posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
A unified, Apple-designed HomeKit app has been desired by HomeKit users since HomeKit first debuted, and it appears Apple is planning to introduce such an app in the near future, perhaps in iOS 10. The hint on Apple's HomeKit plans comes from an Amazon reviewer who works in the marketing department at Apple. The name of the reviewer coincides with the LinkedIn profile of a marketing employee at Apple, and we have confirmed that the Amazon review was indeed created by the Apple employee. As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration. [...] Some advice, there are many third party applications, most free, that offer more control and customization(s) with many Smart Home devices. "Yonomi" is a free app that I often use, "Home" is another which cost $14.99. Both offer support for many devices with more added daily (including Amazon "Echo"). The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone "HomeKit" app as well.While we verified the source of the information, there's always a chance that Apple's plans could change ahead of the release of iOS 10. There have been several past rumors suggesting Apple would debut a public HomeKit app, but such an app has not materialized even though Apple has long used a HomeKit app internally. Apple has previously trademarked a HomeKit app icon (pictured above) that could potentially be used for a standalone HomeKit app and rumors have suggested it could be called "Home." A cohesive, Apple-branded HomeKit app would go a long way towards improving the HomeKit experience. At the current time, HomeKit users with multiple products must use several different product apps, many of which offer different features, or rely on third-party apps.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tag: HomeKit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
A Smart Connector has been one of the features rumored for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but a new report from Japanese site Mac Otakara suggests Apple has decided not to include a Smart Connector on the upcoming devices. The Smart Connector, first introduced with the iPad Pro, is a new type of port designed to transfer both data and power between the iPad Pro and accessories like the Smart Keyboard. It's never been clear what purpose a Smart Connector would serve on an iPhone, but speculation ranged from battery cases to wireless charging. Hints that a Smart Connector would be included on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus first surfaced in an image said to be of the iPhone 7 Plus shared by a Chinese website in March. It is still not clear whether that image depicts an actual iPhone 7 device, a mockup based on design schematics, or a counterfeit device. A Smart Connector was also depicted in design drawings created by Mac Fan, but those drawings are often largely based on circulating rumors. Mac Otakara suggests Apple decided to shelve the Smart Connector after considering it as an included feature, but given the questionable nature of the original rumor, it's possible a Smart Connector was never planned for the device. Rumors about the iPhone 7 are still uncertain with a lot of conflicting information surfacing, so the final design and features of the device continue to be up in the air. Rumors have disagreed on features like waterproofing, the removal of the headphone jack, the thickness of the iPhone 7, stereo speakers, whether the camera will protrude, and more, but it's likely a clearer picture of the iPhone 7 will emerge in the months leading up to its prospective fall release.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tags: macotakara.jp, Smart Connector Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Following the launch of its "Shot on iPhone" Mother's Day ad, Apple has created a dedicated website that allows customers to create their own Mother's Day video by uploading images of their mom. The simple site, first shared by iPhone in Canada, opens with an upload image link, which allows users to upload a photo. The photo is then inserted into a customized version of Apple's Mother's Day video and can be uploaded directly to Facebook. Content wise, the video is identical to Apple's Mother's Day Shot on iPhone ad, featuring photos of mothers from iPhone users around the world, with the addition of the user-uploaded photo. The site, which is a new marketing tactic for Apple, may have been created by Apple advertising partner Media Arts Lab, as an employee was the first person to tweet out a link to the new site. Apple's video creation tool comes just ahead of Mother's Day, which occurs on Sunday, May 8.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Music is the center of a heated debate this week, with involved parties arguing over whether or not the service is deleting Apple Music users' song collections from hard drives after uploading them to iCloud Music Library. Vellum's James Pinkstone wrote a long complaint on May 4 accusing Apple Music of doing just that. According to Pinkstone, Apple Music deleted 122GB of his original music files after he joined Apple Music and had his music library scanned by Apple to make his personal content available across multiple devices. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize--which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself--it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.The process Pinkstone describes above is not how Apple Music's matching feature works, according to an in-depth explanation shared by iMore. Apple will match songs and upload original songs by converting them into an appropriate format, but it does not delete without user intervention. iMore theorizes that Pinkstone accidentally wiped his own library by misunderstanding confusing dialog options. Whatever the case, Apple Music was never designed to delete Pinkstone's source library, and it won't delete yours. That's simply not how the service works on your primary Mac. But if you're not aware of how iCloud Music Library stores copies of tracks, you may delete your local copies to save space, thinking you can get them back -- and get screwed as a result.Confusing the issue further is Pinkstone's conversation with an Apple Support Representative named Amber, who seems to be just as perplexed about how Apple Music functions when merging an existing music library with the Apple Music service."The software is functioning as intended," said Amber. "Wait," I asked, "so it's supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?" "Yes," she replied.Amber's statement is inaccurate according to an Apple Music support document. Original files are never altered and remain available and deleting personal content is not the intended behavior of the service, but it continues to be unclear if Pinkstone and other Apple Music customers who have had content deleted have experienced a bug or mistakenly deleted their content themselves because of a confusing user interface. Multiple Apple Music listeners have disagreed with iMore's point of view and have said they too have experienced music deletions that weren't self-initiated. Regardless of what actually happened, it's clear that Apple Music is in need of a serious overhaul. Rumors suggest Apple is working on revamping Apple Music and will unveil changes at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Hopefully that revamp will extend beyond cosmetic changes to clear up many of the confusing aspects of how music libraries are handled. Apple Music users with personal music collections should create a backup on an external hard drive, which will ensure no music ever goes missing through user error or an Apple Music bug.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Earlier this week rumors suggested that an Apple Music overhaul is being prepared for a worldwide reveal at WWDC this June, with a launch in the fall within iOS 10. New details shared today by 9to5Mac indicate that one of the streaming music service's least-used features -- the social network-like section called Connect -- will be "demoted" in the overhaul and removed from the app's tab bar completely. Although some users have gone through the process of removing Connect already, allowing them a dedicated Playlist tab in its place, iOS 10 will see Apple moving Connect permanently from the bottom tab and into an integrated section of the "For You" page of Apple Music. Because of this, Connect "is unlikely to see notable new features this year," suggesting this section of Apple Music hasn't lived up to the company's plans laid out at WWDC last year. Overall, the new version of Apple Music is said to focus on black and white backgrounds along with an emphasis on individual album artwork in tracklists. Other basic updates include the introduction of Apple's San Francisco font, a new "Browse" tab, lyrics support, and new 3D Touch shortcut previews. Apple Music's streaming radio network, Beats 1, is believed to remain largely the same as it is currently presented in the app. Read More: Eight Months Later, Apple Music Connect Still 'Fails Miserably' at SocialTags: Apple Music, Apple Music Connect Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will today introduce an Apple Music student plan that discounts the streaming service by 50 percent for those who are enrolled in an eligible college or university (via TechCrunch). The new plan means any academic student in the United States can now pick up an individual Apple Music membership for $4.99 a month, rather than pay the standard $9.99 subscription rate. U.S. students won't be the only ones to benefit though, as the plan is also open to students in the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The actual cost is expected to vary slightly from country to country, but all markets will see 50 percent off the standard subscription rate. The student discount is offered for up to four continuous or non-continuous years after sign-up, so students are able to take gap years or breaks between semesters and still sign up again when they return to study. Additionally, the plan is open to all students of all ages, regardless of degree. The membership tier will be available starting today to both new and existing subscribers. Students can sign up or change their membership online, or go through the Apple Music mobile app. Apple is using student verification technology provider, UNiDAY, to ensure that those who are signing up as students are actually enrolled at a supported institution. News of the student plan comes two days after it was reported that Apple is planning to overhaul its year-old music streaming service to make it more intuitive. The company is set to redesign the user interface, which will be "bolder, yet simpler", with an emphasis on black and white backgrounds and text as well as more of a focus on album art. Additionally, the "New" tab in Apple Music is being replaced with a "Browse" option with better organizational tools for finding new content, and Apple will encourage users to use a simplified "For You" section. The new Apple Music app will reportedly debut at WWDC in iOS 10 and will be introduced through an iTunes update on the Mac.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is looking to purchase "large expanses of real estate" in the San Francisco Bay Area for its much-rumored car project, codenamed Project Titan, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google parent company Alphabet and several car manufacturers, such as Tesla and Mercedes Benz, are also on the hunt for more space, according to Hudson Pacific, one of the Bay Area's largest landlords. Map of Apple's newly-purchased real estate in San Jose“We’re seeing the Toyotas of the world, the Teslas of the world, BMWs, Mercedes. Ford now is out in the marketplace looking for space,” [Hudson Pacific Properties CEO Victor Coleman] said on the landlord’s quarterly investor call. “I haven’t even mentioned the 400,000 square feet that Google’s looking to take down and the 800,000 square feet that Apple’s looking to take down for their autonomous cars as well.”While the size Coleman references is fairly big, car production plants tend to be even larger. Tesla's Fremont, California factory is 5.3 million square feet while Ford's Flat Rock, Michigan plant, one of its smaller factories, is 2.9 million square feet. For comparison, Apple's new headquarters is 2.8 million square feet while Google's Mountain View campus is 4.8 million square feet. In recent months Apple has been leasing more space repeatedly for its car project in the Bay Area. In March, Apple leased a former Pepsi bottling plant in Sunnyvale, California. The Cupertino company has also leased and purchased several smaller, secret buildings likely being used to develop Apple Car technologies. In January, Apple gained approval from the San Jose city council to develop a 4.15 million-square-foot campus in the city. The WSJ also notes that Apple is in the process of growing its Apple Car team, which had 600 employees last year. Earlier today, it was reported that Apple had hired a former Google employee with experience in electric vehicle charging.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Immersion, a company that develops and licenses haptic touch feedback technology, today filed a second lawsuit against Apple and AT&T, accusing the MacBook and MacBook Pro of violating one patent and the iPhone 6s of violating three additional patents not mentioned in the original lawsuit. According to Immersion, iPhone 6s and MacBook features like 3D Touch and the Force Touch trackpad infringe on its intellectual property. The four patents included in today's lawsuit are as follows: - U.S. Patent No. 8,749,507: "Systems and Methods for Adaptive Interpretation of Input from a Touch-Sensitive Input Device" - U.S. Patent No. 7,808,488: "Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations" - U.S. Patent No. 8,581,710: "Systems and Methods for Haptic Confirmation of Commands" - U.S. Patent No. 7,336,260: "Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations" The fourth patent is the one that Immersion accuses the MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro of violating, and AT&T, while named in the iPhone 6s claim, is not named in the MacBook infringement claim. According to Immersion, the Force Touch trackpad built into these products uses haptic feedback technology belonging to Immersion. Apple's Force Touch trackpad utilizes haptic feedback to mimic the feeling of pressing on a physical button. The trackpad is able to distinguish between a light press and a harder press, with the pressure-sensitivity used to enable different gestures. In the original lawsuit filed in February of 2016, Immersion accused Apple and AT&T of infringing on three patents with the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. Immersion has added AT&T to the lawsuit because AT&T sells Apple products and offers guides, directions, and other materials that "encourage and facilitate infringing use by others." Immersion's patent lawsuit, in which the company requests a jury trial and seeks compensatory damages, is accompanied by a second complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeking an inclusion order to prevent the sale of the accused Apple devices in the United States.Tags: lawsuit, patents, Immersion Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook's fourth annual CharityBuzz auction ended this afternoon, raising more than $500,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The auction, which garnered more than 40 bids, includes a one hour lunch date with Tim Cook At Apple's Cupertino headquarters along with passes to a forthcoming Apple keynote event. Two people are able to attend the lunch meeting with Cook, with the experience set to last for approximately one hour. While lunch is included in the price of the auction, travel and accommodations are not. The otter expires on May 5, 2017, and the winner will be able to schedule their appointment on a "mutually agreed upon date." In the final hours of the auction, bidding ramped up significantly, jumping from $275,000 yesterday afternoon to the more than $500,000 finishing price. Image via 9to5Mac At $515,000, the 2016 CharityBuzz auction brought in more money than it did in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, the auction raised $200,000, while in 2015, it brought in $330,001. In 2013, the first year the auction was held, someone paid $610,000 to have lunch with Cook. It's possible the auction winner will be able to use the keynote event tickets to attend the keynote for the Worldwide Developers Conference, where Apple is expected to debut new versions of iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS, and perhaps new Mac models. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, a charity Tim Cook has supported for several years. Earlier in 2016, Tim Cook was elected to the RFK Center's board of directors.Tags: Tim Cook, CharityBuzz Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced a new partnership with SAP to "revolutionize" the mobile work experience for its enterprise customers by combining native iPhone and iPad apps with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. Under the partnership, Apple and SAP will create a new software development kit and training academy to help developers and enterprise customers create tailored business-focused iOS apps. "This partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise by bringing together the innovation and security of iOS with SAP's deep expertise in business software," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "As the leader in enterprise software and with 76% of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad. Through the new SDK, we're empowering SAP's more than 2.5 million developers to build powerful native apps that fully leverage SAP HANA Cloud Platform and tap into the incredible capabilities that only iOS devices can deliver."The new SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK will be developed exclusively for iOS and will give enterprise customers simple tools for "quickly and efficiently" building apps for iPhone and iPad based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. According to the press release, the native apps will provide access to core data and business processes on SAP HANA while also taking advantage of Apple hardware features like Touch ID, Location Services, and Notifications. Under the partnership, a new SAP Fiori iOS design language will be created, and SAP will also develop a suite of native iOS apps for "critical business operations" built on Apple's Swift programming language.Tag: SAP Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
MacRumors has received multiple tips about an ongoing App Store issue preventing a number of popular iOS apps from showing up in search results unless already installed, including Google, Periscope, Spotify, Tidal, Tumblr, Waze, and many others. The search issues appear to be widespread, affecting iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch customers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Apple's system status page has not been updated to reflect any reported issues as of 4:30 a.m. Pacific. Check back for updates…Tags: App Store, system status Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Los Angeles police investigators have discovered a workable method to bypass the hardened security features of a locked iPhone 5s, according to The Los Angeles Times. In court documents seen by the newspaper yesterday, LAPD detectives found a "forensic cellphone expert" who could unlock the iPhone 5s belonging to April Jace, the slain wife of "The Shield" actor Michael Jace, who is accused of killing her at their L.A. home in 2014. The claim appeared in a search warrant filed during the same period that the FBI was demanding Apple unlock the earlier model iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. In that high-profile case, the FBI eventually unlocked the phone with the help of professional hackers, paying them up to $1 million for a tool exploiting a security vulnerability. According to FBI director James Comey, the method obtained by the bureau only worked on a "narrow slice of phones", which did not include models of the iPhone 5s and after, presumably because the latter devices are equipped with Apple's proprietary Secure Enclave, a separate security-hardened portion of the core processing chip with its own secure boot and personalized software where private encryption keys are stored and used to secure data. Prior to the the FBI's acquisition of its hacking method, several security experts warned that the ability the bureau sought from Apple would in fact work on later devices, while Apple claimed back in February that the method the FBI asked it for to unlock an iPhone 5c was also possible on newer devices with the Secure Enclave. According to TechCrunch, Apple said at the time that the technical solutions would be different than they are on the iPhone 5c, but not impossible. According to The Times, the search warrant filed in the April Jace killing did not detail the method used by the LAPD to open the later-model iPhone 5s, nor did police reveal the identity of the cellphone expert. It's also unclear what operating system April Jace's phone had. The iPhone 5s has been at the center of the investigation after it was claimed that the actor and his wife argued "about their relationship" via text message shortly before he is alleged to have shot her. Michael Jace's attorneys successfully persuaded a judge to delay his murder trial, arguing that the dead woman's phone should undergo a more exhaustive search than one initially conducted by police. Shortly after her killing, April Jace's cellphone was locked by a passcode, which "hindered" the investigation. But in January 2015, an Apple technician was ordered by an L.A. judge to help police extract data from the phone, according to the search warrant. That attempt apparently failed to obtain any information and a second attempt by the L.A. County district attorney's office the same month left the phone "disabled". The following month, authorities tried to inspect the iPhone but it didn't even turn on, the warrant stated. But in March, investigators learned that a forensic cellphone expert could "override" the security features and let authorities view the phone's contents. A senior investigator with the district attorney's office was apparently then able to examine the phone in April. Jace, 53, is currently awaiting trial in the case. Last week it was reported that the FBI will not reveal to Apple the method it used to hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, because it does not have the rights to the technical data about how the method functions. Apple wants details on the flaw so a fix can be implemented. Until it does, the FBI can keep using the vulnerability so long as it remains unpatched. Amid its dispute with the FBI, reports suggest Apple has already begun work on implementing stronger security measures to protect iOS devices in order to counter the threat of hackers rather than the government. Apple has also said it has revamped its internal security teams. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, co-founders of Siri, the virtual assistant now built into all of Apple's iOS devices, are set to demonstrate their newest artificial intelligence project on Monday, reports The Washington Post. Viv, the name of the AI bot, is more advanced than Siri and is able to carry out complex tasks by mimicking the "spontaneity and knowledge base" of a human assistant. Viv can, for example, set up a dinner reservation and purchase movie tickets all based on one query, parsing ticket prices to find deals and offering suggestions if a movie is sold out or a restaurant has no seating available. Completing the same task with Siri would require multiple commands and human interaction. In an example given by The Washington Post, the Viv team uses it to order pizzas from a nearby restaurant, with Viv parsing numerous voice-based topping and side dish orders without ever needing to open an app. Image via The Washington Post Much of Viv's functionality is enabled through integration with third-party apps like Uber, Florist One, SeatGuru, ZocDoc, and Grubhub, similar to Amazon's Alexa. The team behind Viv is in talks to bring on more partners and plans bring the Viv technology to a variety of Internet-connected devices like cars and TVs. Grubhub chief executive Matt Maloney said he rushed to sign up with Viv two years ago, impressed with the idea of allowing consumers to perform different activities without having to toggle between services. "No one has been able to say, 'I want the movie ticket, and the bottle of wine, and some flowers on the side' -- all in one breath," he said.The goal with Viv, according to Kittlaus, is to offer a way for humans to interact naturally with services through complex human-to-human style conversations, a project Kittlaus and Cheyer have been pursuing since before the development of Siri. Siri was built around the same premise, but underwent changes under Apple's leadership. "Steve [Jobs] had some ideas about the first version, and it wasn't necessarily aligned with all the things that we were doing," Kittlaus told The Washington Post. Google and Facebook have already made offers to purchase Viv, but it is not clear if Kittlaus and Cheyer have plans to sell the technology. The Viv Labs team wants to see the technology built into a wide range of devices, and Kittlaus says the company will "pick the path that gets us there."Tags: Siri, Viv Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Internet-based subscription television plans are growing in popularity, and YouTube is the latest company rumored to be working on a standalone television service. According to Bloomberg, YouTube is developing a paid subscription service called "Unplugged," offering a bundle of channels for a set price. YouTube has already built the infrastructure necessary for the service and is prioritizing its development for a 2017 debut. YouTube has been in talks with major media companies like NBCUniversal, Viacom, Fox, and CBS, but has not yet been able to secure rights for the service. YouTube is said to be aiming to build a streaming service similar to the service Apple hoped to offer before putting its streaming TV plans on hold. It would include a "skinny bundle" of channels from the four major U.S. networks along with a few popular cable channels priced at around $35 per month. YouTube is also considering plans offering a collection of less-watched television channels or smaller groups of channels built around different themes, such as comedy or lifestyle.YouTube would charge one subscription for the main bundle, and extra, smaller monthly fees for these theme-based groups, one of the people said. Using this approach, YouTube could show it is capable of bringing new viewers to many of these second-tier channels, a major concern for large media companies that depend on TV for most of their profits. If YouTube can make it work, media companies may be more open to including more-successful channels later, one of the people familiar said.Along with YouTube, Hulu is also building its own competing streaming television service. News of Hulu's plan surfaced earlier this week and was confirmed this morning by Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. Hulu's subscription model will offer customers cable-style access to popular broadcast television networks and cable channels to complement its existing streaming service, plus it will include a cloud-based DVR feature. Hulu is also aiming to launch its live TV subscription plan in 2017 and is close to signing deals with partners like Disney and Fox. Pricing for the service has not yet been announced, but rumors suggest it will be available for around $40."This means our viewers will be able to enjoy live sports, news and events all in real-time without a traditional cable or satellite subscription," said Hopkins. "We're going to fuse the best of linear television and on-demand in a deeply personalized experience optimized for the contemporary, always-connected television fan."As network executives grow accustomed to establishing deals for streaming television services, Apple may be able to revisit its television plans. Apple has been working on some kind of subscription TV service for several years, but executives have not been able to establish deals with content owners. Apple's latest streaming plans reportedly fell apart because media companies demanded more money than Apple wanted to charge for its TV service and were reluctant to unbundle channels.Tags: YouTube, Hulu Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Kohl's has announced that customers can now pay for their purchases with Kohl’s Charge store-branded credit cards and simultaneously earn Yes2You Rewards loyalty points with a single tap using Apple Pay. The combined functionality is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl’s stores in the United States, and the department store chain expects one-tap checkout to be available in all stores nationwide later this month. Kohl's is the first retailer to offer a one-tap solution for payments and rewards using Apple Pay. Customers can simply add both their Kohl's Charge and Yes2You Rewards cards to Apple Pay and simultaneously pay and collect loyalty points upon checkout with one Touch ID tap for verification. Kohl's has supported Apple Pay since June 2015, and last October it became the first retailer to allow store-branded cards to be used with the iPhone-based contactless payments service. JCPenney is also rolling out store card support.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tag: Kohl's Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to overhaul its year-old music streaming service to make it "more easier to use", according to people familiar with the matter (via Bloomberg News). The company is set to redesign the user interface to make it more intuitive, said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are yet to be made public. Apple also means to significantly enhance the integration of its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service. According to Bloomberg, a full reboot of Apple Music is to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and will be accompanied by a fresh marketing campaign to entice customers to the subscription-based service, which currently costs $10 per month. Apple Music was introduced with much fanfare back in June 2015. While many commentators gave generally positive reviews, the service was criticized for its muddled interface and dearth of features. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift penned an open letter to the Cupertino company criticizing it for not paying artists during the service's free three-month trial and explaining her decision not to make her album 1989 available to stream on Apple Music. Artists have also complained that Apple Music's social aspect, called Connect, "fails miserably" in its aims. Apple has struggled to integrate its employees and unite the streaming and downloading businesses into a cohesive music strategy, according to the latest report. As a result, the service is now being overseen by content head Robert Kondrk and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. Design chief Jony Ive's team has also been involved, along with former Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and senior VP of Internet services Eddy Cue. Apple Music has reached 13 million subscribers, announced Apple CEO Tim Cook at last week's earnings call. The figure was 2 million higher than that reported in February, indicating a growth rate on par with industry-leading streaming service Spotify.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer yesterday for a two-part interview covering a wide range of topics. In the second portion of the interview, which aired tonight, Cook talked about Apple's recent feud with the FBI, what Apple stands for, and who he personally admires. On a question about what Apple stands for and what he's most proud of, Tim Cook said Apple conducts business in a way that's "right and just." He pointed towards the company's environmental efforts, use of renewable energy, focus on human rights, employee shareholder plans, and privacy efforts. "All of these things help us stand for something," he said. "And I think that's what people want." He went on to say that he's proud of the products Apple makes that give customers the ability to do things they couldn't have done otherwise, from giving a voice to an autistic child to providing tools for artists to giving grandparents a way to talk to their grandkids with FaceTime. "All of these things excite me because they're bringing out the best in people," he said. Apple has always stood for building the best products on Earth that enrich people's lives. Whether it was Steve's Apple or -- I don't view it as my Apple today, I'm the CEO of it -- that is what we're about. And so we want to change the world through our products. We produce products that give people the ability to do things they couldn't do before.The discussion on Apple's values turned towards the company's recent dispute with the FBI, where Apple was ordered to unlock the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, leading to a vicious and public debate between Apple and the U.S. government. Echoing past statements, Cook said the FBI's request, which asked for a new version of iOS that bypassed passcode restrictions, went too far and had the potential to put millions of people at risk. He said Apple had to stand up for what it believed in, even though it led to a fight with the government. Government in general has gotten quite dysfunctional in the U.S. and in some other countries as well. What that does, I believe, is put more responsibility on the everyday citizen and companies to help promote change and improve things. And I don't mean to play a government role, but it's not just government who can change things. All of us are responsible for changing things.Cook reiterated his hope that the encryption debate will lead to a discussion where different groups, from law enforcement to civil liberties groups to technology companies, are represented and can weigh in on the issue. In a final question, on who he admires, Cook named human rights leaders he's spoken of in the past and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.I had incredible love and respect for Steve and I think there has never been anyone like him and believe his contributions and gifts to the world were unbelievable. I also deeply admire people who fought for human rights and were pushing humanity forward. People who I think of when I say that are Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King. These people ultimately risked everything, including their lives, to push people forward so that everyone could be included. They were all about inclusiveness. I'm a great believer in inclusiveness.The first half of Cook's interview with Cramer aired last night and covered topics including innovation, the future of the iPhone and Apple Watch, the growth of Apple services, Apple's performance in China, and more.Tags: Tim Cook, CNBC Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently hired Nest's former Vice President of Technology to work on health related projects at the company, reports Fortune. Yoky Matsuoka, a well-known robotics expert who co-founded the Google X experimental project lab, joined Apple after leaving Nest last year. At Nest, she led the development of machine learning algorithms for the Nest Learning Thermostat. At Apple, Matsuoka is working under the company's chief operating officer Jeff Williams, who is in charge of Apple's health initiatives like ResearchKit, HealthKit, and CareKit. Prior to working at Google and Nest, Matsuoka was the director and founder of the University of Washington's Neurobotics Laboratory, focused on building a robot-human system to help individuals who experience strokes, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries with rehabilitation and regaining/enhancing motor control. She is known for her work on robotic hands. Matsuoka has experience in robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, all areas Apple has expressed interest in through recent acquisitions like VocalIQ, Emotient, and Perceptio. According to Fortune, Matsuoka will be working on health-related projects, but the report does not include specifics on what she will be doing or how her robotics expertise might be applied to Apple products.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of last night's Apple-sponsored Met Gala, Apple design chief Jony Ive spoke with fashion website Business of Fashion about the "Manus x Machina" theme of the event and accompanying Costume Institute Exhibition, giving some insight into his thoughts on design and some hints on the future of the Apple Watch. According to Ive, who has had a hand in the creation and design of all of Apple's modern product releases, including the company's first wearable device, the goal of the designer is to solve problems without making the consumer aware of the problem that was solved.In our work, we've always tried to design in a way where you're not aware of the problems that we've had to solve. That's the job of the designer: to solve problems and explore, but not really drag you through what all the problems were.He went on to explain that tech products, like the Apple Watch, are becoming "more and more personal," something that he says technology companies still have a lot to learn about.I think we have always had a very clear and a very singular approach to how we design products that are more familiar to people, more established in terms of product categories. I think it's very hard to have that same clarity and singularity when you're not absolutely confident in your subject matter."Business of Fashion asked Ive about his future plans for the Apple Watch and while he refused to give specifics, he hinted that there could be some dramatic changes in store based on Apple's general product release philosophy. He said the Apple Watch is a "natural" category for Apple and that the company thinks about it in a non-opportunistic, "authentic" way.It's quite interesting that if you look back at the first generation of the iPod or the Phone -- what happens in the next two, three, four years is dramatic. You'd be very surprised about some of the things you would absolutely assume that the first Phone did and it didn't have. [...] I personally love products when they're at this level of maturity," Ive said of the Apple Watch. "You know we can't talk about future products, but if you look at what we typically do is that we don't make something and stop.Jony Ive served as co-chair for the 2016 Met Gala and Costume Institute Exhibition alongside pop star Taylor Swift and actor Idris Elba. Last night, Ive, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs attended the Met Gala alongside hundreds of celebrities, major fashion designers, and other well-known tech leaders like Kevin Systrom, Marissa Mayer, and Elon Musk. (Image via Vogue)Tag: Jony Ive Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
TIME Magazine today published a list ranking the 50 most influential gadgets of all time, from cameras and TVs to music players, smartphones, and drones. Unsurprisingly, Apple's iPhone was ranked as the number one most influential device on TIME's list, because it "fundamentally changed our relationship to computing and information," popularized mobile apps, and influenced the future of smartphone design. Apple was the first company to put a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions when it launched the iPhone in 2007. Smartphones had technically existed for years, but none came together as accessibly and beautifully as the iPhone. Apple's device ushered in a new era of flat, touchscreen phones with buttons that appeared on screen as you needed them, replacing the chunkier phones with slide-out keyboards and static buttons.Apple's Macintosh also ranked high on the list, coming in as the number three most influential gadget for setting the standard for "the way human beings interact with computers." The iPod, the precursor to the iPhone and the device that inspired Apple's line of mobile products, was listed as the ninth most influential gadget. The only other Apple products to make the list are the iPad and the iBook. On the list for being "radically different" than the tablets that came before it, the iPad is ranked at number 25, while the iBook, the first laptop to offer wireless networking, is ranked at number 38.The product's reveal was a classic example of Steve Jobs' showmanship at its best. While loading a webpage and showing off the computer's display at 1999's MacWorld conference, the Apple co-founder lifted the computer off its table and walked across the stage. The crowd roared in approval. In a gesture, he showed that Wi-Fi was here to stay.Other smartphones that made the list include the Motorola Droid, credited with popularizing Android, the BlackBerry 6210, and the candy bar-shaped Nokia 3210, the first phone with an internal antenna and built-in games. The full list, which includes products like Google Glass, Fitbit, Amazon Kindle, Oculus Rift, the Sony Walkman, and more, is available from the TIME website.Tag: TIME Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.5 El Capitan update to developers and public beta testers, one week after releasing the third OS X 10.11.5 beta and more than a month after releasing OS X 10.11.4, the fourth update to the El Capitan operating system. OS X 10.11.5 has been in testing since April 6. The fourth beta of OS X 10.11.5 can be downloaded through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store or through the Apple Developer Center (developers only). OS X 10.11.5 focuses on security enhancements, performance improvements, and bug fixes to address problems that have surfaced since the release of OS X 10.11.4. As with prior betas, the changes appear to be minor in scope, and no obvious outward-facing tweaks have been discovered in the first three OS X 10.11.5 betas. We'll update this post if any new features are found in the fourth beta.Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan Tag: OS X 10.11.5 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 9.3.2 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after the release of the third iOS 9.3.2 beta and more than a month after the launch of iOS 9.3, a significant update that introduced Night Shift mode and other feature improvements. iOS 9.3.2 has been in testing since April 6. iOS 9.3.2 beta 4 can be downloaded over-the-air using the beta configuration profile or through the Apple Developer Center. iOS 9.3.2, as an 9.x.x update, appears to be minor in scale, focusing on bug fixes and performance improvements. iOS 9.3.2 appears to fix a major Game Center bug that has plagued some iOS users for months and it introduces support for using Night Shift and Low Power Mode simultaneously. The first three betas of iOS 9.3.2 have not included any significant outward-facing changes, but we will update this post with any new features found in the fourth beta.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.3.2 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
In line with Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent comments about "very strong" iPhone SE demand exceeding supply, the company has reportedly increased orders for the low-priced 4-inch smartphone in the second quarter of 2016. DigiTimes claims that the second-quarter outlook for iPhone SE-related chip orders has been revised to more than 5 million units, up from 3.5-4 million, and the upward trend is expected to continue through the third quarter. In a related report, the Taiwanese website notes that Apple has conversely lowered orders for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus due to declining sales of the flagship handsets. Last week, Apple announced its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, which dropped to 51.2 million from 61.2 million in the year-ago quarter, and provided third quarter guidance that suggests the decline will continue. While the lower-priced iPhone SE could help Apple combat its overall decline in smartphone sales, Apple analyst Neil Cybart of Above Avalon notes that the device has a lower average selling price (ASP) and smaller profit margins. Those pressures, alongside other warning signs, leads him to believe that Apple "has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands" right now.When looking at all of these iPhone warning signs, it is becoming clear that Apple has a significant iPhone growth problem on its hands. The combination of a slowing iPhone upgrade rate and declining number of growth catalysts for expanding the iPhone's addressable market will make it very difficult for management to report unit sales growth going forward given its current strategy. In addition, the iPhone SE highlights how any strategy to fix some of these issues will likely end up jeopardizing iPhone ASP and margin trends.One of Cybart's warning signs is that "India is not the next China," despite being positioned as one of the next big growth markets for iPhone. India has reportedly rejected Apple's request to import and sell refurbished iPhones in the country, following a similar proposal rejected in 2015, and its regular-priced iPhones are too expensive to attract significant market share in the region. Nevertheless, the analyst ensures that the iPhone business is "not imploding," citing industry-leading customer satisfaction rates and loyalty trends. He believes that Apple can pull through this declining iPhone environment with a strategy that involves ditching the "S" model nomenclature, focusing on features that customers truly want, and recognizing the iPhone SE's effect on its broader smartphone lineup.Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone SE Tags: digitimes.com, India Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Amid rumors suggesting Apple is set to ditch the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, an image depicting a spare part that could be used in the device has surfaced – headphone jack included. This morning, French site Nowhereelse.fr shared an image of a Lightning cable assembly, apparently destined for the iPhone 7, which differs in design from the same part found in the current iPhone 6s. The assembly part is host to a number of components, including cellular antenna cables and the obligatory Lightning port, but the new design clearly shows a separate white headphone jack on the far left-hand side. Left: purported iPhone 7 part (Image: Weibo); Right: iPhone 6s part (Image: iFixit) The image was submitted anonymously via a Weibo account, therefore its validity cannot be confirmed. As Nowhereelse.fr notes, it could just as easily depict a part destined for a Chinese counterfeit manufacturer, rather than coming from Apple's official supply chain. Nevertheless, the part should provide some relief for those hoping that Apple's next generation of iPhone does not adopt a one-size-fits-all Lightning solution, which would also make it the sole means of connecting headphones and other audio accessories. Recent rumors have suggested Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 will feature a thinner body with no headphone jack, with Apple instead planning to rely on the Lightning port and Bluetooth as ways to connect headphones to the device. Apple is also rumored to be working on Lightning-equipped EarPods to sell alongside the iPhone 7, while a more contentious rumor claims Apple may be planning to replace the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 with a second speaker for stereo audio. Indeed, it remains to be seen if a Lightning-based audio solution would be restricted to Apple's larger iPhone 7 Plus handset, which could mean the leaked image is genuine without necessarily vouchsafing the future of the headphone jack across Apple's upcoming line-up of iPhone devices.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: nowhereelse.fr Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook today sat down with CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer, where he discussed his thoughts on innovation, the future of the iPhone and the Apple Watch, the growth of Apple services, Apple's performance in China, and more. Last week, Apple reported its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003, announcing $10.5 billion in profit on $50.6 billion in revenue. Apple also saw its first ever decline in year-over-year iPhone sales, leading one Wall Street analyst to claim Apple's best days are behind it. "I couldn't disagree more," said Cook when asked about the comment, attributing the perceived sales dip to an abnormally high upgrade rate in late 2014 and 2015 as people upgraded to the iPhone 6 and pointing towards growth opportunities in China and India. Cook went on to tease future advances in iPhone technology that will inspire people to buy new devices.We've got great innovation in the pipeline. New iPhones that will incentivize you and other people that have iPhones today to upgrade to new iPhones. We are going to give you things you can't live without that you just don't know you need today. That has always been the objective of Apple. To do things that really enrich people's lives. That you look back on and you wonder how did I live without this.He reiterated Apple's future plans later in the interview when questioned on whether Apple is still innovating. "We're fairly secretive," he said, "but I would tell you we're incredibly excited about things we're working on." Cook also commented on Apple acquisitions. "We've acquired a lot of companies. We generally acquire a company every three to four weeks on average," he said. "We're always looking," he added on the topic of potential major acquisitions. On the Apple Watch, Cook didn't give many hints about what's coming in the future, but he said he believes it will be seen differently in retrospect, much like the iPod. "You'll see the Apple Watch getting better and better," he told Cramer. "We're still in learning mode."If you look at iPod, iPod wasn't viewed as a success, but today it's viewed as an overnight success. [...] And so I think that in a few years we will look back and people will say, "How could I have ever thought about not wearing this watch?" Because it's doing so much for you. And then it will all of a sudden be an overnight success. Cook also addressed concerns about China, which led billionaire Carl Icahn to sell his full stake in Apple earlier this year. Apple's sales fell 26 percent in Greater China in the second quarter of 2016, and recently, Apple was forced to take down the iTunes Movies and iBooks stores in China on concerns from Chinese officials that believe Apple is "too deeply established" in core industries in the company. "I could not be more optimistic about China," he said. According to Cook, the Android-to-iPhone switch rate has been "huge" in China, up 40 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2016. He says Apple is working with Chinese regulatory authorities to get its iTunes Movies and iBooks services back online in the country. "We're pretty confident and optimistic that we'll be back online and offering those to our Chinese customers soon." Cook also spoke at length on the dip in Apple stock, the company's quarterly performance and predictions for next quarter, smartphone penetration in China and India, and Apple's customer loyalty and potential for growth in services. Cook's segment aired on Mad Money on CNBC at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Part one and part two of the full episode are now available on the CNBC website and are embedded above. Tags: Tim Cook, CNBC Discuss this article in our forums

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