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Upgrade to iOS 8, but skip iCloud Drive (for now)

Apple’s iOS 8 update will be released tomorrow (as I write this) and if history is any indication, millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users will hit that update button en masse.

I think that’s fine; the “Gold Master” (GM) version of iOS 8 seems very stable, and while many of the update’s best features won’t really come into play until the release of iOS’s desktop cousin Yosemite, it’s got enough nice new features to make it worth using.

But it’s that very partnership with Yosemite that makes it an extremely good idea not to upgrade your iOS device to iCloud Drive when prompted. That’s because iCloud Drive isn’t compatible with Mavericks, Apple’s current desktop operating system. Nor is it yet compatible with current versions of the many apps that use iCloud (sans the “Drive”) to do things like store information, sync data and do various other things that you are very likely to miss when they suddenly stop working.

Our friends over at TidBITs have more information, but for the time being suffice it to say you should just hold off on iCloud Drive until Yosemite is released and app developers release iCloud-compatible versions of their wares.

You’re welcome.

Exploring Apple’s iPhone 6 and iWatch announcements on the MacJury

I joined TMO Alumnus Ted Landau, Joe Kissell and host Chuck Joiner on the latest edition of The MacJury. The panel pontificated on new iPhones and analyzed the long term implications of the new “i-less” offerings: Apple Pay and Apple Watch.

What makes Apple’s NFC payment system better than Google’s? (Hint: It’s about who gets to see your data.) Can southpaws get as much out of the Apple Watch as righties? (Spoiler: Yes.) These and other burning questions are answered in The MacJury’s typical light-hearted (yet oh-so-authoritative) style.

The MacJury is available as a video podcast at Apple’s iTunes Store and the MacVoices website.

Goodbye to Macworld, but not to those who made it great

One of the mainstays in Mac publishing is no more. Macworld will cease publishing the print version of its magazine after the November edition. It says the web version will continue publication.

The company also laid off most of its staff.

The news began breaking yesterday on Twitter, with several of Macworld’s editorial staff posting that they had been let go.

Macworld Layoff TweetsIn addition to Roman Loyola, Macworld laid off Dan Frakes, Phillip Michaels and Dan Moren. Senior Vice President and Editorial Director Jason Snell announced he was leaving the company in a decision that had been made prior to the layoffs; Serenity Caldwell also posted that she had given notice last week, and would be leaving the magazine at the end of the month. Dan Miller posted that he would be “here for another month to assist with the transition.” Senior Editor Chris Breen apparently remains the only “big name” writer left with the publication.

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Ruminations on the Apple iPhone announcement: it’s not an ‘iWatch’

A lot of the details about the purported Apple iPhone 6 have already come to light, and assuming the multitude of corroborating stories are more than just the same rumor bouncing around the tech press Echo Chamber (a big assumption, to be sure), it seems likely that Apple is set to announce two iPhones today, with a 4.7 and 5.5-inch screen. John Gruber’s math on screen resolution seems to work out well, so I’ll take the “ultra high” resolution speculation on its face; the alternative of a sub-retina display is certainly not where Apple would go with this.

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When facts and narrative collide: Apple’s double-digit Mac growth calls out analysts’ flawed estimates

From AppleInsider:

Apple reported “strong double digit growth” in its Mac sales in the U.S., directly contradicting the earlier estimates published by IDC and Gartner that stated Apple’s U.S. Mac sales fell year-over-year in the June quarter and calling into question the legitimacy of market estimates that the tech media uncritically presents as factual.

Writing for Fortune, Philip Elmer-DeWitt shines some light on how those “estimates” are made (or made up): (via The Loop)

“So, the mantra became, preserve the growth rates; to hell with the actual numbers. Even the growth rates are fiction. The fudge is in the ‘others’ category, which is used as a plug to make the numbers work out. In fairness, we did do survey work, calling around, and attending white box conferences and venues to try to get a feel for that market, but in the end, the process was political. I used to tell customers which parts of the data they could trust, essentially the major vendors by form factor and region. The rest was garbage.”

‘Welcome to Swift Blog’

From a new Apple blog dedicated to its new programming language:

This new blog will bring you a behind-the-scenes look into the design of the Swift language by the engineers who created it, in addition to the latest news and hints to turn you into a productive Swift programmer.

Who would ever have thought we’d see the phrase “behind-the-scenes” in anything coming from Apple?

Could be a very interesting blog to follow.

Also—Xcode is now available to any registered Apple Developer—even the free level.

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