As always every Saturday, our roundup of the hottest application and Apple news! Enjoy!
(Oh, and if you’ve been living in a cave since Tuesday, make sure you check out our full roundup of Apple’s announcement here)
Pocket now comes to the Mac in its own native client
Pocket, the popular “read it later” service which has been available on mobile devices for some time now has now released a native Mac client, which can be downloaded for free from the Mac App Store. The company’s blog announced:
Today we’re thrilled to introduce a brand new app on our next supported platform: Pocket for Mac. [...] We brought everything you love about our iOS and Android apps – offline access, distraction-free reading, streaming video, and more – into a beautiful app that is optimized for Mac.
The app is essentially a stripped down version of the popular Read Later client, which was developed by Michael Schneider and who joined the Pocket team to develop the application. Schneider also has no plans to bring further updates to his existing Read Later project however it will continue to work just fine.
If you want to find out a bit more about this client, then make sure you check our Connor’s comprehensive review (spoiler alert: it got our esteemed 10/10 rating!). Otherwise, go ahead and grab it from the Mac App Store.
Apple announces price hike for apps in its European App Stores
Apple has announced a price hike for apps that are sold in its European stores, with a new base price of €0.89, ten cents higher than the previous price. Currently, the change is being seen in the stores in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France and Slovenia, with other stores expected to follow suit shortly. Many customers have taken to Twitter to vent their anger and frustration at this new price rise.
However, the official explanation isn’t the fact that Apple is simply trying to up its revenue figures. In Europe, applications are subject to VAT (or Value Added Tax, which is legally required to be included in the sale price) and VAT rates differ across Europe – there is no standardisation. The iTunes arm of Apple is currently registered in Luxembourg as an S.à r.l. (or Société à responsabilité limitée – literally: company with limited liability) and the VAT rate that Apple has to pay (which in Luxembourg is currently 15%) is absorbed by lower commissions to developers. Whereas in the United States and elsewhere, developers receive the full 70% payment from Apple, in the EU it is closer to 60% due to the VAT cost. The state of the Euro is also a factor, which has been steadily decreasing over the past 12 months against the major world currencies (back at the end of October 2011), €1.00 was equal roughly to $1.40 – now €1.00 only gets you $1.30 in return).
It isn’t only Eurozone countries that have been affected, too. In the UK, the base price for apps has also been rising steadily – back in July 2011 the base price for an app rose from £0.59 to £0.69, and in a higher tier from £1.19 to £1.49. However, seeing as the UK is not (yet) part of the Eurozone, the price increases described above will not affect British consumers (or any other European countries that are not in the Euro either). The US App Stores also have not been affected at time of writing.
Parallels users shouldn’t upgrade to Windows 8, yet
Despite the fact the final version of Windows 8 was released back on Friday, Parallels have been warning their Mac users not to upgrade to the new version just yet until they finish their rigorous testing process of the new operating system in a virtual environment. The company posted a note, which stated (among other things):
If you are planning on upgrading from an existing Windows OS to Windows 8, we strongly suggest waiting until Parallels has finalized testing the upgrade process. Upgrading now may damage your virtual machine, causing you to lose all your data, files and Windows applications.
The company is working hard on bringing full support for Windows 8 to Mac users, and users should receive an in-app notification when the testing is complete. Until then, resist that upgrade! (as tempting as it might be – Windows 8 is actually pretty slick!)
Apple being sued over “Quick Look” feature
Apple is no stranger to big lawsuits, and this time it is being sued over a feature that was introduced back in 2007 with Leopard – Quick Look. A non-practicing entity (which, in harsher words, is a “patent troll”) WhitServe filed a claim in the United States District Court of Connecticut, accusing Apple that their Quick Look feature infringes their patent for a “system for sequentially opening and displaying files in a directory”, which was filed back in 2006 and subsequently granted in April of last year.
The company is seeking damages and court fees from Apple as well as a permanent injunction against any further use of Quick Look on OS X. We’ll keep you updated on this story should anything else happen.
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!