posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
During its investor call today, Chase announced (via AppleInsider) that over 1 million customers have provisioned their credit and / or debit cards for use with Apple Pay. Additionally, the company provided a look at the demographics of its Apple Pay users. Eileen Sierra, CEO of Chase Card Services, said that its customers who use Apple Pay tend to be young and have higher incomes, with 69 percent of their Chase card Apple Pay transactions credit based. Sierra also revealed that the financial company has seen "good growth" in the number of its customers provisioning their cards on Apple Pay. Those customers have been using their Chase cards through Apple Pay at the top five merchants 58 percent of the time, with all remaining merchants making up the remaining 42 percent. While Apple hasn't provided adoption details on Apple Pay, CEO Tim Cook did announce in January that Apple Pay accounted for two of every three contactless dollars spent on American Express, Visa and MasterCard. Bank of America announced in January that nearly 800,000 of its customers were using Apple Pay, and point-of-sale suppliers have seen a massive increase in interest following Apple Pay's launch last October. Although Apple Pay is having early success in the United States, it has yet to expand past its borders. Reports indicate Apple is in talks with Canadian partners to launch Apple Pay in that country as soon as March, while Visa today announced it would launch tokenization in Europe in mid-April, paving the way for Apple Pay to expand into the continent. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • RooCASE Video Review: Hands-On With Four iPhone 6 Plus Cases • ExoLens Review: Hands-On With a Professional Photography System for iPhone 6 • Visa to Launch Tokenization in Europe in Mid-April for Mobile Payments • Apple Now Selling Updated World Travel Adapter Kit With Lower Price, No 30-Pin Cable • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
The latest numbers from research firm IDC reveal that the smartphone market continues to be a largely two-horse race between iOS and Android, which accounted for 19.7% and 76.6% market share in the fourth quarter respectively. The mobile operating systems combined to dominate Windows Phone, BlackBerry and all other platforms with 96.3% market share during the three-month period ending December. iOS increased 2.2 percentage points to 19.7% during the fourth quarter over its 15.1% market share in the year-ago quarter, while Android experienced a marginal year-over-year decline as its market share slipped from 78.2% to 76.6%. Apple shipped a record-breaking 192.7 million iPhones during 2014 on the strength of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, while overall Android device shipments on the year surpassed the 1 billion mark. Android and iOS continue to dominate the smartphone operating system race, resulting in a smaller battle between Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Firefox OS and less popular platforms for third place. Windows Phone and BlackBerry were the closest runner-ups to iOS and Android, claiming 2.8% and 0.4% market share in the fourth quarter respectively to close out 2014. All other platforms held 0.6% market share on the year. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • ExoLens Review: Hands-On With a Professional Photography System for iPhone 6 • Visa to Launch Tokenization in Europe in Mid-April for Mobile Payments • Apple Now Selling Updated World Travel Adapter Kit With Lower Price, No 30-Pin Cable • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose

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posted 5 days ago on mac rumors
Pebble today revealed the Pebble Time, a new smartwatch in its line of smart wearable devices that includes the company's first color-based display and introduces a thinner, more ergonomic design than its predecessor. Launched on Kickstarter earlier this morning, Pebble promises that power consumption of the new device is greatly lowered thanks to the e-paper display, giving the Pebble Time a battery life of up to 7 days. The company also introduced a new voice-control feature to send voice replies or take notes using a select few compatible apps. The feature is a bit more full-fledged on Android, and on iOS currently will only work with Gmail notifications. The Pebble Time also features a new curved design to ergonomically conform to any wrist, and is about 20 percent slimmer than the original Pebble. The company says the lens is made of scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass with a stainless steel bezel, enabling a water-resistant device that Pebble still warns from being fully submerged. Pebble Time comes with a soft silicone band in the color options of black, white, or red, but the company says any 22mm watch band will fit the new device. The watch also lives up to its name thanks to the chronological curating of multiple apps into one new feature called "Timeline." With past, present, and future buttons residing on the right side of the device, users can easily scroll through completed tasks and events, see what they need to be doing now, and check reminders for the future. This is the new app menu, featuring new app faces with glanceable content. With timeline we've also created a system that dynamically loads and caches apps as needed, letting you access as many apps as you need. As with all Pebble software, we’ve built an open platform. You can allow apps and developers to add ‘pins’ to your timeline, so you can keep track of things like upcoming events, sports, weather, traffic, travel plans, pizza specials and more. Pebble has been undeterred by the announcement and imminent launch of the Apple Watch, poking fun at Apple's overly enthusiastic unveiling of the device and pointing out their superior battery life and entry-level pricing in the process. Most recently the company claimed its new 2015 products would focus less on apps and more on something customers have never seen. Those interested can visit the Pebble Time's Kickstarter page to claim their own rewards. The lowest pledge for the device begins at $159 for one watch, and ramps up from there. The Pebble Time's $500,000 goal, which launched at 7:00 AM PT, reached its goal in just under twenty minutes of the Kickstarter going live. As with most projects on the site, there are 31 days left to join in on the campaign. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Visa to Launch Tokenization in Europe in Mid-April for Mobile Payments • Apple Now Selling Updated World Travel Adapter Kit With Lower Price, No 30-Pin Cable • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • 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
Tim Cook tweeted this morning to honor what would be the 60th birthday of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away in October 2011 following a lengthy battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Cook shared a quote from Jobs' heartfelt commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, in which he said "the only way to do great work is to love what you do." Jobs co-founded Apple alongside Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976, with the roots of the company based in the garage of his childhood home in Los Altos, California. After turning the Macintosh into a commercial success in the decade following, Jobs was essentially ousted from Apple in 1985 following a power struggle and went on to found NeXT Computer the same year. Apple went on to acquire NeXT in 1997, bringing Jobs back as CEO, at which point he led the company to become one of the most valuable in the world on the strength of products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple has continued to be successful under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook, reporting the most profitable quarter in the history of any company to close out 2014. The Apple Watch, set to launch in April, will mark the first major new product since the passing of Jobs. Remembering Steve, who would have turned 60 today. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." pic.twitter.com/0YD0gZ7jvm— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 24, 2015 Today also marks the 15th anniversary of MacRumors, launched in February 2000 by Arnold Kim. MacRumors was a relatively early entrant in the Apple online community, arriving before the introduction of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, OS X and several other products and services used by millions of users today. As always, we express our gratitude to the several readers, contributors, sponsors and all those that allow us to continue sharing the latest Apple news and rumors. Happy birthday, Steve. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Visa to Launch Tokenization in Europe in Mid-April for Mobile Payments • Apple Now Selling Updated World Travel Adapter Kit With Lower Price, No 30-Pin Cable • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • 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
Samsung Electronics has inked a deal with both Apple and LG to supply advanced DRAM memory chips in next-generation iPhones and the LG G4 respectively, according to sources "familiar with the deal" for The Korea Times. The deal, rumored to be worth billions of dollars, would see Samsung produce at least half of the memory chips that Apple would need for its next-generation iPhone lineup. The report claims that Apple could ask Samsung to ramp up manufacturing of the chips if needed, with the alleged contract lasting at least a year."Under the agreement, Samsung will start providing LG Electronics with 100 percent mobile DRAM chips it needs for LG G4 smartphone, which will be unveiled in April. Also, Samsung will handle at least half of the amount that Apple needs for its new iPhone ― tentatively named iPhone 6S," an industry official who is familiar with the deal told The Korea Times.The agreement was reached just a few months after Samsung began mass production of new 20-nanometer 8-Gigabit LPDDR4 memory chips, which are said to offer more than double the density and performance compared to its 4-Gigabit LPDDR3 predecessor. The sources say that on the LG side of things, Samsung will be providing 100 percent of the chips for the company's flagship G4 smartphone, set to be unveiled in the Spring. Though Apple and Samsung have partnered in the past for manufacturing purposes, the two companies have been fierce rivals for several years. This two companies have dropped litigation against each other outside of the United States in recent months, however, and this agreement further suggests that the tech giants have an improved working relationship as of late. While not expected to launch until September, news and rumors about the so-called "iPhone 6s" have begun circulating recently, with Samsung reportedly responsible for the majority of A9 chip production based on its 14nm process. Conflicting reports suggest that TSMC may supply Apple with the remaining chip orders. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Visa to Launch Tokenization in Europe in Mid-April for Mobile Payments • Apple Now Selling Updated World Travel Adapter Kit With Lower Price, No 30-Pin Cable • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple appears to have acquired popular music plug-in and effect maker Camel Audio, based on information found on corporate registry site Companies House [PDF]. Camel Audio's address has been updated to 100 New Bridge Street, which is Apple's London address, and the company's sole director is now listed as Apple lawyer Heather Joy Morrison, suggesting the company is in the possession of Apple. Camel Audio is known for its range of plug-ins, synthesizers, effects, sound libraries, which were available via the company's Alchemy software. Previously available for $249, Alchemy included more than 1000 sounds, 5.5GB worth of samples, a powerful additive resynthesis engine, spectral resynthesis, a virtual analog synthesizer, and more. Its powerful engine was highly useful to those who liked to create and manipulate audio for unique sounds. Camel Audio first shut its doors on January 8, 2015, removing all access to its software from its website. At the time, the company did not divulge why it had suddenly ceased selling its content, but Camel Audio fans speculated about a potential takeover.We would like to thank you for the support we've received over the years in our efforts to create instruments and effects plug-ins and sound libraries. Camel Audio's plug-ins, Alchemy Mobile IAPs and sound libraries are no longer available for purchase. We will continue to provide downloads of your previous purchases and email support until July 7, 2015. We recommend you download all of your purchases and back them up so that you can continue to use them (Instructions: How to Download and Backup Your Products).It is not known what Apple plans to do with Camel Audio, but it's possible the company's technology could be incorporated into a future version of Logic Pro X, Apple's software designed for professional musicians. (Thanks, Sepp!) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Now Selling Updated World Travel Adapter Kit With Lower Price, No 30-Pin Cable • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Following rumors of an acquisition, Google today announced that it has purchased some technology and intellectual property from NFC-based mobile payment service Softcard, formerly known as Isis Mobile Wallet. The purchase will allow Google to improve upon its existing mobile wallet technology to better compete with Apple Pay. Owned jointly by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, Softcard was established in 2010 in an effort to allow the three carriers to enter the mobile payment market. As an NFC-based payment option that works primarily with Android-based phones, Softcard has been a major Google Wallet competitor, arguably stunting NFC mobile payment growth for both companies. Google Wallet nearly floundered following its 2011 debut after Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile refused to support the app in favor of Softcard (then known as Isis). Google later found a way to circumvent the Google Wallet lockout, but its growth has suffered amid competition from Softcard and other payment technologies. Today's purchase consolidates the number of payment options for Android devices and it lets Google establish a deal with the three carriers to build Google Wallet into future Android phones for the first time.So today, we're excited to announce that we're working with AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, as well as their mobile payments company Softcard, to help more Android users get the benefits of tap and pay. Under this relationship, the Google Wallet app, including the tap and pay functionality, will come pre-installed on Android phones (running KitKat or higher) sold by these carriers in the US later this year. We're also acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better.The early success of Apple Pay has sparked a lot of interest in mobile payments in recent months. Along with Google's acquisition of Softcard, Samsung has recently purchased LoopPay in an effort to develop its own payments solution. It is not clear if Google's purchase of Softcard technology means Softcard will be shutting its own payments service down entirely. According to Softcard, its existing customers can continue to use the Softcard service for the time being, and more information is forthcoming from the company. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Today's second OS X 10.10.3 beta builds on the emoji groundwork laid with the first OS X 10.10.3 beta, introducing all new emoji and emoji skin tone modifiers. When selecting an emoji with a skin tone, such as one of the many people emoji, it's now possible to select a specific skin tone from one of five options. There are also several new people emoji that introduce greater diversity. Family emoji now include multiple same sex couples, both with children and without, all with variable skin tone options. Along with a range of diversified people emoji, today's update brings 32 new country flags, including flags for Canada, Australia, and India. Along with new emoji, OS X 10.10.3 brings a renamed Character palette that focuses more heavily on emoji. Accessible through the "Edit" menu in most Mac apps, the palette was previously named "Special Characters," but is labeled "Emoji & Symbols" in OS X 10.10.3. The emoji picker has also been redesigned, featuring a layout with a single larger vertical-scrolling page. The same diversified emoji options will also likely be coming to iOS. The first iOS 8.3 beta included a redesigned emoji picker, but it did not introduce placeholders for new emoji or skin tone modifiers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • New 'iPhone 6c' Concept Teases Future of Apple's Budget Smartphone • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of iOS 8.3 to developers, two weeks after seeding the first iOS 8.3 beta. The initial iOS 8.3 beta came as a surprise because iOS 8.2 with the WatchKit SDK also remains in testing. The beta is available as an over-the-air update to those who installed the first iOS 8.3 beta and it can be downloaded from the iOS Developer Center. It includes Xcode 6.3 and a new version of Apple's programming language, Swift. While iOS 8.2 appears to bring only minor bug fixes to the operating system along with the WatchKit SDK and support for the Apple Watch, the first beta of iOS 8.3 introduced several new features including support for wireless CarPlay connectivity, a new emoji picker, support for Google 2-step verification, and Apple Pay support for the China UnionPay network. It also removes the "beta" label from iCloud Photo Library. iOS 8.3 will be released following iOS 8.2, which is expected in March, so it may be a few months yet before we see a public iOS 8.3 launch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite to developers, two weeks after releasing the first OS X 10.10.3 beta and three weeks after releasing OS X 10.10.2 to the public. The new beta, build 14D87h, is available for registered developers through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and through the Mac Dev Center. OS X 10.10.3 brings several new features to Yosemite, including the new Photos for OS X app. Photos is designed to serve as a replacement for both iPhoto and Aperture, and is on track to see an early 2015 launch. Early reviews have suggested that while Photos is a suitable replacement for iPhoto, with more advanced tools and performance optimizations, it may leave professional users disappointed, at least in its initial incarnation. The first beta of OS X 10.10.3 also brought a new emoji picker that consolidates emoji into a single page with clear labels, and support for Google 2-step verification when setting up accounts in System Preferences. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Dropping AOL Sign-In for iTunes and App Store in March • Apple's iTunes Team Seeking Expertise in 'Music Journalism' Ahead of Rumored Revamp • Google Launches 'YouTube Kids' for iPhone and iPad • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is hiring away Samsung employees working on next-generation technology, including signal- and visual-processing management, according to The Korea Times. The report, citing unnamed officials at the South Korean tech giant, also claims that Apple has expanded its recruitment efforts to focus on Samsung personnel with expertise in battery technology amid rumors that it is working on an electric vehicle project."Some of our personnel have been hired by Apple. They now work at Apple's headquarters in San Jose, Calif.," said one official, adding that Apple offers highly-competitive benefits and large annual paychecks. "Those former Samsung workers are given greater independence to proceed with their tasks. Apple prefers to use Samsung's chip experts because they are very diligent, mission-oriented and are prepared to acquire new knowledge," said another official.Apple has reportedly assembled an automotive team with hundreds of employees working at a "top-secret research lab" near its Cupertino, California headquarters. Apple appears to be recruiting battery experts from multiple companies to join the team, as the company also faces a lawsuit for poaching key battery engineers from A123 Systems. That lawsuit also listed Samsung as one of the companies that Apple has been poaching battery engineers from. Apple's appetite for hiring former Samsung personnel has expanded to the battery arena as the Cupertino-based company is reportedly developing electric vehicles, which means Apple needs battery experts. […] "As the electric vehicle business is a new one, Apple needs patents and experts in battery technology. Top human resources firms have been approaching Samsung's battery experts, individually, and I think such human exchange moves are a win-win for both," said the official.Earlier this month, multiple reports from credible sources claimed that Apple is working on an electric and possibly autonomous vehicle that could enter production in 2020. Some other reports, however, downplay the rumors by claiming that Apple is working on expanding its dashboard presence through CarPlay. Any electric car project at Apple is likely in the early stages of research and development at this time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99

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posted 6 days ago on mac rumors
Apple announced on Monday that it will invest €1.7 billion to build and operate two new data centers in Europe. The state-of-the-art facilities will be located in County Galway, Ireland and the Central Jutland Region of Denmark, powering Apple's online services such as the App Store, iTunes Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for European customers.“We are grateful for Apple’s continued success in Europe and proud that our investment supports communities across the continent,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date. We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet.” Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
While Toyota has long been listed as one of Apple's CarPlay partners, the third best-selling auto brand in the U.S. currently has no plans to offer vehicles with the feature in that country, as noted in a New York Times overview of the race between Google and Apple to own the dashboard. Toyota also has no plans to offer Android Auto support in the U.S.John Hanson, the national manager of Toyota’s advanced technology communications, said while the company talked frequently with both Google and Apple, it currently had no plans to adopt Android Auto or CarPlay in the United States. “We may all eventually wind up there, but right now we prefer to use our in-house proprietary platforms for those kinds of functions,” Mr. Hanson said.While Toyota is ruling out the U.S. market for CarPlay support for the time being, the company has not made any firm announcement about support in other countries. Shortly after Apple's CarPlay announcement, Toyota's UK division briefly posted a blog entry claiming CarPlay would be coming in 2015, but the company quickly backtracked on the claim. Today's report from The New York Times focuses more on Android Auto than on CarPlay, likely due in large part to Apple refusal to comment for the piece. Still, it offers a glimpse of the struggles auto manufacturers have had developing in-car systems and their reluctance to turn that experience over to Apple and Google. With consumer preference driving the market, however, many manufacturers now see little choice but to support both CarPlay and Android Auto. Vehicles supporting both systems are expected to be hitting showrooms in the near future, with Hyundai likely one of the first out of the gate. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99

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posted 7 days ago on mac rumors
Apple debuted a new iPad ad to air during tonight's Oscar's. Apple highlights the new ad on their website which features students at Los Angeles County High School, using the iPad to write, produce, shoot, score, and edit films. It features a voiceover from Martin Scorsese and is called "Make a film with iPad". Mashable reports that the ad itself was filmed entirely on an iPad Air 2. Apple created a special section in the App Store highlighting the various apps used by the students for their filmmaking. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Mac Pro Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Accessories, and More • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's rumored to have hundreds of employees working on a an electric car, which could come to market as soon as 2020. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Daring Fireball's John Gruber today published a piece going in-depth on what he believes Apple's upcoming Apple Watch wearable will sell for, how the various accessory bands will be sold at retail, and just how much the all-gold Apple Watch Edition could possibly cost. Taking a step back from the tech industry, Gruber looked at the upper tier of the fashion accessory market and decided to revisit his early fall guess that the lowest price the Apple Watch Edition could sell for would be $5,000. He began asking "friends who might know" whether they thought that estimate was too high.The answer has always been “No”. But the way I’ve been told “No” has given me the uneasy feeling that I’ve been asking the wrong question. I should have been asking if $5,000 is too low. I now think Edition models will start around $10,000 — and, if my hunch is right about bands and bracelets, the upper range could go to $20,000. I was off by a factor of two, and my friend Vincent, I think, nailed it back on the day Apple Watch was introduced. Due to Apple's decision to remain silent on many details of Apple Watch pricing structure so far, Gruber, like many others, assumed the interchangable bands shown off at last September's reveal event would be able to be purchased separately. Watch wearers could, in essence, dress up a Sport Edition with a Milanese Loop, or exchange a nice leather band of a higher-tier model with a Sport band. Gruber now notes, however, that this does not appear to be the case, with band options for each watch version being limited. He points to a list of bands available for the mid-tier stainless steel Apple Watch model. As presented on Apple's site, the list starts with the Sport band and ends with the higher-quality Space Black Stainless Steel with Link Bracelets. Besides differences between each band's 38mm and 42mm sizes, Gruber argues this ordering is an indication of price from least to most expensive.So I’m thinking the regular Apple Watch will come in at least five pricing tiers: 1. Entry: Sport Band, black or white. 2. Regular leather: Classic Buckle, you’ll get it in black and you’ll like it. 3. Milanese Loop. 4. Deluxe leather: Modern Buckle for 38mm models, Leather Loop for 42mm models. Each with a choice of three colors. 5. Link Bracelet. You’ll pay a premium for color straps and advanced clasp mechanisms, and you’ll pay even more for the Link Bracelet. He isn't sure the same ordering rules will apply to the expensive Apple Watch Edition, however, with a small list of six variations, he thinks their placement on the website "almost certainly does not correspond to price." Gruber's full piece is well worth a read, as it offers a thorough analysis of the various band options and how they will likely pair up with the various watch collections. With three different watch collections, two casing sizes, and a number of different bands that will likely vary substantially in price, the Apple Watch appears set to be available at a wide range of price points starting at the base price of $349 and quickly ramping up from there. News and rumors about the Apple Watch and all of its editions have been building since Tim Cook announced the device's launch window sometime in April. Most recently it was reported that Apple is allowing select third-party developers to visit the company's Cupertino headquarters to help them put the finishing touches on their various Apple Watch apps before the big launch. It remains unclear, however, just how long Apple will wait to announce full details on pricing and availability. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Today we're debuting giveaways on MacRumors, a new feature that will see us partnering up with companies to give away products to our readers. You can expect to see giveaways from us on a regular basis throughout the year. For our first giveaway, we've partnered up with Kero, a company that makes a few awesome accessories for iOS devices, like the Nomad Lightning Cable. The Nomad cable is a three-inch Apple-certified Lightning cable that comes equipped with a USB cap that attaches to a key ring or clip for portability. If you've been a long-time MacRumors reader, you might recognize the Nomad, because we've covered it on a few occasions since it first originated on Kickstarter in 2012. There have been several iterations of the Nomad cable since then, and it now comes in three colors: white, blue, and gray. We're giving away 50 Nomad Lightning Cables. You can enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. You'll need to enter an email address, which we'll only use to contact you if you've won (your email address will never be provided to a third-party). Social media accounts are not required to enter the contest, but following us on Twitter or Facebook or subscribing to our newsletter can give you a chance for extra entries. You must be 18 or older to enter and located in the United States. a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (2/20) at 10:00AM until next Friday (2/27) at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, at which point we will notify the winners, which will be chosen randomly. Winners will be able to pick a Nomad Cable in the color of their choosing, and it will be shipped out for free. Winners will need to respond to our email within 48 hours, or another winner may be chosen. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Japan Display Looks to Partner With Apple on New $1.7 Billion iPhone Display Plant • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps

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posted 9 days ago on mac rumors
Following up on the public beta program used for OS X Yosemite that allowed non-developers to try out and offer feedback on the operating system before its release, Apple will be launching similar programs for iOS 8.3 next month and iOS 9 later this year, reports 9to5Mac....Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources. This release will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers, which is planned for release the same week. Apple then expects to debut iOS 9 at its June Worldwide Developer Conference, with a public beta release during the summer, and final release in the fall.iOS 8.2 is still in developer testing as Apple gears up for an April launch of the Apple Watch, but the company has also begun seeding iOS 8.3 to developers. The update includes a number of tweaks including support for wireless CarPlay, two-step verification on Google accounts, a new emoji picker, and Apple Pay through China UnionPay. After a dramatic visual overhaul with iOS 7 in 2013 and a number of new features such as Continuity in iOS 8 last year, iOS 9 will reportedly focus on stability and optimization, although some new features are likely to be included. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is hoping to begin production on the car project that it is secretly developing as early as 2020, reports Bloomberg. According to the sites sources, Apple is pushing employees working on the car to have it ready to go in five years, a timeline that will eventually allow it to compete with similar electric vehicles coming out from Tesla and GM in 2017.The timeframe -- automakers typically spend five to seven years developing a car -- underscores the project's aggressive goals and could set the stage for a battle for customers with Tesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co., both of which are targeting a 2017 release of an electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000.Apple's electric car plans first came to light last week, after The Wall Street Journal shared news of "Project Titan," an electric vehicle that hundreds of Apple employees are working on. Apple has been heavily recruiting automotive experts to join the project and plans to have a team of about 1,000 employees developing the car. Tesla Model X Over the course of the last few months, the company has picked up employees from companies like Tesla, Ford, GM, A123 Systems, MIT Motorsports, Ogin, Autoliv, Concept Systems, and General Dynamics. As with The Wall Street Journal's initial report, Bloomberg's report is quick to point out that that Apple could decide to delay or abandon its car project all together if the company is unhappy with its progress. Apple works on many prototype projects that never make it to production. Little is known about Apple's electric car at this point, but rumors have suggested that it might resemble a minivan and that it may or may not be self-driving. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has begun a repair program to fix MacBook Pro machines sold between February 2011 and February 2013 that have problems with distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. As of February 20 in the United States and Canada (February 27 in other countries), users with affected machines will be able to visit an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider to receive repairs for their MacBook Pros at no charge. Customers will be able to bring their MacBook Pro to an Apple Store or service provider or send it in via mail for repairs. An affected MacBook Pro may display one or more of the following symptoms: -Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen -No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on -Computer restarts unexpectedly Affected products include 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2011 and the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro manufactured between Mid 2012 and Early 2013. Users can see whether their computers are affected by using the "Check Your Coverage" tool on Apple's site. Apple is contacting customers who already paid to have their machines repaired either through Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to arrange a reimbursement. The company asks customers who paid for a repair for the issue and were not contacted to contact Apple. Apple will provide repairs until February 27, 2016, or three years from the MacBook's original date of sale, depending on which coverage period is longer. (Thanks, Philip!) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Fuel cells, which generate power via chemical reactions, aren't exactly new technology, having been invented in the 1830s, but they're seen by some as one of the next steps in the evolution of electrical power. In the not-so-distant future, we may adopt fuel cells for powering cars, homes, and a whole range of consumer electronics with clean energy. Intelligent Energy is one of the companies working to further fuel cell technology in the consumer space, having recently introduced its first hydrogen fuel cell iPhone charger, the "Upp." MacRumors went hands-on with the Upp to give fuel cell technology a try, and we spoke to Intelligent Energy's Corporate Development Director Julian Hughes, who shared some details about Intelligent Energy's fuel cell ambitions. The Upp, introduced in the U.K. in November, is a hydrogen micro generator that uses replaceable, refillable fuel cartridges to charge an iPhone. With a cartridge attached, the Upp becomes a PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cell, which transforms the chemical energy freed during a reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to electrical energy to power an electronic device. Since it's using a chemical reaction to create power, there's an audible clicking noise as the Upp releases water vapor while charging. There are two main parts to the Upp: the base charger, and the fuel cell cartridge that it ships with. Using the Upp is as simple as popping the cartridge into the bottom of the charger, plugging a Lightning cable into the USB port, (not included) and then plugging in an iPhone. A full fuel cell cartridge is able to provide up to five charges for an iPhone and the 5V/5W/1000mA output means it charges about as fast as a standard iPhone charger plugged into the wall. In practice, we saw 3.5 charges with an iPhone 6 Plus before the fuel cell was emptied, which can be tracked via a useful app the company has created. Once a fuel cartridge's power has been exhausted, it will need to be refilled at one of the many refilling stations in the UK, because there's no way for users to refill fuel cells at home. One of the main reasons that fuel cell technology has yet to go mainstream is cost, and that barrier is still very much present with the Upp. On top of the £149 ($220) for the charger, it costs £5.95 (~$9) for each fuel cartridge refill. Cost is the number one downside to the current iteration of the Upp charger, but bulk is also a negative factor. This isn't a charger that you pop in your pocket or your purse while you're out for the day -- it weighs over a pound, it's thick, and with the cartridge attached, it's much taller than an iPhone. The major benefit to the Upp is that its fuel cell cartridges don't lose power over time like traditional batteries, which means they'll be available indefinitely for emergencies. Power on demand with no need to recharge is the most appealing aspect of the Upp -- it could come in handy in a serious emergency situation where no other power source is available because it can sit for over 10 years with no degradation. Intelligent Energy also markets the Upp for off-the-grid outdoor use cases like camping and sailing. The current iteration of the Upp has some significant downsides when it comes to cost and size, but Intelligent Energy is committed to bringing fuel cell technology into the consumer space. According to Julian Hughes, in the future, the company will be able to produce smaller, cheaper, lighter fuel cells that will be able to power a whole range of devices from computers to wearable devices. The company's long-term goal is to bring people true mobility and independence from the power grid, creating fuel cells for all sorts of electronics. Hughes used the analogy of a webcam to describe the company's vision. In the 1990s, webcams were large, standalone cameras that were prohibitively expensive, but overtime, both cost and size decreased until we were able to embed webcams in our laptops. Hughes estimates that over the course of the next five years, we'll see some major steps forward in fuel cell technology, allowing Intelligent Energy to introduce new iterations of the Upp and other products without today's limitations. Today's Upp has limited usefulness, but the Upp of tomorrow could change the way we charge our phones. Consumer electronics are just one area that Intelligent Energy is involved in. The company's also developing automotive solutions and it's launched hydrogen fuel cell power units in India that power cell towers. If you're in the UK, you can purchase the Upp from the company's website. It costs £149.00 for a charger and a single fuel cell cartridge and £49.95 for an additional cartridge. Refills are priced at £5.95 and can be purchased at various locations in the UK. Intelligent Energy has plans to bring the Upp charger to the United States in the near future, at a price point around $200, with refills that cost around $5. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple may be building a stand for the Apple Watch at Galeries Lafayette, a high-end department store located on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, according to a few news outlets based in France. Mac4Ever [Google Translate] reports that the stand would reside on the first floor of the department store, with possible expansion to other stores along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Image of the Galeries Lafayette via Mac4Ever Mac4Ever claims the current construction on the stand, which began at the beginning of February, is hidden as workers finish it up ahead of the Apple Watch launch in April. They also report that Angela Ahrendts, Apple's new retail chief, oversaw the setting up of the display and general organizational duties concerning the project. The fashion-focused FashionMag.com [Google Translate] added more details onto the rumor, and a slightly clearer picture of the ongoing construction of the possible Apple-leased space. The site reports that the project has taken the place of a small food court and a few lesser-known jewelry shops, and spans four balconies within the Galeries Lafayette. From what they could tell, it's located near the stores of Celine Saint Laurent and Miu Miu. Image of white tarps covering rumored Apple Watch stand via FashionMag.com As the Apple Watch nears its launch date, news and rumors on Apple's first wearable device have picked up steam. Most recently it was announced to be featured on the March cover of Self magazine on the wrist of model and Victoria's Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel. Apple has also reportedly placed between 5 and 6 million orders for the initial run of the Watch, with the most expensive gold Apple Watch Edition expected to dominate the revenue of the wearable, despite having the least amount of orders placed compared to the lower tiers of the Watch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog

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posted 10 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's alleged automotive team consisting of hundreds of employees working on an electric vehicle includes several former Tesla, Ford and GM employees, according to 9to5Mac. The report reveals that Apple has also recruited talent from smaller firms in the automotive industry and other fields, including A123 Systems, MIT Motorsports, Ogin, Autoliv, Concept Systems and General Dynamics. The list of recent hires from Tesla includes David Nelson, a mechanical engineering manager at the car maker until this month, and John Ireland, previously a senior powertrain test engineer at the company. Tesla's former head recruiter Lauren Ciminera also joined Apple in September and is likely responsible for recruiting additional engineers for the automotive team. The trio of hires surface just weeks after it was reported that Apple and Tesla continue to fight over top employees. Another notable hire is Mujeeb Ijaz, who most recently served as chief technology officer at A123 Systems. Ijaz led a team responsible for research and development for the company's leading lithium-ion energy storage technology. Prior to that, he worked at Ford as an electric and fuel cell vehicle engineering manager for nearly sixteen years. The hiring adds fuel to yesterday's report that Apple faces a lawsuit for poaching key employees from A123 Systems. The report adds that Apple has also recruited former Ford engineers David Perner and Jim Cuseo, although the latter has been with the company since 2010 as a product design lead and manager for the iMac. General Motors' Fernando Cunha recently joined Apple as well after working various engineering and product design roles at the auto maker since 2001. Dillon Thomasson of General Dynamics, Robert Gough of Autoliv, Hugh Jay of EMCO Gears and Rui Guan of Ogin are other new hires. Last week, multiple reports from credible sources claimed that Apple is developing an electric vehicle that is possibly autonomous in a top-secret research lab near its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Some reports say otherwise, claiming that Apple is working on expanding its dashboard presence through CarPlay. These hirings suggest that Apple may be working on a larger project after all, but it remains to be seen if a full-fledged electric vehicle is in the works. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • IFTTT Launches Trio of New Apps Alongside a Rebrand of Original iOS App • 'Alto's Adventure' Now Available on App Store for iPhone and iPad • Photoshop Celebrates 25th Anniversary With 'Top 25 Under 25' Artist Showcase • Google Updates 'Inbox' App With iPad Support • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Back in October, the Apple Watch made its magazine cover debut with Vogue China, on the wrist of Chinese model Liu Wen. Now, as Apple prepares to launch the Apple Watch in April, the device is seeing its U.S. magazine cover debut, featured in the March issue of Self magazine (via AppleInsider). Model and Victoria's Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel will be wearing the Apple Watch Sport with a white fluoroelastomer band on the cover of the magazine. Self also has more in-depth coverage on the device, highlighting its accelerometer, heart rate sensor, GPS and WiFi in print and in photos. Aside from the I-want-to-be-Candice quality of our new March cover, notice anything else about the photo? The Apple Watch is getting a star moment, too, as Candice is the first woman to wear one on a magazine cover in the US. With the device starting at around $349 available next month, it's on our wishlist. (Even our editor-in-chief, Joyce Chang, can't wait to use her Apple Watch--check it out in our March Editor's Letter, available to download below.)Up until now, Apple's Apple Watch marketing has been heavily focused on fashion, but with the piece in Self, the company appears to be targeting fitness enthusiasts who might purchase the Apple Watch for its health-related functions -- step tracking and heart rate monitoring. It's likely that Self will be just one of many publications to feature the Apple Watch in the coming weeks as the device's launch approaches, and Apple is expected to market the Apple Watch to a wide range of potential customers. Apple's marketing efforts have been fairly reserved thus far, limited to an appearance at Parisian fashion boutique Colette in September, the Vogue China cover in October, and this month's Self issue, but there are hints that Apple is preparing for a major marketing push. As we reported last month, Apple asked some developers creating content for the Apple Watch to have their apps completed by mid-February, possibly to have apps ready to go for marketing or event purposes. As of this week, Apple is also reportedly inviting select developers to its Cupertino headquarters to put the finishing touches on many Apple Watch apps. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple is planning to begin Apple Watch sales in April, though a more specific date has not yet been shared. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog • Totallee Scarf Review: A Look at One of the Thinnest iPhone 6/6 Plus Cases You Can Get • EA's 'The Sims 4' Now Available for Mac • Google Pulls 'Sparrow' Mail Apps From App Store to Focus on New 'Inbox' App • Apple's Efforts at Bringing Apple Pay to China Hitting Roadblocks

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Amid rumors that Apple is hiring employees for a secret car project, the company is today facing a new lawsuit for poaching employees from battery manufacturing company A123 Systems. While the specific battery expertise of many of the employees is unknown, at least one of the employees had experience with developing battery technology for electric vehicles. According to a lawsuit shared by Law360 (via 9to5Mac) Apple recently hired five employees from A123 Systems to create a "large scale battery division," violating noncompete agreements that employees signed with the latter company. A123 filed suit Feb. 6 in Massachusetts Superior Court, alleging Apple hired away five employees who developed new battery technology and products and tested existing products, despite the fact that the employees were under contracts with noncompete, nonsolicit, and nondisclosure obligations. Since June, Apple has been mounting "an aggressive campaign to poach employees of A123 and to otherwise raid A123's business," the complaint said.The employees are said to have left under "suspicious circumstances," and A123 discovered correspondence between its former employees and Apple recruiters on company computers. A123 warned Apple about the noncompete contracts and sought assurance that Apple would not develop a competing business, but Apple reportedly stopped responding to A123's letters. According to its website, A123 Systems creates "advanced Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate batteries and energy storage systems," supplied to many vehicle manufacturers. Two of the employees that Apple hired, Dapeng Wang and Indrajeet Thorat, were PhD scientists who manned separate projects at A123, which the company has had to shut down because of difficulty finding replacements. Wang's LinkedIn profile lists him as a "Development Engineer" at A123 Systems, working on prismatic cell design and tests, among other things. Thorat's LinkedIn profile indicates he held the position of "Battery Research Engineer, Modeling" and A123, where he worked on batteries for hybrid vehicles.Designed experiments to understand/optimize performance of a cell for Hybrid and Plug-in hybrid vehicles (HEV and PHEVs), Grid energy storage and frequency regulation. Developed models to predict capacity fade and resistance rise during life of a cell under specific duty cycles.Other employees listed in the lawsuit are Mujeeb Ijaz (A123 CTO), Don Dafoe (Cell Product Engineering), and Michael Erickson (Battery Materials Scientist). Many of the employees' profiles list them as still with A123, and none have any listed association with Apple. Dafoe's profile lists a "Bay area startup" as his place of employment since January 2015. It is not clear what the A123 Systems employees hired by Apple are working on at the company or whether their work is related to the company's secret car project because Apple is constantly evolving its technology and working on a wide array of battery improvements for all of its future devices. The lawsuit suggests that A123 Systems is, however, concerned that Apple is working on something that competes with its own product lineup, which is focused on passenger and commercial electric vehicles. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • StackSocial Offers 'Ultra-Premium' Bundle of 8 Mac Apps for $39.99 • PowerSkin Pop'n 3 Video Review: An Attachable Battery Pack for iPhones • UK Banks Introducing Touch ID Access to iPhone Apps • NBC App for iOS Updated With Selective Live Streaming and Classic Catalog • Totallee Scarf Review: A Look at One of the Thinnest iPhone 6/6 Plus Cases You Can Get • EA's 'The Sims 4' Now Available for Mac • Google Pulls 'Sparrow' Mail Apps From App Store to Focus on New 'Inbox' App • Apple's Efforts at Bringing Apple Pay to China Hitting Roadblocks

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