Developers, start your engines! Apple released the gold master for OS X Yosemite on Tuesday, and is now asking developers to begin submitting their updated apps, suggesting that a release is just around the corner. Meanwhile, Microsoft is readying a new version of Windows that looks awfully familiar, amidst rumors that the next iPad Air will also come in Gold. That and more in today's Morning Report!
Next iPad Air Will Reportedly Also Come in Gold
Now here's a development even a classic James Bond villain would appreciate: Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Apple's next full-sized iPad will add a third color option alongside the current Space Gray and Silver. The addition of a Gold model for the rumored iPad Air 2 will bring the 9.7-inch tablet in line with the color scheme of recent iPhone models, including the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
According to the report, the addition of a Gold model is an effort by Apple to "goose sales" of the iPad line, a successful marketing trick dating back to Cupertino's use of a rainbow of colors for the original iMac in 1999. Unnamed sources familiar with Apple's plans claim a Gold iPad is the company's way of boosting "a category that’s posted declining shipments this year."
iTunes Store Now Accepting Donations to City of Hope
Apple has frequently used the convenience of the iTunes Store to help raise donations for worthy causes, and with Breast Cancer Awareness Month now underway, now is a great time to give to a worthy cause. iTunes customers can now donate as little as $5 or as much as $200 to City of Hope, a "global leader in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases."
By donating through iTunes, 100 percent of the funds will be transferred to City of Hope to help fund research and treatment programs. Apple's fine print notes that iTunes Store credit cannot be used for donations, and the act of kindness "may not qualify for a tax deduction or other tax benefits," but you'll certainly feel better knowing that you helped,e even if it was just a little.
Microsoft Skips a Version, Goes Straight to Windows 10
Assuming you don't run Mac OS X on your desktop or laptop, your PC is going to feel a lot more like old-school Windows next year, when Microsoft plans to begin shipping Windows 10, which will be available sometime today as an "early technical preview" for developers and tech enthusiasts. The new version attempts to unify Microsoft's disparate platforms — "from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets" — but longtime users will likely cheer the loudest about improvements such as the return of the traditional Start menu, the ability to run Metro-centric apps in a window rather than full-screen only, and a new task view that performs a lot like Apple's own Mission Control.
For those paying attention, you've probably noticed that Microsoft has skipped an entire version number, jumping from the current Windows 8 all the way to Windows 10 — a decision that seems like more than a coincidence, given how Apple has steadfastly hung onto the very same version number since the debut of OS X more than 13 years ago. Microsoft plans to discuss the "consumer chapter" of Windows 10 in early 2015, with a release planned for later the same year.