Add another remote computer access app to the list: 9to5 Mac notes that Google introduced Chrome Remote Desktop for iOS on Monday. The free app, found in the iTunes App Store, uses your iPhone or iPad as an interactive window to computers with Google’s Chrome browser and the companion Chrome Remote Desktop app installed. You’re not limited to accessing Chrome of course: The software lets you use a computer running Windows or OS X from afar on your iOS device, remotely accessing whatever software you’d like. Google previously introduced Chrome Remote Desktop for Android, Chromebooks and its Chrome browser.
You can already buy an unlocked GSM iPhone 6 or 6 Plus direct from Apple but it comes with a T-Mobile SIM in the U.S. Consumers will have the option to ditch that SIM card — much to T-Mobile’s chagrin, I’d guess — according to 9to5 Mac whose sources say the SIM-free iPhones go on sale Tuesday.
Pricing should remain the same as the currently available unlocked models, which start at $649. The only real difference here is that you’ll have to provide your own compatible GSM SIM card for your new phone since there won’t be one included. Update: This phone did launch on Tuesday and isn’t just an unlocked GSM model; it’s a “world phone” that supports CDMA, GSM, TD-LTE and many other networks.
The iCloud Photos web app, which allowed users to access photos uploaded from iPads and iPhones in a web browser, has been taken down. Users navigating to the beta app’s permalink now receive an message that Apple “can’t load Photos.” The web app launched for iOS 8.1 users in October. Remember that Apple has promised to launch a new photo app for OS X in “early 2015″ to replace the native Mac versions of both iPhoto and Aperture — so the iCloud Photos web app could be coming back in a new form when that app launches.
Apple has quietly introduced a 14-day return policy for iTunes, App Store, and iBooks purchases in several countries in Europe, according to 9to5Mac. The new policy is apparently in response to a European Commission recommendation. Previously, to receive a refund, you would have to contact Apple support and provide a reason. That’s still the way it works in the United States. But for Europeans, there’s now an automated refund process through Apple’s “Report a Problem” feature. Google recently extended the Google Play app refund window to two hours, even in the United States.
Google is finally taking advantage of a key iOS 8 feature that, ironically, works similarly in Android. After updating Google+ for iOS to version 4.8.0, you’ll have the option to add Google+ in the sharing menu; Android supports the same type of third-party app sharing by default. That means no more copying and pasting links in iOS to share interesting stories and such on Google+. The updated app also adds higher resolution, or Retina HD, support on Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets, and the ability to vote in polls within the app.
If you head to Apple’s Russian-language online store right now, you’ll find that it’s not up — and Apple’s providing the usual “We’re busy updating the Apple store” message. But Apple’s not adding new products or working behind the scenes. As first reported by Bloomberg, Apple has pulled its online store in Russia because the ruble has been severely devalued today after teetering on the brink of instability for weeks. The online Apple store only launched in Russia last year and the country has no physical Apple Stores. If you’re a hoarder in Russia, look past the traditional gold and greenbacks as stores of value — iPhones could provide a nice return.
Update 3:25 ET: The run on Apple products has started.