Late yesterday morning, Apple announced that is hosting an event on September 9, 2014 at the Flint Center in Cupertino. My first reaction was that we finally have official confirmation of the date on which I expect Apple to debut the iPhone 6. That was quickly followed by my second reaction, which was that it seems pretty special for Apple to host the event at the Flint Center — the only time I could remember Apple doing so was when Steve Jobs first debuted the Macintosh in January of 1984. (Jim Dalrymple of The Loop subsequently posted that Apple also used it in 1998 and 1999, events were Steve Jobs announced the first iMacs.) When Apple has smaller announcements (e.g., the iPhone 4s, the iPhone 5s), it typically uses the Town Hall located on Apple's campus, which seats 301 people. For a larger announcement, such as the iPhone 5, Apple typically uses the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, which seats 755 people. The Flint Center seats 2,400 people, significantly more than those other venues. And to get even more space, that post from Dalrymple also reveals that Apple is right now constructing an additional building next to the Flint Center to use for this announcement.
Why does Apple need so much additional space, and why pick a venue so significant in Apple history? Is the iPhone 6 going to be so special that Apple needs three times the space that it could get at Yerba Buena? I suspect the answer is that in addition to showing off the new iPhone, Apple also plans to debut on September 9th its long-rumored wearable device — which I presume will be called the iWatch. I can imagine it being touted as the ultimate accessory for an iPhone. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong, but I am certainly excited to see what Apple has in store for us on September 9; it should be a memorable announcement. And now, the rest of the news of note from this past week:
- TrialPad, widely considered to be the best app for displaying documents at trial or in a meeting on an iPad, was updated to version 4.1 this week. New features include a custom sort option, the ability to automatically make a straight line when you underline using the pen tool, and iOS 8 compatibility. You can get more information here and on the TrialPad website.
- Washington attorney James Gayton and Greg Tolbert explain how lawyers can get into trouble with iPhones and other technology in a post for Lawyerist.
- Massachusetts attorney Robert Ambrogi discusses PaperWork, an app developed by Massachusetts attorney William Palin that can be used to create family law forms for use in — you guessed it — Massachusetts.
- GoodNotes is my favorite app for taking handwritten notes on my iPad using a stylus. This week the app was updated to version 4.3, which adds the option to convert handwritten notes to text and search the text, as noted on the developer's blog.
- Dropbox is lowering its pricing and expanding its storage space. In the past, the free Dropbox plan provided 2 GB of storage, or you could get a Dropbox Pro plan with an annual fee of $99 for 100 GB, $199 for 200 GB, or $499 a year for 500 GB. As noted on the Dropbox blog this week, there is now just a single Dropbox Pro plan, which will cost $99 a year (or $9.99/month) for 1 TB (1,000 GB) of storage space. Additionally, Pro users will have new sharing features, such as the ability to add a password to your share link, an expiration date for a shared link, and optional view-only permissions for shared folders.
- Speaking of Dropbox, Allyson Kazmucha of iMore explains how you can use Dropbox to sent large email attachments from your iPhone or iPad.
- Speaking of online storage options, OneDrive is Microsoft's answer to Dropbox, and as Mark Hearn of 9to5Mac notes, Microsoft updated its OneDrive app for iOS this week.
- Walt Mossberg of re/code dicusses the future of the tablet market, and his article includes quotes from Apple CEO Tim Cook about iPad sales.
- I'm a big fan of Cloak, an app that runs in the background on my iPhone and iPad and automatically establishes a secure VPN connection anytime that I am on public Wi-Fi such as at a hotel, airport or coffee shop. I reviewed it in April of 2014, and I continue to use it. Bradley Chambers wrote an article for The Sweet Setup in which he looks at the available options and concludes that Cloak is the best VPN solution for iOS and the Mac.
- And finally, when Apple sends out invitations to its iPhone announcements, it frequently uses graphics and a tagline that provide some hint as to what is coming. For example, the September 2011 invitation said "Let's talk iPhone" and the event debuted iPhone 4s, which introduced Siri so that your iPhone could talk to you. The September 2012 invitation had a picture of a 12 with a shadow of a 5, indicating the iPhone 5 would be announced. The September 2013 invitation said "This should brighten everyone's day" and the iPhone 5s added the new gold iPhone. But as further evidence that Apple has something big, but really secret, to announce on September 9, 2014, this time the graphic reveals nothing, and the tagline is simply: "Wish we could say more." Apple, you are such a tease.