Weekly Wrap: iOS 5 battery woes, iTunes Match anticipation, and sandboxing

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Every Saturday, we round up some of Macworld’s most significant stories from the week gone by. That way, if you missed something interesting the first time around, you can catch up on it later. This week, to change things up a bit, we’ll show you one story from each Macworld staffer who published one this week.

Jason Snell, our editorial director, encouraged readers to write a novel in 30 days with NaNoWriMo. It’s not too late to start your own journey to 50,000 words. It may help you catch up on the word count if you describe one character as “very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very handsome.” It is acceptable if you name that character after me.

Editor Philip Michaels reviewed Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App, a universal children’s app/ebook hybrid based on Caldecott Honor winner Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon series. While Phil’s review itself wasn’t based on Mo Willems’s writing, the discerning reader may notice some some subtle homages to Franz Kafka. (“Discerning” means “crazy,” right?)

Senior editor Christopher Breen wrote up an excellent piece on managing battery life for iOS 5 devices. Indeed, earlier this week, Apple confirmed an iOS 5 battery drain issue existed, but who wants to wait for iOS 5.0.1? If your battery icon is turning red at lunchtime, you’ll want to read Chris’s advice.

Dan Frakes is a senior editor, too. Dan anointed FreeSpace a Mac Gem. It’s a menubar utility that indicates how much free space is remaining on your Mac and any connected drives—and lets you eject drives from the menu, too. Truth be told, when I saw the app’s name, I was hoping it was a utility that called for the liberation of the universe at large. My loss.

Senior associate editor Dan Moren reported on Apple’s failure to launch iTunes Match. The company had promised the service would launch by the end of October, but thus far, our iTunes libraries remain disappointingly unmatched. Apple taunted us by exposing iTunes Match options on the Apple TV, but for now, the service is about as tangible as, say, an iPhone 6.

Staff writer Lex Friedman—whom some have described as very, very, very, very handsome—wrote up a story on the sandboxing requirement coming to the Mac App Store in March, and why some developers are concerned about it. Sandboxing has gotten such a bad rap of late that Apple’s considering renaming the technology to Playpenning instead.

Staff editor Serenity Caldwell (if that is her real name) went hands on with newly-universal GarageBand 1.1. Ren says that Apple did an impressive job squeezing just about all of the iPad app’s functionality into the iPhone’s slimmer screen space, and with minimal interface changes. Disappointingly, Apple did not embrace my proposed solution of offering a single-note piano. (Specifically, D# was my recommendation.)

Alexandra Chang, another staff editor, reported on the exciting news that Google released a native Gmail app for iOS. Of course, as Alexandra noted, Google pulled the app from the store a short time later. It didn’t help that Gmail displayed an error on first launch. We know Google is fixing that part; whether the company is addressing other concerns—the lack of multiple account support, the fact that much of the app is a Web view, and not truly native—we won’t know until Google resubmits the app to the App Store. Presuming it doesn’t pull it right away this time.

And now for some bonus entries from our non-staff writers: Senior contributor Glenn Fleishman explained how Lion’s File Vault 2 could couple with Find My Mac to foil thieves. Another senior contributor, Kirk McElhearn, showed you how you can get smarter with iTunes U. And contributor Joel Mathis penned a piece titled The Apple Switchboard, wherein he explains how small businesses are using Mac- and iPhone-based phone systems. It’s a good story, but I still wish Joel had stuck with my original pitch: The Apple Switchblade.

Come back again next Saturday, when we’ll wrap up another week’s worth of stories. We may even offer more tips on padding out your November novel, too.

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