This week's big news once again came from Apple, in the form of continued woes for registered developers with the portal outage, along with the Q3 2013 earnings report. Silence was finally broken from Cupertino on what was happening with the developer portal, while the earnings report and subsequent conference call dropped some interesting points for discussion. Elsewhere, we had a particularly good week for gaming with some big titles appearing for both iOS and Mac, and Google invited some press over for breakfast and dropped a new 7-inch iPad mini competitor along with an iOS compatible HDMI TV dongle known as Chromecast. This is the week that was!
The troubles with the Apple Developer Portal actually began last week, with a mysterious outage taking it down completely. Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, and the days turned into a week. Well, 8 days in total, just over a week. As it turned out, Apple had taken it down in response to an attempted intrusion, and were working hard behind the scenes to rebuild their servers to prevent it happening again. A security researcher, Ibrahim Balic, claimed to be responsible, and we spoke to him to find out what he did, why he did it, and why he thought he was the cause of the problem.
- Security researcher claims to have reported bugs shortly before Apple took down its developer portal
- Ibrahim Balic on what he did, why he feels reponsible for Developer Center downtime, and what he's heard back from Apple since
- Apple Developer Center returns after an eight day outage
Tuesday was earnings day, and along with the numbers, we also got the traditional conference call with CFO Peter Oppenheimer and CEO Tim Cook. We don't get to hear publicly from Tim Cook all that often, so every opportunity is a good opportunity, and there were some interesting items that came out of it. Highlights included a 20% increase year-on-year in iPhone sales at 31.5 million for the quarter, 14.6 million iPads and 3.8 million Macs, along with good showings for software and services and the Apple Retail Stores.
- Apple announces Q3 2013 earnings: 31.2 million iPhones, 14.6 million iPads, 3.8 million Macs
- Apple Q3 2013 conference call as it happened
- Apple Retail Stores see strong sales growth in Q3 2013, most successful MacBook Air launch yet
- iOS in the Car and how Apple could get past licensing and own every screen in the future
- Tim Cook on Russia: 80% of iPhones sold from Retail, record sales figures for the quarter
- It's a lull in the product cycle and we know it, but Apple's doing fine
- iPhone sales up 50% in the UK, because it's never been more affordable to buy one
Over in San Francisco, Google held a breakfast event where besides bacon and eggs, the gathered press were treated to a pair of new devices from the team at Mountain View. As expected, their latest 7-inch, iPad mini competing tablet, the 2013 Nexus 7, was announced officially. Also announced, and not quite so expected was Chromecast, a $35 HDMI dongle that plugs into any capable TV and acts as a conduit for streaming content from not only Android devices, but also iOS and the Chrome browser on any computer. So far on iOS, we're limited to YouTube and Netflix content, so It's not quite an Apple TV for Google, but for the price it's a pretty compelling purchase. And, additional services will be added soon enough. The folks at Android Central are knee deep in reviewing the Chromecast, but it's got folks pretty excited already.
- Google announces Chromecast, $35 HDMI dongle to stream supported services to TV
- Making the Apple case for Google's Chromecast
- In honor of Chromecast, iMore is giving away Apple TVs!
Gamers were treated to some great new releases this week across both iOS and Mac, with perhaps the pick of the bunch being Vector Unit's Riptide GP 2. It looks gorgeous, it plays insanely well, and as we decided in our review, is one of the best damn games you'll play on iOS this year. Elsewhere, Catan finally made the jump from iOS to the Mac, and another table-top game turned digital with the release of Shadowrun Returns.
- Shadowrun Returns ships for Mac and Windows: The legendary RPG makes its triumphant comeback!
- Catan brings some classic board game action to the Mac
- Riptide GP 2 review: One of the best damn iOS games you'll play this year
The preview series for iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks continued also this week, with Rene and Peter covering such topics as iOS in the car, Safari power saver and compressed memory. As always, these posts are treating us to an inside Baseball look at Apples forthcoming software upgrades for mobile and Mac, so be sure to give them a look if you missed them the first time round. And, last but by no means least, be sure to check out Peter's thoughts on iTunes for the Mac and Windows. A must read.
- The Trouble with iTunes on the Mac and Windows
- OS X Mavericks Preview: Safari Power Saver cuts Flash off at the knees
- OS X Mavericks preview: Compressed Memory gives your Mac room to run
- iOS 7 preview: iOS in the Car hints at the future of iOS everywhere
So, those are some of our highlights from the past seven days, but how about you? Something stand out for you this week? Drop it into the comments below and share with us!