posted about 2 hours ago on mac rumors
Over the past several years, Apple has expressed an interest in both virtual reality and augmented reality, and has applied for a number of patents related to both technologies. The company has explored a goggle-like video headset that would possibly allow for 3-D viewing, much like the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, it's looked into a motion-sensing virtual 3D user interface for iOS devices, and it's explored 3-D "hyper-reality" displays. While many companies are following in the footsteps of Oculus VR and have already introduced virtual reality hardware, there has been little to no hint that the technology mentioned in Apple's numerous patents will ever come to fruition. Apple's interest in the virtual reality arena does not appear to have waned, however, and it may even be picking up. A new job posting on Apple's site for an "App Engineer" (via 9to5Mac) suggests that the company is continuing to explore virtual and augmented reality, at least on the software side. The job listing seeks a software engineer to help the company "create next generation software experiences" designed to integrate with "Virtual Reality systems."We are looking for a software engineer to develop UI and applications to create next generation software experiences. The individual must be able to take participate in collaborative and iterative UI design through the implementation phases & complete performant user experience code for product delivery. This engineer will create high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping and user testing.It is not clear, of course, what Apple means by "Virtual Reality systems," which could refer to a full-on hardware experience, an augmented reality app experience, or something else entirely, but augmented reality and virtual reality have become increasingly important areas for development. Headsets like the Oculus Rift are beginning to catch on, and Google has been experimenting with augmented reality, both in its Ingress game for iOS and Android and with "Project Tango," an ambitious experimental smartphone that will provide 3-D mapping capabilities and immersive augmented reality games. Apple is in possession of technology that's quite similar to what's used in Google's Project Tango, which Apple acquired in 2013 with the purchase of 3-D mapping company PrimeSense. PrimeSense famously developed the original Kinect, and its technology could be used as the backbone for virtual/augmented reality interfaces and games. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Luxury Watchmakers Cracking Down on 'Pirated' Smartwatch Faces • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App

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posted about 6 hours ago on mac rumors
Development on new features for iCloud is being held up by "deep organizational issues," according to a new report from The Information, which suggests organizational problems are complicating iCloud products and holding up releases. Much of The Information's report requires a subscription to access, but the article's introduction gives a hint at what's going wrong at Apple. With iOS 8, Apple introduced some major overhauls to iCloud, including iCloud Drive, which allows users to see all of their files in a dedicated folder on the Mac, similar to Dropbox, and iCloud Photo Library, an ambitious project that lets users upload all of their photos to iCloud. It seems these features may not be as fully fleshed out as Apple would like, especially when it comes to iCloud Photo Library. iCloud Photo Library wasn't released to the public until iOS 8.1, and it remains in a beta testing phase, with speculation suggesting that iCloud's negative public image due to hacked celebrity accounts and photo leaks may have led to its delay.Apple is great at building hardware and software that runs on it. But it has long struggled to build services reliant on software that runs remotely rather than on devices. While company executives say they are making progress, interviews with nearly a dozen current and former Apple employees paint a different picture. Deep organizational issues are holding up releases and complicating products.According to The Information, Apple's "photo vision" has yet to be "fully realized," with internal problems like the lack of a centralized iCloud team leading to iCloud Photo Library's delayed beta release and the lack of the Photos for Mac app, which isn't expected to be completed until 2015. Photos for Mac, which will integrate with iCloud Photo Library for a complete photo editing and management system, is said to be taking on elements of both iPhoto and Aperture, two apps that Apple has opted to discontinue in favor of the Photos for Mac app. Launching iCloud Photo Library without a companion Mac app leaves a major piece of the iCloud puzzle missing, as users are not able to edit iCloud Photo Library photos natively on their laptops and desktop computers. While iCloud Photo Library will remain incomplete for some months yet, Apple has been adding features to the iCloud Photos web app as a stopgap measure. Just last week, the company added a much-needed upload feature to its iCloud.com website, allowing users to add photos to iCloud Photo Library outside of their iOS devices for the first time. iCloud Photo Library is not the first Apple service that's been delayed by organizational issues within the company. iOS in the Car, which later became CarPlay, saw development issues ahead of its official launch as it did not fit neatly into an existing hardware or software category. Internal issues have also been said to be affecting the development of the Maps app and the introduction of new features, like transit directions, due to poor planning, project management issues, and an ongoing loss of developers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Luxury Watchmakers Cracking Down on 'Pirated' Smartwatch Faces • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App

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posted about 10 hours ago on mac rumors
As part of its campaign announced late yesterday to support the upcoming World AIDS Day, Apple has also confirmed its annual Black Friday sale on November 28, which is branded this year as the (RED) Special Shopping Day Promo. The U.S. promotion is offering (RED) gift cards to customers who purchase a qualifying product on Black Friday. Unlike last year, Apple is including the iPhone in the (RED) promotion this year, offering a $50 gift card for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c purchases except for those made with no money down through the online store. Gift card amounts for other products vary and include $100 on select Macs, $50 on qualifying iPads, and $25 each on qualifying Apple TV, iPods, and Beats hardware. Some of these amounts are lower than last year's Black Friday sale, which provided $150 gift cards for Mac hardware, $75 for the iPad Air and $50 on iPods. This year's sale includes the following hardware and gift card values: - iPhone ($50): iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c - iPad ($50): iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini - Mac ($100): iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Retina iMac, Retina MacBook Pro - iPod ($25): iPod touch, iPod nano - Apple TV ($25) - Beats by Dr. Dre ($25): headphones and speakers The (RED) Special Shopping Day Promo begins on November 28 and lasts for one day or while supplies last. This Black Friday sale is part of Apple's recently announced World AIDS Day campaign, and in addition to the gift cards for customers on Friday, Apple will also donate a portion of its retail and online sales from Black Friday, November 28 and Monday, December 1 to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging

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posted about 10 hours ago on mac rumors
Interest in Apple's iPhone and iOS platform remains high with continued strong hardware sales driven by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch pushing App Store downloads to record-setting levels in October, reports mobile marketing firm Fiksu. According to Fiksu's October App Store Competitive Index, app downloads reached a record-setting high of 7.8 million per day across the top 200 free iOS apps. This is a 42 percent jump from September and a 39 percent increase year-over-year, with the trend expected to continue into the holidays. Fiksu also highlights a disparity between rising advertising costs and a drop in marketing costs per loyal user for app developers, pointing to how nurturing a loyal user base can ensure users immediately add their favorite existing apps to new devices.Despite the marked rise in advertising costs particularly on iOS, the Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLU) indicated a slight decline in October to $2.16 from September’s $2.25. This decrease is a result of the tendency of app users to quickly re-download their most-used “vital” apps during upgrades. The first set of apps users download on their new iPhone 6s are likely to be those they can’t live without, which makes them much more likely to become loyal users of those apps.Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in September with a record-breaking 10 million units sold during the first weekend of retail availability. Apple sold a total of 39.3 million iPhones in fiscal Q4 2014 and 169.2 million iPhones for the year. This growth is expected to continue in the holiday quarter with predicted sales of 71.5 million units. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging

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posted about 13 hours ago on mac rumors
Following this past weekend's promotion that saw Chase customers being offered free early downloads of David Guetta's upcoming album just for adding their cards to Apple Pay, the bank has launched a new national campaign touting Apple Pay. The new campaign begins today with a 30-second ad featuring Fun front man Jack Antonoff's side project Bleachers using Apple Pay at several locations around locations as they prepare for a rooftop concert. While much of the attention surrounding Apple Pay has been focused on the major retailers supporting (or not supporting) the mobile payment service, Chase's ad shows the potential for small businesses to also benefit from Apple Pay. Small businesses signed on with the Chase Paymentech service for payment processing can use Chase's Future Proof Terminal to accept Apple Pay payments at the register or SDK tools to accept Apple Pay in apps. Chase tells Ad Age that Apple retained creative control over some aspects of the ad, requiring that Apple Pay usage be depicted in realistic situations, but that the company was easy to work with."We spent half day with them in Cupertino and they're storytellers," she said. "So are we." As guidance, the technology company took Chase through its history of marketing efforts with various partners. [...] "Our concepts went to Phil [Schiller], our storyboards went to Phil and someone from the brand team was on the shoot, so they were involved there too," said Ms. Canavari.The 30-second version of Chase's new ad is planned to air in a number of prominent time slots on major networks, including primetime shows, sporting events, and holiday specials. A longer 90-second version of the ad is also debuting on YouTube today. While Apple has not directly advertised Apple Pay in any television commercials, several Apple Pay partners including MasterCard and now Chase have run significant ad campaigns focused on the service. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging

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posted about 16 hours ago on mac rumors
Shipments of Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are expected to surge to 71.5 million units in Q4 2014 before the company decreases shipments to an estimated 49.4 million units in Q1 2015, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo. The analyst also estimates that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S will experience quarter-over-quarter growth in Q1 2015 before Apple ceases production of both phones during the year. Kuo also notes that he expects shipments of the iPhone 6 to outnumber shipments of the iPhone 6 Plus by a 2:1 ratio: We attribute the shortage of iPhone 6 Plus partly to less smooth production than iPhone 6. Moreover, while iPhone 6 Plus attracted greater attention when it was launched, we think more consumers will prefer iPhone 6 as they can operate the handset with one hand. Eventually, iPhone 6 shipments will outperform those of the iPhone 6 Plus model. Sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus topped ten million during the launch weekend for both devices, with the larger model seeing supply constraints. However, shipping times for the iPhone 6 Plus improved last week, with the 16GB model showing a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days and the 64GB model showing an estimate of 2 to 3 weeks. A survey of U.S. customers done by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) earlier this month also noted that U.S. customers are favoring the iPhone 6 over the iPhone 6 Plus by a 3:1 ratio. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging

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posted about 23 hours ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced its campaign for World AIDS Day 2014 done in collaboration with (Product) RED, noting that it will offer a special Apps for (RED) section in the App Store that will contain 25 apps with exclusive new content that will benefit the Global Fund to fight AIDS. In addition to these special apps, Apple will also donate a portion of its retail and online sales on Friday, November 28 and Monday, December 1. “Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact. This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well.”  The Apps for (RED) campaign in the App Store will run from Monday, November 24 to Sunday, December 7, and will include special versions of apps like Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, DJay 2, Clear, Paper, and more. On Friday, November 28, Apple's customers in the United States will receive a special (RED) iTunes gift card with the purchase of select Apple products, as the company will donate a percentage of each gift card to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. On Monday, December 1, Apple will donate a portion of every sale at its retail and online stores to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. Apple and (Product) RED have worked together for a number of years, as the organization announced in June that Apple had contributed $75 million. Throughout the history of their partnership, Apple has released a number of (RED) devices including iPod nanos and shuffles, iPad Smart Covers, iPhone Bumpers, and iPhone cases. With every (RED) product bought, Apple donates a portion of the purchase price to the charity. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
The dual-core A8 chip powering Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus appears to be capable of handling 4K video playback, despite the fact that the two iPhones have native resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels, respectively. 4K video playback on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was first discovered by the developers behind WALTR, a Mac app that's designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone for native playback, and reported by TUAW. Image via iFixitThe discovery was made by the developers of WALTR, a great Mac app that allows users to quickly upload video files to their iPhone which aren't supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV files. While testing the app developers found it is possible to playback 4K videos on the iPhone 6. Even if Apple hasn't announced it, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are ready to play 4K videos.With resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won't be able to reproduce the detail in a 3840 x 2160 4K video, but the A8's ability to play 4K content means 4K videos side-loaded onto one of Apple's two devices will still be watchable. It's highly unlikely many users will load 4K videos on their iPhones due to the massive file size of 4K content and the fact that there's little practical use for it, but it has the potential to be a somewhat useful feature for some users who want to play 4K video recorded on their devices as there are apps available that advertise 4K video recording on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, Original iPad Air, iOS Apps, and More • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
The latest update to OS X Yosemite, 10.10.1, appears to be causing some users to be unable to play YouTube videos in Safari. According to threads on the Apple Support forums and Google's Product forums, some users that attempt to play YouTube videos are seeing only black screens with audio clipping or are experiencing problems loading videos. Other users are able to play videos, but are seeing a brief error message before a video begins to play, and still other users are getting complete browser crashes when attempting to watch a video. For some users, the problems just started a few hours ago, suggesting the issue may be on YouTube's end. I installed Yosemite on my iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007) when it was first released and I had no issues whatsoever. Last night I updated Yosemite to 10.10.1 and now all of a sudden Safari Version 8.0 (10600.1.25.1) won't play any YouTube videos. All I get is a black screen with a little audio clipping. When using Firefox (v32.1.1) or Chrome (v38.0.2125.122) everything works ok.MacRumors has confirmed the problem and has also had some trouble loading certain YouTube videos in Safari. Users on the support forums have tried various methods to fix the issue, including resetting PRAM, clearing cookies and caches, but nothing appears to work to fix the problem. One user discovered a temporary fix, going to Develop --> User Agent --> and checking Google Chrome - Mac, but the fix resets when the browser is closed. YouTube videos appear to be playing fine in both Chrome and Firefox, so a workaround until a fix is available is to watch videos in an alternate browser. Released to the public on Monday after two weeks of testing, OS X 10.10.1 bundled in reliability improvements to Wi-Fi, Microsoft Exchange, Mail, and Back to My Mac. Apple has already seeded a second Yosemite update, 10.10.2, to developers, but that beta has its own issues, including problems with Chrome, and user reports suggest the Safari error is present on 10.10.2 as well. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Magpul Updates Its Popular 'Field Case' for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Microsoft today launched a new video advertisement that compares its Cortana virtual assistant to Apple's own digital assistant, Siri, showcasing Cortana's contextual reminders and traffic alerts, two functions that Siri does not have. In the ad, entitled "Siri vs. Cortana: Bigger," Cortana and Siri have a "conversation" where Cortana queries Siri about her new abilities in the iPhone 6 and Siri continually responds that she just "got bigger." Cortana: Hi Siri, looks like you're in a new phone. Congratulations. Siri: Yes, I got bigger. Cortana: Oh, are you more like me now? Can you give reminders based on who calls or texts? Siri: No, I got bigger. Cortana: How about traffic alerts? Can you tell people to leave early based on traffic reports? Siri: No, seriously, I just got bigger. Cortana: That's okay. Happens to everyone this time of year. Microsoft first announced Cortana in April of this year. The digital assistant, designed to compete with Apple's Siri, is named after the AI character in the popular Halo video game series and is voiced by actress Jen Taylor. With Cortana, Microsoft aims to emulate real personal assistants, and Cortana will ask questions and monitor user activity to learn more about its users. Cortana, available on Windows devices, can perform a few functions that Siri is not capable of, including scheduling reminders from text messages and mapping out traffic patterns to provide travel recommendations. Cortana has been starring in a series of anti-Siri advertisements since July, with the first advertisement highlighting context-aware reminders and the second showcasing Cortana's mapping capabilities. Microsoft has a long history of targeting Apple in its advertisements, comparing its Surface line of products to Apple's iPad and iPhone. Just this week, Microsoft launched a new "Winter Wonderland" ad that pits the Surface Pro 3 against the MacBook Air, highlighting the Surface's kickstand, portability, and touchscreen. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Following two weeks of testing on the iCloud beta site for developers, the consumer-facing iCloud.com site has gained support for uploading images to iCloud Photo Library (via iFun.de [Google Translate]). Before the addition of the new uploading tool, the standard iCloud.com site allowed users to view all of their iCloud Photo Library images, as well as download and delete them, but it did not have a tool to allow users to upload photos captured with non-Apple devices. New toolbar with upload support on iCloud.com site at top, previous iCloud.com toolbar on bottom The new uploading feature on the iCloud.com site makes it possible to upload JPGs, but as with the beta feature, other image and video formats like .PNG, .MOV, .AVI, .MP4, and more are not supported. When a file is uploaded to the site, it syncs instantly to all of a user's iOS devices, much like a photo taken on an iPhone or iPad or added to iCloud Photo Library via the iOS Photos app. Currently in beta and introduced alongside iOS 8.1, iCloud Photo Library stores all of the photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, making them available on all iOS devices and Macs. iCloud Photo Library images can be viewed in the Photos app on iOS or through iCloud.com on the Mac, and the upcoming Photos app that Apple is creating for Macs will also work with iCloud Photo Library. Users should be aware that photos uploaded to iCloud Photo Library use iCloud storage space. Apple offers 5GB of storage space for free, with additional plans ranging from $0.99 for 20GB of storage space to $19.99 for 1TB of storage space. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Speaking with CNN, Square founder Jack Dorsey confirmed that the payment processing service will support Apple Pay in the coming months, bringing Apple Pay to small business owners. In the interview, Dorsey reiterates his opinion that he does not view Apple Pay as a competitor and wants to add the mobile payments service as an available option for Square users."We're not building a credit card. We're not building a payment device. We're building a [cash] register, and this register accepts all these forms of payments," Dorsey told CNN in an interview. While the existing Square Reader can process credit card payments via an iPad or iPhone, the hardware is not equipped to handle the wireless transactions required by Apple Pay. In order to support Apple's mobile payment technology, Square will need to introduce all new hardware with built-in NFC connectivity. Apple Pay launched last month alongside iOS 8.1 and is available only in U.S. with global expansion planned in the future. The payment service is supported by a number of large retailers, major banks and restaurants including the recently added Disney Store, Sephora, SunTrust Bank, and Levi's Stadium,. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Credit card issuer and major bank Chase has been one of the highest profile Apple Pay partners since the service was announced in September and launched one month ago. This weekend, the bank has launched a plan to entice more Chase Visa card holders into Apple Pay with a free early-access music download. From November 21-23, users who add a Chase Visa card into Apple Pay will receive exclusive early access to fourteen songs off of David Guetta's new album "Listen." Apple Pay users can receive their iTunes Store redemption codes through the Chase app, which received an update today that is required for the Apple Pay promo to appear. The new album from Guetta officially launches on Monday, and is currently available for pre-order through the iTunes Store for $11.99. The Chase offer includes 14 of the 18 songs from the deluxe version of the album, omitting the four tracks that are currently available for advance purchase through iTunes. Chase is not the first major bank to try to entice customers to try out Apple Pay, with Wells Fargo offering $10-$20 credits just for making an Apple Pay purchase on a Wells Fargo card by the end of this month. Apple Pay has seen a number of other enhancements in recent days, including the addition of in-app Apple Pay support in the Disney Store app, another of the service's key partners mentioned alongside Apple Pay's unveiling. Apple Pay had already been accepted in Disney's retail stores, with Apple's own Eddy Cue showing off the service in a Disney Store earlier this week.Version 3.2.1 of the company's app, landing just before the holiday season rush, brings support for Apple Pay for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Despite Apple Pay being supported available for the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, the iPad version of the Disney Store app does not yet include it. Another of Apple's early in-app partners, Levi's Stadium, rolled out Apple Pay support earlier this week as well for visitors to the San Francisco 49ers home stadium in Santa Clara. On the in-store front, a number of new retailers also rolled out support for Apple Pay, including several grocery store chains and just today Sephora announced (via TechCrunch) an early rollout in its Manhattan and Bay Area stores ahead of a full rollout in the near future. With the recent release of the WatchKit SDK for Apple Watch to app developers, and Apple's promise that Apple Pay and the Apple Watch will be closely tied, the retailer and app support of Apple Pay will no doubt continue to grow. The Chase Mobile [Direct Link], Levi's Stadium [Direct Link], and Disney Store [Direct Link] apps can all be downloaded from the App Store for free. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today updated iWork for iCloud with support for up to eight new languages and more than 50 new fonts. The changes were added to the cloud-based versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote and were first reported by German blog Macerkopf. New iCloud languages include French, German, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese, Arabic (Pages only) and Hebrew (Pages only) with Pages receiving 8 new languages and Number and Keynotes now supporting six. Apple also expanded the number of available fonts, adding 50 new font types that improve the creative options available to users as well as add support for the new languages. Other changes include a revised main toolbar that now allows users to easily change the name of a document and other-app specific improvements like the ability to undo the deletion of section breaks while editing in Pages. Apple introduced iWork for iCloud at WWDC 2013 and has been steadily improving the service with small, but regular updates. The company still maintains a desktop version of the productivity suite and recently updated its iWork apps with new features and a redesign for OS X Yosemite. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, shipping estimates for the iPhone 6 Plus have improved slightly, with the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers now carrying a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days in the United States. Shipping estimates for the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers have also seen improvement, going from 3 to 4 weeks to 2 to 3 weeks. While shipping estimates for the 16GB and 64GB iPhone 6 Plus have improved, shipping estimates for the harder-to-find 128GB iPhone 6 Plus remain at 3 to 4 weeks, suggesting the higher-capacity model is the most constrained. Apple is also seeing improved supply of the iPhone 6, and the 16GB device now has a shipping estimate of 5 to 7 days, down from 7 to 10 days. Higher-capacity 64 and 128GB iPhone 6 models continue to ship in 7 to 10 days. Many other countries in Europe and Asia are also seeing the same improved shipping times, as are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In store supply of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus also appears to be improving somewhat, as many stores across the country list availability of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 16 and 64GB configurations. Apple Stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments on a regular basis, but stock can go quickly because many retail locations are still seeing lines more than two months after the phones first went on sale. Tracking tool iStockNow can be used to find where iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices are available. During Apple's fourth quarter earnings call on October 20, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was "far outstripping" supply, and that the company was "not close" to having a balance between supply and demand at that time. Apple has, however, been working hard to improve iPhone 6 and 6 Plus supply, reportedly delaying mass production of the rumored iPad Pro in order to focus its resources on higher iPhone 6 Plus output. Early analysis has suggested that consumers in the U.S. are favoring the iPhone 6 over the 6 Plus by 3:1, but as supply of both models remains constrained, it is impossible to determine the true ratio of iPhone 6 demand vs. iPhone 6 Plus demand at this time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the first beta of OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite to developers, just three days after releasing OS X 10.10.1 to the public. The new beta, build 14C68k, is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and should be available in the Mac Dev Center soon. Like OS X 10.10.1, as a minor update, OS X 10.10.2 is likely to bring bug fixes and performance improvements to the operating system. OS X 10.10.1 introduced several reliability improvements, including improvements to Wi-Fi, but many users have still been reporting issues with Wi-Fi stability in Yosemite. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Billboard is planning a major overhaul of its Billboard 200 chart in the coming weeks, which will take into account the growing popularity of streaming music. Billboard's new methodology will shift away from simply tracking album sales, adding both digital track sales and streaming music into its algorithm. Published weekly, the Billboard 200 is a chart that ranks the 200 best selling music albums in the United States. At the current time, the Billboard 200 chart only takes into account retail (both physical and digital) album sales, but the addition of digital track sales and streaming music from services like Beats and Spotify will allow the chart to give a clearer picture of overall popularity by taking into account consumption activity rather than measuring based on straight sales. Beginning on December 3, and measuring data during Thanksgiving week, the Billboard 200 will count 10 individual song sales or 1,500 song streams as a standard album sale. Billboard plans to incorporate data from every major streaming audio subscription service, including Spotify, Beats Music, Google Play, and Xbox Music. Ad-supported radio services like Pandora and iTunes Radio will not be counted, as Billboard is only planning to focus on on-demand services."Adding streaming information makes the chart a better representation of music consumption activity," says Silvio Pietroluongo, VP of charts and data development at Billboard. "While an extremely valuable measurement, album sales would mostly capture the initial impulse only, without indicating the depth of consumption thereafter. Someone could listen to the album just once, or listen to one track or a number of tracks 100 times. We are now able to incorporate those plays as part of an album consumption ranking throughout one's possession of an album, extending beyond the initial purchase or listen."According to Billboard, incorporating individual song sales and streaming music could see some artists moving up the charts, including Ariana Grande and Maroon 5, both of which have higher streaming and digital song sales than album sales. The methodology change was done under the guidance of music industry executives, to represent the growing popularity of streaming music services. According to Nielsen and Billboard's mid-2014 Music Industry Report [PDF] on-demand streaming music sales were up 42 percent year-over-year, with streams surpassing 70 billion songs. On-demand streaming music services are now in hundreds of countries, and the most popular streaming service, Spotify, now has more than 10 million subscribers. Non-paid radio-style streaming services like Pandora have also exploded in popularity, with Pandora hitting 76.4 million active monthly users back in August. Apple's own streaming music service, Beats Music, had only 110,000 subscribers when it was purchased by Apple, but it may see an explosion in growth next year as Apple is said to be planning to rebrand the service with a lower price. It may also be incorporated into iTunes and bundled onto iOS devices directly. Though Billboard has plans to update its Billboard 200 chart with new methodology that takes into account streaming music services, a pure album sales chart called Top Album Sales will also be published to maintain the existing Billboard 200 methodology. Genre album charts will also continue to be sale-based at the current time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Like Walmart, Best Buy has decided to offer some pre-Black Friday sales, which start today and last through the weekend. Best Buy is discounting all of its original iPad Air stock by $80 to $100, dropping the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air to $319.99. Higher-capacity Wi-Fi only models are discounted by up to $85, while some cellular models are discounted by as much as $100. For example the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air from AT&T is available for $479.99. Best Buy is also offering the fifth-generation 64GB iPod touch for $249.99, which is $50 off the standard retail price. The deal is available for all colors Best Buy has in stock, including Space Gray, Blue, Pink, Silver, and Yellow. As for Apple accessories, Best Buy is selling the older Solo HD Drenched Beats by Dr. Dre headphones for $99.99, a discount of $70. The discount is available for black, white, and red models. When Black Friday rolls around, Best Buy will offer some of the best deals available on Apple's newest product, the iPad Air 2. The retailer is planning to discount all iPad Air 2 models by $100, which drops the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 to $399. Best Buy will also be discounting all iPad mini 3 models, dropping the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model to $324.99. For a full list of Best Buy's upcoming Black Friday deals and the deals that other retailers are planning to offer, make sure to check out our comprehensive Black Friday Roundup. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Following the launch of iOS 8 back in September, many iPhone 4s users reported widespread issues ranging from slow performance to choppy animations. With Monday's release of iOS 8.1.1 promising "increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S", Ars Technica has now put those claims to the test.iOS 8.1.1 improves performance in a few specific places, ones that may well be important to heavy users. However, it doesn't improve responsiveness or consistency, two of the problems you'll notice the most if you upgrade from iOS 7. Let's look at the short list of things you can expect to improve if you're using an older iDevice and the longer list of things that won't.In its study, Ars Technica found launch times of system apps like Safari, Camera, and Messages essentially unchanged from iOS 8.0 for users with Apple's A5-based phones and tablets. The one exception was Safari, which saw a minor improvement compared to iOS 8.0, but all system apps still took considerably longer to launch on iOS 8.1.1 than on iOS 7.1.2. Interface lag such as for bringing up the keyboard or Control Center also remains an issue for these devices under iOS 8.1.1 The one bright spot Ars ran into was, surprisingly, in long-term speed and stability. Under certain circumstances, iOS 8.1.1 was found to in fact improve stability and performance despite the confines of 512MB of RAM on these devices. Tests involved loading up multiple memory-intensive tabs in Safari and then using multitasking to switch away from and then back to Safari to measure reloading times.It's hard to say exactly what Apple has done to improve performance under these RAM-starved conditions, at least not without more input from Apple (the company has declined to comment for this story). We also can't list exactly when users can expect to see improvements, beyond the "play around in other apps and then jump back to Safari" test we've engineered here. The best we can say is that something about the process of loading and ejecting processes to and from the A5's 512MB of RAM could cause slowness and instability in iOS 8.1, and whatever the problem was has been at least partially addressed in iOS 8.1.1. Overall, improvements for A5-based devices under iOS 8.1.1 are minor, as has been shown in other testing, although some will appreciate the improved multitasking performance with Safari. As Ars notes, iOS 8.1.1 isn't exactly the vast improvement for the iPhone 4s that iOS 7.1 was for the iPhone 4, but it does offer nominal improvements to the overall experience without making other areas worse. Apple's A5 devices are definitely showing their age, although they do remain on the market with the original iPad Mini and iPhone 4s being sold as low-end options and the fifth-generation iPod touch still being the current model of that device. The spread between these A5 devices and Apple's latest A8-based iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 models is indeed significant, and it is clearly posing challenges for Apple and developers alike to continue adequately supporting these low-end devices. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iPhone 6 continues to outsell the iPhone 6 Plus around the world, but the larger-sized phone is proving to be a significant hit in some markets, reports AppLovin in its latest November 2014 report. According to AppLovin's analytics data, the iPhone 6 outsold the 6 Plus in an 80/20 ratio overall in the first 45 days of availability. While Europe, North America and Australia roughly follow this global sales distribution or lean slightly more heavily toward the iPhone 6, the trend changes in Asia, where the iPhone 6 Plus typically accounts for 35 percent or more of iPhone sales. South Korea, home to rivals Samsung and LG, is the only Asian country studied with an iPhone 6 Plus adoption rate below 35 percent. The country has a lower 71/29 split, perhaps related to competition from Samsung's Galaxy Series and LG's G3 phone in the large-screen market or simply due to customer preference for other reasons. The split between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may still be artificially constrained due to continuing shortages of the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but AppLovin's data offers an interesting glimpse of screen size preferences around the world. The ratio also varies significantly by data source, with a recent survey putting the U.S. ratio at 3:1 in favor of the iPhone 6 over the first four weeks of availability while AppLovin's data points to a 5:1 split. As discussed by Apple's iPhone marketing chief Greg Joswiak at the Code Conference last month, the true ratio of demand won't be known until supply shortages are alleviated, but he did acknowledge that the ratio varies from country to country with Asian customers typically proving more likely to prefer larger screens, an observation supported by AppLovin's data. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Foxconn Technology Group has plans to spend NT$80 Billion, or $2.6 billion, over the course of the next two years on a new factory in Taiwan to produce displays exclusively for Apple, according to Bloomberg. In a conversation with Sophia Chang, a public relations representative for Foxconn's display unit Innolux Corp., Chang stated that equipment installation will begin next month, although she would not confirm that Apple is the client for the facility. Following an urgent request for exclusive capacity, the mass production of panels is expected to begin by the end of 2015. Chang also mentioned that the advanced sixth-generation display plant will be built at Innolux's Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan. The forecast details that the funds for the plant will be spent over a two-year building period with the company planning to hire 2,300 employees to operate the facility. Foxconn has been a longtime manufacturer of Apple's products, primarily handling final assembly of the devices. After attempting to partner with Sharp in 2012 to focus on advancing LCD technologies, Foxconn was rumored to be in talks to utilize the Japanese display manufacturer's technology in order to start producing iPhone and iPad displays. The company struggled to meet high demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when the two phones launched earlier this fall, sparking a large-scale hiring effort by Foxconn to meet production demands. Demand has been so high that Apple has reportedly tapped secondary manufacturer Pegatron to boost production on the iPhone 6, and perhaps even the iPhone 6 Plus, to help meet demand. The new Taiwan plant announcement comes as Foxconn has reportedly been in discussions for a $5.7 billion display factory in Zhengzhou, China. Foxconn has been angling to become a larger player in the display market, seeking to win orders for iPhone and iPad displays and avoiding the sourcing of those parts from vendors like Samsung, LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Corning today unveiled its new Gorilla Glass 4, its next-generation glass production that is even more resistant than previous versions to glass shattering drops. According to Corning, the company extensively studied shattered screens to understand how and why they break. Corning scientists examined hundreds of broken devices and found that damage caused by sharp contact accounted for more than 70 percent of field failures. The scientists then developed new drop-test methods that simulate real-world break events, based on thousands of hours analyzing cover glass that had broken in the field or laboratory. The culmination of this testing was Gorilla Glass 4, which reportedly is two times stronger than competing products and can survive 80 percent of face-down falls onto rough surfaces such as sandpaper. The company also claims the glass retains most of its initial strength following a shatter-free fall. Corning is long-time supplier for Apple, providing the Cupertino company with Gorilla Glass for its iPhone and iPad lineup. Apple considered using the scratch-resistant sapphire for its iPhone display, but its partnership with GT Advanced fell apart when the supplier declared bankruptcy earlier this year. Corning says product shipments of Gorilla Glass 4 to customers are already underway, making it a strong candidate for inclusion on next year's iOS devices should sapphire remain an infeasible option. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Despite Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs movie being in the casting process and moving towards full fledged production, Sony Pictures has dropped the movie and put it "in turnaround", which allows another large studio to purchase the movie and take over, reports Deadline. The report also notes that Universal Studios is the likely landing destination for the film. In a shocking development, the Aaron Sorkin-scripted film about Apple genius Steve Jobs has been put in turnaround by Sony Pictures, and Universal Pictures is making a strong play for the movie. The film, an adaptation of the bestselling Walter Isaacson biography, has Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle set to direct, with Michael Fassbender recently courted to play Jobs. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady.It's unknown why Sony Pictures, who has been developing the movie for two years, would drop the film as its about to wrap up casting and enter production, but Deadline reports that Universal Studios is keen on picking up the movie and may do so by tomorrow. It is rare for a well-known project to be dropped by a studio and made available for rival studios to purchase. As reported by Deadline, the film is unlikely to lose any momentum if it's picked up by Universal Studios, which suggests the movie will likely move forward with the filmmakers' current plans. Recently, Christian Bale also dropped out of the film because he reportedly feel he was not right for the part. X-Men: First Class actor Michael Fassbender has been rumored to be the frontrunner for the role with Sorkin saying that casting announcements are imminent. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
It's widely known by now that Apple and GT Advanced's sapphire partnership fell apart after the latter company was unable to produce enough high-quality sapphire to meet Apple's production needs, but *The Wall Street Journal* has taken a deeper look into GT Advanced's failures and its defective sapphire boules, which ultimately led the company to file for bankruptcy. Apple and GT Advanced's sapphire partnership may have been doomed from the start because GT Advanced had no experience with mass producing sapphire before it inked a deal with Apple. Its first attempt at a large 578 pound sapphire boule, created just before the deal was finalized, was reportedly "flawed and unusable." Images of cracked and damaged boules produced by GT Advanced GT Advanced COO Daniel Squiller stated in a court affidavit that Apple had basically forced the company into a contract with onerous and unfavorable terms that were impossible to fulfill, but the profile from The Wall Street Journal, largely sourced from Apple's court filings, paints a very different picture, putting much of the fault on GT Advanced's mismanagement. In an effort to ramp up production quickly to meet Apple's needs, GT Advanced hired hundreds of workers "with little oversight" before all of the company's furnaces were fully functional. Bored employees were paid overtime to sweep floors, while others skipped work all together.GT quickly set out to hire 700 staffers. Hiring moved so quickly that at one point in late spring, more than 100 recent hires didn't know who they reported to, a former manager said. Two other former workers said there was no attendance policy, which led to an unusual number of sick days. GT managers in the spring authorized unlimited overtime to fill furnaces materials to grow sapphire. But GT hadn't built enough furnaces yet, so many workers had nothing to do, two former employees said. "We just kept sweeping the floors over and over," one of the former employees said. "I just saw money flying out the door."The first sapphire boule that GT produced for Apple after the deal was inked came out "cracked so badly" that all of the sapphire was unusable. GT Advanced was spending 30 days and $20,000 on each sapphire boule, and according to people familiar with Apple's operations, "more than half of the boules were unusable." In fact, GT stored broken and damaged boules in an area that employees ended up labeling the "boule graveyard." GT Advanced attempted to switch to smaller sapphire boules in June, but production still wasn't up to par, with Apple receiving only 10 percent of the originally promised sapphire in the weeks leading up to the launch of the iPhone 6. It quickly became evident that Apple would not be using sapphire in the iPhone 6, and in September, GT began running into serious money trouble. Facing cash flow issues, the company requested its final $139 loan payment from Apple, which was initially withheld because production milestones were missed. Apple offered $100 million, a delayed repayment schedule, a higher price for some of the sapphire, and a relaxation of the exclusivity agreements between the two companies, and a plan was in place for the two companies to meet on October 7. GT Advanced ended up filing for bankruptcy on October 6, however, opting to keep the filing quiet because GT executives believed Apple would "try to thwart them." Following the filing, Apple and GT reached an agreement to end their partnership and dissolve their contracts, with GT Advanced shutting down all sapphire production at the Mesa, Arizona plant. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Walmart today announced that it is planning to offer discounts on select Apple products a week ahead of Black Friday, with the deals kicking off on Friday, November 21 at 8:00 a.m. at Walmart stores across the United States."The retail environment is incredibly competitive and we know that our customers are looking to us for the lowest prices and great deals all season long," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. "That's why we've more than doubled the amount of items included in our Pre-Black Friday Event. Combined with our Black Friday weekend, there is absolutely no other place to shop this holiday season."Walmart will be selling the new 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 for $489, with a $100 Walmart gift card included in the purchase. That drops the price down to $389, an impressive $110 off Apple's price. That's almost on par with Best Buy's iPad Air 2 deal, which will see the retailer discounting all of its iPad Air 2 stock by $100. Walmart will be selling the 16GB iPhone 6 for $179 with a two-year contract, which is $20 off Apple's standard price, but it will also include a $75 Walmart gift card. A similar $75 gift card deal is available for the iPhone 5s, priced at $79 with a two-year contract. iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s purchases made with AT&T Next or Verizon Edge will require $0 down from qualified customers and will include the gift card. Walmart's deals will be available for as long as "supplies last," but it's likely that hot ticket items like the new iPad Air 2 and the iPhone 6 will go quickly. Earlier this month, Walmart began matching prices with Amazon.com and other online retailers, and Walmart will be matching prices on select Black Friday deals from other companies as well. Along with its pre-Black Friday sales, Walmart will be offering deals that are limited to November 27 and November 28 (the traditional Black Friday day), including a 16GB Wi-Fi only original iPad mini for $199 plus a $30 gift card and a $100 gift card with the purchase of an original iPad Air. For a full list of Walmart's Black Friday deals and the deals other retailers have shared thus far, make sure to check out our comprehensive Black Friday Roundup. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update

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