posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly consented to security inspections of the company's products by Chinese government officials, reports The Beijing News [Via ITworld]. The inspections will look for backdoors that provide third-party access to sensitive and private data stored on Apple devices. These spot inspections were part of an agreement forged between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Lu Wei, director of China's State Internet Information Office. The pair met last year to talk about the security of Apple's products, including the upcoming Apple Watch. Wei expressed concerned that Apple's devices may compromise the security of the Chinese government and the privacy of Apple device owners in China. During their conversation, Cook reportedly told Lu that Apple's devices do not contain a backdoor to share data with government entities or other third-party services. Despite these assurances, Wu supposedly insisted on these security assessments so the Chinese government can examine Apple's products firsthand. China increasingly is an important market for Apple with sales in the Asian nation projected to continue to rise in the coming years. Apple recently confirmed plans to open five new retail locations in China over the next five weeks. The company has been heavily promoting these grand openings, making retail head Angela Ahrendts available for interview by Chinese media sources and hiring renowned calligrapher Wang Dongling to design a mural for the upcoming West Lake store in Hangzhou. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana • 'The LEGO Movie Video Game' for iOS Hits the App Store • 'Marco Polo' App for Finding Misplaced iOS Devices Updated With Custom Responses and More • Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined 'Touch Preview' Controls After Record-Breaking 2014 • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Just days after a report claiming Apple supplier Quanta Computer has begun ramping up production of the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air, Chinese site iFanr shares some photos [Google Translate] of what it says is the display assembly for the machine (via SlashGear). The photos depict the claimed display and metal shell from the upcoming 12-inch machine alongside both a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 9.7-inch iPad, with its sizing appearing to measure up to previously reported dimensions. The display does, however, have two noticeable differences from current MacBook Air. First, instead of a backlit Apple logo on the back of the display assembly as is typically seen on Apple's notebooks, there is a polished metal logo more like those seen on iPads, with iFanr speculating the change could be tied to the device's thinness. Additionally, the display lacks the grey bezels current MacBook Air models have, instead opting for an apparently all-glass edge-to-edge cover for the display as seen on Retina MacBook Pro models. Paired with black bezels underneath, it is difficult to see where the display ends and the bezels begin unless the screen is turned on. Earlier renderings of the 12-inch MacBook Air based on information from within Apple had shown gray bezels similar to those seen on the current MacBook Air. Claimed 12-inch MacBook Air display assembly with 13" MacBook Pro The 12-inch MacBook Air will reportedly have roughly the same footprint as the 11-inch MacBook Air, relying on smaller bezels to compensate for a larger display size. The comparison photos shown by iFanr demonstrate the significantly smaller footprint for the 12-inch machine compared to a 13-inch MacBook Pro Claimed 12-inch MacBook Air display assembly with 9.7-inch iPad The next-generation MacBook Air is expected to feature a high-resolution display (perhaps classified as Retina) and new Broadwell Core M processors that will enable a thin, fanless design. Other reports have claimed the 12-inch MacBook Air will do away with nearly all the ports typically found on Apple's line of MacBooks, offering only a headphone jack, a pair of microphones, and a USB Type-C port that may handle both charging and external connectivity. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana • 'The LEGO Movie Video Game' for iOS Hits the App Store • 'Marco Polo' App for Finding Misplaced iOS Devices Updated With Custom Responses and More • Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined 'Touch Preview' Controls After Record-Breaking 2014 • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook's compensation for fiscal 2014 was $9.22 million, according to a newly released SEC filing. That breaks down to a salary of $1.7 million and non-equity incentive compensation of $6.7 million, double the $4.3M compensation he received in 2013. Apple's newest executive hire, Angela Ahrendts, received $73 million in cash and stock. That includes a $400,000 salary, a $500,000 bonus, and $70 million in stock. Ahrendts, who joined Apple in May of 2014, was previously making $37 million at Burberry, and her offer package included an RSU award with a value of $37 million to compensate her for her unvested Burberry awards along with an RSU award of $33 million as a new Apple hire. As for other Apple executives, Eddy Cue and Jeff Williams made over $24 million in stock awards, salary, and non-equity incentive plan compensation. Peter Oppenheimer earned $4.5 million, and Luca Maestri, Apple's new CFO, received $14 million. Apple had a record year under the guidance of Tim Cook, generating $182.8 billion in sales with $38.5 billion in net income in fiscal 2014, a new high for the company. According to its October forecast Apple expects to see revenue between $63.5 and $66.5 billion for the first quarter of 2015. Apple will announce its earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2015 on Monday, January 27. MacRumors will provide live coverage of both the earnings release and the conference call. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Longtime Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler to Retire in March • Apple's iPhone is Most Popular in Alaska and Montana • 'The LEGO Movie Video Game' for iOS Hits the App Store • 'Marco Polo' App for Finding Misplaced iOS Devices Updated With Custom Responses and More • Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined 'Touch Preview' Controls After Record-Breaking 2014 • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
One of the biggest mysteries about the upcoming Apple Watch is its battery life. Previous rumors have hinted that it will need to be charged once a day, and Apple CEO Tim Cook himself said that users will want to charge it on a daily basis, but concrete battery life information has yet to be revealed. New details on the Apple Watch's possible battery life have now surfaced from inside sources that spoke to 9to5Mac, revealing information on the battery life Apple was aiming for and what it may actually be able to achieve. As of 2014, Apple was reportedly aiming for 2.5 to 4 hours of active application use with 19 hours of active/passive use, plus 3 days of pure standby time and four days if the watch was sleeping. That's somewhat in line with early rumors, which suggested Apple was targeting a three to five day battery life for the device. While Apple was aiming for three to four days of standby time, two to three days, and while it's aiming for 19 hours of mixed usage, it "may not hit that number in the first generation version." The Apple Watch is equipped with a tiny but powerful S1 chip, and its performance is similar to that of the A5 processor from the iPhone 4s and the iPad 2. It also has a 60-FPS Retina-class display, which, along with the S1 chip, results in a significant amount of power usage.Apple has also been stress-testing the Apple Watch’s battery life with pre-bundled and third-party applications. Our sources say that Apple is targeting 2.5 hours of “heavy” application use, such as processor-intensive gameplay, or 3.5 hours of standard app use. Interestingly, Apple expects to see better battery life when using the Watch’s fitness tracking software, which is targeted for nearly 4 hours of straight exercise tracking on a single charge. As Apple is positioning the Apple Watch as a timepiece, the company has conducted numerous tests to determine how long it can run purely in time-keeping modes. We’re told that the Watch should be able to display its clock face for approximately three hours, including watch ticking animations, if nothing else is done with the device.These usage numbers make it sound like the Apple Watch will need to be charged multiple times a day, but it's unlikely that Apple Watch users will use apps and games continuously for hours, allowing the Apple Watch to last for approximately a day before needing to be charged. When not in active use, the Apple Watch goes into a battery-preserving sleep mode. Apple originally hoped to launch the Apple Watch in late 2014, but delays with software optimization ultimately caused the company to push back the release of the device until 2015, giving it time to eek out as much battery life as possible. Apple is also said to be perfecting the Apple Watch's MagSafe charger, improving its recharging time. Current rumors suggest the Apple Watch could launch in March of 2015, at the tail end of "early 2015." While complete pricing remains unknown, the entry-level model will sell for $349. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'The LEGO Movie Video Game' for iOS Hits the App Store • 'Marco Polo' App for Finding Misplaced iOS Devices Updated With Custom Responses and More • Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined 'Touch Preview' Controls After Record-Breaking 2014 • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile today announced a new program that makes it easier for customers with poor credit to receive discount pricing on devices and other deals previously only available to credit-worthy customers. CEO John Legere kicked off the new "Smartphone Equality" promotion with a video blog that explains the rationale behind the program. Legere notes that half of Americans do not qualify for most carrier-advertised phone deals due to poor credit or a lack of credit history, and T-Mobile aims to change that by "putting our relationship with you above some number pumped out by a credit bureau, some huge faceless bureaucracy." With its new "Smartphone Equality" program, T-Mobile is emphasizing the customer's relationship with the carrier instead of their credit score. As part of the initiative, customers who have paid their wireless bill on time for 12 months will be eligible for discounted pricing, including the carrier's popular zero down and no credit check programs. The "Smartphone Equality" program will be available starting next week to eligible customers. T-Mobile has been shaking up the cellular industry with its ongoing Un-carrier promotions, which broke new ground by removing the cellular contract from a smartphone purchase and offering generous early termination bonuses for customers who switch to T-Mobile. Recently, the wireless carrier introduced its Un-carrier 8 initiative, which includes a new "Data Stash" program that rolls over unused monthly data and makes it available for the following 12 months. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined 'Touch Preview' Controls After Record-Breaking 2014 • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
BlackBerry CEO John Chen yesterday published a blog post adaptation of a letter in which he presses U.S. government officials to support not only net neutrality but also "application/content neutrality". In Chen's view, all apps and content should be available on all platforms, and he points specifically to Apple's iMessage and Netflix's streaming services as examples of discrimination against BlackBerry. Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service. Netflix, which has forcefully advocated for carrier neutrality, has discriminated against BlackBerry customers by refusing to make its streaming movie service available to them. Chen believes BlackBerry is a leader for content and application neutrality and pushes U.S. government officials to require these same neutral practices from the Canadian company's competitors. "Neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet," writes Chen. Chen's comments have unsurprisingly been met with ridicule by developers who don't wish to be forced to create apps for platforms where they do not expect worthwhile returns, and many observers have suggested BlackBerry should focus its efforts on creating a compelling ecosystem that would attract users and apps organically. Apple has historically been quiet on broader issues of net neutrality. The Cupertino company was noticeably absent from a list of more than 100 technology companies which signed a letter protesting a proposed change in FCC rules that would allow for Internet fast lanes for certain types of content. Speculation has suggested Apple's absence may be related to its interest in securing priority access with Internet providers for media content delivered by the company. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Spotify for iOS Adding Streamlined 'Touch Preview' Controls After Record-Breaking 2014 • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Google has signed deals with Sprint and T-Mobile that will allow it to sell wireless service directly to consumers, reports The Wall Street Journal, adding to a report released by The Information earlier today. The publication's sources suggest that Google's entry into the wireless service industry may be part of an effort to persuade carriers to bolster speeds and cut down on pricing. Positioning itself as a wireless carrier is also part of Google's larger effort to provide better Internet coverage across the United States. Currently, there are four major carriers in the United States: T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon, and while T-Mobile has made efforts to shake up the wireless industry with its Un-Carrier initiatives, wireless service in the United States remains much pricier than in other countries, with subscribers getting less data for more money. Details on how Google will offer wireless service, its cost, or when it will launch are not known, but like the rollout of its Google Fiber broadband internet service, Google-branded wireless service could launch in a limited number of cities to begin with.Sprint, of Overland Park, Kan., is the third-largest wireless carrier, while T-Mobile, of Bellevue, Wash., ranks fourth. Under separate agreements with each carrier, Google will resell service on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, according to people familiar with the plans. Such wholesale agreements are common, essentially allowing sellers such as Google to pitch wireless service under their own brand names.As it will operate as an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, Google will not need to build out the infrastructure for its own wireless network, instead providing T-Mobile or Sprint service that's controlled by and sold through Google. Other well-known MVNO's include Boost Mobile, FreedomPop, and Straight Talk. In the past, there have been rumors and speculation suggesting that Apple too would take on the role of a mobile carrier, selling service directly to consumers, but Apple has not made any moves in that direction. In fact, in 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple did not need to own a carrier or provide its own wireless service, stating that the company would be better off focusing its efforts on making great devices than attempting to get into a market out of its area of expertise. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Twitter for iOS Gains 'While You Were Away' Tweet Recaps • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Logic Pro X for Mac today received its most significant update in the last year and a half, adding a slew of new features to the pro-oriented audio software produced by Apple. Version 10.1 of the software, which is available for free for existing users, introduces new drummer profiles and more tools to make music creation a simpler task, plus it adds in new sounds with a focus on electronic and hip hop music. There are 10 new drummer profiles to use in the new version of Logic Pro X, which can be used to produce beats in styles like Techno, House, Trap, and Dubstep, and there's also a new drum machine plug-in for tweaking drum sounds and making mixes. Each drummer has eight preset patterns, but they can be customized and users can create their own patterns as well. Logic Pro X screenshot courtesy of CNET The update introduces 200 synth patches and 10 new Mellotron instruments, and features like the piano roll editor have been improved. The Compressor plug-in now has a Retina-ready interface, and there's a plug-in manager to keep frequently-used plug-ins at hand and organized. An expanded Logic Remote toolset offers a new plug-in view for use with the iPad, with multi-touch gestures able to manipulate tracks using the Visual Equalizer. A full list of changes is below:- 10 new Drummers that produce beats in a variety of electronic and hip hop styles including Techno, House, Trap, Dubstep and more - Drummer provides specialized sound and performance controls for dialing in electronic or hip hop drum grooves - New Drum Machine Designer plug-in offers new sounds and features for customizing electronic drum kits in a variety of styles - Create a sequence of notes with a single mouse gesture using the new Brush Tool in the Piano Roll Editor - New view options in the Piano Roll Editor let you see more notes in less vertical space and help identify drum sounds by name - Easily compress or expand the timing of selected notes with new time handles in the Piano Roll Editor - Note Repeat and Spot Erase modes allow classic drum machine style techniques for creating beats in realtime - Smart Quantize proportionally corrects the timing and length of notes to preserve the musicality of your original performance - Redesigned Compressor plug-in features scalable, Retina-ready interface and 7 models including the new Classic VCA - Retro Synth can now create wavetables from imported audio and is able to stack up to 8 voices - Expanded sound library includes over 200 new synth patches and 10 classic Mellotron instruments - Automation can now be part of a region, not just the track, which makes it easier to use effects creatively - Manage large-scale mixes more easily with the addition of console-style VCA faders - Relative and Trim Automation modes extend the options for fine-tuning existing automation - Mixer now allows remote control of microphone and other input settings for compatible audio interfaces - Realtime rendering of fades allow them to work with Flex Pitch and speeds up project load times - The Plug-in Manager now allows you to customize the organization of your menu - Support for Mail Drop and Air Drop in OS X Yosemite makes it even easier to share your Logic projectsMore in-depth reviews on the new features in Logic Pro X can be found over at Macworld and CNET, sites that got a hands-on look at the update ahead of its release. Logic Pro X can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $199.99. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Though developers have had access to the WatchKit API for the upcoming Apple Watch since the debut of iOS 8.2 in November, we've still learned very little about what apps will be able to do and what kind of apps we can expect to see when the device launches. We know that common Apple apps like Messages, Mail, and others will be available on the Apple Watch based on what Apple shared in the keynote and on its dedicated Apple Watch website, but third-party developers have not divulged much about their plans for the device, though hundreds of innovative apps and experiences are undoubtedly in the works. One major game developer, NimbleBit, is working on a new game that will be playable on the Apple Watch. Shared by our sister site TouchArcade, Letterpad is a simple word game that will be available on both iOS and the Apple Watch. The object of the game is to make words related to a specified topic from a grid of nine letters, and a mockup of what the game might look like is below. Games may not seem conducive to the Apple Watch given its rumored limited battery life (the device will need to be charged on a daily basis) and its small screen, but simple games like Letterpad will translate well to the device. As we've learned from the WatchKit API, the first apps coming out for the Apple Watch will be entirely reliant on the iPhone, powered by the phone itself and projected to the Apple Watch to conserve battery. This is just a first glimpse of one simple game that will be playable on the wrist thanks to the Apple Watch, and developers likely have a range of unique game experiences in mind. The Apple Watch's Taptic Engine and Force Touch capabilities, to determine between taps and presses and deliver subtle alerts, may enable all new types of games and apps that we haven't even considered yet, and over the course of the next few months, we'll likely get a much clearer picture of what developers are planning to create for the device. The most recent rumors have suggested that the Apple Watch could see a March debut, and while pricing remains largely unknown, we do know that the entry-level Apple Watch will be priced at $349. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Alongside officially debuting Windows 10, Microsoft today unveiled two new futuristic hardware products, the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset, and the Microsoft Surface Hub, an 84-inch 4K touch screen tablet with multi-touch and multi-pen support, dual camera, and advanced sensors. The Microsoft Surface Hub runs a version of Windows 10 that's been adapted for the huge 84-inch display, and Microsoft showed the device being used in workplace meetings, as a hub for communication. The screen was used for making drawings and notes, and content projected to the Surface Hub was then shared to all people on a Skype conference call. The Surface Hub was also demonstrated using various Microsoft apps adapted for a larger screen. Microsoft Surface Hub, image via The Verge Microsoft has not announced pricing, but the Surface Hub is aimed at enterprise users and is likely to be quite expensive. The company's second major product debut was the Microsoft HoloLens, which is a headset that uses holographic see-through lenses to allow its users to see and interact with holograms in an augmented reality environment. The HoloLens has spacial sound and advanced sensors to capture location information, allowing for a totally immersive holographic experience, and it has a built-in high-end CPU and GPU, as well as a "holographic processing unit" that processes information and data from the headset's sensors. "HoloLens enables native holographical computing," said Microsoft Kinect developer Alex Kipman. There are no wires or external connections, and there is no need to have a phone or PC to use the HoloLens. Running a version of Windows 10 called Windows Holographic, the HoloLens knows where a user is looking, providing a virtual display that can be interacted with to launch apps. In a video, Microsoft showed a holographic view that saw a virtual to-do list projected onto a real refrigerator, and a set of quick-launch apps portrayed on a wall for easy access. It was able to display virtual maps, reminders, and information like weather, all laid over a real view, with Microsoft promising it delivers "new ways to visualize work." With HoloLens, a Skype conversation could be projected on a wall, or people could play a holographic version of Minecraft. "Imagine an architect walking around their designs while clients are viewing it from a remote location," said Kipman. On stage, Microsoft demoed something that it calls Holo Studio, which can be used to design personalized 3D creations in just minutes, which can then be 3D printed. The Holo Studio was used to create a full-on quad copter in just a matter of minutes, which was fully functional. Microsoft's holographic computing was also demoed with the Mars Rover, as Microsoft has had a secret partnership with NASA developing the HoloLens. "We've had the great honor of partnering with one of the most innovative organizations in history," said Kipman as an immersive image from the Mars Rover was displayed on the screen. NASA's been using the technology to allow its scientists to walk on Mars. According to Microsoft, the HoloLens will launch during the Windows 10 timeframe, which means that it could be available for purchase at some point later this year. Attendees at Microsoft's event today will be able to give the HoloLens a try immediately in Microsoft's lab. More information on the HoloLens will be available in April at Microsoft's Build Developer Conference. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
In the fall of 2014, Microsoft announced its newest operating system, Windows 10, and gave a brief preview of the upcoming software, which is designed to incorporate elements of both Windows 8 and Windows 7, in an attempt to make it more appealing to users who have thus far not upgraded to Windows 8. Today, Microsoft is holding an official unveiling of Windows 10, sharing new details on the OS and demonstrating how it works across a range of devices. With Windows 10, Microsoft is hoping to cut down on operating system fragmentation with one unified platform thats designed to run on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Microsoft's tagline for Windows 10 is "More personal computing," a philosophy that's evidenced in its three design guidelines that it used when developing the software: mobility of experience, trust, and natural interaction, through a range of different input options from mice and keyboards to pens and simple touch. Windows 10 somewhat mirrors Apple's efforts to unify iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite by creating a deep level of integration with features like Continuity, because Microsoft promises a unified experience and platform integration that will make it easy to put one device down and continue where you left off on another device. In an effort to get its users to adopt Windows 10, Microsoft is planning to distribute Windows 10 to Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users at no cost for the first year, which is an unprecedented move for the Washington-based company. Unlike Apple, Microsoft has never offered Windows for free, but Apple's success getting the majority of its users on the same operating system has likely inspired Microsoft to make the same effort. Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft plans to keep the operating system current for the lifetime of the device. With a unified operating system, developers can target every single Windows device, and Microsoft is planning for long term support. "Windows 10 is so much more than the latest version of Windows," said Microsoft VP of Operating Systems Terry Myerson. "Windows is turning into a service that will run across every device." At today's event, Microsoft demoed Windows 10 running on several different devices, beginning with a tablet equipped with a keyboard and a mouse, running the full Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 melds elements of Windows 7 with Windows 8.1, maintaining the tile system but also returning the iconic Start Menu. There's an action center that delivers notifications and supports quick actions like turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and there's also a merged PC Settings and control panel option, which will be universal across all devices. With Continuum, a new feature that's designed to make transitioning from PC mode to tablet mode seamless, the mouse and keyboard were removed and Windows 10 offered a popup that transformed it into tablet mode. "A device like this elegantly transforms from one mode to another." Microsoft also demoed its virtual assistant Cortana on a Windows PC, demonstrating her ability to search for information, set reminders, and more. Previously, Cortana was limited to Windows Phone, but the assistant will be available across all devices with the introduction of Windows 10. Cortana in Windows 10 is quite powerful, able to answer queries like "Bring up all my photos from December," or "Play my music," and she'll be integrated into the Maps app. Windows 10 was also shown off on a small form-factor tablet and on a phone, with an emphasis being placed on the unification between the devices, with the same methods being used to access settings, apps, and more. For messaging, for example, Microsoft has plans for Skype integration, making it easy to transition from messaging to making a Skype call. Microsoft apps like Office and Outlook will be available on PCs, phones, and tablets, and it will be easy to transition between apps on various devices. Microsoft is introducing a slew of universal apps, and in addition to those mentioned above, Microsoft has a new Photos app that's formatted to fit any screen on a tablet, phone, or PC. It aggregates photos from all devices, providing one simple view of photos and filters clutter like double shots, which sounds similar to what Apple is aiming to do with its own Photos app. Along with Windows 10, Microsoft debuted a new browser for the modern web, which is currently codenamed Project Spartan. It's a new web browsing experience for Windows 10, which has a new rendering engine, a new look and feel, and features like a note-taking mode that lets users draw directly on their browsers before sharing a link, a reading mode with reading list and offline browsing, and access to Cortana in the browser. Finally, Microsoft debuted a unified Xbox app that can be accessed on PCs, tablets, and smartphones, connecting those devices to Microsoft's Xbox gaming platform. It can be used for sharing gaming clips, and with Windows 10, Microsoft plans to enable streaming of any Xbox game to Windows PCs and tablets running Windows 10 in the home. Microsoft has already provided access to Windows 10 to some users through its Windows Insider Program, a project that it plans to continue to use to seed out new Windows 10 features. Project Spartan and the features shown off today will come to Windows Insider testers in the coming months. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C106a to Developers • Amazon Ends Wallet App Beta Program, but Still No Sign of Apple Pay Loyalty Rewards Program • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook

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posted 8 days ago on mac rumors
Patent holding company TriDim Innovations this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, accusing the companying of violating two 3D workspace patents the company owns. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with a judge assignment still pending. TriDim asserts in the suit that Apple is infringing on U.S. patents 5,838,326 and 5,847,709, both of which address document management in 3D workspaces. Specifically, Apple Time Machine, Cover Flow, and Safari for iOS 7 and 8 are claimed to be infringing on the patents. One embodiment of the document display space disclosed in TriDim's patents Both of TriDim's patents were originally filed in 1996 and awarded to Xerox in late 1998, although they have changed hands several times in recent years. Patent ’326 details a method of moving and manipulating document objects in a 3D workspace using touch-drop, flick and other gestures.A computer controlled display system for displaying a three-dimensional document workspace is disclosed. One or more documents objects are present in the document workspace. The present invention provides for interaction with the collections, e.g. viewing, moving and storing, while balancing the necessary tradeoffs of rapid access, number of collections and associated documents, and available screen space.TriDim is asking for unspecified monetary damages for Apple’s alleged infringement, along with interest and court costs. TriDim's lawsuit is not the first time Apple has been accused of patent infringement for its Time Machine and Cover Flow interfaces. In 2010, Apple was initially hit with a $625 million judgment in a case centered on a different set of patents owned by Mirror Worlds LLC. That verdict was ultimately overturned, however, and became final when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • FiftyThree's Popular 'Pencil' Stylus Now Available in Apple Retail Stores • Dropbox Acquires Document Editing Service CloudOn • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook • LastPass Password Manager Introduces New Mac App • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has acquired British media analytics company Semetric and will look to roll in the company's Musicmetric tracking service into its relaunch of Beats Music later this year, reports The Guardian. In documents filed with Companies House earlier in January, Semetric’s registered address was changed to 100 New Bridge Street in London – the office of law firm Baker & McKenzie, which is also the registered address of Apple Europe Limited. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plan,” said Apple in a statement provided to the Guardian, although Semetric declined to comment. First launched in 2008, Musicmetric is known for its expansive tracking of music sales, downloads, and social networking statistics for artists and labels. In 2013, the startup also struck a deal with streaming service Spotify to integrate its data into Musicmetric's profiles for users. Last year, it was reported that Apple would be revamping the Beats Music streaming service for 2015, and was even said to be pushing for an industry-leading $5 monthly subscription cost. Apple could look to offer musicians and music labels a way to track their iTunes and social networking statistics with Musicmetric, although both companies have yet to specify their plans. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple's Smartphone Market Share Rises Sharply in Asia After iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook • LastPass Password Manager Introduces New Mac App • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
NBCUniversal today announced that it's debuting a new "Super Stream Sunday" promotion, which will allow all U.S.-based users to watch 11 continuous hours of NBC content through the NBCSports.com website and through the NBC Sports Live Extra app on the iPad/iPod touch without the need for a cable subscription. Super Stream Sunday, which starts on February 1 at noon Eastern Time, will include Super Bowl XLIX, the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show with Katy Perry, and the Super Bowl XLIX pre- and post-game shows. It will also feature an episode of The Blacklist. Accessing NBC content through NBC.com or within the NBC Sports Live Extra app typically requires a cable subscription and authentication through logging into the service, but for the Super Stream Sunday period, no logins will be required, allowing everyone to watch the Super Bowl for free. NBC is running the promotion in an effort to make people aware of its TV Everywhere offerings, which offer television content on a range of devices with a cable subscription. While iPad and iPod touch users can watch the Super Bowl using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, NBC is not able to stream content to the iPhone as it does not have NFL live-streaming rights for smartphones due to an exclusive deal the NFL has with Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless and the NFL plan to introduce a Super Bowl Stadium app that will offer "exclusive in-stadium video content" that includes commercials and replays shown from four camera angles. Users not in the United States or Mexico can access the Super Bowl through the NFL's Game Rewind service. NBC Sports Live Extra can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook • LastPass Password Manager Introduces New Mac App • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Despite the multitude of password management apps that are available, like 1Password and LastPass, many people continue to use easily guessable words and number strings to protect their sensitive information. One of the most popular passwords in 2014, for example, was "123456," according to a list of leaked 2014 passwords gathered by SplashData (via Re/code). The second most used password was "password," followed by "12345," "12345678," and "qwerty." Both "123456" and "password" have also been popular in past years, ranking as the top two most commonly used passwords in 2013. Similar number strings were the sixth and seventh most popular 2014 passwords, followed by the words "baseball," "football," and "dragon." "Passwords based on simple patterns on your keyboard remain popular despite how weak they are," said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData. "Any password using numbers alone should be avoided, especially sequences. As more websites require stronger passwords or combinations of letters and numbers, longer keyboard patterns are becoming common passwords, and they are still not secure."To get its list of the worst passwords in 2014, its fourth annual year of collecting password data, SplashData looked at more than 3.3 million passwords that were leaked across 2014. Passwords came primarily from users in North America and Western Europe. Based on the data that it gathered, SplashData recommends against using keyboard sequences like "1qaz2wsx" or "qwertyuiop," and it advises users not to use a favorite sport. Baseball and football made the top 10 list of most common passwords, while hockey, soccer, and golfer were in the top 100. Team-based passwords like Yankees, Eagles, Steelers, Rangers, and Lakers also made the top 100 list. Birthdays and birth years are also not recommended, nor are names, with common monikers like Michael, Jennifer, Thomas, and Jordan listed within the top 50 most commonly used passwords. Swear words, phrases, hobbies, athletes, car brands, and film names were also heavily featured in SplashData's top 100 list. Using a password management app like SplashID, 1Password, or LastPass is highly recommended, to generate random passwords that are used for a single site and that are more secure than self-generated words, numbers, and phrases. Widely publicized data leaks across 2013 and 2014 seem to have spurred more people to choose stronger passwords, as the top 25 passwords represented just 2.2 percent of passwords exposed. Along with the well-known iCloud breach, many companies including Home Depot, Target, and Staples saw major data leaks. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Capture Any Audio on a Mac With Audio Hijack 3 • Chrome for iOS Updated With Handoff Support, Material Design, iPhone 6 Optimization • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook • LastPass Password Manager Introduces New Mac App • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may boost Apple's iPhone sales to a new record in the company's year-ending Q1 2015 quarter, says Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty in a recent investor note. In line with other analyst predictions, Huberty and her team expect iPhone sales in the December holiday quarter to reach as high as 69 million units, eclipsing last year's quarterly record of 51 million units sold in Q1 2014. Huberty also predicts strong Mac sales based on IDC's estimate of 5.8 million units, well above Morgan Stanley's earlier estimate of 5.2 million units and exceeding the record-setting 5.5 million Macs the company sold in fiscal Q4 2014. While the iPhone and Mac climb, iPad demand year-over-year is expected to remain weak with 22 million units shipped in Q1 2015, down slightly from the 26 million sold in the same quarter of 2014. Looking ahead, Huberty believes Apple is on the cusp of a "super" iPhone upgrade cycle that will see an increased number of iPhone owners upgrading from their older iPhone models. The results from Morgan Stanley's Alphawise survey suggest that 35 percent of iPhone owners have an iPhone 4s or older. These older model iPhone owners are likely to upgrade in the next two years with nearly two-thirds of the predicted 200 million iPhone shipments in 2015 being purchased by these upgrade-eligible customers. The Apple Watch also is expected to command interest in 2015 with 3 million units shipped during the first quarter of availability, predicts Huberty. Surveys suggest the wearable will be popular among iPhone owners, pushing sales to a predicted 30 million units in 2015. Apple will announce the results for its first fiscal quarter of 2015 (fourth calendar quarter of 2014) and provide future earnings guidance on Tuesday, January 27. The quarterly earnings statement will be released around 1:30 PM Pacific/4:30 PM Eastern, with a conference call to discuss the report following at 2:00 PM Pacific/5:00 PM Eastern. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Increasing Lobbying Presence in Washington, D.C. Under Tim Cook • LastPass Password Manager Introduces New Mac App • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
LVMH luxury watch chief and TAG Heuer interim head Jean-Claude Biver spoke recently with Bloomberg, revealing some early details about the company's upcoming smartwatch product. Biver was a notable early critic of the Apple Watch, saying Apple's wearable effort looked like it was designed by "a student in their first trimester," although he appears to have shifted his perspective more recently. In this week's Bloomberg interview, Biver recognizes the technological shortcomings of the Swiss watch industry, which lacks the communications and hardware background to produce a smartwatch. Instead, TAG Heuer will develop its smartwatch using a "different craftsmanship" that merges the mechanical know-how of the Swiss watch makers with the technology expertise of Silicon Valley. For a smartwatch, "we can’t produce the engine, the chips, the applications, the hardware -- nobody can produce it in Switzerland," Biver said. "The hardware and the software will come from Silicon Valley. But the watch case, the dial, the design, the idea, the crown, that part of the watch will, of course, be Swiss." Biver earlier confirmed TAG Heuer was looking to work with technology companies on its smartwatch device and told Bloomberg in his latest interview that the company will reveal these partnerships in the next six weeks. Google and Intel are among the companies rumored to be collaborating with the luxury watch maker. Besides the typical smartwatch functions of GPS location tracking, step counting, and smartphone integration, TAG Heuer may also differentiate its product by offering exclusive apps that promote its brand and partnerships such as the sports teams that it sponsors. Though he may be creating a competing product, Biver told Bloomberg he plans to buy an Apple Watch when it launches. "It’s a fantastic product, an incredible achievement," he said. "I’m not just living in the tradition and culture and the past, I also want to be connected to the future. The Apple Watch connects me to the future. My watch connects me to history, to eternity." Apple is expected to launch the Apple Watch as soon as March. The wearable band will be available in a variety of configurations designed for the average user, the sports enthusiast, and the luxury customer looking for a high-end smartwatch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • LastPass Password Manager Introduces New Mac App • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted an Apple patent, originally filed in April of 2012, that deals with eye-tracking technology used to control a user interface on a computer or smartphone (via AppleInsider). The specific invention involves a method for ensuring users do not lose track of a cursor while controlling their devices through eye-tracking movements. The patent, with inventor credit going to David P. Julian, describes future Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices that could include the new camera technology, allowing movements of a user's eye to translate to the movement of a cursor on screen. The patent doesn't go into deep detail describing any further practical use of the "gaze control" technology, though it does mention in passing the possible use such advancements could have in vehicles, game consoles, and entertainment systems. The patent mostly attempts to battle the Troxler Effect, an optical effect that causes objects in the periphery to begin to disappear when a user focuses on a particular point on-screen. This is a particularly troubling issue with retina-tracking technology, which requires a user to focus on various on-screen interface prompts to properly work. Apple's invention seeks to counteract the Troxler Effect by monitoring eye movements and blinking to estimate when a user is likely to be losing track of a mouse pointer or other cursor due to the effect. The system would automatically move the cursor to bring it back to visibility.In certain configurations, the eye tracking system may persistently render the movable indicator wherever the user looks in the GUI. This rendering of the movable indicator may be accurate to the degree that the movable indicator becomes a stabilized retinal image with respect to the user's eyes. As such, the movable indicator may fade with respect to the user's perception of the GUI. In other words, the movable indicator may no longer be visible to the user. In such situations, it is desirable to restore the user's perception of the movable indicator to counteract this fading effect. Accordingly, the eye tracking system described herein may automatically alter the position, appearance, or both of the movable indicator so that it is no longer a stabilized retinal image and can be perceived by the user. A handful of older patents filed by the company have been released by the Patent and Trademark Office as of late, including a transforming home-button-to-gaming-joystick just last week. Like all other patents, the possibility of the eye-tracking tech showing up anytime soon in an Apple product is very slim, but is an interesting glimpse into the company's possible future nonetheless. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Luxury watch maker Montblanc earlier this month announced the "e-Strap", an accessory band that will add notifications, music control, and other smartphone-connected functions to a traditional analog wristwatch, marking one of the first efforts by traditional watchmakers to offer smartphone integration as the Apple Watch's launch nears. Alexander Linz of the Watch-Insider blog had the opportunity to examine the e-Strap first hand during a demonstration by Montblanc CEO Jerome Lambert that was held over the weekend in Geneva. Detailed photos of the watch accessory reveal how it sits on a traditional watch band to rest firmly on the underside of the wrist. The display portion appears rather bulky, making discomfort a possible issue during daily use. Other photos showcase the 0.9-inch monochrome touchscreen display which shares information such as incoming phone calls, upcoming appointments, and more. The display quality is not nearly as good as depicted in Montblanc's renderings of the strap, with text and icons appearing rather jagged due to the low 128 x 36 resolution. Not a standalone device, the e-Strap will connect to an iOS or Android smartphone via an app that will allow users to customize the information being displayed on their wrists. The e-Strap is expected to cost 250 euros and will be available as an optional accessory to select Timewalker Urban Speed watches. The e-Strap also may be compatible with other Timewalker watches that ship with a 42-mm or 43-mm wide band. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today updated its website to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a full page memorial on the company's home page. The image on the site is accompanied by a message to honor the civil rights leader and his work, “Today we reflect on the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the work that continues in service of the broader concerns of humanity.” Following the rollout of the website change, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted his own commemoration that highlighted Apple's remembrance of King's legacy. Honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLK Apple http://t.co/ngqL0bym8y— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 19, 2015 Previously, Tim Cook has publicly expressed his admiration for Dr. King, noting in a Charlie Rose interview last year that he keeps photos of King and politician Robert Kennedy in his office at Apple. "I had the — just tremendous respect for both of them, and so I do," he said. "I look at them every day because I think for people — there’s still too many cases in the world and in the United States where there’s a class kind of structure or where voting or people are trying to convince each other that this other group of people don’t deserve the same rights. And I think it’s crazy, I think it’s un-American." Besides the web page refresh, Apple reportedly also is encouraging its employees to volunteer with a donation matching program, reports 9to5Mac. Instead of a paid day off, Apple is offering to donate an additional $50 for each voluntary hour worked by employees. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another report outlining his belief that Apple will launch a stylus as an optional accessory for the company's rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro". With the new iPad's larger screen, it will likely prove popular with enterprise and creative users who tend to have more need for a stylus and Kuo believes Apple will fill that need with an in-house solution.Given that it’s more precise than a person’s fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases. Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad.Apple's proposed haptic stylus from a 2010 patent application, not necessarily reflective of the company's current thinking on such a device Kuo believes the stylus will be an optional accessory rather than included standard with the new iPad, as the relatively expensive stylus would drive the base cost of the iPad too high.We don’t think all users will need a stylus initially. Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it. We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.Looking at technical details of the stylus, Kuo predicts it will charge via a Lightning connector, believing a more convenient wireless charging solution would be too expensive and require difficult antenna design that Apple will likely forego initially. Kuo also believes the initial stylus model will not include a gyroscope accelerometer, but future models could include the component to support "3D handwriting" to allow the user to write on other surfaces or even in the air. Kuo believes Apple will launch this new stylus in the second or third quarter of this year, roughly the timeframe predicted for the iPad Pro launch. The company has filed for a number of patents related to stylus technology, with the most recently publicized one being a "communicating stylus" that would automatically transcribe handwritten notes into digital form. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is continuing its behind-the-scenes work on the upcoming iOS 8.1.3 update, and as of yesterday, retail employees that have been testing the software received a second iOS 8.1.3 beta, build 12B466, which is six builds newer than the previous seed they received on Wednesday, January 7. Last week, we speculated that the iOS 8.1.3 beta was close to release due to the fact that it was shared with quite a few retail employees, but it appears there are still bugs that Apple is working on fixing before it provides the 8.1.3 update to the public. MacRumors continues to see an uptick in the number of visits received from devices running iOS 8.1.3, and while we expect the update will be released to the public in the next week or two, it is not clear exactly when a launch could come. Overall visitors to MacRumors.com from devices running iOS 8.1.3 According to our source, iOS 8.1.3 appears to contain only under-the-hood bug fixes with no readily apparent visual changes to the operating system. Apple has not provided employees with release notes. With iOS 8.1.2 and iOS 8.1.3 positioned as minor updates, Apple has opted not to share the software with developers ahead of its release, instead testing the updates in house. Testing the iOS 8.1.3 update with retail employees is a new move for Apple, as it marks the first time retail workers have been invited to participate in the testing of an iOS beta. Retail employees have been involved in the beta testing of OS X for years. Apple may have avoided seeding the iOS 8.1.2 and 8.1.3 betas to developers in order to focus developer testing on iOS 8.2, which is currently on its fourth beta. iOS 8.2 is a major update that is expected to be released alongside the Apple Watch in the spring months. As we mentioned last week, along with iOS 8.1.3 and iOS 8.2, our site metrics indicate that a small number of Apple employees in Cupertino are also working on iOS 9, the successor to iOS 8 that we expect will be previewed in the summer and released in the fall alongside new iPhones. An iOS 8.3 update that was also observed in testing months ago has declined in activity according to our web logs, with visits from devices running it having peaked in late November and not rebounding significantly in the new year following the holiday lull. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App

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posted 13 days ago on mac rumors
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich appeared today on CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about the financial future of the technology company. Following discussions about Intel's disappointing Q1 forecast and flat PC sales, CNBC anchor Betsy Quick questioned the executive about rumors that Apple may eventually drop Intel chips from its Mac computers in favor of its own processors. Unfazed by the questioning, Krzanich toed the company line, revealing no new information about the future of Intel's relationship with Apple and simply calling it a "strong" one.I just hear the same rumors. Our relationship with Apple is strong and their products are great. Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability in innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate. They're a company based on innovation. Our job is to continue to deliver parts that have that capability give them that, that are better than our competitors. And then they want to use our parts. So I wake up every morning making sure that across the board, whether it's Apple or Lenovo or Dell or any of our customers -- we have to provide the most competitive part: performance, price, reliability, all of those. In his latest report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered the prediction that Apple may launch ARM-based Macs in the next few years. In this scenario, Apple would replace the Intel chips it currently uses with custom designed A-series chip, allowing the company to better time processor upgrades with new product launches. Apple last year was forced to delay major product launches across its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup, offering only minor processor bumps due to delays in Intel's Broadwell processors. Rumors of Apple's interest in ARM-based Macs are not new, with earlier reports suggesting Apple has developed ARM-Based prototypes of the iMac, Mac Mini, and a 13-inch notebook model. If the rumor pans out this time, the switchover to ARM processor would initially target low-end machines that would benefit from the low battery consumption of the ARM-based architecture. Future expansion may be possible as improvements in Apple's A-series processor begin to rival the performance of Intel's entry-level offerings. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently started selling the 27-Inch iMac With Retina 5K Display in the refurbished section of its online store, as first noticed by 9to5Mac. These refurbished models offer customers the chance to save up to 15 percent off the retail price of a brand new model. Several 27-inch Retina iMac models are available, including the entry-level model which is availablee for $2119 and includes a 3.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and a 1TB Fusion Drive. Other available Retina iMacs include a $2,419 model with 16GB of memory and a 3TB Fusion Drive and a $2,549 unit with 16GB of memory and 512GB flash storage. All three models are in stock and available to ship today. After months of speculation, Apple unveiled the 27-Inch iMac With Retina 5K Display during its October media event. The consumer desktop features a 5120 x 2880 pixel display with improved contrast, viewing angles, and color accuracy. Early impressions of the machine were favorable with reviewers praising the "stunning display" and noting that it is a "huge step up" from Apple's notebook Retina displays. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Ustwo, the developers behind the hit game Monument Valley today published a detailed infographic that gives a rare inside look at what it takes to develop an ultra popular game and the rewards developers can reap from creating an app that soars to the top of the App Store charts. For those unfamiliar, Monument Valley is a highly popular indie puzzle game that asks players to lead the main character through a series of mazes spanning 10 separate levels. The game was highly praised for its design, which included a unique and striking art style. According to Ustwo's infographic, it took Ustwo's eight person team 55 weeks and $852,000 to develop the original version of Monument Valley ahead of its April 2014 launch. The app's Forgotten Shores expansion, released in late November, took an additional 29 weeks and $549,000 to develop. Monument Valley received some negative attention after the expansion was priced at $1.99 in-app by users who believed that the update should be free, but the half a million in development costs for the Android and iOS apps explain why it would have been largely unreasonable for the team to release an expansion at no cost. The more than $1 million that Ustwo poured into the development of Monument Valley paid off, and the game earned a total of $5,858,625 from 2,440,076 sales. 81.7 percent of all revenue came from iOS from 1,736,431 sales while Google Play and Amazon represented a combined 18.2 percent of revenue. The game's highest one day revenue was $145,530, which it earned on the first day it launched. Monument Valley saw upticks in sales after earning an Apple Design Award in June, following the launch of the Forgotten Shores expansion, at Christmas, and after the December announcement of its status as iPad Game of the Year. The majority of iOS sales came from the United States at 38 percent, and the game ended up being translated into 13 local languages. 12 percent of sales came from China, five percent from the U.K., and 4.4 percent came from Japan. Half of the players who purchased Monument Valley finished the game, and 24 percent of players went on to purchase Forgotten Shores. Ustwo's full Monument Valley infographic can be seen over at the company's blog. Monument Valley can be downloaded from the App Store for $3.99. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent

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