraBITS for 16 February 2015
In ExtraBITS this week, Aperture is leaving the Mac App Store, The New Yorker profiles Apple design head Jony Ive, Managing Editor Josh Centers chats with the Tech Night Owl, U.S. carriers now have to unlock your paid-off smartphone, and Apple’s Activation Lock is preventing iPhone thefts.
Aperture to Depart the Mac App Store — Apple has confirmed that it will be removing Aperture for sale from the Mac App Store after Photos for OS X launches in a few months. Regardless, previous purchasers will still be able to redownload it as necessary. If you’ve never used Aperture, now would not be a good time to start, but if you need to purchase an extra copy to tide you over for a while, it’s now or never.
Jony Ive Profiled by The New Yorker — The New Yorker’s Ian Parker has written an exhaustive profile of Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s head of design. Set aside some time for this one, as it’s the very definition of a long read, but if you’re at all interested in Apple’s design process, it’s worth it. Two tidbits of note: Ive gave director J.J. Abrams some ideas for lightsaber designs for the upcoming Star Wars movie, and Ive goes on at length about car design, adding fuel to the rumors that Apple is working on one of its own.
Josh Centers Discusses Net Neutrality, Apple Pen with the Tech Night Owl — Managing Editor Josh Centers joined the Tech Night Owl podcast to explain his take on net neutrality, why Apple may be working on an Apple Pen, and ponder the possibility of an Apple Car.
U.S. Carriers Required to Unlock Paid-off Smartphones — If you’ve paid off your cellular contract, your carrier is now required to unlock your mobile phone upon request. This is part of a 2013 agreement between the FCC and the carriers. The carriers must also unlock prepaid devices after one year of activation, assuming reasonable time, payment, or usage requirements. Contact your carrier for details.
Smartphone Kill Switches Are Preventing Thefts — So-called “kill switches,” such as the Activation Lock feature in iOS 7 and 8, are making real progress in preventing smartphone thefts. After Apple added the feature in September 2013, iPhone thefts dropped by 25 percent in New York City, 40 percent in San Francisco, and 50 percent in London in the following 12 months. Be sure to enable it if you haven’t already done so by turning on Find My iPhone in Settings > iCloud.