posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's upcoming revamped music service may be coming at the perfect time, right as revenue from streaming music is beginning to surpass revenue from digital downloads. Streaming music services have been growing in popularity over the last several years, and in an earnings call today (via Re/code), Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper told investors that for the first time, the company earned more revenue from streaming music services than from digital downloads. Warner Music Group saw a 33 percent increase in its revenue from streaming music services from companies like Spotify and YouTube during the second quarter of 2015, while revenue from digital downloads like those from iTunes grew only seven percent. During the call, Cooper said that the growth of streaming music makes it "abundantly clear" that in the future, "streaming will be the way that most people enjoy music.""We experienced significant revenue growth this quarter across key segments of our business -- in particular Recorded Music, across the U.S. and international and across digital and physical -- capping off a strong first half of our fiscal year" said Stephen Cooper, Warner Music Group's CEO. "Notably, in this quarter we saw continued growth in streaming revenue which surpassed download revenue for the first time in the history of our recorded music business. Our commitment to being at the forefront of industry change as well as our ongoing investment in artist development is the foundation of our continued success."Warner Music Group says that it expects streaming growth will continue, and it believes that declines in download revenue will be "a continuing trend." Apple too has seen a stark decline in digital revenue in recent years, with sales dropping 5.7 percent in 2013 and further declining 13 percent worldwide in 2014. A decline in iTunes music sales may have been one of the major factors that spurred Apple to purchase Beats Music, giving it a foothold in the streaming music market that it was late to enter. Apple has seen some criticism for its failure to embrace streaming music early on and the somewhat lukewarm reception of iTunes Radio. Beats Music has failed to draw a significant number of customers away from Spotify, which has 60 million subscribers, of which 15 million pay for the premium service, but with more than 800 million credit cards on file, Apple's upcoming revamped streaming music service has the potential to overtake competing services. Rumors have suggested that the new service will be similar to the existing Beats Music service, but with a focus on exclusive content and deep integration into iTunes and Apple's iOS Music app. It will be priced at $9.99 and no freemium tier will be offered, but Apple is looking at ways to offer music for free, through lengthy trial periods, iTunes Radio, and possibly a SoundCloud-like music sharing platform. Apple is said to be planning to unveil its new music service in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iOS Hacker Shows Web Browser Running on Apple Watch • Apple Watch Stands Up to 1,200m Swim Workout and 10m High Dive Test • Tim Cook Joins Weibo as iPhone Sales Remain Strong in China • Olloclip Debuts iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 'OlloCase' Compatible With Lens Accessory Line • How to Add and Organize Glances on Apple Watch • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, MacBook Air, Apple Accessories, and More • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an AyeGear Jacket That Holds All Your Tech Gadgets • Apple Removes eBay From Featured Apple Watch Apps Website [Updated]

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of OS X 10.10.4 to developers, approximately two weeks after releasing the second OS X 10.10.4 beta and three weeks after releasing the first OS X 10.10.4 beta. OS X 10.10.4 has been in testing since mid-April, following the early April release of OS X 10.10.3, which included the new Photos for OS X app. The beta, build 14E17e, can downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store or through the Mac Developer Center. OS X 10.10.3 introduced several consumer-facing changes including the new Photos for OS X app, a redesigned emoji picker, new diversified emoji, and more, but OS X 10.10.4 appears to be an under-the-hood update that brings performance enhancements and bug fixes. Thus far, OS X 10.10.4 betas have not included outward facing design changes or feature additions. The first two updates to OS X Yosemite, OS X 10.10.1 and OS X 10.10.2 were also minor behind-the-scenes updates that improved performance through bug fixes and enhancements. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Watch Stands Up to 1,200m Swim Workout and 10m High Dive Test • Tim Cook Joins Weibo as iPhone Sales Remain Strong in China • Olloclip Debuts iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 'OlloCase' Compatible With Lens Accessory Line • How to Add and Organize Glances on Apple Watch • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, MacBook Air, Apple Accessories, and More • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an AyeGear Jacket That Holds All Your Tech Gadgets • Apple Removes eBay From Featured Apple Watch Apps Website [Updated] • ResearchKit App Drawing Return Visits at Rates Rivaling Games and Social Media Apps

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posted 11 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of iOS 8.4 to registered developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the second iOS 8.4 beta and three weeks after releasing the first iOS 8.4 beta. iOS 8.4 has been in testing since mid-April, following the early April release of iOS 8.3. The beta, build 12H4098c, is available as an over-the-air download and through the iOS Developer Center. iOS 8.4's major feature is an all-new Music app that includes a revamped look. The Music app's new design shows pictures of artists in the Artists view and it offers a new MiniPlayer with a redesigned look for "Now Playing." There are personalized playlists, global search capabilities that make it easier to search within the Music app, and a streamlined design for iTunes Radio to bolster music discovery. The first two iOS 8.4 betas had long lists of bugs associated with the new Music app, which Apple has been working to resolve with subsequent betas. It's likely the third beta includes several fixes for lingering issues to make the Music app more stable. iOS 8.4's redesigned Music app comes ahead of the rumored debut of a redesigned streaming music service that may make an appearance at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The upcoming streaming music service is said to be similar to Apple's existing Beats music service, but with a rebranding, a redesign, deeper integration into iTunes, and a focus on exclusive content. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Watch Stands Up to 1,200m Swim Workout and 10m High Dive Test • Tim Cook Joins Weibo as iPhone Sales Remain Strong in China • Olloclip Debuts iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 'OlloCase' Compatible With Lens Accessory Line • How to Add and Organize Glances on Apple Watch • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, MacBook Air, Apple Accessories, and More • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an AyeGear Jacket That Holds All Your Tech Gadgets • Apple Removes eBay From Featured Apple Watch Apps Website [Updated] • ResearchKit App Drawing Return Visits at Rates Rivaling Games and Social Media Apps

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is exploring the possibility of equipping the much-rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" with an improved touch panel that uses silver nano wire (AgNW) material instead of ITO-based clear film, according to South Korea's Electronic Times (via G4Games). The flexible touch panel would reportedly have greater accuracy and sensitivity and be able to recognize multiple pressure levels, which could allow for Force Touch. A purported "iPad Pro" blueprint from December 2014 with possible dimensions The report claims that Apple requested samples of the touch panel ready for mass-production from LG Display, Samsung Display, Japan Display and other major display manufacturers at the start of this week, and predicts that the company will release a new 12.9-inch iPad next year as the first device utilizing the new touch panel technology. Recent rumors have pointed towards a late 2015 unveiling of the iPad Pro. Apple could benefit from lower production costs by using AgNW touch panels, according to the report, since the technology does not require using a scarce metal like indium. The report adds that Apple is also considering applying a thin layer of sapphire crystal to the touch panel, but it remains questionable if the company's suppliers are capable of effectively producing the material for large-screened tablets yet. The 12.9-inch iPad is rumored to feature a built-in NFC chip, pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, Force Touch, one USB-C port and Apple's latest A-series processor. Rumors suggest that the NFC chip will enable the iPad to be used as a payment terminal, while the single USB-C port will either replace or supplement the Lightning connector equipped on other current iPads. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Watch Stands Up to 1,200m Swim Workout and 10m High Dive Test • Tim Cook Joins Weibo as iPhone Sales Remain Strong in China • Olloclip Debuts iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 'OlloCase' Compatible With Lens Accessory Line • How to Add and Organize Glances on Apple Watch • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, MacBook Air, Apple Accessories, and More • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an AyeGear Jacket That Holds All Your Tech Gadgets • Apple Removes eBay From Featured Apple Watch Apps Website [Updated] • ResearchKit App Drawing Return Visits at Rates Rivaling Games and Social Media Apps

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posted 12 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced a new multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to protect up to 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests in China, which the company says provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products. The new forestland program is part of Apple's goal to run its worldwide operations on 100% renewable energy. Apple's 40-megawatt solar farm in Hongyuan, China Apple also confirmed plans to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China, three weeks after the company announced a partnership with SunPower Corporation to build two 20-megawatt solar power plants that will provide more than enough energy to power all of Apple's corporate offices and retail stores in the world's most populous country.“We’ve set an example by greening our data centers, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This won’t happen overnight—in fact it will take years—but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept. We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation.”Apple shared its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report in April, reflecting on the company's environmental progress during the 2014 fiscal year. The report highlights that 100% of the company's U.S. operations and 87% of its global operations are run on renewable energy. The report also reveals that Apple emitted 34.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the 12-month period ending September. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Olloclip Debuts iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 'OlloCase' Compatible With Lens Accessory Line • How to Add and Organize Glances on Apple Watch • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, MacBook Air, Apple Accessories, and More • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an AyeGear Jacket That Holds All Your Tech Gadgets • Apple Removes eBay From Featured Apple Watch Apps Website [Updated] • ResearchKit App Drawing Return Visits at Rates Rivaling Games and Social Media Apps • How to Send and Respond to Messages on Apple Watch • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
While Apple CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed that there are over 3,500 apps available for the Apple Watch, many reviewers and early adopters have complained that many fail to provide useful functionality on the wrist. Despite strict approval guidelines, the App Store for Apple Watch is cluttered with basic or poorly designed apps for the wrist-worn device, likely due in significant part to the apps having been developed before the Apple Watch was available. To help users discover some high quality watch-based experiences, MacRumors reached out to its forum community and skimmed through the App Store to handpick five Apple Watch apps that we've found particularly useful. Some of the useful Apple Watch apps worth mentioning include Workflow, Philips Hue, Things, Calcbot and Clear. Workflow Workflow is an automation tool that enables you to drag and drop any combination of actions to create custom workflows for completing various tasks. You can, for example, use the app to get directions to nearby coffee shops within a preset radius directly on your Apple Watch. Workflows are created using a paired iPhone and automatically appear on the Apple Watch for one-tap use. Workflow features over 200 actions, including those for Contacts, Calendar, Maps, Music, Photos, Camera, Reminders, Safari, AirDrop, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote and iCloud Documents. The app, created by DeskConnect co-founders Ari Weinstein, Ben Feldman and Conrad Kramer, is currently $2.99 on the App Store for iPhone and Apple Watch as part of a limited time 40% off sale. Philips Hue Philips Hue for Apple Watch displays up to 10 different lighting configurations for Hue lights that can be activated by pressing a circular button -- there's one button per screen, and you swipe between them. One minor inconvenience is that Hue has no Glance, so you have to actually open the app to turn on your lights, although it's a simple issue that could easily be addressed in a future update. You choose your desired scenes in the Hue for iPhone app in settings, where available scenes to choose from are listed under Widget & Apple Watch. Scenes you pick will be available on the Apple Watch and in Notification Center on iPhone if you have the widget turned on. The scenes will be the same in both places -- you can't pick different ones for the iOS widget and for the Apple Watch. If you don't have a Hue Tap, quick selecting scenes on the Apple Watch is easily the fastest way to control your lights since the device is right on your wrist. With 10 scenes, there are a lot of options for controlling lighting all over the house. You can get more scenes by creating them on the iPhone or downloading them from the Meet Hue website. Philips Hue for Apple Watch is free on the App Store. Things Things is one of several to-do apps available for the Apple Watch, displaying a list of day-to-day tasks and long-term goals on your wrist that can be assigned to categories, marked as completed or added to larger projects related to, for example, planning a vacation, preparing for a presentation or filing taxes. To-dos can be added directly from the Apple Watch using Siri dictation, and categorized under Inbox or Today with a single tap. Things for Apple Watch can also provide notifications to remind you about scheduled to-dos for a specified date so that you don't forget, and all tasks automatically sync to a paired iPhone. Things for Apple Watch is $9.99 on the App Store. Calcbot Calcbot by Tapbots makes up for the lack of a stock calculator app on the Apple Watch, enabling you to perform basic calculations and conversions, calculate tips and split bills right on your wrist. The regular calculator mode features a basic numeric keypad, and a firm press using Force Touch brings up a menu with add, subtract, multiply and divide options. The conversion mode brings up a similar looking number pad with options to convert US dollars to euros, pounds to kilograms, miles to kilometers and Fahrenheit to Celsius using Force Touch. Calcbot Pro, $2.29, enables users to customize the four conversion options using the Calcbot app for iPhone, with over 500 units across 22 different categories to choose from. Perhaps the most useful functionality of Calcbot for Apple Watch is the tip calculator, which allows you to enter the total cost of your bill, calculate a 10% to 30% tip and divide the amount between up to 10 people if necessary. Apple Pay and Calcbot combined make the Apple Watch a more convenient option than fumbling with your iPhone and wallet when the check comes. Calcbot for Apple Watch is free on the App Store. Clear The Apple Watch's small screen size is ideal for displaying bite-sized information, making Clear a perfect match for the wrist-worn device. Clear for Apple Watch brings tasks, reminders and to-do lists to your wrist, featuring a Glance that shows you how many items are on your list and displays upcoming reminders. Adding new tasks can be done using Siri dictation. Tapping on the Glance brings you to the full Clear app, where you can view all of your lists on the Apple Watch. If you create your own list, such as a grocery list or task list, you can check off items directly on the watch. If you press firmly on a list using Force Touch, you can sort the list, add new tasks or mark all tasks completed. Clear for Apple Watch is $4.99 on the App Store. These are by no means the only useful Apple Watch apps available so far, and we encourage readers to share some of their other favorites in the discussion thread associated with this post. It is clear, however, that many developers have struggled to find the right balance and user experience for the new platform. With the Apple Watch now available and users and developers able to figure out the best way for apps on the wrist to fit into their daily lives, there will no doubt be improvements to the user experience and we'll continue to watch for interesting and novel apps making their way to the Apple Watch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on iPad Air 2, MacBook Air, Apple Accessories, and More • MacRumors Giveaway: Win an AyeGear Jacket That Holds All Your Tech Gadgets • Apple Removes eBay From Featured Apple Watch Apps Website [Updated] • ResearchKit App Drawing Return Visits at Rates Rivaling Games and Social Media Apps • How to Send and Respond to Messages on Apple Watch • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of the rumored debut of Apple's upcoming streaming music service, Re/code has shared several details on the initiative, sourced from industry insiders. As we've learned previously, Apple will charge $9.99 per month for the service and will not offer a freemium streaming tier as other music services like Spotify do, but the company is aiming to introduce ways to let people listen to some content for free. First and foremost, Apple hopes to offer listeners a free trial period, which lasts between one and three months, letting them sample the music service for an extended period of time before opting for a full subscription. The length of the trial will depend on what Apple is able to negotiate with music companies. Apple is also working on a feature that may let artists and music creators upload samples of songs that could be listened to without subscribing to the service. Re/code's sources are describing this as "something akin to SoundCloud." SoundCloud is a music sharing platform that lets users upload and share originally-created music, and a similar feature within Apple's new music service would give indie artists an easy way to share music while providing listeners with free content. The third way Apple plans to potentially get music to listeners for free is through a revamp of iTunes Radio. We've heard hints of this previously, but the new version of iTunes Radio may feature stations that are curated by humans rather than computers, with different content available in different locales. New Apple hire BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe and other recently hired radio staff may spearhead this initiative. Re/code's report also shares some details on the streaming music negotiations that have already landed Apple in a bit of hot water with various regulatory bodies, including the FTC and the Department of Justice in the United States and the European Commission. Apple has been attempting to convince music labels that ad-supported free streaming music does not generate enough revenue.But as we have previously reported, Apple doesn't intend to provide free, unlimited on-demand streaming, as competitors Spotify and YouTube do. In private meetings with label executives and other music industry figures, Apple has been arguing that free streaming won't generate enough money for the industry via advertising, and doesn't give enough people incentive to pay for subscriptions.Apple is still working to complete deals ahead of the launch of the streaming service, but it is said to be on track for a WWDC debut. According to a report earlier this week, the streaming service will be introduced during the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and released later in the month alongside the public launch of iOS 8.4. Apple's streaming music service is built on its existing Beats music service, and will continue to focus on curated content. To draw in additional customers and to distinguish itself from competing services, Apple is planning to offer a range of exclusive content. There are also plans to rebrand and revamp the music service, deeply integrating it into iTunes and the newly revamped Music app introduced in iOS 8.4. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Removes eBay From Featured Apple Watch Apps Website • ResearchKit App Drawing Return Visits at Rates Rivaling Games and Social Media Apps • How to Send and Respond to Messages on Apple Watch • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
In Nintendo's financial results briefing posted today, which relays the company's past fiscal year ending in March 2015 and looks ahead to the future, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata provided a few more details regarding the company's future release plans with mobile gaming partner DeNA. Essentially, the first game in the lineup will launch "by the end of this calendar year," with the current long-term plan to release five games in total by the end of the company's next fiscal year ending in March of 2017, just under two years away. Iwata promises that while that estimation for a release schedule seems low, the company hopes to retain its well-known degree of polish and customer satisfaction when transitioning to mobile, and taking a quality over quantity approach is its way of doing that. You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business. During the briefing, Iwata also went further into detail regarding the actual strategy for creating games on a mobile device, such as an iPhone and iPad. While the initial announcement of the deal with DeNA had fans excited, Nintendo was quick to specify that the experiences provided on mobile wouldn't simply be ports of existing franchises and would be more tailored for a smaller, bite-sized experience. Although that dashed most fan hopes for full-fledged Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing experiences on the iPhone, it does provide hope that the sometimes fumbling company is at least aware of what makes mobile games work in the first place. As we confirmed on March 17, all of our IP can be considered for a smart device game. On the other hand, since the game business on smart devices is already severely competitive, even with highly popular IP, the odds of success are quite low if consumers cannot appreciate the quality of a game. Also, if we were simply to port software that already has a track record on a dedicated game system, it would not match the play styles of smart devices, and the appropriate business models are different between the two, so we would not anticipate a great result. If we did not aim to achieve a significant result, it would be meaningless for us to do it at all. Accordingly, we are going to carefully select appropriate IP and titles for our smart device deployment. Iwata last mentions the company's hope to "expand this business," in regards to the mobile games, to global markets so more and more fans will have a chance to experience Nintendo games on mobile. "We are aiming to make this one of the pillars of Nintendo’s revenue structure," Iwata said. Since the deal with DeNA, the company has begun slowly relinquishing its stranglehold over its precious characters and IPs, after first being burned by various motion picture and CD-i partnerships in the past. Most recently, this week Nintendo announced a partnership with Universal to include the former company's popular characters as various attractions and locations in a theme park expansion of the latter's well-established park experiences. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Send and Respond to Messages on Apple Watch • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Ericsson has filed lawsuits against Apple in Germany, United Kingdom and the Netherlands after failing to reach a global licensing agreement with the company over both standard-essential and non-standardized patents. Ericsson claims that Apple continues to sell the iPhone, iPad and other products that infringe upon its patented technologies, some related to 2G and 4G LTE standards, even though its licensing agreement expired in January. Ericsson has been attempting to license its standard-essential patents with Apple on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND), but the two companies have failed to reach an agreement following over two years of negotiations. Unable to resolve the situation outside of the courtroom, Ericsson has since filed patent lawsuits against the iPhone maker in the United States, and now Europe, for mediation by the courts."Apple continues to profit from Ericsson's technology without having a valid license in place," said Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson. "Our technology is used in many features and functionality of today's communication devices. We are confident the courts in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands will be able to help us resolve this matter in a fair manner."Ericsson, the world's largest provider of mobile network equipment, originally filed two complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission and seven complaints with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Apple earlier this year. In late March, the ITC agreed to investigate the patent infringement claims, involving 41 wireless-related patents. Apple originally filed suit against Ericsson in January, arguing that it was demanding excessive royalties for patents not essential to LTE standards. Ericsson, which holds over 35,000 patents, countersued in a Texas courtroom just hours later, seeking an estimated $250 million to $750 million in royalties per year for Apple to continue licensing its patented wireless technologies. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Send and Respond to Messages on Apple Watch • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Since the Apple Watch was released on April 24, several teardowns from iFixit, Chipworks, and ABI Research have divulged information on the inner workings of the device, detailing everything from battery capacity to the manufacturers who created the miniaturized parts for the device. A report last week took a deep look at the S1 chip that runs the Apple Watch, pointing towards 512GB of RAM, a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip, an accelerometer/gyrometer from STMicroelectronics, and today further investigation from Chipworks (via Ars Technica) has revealed 30 individual components inside the 26mm x 28mm S1 chip, a feat Chipworks calls "quite an accomplishment." Apple and/or their suppliers have designed and manufactured a 26 mm x 28 mm package that is very unique. Let's consider its construction for a moment. We have a common motherboard to which all of the components (wafer scale packages, PoPs, BGAs, etc.) have been attached. The entire motherboard, with all of its components, is then overmolded with a packaging compound containing silica or alumina spheres suspended in a resin. We see this same type of material in conventional IC packaging, but we have never observed this being used over a 26 mm x 28 mm motherboard.Among the more interesting discoveries Chipworks has made is the manufacturing process for the APL0778 application processor (CPU/GPU) on the S1 chip. It was made with Samsung's 28 nanometer LP process, which, as Ars Technica points out, is no longer cutting edge technology. A 28-nanometer processor was also used in the iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus used 20-nanometer A8 processors. A 28-nanometer chip in the current-generation Apple Watch suggests Apple could size down to a newer process in future devices, bringing a jump in performance alongside a reduction in space to make room for additional components. Samsung's chip technology has progressed to a 14-nanometer process, which we may see in the next-generation iPhone, among other products. In short, the use of a 28-nanometer processor suggests there's a lot of room for improvement when it comes to processing power in future Apple Watch devices. Though the Apple Watch has only been available for two weeks, we've already heard some rumors about the next version. According to reports, health sensors that did not make it into the first-generation device may be added to the second-generation version, perhaps allowing it to track health-related metrics like stress levels, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. We've also seen rumors suggesting the first update to the Apple Watch will come in the form of additional casing options, perhaps later this year. A second-generation device with upgraded internals is not expected until 2016. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Send and Respond to Messages on Apple Watch • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
App developer Sam Soffes today published a blog post detailing the early monetary performance of his new app Redacted [Direct Link], which allows users to easily obscure sensitive information on personal photos. Screenshot of Redacted's image obscuring features After launching the app earlier this week, the $4.99 Redacted app quickly broke into the top paid app lists on the U.S. Mac App Store. Specifically, by the end of its launch day on May 5, Redacted was eighth in overall paid apps and first in top paid graphics apps. After some friends began questioning him about his expected profit, Soffes realized he hadn't really even begun to think about the possible profit the photo-obscuring app would rake in for him. Yesterday, Soffes tweeted out a question, asking his followers to guess how much profit the app received in its first day on the market. While the guesses averaged $12,460.67, Soffes revealed his app had achieved just 87 paid downloads, earning him a mere $302 worldwide for the eighth top paid app in the U.S. Mac App Store. There were 37 guesses. I threw out the lowest and highest guesses which were both hilarious. The average guess was $12,460.67. 7 of those units were promo codes I sent out. Only 59 of those units were in the US. It's pretty nuts that 59 sales is top paid on the Mac App Store in the US. In response to Soffes' blog post, Dan Counsell, a developer of popular organizational app Clear, shared a few numbers on the app's profits over a single day. Counsell tweeted that Clear earned $453 the day before the tweet, noting the list app is third in productivity and fifteenth overall in the top paid app list for the United States. The top paid ranking is a measure of download volume (with some tweaks to account for sales momentum), not profits, so developers of higher-priced Mac App Store apps are in some cases certainly doing better than Redacted. Even so, with a drop in sales following the launch surge, Redacted is currently the #81 top grossing app in the U.S. Mac App Store while sitting at the #19 spot in paid apps. Towards the end of his blog post, Soffes mentions that he nearly decided to continue working on another indie app, Whiskey, in an attempt to make a living off of that app. "I'm glad I didn't," he states honestly. He now is employed at mobile payments solution Venmo as of early this week. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
AT&T has quietly updated one of its policies to reflect that it will now only throttle customers that are connected to a cell tower experiencing network congestion, reports Ars Technica. The carrier previously throttled all grandfathered customers with unlimited data plans that exceeded 5GB of 4G LTE data usage in a single monthly billing period, regardless of network congestion. The updated policy reads as follows:"As a result of AT&T's network management process, customers on a 3G or 4G smartphone or on a 4G LTE smartphone with an unlimited data plan who have exceeded 3 gigabytes (3G/4G) or 5 gigabytes (4G LTE) of data in a billing period may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. All such customers can still use unlimited data without incurring overage charges, and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle." Last October, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a federal court complaint against AT&T, accusing the carrier of misleading its smartphone customers by charging them for unlimited data while reducing their data speeds by up to 90 percent. The FTC claimed that AT&T did not adequately inform its customers that they would be throttled for using more than a certain amount of data during a billing cycle. AT&T could still face penalties from the FTC if it loses the case, despite changing its policies. AT&T customers with unlimited data plans have experienced speeds as low as half a megabit per second when being throttled, according to the report, resulting in barely usable service. By throttling unlimited data plans, AT&T is naturally encouraging customers to switch to one of the tiered data plans that it introduced in the years after discontinuing unlimited plans. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have similar throttling practices where there is network congestion. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
It has not been a good week for Apple's developer services. Less than a day after iTunes Connect experienced a lengthy outage that lasted several hours, TestFlight is now unavailable for many developers. The beta testing service for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch apps has been returning a "currently unavailable" message since as early as Wednesday afternoon around 6:00 PM Pacific. Because hardly a day can go by without #itunesconnect or #testflight screwing up. pic.twitter.com/682GTFEm5g— dhcmrlchtdj (@dhcmrlchtdj) May 7, 2015 Apple has yet to update its system status page for developers to reflect the outage, although the company has historically been rather delayed at doing so. The outage has been confirmed to be affecting developers in the United States, Canada and Europe, and likely elsewhere, preventing developers from seeding pre-release versions of their apps for testing for the meantime. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams will speak at the annual Code Conference, held this May 26-28 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, reports Re/code. Williams joined Apple in 1998 and leads a team responsible for the company's supply chain management, and during the past two years has also overseen development of the Apple Watch and health initiatives such as ResearchKit. Apple executives Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi spoke at the inaugural Code Conference last year, with Cue discussing how today's TV experience "sucks" and is a complicated problem to solve. Code Conference is a successor to the D: All Things Digital Conference that Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, among other Apple executives, have participated in the past before Dow Jones closed technology website AllThingsD and replaced it with WSJD. Williams will participate in Code Conference just over one month after the Apple Watch launch, which some customers believe has not gone as smoothly as past product releases. Much of the criticism has been directed towards Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts, although Williams is directly in charge of Apple Watch development and manages the worldwide supply chain. Other notable Code Conference speakers announced include GM CEO Mary Barra, Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and editor-in-chief Ben Smith, Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao, GoPro CEO and founder Nick Woodman, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and Google business lead Omid Kordestani. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Releases Safari 8.0.6 With Security Improvements • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today launched a new microsite focused on the iPad, exploring the way the iPad can "change the way you do things every day." The site offers up a selection of apps and usage ideas for the iPad, organized into several categories: Cooking with iPad, Learning with iPad, Small Business with iPad, Traveling with iPad, and Redecorating with iPad. Like the company's past advertising efforts, this new campaign aims to portray the iPad as a tool that's useful in all aspects of life that goes far beyond mere content consumption, as can be seen in the introductory video on the site. The video, which should be uploaded to YouTube soon, features people using the iPad in a whole range of situations, from cooking to managing a business. Each section of the new site includes imagery covering what the iPad can do and a wide range of recommended apps for each purpose. "Cooking with iPad," for example, has sections on using the iPad as a cookbook, as a tool to create cookbooks, and as a prep tool for organizing ingredients to be purchased. Some of the recommended apps include Green Kitchen, Cook, and Epicurious, and the site also recommends the Smart Cover as a tool for propping up the iPad while cooking. Siri is highlighted as a way to use the iPad hands-free in the kitchen, and a long list of apps is linked at the bottom of the page. Learning with iPad focuses on using the iPad to learn at all ages, with sections highlighting learning through play, programming, exploring space through apps like Star Walk 2, using textbooks in iBooks, using apps like Notability and Coursera for learning, and exploring free courses on iTunes U. Hobby-based apps are also included in a "Never stop learning" section. The other three iPad sections, Small Business, Traveling, and Redecorating, are equally as extensive, suggesting a range of use cases and apps for different situations that people might otherwise have missed. Every app used on the new site and within the "Everything changes for iPad" site is also listed in a special section on the App Store. Over the course of the last few years, Apple has explored several different advertising campaigns for the iPad in an effort to spur people into purchasing one of its tablets. We've seen "Why You'll Love an iPad," "Your Verse," and "Start Something New" in 2013 and 2014. Apple changes its iPad advertising tactics much more frequently than it does for other products, likely because its iPad sales have been down for several quarters in a row. During its the second quarter of 2015, Apple's iPad sales were down to 12.6 million from 16.35 million in the year-ago quarter. Tim Cook has remained optimistic about iPad sales, however, suggesting that the company's future product pipeline (which includes the rumored "iPad Pro") and its efforts in the enterprise market will ultimately cause iPad sales to grow again. "I believe the iPad is an extremely good business over the long-term," he said. "When precisely it begins to grow again I wouldn't want to predict, but I strongly believe that it will." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Tim Cook's third annual CharityBuzz auction ended this afternoon, earning $200,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The auction, which had more than 20 bids, includes a one hour lunch date with Tim Cook at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino and two VIP passes to an Apple keynote event to watch Apple unveil new products. Though the auction earned an impressive $200,000 for the RFK Center, it brought in less money than previous auctions held in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, the inaugural CharityBuzz auction for a coffee date with Cook brought in an impressive $610,000, and 2014's lunch auction ended at $330,001. Today's auction winner will be able to bring one additional person to have lunch with Cook, with the cost of lunch being included in the auction price. Transportation and accommodations to Cupertino are not included, however, and the exact date of the lunch will be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time. This year's event, like last year's, included two VIP tickets to an upcoming Apple keynote event -- WWDC is on the horizon, so the auction winner may be invited to attend the WWDC keynote. WWDC promises to be quite exciting this year, as rumors have suggested a whole slew of products could see an unveiling, including a new streaming music service, a new streaming television service, and a new Apple TV. We'll also see iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. Proceeds from today's auction benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, a charity that Tim Cook has now supported for three years running. The RFK Center aims to achieve "a just and peaceful world by partnering with human rights leaders, teaching social justice, and advancing corporate responsibility." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Ron Johnson, who served as Senior Vice President of Retail Operations at Apple between 2000 and 2011, today unveiled his new online retail startup called Enjoy Technology that will begin selling high-end consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, speakers and drones. The Menlo Park, California company will sell about 60 products starting today. Enjoy aims to differentiate itself from Amazon and other competitors by providing free personal in-home setup service for products, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. When you purchase a product, Enjoy will send a representative to your home to help set it up, with visits lasting approximately one hour. AT&T, GoPro, Microsoft, Samsung and Hewlett-Packard are among the early partners with the service. Johnson was interviewed by CNBC today to discuss the Enjoy launch and a handful of other topics, including Apple and the company's current retail chief Angela Ahrendts, the future of physical retail and more. In particular, he offered praise for Ahrendts, who has led Apple's retail operations since May 2014, and noted that he owns an Apple Watch and thinks it's an "incredible product." He also said to "stay tuned" about the availability of Apple products through Enjoy in the future. Kayla Tausche: It was bizarre to think about an Apple product launch without those lines around the corner. Stretching for miles and miles. I'm just wondering if you look at this new era for Apple products and Apple retail, and you think that there is a lot of change and that it's sort of doing away with the way you used to do product launches? Johnson: I don't think that's true. I'm Angela's biggest fan. I knew her before she came to Apple. I had the chance to meet her in London. The teams love her at Apple. They love her leadership. She made it clear that the Apple launch was being launched in this way and future products might go back to something that Apple has done before. I wouldn't overread the launch as a change in direction. It's the right thing for this intensely personal products. Courtney Reagan: You have 60 products on GoEnjoy.com right now from 11 companies. But Apple isn't one of them. Why not? Johnson: I say stay tuned. We’re not talking about it but I didn't want, our customer would love Apple products. You know there's no doubt about it. And we serve the iPhone through AT&T. You can go to AT&T's website and buy an iPhone and use enjoy. We'll be embedded in on AT&T's website on May 19th. We do help with all the Apple products. Stay tuned when they might be on our personal commerce site.Enjoy launched in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today was honored as a recipient of a Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for the company's accessibility efforts, particularly VoiceOver's ability to give vision-impaired users access to iOS devices. With the advent of the Apple Watch, many of those accessibility features are now also migrating over to the wrist. Coincidentally, MacRumors' sister site TouchArcade today took a look at the possibilities for accessibility features in iOS gaming. The report highlights a close-knit community that is gaining the ability to use and interact with experiences on iOS thanks to a few motivated developers taking the time to implement Apple's extensive accessibility options in their own games. The genesis of the article came from a single comment posted on an RPG-related piece which included the game King of Dragon Pass [Direct Link]. The user, Zack Kline, caught TouchArcade's attention by mentioning the little talked-about feature of the iOS game implementing a successful and satisfying amount of options to become playable for blind players. Screenshot from King of Dragon Pass This time around, one comment from a reader named Zack Kline caught my attention. It reads, "One aspect which often gets overlooked is that it's one of the few big iOS games which has really gone out of its way to become playable by the blind. There's a sizable population of iOS users, myself included, who are really happy that Apple has done so much work on making their platform accessible, but don't have a lot of interesting games to enjoy. Frankly, (King Of Dragon Pass) is the best, and certainly the deepest. I only wish we had more choices." The game, originally a PC title, was unable to include accessibility features in the PC version due to time constraints, but designer David Dunham felt adding VoiceOver options to the iOS port simply "seemed like the right thing to do." VoiceOver's simple gesture controls for reading text aloud make King of Dragon Pass, largely a text adventure and interactive story-based game, readily playable for blind users interested in the game. Many apps and games lack such support, however, with the shortcoming largely stemming from a need to set priorities in the development process of every game. Given the often tight time constraints for development work, accessibility features frequently rank low on that priority list given the relatively small base of people who would benefit from it. Speaking with TouchArcade, however, Dunham points to a largely painless process of including VoiceOver support for his game, and the larger satisfaction of King of Dragon Pass being playable to even more fans as a result.Since King Of Dragon Pass was mostly a text-based game, Dunham used UIKit to make it rather than a sprite-based engine. That meant that almost everything worked with VoiceOver to some extent without any extra work done. From there, it was just a matter of going through every screen and making sure things worked as they should, particularly with regards to pictures. The only part that required extensive work was the game's map, which was originally designed as being coordinate-based. The new VoiceOver map is actually composed of discrete tappable areas, according to Dunham, something that came about as a result of enthusiastic testers and would-be players. According to Dunham, in the last month or so about 7 percent of players booting up his game have done so in VoiceOver mode. Although that may seem low, Dunham says it was well worth the investment and time consumption of supporting the features in the game. Amir Rajan is the developer of another accessibility-supported iOS game, A Dark Room [Direct Link], and agrees with Dunham. "It's worth it to get a thank you email from a father with a blind daughter that can enjoy a popular game that her seeing friends play too," said Rajan. Of course, the games supporting these features right now are a bit simpler, less intense experiences. The developers supporting these features should be celebrated, but, as members of Apple-focused accessibility site AppleVis point out, the hope for the future is more games built with these features in mind from the get-go. The full article on TouchArcade is well worth a read, and goes into even more detail regarding specific testimonies from blind gamers, developer reactions, and the short list for the best accessible iOS gaming experiences out now. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is preparing to offer an in-store pickup option for the Apple Watch in the United States and other launch countries, listing the option as "available soon" on the Apple Online Store and Apple Store app. The new option remains grayed out on Apple's website and app, making it unavailable to select, and Apple's Reserve and Pickup system for the Apple Watch has yet to go live. To date, Apple Watch orders have been taken exclusively online and shipped via UPS or other couriers to residential or business addresses, but soon customers will gain the option of ordering online and visiting a local Apple retail location for in-store pickup. Customers will be required to present a valid government-issued photo ID upon pickup, and must match the name on the reservation to pick up the product. Apple originally planned to offer in-store pickup of the Apple Watch as early as April 24, although later decided to take orders exclusively online and ship to home, possibly due to limited supply resulting from faulty Taptic Engines. When in-store pickup for the Apple Watch becomes available, customers will be able to select a nearby Apple Store location of their choice to pick up the product. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Android Switchers Drive iOS Adoption in Europe During First Quarter • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States • Volkswagen Debuts Connected Car App on Apple Watch

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple yesterday gave a few interesting details on something it's calling "Applebot", the company's in-house web crawler that is used to help power services like Siri and Spotlight on iOS and OS X platforms (via Apple Insider). In the past, Apple has partnered with companies like Google and Bing to provide search results in a few of its own products like Siri, but this week's news could be an additional hint at Apple introducing its own complete search platform in the future. Most recently, in early February, a job listing provided more fuel to a rumor that the Cupertino company was doing just that, although it was likely to be describing ongoing efforts to improve Spotlight and was never legitimized. What we now know as Applebot was first spotted by developer Jan Moesen last November, who discovered numerous web hits from a crawler indexing from a block detailed to be 17.0.0.0/8, an IP address block owned and operated wholly by Apple. This, coupled with the impending termination of a contract between Apple and Google for a Safari search engine deal, began fueling rumors of Apple's own dedicated web engine. The confirmation of Applebot is the closest the company has come to speaking directly on the subject, but it is still unclear whether the web crawler is setting up to be the basis for an Apple-branded search engine, or simply acting as more support for third-party search platforms when running Apple's Siri and Spotlight services. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Consumer Reports Tests Apple Watch for Readability, Water Resistance, Fitness Tracking and More • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States • Volkswagen Debuts Connected Car App on Apple Watch • OtterBox Symmetry Series Folio Cases Now Available for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Apple's efforts to set up deals with record labels as it prepares to launch its new music streaming service, a rebranded version of Beats Music, according to Bloomberg. This would make the FTC the third government body to look into the new music service after the U. S. Department of Justice and European Commission. The FTC's investigators, still in the early stages, of their inquiry, are asking whether Apple’s efforts will change the way music labels work with other streaming services, for example curtailing ad-supported music and pushing more songs into paid tiers of service at higher rates, according to one of the people.A couple days ago, a report emerged that Apple was utilizing its power within the music industry to push record labels to stop licensing freemium tiers offered by Spotify and other music services. The Cupertino company also reportedly offered to pay YouTube's licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its music on the website, which is a popular destination for music videos. The FTC is speaking to multiple record labels about Apple's practices. However, music-industry executives told Bloomberg that Apple has made no such demands. Similarly, the Department of Justice is also interviewing high-ranking music executives about Apple's practices. The European Commission is doing the same, concerned that Apple will use its size to force record labels to stop supporting freemium music tiers. Apple's Beats-based music streaming service will reportedly launch in June at WWDC, though the company is still finalizing several streaming deals. It will reportedly be deeply integrated into iTunes for Mac and the stock music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch while apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android, and Apple is aiming to offer exclusive content in the hopes of drawing people from other services. Last month, the company seeded iOS 8.4 beta to developers with a redesigned Music app featuring a new MiniPlayer, a redesigned look for "Now Playing", and more. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • OpenTV Files Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegations iTunes Violates Five Patents • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States • Volkswagen Debuts Connected Car App on Apple Watch • OtterBox Symmetry Series Folio Cases Now Available for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Home Depot Quietly Drops Apple Pay, But Service Continues to Work at Many Stores

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Home Depot plans to officially support Apple Pay in its home improvement stores following a retail system upgrade, reports Bloomberg. Though there's no timeline on when Apple Pay support will be introduced in Home Depot stores, a spokesperson said the payment service would be available after a revamp to the company's point-of-sale machines. News of Home Depot's plans to support Apple Pay come following earlier reports suggesting the retailer was shutting off Apple Pay access in its stores. Home Depot has NFC-based terminals in its stores allowing for unofficial use of Apple Pay, but as of this morning, a customer discovered he could no longer use Apple Pay at Home Depot. Contacting customer support resulted in a message stating that while Apple Pay was not supported in Home Depot stores, PayPal was, hinting that Home Depot may be choosing to promote PayPal over Apple Pay, but as it turns out, that's not the case. According to Bloomberg, Home Depot's NFC checkout terminals have been disabled as the company works on upgrading its point-of-sale system. Many Home Depot stores continue to support checkout through Apple Pay using NFC payment terminals at this time, but access may be shut off in the coming weeks until Apple Pay officially launches at the retail chain. Home Depot will likely support Apple Pay both in its retail stores and through its iOS app. With 2,000 stores across the United States, Home Depot will be the largest retailer to offer Apple Pay. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States • Volkswagen Debuts Connected Car App on Apple Watch • OtterBox Symmetry Series Folio Cases Now Available for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Home Depot Quietly Drops Apple Pay, But Service Continues to Work at Many Stores • Belkin Partners with Cree to Bring WeMo Support to Connected Cree Bulb

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
While Apple is still working to get key deals in place for its upcoming streaming music service, the company remains committed to announcing the service at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), likely during the opening keynote on June 8, according to 9to5Mac. Apple's streaming music service will reportedly launch alongside a revamped iTunes Radio in a "long list" of countries in late June as part of iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2. New Apple TV and Mac apps that will integrate the service remain under development at Apple. The redesigned Music app in iOS 8.4 beta, seeded to developers in April, will reportedly have different options and tabs geared towards Apple's streaming music service by time the software version reaches the public. Meanwhile, the all-new version of iTunes Radio will reportedly offer unlimited skipping as a paid option, and become available in additional countries beyond the United States and Australia."The beta version of iOS 8.4 in the hands of developers is only a taste of the new design, according to sources, and the different options and tabs across the application will be tweaked to better feature streaming music over music stored offline. Sources said earlier this year that the new Beats-based application will include porting of existing Beats accounts, curated playlists, and the ability to save tracks for offline listening. While Apple initially hoped to charge $8/month for the service, roadblocks from the record labels have reportedly pushed the price back to the existing $10/month."The report also reveals a few details about iOS 9 "Monarch," also expected to be announced at WWDC in June. The next major version of the iPhone and iPad operating system is said to have a redesigned Siri interface that resembles the colorful design of Siri on Apple Watch, and will also contain several security improvements and bug fixes. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Charge Your iPhone in the Bathtub With Mophie's New Juice Pack H2Pro • How to Set Up and Manage Notifications on Apple Watch • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States • Volkswagen Debuts Connected Car App on Apple Watch • OtterBox Symmetry Series Folio Cases Now Available for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Home Depot Quietly Drops Apple Pay, But Service Continues to Work at Many Stores • Belkin Partners with Cree to Bring WeMo Support to Connected Cree Bulb

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Just weeks ahead of the rumored debut of its newly revamped streaming music service, Apple is still working to get key deals completed. According to a new report from Billboard that cites music industry sources, Apple does not yet have the necessary licensing agreements that it needs to launch the service, leading to disagreements over whether it will be ready to go in June.A June launch is still attainable. One source notes Apple has been able to quickly secure licensing deals in the past. "If any company can pull it off, they can," the source tells Billboard, adding that "labels are more likely to play ball with them" because of Apple's track record of generating revenue for rights holders. Another major label source believes the Beats Music re-launch isn't coming soon. "June won't be the release date. The deals aren't done."Rumors about several licensing issues have arisen over the past several months as Apple has worked to ink deals with record labels. Originally, Apple was said to be seeking an agreement that would let it offer its new music service for $7.99 per month, but it was forced to back down on that price point after record companies resisted going below $9.99. More recently, rumors have suggested Apple is pressuring music labels to cease offering licenses for the freemium tiers that Spotify and other services offer, as Apple does not plan to offer a freemium tier for its rebranded music service. These efforts have earned Apple government scrutiny, as the European Commission is now poking into Apple's agreements with music companies. U.S. Department of Justice officials are also said to be looking into Apple's music negotiations. Apple is known for asking for highly favorable deals from media companies due to its influence and the sheer number of potential customers it commands, and it is unsurprising that the company has yet to finalize deals given some of the rumors about its demands. If deals are not completed in time, it's possible Apple will unveil the music service at its Worldwide Developers Conference, but release it at a later date. Apple's upcoming music service is said to be positioned as a rebranding of its existing Beats Music service. To draw in customers and set its music service apart from the competition, Apple is aiming to offer a range of exclusive content. There are also plans to integrate the new music service deeply into iTunes, and it's likely it will be built into the newly revamped Music app introduced with iOS 8.4. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Dropbox Updates iOS App With File Comments, Document Creation, and More • Apple Pay Gains 24 More Participating Issuers in United States • Volkswagen Debuts Connected Car App on Apple Watch • OtterBox Symmetry Series Folio Cases Now Available for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 • Home Depot Quietly Drops Apple Pay, But Service Continues to Work at Many Stores • Belkin Partners with Cree to Bring WeMo Support to Connected Cree Bulb • Google Acquires iOS-Based Time Management App Timeful • Classic and Modern Buckle Band Parts Let Third-Party Bands Connect to Apple Watch

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
The Apple TV has gained two new channels today CBS Sports and USA NOW, bringing on-demand sports, drama, comedy, sitcoms and more programming to the set-top box in the United States. The new channels should be appearing on the Apple TV for all users beginning today, with USA NOW requiring cable-based authentication for most content and CBS Sports offering free sports clips for all users. CBS Sports for Apple TV The new channels arrive less than six weeks before Apple is expected to announce its next-generation Apple TV alongside a full-fledged streaming TV service at WWDC in June. The new A8-based set-top box will reportedly feature both an App Store and Siri, in addition to a redesigned remote control and significantly higher internal storage than the current 8GB model. USA NOW for Apple TV Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service would consist of a lightweight package of about 25 channels for between $30 to $40 per month, anchored by networks such as ABC, CBS and Fox. The service will be available on several devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, with other potential channels in the lineup including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, MTV, Comedy Central, FX and Nickelodeon. Apple TV was discounted to $69 in the United States in March. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Home Depot Quietly Drops Apple Pay, But Service Continues to Work at Many Stores • Belkin Partners with Cree to Bring WeMo Support to Connected Cree Bulb • Google Acquires iOS-Based Time Management App Timeful • Classic and Modern Buckle Band Parts Let Third-Party Bands Connect to Apple Watch • Microsoft Updates Windows 10 Emoji to Resemble Apple's Collection • 'Reserve Strap' Debuts New Design Focusing on Apple Watch Diagnostic Port • 12.9-Inch 'iPad Pro' Rumored to Feature NFC, Bluetooth Stylus, Force Touch and USB-C • How to Download, Install, and Arrange Apps on Apple Watch

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