Week Summary: Apple Shows Off Latest Green Initiative, Yosemite Beta Goes Public, Earnings Hold Steady. R&D Spend Soars, Newest Ad Continues to Show New Colours

By Alex Brooks OS X Yosemite running on MacBook Pro | Image courtesy of Apple
Weekly summary of stories from across the World of Apple during the week commencing 21st July, 2014. An attempt to summarise the more interesting stories from the week and lace them in observation and comment.
Apple Shows Off Solar Array
Towards the end of the week Apple granted a bunch of journalists a tour of Apple’s latest green iniative, a huge solar array farm in Maiden, North Carolina. Capable of producing 20MW of energy, it allows Apple the peace of mind that it now outstrips its competitors with energy friendly schemes and for once has GreenPeace looking on and saying positive remarks—calling Apple the “gold standard”.

The Guardian has a reasonable write up of their tour and includes a number of comments from Apple’s new senior staff Lisa Jackson who now heads up Apple’s green moves. Jackson explains that “[o]n any given day 100% of the data centre’s needs are being generated by the solar power and the fuel cells”.
The Guardian does throw in a dose of oddity—possibly as link bait—about how Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 will feature a Sapphire display (not news but by no means a certainty) and that Apple plans to use solar power to manufacture the displays in Arizona. Whilst this is not the first time this bit of information has surfaced, it does raise an eyebrow on the author’s face. Anyone that knows an ounce about physics will understand the sheer energy involved in doing anything with second hardest material known to man.

OS X Yosemite Beta Goes Public
For the first time since the original release of Mac OS X in 2001 Apple has released a public beta of the software. The move which has caused some concern amongst developers is clearly aimed at expanding the testing base of the beta process and maybe an admission that everyone who wanted it was pirating it anyway.
The public beta which is available from Apple’s site is not the same that is available to developers and lacks some of the Continuity features that would pair with iOS 8—which has yet to enter public beta.
For those thinking about it, it’s best to check out the ongoing threads on Mac Rumors’ forums to see if any software you rely on breaks completely.
Apple’s Latest Ad Ends in a Colourful Twist
Many had speculated post WWDC that Apple was showing a new friendly, playful, and open side to its personality. And just maybe Apple’s latest Mac advert effort shows this too.
The first Mac advert in recent years doesn’t show off any software, doesn’t show off the MacBook Air’s extreme battery life, thinness, or even its perfectly manufactured aluminium case but instead focuses purely on the customisation that is available through third party stickers. As Matthew Panzarino writes for TechCrunch this is definitely the first time that Apple has shown a banged up and scratched MacBook, the first time they’ve not even shown the screen, and definitely the first time they’ve shown a Mac how it would be in its natural environment outside of the Store.
My favourite touch, the flicker of the Apple logo at the end which shows Apple’s colourful logo that adorned the company between 1976 and 1999. A very rare twist of Apple’s usually pristine modern branding.

Earnings Hold Steady, R and D Spend Soars
Research and Development spend | Image courtesy of Barefigures
This week Apple released its quarterly fiscal results for Q314, with profit coming in ahead of expectations and ahead of the year ago quarter it has left analysts and onlookers feeling a little safer about the company’s position. The profit line of $7.7bn on revenue of $37.4 billion is being driven primarily by sales of the iPhone but also Apple’s entrance into markets where the company has historically struggled. For example iPhone sales were up 48% in China, and in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries the iPad did extremely well. However not well enough for the iPad not to be raising some concern.
Maybe more interestingly than what was said in Apple’s orchestrated earnings call was what followed the next day. As is customary Apple published its quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which showed all what the company didn’t talk about the day before. As pointed out by the FT Apple’s spending on research and development has soared to $1.6bn for the three months leading up to the end of June, roughly 36 percent more than it spend in the same period the year before.
There are some obvious explanations for this: we’re heading into new product season with a flurry of products expected to be released in September and October. But of course this climb in expenditure has led others to speculate that we could be in for more than just new iPhones and iPads.
Next week
Tune in next week (hopefully) for another dose of Apple musings. In the mean time you can follow me on Twitter and sometimes I’ll tweet something funny but mostly it’s about Apple, higher education and politics in the UK, and beer.

Source: World of Apple


Apple Announces Q314 Profit of $7.7 Billion on Revenue of $37.4 Billion

By Alex Brooks iPad Unit sales (Quarterly Q310 – Q314)
Apple today announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter of 2014 which ran from March 30, 2014 until June 30. Apple posted revenue of $37.4 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share (adjusted for stock split). These results compare to revenue of $35.3 billion and net profit of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 59 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
Apple reported the following number of shipments for its products during the quarter:
35.2 million iPhones compared to 31.2 million in the year-ago-quarter
13.2 million iPads compared to 14.6 million in the year-ago-quarter
4.4 million Macs compared to 3.8 million in the year-ago quarter
2.9 million iPods compared to 4.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

“Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce.”
“We generated $10.3 billion in cash flow from operations and returned over $8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the June quarter,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We have now taken action on over $74 billion of our $130 billion capital return program with six quarters remaining to its completion.”
Apple provided the following guidance for its fiscal 2014 third quarter:
revenue between $37 billion and $40 billion
gross margin between 37 percent and 38 percent
operating expenses between $4.75 billion and $4.85 billion
other income/(expense) of $250 million
tax rate of 26.1%

Source: World of Apple


Mousecape – Customize Cursors on OS X

Mousecape is a new open source Mac App which is available on GitHub to finally allow you to create and use your own mouse cursors, or ‘capes’ as the app calls them.

Once you download the app, there is a remastered version of the Svanslös cursor set created by Max Rudberg which is retina-screen ready.

Mousecape is as non-instrusive as possible, never asking you for your password for anything. It works by using private APIs created by Apple to register system cursors so it has no performance hit at all.

Capes, or cursor sets, are applied for as long as display state doesn’t change, meaning until you change resolution, monitors, sleep your computer, reboot or logout. However, inside of the application is a helper application that will detect when the cape is reset and will apply it again.

Mousecape is available for free, open source and with no obligations. …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Make iWork 09 the default and avoid update nagging

Many people continue to use iWork 09 apps, because they contain features missing in the newer versions. However, having the older apps on your system mean a constant nagging from Apple to update to the newer versions. If you do download the newer versions, then it is impossible to make the older apps the default for your documents. The old Get Info

10.9: Update OS without creating a user on a new Mac

This is my take/an update on las_vegas’ hint I found here awhile back for running OS updates without creating a user on a Mac. It is applicable to any system 10.5 and up.

This can be helpful if you have a Time Machine backup that’s on a newer OS than your install media, or if you’re selling/donating your Mac as it saves the new user having to update things.

First things first, wipe your drive (and zero it if you don’t trust the end user of this computer) and reinstall your desired OS.

Once your OS is installed, boot to your install media or the Recovery Partition if available. Open Terminal from the Utilities option in the menubar. In the new Terminal window, type the following:

This will bring up the Password Reset utility. Click Macintosh HD or whatever your HDD is called. You’ll notice the only user account that’s avail …

Source: Mac OSX Hints


Name Faces in iPhoto efficiently

I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the faces feature in iPhoto. Currently, I have about 7000 unidentified faces in my library. I knock out a few hundred here and there. It’s oddly satisfying, but I go to a lot of large events – events where a lot of people look familiar because they are regulars, but I don’t know them. This makes finding faces rather cumbersome, especially since the method of ignoring faces requires the mouse. Everything else can be done with the keyboard. Plus, doesn’t track repeatedly ignored faces, so the same faces keep showing up. Well, I’ve discovered a way to work around these cumbersome limitations.

Doing everything with the keyboard makes things go a lot faster. If you’re using the Find Faces feature and skip faces you don’t know (because you don’t want to pause to use the mouse), the next time you click on Find Faces, you’ll be presented with those same unknown faces over and over again. They build up and always get presented in the same order, s …

Source: Mac OSX Hints