posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Lenovo today launched the Yoga Tablet 2, which comes equipped with either Android or Windows 8. Available in three different sizes ranging from 8 to 13 inches, the tablets are priced from $249 to $499. On the smaller end, the 8 and 10 inch tablets (Windows or Android) have a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, while the larger 13-inch Pro version (Android only) has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. The tablets come equipped with a 180-degree kickstand and the 13-inch Pro model comes equipped with a built-in pico projector that can project an image up to 50 inches on a wall as its defining feature. The tablets and two new two-in-one Yoga laptops have been created by Lenovo in conjunction with Ashton Kutcher, a "product engineer" at the company. Along with serving as one of Lenovo's product engineers, Kutcher also famously starred as Steve Jobs in "Jobs," the biographical movie directed by Joshua Michael Stern. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro image courtesy of Engadget In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kutcher sat down to talk about the creation of the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro and give his thoughts on Apple's upcoming iPad lineup. According to Kutcher, he traveled to China to brainstorm a product consumers want. with the aim of making a "great entertainment device." For that reason, the Pro tablet comes equipped with a subwoofer and an 8-watt speaker, along with a 13-inch screen. "Because people use it in the home, we don't need to create this super portable device," Kutcher said. And with the projector, users don't need to look for an HDMI cord or use AirPlay, because there's a "built-in 50-inch screen." When asked about the upcoming iPad, Kutcher said he wasn't worried about the competition as it would be unlikely to approach the features found in the Lenovo tablet. Not at all. I'm not concerned about it in the least bit. Maybe it will be an iPhone Plus Plus. I think Apple has their fingers in a lot of things. We are really focused on this space and this product. I will be really surprised if they launch anything that approaches what we have here.While Apple is said to be working on a larger 12.9-inch iPad, its upcoming October 16 launch event will focus on new versions of its already existing tablets, the iPad Air and the Retina iPad mini. Rumors have suggested the new iPad Air will receive an updated A8 processor, an improved camera, a gold color option, a new anti-reflective screen, and possibly 2GB of RAM. Apple's 12.9-inch iPad, meanwhile, is currently on hold with production delayed until Apple can meet demand for the iPhone 6 Plus. Lenovo's smaller Android Yoga tablets are available now, while the larger projector-equipped version will launch later in October. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
U2's partnership with Apple that saw its latest album, "Songs of Innocence" distributed for free to iTunes users appears to have been a wild success, with the album reaching more than 81 million Apple customers across iTunes, iTunes Radio, and Beats Music. Eddy Cue, Apple's iTunes chief, told Billboard that the album had been downloaded in its entirety more than 26 million times since its September 9 release, and that more than 81 million customers had "experienced songs" from the album. "To help put this into perspective," [Cue] says, "prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003."During Apple's September 9 keynote event, Bono took the stage with Tim Cook to announce that the "Songs of Innocence" album would be available at no cost to 500 million iTunes customers. Apple even went so far as to push the album to iTunes accounts, causing some devices to download the album without explicit user permission. There was some backlash over the automatic downloads, prompting Apple to create a tool to allow users to remove the free U2 album. Despite the negativity over auto downloads, Apple announced that "Songs of Innocence" had been "accessed" by more than 33 million customers just under a week after it had been made available. Apple's deal with U2 and Universal Music Group is worth an estimated $100 million and is said to be part of a "long-term relationship" that will see U2 continuing to work with Apple to promote innovation in music. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's new Apple Pay payment system has been designed to be ultra secure, taking advantage of existing NFC tokenization specifications to keep user payment information safe. Apple uses tokens, or unique Device Account Numbers, to replace card numbers and transactions are verified through both one-time use security codes and Touch ID. Ahead of the launch of Apple Pay, The Daily Dot has spoken to several different banks working with Apple on the payments service, including Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, Chase, and PNC, to get their thoughts on its security. According to Navy Federal VP of credit cards Randy Hopper, the bank was "very excited" to see what Apple had developed, because it is "convenient, secure, and private." Apple's use of tokenization "addresses all points of weakness across the payment system." USAA assistant vice president Vikram Parekh, meanwhile, said that the bank is confident enough in Apple Pay to assume all liability for unauthorized or fraudulent transactions, both in retail stores and for online purchases."USAA has a zero liability policy and members are never liable for any losses related to unauthorized [or] fraudulent activity, this does not change with Apple Pay," Vikram Parekh, Assistant Vice President at USAA Bank tells the Daily Dot. "The bank has liability for any purchases made when Apple Pay is offered and used as the form of payment. This is true for both face-to-face and for "in-app" purchases," Parekh explains.Both Chase and PNC offered similar statements, suggesting banks that have partnered with Apple feel that the payments system is secure enough for them to offer consumers the same protections they get with standard credit cards. Apple Pay is "extremely secure" and "zero liability for fraudulent transactions still applies," said Chase spokesman Paul Hartwick, while Tom Trebilcock, vice president of digital at PNC Bank, pointed out that tokenization will protect consumers from "potential mass theft of credit and debit card information." Stolen credit cards and customer information have plagued millions this year, as major retailers like Target and Home Depot saw massive security breaches that compromised significant amounts of customer data."From Navy Federal's perspective we're excited about the whole tokenization process," Hopper says. "The whole process of providing a payment token as opposed to the financial account number actually reduces the risk to the system and to everyone participating in it, from the customer, to the retailer, to the payment networks, to the issuer, and to Apple."Though Apple has said that it will not be able to see transaction information, several of the bank representatives that spoke to The Daily Dot have confirmed that they will be able to tell if a transaction has taken place using Apple Pay or a standard credit card, "because of the nature of the data" given to banks in the Apple Pay system. Apple has plans to launch Apple Pay in October, through an update to iOS 8. iOS 8.1, which was seeded to developers earlier this month, already contains hidden Apple Pay setup and settings elements that will likely be unlocked before the software is released to the public. There is no word of an official release date for Apple Pay, but Chase said its customers will be able to use Apple Pay when it launches, while USAA plans to begin offering Apple Pay on November 7. PNC and Navy Federal will support Apple Pay in the fall. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
GT Advanced Technologies today appeared in a New Hampshire courtroom, asking for non-disclosure in its pending bankruptcy proceedings. According to Reuters, a lawyer for the company told the court that a confidentiality agreement prevented it from disclosing the details surrounding its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Luc Despins of Paul Hastings told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff an unspecified confidentiality agreement prevented GT from disclosing the cause of its bankruptcy, or its plan for dealing with the situation. He also acknowledged the 90 percent drop in the company’s stock price in the first three trading days of this week. GT further asked the court to seal select documents referencing a third-party, noting that the disclosure would violate existing confidentially agreements. The publication of these documents could prove costly to the sapphire maker with potential damages of $50 million per violation. GT failed to identify the third-party company, but it almost certainly is Apple, which is known for its strict confidentiality clauses. GT's lawyers also asked that the proceedings be closed to the public as part of what they agree is an "unusual (and perhaps unprecedented)" request. Lawyers from the Department of Justice denounced GT's motions, saying "the record is insufficient for the court to find what the court needs to find." GT filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, taking Apple and Wall Street by surprise. Apple reportedly was working with the company to help it remain solvent, but those efforts have failed for the time being and GT will seek to restructure its finances moving forward. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Skype for Mac Gains New Mobile-Style Redesign for Improved Chat Experience • Apple Opening Second Turkish Retail Store in Istanbul's Akasya Shopping Mall • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
In a letter addressed to Tim Cook today, activist investor Carl Icahn praises Apple for its innovation, while again asking the company to accelerate its stock repurchase program. Icahn previously pressured Apple to increase its stock buyback program to as much as $150 billion, but dropped that bid following Apple's decision to repurchase $14 billion shares in February of this year. Icahn continues to note that Apple is "dramatically undervalued in today’s market" with its shares trading at half of Icahn's estimated $203 value. This valuation is likely to change as Apple's new product lineup chips away at Android's market share. While we recognize and applaud the company’s previously increased share repurchase authorization, we ask you to consider our advice once again (to the benefit of all shareholders) and consider accelerating share repurchases again via a tender offer. Our valuation analysis tells us that Apple should trade at $203 per share today, and we believe the disconnect between that price and today’s price reflects an undervaluation anomaly that will soon disappear. Icahn calls Apple's new iPhone models "best in class" and applauds Apple for growing its mobile ecosystem of services that surround the handset, including Apple Pay, HealthKit, and more. Beyond simple price comparison, we see the iPhone as best in class, supported by expert reviews and by the lines of people all over the world waiting to buy it. Perhaps most importantly, we believe the iPhone will take market share because its merits are no longer viewed in isolation from the overall Apple ecosystem of products and services, which include iOS, iPad, Mac, Apps, App Store, iCloud, iTunes, and (more recently) Apple Watch, Apple Pay, Home, Health, Continuity, Beats. With the iPhone as the foundation, Apple’s ecosystem has come to play an important role in the daily life of Apple users, and while Apple continues to make impressive strides to improve it, the competition falls behind in what is arguably the most important race of this technological era.For its part, Apple has acknowledged Icahn's letter but made given indication on its plans for the future beyond its current policy of reviewing the capital return program on an annual basis.We always appreciate hearing from our shareholders. Since 2013 we've been aggressively executing the largest capital return program in corporate history. As we've said before, we will review the program annually and take into account the input from all of our shareholders.Icahn disclosed last year that his holding company had taken a large position in Apple with Icahn now owning 53 million shares of AAPL. Icahn's note follows Apple's April announcement of an increased stock repurchase program that authorizes the purchase of up to $90 billion in stock and a 7:1 stock split that was instituted in June 2014. As part of its capital return program, Apple pledged to return more than $130 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Last week, Pioneer announced that it became the first company to offer support for Apple's CarPlay vehicle integration feature in five of its 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers through a firmware update. Now, Josh Carr of technology repair firm Fix Denver (via TUAW) has put together a four-part video walkthrough of downloading, installing and using CarPlay on Pioneer's $700 AVH-4000NEX receiver, giving an overview of various apps and features. After the 200 MB firmware update is downloaded from Pioneer's website, the user is required to create a bootable USB drive for the update which can be done through Disk Utility on OS X. From there, users plug the USB drive into the powered-on receiver and scroll to the device's settings to initiate the firmware update. Carr notes that the vehicle containing the deck must be on during the process with its emergency brake enabled. CarPlay then pops up on the receiver's home screen as an option, and boots into its own interface once selected. Carr demonstrates a variety of different apps on CarPlay including Phone, Music, Spotify and Apple Maps along with how Siri integrates itself into the interface. Like on the iPhone, the Phone app contains options for Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Keypad and Visual Voicemail and uses Siri to tell the driver who is calling. The Music app contains options for iTunes Radio, Genius playlists, Artists and Now Playing, as Siri can also play a song when requested. Meanwhile, launching the Messages app allows users to compose a message and send it to a specific contact through Siri. Incoming messages can also be read back to the user, and can also be replied to. When showing the Spotify app, Carr notes that there is no way to search for songs and that its interface is generally buggy and unresponsive at this time. Apple Maps and its GPS directions appears to be as responsive as the iOS app, and also allows for routes to be read back to the user. Early reviews of CarPlay from Consumer Reports and Australian technology EFTM gave the system positive reviews, saying that it was easy and safe to use because of exceptional Siri integration. Aside from the $700 AVH-4000NEX, Pioneer is also bringing CarPlay support to the $1400 AVIC-8000NEX, the $1200 AVIC-7000NEX, the $900 AVIC-6000NEX, and the $750 AVIC-5000NEX. CarPlay is also compatible with Pioneer's new $600 AppRadio 4 smartphone receiver. CarPlay for supported Pioneer NEX in-dash systems is enabled through a free firmware update available on the manufacturer's website. The interface requires an iPhone 5 or later along with iOS 7.1 or newer. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple and its suppliers are delaying plans to mass produce the larger 12.9-inch iPad in order to deal with strong demand for the iPhone 6 Plus, reports The Wall Street Journal. Apple was originally planning to mass produce the larger tablet in December, however the company has remained unsatisfied with the production output from its suppliers for its larger iPhone. Mockup of a 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air “The top priority for the supply chain is to meet the overwhelming demand for the larger screen iPhones. The output of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus remains unsatisfactory,” said a person at a supplier. “It would be challenging for display makers to split resources and spend a few months to ramp up production for a new larger screen iPad now.” The report also states that Foxconn is having issues with hiring enough factory workers to assemble the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus at its factory in Zhengzhou, China, making it even more difficult to begin work on a new device. Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the 12.9-inch iPad will feature a resolution similar to the current iPad Air's 2048 x 1536 display. Suppliers are also said to be preparing for mass production of the 12-inch MacBook Air in December, which follows similar information from a report yesterday. A report from Bloomberg in August claimed that Apple would be launching the 12.9-inch iPad in early 2015 after plans for the tablet was put on hold earlier this year. However, that report also noted that the larger iPad would include a high pixel density that nears ultra high-definition quality. The larger tablet was said to be an effort to "shake up the iPad line" as sales of the iPad have been on the decline for the past two quarters. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 and next-generation Retina iPad mini along with new iMacs and perhaps a new Mac Mini at a special event next Thursday, October 16. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Opening Princes Street Retail Store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18 • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has retained its top spot as the world's most valuable company in the latest rankings from consulting firm Interbrand, reports The New York Times. With its top spot in the rankings, Apple also bested fellow technology companies Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Samsung, which came in 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th place, respectively. On September 9, 2014, Tim Cook held up a wallet and said, "Our ambition is to replace this." A bold statement to be sure—but we'd expect nothing less from Apple, #1 on the Best Global Brands list for the second year in a row. Referring to Apple Pay, a new mobile payments platform that enables consumers to pay for items with Apple devices, Cook signaled that Steve Jobs's 2001 vision of Apple becoming the "digital hub" of its consumers' lives (Macworld Expo 2001) has finally been fulfilled. In what CNNMoney.com called "one of the most ambitious product launches in its history," Apple unveiled not only Apple Pay, but also the long-anticipated Apple Watch, a wearable device that combines health and fitness monitoring with mobile computer capabilities, and launched two new iPhones that are faster and smarter than previous versions and feature larger screens. The iPhone 6 Plus, which embraces the larger-form factors, could pose a serious challenge to Samsung's GALAXY Note. Though iPhone sales were up prior to the new product launch, particularly in China where China Mobile is now signed as a carrier, the iPhone 6 Plus may further assist penetration in Asian markets where larger-screened devices are preferred. In last year's survey, Apple overtook Coca-Cola as the most valuable brand in the world after the beverage corporation spent 13 years in the top spot. Apple was valued at $118.9 billion in this year's survey, up $20.6 billion from its $98.3 billion valuation in 2013. Apple launched the larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 last month, with both devices selling a record-breaking ten million units during their first three days on sale. The company also announced its highly-anticipated Apple Watch wearable device in September, which will come in multiple screen sizes and collections when it launches next year. Apple is expected to unveil new iPads, a 27-inch iMac with Retina Display and perhaps a new Mac Mini at an event next Thursday, October 16. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Third-party Apple service provider GeekBar has shared a picture (via Weibo, Google Translate) of what is said to be a 2 GB Elpida RAM module for the iPad Air 2. The units shown appear to be similar to the 1 GB of Elpida DDR3 SDRAM found in the first-generation iPad Air, and the photo follows a report from last month which stated that the next-generation iPad Air would receive a memory upgrade to 2 GB of RAM. Apple first offered 1 GB of RAM with the iPad 3, keeping the same amount of memory in the iPad 4 and the iPad Air. It is likely that previous iPads have not seen a memory increase to keep costs low and preserve battery life, but Apple may offer 2 GB of RAM with the iPad Air 2 in order to offer optimal performance on iOS 8. Apple is also said to be working on split-screen multitasking for the iPad Air, which would require more memory than running just a single app. That report also noted that feature would allow two apps to run side-by-side in multiple sizes, and offer users the ability to drag content like text or images from one app to another. Geekbar does not have an established track record with Apple rumors, however the company's Weibo account did reveal the barometric pressure sensor that was eventually included in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 2 and next-generation Retina iPad mini at a media event next Thursday, October 16. Some reports have also claimed that the company will announce updated Mac Minis and updated iMacs with at least the 27-inch model carrying a high-resolution Retina display. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has begun emailing iCloud users who have enabled two-factor authentication on their Apple IDs, reminding them that application specific passwords will be required when trying to access iCloud data on third party apps starting tomorrow. In addition to the email reminders, Apple last week published a new support document educating users on how to use app-specific passwords. While the feature was originally intended to require the feature on October 1, it's unclear why two-factor authentication users are being reminded of it a week later. App-specific passwords are a new feature Apple introduced in mid-September, following the launch of two-factor authentication for accessing iCloud.com. The changes arrived after a hacking incident that saw the iCloud accounts of several celebrities compromised due to weak passwords. CEO Tim Cook has promised to improve iCloud security by increasing awareness around Apple's security features like two-factor authentication as well as a sending out email notifications whenever a device is restored, an account is accessed or a password change is attempted. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
With the iPhone 6, Apple debuted a new display technology called Retina HD, which resulted in wider viewer angles, higher resolutions, higher contrast and a thinner display. Developer Hamza Sood has now discovered frameworks within iOS 8.1 Beta 2 that contain '3x' assets that point to higher resolution displays in the new iPad models. While the assets don't confirm that Retina HD displays will be on the new iPad models, it does suggest that Apple is looking at introducing the feature. Currently, it is unclear as to which iPad models would receive Retina HD displays, although some rumors have pointed to the rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro sporting a higher resolution. Apple did include a Retina HD display with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, as the larger device received a higher resolution than its smaller counterpart. Apple is expected to debut the new iPad Air (and potentially the next generation iPad Mini with Retina Display) at a media event on October 16 in its Cupertino campus. The company is also expected to introduce new iMacs, with at least the 27-inch variety coming with a Retina Display. It's also likely Apple gives a full overview of OS X Yosemite before its public launch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Apple saw its worldwide PC marketshare climb to 6.3 percent in the third quarter of 2014, launching it into the top five worldwide vendors, according to new data released from IDC. While Apple has long held a position as one of the top PC vendors in the U.S., it has not made it into the list of top five worldwide vendors in quite some time. With nearly 5 million shipments during the quarter compared to 4.5 million in the year ago quarter, Apple saw overall growth of 8.9 percent year over year, allowing it to edge out ASUS as the number five vendor. Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Acer, meanwhile, held their top four positions. Lenovo, as usual, was the top worldwide PC vendor, with more than 15 million shipments and 20 percent marketshare. IDC's Preliminary Global PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q14 (In Thousands)Apple moved into the number 5 position on a worldwide basis, slightly overtaking ASUS. The company's steady growth, along with recent price cuts and improved demand in mature markets, has helped it to consistently outgrow the market.As for U.S. shipments, Apple retained its number three vendor position with more than 2.2 million shipments and 13 percent marketshare, up 9.3 percent year over year. HP and Dell held their positions as the top two vendors in the U.S., with 27.7 and 24 percent marketshare, respectively.

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Earlier today, an Apple representative told Reuters that the company was surprised by GT Advanced's decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, and The Wall Street Journal has now published some new information on the behind the scenes dealings between the two companies. According to inside sources, Apple was caught off guard by GT's filing because it had been working with GT to make sure the latter company would be able to pay all of its debts. Apple, aware of GT's weak cash position, also reportedly held off on asking for loan repayments on the $439 million GT has received so far. On Wednesday, Apple called the bankruptcy filing "a surprising decision." A person familiar with the matter said Apple had been working with GT to keep it solvent. In addition, Apple hadn't demanded repayment of loans as it could have, based on GT's weak cash position, people familiar with the matter said.As part of its loan agreement, Apple was entitled to ask GT Advanced for repayment if its cash holdings fell below $125 million, but Apple has opted not to demand repayment. In addition to holding off on asking for loan repayment, Apple is also attempting to help GT qualify for the final $139 million payment that Apple has thus far withheld from the company. GT has not yet received the payment because it has reportedly failed to deliver on the technical milestones that it was contractually obligated to meet under the original terms of the $578 million loan that Apple provided for purchasing equipment. Though Apple was widely rumored to be using GT Advanced sapphire for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus displays, the company opted to stick with Gorilla Glass, leading to troubles for GT Advanced. Apple provided GT with a facility and a loan to buy equipment, but was not required to purchase GT's sapphire, which has eaten into GT's cash pile. GT, meanwhile, has reportedly run into manufacturing issues that have impacted yield, explaining why Apple may have passed on sapphire screens for its new iPhones. GT is also subjected to exclusivity provisions limiting what it is able to sell to other companies. Apple's upcoming Apple Watch will use sapphire on some models, but GT's bankruptcy is unlikely to impact the production of that device as Apple can use sapphire from other sources. The future of sapphire display covers for iPhones is less certain, however, as there are few other sources where Apple can obtain enough high-quality sapphire. GT Advanced will have its first Chapter 11 bankruptcy court hearing tomorrow, where it is expected to divulge additional information on the reasons behind its bankruptcy filing. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
We're growing closer to the launch of the first hardware accessories that are compatible with Apple's HomeKit home automation platform, as the company has recently published the final Made for iPhone (MFi) specifications for hardware developers. With the completed specifications, hardware manufacturers will be able to create products that are designed to integrate with the HomeKit platform. All developers creating hardware for HomeKit must follow Apple's MFi guidelines and incorporate the HomeKit technical specifications. As outlined by 9to5Mac, some of Apple's final HomeKit specifications cover the pairing and security of Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi connected HomeKit accessories. While we've already seen several products that will take advantage of HomeKit, including a smart USB charger and a line of connected home sensors, Apple's HomeKit supports a wide range of products like lightbulbs, locks, fans, thermostats, power outlets, garage doors, and more. Apple has also announced several partners already, including Philips and Honeywell. Connected home sensors with HomeKit integration from Elgato As Apple has worked to ready HomeKit for hardware developers, it has also been working on the software front. The latest beta of the Apple TV software, released alongside iOS 8.1 beta 2, includes explicit support for HomeKit, turning the Apple TV into something of a home automation hub. The new Apple TV software turns the Apple TV into a remote access HomeKit peer, and as described by AppleInsider, this allows HomeKit devices to sync with the Apple TV, possibly giving users a way to control connected devices even when away from home. In the future, an updated Apple TV set-top box could include long-rumored features like Siri support, letting users easily control HomeKit-connected devices from their living rooms through the Apple TV dashboard. HomeKit has been designed to work deeply with Siri, letting users control HomeKit hardware via voice commands. At its Worldwide Developers Conference, several potential uses for HomeKit were demoed. For example, when a user has HomeKit-compatible hardware installed, Apple's voice assistant Siri can be asked to "Close the garage, "Turn off the lights," or "Lower the temperature." Apple has plans to hold a Made for iPhone (MFi) summit November 12 through November 14, providing accessory manufacturers and developers with information on HomeKit, iBeacon, AirPlay, and more, and with the finalized specification now available, we should be seeing additional hardware products with HomeKit support in the near future. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
As expected, Apple will be holding a media event on Thursday, October 16 at the Town Hall auditorium on its Cupertino headquarters campus, with the company today sending out media invitations for the event (via The Loop). The event begins at 10:00 AM Pacific, and the invitations carry the tagline "It's been way too long". Apple is expected to introduce an updated iPad Air (and possibly a new iPad mini), as well as updated iMacs with at least the 27-inch model carrying a high-resolution Retina display. OS X Yosemite is also likely to see its final overview before public launch, and one rumor has suggested updated Mac minis are also in the works and could see an announcement at the event. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
In the company's first public statement regarding the bankruptcy filing by its sapphire partner GT Advanced Technologies earlier this week, an Apple spokesman tells Reuters the company was surprised by the filing and that it is now figuring out its next steps."We are focussed on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT's surprising decision and we will continue to work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps," spokesman Chris Gaither said. GT reportedly fell into difficulty when Apple withheld a final $139 million prepayment loan, part of a roughly $580 million package intended to help GT start up operations at the Mesa, Arizona sapphire production plant owned by Apple. With Apple opting not to use sapphire for the display on the iPhone 6 and under no commitment to purchase sapphire from GT, the sapphire producer quickly started running out of cash. And with repayment on the Apple loan set to start in January, if not sooner, GT found itself needing to enter bankruptcy protection while reorganizing its business. While the Apple Watch will use sapphire on some models, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims GT's bankruptcy should have no impact on that product as Apple can source sapphire for that product from multiple sources. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Well-known Vietnamese blog Tinhte.vn today published images that reportedly show the design of Apple's next generation iPad Air 2. The pictured device has the same general form factor as the existing iPad Air, but includes a thinner 7 mm profile that measures roughly the same as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and thinner than the current 7.5 mm iPad Air. In line with previous rumors, the iPad Air 2 model also includes a home button with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Claimed iPad Air 2 mockup from Tinhte.vn While this latest report includes detailed photographs and a video, they only give us a hint at Apple's next-generation iPad as the device in the photos is described as a dummy model used by accessory manufacturers to test out and showcase their designs and not an actual iPad Air 2 unit leaked from a Foxconn assembly line. Similar to previous leaks, the iPad model has the same external design features seen in earlier leaks and in MacRumors' own dummy unit on hand since June. Tinhte dummy unit (left) vs. MacRumors dummy unit (right) Of perhaps most note, the Tinhte.vn and other dummy models include two distinctive small holes in the area of the rear camera -- one on the back and one of the side of the casing. The hole closest to the camera is undoubtedly for a microphone, while the other hole likely marks the presumed location of the mute/rotation switch, which is not depicted ini full on the models. Today's report and an earlier one have suggested this hole is for a microphone rather than simply marking the mute/rotation switch location, but we believe this interpretation is likely incorrect. Apple is expected to unveil its iPad Air 2 and possibly a new Retina iPad mini at a press event to be held on October 16. The next-generation iPad Air is rumored to included a faster A8 processor, anti-reflective display, Touch ID, and a gold color option. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Working Apple 1 Motherboard, Vintage Apple European Headquarters Flag to Be Auctioned • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Quanta Computer has begun production on Apple's ultra-slim 12-inch MacBook and will look to ramp up its efforts beginning November, reports Digitimes. Despite these newest efforts however, the report also states that the notebook will not be ready in time for this holiday season. Since initial production of 12-inch MacBook Air has not yet reached a satisfactory yield rate, component makers and Quanta are making efforts to hike yield rates for the time being, the sources said. As initial production is in limited volumes, 12-inch MacBook Air may not be able to hit the store shelves in time for Christmas, the sources indicated. Specifically, component makers are reportedly having issues with the new MacBook Air's ultrathin chassis, which is said to be slimmer than the current 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air. The supply chain sources also add that the 12-inch MacBook Air will come with a touch-enabled Retina display. Rumors of an ultra-slim 12-inch MacBook from Apple have gained traction throughout the past few months, as reports from Jack March last month indicated that the notebook would launch in multiple color options and feature fanless internals. A fanless machine would also suggest that the machine would adopt an ultra low-power processor, such as the Broadwell-Y Core M processors recently announced by Intel. However, a touch-enabled Retina display seems less likely for the 12-inch MacBook, as the inclusion of one would greatly increase the cost of the machine. A multi-touch 12-inch MacBook would also likely conflict with Apple's rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is said to be launching early next year. March's report previously indicated Apple appears to be aiming for a mid-2015 launch for its 12-inch notebook. The notebook will reportedly come in silver, gold, and space gray options. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Hours after Apple seeded the second iOS 8.1 beta to developers, developer Hamza Sood has located the Apple Pay setup screen in the Passbook app, the Apple Pay setup screen in the initial iOS 8.1 setup and Apple Pay setup on the iPad. Previously, Sood had found the Apple Pay setup screen within the Settings app. The setup prompt within Passbook is similar to the setup prompt to add passes, educating potential users on what the service is before providing a link to where users can input and scan their credit cards for use. Potential users have the choice to either input their credit card numbers via the keyboard or to take a photo of their card and have it inputted automatically. The iPad gets the same setup screen as the iPhone version, but does not mention the ability to use Apple Pay in a retail store as no current iPads contain the NFC technology required to use the feature and it is uncertain whether it could be included in future iPads. iOS 8.1 is likely to be the update to include Apple Pay, although Apple has not yet flipped the switch within the betas seeded to developers. Instead, the company seems to have been preparing the features behind-the-scenes. Alongside Apple Pay, iOS 8.1 is expected to include a host of bug fixes for issues in iOS 8, including a fix for Bluetooth connectivity problems. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
A new report from KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple's sapphire partner GT Advanced Technologies' recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will not affect its upcoming Apple Watch. However, he cautions that it does raise concerns about the possibility of future iPhones using sapphire displays. Bankruptcy has no impact on Apple Watch. As the Apple Watch sapphire cover lens uses an ingot of less than 6-inches, and as drop-test requirements aren’t so stringent as those of iPhone, general ingot manufacturing processes such as KY suffice for Apple Watch. This is why there are abundant sapphire ingot suppliers to choose from for Apple Watch. According to our survey, aside from GTAT, other Apple Watch sapphire ingot suppliers are Hansol (KR) and Harbin Aurora Optoelectronics (CN). We therefore don’t think GTAT’s bankruptcy will affect sapphire ingot supply to Apple Watch. ... but it raises uncertainties on iPhone touch panel use of sapphire cover lens.Kuo suggests that GT Advanced's ASF sapphire ingot isn't the only one it's considering to use for iPhone displays, though it is the company's preference due to the superior drop-test performance of GT Advanced's sapphire. And while Kuo believes that Apple still wants to use sapphire displays for iPhones, the bankruptcy of GT Advanced will likely result in bottlenecks in ASF sapphire production. Other sapphire ingot suppliers are unlikely to benefit, as they do not measure up to Apple's higher drop-test standards. Apple had been widely expected to include sapphire display covers on some iPhone 6 models, but that development did not arrive. As Kuo notes, Apple still plans to use sapphire displays for Apple Watch, as it uses an ingot less than 6-inches and Apple's standards for drop-tests on the Watch are not as stringent as those for iPhone. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iPhone continues grow in popularity with U.S. teenagers, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster's latest semiannual teen survey, which asked approximately 7,200 teens with an average age of 16 years about their device usage habits and future buying plans. 67 percent of surveyed teens owned an iPhone, compared to 61 percent in the Spring survey, and 73 percent of teens expect their next phone to be an iPhone. Much of Apple's gains in ownership came from Android, which lost five percentage points over the last several months. iPhone usage among teens may jump significantly in the next few months, as the survey was conducted just before the introduction of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While iPad ownership remained high at 66 percent, there was no growth compared to the Spring survey. Android tablets also saw ownership numbers drop, and of customers planning to buy a tablet in the next six months, 60 percent plan to choose an iPad Air or iPad mini. As for the upcoming Apple Watch, interest among teenagers remains relatively low. Only 16 percent of teens said they would be interested in purchasing an Apple Watch for $350, down slightly from the Spring survey where 17 percent expressed interest. Munster's survey was, however, conducted before the Apple Watch was announced, so interest numbers may shift in the next Spring survey. Younger customers have always been important to Apple as it gives the company a chance to create lifelong customers. Apple's recent acquisition of Beats Electronics, for example, may have partially taken place as an effort to remain relevant among teenage users. In a survey of 10,000 students, a quarter believed the deal would make Apple more "cool," while 50 percent believed the acquisition would increase Apple's popularity among students. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Withheld $139 Million Payment from GT Advanced Ahead of Bankruptcy Filing • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released a second golden master candidate of OS X Yosemite to developers, a week after releasing the first candidate golden master and the fourth public beta. The latest Yosemite update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store and through Apple's Mac Dev Center. OS X Yosemite brings a flatter, more modern look to OS X, with an emphasis on translucency and redesigned dock, windows, and more. It also includes a multitude of new features, such as improved integration with iOS 8 through Continuity, a new "Today" view in Notification Center that offers integration with third-party apps, a retooled Spotlight search with new data sources, and several new features for apps like Mail, Safari, and Messages. Over the course of the beta testing period, each Developer Preview has added new features and refined the look and performance of OS X Yosemite, although changes have become less obvious in more recent builds as Apple begins finalizing Yosemite ahead of its public release, which is expected in late October. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Updated] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
GT Advanced CEO Thomas Gutierrez sold over 9,000 shares of GT Advanced stock just a day before Apple announced the iPhone 6, reports The Wall Street Journal. The September 8 sale netted him approximately $160,000 at an average price of $17.38, before the company's stock dropped 13 percent to $14.94 on September 9 after it became clear the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus did not include sapphire screens. Along with the $160,000 he earned on September 8, Gutierrez sold shares on several other occasions throughout 2014, earning him more than 10 million dollars as GT stock rose on rumors that Apple would use its sapphire for the new iPhones.In a filing, GT said Gutierrez's share sale was part of a pre-arranged plan put in place on March 14, 2014. But there was no obvious pattern to his sales. In May, June and July, Gutierrez sold shares within the first three days of the month. But then he didn't sell additional shares until Sept. 8, two days after he received 15,902 previously restricted shares. (Gutierrez forfeited the remaining 6,670 shares to cover tax obligations.)GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, promising to continue operations as it goes through a transitional phase to reorganize its business. "Today's filing does not mean we are going out of business," said Gutierrez. "Rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet." Apple and GT Advanced first partnered in late 2013, with Apple building a 700-employee manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona that's run by GT Advanced. The deal also saw Apple funding GT's purchase of furnaces and other sapphire-making equipment through a $578 million loan, doled out over several months and subjected to certain capacity requirements. Under the terms of the agreement between Apple and GT Advanced, GT Advanced is required to pay back the $578 million loan over the course of five years. If the loan is not paid back, Apple is entitled to the equipment that GT Advanced purchased. When a deal was struck between the two companies, GT Advanced noted that sapphire production for Apple would result in substantially lower gross margins, but was confident that a recurring revenue stream would be beneficial for growth in the long run. Apple was widely expected to include sapphire display covers from GT Advanced on some iPhone 6 models, and it is unclear why sapphire was not used at all. GT filings did, however, suggest that the company saw poor sapphire yield rates, which may have impacted Apple's decision to stick with alternate materials. Apple is not subjected to any type of commitment to purchase sapphire from GT Advanced, and though the Apple Watch does indeed include a sapphire cover, it is unclear whether the sapphire being used is sourced from GT. GT's stock dropped approximately 90 percent after the company's bankruptcy announcement and has seen little gain since then. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Ledge' Protects Wrists From Sharp MacBook Edges • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Update: New MA and CT Stores Too] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Used as an in-car hands-free system, Siri causes a high level of mental distraction while driving, according to research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In a thorough study [PDF] that measured the cognitive workload of 45 drivers completing in-car tasks using various voice-based technologies, Siri's high complexity and low intuitiveness resulted in some of the highest levels of mental distraction. Using a five-category rating system, researchers measured Siri-based interactions like sending and receiving text messages and emails, updating Facebook or Twitter, and modifying calendar appointments. Various measurements to record distraction were taken during three separate experiments, in-car on residential streets, without driving, and in a driving simulator. Researchers tested Siri on an iPhone 5 with iOS 7, using a microphone and voice commands to make the setup both hands-free and eyes-free, with drivers unable to look at or make contact with the phone. Siri was found to produce the highest mental workload on the researchers' scale, and use of Siri in a car even resulted in two crashes during the simulator study. It was also given the lowest rating of intuitiveness along with the highest rating of complexity, due to its lack of consistency and its inflexibility when it came to voice commands. Common issues involved inconsistencies in which Siri would produce different responses to seemingly identical commands. In other circumstances, Siri required exact phrases to accomplish specific tasks, and subtle deviations from that phrasing would result in a failure. When there was a failure to properly dictate a message, it required starting over since there was no way to modify/edit a message or command. Siri also made mistakes such as calling someone other than the desired person from the phone contact list. Some participants also reported frustration with Siri's occasional sarcasm and wit.According to the researchers, interactions with Siri may improve over time as the voice assistant is able to learn accents and other characteristics of a user's voice, but many commands resulted in overly complex interactions that could be fixed via "improvements to the software design." Though the AAA study looked at the distraction level when using Siri directly on an iPhone, it did not look at CarPlay, Apple's new in-dash system that the company says is a "smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car." Other similar in-dash systems did, however, result in high levels of cognitive workload in a companion study, but cognitive demand varied highly based on the number of comprehension errors and the number of steps required to complete an action. Early CarPlay reviews have suggested that the system's Siri integration is improved compared to Siri on the iPhone, as it was judged to be easy to use with simple menus and navigation. The study comes ahead of a set of voluntary guidelines the AAA is planning to create, encouraging users to minimize their cognitive distraction by cutting back on the use of voice-based technologies while driving. According to the AAA, voice-based interactions within a vehicle result in "significant impairments" to driving that may "adversely affect traffic safety." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Update: New MA and CT Stores Too] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 8.1, build 12B407, to registered developers for testing purposes, just over a week after the release of the first iOS 8.1 beta. Apple has also released Apple TV Software beta 2 and Xcode 6.1 golden master seed 2. iOS 8.1 includes several bug fixes for issues in iOS 8, including a fix for a Bluetooth connectivity problem, and it also includes support for Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payments service that is launching in October. Along with iOS 8.1, Apple is also simultaneously working on iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3, all of which are expected to add new functionality to the operating system. iOS 8 has had a rough start, with Apple temporarily removing HealthKit ahead of the launch of iOS 8 and then releasing an unstable iOS 8.0.1 update that disabled the cellular and Touch ID service of many users. Apple released iOS 8.0.2 to fix the issue, but several other problems have come to light, including a bug that causes iCloud Drive documents to be deleted. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Plastc' Smart Payment Card Aims to Replace Card-Stuffed Wallets • Apple Reportedly Shifting iPhone Production Balance More Toward iPhone 6 Plus • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 [Update: New MA and CT Stores Too] • Report Claims 12.9-Inch iPad May Adopt Integrated iOS/OS X Operating System • Cycloramic for iPhone 6 Captures 360-Degree Hands-Free Video Using Power Adapter for Support • 1Password Updated With iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support, Improved Touch ID Functionality • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million

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