Tue 4/22 Apple Opens OS X Betas to the Public

The Loop has the story:

Big news today from Apple: the company is opening its OS X Beta Seed Program to its customers. In the past, you needed to be a developer to access beta builds of OS X, but as of OS X 10.9.3, released earlier today, customers can also apply for access.

“Join the OS X Beta Seed Program and help make OS X even better. Install the latest pre-release software, try it out, and submit your feedback,” reads Apple’s OS X Mavericks Beta page.

Four years ago it used to cost hundreds of dollars to sign up as a Macintosh Developer and gain access to the latest Mac OS X betas. Then on March 5, 2010, in response to the equally priced iPhone developer program, the price was lowered to just $99. Starting today, the barrier to access the latest OS X betas has been eliminated. I wonder if Apple will do the same with the latest betas of iOS?

“My sympathies go out to the good folks in Apple [Support]“Frank Tisellano

Tue 4/22 Apple Drops .Mac iChat in Snow Leopard

Straight from the Apple Knowledge Base:

To ensure a secure and reliable experience, customers using a mac.com or me.com ID to login to the AIM service via iChat must upgrade their Mac to OS X version 10.7.2 or later by June 30, 2014 to continue using the AIM service.

Customers are advised to upgrade to Lion if possible, or create a new AIM ID if not.

I wonder if mac.com and me.com email addresses will continue to work in alternative AIM clients such as Adium?

Fri 4/18 Nike Fires FuelBand Team

As reported by Nick Statt at CNET, Nike is getting out of the wearable technology business.

There’s increasing competition in the market for wrist-worn fitness trackers, and Nike’s digital app ecosystem, Nike+, has grown less reliant on wearables as smartphone sensors have improved. In other words, it makes less and less sense for Nike to stay in the hardware race when its physical wearables are not bottom-line needle movers, especially as companies like Apple and Google prepare to join the fray.

I am still not convinced Nike’s departure from wearable technology, means Apple is introducing a wristband in the near future. If anything Nike’s exit from wearable technology means they are receiving too much competition from the smartphones of today.

The writing was on the wall last year when Apple introduced the M7 motion co-processor for tracking movement data on the iPhone 5s. As I remember Nike was part of the announcement then, and they are still part of pitch now.

With a smartphone in everybody’s pocket, it is only a matter of time before the competitors play catchup with Apple and make fitness a priority. Nike would be wise to stick with making sneakers, and the software to track your run. No one needs another wristband to charge, when their cell phone can do fitness for them.