posted 1 day ago on mac rumors
Earlier this month, Apple began inviting a select number of developers to an Apple Watch development lab in Sunnyvale, California, located near the company's main Cupertino campus. Developers were invited to reserve a testing appointment to test their Apple Watch apps on actual Apple Watch devices to get ready for the device's April 24 launch. One of the developers who had a chance to visit Apple's WatchKit lab and get hands-on time with the Apple Watch shared his testing experience with MacRumors and gave us some of his thoughts on the device after spending all day using it. Apple maintained strict control over the Apple Watches that developers were allowed to use for testing. Security guards were on hand, and developers were not allowed into the room until receiving a badge, which had to be worn at all times. Entering into the lab was done through two doorways, each of which was locked and could only be opened via an electronic keycard. Developers had to cover their cameras and leave their bags on shelves, and they were not allowed to pair the Apple Watch with their own iPhones. No one was allowed to go to the bathroom or run out for coffee until they let Apple's security see their wrists to prove they weren't leaving with a watch. Apple has used similar tight security when bringing the Apple Watch on location to be featured in magazines as well, and it's clear they're making sure none of these devices leak out ahead of April 24. In the lab, there were 5 rows of long tables, and approximately 10 developers could fit at each table. Apple had five engineers on hand to help developers put the finishing touches on their apps, and all of the engineers in the room were described as helpful and insightful. It's still not clear what criteria Apple used to decide which developers to invite to Sunnyvale, but a lot of major app developers were there, as were teams from various startups and bigger companies. Developers were given 42mm Apple Watch Sport models to test their apps with, and 38mm models were only supplied upon request. The developer we spoke to thought the Sport models were "extremely light" and did not look tacky or cheesy. He also thought that the 42mm Apple Watch was the ideal size, neither too big nor too small. The extra 4mm of screen size made a big difference when it came to reading text on the device, and he thought that people who used the Apple Watch for long periods of time might better appreciate the larger screen. The design and the feel of the watch were described as "absolutely amazing" and software was described as "fluid" and not like other smart watches available on the market. "Animations on the Apple Watch are really what separate it from its competitors," he said. Handoff works very well, letting users transfer tasks from the Apple Watch to the iPhone with ease, and Siri's functionality was described as "absolutely phenomenal." He also shared a bit of information about battery life. Wearing the watch all day, he used it regularly to send messages and test his app, and he said the watch battery lasted all day with some to spare. He was really impressed and said, "When Apple says all day battery life, they mean it." Overall, the developer that we spoke with thought his time at the Apple WatchKit lab was an "inspirational experience" and in his opinion, Apple is on the right track with the Apple Watch. Apple has heavily guarded the Apple Watch thus far, but two weeks from today, the general public will be able to see the device in person and test it out after Apple begins its in-store try-on period. The company will let people schedule 15 minute appointments beginning on April 10, which is also the day that Apple Watch pre-orders will begin. The Apple Watch will officially launch on April 24, but pre-orders are recommended because supplies may be constrained. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, iMac, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • Eyefi Review: Hands-On With the Mobi Pro 32GB WiFi-Connected SD Card • Coppertino Announces LOOP Music Locker With Support for HD Audio Files, VOX Music Player for iOS • iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed] • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope'

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Over the past couple of weeks, rumors have leaked pointing towards an Apple-branded streaming television service that could include 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month with partners like CBS, ABC, and Fox. NBC and parent company Comcast are not part of the negotiations, and according to a new report from Re/code, that's because Apple has not approached Comcast about a partnership. Earlier rumors about the streaming television service suggested NBC's absence from the upcoming package was due to a falling out between Apple and Comcast, but on Thursday, Comcast said that wasn't true in a letter that it sent to the Federal Communications Commission. Comcast's letter was a response to a filing from Stop Mega Comcast, a group that's opposed to a Comcast-Time Warner merging, and in it, Comcast said Apple had not even approached NBC for a content deal. Stop Mega Comcast's note, filed on Wednesday, said, "Comcast may be withholding affiliated NBCUniversal ("NBCU") content in an effort to thwart the entry of potential new video competitors." The note cited a recent Wall Street Journal report that said Apple wasn't talking to NBCUniversal because of a "falling-out between Apple and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast." That's a bit right but mostly wrong, Comcast attorney Francis Buono wrote to the FCC: "Not only has NBCUniversal not 'withheld' programming from Apple's new venture, Apple has not even approached NBCUniversal with such a request." I've asked Apple for comment.It is not clear why Apple has not approached NBC about a possible content deal for its most recent streaming television efforts, but Apple and Comcast have attempted to negotiate a deal in the past, which didn't pan out. The Wall Street Journal has suggested that earlier talks failed to establish a deal due to Comcast's focus on its own X1 web streaming platform. As noted by Re/code, Apple could initiate talks with NBC in the future or potentially take advantage of a clause in the contract that was established when Comcast and NBC merged several years back, which would force NBC to license its content to Apple if Apple were able to establish deals with the company's competitors. Apple may be planning to debut its streaming television service at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Many of the details about the service remain unknown, including the channel lineup Apple is aiming for, but the company is said to be in talks with ABC, CBS, Fox, Disney, ESPN, Discovery, and Viacom, which would give Apple access to channels like Animal Planet, TLC, MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. The streaming television service may be accompanied by a revamped set-top box, rumored to include an A8 processor, expanded storage, an App Store, and Siri support. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Eyefi Review: Hands-On With the Mobi Pro 32GB WiFi-Connected SD Card • Coppertino Announces LOOP Music Locker With Support for HD Audio Files, VOX Music Player for iOS • iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed] • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu

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Apple CEO Tim Cook today sent out a series of Tweets condemning Indiana Governor Mike Pence's decision to sign a controversial "religious freedom" bill into law, saying Apple is "deeply disappointed" in the move and "open for everyone." Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana's new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar #HB1228.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 27, 2015 The religious freedom legislation that was approved by Pence on Thursday could let businesses turn away gay and lesbian customers by citing "religious freedom." The approval of the bill has earned Indiana national attention, and much of it has been negative, with organizations and companies throughout the United States vowing to stop supporting the state. Senate Bill 101 prohibits state or local governments from substantially burdening a person's ability to exercise their religion -- unless the government can show that it has a compelling interest and that the action is the least-restrictive means of achieving it. It takes effect July 1.Along with Apple's condemnation, the NCAA has questioned the impact the legislation will have on future sporting events, Salesforce has vowed to halt expansion plans in the state, several conventions typically held in Indiana have said they will find other venues, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spoke out against the decision and barred all non-essential publicly funded City employee travel to the state. In his tweets, Cook also called for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto H.B.1228, a similar bill in that was recently passed by the Arkansas state senate, and he reiterated Apple's own commitment to equality and its efforts to treat every customer the same, regardless of "how they worship or who they love." Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same — regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 27, 2015 Cook came out as gay last October, but even before then, he's had a long history of supporting equality and speaking out against discrimination. In 2013, he lectured on equality at his alma mater Auburn University, and during that same year, both he and Apple publicly supported the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. Under his direction, Apple released a statement in support of Supreme Court gay marriage rulings, and Cook also led Apple to march in support of the LGBT community during the 44th annual Pride parade in San Francisco. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Coppertino Announces LOOP Music Locker With Support for HD Audio Files, VOX Music Player for iOS • iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed] • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone

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Wunderlist has provided a closer look at its Apple Watch companion app, which appeared on the App Store on Thursday ahead of the device's launch next month. The app is designed with a unique Home View that provides access to your most important items first, with four buttons that display a bird's eye view of your to-do lists, agenda and reminders on your wrist. Wunderlist for Apple Watch delivers a hand-free experience in situations where you might normally use your iPhone, such as while shopping at a supermarket and checking items off your grocery list, or when using smart voice input to add to-dos for an upcoming meeting. The combination of Glances and real-time notifications ensure that you will stay up to date with important things during your day, be it during your morning commute, at the office or at home."As you move through the day, you won’t even have to open Wunderlist on your Watch to get stuff done. Just take a look at our Glance during breakfast to review your most important to-dos for the day. Thanks to Wunderlist’s real-time notifications, a subtle tap on your wrist will let you know what your colleagues are working on during your morning commute, and remind you to pick up the milk on your way home from work."Wunderlist for Apple Watch features custom animations for interacting with the app, and its developers have carefully considered which font sizes, layouts and interactions would work best with limited screen real estate. The result is a design that was inspired by Wunderlist's brand-new colorful sidebar icons, with the majority of the user interface consisting of white text on a black background. Ultimately, the developers behind Wunderlist for Apple Watch wanted to create software that gets out of your way, all the while providing multipurpose functionality for managing your day-to-day life. Apple Watch, and by extension the wrist, provides a more natural setting for to-do apps such as Wunderlist and Todoist, so it will be interesting to see how developers build upon these apps in the future. Wunderlist [Direct Link] is free on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed] • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps

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As a few popular iPhone apps begin rolling out updates for their built-in Apple Watch apps ahead of the April 24 launch, a pair of transit-focused services have posted on Medium to share detailed looks into exactly what kind of experience users can expect from Citymapper and Transit App on the Apple Watch next month. Sifting through the data gathered from its iPhone app, Citymapper learned that its users frequently turned their phone on and off throughout one trip, unlocking to reorient themselves and quickly locking the device again to save battery. That's where its upcoming Apple Watch app comes in, Citymapper promising an experience tailor-made for the wrist-worn device. This is the nature of transit information when you move across the city. You need snippets of information. Different things at different times, depending on where you are along the way. Transit info works well on a device that focuses attention on one thing at a time. And where the transaction cost (ie hassle) of getting additional information is low (raise your wrist and swipe). Using a wearable app may also be safer. City dwellers are generally walking too fast, crossing streets, using stairs, jostling through crowds. Citymapper has a few cool things planned for its Watch app, with Glances showcasing "how messed up your city is", pointing out stalled bus and train schedules around a user's location. The app will even notify a user, with the much-touted wrist-tap feature, when to get off of a current bus or train route to continue along their way. Citymapper on the Apple Watch will be available in every city Citymapper has already established itself, including places like New York City and Rome, and support English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, with more cities and languages "coming soon." Transit's Apple Watch app appears to be providing less of a notification-heavy experience and more of a straight-forward curated list of departure times and easy-to-follow directions, with a static "Take Me Home" button always on hand for when users get lost. The company aims to shave off as many precious seconds as possible with its wrist-worn experience. It’s not every day that developers get the chance to build something for a completely new platform. And we think that the Apple Watch might just be the ideal platform for us. Sure, it’s not so difficult to pull your phone out of your pocket. But it’s while we’re in transit that those seconds matter most. With Transit App for Apple Watch, all of that friction is gone. No matter where you are, you will have instant access to departure times for nearby routes — on hand at all times. Sprinting for the bus? Need to know which route is leaving soonest? Don’t want to interrupt your game of Candy Crush? We’ve got your back. Both Citymapper [Direct Link] and Transit App [Direct Link] promise to be available on day one of the Apple Watch's April 24 launch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed] • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps

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Intel and Micron on Thursday announced the availability of new 3D NAND technology that enables high-density flash devices with three times more storage capacity than other NAND technologies in production. 3D NAND technology is also more cost efficient than planar NAND, with faster performance, improved latency and new sleep modes that result in low-power use by cutting power to inactive NAND die. The advancements pave the way for future Macs and other devices with flash memory to be equipped with greater than 10TB solid-state drives, significantly more storage capacity than the maxed out 1TB PCIe-based flash storage upgrade option that Apple offers for the MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro. As planar NAND faces practical scaling limits, Intel and Micron expect that 3D NAND will shape the future of flash memory."Micron and Intel's collaboration has created an industry-leading solid-state storage technology that offers high density, performance and efficiency and is unmatched by any flash today," said Brian Shirley, vice president of Memory Technology and Solutions at Micron Technology. "This 3D NAND technology has the potential to create fundamental market shifts. The depth of the impact that flash has had to date—from smartphones to flash-optimized supercomputing—is really just scratching the surface of what's possible."3D NAND has innovative process architecture with a floating gate cell that enables greater performance and increased quality and reliability. Intel and Micron expect that 3D NAND technology, which "stacks flash cells vertically in 32 layers to achieve 256Gb multilevel cell (MLC) and 384Gb triple-level cell (TLC) die," will result in continued performance gains, cost savings and widespread adoption of flash storage solutions for mobile consumer devices and enterprise deployment. Intel and Micron claim that the 256Gb MLC version of 3D NAND is being sampled by select partners beginning this week, while the 384Gb TLC design will be sampling later this spring. Both devices are slated to enter full production in the fourth quarter, and both companies are developing separate lines of SSD solutions based on 3D NAND technology that are expected to be available within the next year. Given that flash storage solutions using 3D NAND are not expected to be available until the end of this year at the earliest, it is unlikely that larger SSDs based on the new technology will be included in any next-generation Macs for the foreseeable future. Apple also recently refreshed the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, so those two notebook models in particular are still early in their product cycles. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed] • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today officially announced April 10 grand openings for its three dedicated Apple Watch shops located in high-end department stores in London, Paris, and Tokyo. As previously outlined, the store-within-a-store locations are at Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and Isetan in Tokyo. The new locations appear set to handle only Apple Watch viewing and sales, with customers being directed to other Apple retail stores for their support needs. The Selfridges Apple Watch shop will be located near the entrance to the iconic Wonder Room, a massive shopping hall that houses a wide selection of luxury jewelry and watch brands alongside a concept store and mezzanine wine bar. Apple has reportedly been drawing employees from other retail stores in London to staff the new shop. The Galeries Lafayette shop will take over four balcony sections overlooking the main rotunda of the department store. Apple will begin in-store previews and pre-orders for the Apple Watch on April 10, with launches in the first wave of countries coming two weeks later. The high-end gold Apple Watch Edition models will only be available at select Apple retail stores, and the dedicated Apple Watch shops at these luxury department stores will almost certainly also be featuring the gold watches, which are priced from $10,000 to $17,000. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed] • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps

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posted 2 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of the Apple Watch's upcoming April 24 launch, apps that include Apple Watch support are beginning to be released in the App Store. As of today, several popular iOS apps have been updated with built-in Apple Watch apps, including Evernote, Dark Sky, Things, and Target. Additional apps with Apple Watch support will be rolling out over the course of the day, giving us a first look at how many of the apps on the device will function. We'll be updating this post with a list of Apple Watch apps that are available as they come out in the App Store. According to Evernote's app description, for example, users will be able to dictate notes into the Apple Watch, which will be transcribed and synced to Evernote. Users will also be able to see recently created, updated, and viewed notes, and get reminders about items that are due. Dark Sky's weather information will be brought to the wrist, and according to the app release notes, it's been designed from scratch to fit on the smaller screen of the Apple Watch. As we've mentioned before, Apple Watch apps are bundled into existing iPhone apps because the iPhone powers the app while a UI is extended to the Apple Watch. This helps to preserve battery and it controls the amount of access developers have to the watch. Apps that run fully on the Apple Watch are coming in the future, but are not available yet. The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order and try-on sessions at Apple retail stores beginning on April 10. Third-party Apple Watch apps have likely started popping up today to allow Apple Store employees to install content on demo Apple Watches that will be shown off to customers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta

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Amazon on Thursday announced two new unlimited cloud storage plans for Amazon Cloud Drive, enabling users to store an endless amount of photos, videos, movies, music, and files. Amazon users can choose either the Unlimited Photos Plan for $11.99 per year or the Unlimited Everything Plan for $59.99 per year, with a free three-month trial available for each plan for customers that want to try the service. The lower-tier Unlimited Photos Plan allows for an unlimited number of photos to be stored on Amazon Cloud Drive, alongside up to 5GB of additional storage for videos, documents and other files. The more expensive Unlimited Everything Plan allows for unlimited storage of photos, videos, files, documents, movies and music with no restrictions. Amazon Prime members are already provided with an Unlimited Photos Plan at no additional cost.“Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they don’t know how many gigabytes of storage they need to back all of them up,” said Josh Petersen, Director of Amazon Cloud Drive. “With the two new plans we are introducing today, customers don’t need to worry about storage space—they now have an affordable, secure solution to store unlimited amounts of photos, videos, movies, music, and files in one convenient place.”The addition of unlimited cloud storage makes Amazon Cloud Drive a more competitive alternative to other cloud storage services such as iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox. Apple does not offer unlimited iCloud storage, providing customers with tiered storage options of 20GB, 200GB, 500GB or 1TB for between $0.99 and $19.99 per month. Google and Microsoft also have capped storage plans, while Dropbox offers unlimited storage to business customers only. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

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Following the release of Becoming Steve Jobs, an acclaimed biography of the late Apple co-founder, Fortune has named Tim Cook the "world's greatest leader," accompanied by an in-depth profile that reflects on the chief executive in the post-Jobs era. The interesting article provides a closer look at Cook's transition from a soft-spoken operations manager to a high-profile leader at Apple, and reveals how Cook has managed the pressure that comes with his new role. Apple CEO Tim Cook (Image Credit: Joe Pugliese) Cook brings a different leadership style to Apple, placing more trust in others instead of being as impulsive and manipulative as Jobs often was. The results have been favorable, as Apple has grown to become the world's most valuable company during the three-and-a-half years since Cook took over the helm. Nevertheless, he admits that he has needed to grow thicker skin to handle the intensity that comes with the territory.“I have thick skin,” he says, “but it got thicker. What I learned after Steve passed away, what I had known only at a theoretical level, an academic level maybe, was that he was an incredible heat shield for us, his executive team. None of us probably appreciated that enough because it’s not something we were fixated on. We were fixated on our products and running the business. But he really took any kind of spears that were thrown. He took the praise as well. But to be honest, the intensity was more than I would ever have expected.”Despite his successes, Cook has faced a number of senior management challenges since taking over as chief executive, including the disappointment that was Apple Maps, fallout with sapphire partner GT Advanced Technologies and the short-lived hiring of John Browett to serve as Apple's retail chief. Cook reflected on Browett, who never fit in with the company's culture and was ousted after just six months on the job.“That was a reminder to me of the critical importance of cultural fit, and that it takes some time to learn that,” he says. As CEO, “you’re engaged in so many things that each particular thing gets a little less attention. You need to be able to operate on shorter cycles, less data points, less knowledge, less facts. When you’re an engineer, you want to analyze things a lot. But if you believe that the most important data points are people, then you have to make conclusions in relatively short order. Because you want to push the people who are doing great. And you want to either develop the people who are not or, in a worst case, they need to be somewhere else.”Following the departure of Browett, Cook recognized the need to be patient in his search for a retail chief that could truly fit in with Apple's culture. Last May, the company found its candidate in former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who discretely met with Cook in Cupertino, outside of Apple's headquarters, to discuss the future of retail. Ahrendts did not expect to join Apple, but she ultimately reconsidered after she felt moved by Cook.“The first time I sat down with him, I walked away thinking wow, that’s a man of peace,” she says. “I just absolutely loved his integrity, his values. Nothing anybody can write, say, or do is going to take him off of always doing the right thing. Not just for Apple, but for Apple’s people, for communities, for countries. The world needs more leaders like Tim.”Cook became the first Fortune 500 CEO to publicly come out as gay last year, which he hopes will make other people realize that they do not need to hide who they are. He further expressed that he made the decision of coming out "quite some time ago," adding that, while the United States has made some progress on the issue, he "didn’t feel like business was exactly leading the way in the executive suite."“To be honest, if I would not have come to the conclusion that it would likely help other people, I would have never done it,” he says. “There’s no joy in me putting my life in view.” Referencing the often-cited line that “to whom much is given, much is required,” Cook says, “I’ve certainly been given a lot.”The full-length profile has been published in the April 2015 issue of Fortune. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Watch Learns Runners' Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone • Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App 'Periscope' • Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning on releasing three new iPhone models in the second half of 2015, according to a new report from DigiTimes. The site claims that a 4-inch iPhone model will join the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. Apple will release three different iPhones in the second half of 2015, the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and a 4-inch device currently being referred to as iPhone 6C, according to industry sources.A new 4-inch iPhone was also rumored in December 2014, with a report claiming that the device would be aimed toward female users. However, even if a new 4-inch iPhone isn't introduced, Apple will presumably have the iPhone 5s to offer for free on a two-year contract once the current models slide down. DigiTimes notes the 4-inch iPhone 6c is likely to be manufactured by Wistron while both the 6s and 6s Plus will be manufactured by Foxconn. In January, a report from Chinese site Feng.com claimed that Apple had not made any orders in its supply chain for a 4-inch iPhone. Earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook said the new, larger iPhone models had brought the highest Android switcher rate over the past three years and that they brought in more newer customers than previous iPhone models. It's possible that Apple believes offering more sizing choices to customers could allow Apple to reach more customers, as Cook also mentioned different regions preferred different sizes. Apple is expected to announce new iPhone models in September, with new additions to both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus rumored to include 2GB of RAM and Apple's new Force Touch technology, which has already made its way into Apple Watch, the new MacBook and new 13-inch MacBook Pros. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
At today's F8 Facebook Developer Conference, Facebook debuted its new Messenger Platform, a major update to the Messenger service that allows users to send content like GIFs, photos, videos, and more from third-party apps within the Facebook Messenger app for iOS. Beginning today, iOS app developers can build Facebook Messenger support into their apps, making them directly accessible within the Facebook Messenger app. Facebook has already worked with more than 40 developers, so apps with Messenger support are already available in the iOS App Store. Apps can be accessed in the Facebook Messenger app for iOS when the "More" icon is tapped within a conversation. This opens up a list of available apps that can be installed, and when tapping install, you'll be taken to the app's install page in the iOS App Store. The way third-party apps work with Messenger on iOS is a bit convoluted. Apps are installed independently, but those that support the Messenger Platform will send their content via Messenger. For example, if you install GIF app Giphy on your iPhone (which is one of the new apps that supports the Messenger Platform), tapping on it from within the Messenger app will open the separate iOS app to let you choose and send a GIF. In the Giphy app, you will see a list of all your Messenger friends, and once you tap to send a GIF to one of them, you will be returned to the Messenger app and your original Messenger conversation. From there, you can continue on the conversation, send additional GIFs, or send other content from other third-party apps. Content can be viewed in the Facebook desktop app, but sending it can only be done from an iOS device. There are a wealth of third-party apps available in Facebook Messenger for iOS right now. Apps include GIF apps like Giphy, emoji apps, sticker apps, video apps, collage apps, and more. All of the apps are being released today in the iOS App Store and have been specially developed for use with the Facebook Messenger app. While most of the apps have been developed by third parties, Facebook has released its own apps for Messenger, including Stickered, Selfied, and Shout. Third-party apps include ClipDis, Giphy, Bitmoji, ESPN, Camoji, Talking Tom, and Emu. Facebook has faced some criticism for the way it's handled its iOS apps, most notably removing messages access from the main Facebook app and forcing users to download Facebook Messenger, but today's update with expanded content for the iOS app may change public opinion and could draw in users who have been reluctant to download the Messenger app for iOS. Facebook Messenger for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Rumors about a revamped Apple-branded Beats streaming music service have been circulating since September of last year, but as the launch of the service draws nearer, information on pricing and content has been leaking out. In a detailed report on the upcoming service published today, The New York Times confirms some previously known information and adds new details on the roles Trent Reznor and Jimmy Iovine are playing in the development of the music service. The report also divulges some information on Apple's interest in exclusive album releases and the company's work on an iTunes Radio revamp. Apple's upcoming streaming music service is said to take on many of the characteristics of the existing Beats Music service, with a focus on curated playlists and a "vivid visual appeal" that also fits into Apple's minimal design aesthetic. It's unlikely to retain the "Beats Music" moniker, and it is being tested as a part of iOS 9. As previously rumored, while Apple hoped to price its new service at $7.99, undercutting the prices of competing services like Spotify and Rdio, it saw significant resistance from record companies. As a result, the service will likely be priced similarly to those other services, at $9.99 per month, but it will have no free tier. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who was the Chief Creative Officer at Beats before it was acquired by Apple, is "playing a major role" in the redesign of the music streaming app. Jimmy Iovine, Beats co-founder, is also said to be playing an important role furthering Apple's music ambitions.Mr. Iovine has set the tone of the transformation of Apple's music plans, according to music executives. Mr. Iovine, who reports to Eddy Cue, Apple's head of software and Internet services, has been leading aggressive talks to secure prominent album releases that will be exclusive to Apple, akin to what Beyoncé did when she released her self-titled album on iTunes in December 2013. One music executive involved in the negotiations described this part of the new iTunes as "Spotify with Jimmy juice."Along with a revamped music service, Apple is said to be planning to debut an enhanced version of iTunes Radio, which will be more tailored to listeners in regional markets and more like a traditional radio station. Recent hire Zane Lowe, a former BBC radio DJ has joined the iTunes Radio team as part of this effort. Rumors have suggested that Apple's revamped music service will debut at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, which is also when we'll see the first unveiling of iOS 9. If the music service is built into iOS 9, it'll see an official release in the fall when the operating system debuts. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
Just a day after adding TED, Tastemade, and Young Hollywood channels to the Apple TV, Apple has added yet another new channel to its set-top box -- CNNGo. CNNGo is CNN's service that lets users watch live news coverage and see segments from the past 24 hours. It also includes recent CNN coverage and films on demand. The service has previously been available on CNN.com and via the CNN iPad app. Much of the content within CNNGo requires authentication through a cable provider. Live television and full shows require authentication, but clips can be watched without a cable subscription. Today's new CNNGo channel comes as Apple is preparing to reveal both a new set-top box and a new television service at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The rumored streaming television service will consist of approximately 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month, with Apple partnering with networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, Discovery, and more for content. The next-generation Apple TV is said to have an A8 processor with a built-in App Store for downloading content and Siri support, plus more internal storage and a redesigned remote control. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
As of April 10, Apple will begin scheduling appointments in its retail stores for customers who are interested in trying on the Apple Watch before deciding to pre-order or make a purchase. We've known that most try-on appointments will be scheduled in 15-minute intervals to allow Apple employees to get to as many customers as possible, but it seems that customers who are interested in purchasing the Gold Apple Watch Edition will get some extra time with the device. According to the International Business Times, two Apple Stores in Manhattan have confirmed that customers looking to spend upwards of $10,000 on an Apple Watch Edition will get 30 minute appointments with Apple employees instead of 15 minute appointments. Given the high price of the Apple Watch Edition, it's no surprise that employees plan to dedicate more time to those who plan to spend a lot of money, as it's a bigger purchasing decision. In fact, the purchasing experience for a Gold Apple Watch may be quite a bit different from the experience purchasing a standard Apple Watch or an Apple Watch Sport, as Apple is said to have a dedicated group of employees that have undergone special training serving customers who are buying the Apple Watch Edition. Apple employees, including those who will work with customers interested in the Gold Apple Watch, are being trained to offer fashion and styling advice to customers. 9to5Mac shared some details on this training yesterday, suggesting employees will use each customer's fashion sense to make Apple Watch recommendations. Apple employees are being given example customers to train with, to help them develop the skills to make suggestions to customers. Apple retail stores will be transformed overnight ahead of April 10, adding Apple Watch try-on stations that consist of glass-covered display tables that have the Apple Watch underneath. The Apple Watch Edition will only be available at select Apple Stores, and in limited quantities. Stores where the high-end watch will be sold are being outfitted with safes, where the devices will be kept at night to protect them from theft. Apple wants the Apple Watch Edition buying experience to mirror other luxury shopping experiences, and in addition to selling the device in Apple retail locations through specially trained employees, Apple is also assembling pop up shops around the world in locations like the Wonder Room in Selfridges, a special section of the store that houses other high-end jewelry and watches. Other pop up shop locations include the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and the Isetan Department Store in Tokyo. Apple Watch pre-orders and try-on appointments begin on April 10, with the official launch coming later in the month, on April 24. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
After an initial teaser post from John Gruber earlier this month and several leaks and excerpts, the new Steve Jobs biography Becoming Steve Jobs debuted yesterday, and we've had a chance to read through the book that offers a new look into the life of the Apple co-founder. While Walter Isaacson's best-selling 2011 biography of Jobs was undertaken with Jobs' authorization and participation, many close to him felt it didn't offer an accurate reflection of his personality. In the wake of that book's debut, former Fortune and Wall Street Journal reporter Brent Schlender, who interviewed Jobs numerous times over the final 25 years of Jobs' life, teamed up with former Fortune colleague and current Fast Company executive editor Rick Tetzeli for an alternative take on Jobs' life. Notably, Schlender and Tetzeli were eventually able to obtain the cooperation of a number of key figures, including Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Jony Ive, and Laurene Powell Jobs, to share their perspectives on Jobs. The new book takes a mostly linear approach to telling the story of Jobs' life, beginning with Apple's early days. Much of that early content has been shared in previously published books and articles, but the story becomes more interesting once it reaches 1986, the year Schlender and Jobs first met for an interview when Jobs was in the early stages of building NeXT after having been ousted from Apple the year before. Schlender's many interviews and discussions with Jobs over the years give him a fairly rare perspective, and Schlender uses that perspective to argue the Jobs of his later years was a very different and more mature person than the perception developed in his brash younger years.I can't think of a businessman who grew and changed and matured more than Steve. Personal change is, of course, incremental. As all "grown-ups" come to understand, we wrestle with and learn how to manage our gifts and flaws over a lifetime. It's an endless growth process. And yet it's not as if we become wholly different people. Steve is a great object lesson in someone who masterfully improved his ability to make better use of his strengths and to effectively mitigate those aspects of his personality that got in the way of those strengths. His negative qualities didn't go away, nor were they replaced by new good traits. But he learned how to manage himself, his own personal miasma of talents and rough edges. Most of them, anyway.Tim Cook is one of the most high-profile figures to be interviewed for the book, and beyond the already revealed tidbit about Cook having offered Jobs a portion of his liver, Cook addressed the ways in which he saw Jobs change even since 1998 when Cook joined Apple."The Steve I met in early '98 was brash and confident and passionate and all of those things. But there was a soft side of him as well, and that soft side became a larger portion of him over the next thirteen years. You'd see that show up in different ways. There were different employees and spouses here that had health issues, and he would go out of his way to turn heaven and earth to make sure they had proper medical attention. He did that in a major way, not in a minor 'Call me and get back to me if you need my help' kind of way." [...] "One day he calls my mom–he doesn't event know my mom, she lives in Alabama. He said he was looking for me, but he knows how to find me! And he talked to her about me. There are lots of these things where you saw the very soft or caring or feeling or whatever you want to call it side of him. He had that gene. Someone who's viewing life only as a transactional relationship with people...doesn't do that."While most biographies and feature articles on Jobs have focused on his work at Apple, Becoming Steve Jobs also dedicates several chapters each to his time at NeXT and his work with Pixar, with Schlender's discussions with Jobs and more recent interviews with a number of key people at those firms offering some interesting details about those aspects of Jobs' professional life. In particular, Bob Iger shared background on how he was able to win Jobs over after being named Disney CEO in 2005 and ultimately negotiate Disney's acquisition of Pixar the following year. In his interview, Iger related how just minutes before the Disney-Pixar acquisition was to be made official and announced to the public, Jobs confided in Iger that his cancer had returned, giving Iger an opportunity to back out of the deal. Despite Jobs' admission, the deal went through, and his cancer recurrence remained a secret from the public for three years until his second medical leave of absence in 2009 for his liver transplant. Overall, Becoming Steve Jobs definitely has a feeling of those close to Steve Jobs trying to alter the public perception of him as a person, sharing some of the details of their relationships while the book in some respects glosses over his shortcomings. Those shortcomings are not, however, ignored entirely, with the penultimate chapter entitled "Blind Spots, Grudges, and Sharp Elbows" laying out a number of instances even late in his life where he engaged in controversial behavior. Steve Jobs certainly remains a polarizing figure, but regardless of how you view the light in which Jobs is cast in this book, it includes a number of interesting anecdotes and perspectives from those who have rarely spoken of their relationships with Jobs over the decades, all tied together by one of the few reporters to have had access to Jobs on a regular basis throughout that time. Becoming Steve Jobs is available now from a variety of outlets including Amazon and the iBooks Store. The authors will be appearing tomorrow evening at the SoHo Apple retail store in New York City to discuss the book and take questions. They will also be appearing at a Computer History Museum event in Mountain View, California on April 7. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half

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posted 3 days ago on mac rumors
The recently refreshed 2015 MacBook Air can drive 4K external displays at a refresh rate of 60Hz, as confirmed by Ars Technica. The report claims that Intel's new Broadwell processors with integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 support 4K output at 60Hz using a DisplayPort 1.2 cable, whereas previous-generation notebooks with Haswell processors were limited to lower resolutions at 30Hz. Apple's tech specs page for the new MacBook Air lists the notebook as capable of supporting one external display at up to 2,560×1,600 pixels, which clearly is not the case. Apple may be electing not to advertise 4K support for the new MacBook Air on purpose, however, as performance can still be somewhat laggy or jerky and the company has a shortlist of supported displays and configurations."Given that the Air is using one of Intel’s integrated GPUs, general OS X user interface performance isn’t too bad while driving the Air’s internal display alongside the 4K display. Dropped frames are clearly visible when entering into Full Screen mode or using Mission Control, and of course you’ll never want to try playing games or doing heavy 3D work at native resolution. But things are more than smooth enough for desktop use."The new Thunderbolt 2 port included on the refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is compatible with the DisplayPort 1.2 spec, meaning that Single-Stream Transport is possible using one cable. Meanwhile, 4K over HDMI remains restricted to a 24Hz refresh rate due to the limitations of the current 1.4 spec. Multi-Stream Transport should also be possible using DisplayPort 1.2, although the number of displays will be limited and performance will likely be impacted. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Flexibits today launched the much-anticipated Fantastical 2 for Mac, a completely new app that overhauls the existing Fantastical for Mac app and introduces a long list of new features. Flexibits CEO Michael Simmons spoke with MacRumors about the new Fantastical 2 update for Mac, and he told us that while the original Fantastical app reinvented calendar apps, the new update reinvents Fantastical. The Flexibits team took everything they learned from Fantastical 2 for iOS and brought it over to the Mac. To begin with, Fantastical 2 has been designed from the ground up to fit in with the Yosemite aesthetic, adopting a flat design, simple outlines, cleaner fonts, and brighter, bolder colors with two available color themes. It's also adopted many Yosemite-only features like a Notification Center widget, Handoff, and Action and Share Extensions. The biggest change to Fantastical 2 is the introduction of a full calendar window. The original Fantastical Mac app was housed in the Mac's menu bar in a mini window, forcing users to open the built-in Calendar app if they needed access to a desktop calendar, but Fantastical 2 is a full-featured calendar app that combines that original menu bar calendar with a complete calendar window. The new calendar window includes Day, Week, Month and Year views on the right, along with a left-hand menu bar that shows the current month and a list of upcoming tasks. Reminders and events are separated in the new version of Fantastical, and a toggle button at the bottom of the calendar window will switch the view from events to a list of reminders. Reminders can be added to Fantastical by prefacing entries with "todo," "task," or "reminder," and can be location-based with dates and time information attached. Fantastical 2 continues to offer the same menu bar mini calendar window (now re-positionable), featuring the new design and the same toggle to switch between a list of upcoming events and a list of reminders. There's also a new Notification Center widget that displays a list of events for the day. In addition to offering existing features like natural language parsing, deeply customizable alerts, automatic alarms, Reminder integration, and quick search tools, Fantastical 2 for Mac adds a powerful feature called Calendar Sets. Most people use several calendars with Fantastical, and with the new Mac app, it's possible to group different calendars into separate sets and switch between them using an easily accessible toggle at the bottom of the calendar window. With Calendar Sets, work calendars and home calendars can be grouped together, and it's even possible to add geofencing to have calendar sets swap automatically depending on your physical location. Fantastical 2 for Mac also includes Japanese support for the first time, with full Japanese-language parsing, a feature that's also coming to iPhone and iPad in the next few months. It's also fully localized in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The app's language parsing engine is more robust, better understanding repeating events and offering more options for adding alerts. Fantastical 2 for Mac's natural language parsing engine has been updated to be even more friendly and flexible. The parsing engine now understands expressive repeating events such as third Thursday of every month, every weekend, last weekday of the month, and more. Plus, users can now add alerts by ending their natural language input with phrases such as "remind me tomorrow at 3PM", "alert 1 hour before", or "alarm 3PM."Fantastical 2 for Mac is Yosemite-only because it incorporates several Yosemite features. When a user has an iPhone or an iPad with Fantastical for iOS installed, it's possible to switch off between the iOS and Mac versions of the app with Handoff. With the new extensions, it's possible to highlight text in Safari, for example, and send it automatically to Fantastical with a link, or to add events directly from within apps like Evernote. Fantastical 2, which is an all-new app, can be downloaded from the Mac App Store beginning today for $39.99. The app will be priced at $49.99 in the future, but it's currently being offered at a discount to celebrate its launch. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Continues to Tweak Emojis in Latest iOS 8.3 Beta • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has acquired database company FoundationDB, reports TechCrunch. FoundationDB is a company that "develops scalable and fault tolerant databases that support multiple data models." A notice on the company's site says that it has ceased to offer downloads after deciding to "evolve [the] company mission." According to TechCrunch, FoundationDB may have been an attractive purchase for Apple due to its ability to handle ACID-compliant transactions (aka data transfers) quickly and its strong scalability. A company blog post suggested it could achieve 54 billion writes per hour at a cost-per-write of 3 nano dollars. FoundationDB's attractiveness came in the speed at which it handled ACID-compliant transactions and coupled that with strong scalability. FoundationDB hosted a booth at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012, where we first wrote about its approach to a modern NoSQL database and its 'NoSQL, YesACID' motto. FoundationDB's latest engine, which was covered by TC Columnist Jon Evans late last year, scaled up 14.4 million random writes per second.TechCrunch describes FoundationDB as a "fast, affordable and durable database company" that may have been acquired to boost Apple's server-side technologies for the App Store, iTunes Connect, iTunes in the Cloud, or another service. Apple confirmed the acquisition with the standard statement that it gives on purchases: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items • Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
When Apple acquired Beats Electronics, several companies that had deals and partnerships with the headphone company were forced to sever their agreements, including Hewlett-Packard (HP). At the time of the acquisition, HP was selling laptops with "Beats Audio" branded speakers, through a partnership with Beats that was originally established in 2011. HP was only allowed to continue development on products using Beats Audio technologies through the end of 2014, leaving the company without an audio partner and without the "cool" factor Beats brought to the partnership. Ahead of the end of its partnership with Beats, HP began using its own in-house audio solution and ceased using Beats branding and logos, but it was unclear if that solution was based on Beats audio technology, as suggested by PCWorld.At the launch of the recent HP Spectre X360 last month, an HP executive declined to tell the IDG News Service whether the homegrown technology was influenced by Beats, or if it had Beats amplifiers in them. HP has excellent in-house technology to boost audio in PCs, said Mike Nash, vice president of product management for consumer personal systems, at the time.Though there may have been some remaining ties to Beats in HP products, HP today signaled its readiness to move on from the Beats brand by inking a deal with a new audio partner -- Bang & Olufsen. HP will use Bang & Olufsen audio technology in its PCs, tablets, and other accessories, with "custom tuned" audio for different PC models. Beginning this spring, HP PCs with Bang & Olufsen branding will start shipping to consumers. Like it did with its Beats partnership, HP will add Bang & Olufsen stickers and logos to the PCs, highlighting the new audio technology. CNET shared HP's thoughts on the new partnership."We've certainly spent a lot of time working on audio with Beats over the years. I think certainly a lot of learnings both ways in that relationship," Mike Nash, an HP personal-computer and printing vice president, said on a call with reporters Tuesday, soon after the deal was announced. "The opportunity now is to take everything we already know and combine that with some new expertise ... as part of our partnership with Bang & Olufsen."Even as HP moves on to Bang & Olufsen, the company is permitted to continue to sell its remaining stock of Beats-branded laptops through the end of 2015, so Bang & Olufsen-branded HP products may sit on store shelves beside those with Beats Audio technology. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items • Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of iOS 8.3 to developers, nearly two weeks after seeding the third iOS 8.3 beta and more than a month and a half after releasing the first iOS 8.3 beta. Today's beta is also available for public beta testers. The beta, build 12F5061, is available as an over-the-air download and through the iOS Developer Center. Apple has also released Xcode 6.3 beta 4. Previous iOS 8.3 betas have included features like a new emoji picker and all new diversified emoji and skin tone modifiers, new country flag emoji and updated emoji icons to represent the iPhone, iMac, and Apple Watch. Along with those emoji changes, iOS 8.3 brings wireless CarPlay connectivity, support for Google 2-step verification, Apple Pay for the China UnionPay network, several new Siri languages, filters for Messages, a UI change for the space bar in Safari, and more. We've been tracking all the iOS 8.3 changes in our iOS 8 Features Roundup. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items • Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an 'Automatic Link' Connected Car Adapter

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Following its March 9 media event where it introduced "Force Touch" trackpad technology for the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and upcoming 12-inch MacBook, Apple opened up the feature to third-party developers by delivering developer APIs starting with the third beta of OS X 10.10.3. The APIs will allow developers to support the ability of Force Touch trackpads to sense multiple levels of pressure and perform different actions depending on how hard the trackpad is being pressed. Apple has already taken steps to build Force Touch support into its own apps, as outlined in a support document. At the simplest level, the new Force Touch trackpads support a new "Force click" functionality, which allows a user to click on an item and then press a bit harder to activate a secondary function such as pulling up Dictionary or Wikipedia entires on selected text in Mail or Safari, a map preview when selecting an address, or Quick Look previews of files when selecting icons. Beyond the single-level Force click, the new Force Touch trackpad also supports more advanced features through sensing multiple levels of pressure, allowing users to accelerate zooming in and out of maps or vary the speed of fast forward and rewind in QuickTime and iMovie. iMovie also supports "bumpy pixels" in which the trackpad gives subtle vibrational feedback during the editing process to let the user know when the end of a dragged clip has been reached or when cropped clips are in proper alignment. While Force Touch is currently limited to the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, the feature looks set to expand throughout Apple's product lineups, with the company's other notebooks gaining the technology as update cycles allow and the Apple Watch supporting it as a key interface mechanism at launch. Apple is also rumored to be bringing Force Touch to the iPhone later this year. On the Mac side, Ten One Design today announced an update to Inklet, its popular third-party drawing software, that will bring "enhanced pressure control" to MacBooks with the new Force Touch trackpad. The company believes it is the first Mac developer to launch support for Force Touch. Through Inklet's software, users have been able to draw and edit images within applications like Pixelmator and Photoshop for a while, by determining "stylus pressure" to differentiate between when to use thin and thick lines. Ten One Design notes that the introduction of the Force Touch trackpad makes its app not only more precise in designating pressure sensitivities, but more reliable as well. We think Inklet is the first 3rd party application to support the Apple’s new Force Touch trackpads. This means you’ll have amazing pressure control on newer machines, and in a pinch you can even use your finger. Having a trackpad capable of measuring force is a big deal. Even though Inklet has always been capable of determining stylus pressure, this update makes measuring pressure simpler and more reliable. Kudos to the team at Apple who designed this precise and useful instrument.Beyond Force Touch support, Inklet's update also bring "improved pressure response" to MacBooks with the traditional multi-touch trackpad, along with the usual minor bug fixes. The company says Inklet will prompt users to update the app "sometime within the next three days", although users wanting to check out the new features sooner can hasten the process with the "Check for Updates" prompt in the Inklet menu. Those yet to download the software can do so for $24.95 for the base app, or $34.90 for the app bundled with the company's Pogo stylus, from Inklet's official website. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items • Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an 'Automatic Link' Connected Car Adapter

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posted 4 days ago on mac rumors
Apple on Tuesday added three new TV channels to the Apple TV set-top box in the United States: TED, Tastemade and Young Hollywood. The three new channels bring non-profit TED Talks and a wide selection of premium food, travel and celebrity programming to the Apple TV and should be available beginning today. The new channels arrive just over three months after the additions of UFC, The Scene, Fusion and Daily Motion. TED Talks given by the non-profit organization are hosted by guest speakers that cover a wide range of influential topics, including science, religion, technology, education and more. Meanwhile, Tastemade provides hundreds of episodes of premium food and travel programming, and Young Hollywood delivers the latest celebrity-related programming including entertainment news and exclusive interviews. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Route Tracking and Screen Mirroring Shown in New Apple Patent • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items • Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an 'Automatic Link' Connected Car Adapter

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Italian regulators have completed an investigation into allegations that Apple failed to pay €879 million ($964 million) in corporate taxes, according to Reuters. The report claims that, under Italian law, prosecutors can now ask a judge to bring the case to trial. Apple claims that it has paid all necessary taxes in countries that it operates and remains confident that the case will be resolved. Apple's flagship Via Roma retail store in Torino, Italy The investigations accuse Apple of booking profits generated in Italy through an Irish subsidiary in an effort to lower its taxable income base and save nearly €900 million from 2008 through 2013. Apple argues that it's "one of the largest tax payers in the world and paid every euro of tax it owed wherever it did business," and remains confident that the allegations are without merit and will be resolved.It said the Italian tax authorities had audited Apple’s Italian operations in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and confirmed it was in full compliance with the OECD documentation and transparency requirements. "These new allegations against our employees are completely without merit and we’re confident this process will reach the same conclusion," it said.Apple is one of several multinational tech companies, including Amazon and Google, that have faced corporate tax investigations in the United States and Europe. The U.S. Senate accused Apple of avoiding billions in income taxes in May 2013, while the European Union accused the company of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland after completing a formal investigation into its questionable tax practices in the country. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Australian Apple TV Owners Gain Access to Netflix Channel, Service • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items • Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an 'Automatic Link' Connected Car Adapter • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, Apple Accessories and More

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
The most recent iOS 8.3 beta was seeded to developers on March 12, but even though its been in the hands of testers for over a week, people are still discovering hidden features. Over the weekend, two new iOS 8.3 features were found, including an update to Siri and an update to app purchase settings. With the iOS 8.3 beta 3 installed, users can now ask Siri to make phone calls using the iPhone's speaker. If you ask Siri to "Call [name] on speaker," the call will be made via speakerphone, enhancing Siri's hands-free capabilities. If you make the same request in iOS 8.2, Siri ignores the "on speaker" part and places the call as normal. The new feature makes it possible to activate Siri while plugged in by saying "Hey Siri" and make a phone call, all without needing to touch the phone or put on a headset for hands-free operation. In the Settings menu of an iOS device running iOS 8.3 beta 3, there's a new option under iTunes & App Store labeled "Password Settings." In this section, there is an option to change the password settings for purchases and in-app purchases, choosing options to either "Always Require" a password when making a purchase, or to "Require After 15 Minutes." "Always Require" and "Require After 15 Minutes" are not new settings -- the options have previously been located within the Restrictions section of the Settings app -- but a user is required to select one in order to access a new password toggle setting, which lets users toggle the password requirement for free apps on and off. When toggled on, downloads labeled as "GET" in the App Store will not require a password. Apple's new Password Settings are not functional right now, returning a "Cannot connect to iTunes Store" message when tapped, but it's likely they will be made available in a later beta ahead of the update's public release. The Password Settings menu can also be found under General --> Restrictions. In addition to the newly discovered features listed above, iOS 8.3 adds quite a bit of new functionality to Apple's mobile operating system. Earlier betas have introduced a wireless CarPlay feature and several emoji changes, like a new emoji picker, diversified emoji with skin tone modifiers, new flags, and new icons for the watch, phone, and computer emoji, which now resemble an Apple Watch, an iPhone, and an iMac. Most notably, keyboard spacing has been changed to prevent users from hitting the period key when they meant to hit the space key when searching in Safari. There's also support for Google two-factor authentication when adding Google accounts on iOS, Apple Pay support for China UnionPay, new Siri languages, filtering options for Messages, and more. We've been keeping a complete list of iOS 8.3 changes in our iOS 8 Features Roundup. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Now Providing Apple Pay Window and Register Decals to Businesses • Pioneer's Latest Aftermarket In-Dash Systems With CarPlay Support Now Available • New Report Says Display Challenges Have Cut Apple Watch Shipments in Half • TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items • Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an 'Automatic Link' Connected Car Adapter • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, Apple Accessories and More • New iMovie for Mac Update Provides Look at Potential of Force Touch Trackpad

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