posted about 2 hours ago on mac rumors
Apple today released iTunes 12.1 for OS X Yosemite, introducing a new iTunes widget for the Notification Center. With the widget, it's possible to see what song is playing, skip ahead, and purchase music while listening to iTunes Radio. The update also includes performance improvements when syncing with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. iTunes 12.1 can be downloaded via the Software Update Mechanism in the Mac App Store. iTunes 12.1 is the first major update to iTunes 12, which was introduced alongside OS X Yosemite. iTunes 12 brought a new design with Yosemite-style translucency elements to improve depth, a streamlined toolbar, and the melding of the iTunes Store and the personal Library to make it easier to navigate between owned content and what's available in the store. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Which Apple Notebook to Choose • Elgato Recalls Some Smart Power Battery Packs Due to Overheating • Facebook for iOS Gains Foursquare-Style 'Place Tips' Recommendations • Apple Launches Annual 'Back to School' Promotion in Australia and New Zealand • Increased Switcher Rate From Android to iPhone Appears Focused Outside the U.S. • Microsoft Launches Outlook for iOS with iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo Mail Support • New 'SlatePro TechDesk SE' Comes Equipped with Built-In iPhone Dock, Mac Air Vents and Whiteboard • Hands-On First Impressions of Pushbullet for iOS, Mac, and Safari

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posted about 6 hours ago on mac rumors
Ahead of any major product release, we often see part leaks and case molds, which give us hints on the sizing, features, and design of the forthcoming product, and the "iPad Pro" is no exception. We've previously seen what's said to be an iPad Pro dummy model for Apple's upcoming large-screened tablet, and today, French site Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] has shared an image of a case that may be designed for the device. According to the site, the image of the case originated from a reliable source that the site has been in contact with "for many years." Though the case in the photo is not depicted next to an object to provide a size reference, it is clearly quite large and could fit a tablet in the range of 12.2 to 12.9 inches. The case appears to have two speaker cutouts at both the top and bottom, which would accommodate the stereo speakers that have been rumored for the device. There are also cutouts for a headphone jack at the top left of the case, volume buttons at the right, a camera cutout at the back, a Lightning port cutout at the bottom, and a power button cutout on the top right, all of which is in line with previous iPad Air and iPad mini designs. The one unknown is a cutout on the left side of the case, which could possibly be for a SIM tray, suggesting that this is a case for a Cellular iPad Pro. Previous design drawings have not suggested that there's another port in that particular location. Because case makers often create molds based on leaked design specs and information that may not be accurate in an effort to be the first to come out with accessories for a new product, some of the design elements could be slightly off. There have certainly been a few misses over the years when it comes to case design, mainly when rumors of a tapered iPhone were circulating, but for the most part, case leaks have been highly accurate. The "iPad Pro," as it has been named by the media, is rumored to include a 12.2 to 12.9 inch screen, an A8X or A9 processor, and a design that is similar in style to the iPad Air or iPad mini, with a thin body and a high-resolution screen. Recent rumors have suggested that it could be the first Apple tablet to ship with an included stylus due to its size. A launch date for Apple's larger iPad remains unclear, but rumors have suggested that it could be released in the second or third quarter of the year. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Elgato Recalls Some Smart Power Battery Packs Due to Overheating • Facebook for iOS Gains Foursquare-Style 'Place Tips' Recommendations • Apple Launches Annual 'Back to School' Promotion in Australia and New Zealand • Increased Switcher Rate From Android to iPhone Appears Focused Outside the U.S. • Microsoft Launches Outlook for iOS with iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo Mail Support • New 'SlatePro TechDesk SE' Comes Equipped with Built-In iPhone Dock, Mac Air Vents and Whiteboard • Hands-On First Impressions of Pushbullet for iOS, Mac, and Safari • Facebook's 'Paper' App for iOS Updated With Photo Sharing Improvements

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posted about 10 hours ago on mac rumors
A number of iTunes Connect developers have turned to Twitter and tipped us off about an ongoing issue where users are being shown someone else's session after attempting to login into their own account. MacRumors has been able to duplicate this issue, which appears to be widespread and has been going on since at least 8 AM Pacific. While other developer's apps are displayed in the iTunes Connect dashboard, attempting to take further action results in an "unable to process request" error and a redirect to the proper account. Sales and payment information are also not accessible for the mismatched account. For some other users, iTunes Connect also appears to be experiencing issues with logging in. Apple has yet to comment on the matter. This post will be updated as further details become known. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Launches Annual 'Back to School' Promotion in Australia and New Zealand • Increased Switcher Rate From Android to iPhone Appears Focused Outside the U.S. • Microsoft Launches Outlook for iOS with iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo Mail Support • New 'SlatePro TechDesk SE' Comes Equipped with Built-In iPhone Dock, Mac Air Vents and Whiteboard • Hands-On First Impressions of Pushbullet for iOS, Mac, and Safari • Facebook's 'Paper' App for iOS Updated With Photo Sharing Improvements • YouTube Begins Using HTML5 Instead of Flash for Default Video Playback • FCC Warns Hotels About Intentionally Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots

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posted about 23 hours ago on mac rumors
The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that Apple tied Samsung during Q4 2014 to become the world's largest smartphone maker based on global shipments. According to the report, both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones during the three-month period of October through December. Apple's number is an official figure from its financial results, while Samsung's number is an estimate since the company stopped reporting smartphone shipments a few years ago. The research firm adds that Apple and Samsung were last tied in smartphone market share in Q4 2011. Apple experienced a record-breaking first quarter of the fiscal year because of strong demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The larger screen sizes of the two new smartphones were a major selling point for many consumers, attracting more new customers and Android converts than ever before. Meanwhile, Samsung reported a 27% quarterly decline in earnings earlier today amid tough competition from both Apple and up-and-coming Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Huawei. Strategy Analytics claims that global smartphone shipments grew 31% annually to eclipse a record 380 million units in the fourth quarter. An estimated 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2014, with strong growth in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa. Apple has experienced a lot of momentum in China, noting that its online sales in the region for 2014 were more than the previous five years combined. Apple also surpassed Microsoft to become the world's second largest mobile phone vendor on the strength of the United States and China. Apple's 74.5 million smartphone shipments placed ahead of Microsoft's 50.2 million units shipped, but were behind Samsung's market leading 95 million units shipped. Apple and Samsung have global mobile phone market shares of 14.5% and 18.4% respectively. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • New 'SlatePro TechDesk SE' Comes Equipped with Built-In iPhone Dock, Mac Air Vents and Whiteboard • Hands-On First Impressions of Pushbullet for iOS, Mac, and Safari • Facebook's 'Paper' App for iOS Updated With Photo Sharing Improvements • YouTube Begins Using HTML5 Instead of Flash for Default Video Playback • FCC Warns Hotels About Intentionally Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots • iPod Shuffle Shipping Times Improve to 5-7 Days in Europe Following Reports of Supplier Change • iOS 8.1.3 Fixes Exploits Used by TaiG Jailbreak • Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold More Than 1 Billion iOS Devices

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
On the heels of an earnings call that saw Apple announcing record earnings, rival phone maker Samsung today announced its own results for the October to December period, reporting a 27 percent year-over-year decline in profit. Samsung saw net profit of 5.3 trillion won ($4.9 billion), compared to 7.3 trillion won last year, marking its first annual earnings decline in three years and its fifth consecutive quarter of decline. Apple, meanwhile, announced record earnings of $18 billion, largely due to the success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Overall, Samsung's 2014 profit was at 25 trillion won, down from 36.8 trillion won in 2013. Samsung did not announce mobile sales numbers, but Apple sold a record 74.5 million iPhones during the quarter. Market research has suggested that Apple's share of the smartphone market in Asia rose dramatically after the launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. According to a recent report, Apple gained significant share in Japan, China, and South Korea, countries where Samsung has previously dominated due to demand for big screen smartphones. While Samsung's mobile sales were down 64 percent year over year, its semiconductor division earned 2.7 trillion won due to high demand for the chips that it sells to companies like Apple, boosting earnings from the previous quarter and helping it meet guidance and beat analyst estimates. Chip maker Qualcomm also reported its own earnings today [PDF], and noted the loss of a major customer thought to be Samsung. Samsung's Galaxy S6 is unlikely to feature the Snapdragon 810 processor due to issues with overheating, and the South Korean company may opt to use its own chips instead. Samsung expects continued growth in its mobile division in 2015 in emerging markets, and it also plans to introduce "new materials, innovative design, and differentiated features" in its devices to drive sales. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • New 'SlatePro TechDesk SE' Comes Equipped with Built-In iPhone Dock, Mac Air Vents and Whiteboard • Hands-On First Impressions of Pushbullet for iOS, Mac, and Safari • Facebook's 'Paper' App for iOS Updated With Photo Sharing Improvements • YouTube Begins Using HTML5 Instead of Flash for Default Video Playback • FCC Warns Hotels About Intentionally Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots • iPod Shuffle Shipping Times Improve to 5-7 Days in Europe Following Reports of Supplier Change • iOS 8.1.3 Fixes Exploits Used by TaiG Jailbreak • Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold More Than 1 Billion iOS Devices

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
In recent months, the Federal Trade Commission has taken a significant interest in carrier throttling practices and today handed down a ruling that could have future ramifications for carriers who throttle their unlimited customers. As reported by Re/code, the FTC has ordered prepaid wireless carrier TracFone to pay $40 million to consumers who paid for unlimited service and were then throttled after reaching certain data limits. TracFone advertised "unlimited text, talk, and data" for $45 a month under the brands Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America, and until September 2013, did not clearly disclose its throttling policies that saw customers experiencing data speeds that were cut by up to 90 percent, thereby violating the FTC Act. While this ruling only affects TracFone at the current time, there are several other carriers that have similar practices for their unlimited customers. AT&T and Verizon no longer offer unlimited data plans, but continue to provide unlimited data for many people who remain on grandfathered plans. AT&T has engaged in throttling practices for years, often cutting off customers who exceed 5GB of LTE data usage."The issue here is simple: when you promise consumers 'unlimited,' that means unlimited," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "This settlement means that Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America customers will be able to get money back from the company for services the company promised but didn't deliver."Last year, Verizon planned to throttle its high-usage unlimited data LTE customers, sparking interest from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who said he was "deeply troubled" by the decision. Verizon ultimately reversed course and opted not to throttle its unlimited customers, but the FCC's attention was already roused, and the agency began questioning all carriers on their unlimited throttling practices. The government's interest in carrier throttling practices led the FTC to file a federal complaint against AT&T in October of 2014, accusing the carrier of misleading its smartphone customers by charging them for unlimited data and then going on to reduce data speeds. Based on today's TracFone decision, AT&T may also be facing hefty fines in the future, and the FTC's ongoing interest in carrier throttling of unlimited customers could finally put an end to the practice. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • YouTube Begins Using HTML5 Instead of Flash for Default Video Playback • FCC Warns Hotels About Intentionally Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots • iPod Shuffle Shipping Times Improve to 5-7 Days in Europe Following Reports of Supplier Change • iOS 8.1.3 Fixes Exploits Used by TaiG Jailbreak • Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold More Than 1 Billion iOS Devices • Apple Pay Responsible for Two of Every Three Contactless Payments on Visa, MasterCard, and American Express • 'Pushbullet' Brings Notification Syncing and Easy File Transfers to iOS, Mac, and Safari • How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Sony announced on Wednesday that it will be shutting down its Music Unlimited on-demand streaming music service ahead of launching Spotify on PlayStation Music. Music Unlimited will shut down in all 19 countries it operated on March 29, 2015, with nearly all of the countries among the 41 regions that Spotify for PlayStation Music will be available upon launch, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Music Unlimited launched in December 2010 on PlayStation Network in several countries worldwide, and the service was later extended to iPhone [Direct Link], Android, PlayStation Vita and other devices and platforms. In February 2011, it was reported that Sony viewed Music Unlimited as a potential iTunes Store alternative and that it was considering pulling music from Apple's platform if its own service became successful."If we do [get mass take up] then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?" Mr Ephraim asked. "Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that's the format right now." "Publishers are being held to ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold."The on-demand streaming music landscape has gone through significant change in the past three years, however, and Music Unlimited failed to remain competitive with industry leaders such as Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and Beats Music. Music Unlimited users with active subscriptions will continue to have free access to the service through the March 29 closing date. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • YouTube Begins Using HTML5 Instead of Flash for Default Video Playback • FCC Warns Hotels About Intentionally Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots • iPod Shuffle Shipping Times Improve to 5-7 Days in Europe Following Reports of Supplier Change • iOS 8.1.3 Fixes Exploits Used by TaiG Jailbreak • Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold More Than 1 Billion iOS Devices • Apple Pay Responsible for Two of Every Three Contactless Payments on Visa, MasterCard, and American Express • 'Pushbullet' Brings Notification Syncing and Easy File Transfers to iOS, Mac, and Safari • How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer

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posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, during the company's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, expressed interest in Yahoo becoming the default search engine in Safari. Mayer recognized the significance that getting Yahoo in front of Mac, iPhone and iPad could have for the search engine, referring to Apple's default web browser as "one of the premier search deals in the world if not the premier search deal in the world.""The Safari platform is basically one of the premier search deals in the world if not the premier search deal in the world," Mayer told RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney. "We're definitely in the search distribution business. I think that we've stated that really clearly in the past and I think with Mozilla and also in addition we brought Amazon eBay on board with smaller distribution partnerships in Q4."Google renewed its search partnership with Apple in 2010, although the contract is reportedly set to expire in 2015 and, supported by the fact that Google Maps and YouTube are no longer stock iOS apps, Apple is speculated to be considering a number of options. Back in November, it was reported that both Microsoft and Yahoo were courting Apple to become the default search engine in Safari."We're in the search distribution business and anyone who is in that business needs to be interested in the Safari deal. The Safari users are among the most engaged and lucrative users in the world and it's something we would really like to be able to provide. We've worked really closely with Mozilla to ultimately bring to their users an experience that they designed and that they feel really suits those users and we would welcome the opportunity with any other partner to do the same, particularly one with Apple's volume and user base."The New York Times, citing various reports from analysts, suggests that Google losing its Safari contract may not have much impact on the company's bottom line. The two important factors involved are how much Google is paying for its Safari search engine deal, and how many users would simply switch back to Google if Apple switched to Yahoo or another search provider as default. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • YouTube Begins Using HTML5 Instead of Flash for Default Video Playback • FCC Warns Hotels About Intentionally Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots • iPod Shuffle Shipping Times Improve to 5-7 Days in Europe Following Reports of Supplier Change • iOS 8.1.3 Fixes Exploits Used by TaiG Jailbreak • Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold More Than 1 Billion iOS Devices • Apple Pay Responsible for Two of Every Three Contactless Payments on Visa, MasterCard, and American Express • 'Pushbullet' Brings Notification Syncing and Easy File Transfers to iOS, Mac, and Safari • How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today has mysteriously added back a 2012 model Mac mini to the Apple Online Store for $699. The over two-year-old machine still has the same hardware specifications as it did in 2012, including a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000. The listing also shows that the computer ships with OS X Mavericks installed. It is unknown if the outdated Mac mini has mistakenly resurfaced on the Apple Online Store, or if Apple intentionally reintroduced the model on its website. One plausible reason that Apple may be making this older Mac mini available for purchase again is to provide customers with a quad-core option, as the existing 2014 models are each powered by dual-core Intel Core i5 processors. The entry-level Mac is listed as out of stock in the United States, and MacRumors could not find the model listed for sale elsewhere after spot checks of the Apple Online Store in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and several other countries. Apple still offers a refurbished version of the same 2012 Mac mini for $589 on its website, although that model is also currently out of stock. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iOS 8.1.3 Fixes Exploits Used by TaiG Jailbreak • Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold More Than 1 Billion iOS Devices • Apple Pay Responsible for Two of Every Three Contactless Payments on Visa, MasterCard, and American Express • 'Pushbullet' Brings Notification Syncing and Easy File Transfers to iOS, Mac, and Safari • How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
During today's earnings call covering the first fiscal quarter of 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared some new details on the prospective launch date of the Apple Watch. According to Cook, Apple Watch development is currently on schedule, and the company is planning to ship the device in April. Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule, and we expect to begin shipping in April.When the Apple Watch was announced, Apple gave a vague "Early 2015" launch date for the device, making it unclear when it would actually ship. Several rumors recently pointed towards a March launch date for the device, but it appears it will actually begin shipping out to consumers a month later, in April. Cook confirmed that the Apple Watch's April shipping date was within the expected range of early 2015, which Apple considers to be the first four years of the month. Cook also said there are some amazing apps in the works for the device, and he mentioned that he couldn't live without the Apple Watch.My expectations are very high on it. I'm using it every day and love it and can't live without it. Now that we know when the Apple Watch is expected to launch, the only unknowns about the device are battery life and its cost. Rumors have suggested that battery life will be somewhat disappointing, lasting approximately 19 hours during "mixed use." Cost is also up in the air, aside from a known starting price of $349 for the lower-end device. Pricing on the middle tier version is unclear, as is pricing for the high-end gold Apple Watch, which rumors suggest could sell for thousands of dollars. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Tim Cook: Apple Has Sold More Than 1 Billion iOS Devices • Apple Pay Responsible for Two of Every Three Contactless Payments on Visa, MasterCard, and American Express • 'Pushbullet' Brings Notification Syncing and Easy File Transfers to iOS, Mac, and Safari • How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel • Twitter Updating iOS App With Group Messaging and New Video Features

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
During today's earnings call covering the first fiscal quarter of 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about the sales split between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. He declined to provide specific numbers on the split, but he did confirm that the iPhone 6 was the most popular device. "Obviously to sell 74.5 million devices, they were all popular," Cook said. "Both did incredibly well. We're really proud of them, along with the iPhone 5s and 5c." According to Cook, there was some clear geographical preference for the iPhone 6 vs the iPhone 6 Plus. Some locations skewed higher to iPhone 6 Plus preference, while others preferred the iPhone 6. He didn't specify which regions preferred which devices, but data has suggested Asian countries favored the iPhone 6 Plus. During the call, Cook also mentioned that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus brought the highest Android switcher rate over the course of the last three years and that there's still a lot of opportunity to see growth as only a "small fraction" of existing iPhone users (in the low teens) have upgraded to a new device. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have brought the highest number of customers new to iPhone than in any prior iPhone launch. "We saw more new customers to iPhone than we've ever seen before," said Cook. Cook said the company is getting "great feedback" about the quality of the products that they're shipping, and that in emerging markets, iPhone growth was "absolutely stunning." The company is very bullish on the iPhone going forward, expecting to see a lot of new adopters in Q2 2015 as well. "We believe that it's the best smartphone in the world," said Cook. Apple managed to reach supply/demand balance on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in January, when shipping dates finally hit 24 hours. Before that, iPhone supplies remained somewhat constrained throughout the holiday season. Today's earnings report revealed record iPhone sales, at 74.5 million, or 46 percent growth year over year. The iPhone makes up an impressive 69 percent of Apple's revenue, which hit $74.6B during the quarter. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Pay Responsible for Two of Every Three Contactless Payments on Visa, MasterCard, and American Express • 'Pushbullet' Brings Notification Syncing and Easy File Transfers to iOS, Mac, and Safari • How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel • Twitter Updating iOS App With Group Messaging and New Video Features • Western Union Now Accepting Apple Pay in United States

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced financial results for the first fiscal quarter of 2015, which corresponds to the fourth calendar quarter of 2014. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $74.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $57.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.1 billion, or $1.98 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin for the quarter was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 65 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an upcoming dividend payment of $0.47 per share, payable on February 9 to shareholders of record as of February 12. The company currently holds $178 billion in cash and marketable securities. Apple sold a record 74.5 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 51 million a year earlier, while Mac sales were also strong with 5.5 million units sold, up from 4.8 million units in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were down, however, falling to 21.4 million from 26 million.“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”Apple's guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 includes expected revenue of $52-55 billion and gross margin between 38.5 and 39.5 percent. Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q1 2015 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights. Live Updates - No need to refresh Loading live updates... Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Pushbullet' Brings Notification Syncing and Easy File Transfers to iOS, Mac, and Safari • How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel • Twitter Updating iOS App With Group Messaging and New Video Features • Western Union Now Accepting Apple Pay in United States • Foxconn to Cut Workforce as Apple Expected to Announce Record-Breaking iPhone Sales [Updated]

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Earlier this month, we shared an iPhone case called the Reach79, which debuted at CES. The Reach79 case claimed to boost the signal strength and performance of the iPhone, improving battery life, reducing dropped calls, and improving download speeds, statements that were quite controversial in our forums. Readers were understandably skeptical of the Reach79's promise that it could deliver up to 2x stronger signal strength, so MacRumors decided to go hands-on with the Reach79 case to see if we could prove the company's claims. We've been extensively testing the Reach79 case on an iPhone 6 Plus for more than a week in various areas around the San Francisco Bay Area, but after several days of use, it remains difficult to conclusively say that the case improves signal in a meaningful way due to mixed test results. For a quick summary of what we found, scroll down to the "Bottom Line" section, or read on for our full results. Our Testing We used the Reach79 case on an iPhone 6 Plus connected to the AT&T network on multiple days, at multiple times, and in multiple locations, both indoor and outdoor. The phone was put into Field Test mode so that signal strength could be viewed as a raw decibel number rather than as dots or "bars," in order to better determine if and when the case was improving signal. All testing was done in the hand or up against the head, which is how the case is designed to work. We also tested with the Ookla Mobile Speed Test app to see if the case improved data speeds, but we were told that this is not a particularly reliable testing method due to the many factors that can affect data transfer. If there's one word that sums up our testing, it's inconsistent. At times, when the Reach79 case was placed on the iPhone, signal definitely improved as evidenced by the raw numbers and speed tests, but just as often, putting the case on did nothing to improve signal, or even seemed to degrade it somewhat. What was most frustrating during testing was the fact that it was nearly impossible to repeat a test result more than once. When we did see signal improve while using the case, removing it and trying again often did not give the same level of improvement or gave none at all, in the exact same location. Continuous signal fluctuation and the inability to see repeatable test results made it difficult to determine the degree of improvement the Reach79 offers, and the many factors that contribute to a cell phone's connection to a tower, including distance and orientation, gave us no way to create a test that could give concrete results. As a result, we can only offer anecdotal evidence of what we experienced while using the case. We did see some instances of notable improvement when using the Reach79 case as opposed to using a standard silicone Apple iPhone case or the bare phone. For example, in one area where AT&T signal is not usually available and calls tend to cut out, we were able to make and maintain a seven minute conversation with no interruptions or distortion. In this event, putting on the case improved signal from roughly -120 (one bar) to -99 (two bars). Out of several additional tests in the same spot, we were able to repeat the results approximately half of the time, with the person on the other end of the line saying the calls with the case were "crisper" and somewhat less distorted than without it. The above example is an instance where we saw marked improvement -- in most cases, the signal jumps we were seeing were much more subtle with slight speed test boosts, but we were seeing occasional improvements, suggesting the Reach79 case does work to some degree, at least some of the time. Note, however, that there were many times where we saw no improvement or some degradation in signal. Reach79's Testing In its press release, the Reach79 case was advertised as having been tested by CETECOM, a well-respected test and certification lab for mobile devices. MacRumors asked for the CETECOM test results, but Reach79 was not able to provide full results, sharing only end results and testing methodology, which can also be found on its website. The Reach79 was tested on LTE bands on AT&T and Verizon in a shielded anechoic chamber, with the transmitted power measured every 15 degrees in a sphere. The strength of the signal from the phone to the cell tower was determined by sampling the radiated transmit power of the device every 15 degrees in a sphere around the device. The measured power values are integrated to give a single figure of merit referred to as TRP (Total Radiated Power). The ability of the phone to receive signals from the cell tower was also determined by measuring the power received at the phone from an antenna positioned every 15 degrees in a sphere around the device. The integrated measurements provide a metric known as TIS (Total Isotropic Sensitivity). Lower TIS means the device can detect weaker signals.CETECOM's results saw a max improvement of 3.0X stronger signal strength on the iPhone 6 with an average improvement of 1.6X, and a max improvement of 4.9X on the iPhone 6 Plus with an average improvement of 2.0X. Reach79 also partnered with survey company AYTM to recruit 200 beta testers across 37 states for consumer speed testing of the case. Download speeds improved from an average of 3.8Mbps to an average of 5.8Mbps, while upload speeds improved from an average of 2.1Mbps to 2.6Mbps, but Reach79 had the same issues with testing in the wild as MacRumors did -- there are so many variables that it's hard to get a solid feel for signal improvements. The Technology Behind the Case The Reach79 case uses a common engineering technique known as the aperture coupled patch. As described by Reach79's engineering team, this "transfers energy from the iPhone's antenna to excite the gold-plated antenna inside the case," which is engineered to resonate at cell phone frequencies. When we originally covered the Reach79 case, some posters in our forums hypothesized that the Reach79 case was perhaps boosting signal by focusing it in a single direction, thereby increasing the directionality and potentially decreasing the signal in another direction when the phone is pointed away from a cell tower. A look at the gold-plated antenna inside the Reach79 case According to Reach79 CEO David Vigil and CTO Ryan McCaughey, the Reach79 case does not change the directionality of the iPhone's antenna, and thus does not result in a decrease in signal strength. Instead, they described the case as "boosting signal in all directions" by taking a "relatively small antenna" and adding an extension to make it work more efficiently when held up against the head or in the hand. As described to MacRumors, holding an iPhone in the hand blocks signal, and this is the scenario that Reach79 aims to improve through passive coupling that tunes and boosts the iPhone's signal. During its CETECOM testing as outlined above, the Reach79 was tested in a 360 degree sphere, and these results, according to the Reach79 team, showed no degradation in signal at any angle. Reach79 believes that the variance that we saw in testing (sometimes no improvement, sometimes signal degradation) is based on uncontrollable factors like weather, network, and other people on the cell site at the same time. Without all of these outside variables, the company believes we would have seen improvement 100 percent of the time when using the case, as it saw in its CETECOM test results. The Reach79 case was described to us as redirecting energy to make it "more efficient" through manipulating the antenna. In talks with MacRumors, Vigil was adamant that the case works and that the technology behind its design is solid. "It's irrefutable that we're increasing signal strength," he said. "I'm convinced this product will not show up on [store] shelves if it doesn't work." In the future, Reach79 plans to create cases that are more tuned to each specific carrier, launching, for example, separate AT&T and Verizon editions that will provide better signal improvement on each carrier. Reach79 has a long term vision that will see it continuing to provide better signal improvements for each successive iPhone. The Reach79 case was tested on the LTE bands of AT&T and Verizon. At the current time, it is universal and will work with most U.S.-based carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, but Sprint is unsupported. A Sprint-specific case will be available for purchase in the near future. Improvement Quantified CETECOM's testing, Reach79's consumer test, our own testing, online reviews, and online testimonials suggest that the Reach79 has at least some capability to improve signal, but what does that mean in the real world? For example, if a person is 10 miles from a cell phone tower, how much improvement is the Reach79 case providing? Is it like being 1 mile away? 5 miles? 9 miles? We asked Reach79 for concrete data on what the signal improvement could mean for the average consumer in these terms, but the company is still in the process of gathering that kind of data. Reach79 says the case improves signal by 2 decibels on average, with a peak improvement of 3 decibels, which is, as Reach79 promises, a 2X improvement in signal strength. For comparison's sake, signal boosters you might install in your home, such as AT&T's Microcell, can boost signal by more than 50 decibels. Because the decibel system is not linear, the increase in decibels may not be intuitive to most people. A two decibel improvement at a decent (three to five bar) signal strength may not be noticeable, but at a lower signal strength, it could (maybe) mean the difference between one bar and two bars. At a very rough estimate, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 decibels of difference between each successive bar on the iPhone, so a potential jump from -108 (one bar, potentially) to -106 (two bars) could result in enough signal strength to make a call when it was not previously possible, whereas an improvement from -75 to -73 (both five bars) makes little difference. This is a simplistic explanation of cell phone signal, and in reality, measuring a two decibel improvement is a difficult task due to all of the factors that can influence signal, which is another reason why it's impossible to accurately test the Reach79 case outside of a lab. According to Vigil, though two decibels of improvement doesn't necessarily sound impressive, it is a "significant" number for network operators and handset manufacturers because it represents an improvement (50 to 60 percent average improvement on LTE bands) that can mean better connection speeds for consumers and thus better customer service. Case Design The Reach79 case is made from a lightweight polycarbonate that the company says can protect the iPhone from drops of up to 6.6 feet. We did not test this, but the case certainly seems as sturdy as other protective cases that make similar claims. The case itself is somewhat bulky, but not more so than other highly protective cases, measuring in at .40 x 2.81 x 5.58. It is sturdy feeling and rigid, which has the unfortunate side effect of making it exceedingly difficult to remove from the iPhone. The case protects the volume/power buttons, and has cut outs for the camera and mute switch. A rubber lip that goes over the sides of the iPhone keeps the phone's display from touching surfaces when face down. Available only in black, the Reach79 has several V-shaped cutouts on the back that allow the embedded gold antenna to peek through. This is a feature that's cosmetic only, not affecting the function of the case, but it is a visually pleasing design. Bottom Line Given Reach79's CETECOM test results and our own experience with the Reach79 case, it seems that there's a good chance that this case does what it claims and boosts signal at least some of the time. It's questionable whether that signal boost is worth $60 to $70, given the inconsistencies we experienced and the degree of the improvement when it does seem to be working. A two decibel improvement may not be valuable to most users, but for someone who has continually bad signal hovering between one and two bars, and accepts that the case might not work all of the time, the Reach79 case could potentially be worth purchasing. Reach79 CEO David Vigil likened the purchase and use of the Reach79 case to using different octanes of gas. 87 octane gas is acceptable, he says, but at times, one might purchase 91 octane gas because it's better for the car and provides better performance, even though it's not necessarily readily apparent. Over the years, he believes the Reach79 case will provide a better user experience, much like using a higher octane gas might in a car. How to Buy The Reach79 case can be purchased from the Reach79 website for $59.99 (iPhone 6) or $69.99 (iPhone 6 Plus). Additional colors will be available in Q2 2015. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel • Twitter Updating iOS App With Group Messaging and New Video Features • Western Union Now Accepting Apple Pay in United States • Foxconn to Cut Workforce as Apple Expected to Announce Record-Breaking iPhone Sales [Updated] • 'Bowling Central' Expands Wii-Style Gaming on Apple TV • Apple to Shut Down Old TestFlight Beta Testing Website in February

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released OS X Yosemite 10.10.2, marking the second update the operating system has received since its October release. Testing for OS X 10.10.2 began in late November, with Apple seeding six betas to developers before releasing the update to the public. The OS X 10.10.2 update can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. According to the release notes, OS X 10.10.2 solves lingering issues with Wi-Fi, fixes issues with Safari web pages loading slowly, improves VoiceOver, improves audio and video syncing when using Bluetooth headphones, and adds the ability to browse through iCloud Drive in Time Machine. The update also fixes several notable security flaws, including an issue that caused Spotlight to load remote email content even when the Mail preference was disabled, vulnerabilities detected by Google's Project Zero, and the "Thunderstrike" hardware exploit affecting Thunderbolt-equipped Macs. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel • Twitter Updating iOS App With Group Messaging and New Video Features • Western Union Now Accepting Apple Pay in United States • Foxconn to Cut Workforce as Apple Expected to Announce Record-Breaking iPhone Sales [Updated] • 'Bowling Central' Expands Wii-Style Gaming on Apple TV • Apple to Shut Down Old TestFlight Beta Testing Website in February

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released iOS 8.1.3 to the public, with a range of bug fixes including iOS 8.1.3, much like iOS 8.1.2, was a minor release that was not seeded to developers before being released to the public. The software is available immediately as an over-the-air download. The first hints of iOS 8.1.3 first appeared in early December after devices running the updated operating system began visiting the MacRumors website, and usage picked up last week after iOS 8.1.3 was seeded to Apple retail employees for testing purposes. Apple appears to be expanding its OS X employee testing program to iOS, and iOS 8.1.3 marks the first iOS beta that's been tested by retail workers. iOS 8.1.3 is a minor update that includes only under-the-hood bug fixes, but Apple is also working on iOS 8.2, which will bring more drastic changes to the operating system as it contains both the WatchKit SDK and features that will allow the iPhone to integrate with the Apple Watch. It is not clear when Apple plans to release iOS 8.2, but it could come alongside the launch of the Apple Watch, which is currently rumored to be in March. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel • Twitter Updating iOS App With Group Messaging and New Video Features • Western Union Now Accepting Apple Pay in United States • Foxconn to Cut Workforce as Apple Expected to Announce Record-Breaking iPhone Sales [Updated] • 'Bowling Central' Expands Wii-Style Gaming on Apple TV • Apple to Shut Down Old TestFlight Beta Testing Website in February

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is set to report its financial results this afternoon for Q1 2015, a three-month period spanning October through December that directly followed the launch of the highly-anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Despite offering guidance of between $63.5 to $66.5 billion in total sales, many analysts are predicting that Apple outpaced those numbers in what could amount to a record-breaking quarter. Fortune has averaged the estimates of 35 analysts, including 20 professionals and 15 amateurs, and determined that expectations are for Apple to report earnings of $2.68 per share, a nearly 30% year-over-year increase, and revenue of $68.7 billion, about a 20% increase from the year-ago quarter and $2.2 billion higher than Apple's high-end forecast. The first quarter has historically been the most lucrative for Apple, as the company typically launches new or refreshed products in the fall ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. Apple has posted record-breaking first quarter earnings results for over a decade, a span in which it announced several iconic products such as the iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Analysts believe that Q1 2015 will be a home run for Apple on the strength of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The larger screen sizes of the new smartphones were a major draw for many existing iPhone users looking to upgrade, and enough of a reason for some Android users to make the switch. Apple also launched a few other noteworthy products in the quarter, including the iMac with Retina 5K Display and new iPads. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of Apple's financial results as they are reported around 1:30 PM PT (4:30 PM ET), including the subsequent earnings conference call with CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri at 2 PM PT (5 PM ET). At that time, we'll have a clearer picture of just how well Apple managed to perform in the quarter. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Alfred Remote' Turns iOS Devices Into Remote Controls for Macs • Lockitron Introduces New $99 App-Enabled Smart Deadbolt Lock 'Bolt' • Apple TV Updated with Sports Illustrated's New 120 SPORTS Channel • Twitter Updating iOS App With Group Messaging and New Video Features • Western Union Now Accepting Apple Pay in United States • Foxconn to Cut Workforce as Apple Expected to Announce Record-Breaking iPhone Sales [Updated] • 'Bowling Central' Expands Wii-Style Gaming on Apple TV • Apple to Shut Down Old TestFlight Beta Testing Website in February

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iCloud.com Photos app was quietly updated over the weekend, adding a new zoom option to the toolbar that lets users zoom in on photos that have been uploaded to iCloud Photo Library. As noted by German site iFun.de, Apple's web-based Photos app has also gained a new feature that allows users to send photos via email directly from the website, making sharing photos easier than ever before. The addition of new zoom and email features follows a major November update to the iCloud.com Photos app, which began allowing users to upload photos to iCloud for the first time. Before the addition of the uploading tool, the standard iCloud.com site only allowed users to view, download, and delete iCloud Photo Library images. With the uploading tool and new sharing features, iCloud is slowly becoming a viable and useful storage option for users who wish to upload and manage entire photo libraries. Still in beta, iCloud Photo Library was initially introduced alongside iOS 8.1, letting users sync and access all of their photos on all of their iOS devices and Macs via the web. Apple is working on a Photos app for the Mac, which will work alongside both the Photos app on iOS and the iCloud.com Photos app on the web. Photos, which will replace both Apple's iPhoto app and Aperture, is supposed to be launching in the early months of 2015. There's been little word on its development since its initial June introduction, however. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Bowling Central' Expands Wii-Style Gaming on Apple TV • Apple to Shut Down Old TestFlight Beta Testing Website in February • Point-of-Sale Suppliers See Massive Increase in Retailer Interest Following Apple Pay Launch • Apple Likely Sold More iPhones in China Than in the U.S. Last Quarter • Apple China Posts Video Showing Creation of Mural for New Chongqing Store • Apple Launches 'Free on iTunes' Section With Free TV and Music Downloads • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, Apple Accessories, and More • Hands-On With the ClamCase Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is readying a fix in OS X 10.10.2 for the so-called "Thunderstrike" hardware exploit targeting Macs equipped with Thunderbolt ports, iMore has learned. According to the report, Apple patched the vulnerability by making code changes in the upcoming software update that prevent a Mac's bootrom from being replaced or rolled back to a previous state in which it could be attacked.To secure against Thunderstrike, Apple had to change the code to not only prevent the Mac's boot ROM from being replaced, but also to prevent it from being rolled back to a state where the attack would be possible again. According to people with access to the latest beta of OS X 10.10.2 who are familiar with Thunderstrike and how it works, that's exactly the deep, layered process that's been completed.Thunderstrike is a serious vulnerability discovered earlier this year by security researcher Trammell Hudson, enabling an attacker to replace a Mac's bootrom with malicious code without a user knowing. Since the malicious code is stored in a low level inaccessible to the user, the problem would remain even if the bootrom was replaced. The proof-of-concept attack is limited in scope, however, as an attacker would require physical access to the Mac or savvy social engineering skills in order to trick a user into attacking his or her Mac themselves. Apple has already addressed the issue in its latest hardware, including the iMac with Retina 5K Display and new Mac mini. OS X 10.10.2 has been in pre-release testing for over two months and should be made available to the public in the coming days. The most recent OS X 10.10.2 beta was seeded to developers for testing last Wednesday. In addition to the Thunderstrike fix, the upcoming software update addresses security vulnerabilities exposed by Google's Project Zero security team last week. According to 9to5Mac, the latest OS X Yosemite release will also add iCloud Drive in Time Machine and resolve issues related to Wi-Fi, VoiceOver and security. In particular, a recently identified glitch causing Spotlight on OS X to expose system information to spammers through remote content loading will reportedly be patched. Safari will also gain improved performance and security. No public instances of Thunderstrike attacks have yet to be reported. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Likely Sold More iPhones in China Than in the U.S. Last Quarter • Apple China Posts Video Showing Creation of Mural for New Chongqing Store • Apple Launches 'Free on iTunes' Section With Free TV and Music Downloads • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, Apple Accessories, and More • Hands-On With the ClamCase Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 • 'GMT Bug' in iOS 8 Calendar Syncing Causing Time Zone Confusion for Users • Apple's iTunes Radio, Beats, and Others Hit With Unpaid Royalty Suits Over Pre-1972 Music • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Following an influx of rumors surrounding the "iPad Pro" and a possible stylus accessory launching around the same time, well-known 3D modeler and designer Martin Hajek has created a series of concept renderings for each device on his blog. Hajek's models include several details rumored for the iPad Pro, which has been claimed to carry a 12.2 - 12.9 inch display and fall in line with the rounded design of the current iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. The renderings are based on some design drawings that surfaced last November, with Hajek noting the design brings back the larger bezels seen in earlier-generation iPads. Consistent with the schematics and other rumors, he also places speakers on the top and bottom and edges of the device, allowing for stereo sound when used in landscape orientation. Otherwise, the iPad Pro sticks by most of the current-generation standbys, including volume rockers on the right side of the device, a lock button on the top right, a Lightning charger on its bottom center, and a Touch ID capacitive home button sitting in its normal central position. Beyond the iPad Pro itself, Hajek also imagines a possibility for Apple's rumored in-house stylus. Borrowing "the design language of the iPad Pro", he added in a capacitive +/- slider for additional operations, and also elements of the Apple Watch as well, including biometric sensors and a digital crown. While the stylus renderings are interesting, a lack of leaks or even specific details about the accessory means the images are not based on any actual information. The new renderings show off the iPad Pro mostly in the Silver option, though it's likely to receive the other two usual color options of Space Gray and Gold. The latest rumors suggest the iPad Pro may launch sometime in the late spring or early summer of this year. The full suite of renderings featuring the iPad Pro and stylus can be found on Hajek's blog. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Likely Sold More iPhones in China Than in the U.S. Last Quarter • Apple China Posts Video Showing Creation of Mural for New Chongqing Store • Apple Launches 'Free on iTunes' Section With Free TV and Music Downloads • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, Apple Accessories, and More • Hands-On With the ClamCase Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 • 'GMT Bug' in iOS 8 Calendar Syncing Causing Time Zone Confusion for Users • Apple's iTunes Radio, Beats, and Others Hit With Unpaid Royalty Suits Over Pre-1972 Music • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
The dimple on the back of Motorola's Nexus 6 would have featured a Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor if Apple had not acquired sensor firm AuthenTec in 2012, according to former Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside. In an interview with The Telegraph, Woodside states the company had plans to include the finger-sensing feature in the Nexus 6, which was launched late last year, but due to Apple's poaching of "the best supplier" for the technology and other suppliers not meeting quality expectations, Motorola decided to remove the feature before launch. “The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” says Woodside. Nonetheless, he adds, the addition of fingerprint recognition, “wouldn’t have made that big a difference.” Woodside, now CEO of Dropbox, expresses relief at freedom from these "uncontrollable market forces" in his new position. "We're not trying to serve ads or sell hardware," he told The Telegraph. Apple's introduction of AuthenTec-based Touch ID on the iPhone 5s sparked much interest in fingerprint-sensing technology, and the company continues to work to improve upon the technology. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus introduced a more sensitive version of the sensor and it is now being used to authenticate purchases made with the company's new Apple Pay mobile payments service. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Likely Sold More iPhones in China Than in the U.S. Last Quarter • Apple China Posts Video Showing Creation of Mural for New Chongqing Store • Apple Launches 'Free on iTunes' Section With Free TV and Music Downloads • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, Apple Accessories, and More • Hands-On With the ClamCase Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 • 'GMT Bug' in iOS 8 Calendar Syncing Causing Time Zone Confusion for Users • Apple's iTunes Radio, Beats, and Others Hit With Unpaid Royalty Suits Over Pre-1972 Music • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung will be the main supplier of Apple's upcoming A9 chip that will power the next-generation iPhone, reports South Korean newspaper Maeil Business (via Reuters). The newspaper notes that Samsung will supply around 75% of chips for the next iPhone, and that the processors will be produced at the company's factory in Austin, Texas. Apple's A8 chip Last month, a report from Korea's ET News said that Samsung had begun work on the processor in Texas. Previous reports noted that Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would be producing the A9 chip, although Samsung was chosen to be the primary supplier in a deal that was said to be worth billions. BusinessKorea reported last month that Apple would be relying more heavily on Samsung for iPhone 6 and Apple Watch components including RAM, NAND flash storage, and batteries. Apple's A9 chip is expected to power the iPhone 6s and presumably the next-generation iPad Air and iPad mini. Apple is also expected to launch a larger-screened iPad Pro at some point this year, although that device has been rumored to utilize Apple's A8X processor. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, Apple Accessories, and More • Hands-On With the ClamCase Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 • 'GMT Bug' in iOS 8 Calendar Syncing Causing Time Zone Confusion for Users • Apple's iTunes Radio, Beats, and Others Hit With Unpaid Royalty Suits Over Pre-1972 Music • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week • Popular Task Management App 'Any.do' Comes to Mac • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will begin shipping the Apple Watch in March and will also look to launch its new 12-inch MacBook Air during this quarter, according to a new report by KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo. The analyst also predicted that iPhone shipments would beat expectations for Q1 2015 with over 61 million units shipped, while iPad shipments are expected to total to 10 million units. Kuo notes that Apple may reveal more details about the Apple Watch before its official launch, revealing specifics on battery life and the start of pre-orders. Most components of the Apple Watch will see high shipments during the quarter, but other key components are expected to see low production yields which may cause a constrained supply. Kuo predicts that Apple will ship 2.8 million Apple Watch units in Q1 2015, and his estimate for a March launch falls in line with previous reports. Rendering of 12-inch MacBook Air done by Martin Hajek Kuo's estimate for a Q1 2015 launch of the new 12-inch MacBook Air falls in line with a report earlier this month which stated that Apple supplier Quanta Computer was ramping up production of the notebook for a release this quarter. The 12-inch MacBook Air is expected to feature a new ultra-thin, fan-less design with a high resolution Retina display and a low-power Intel Core M processor. The notebook is also said to be one of the first to take advantage of the new reversible USB Type C connector, which may also be used for charging. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, Apple Accessories, and More • Hands-On With the ClamCase Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 • 'GMT Bug' in iOS 8 Calendar Syncing Causing Time Zone Confusion for Users • Apple's iTunes Radio, Beats, and Others Hit With Unpaid Royalty Suits Over Pre-1972 Music • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week • Popular Task Management App 'Any.do' Comes to Mac • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
It's been more than six months since Apple first introduced HomeKit at its June 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, but HomeKit-compatible products have yet to hit store shelves and may not do so until this spring, almost a year after Apple first detailed its home automation system. HomeKit's launch has gone slower than expected, and according to sources that spoke to Re/code, the two major reasons were a "slower-than-expected" launch of the HomeKit MFi program, which began in November, and the late launch of chip specifications, which weren't sent out to chip makers until October. Apple's high performance standards for hardware manufacturers and chip makers are also said to be a factor. Elgato's upcoming line of HomeKit-compatible products January's Consumer Electronics Show saw the debut of several HomeKit-compatible products, including the iDevices smart plug, Elgato's range of connected home devices, and the Schlage Sense smart lock, all of which may begin hitting store shelves in a few months. Apple gave a statement to Re/code on the upcoming HomeKit products, expressing the company's excitement."We are excited to have a growing number of partners committed to bringing HomeKit products to market, including several announced at CES," said Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller. "HomeKit offers a set of common protocols making it easier for customers to control HomeKit-enabled accessories using Siri or iOS apps. HomeKit is built on a secure foundation with end-to-end encryption which provides customers a secure connection between their iPhone or iPad and HomeKit accessory. "HomeKit was announced more than six months ago, but many details about the home automation platform remain murky on the consumer end. It is not quite clear if and how it will interface with existing products or if consumers will be expected to purchase all new connected home items to take advantage of HomeKit. Details about the HomeKit MFi specification that leaked out earlier this week, however, suggest few existing products will be able to be used with HomeKit. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'GMT Bug' in iOS 8 Calendar Syncing Causing Time Zone Confusion for Users • Apple's iTunes Radio, Beats, and Others Hit With Unpaid Royalty Suits Over Pre-1972 Music • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week • Popular Task Management App 'Any.do' Comes to Mac • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana • 'The LEGO Movie Video Game' for iOS Hits the App Store • 'Marco Polo' App for Finding Misplaced iOS Devices Updated With Custom Responses and More

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Google's security team, Project Zero, this week disclosed to the public several security vulnerabilities in OS X, some three months after the issue were shared with Apple (via Ars Technica). While Apple has not commented officially on the issues, it appears one has already been patched and iMore reports the remaining two are fixed in OS X 10.10.2, which is currently in developer testing. Project Zero works to discover security vulnerabilities of various operating systems and software, giving their owners 90 days notice to patch the issues before publishing their findings to the public. In their markup of Apple's OS X, problems involving memory corruption, kernel code execution, and a sandbox escape were all discovered by the team. Ars Technica notes:At first glance, none of them appear to be highly critical, since all three appear to require the attacker to already have some access to a targeted machine. [...] Still, the exploits could be combined with a separate attack to elevate lower-level privileges and gain control over vulnerable Macs. And since the disclosures contain proof-of-concept exploit code, they provide enough technical detail for experienced hackers to write malicious attacks that target the previously unknown vulnerabilities.As the 90-day deadline hit during the week, the group began posting its findings online. Google's notes suggest one of the vulnerabilities was fixed with the release of OS X Yosemite, while the other two remained unaddressed. But as pointed out by iMore, Apple's incoming OS X 10.10.2 update does indeed include fixes for the remaining two vulnerabilities exposed by Project Zero.[B]ased on the latest build of OS X 10.10.2, seeded [Wednesday] to developers, Apple has already fixed all of the vulnerabilities listed above. That means the fixes will be available to everyone running Yosemite as soon as 10.10.2 goes into general availability.Google's Project Zero has been disclosing significant security vulnerabilities for a number of months now, previously discovering a few significant Windows issues and sharing them online. The project shines light on much-needed fixes to various operating systems, but sometimes undercuts the point of security, as in that Windows case that's left users' systems more vulnerable with the publicized knowledge before Microsoft could properly fix it. Still, the 90-day window before public disclosure is intended to give companies time to fix the issues while also giving them incentive to do so in a timely fashion. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'GMT Bug' in iOS 8 Calendar Syncing Causing Time Zone Confusion for Users • Apple's iTunes Radio, Beats, and Others Hit With Unpaid Royalty Suits Over Pre-1972 Music • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week • Popular Task Management App 'Any.do' Comes to Mac • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana • 'The LEGO Movie Video Game' for iOS Hits the App Store • 'Marco Polo' App for Finding Misplaced iOS Devices Updated With Custom Responses and More

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Both analysts and metrics are suggesting Apple will report record-breaking iPhone sales for the just-ended December 2014 calendar quarter, and new data released today by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reveals the Cupertino company may have set a high bar against its competitors, grabbing half of all phone activations in the United States. While CIRP's survey included only 500 users and thus may include a significant margin of uncertainty, the data shows Apple's U.S. activation market share increasing from 28 percent in the July-September 2014 quarter to 50 percent in the October-December quarter. The significant jump was clearly fueled by strong consumer interest in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. "The strength of the September 2014 launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus fueled Apple’s dominance in US mobile phone sales this quarter," said Josh Lowitz, Partner and CoFounder of CIRP. "Apple had virtually double the sales of Samsung, and five times that of LG. No other brand accounted for as much as 5% of US sales." CIRP's survey also found that most of the quarter's iPhone purchases (86 percent) came from loyal Apple customers who upgraded from older iPhones. While Apple retained its customer base, Samsung and LG lost customers, with 25% of Samsung owners and 18% of LG owners who activated a new phone switching to an iPhone. Sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may continue to be strong in early 2015, with a high numbers of consumers intending to buy an iPhone in the next three months. According to 451 Research’s ChangeWave December survey, more than half of early adopters plan to buy an iPhone when they purchase a new phone in the next 90 days. While the number is down significantly from the previous quarter, it remains high considering the new iPhones have been available for several months already. "This is the highest level of Apple demand ever recorded in our smartphone survey three months after a major new release," said Andy Golub of 451 Research. The ongoing demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reflects growing consumer interest in larger phones with 60 percent of future buyers looking to purchase a 5-inch or larger smartphone. This 2014 figure is a significant jump from the 40 percent ChangeWave recorded in the same quarter of 2013. Apple released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in September 2014 with long lines for the phone and delayed ship times shortly after the phones went on sale, and Apple announced record-breaking sales of 10 million units in the first weekend of availability. Apple will announce the results for its first fiscal quarter of 2015 (fourth calendar quarter of 2014) on Tuesday, January 27. The quarterly earnings statement will be released around 1:30 PM Pacific/4:30 PM Eastern, with a conference call to discuss the report following at 2:00 PM Pacific/5:00 PM Eastern. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Tetris-Like Puzzle Game 'Shades' Named Apple's Free App of the Week • Popular Task Management App 'Any.do' Comes to Mac • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana • 'The LEGO Movie Video Game' for iOS Hits the App Store • 'Marco Polo' App for Finding Misplaced iOS Devices Updated With Custom Responses and More • Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined 'Touch Preview' Controls After Record-Breaking 2014 • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps

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