Fresh off the presses, here’s Mac AppStorm’s roundup of the very best app and Apple-related news and goings-on this week.
Apple media event announced for October 23rd
Apple has issued invites to its next official announcement which is scheduled to kick off at 10 AM PST next Tuesday (October 23rd) in San Jose’s California Theatre. Under the cryptic tagline, We’ve got a little more to show you, it seems that “mini” will be the highlight of this announcement. We may see the long-awaited iPad Mini, designed to compete with the likes of the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD and most possibly a smaller, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina, which has been strongly expected as well.
The iMac and Mac Mini lines are also due for a much needed refresh (the iMac was last updated all the way back in May of last year and the Mac Mini in July) but it’s unlikely we’re going to see a Retina iMac just yet (although it would be spectacular if we did!) and there may also be another couple of surprises in there as well, such as the release of iTunes 11 and maybe Google Maps returning back to iOS, however that last one is unfortunately more of a fantasy than a reality.
We’ll have a full roundup of all the announcements and new products on Mac AppStorm soon after the keynote finishes.
Java removed from all OS X browsers
It seems that the relationship between Apple and Oracle, Java’s parent company, has been a really rocky one over the past year or so, given the influx of Java-based malware and trojans on OS X, and now Apple seems to be fighting back. An OS X update which was pushed out on Wednesday removed the Java plugin from all OS X compatible browsers. Users who visit a page with a Java script are prompted to install the “official Oracle Java runtime” from their website.
This step is just one of many that Apple has taken to try and distance itself from Java, which has become increasingly more vulnerable over recent months. Hackers have found it relatively easy to exploit weaknesses in its framework and the cross-compatibility of Java (it runs on Windows, OS X and Linux) have made it an attractive target as well. Back with Lion, Apple didn’t include Java installed as default on the system and has recently issued an update that turns off Java in the browser automatically if not used for a period of time.
Much like the Flash/HTML 5 content war, the issue with Java is that it is such a widely used language all round the web, and many websites utilise it in one way or another. However with Apple trying to distance itself from Java (and with the numerous gaping security holes that have been uncovered recently), we are likely to see a prompt fix from Oracle regarding these issues.
Apple loses a High Court appeal in the UK, forced to reveal profit margins
This week wasn’t an especially good one for Apple in front of the judge. A High Court ruling (one of the top courts in the UK) back in July declared that Samsung did not copy Apple’s iPad and that the latter has to run advertisements on UK TV and on its UK website that declare this. Apple this week lost the appeal and, unless the verdict is appealed at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, they will have to publicly claim in the United Kingdom that their arch rivals Samsung did not copy anything in terms of the iPad design.
Furthermore a California-based judge, Lucy Koh, denied Apple’s request to keep confidential financial documents sealed as part of ongoing post-trial motions for the landmark Apple v. Samsung trial. The documents are reported to pertain to product-specific unit sales, revenue, profit, profit margin and cost data. Revealing this information would give other companies “an unfair advantage” over Apple, the company stated.
GOG.com releases many gaming classics onto OS X
For those of you longing after classic games on OS X, the wait is over. GOG.com have released a whole suite of classics on OS X and, as part of the launch promotion, some are currently 50% off.
There are plenty of oldies in there, such as SimCity 2000 and (my personal favourite, which I managed to grab for a pitiful $2.99) Theme Hospital and it seems that all the Mac versions run absolutely fine under Mountain Lion. The games have not been rewritten in any way (and still retain their original, old-school graphics) and run under an integrated WINE emulator. With some games, however, it is advisable to go into your System Preferences, then click on Accessibility then enable access for assistive devices to ensure no interference when you are playing the game.
The promo ends around October 25th so if you’re longing after those classics, then get downloading!
Heard Anything Else?
If you’ve heard anything else exciting that’s happened this week then go ahead and post a link to it in the Comments section below for the benefit of our other readers!