posted 14 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 14 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 14 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 14 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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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung's third quarter 2014 earnings are likely to disappoint as the company faces intense competition from both high-end and low-end competitors, even as Apple's newly launched iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are just starting to roll out. According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is expected to announce a quarterly operating profit drop of up to 62 percent in what may be its fourth consecutive quarterly decline. Though it may see a marginal increase in smartphone shipments, Samsung's operating profit decline may be the result of lower handset selling prices and increased marketing costs as smartphone competition escalates. Samsung’s smartphone business is facing intense competitive pressure at the low-end from Chinese handset makers, and at the high-end from the iPhone. With the iPhone 6, Apple essentially wiped out Samsung’s distinguishing feature: a big screen size. And with the jumbo iPhone 6 Plus, Apple has now entered into the “phablet” segment that Samsung pioneered. Samsing's handset revenue is forming an uncomfortable trend. Squeezed from above & below even before iPhone 6/6 Plus pic.twitter.com/npOE9PS83U— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) October 7, 2014 While its mobile device division struggles, Samsung's components business is expected to increase 10 percent over the coming year, accounting for more than 40 percent of operating profits in 2015. One of Samsung's main component customers is Apple, although the iPhone maker has cut back significantly on its usage of Samsung parts. One major move away from Samsung came with the main A8 chip used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with Apple turning to TSMC for the first time for chip production. Some industry sources believe Samsung to still be producing a portion of A8 chips, but so far it does not appear any have been seen in teardowns of the new devices. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Opening New Retail Store Near Venice, Italy This Saturday, October 11 • 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 • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
After almost three weeks of availability, Apple's iOS 8 operating system is now installed on 47 percent of devices, according to new numbers posted on Apple's App Store support page for developers. That marks a very slight increase in adoption over the past two weeks, as back on September 21, iOS 8 was installed on 46 percent of devices. 47 percent of iOS users continue to stick to iOS 7, possibly due to a number of bugs that have plagued the launch of iOS 8. Just ahead of the launch of iOS 8, all HealthKit-enabled apps were pulled from the App Store due to a major HealthKit bug. A fix was quickly released, but the update, iOS 8.0.1, disabled the cellular service and Touch ID functionality on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices. iOS 8.0.2 fixed the problems introduced with iOS 8.0.1 and brought several other bug fixes, but the publicity surrounding the iOS 8.0.1 issue may have discouraged some users from updating. Along with the critical bug introduced with iOS 8.0.1, several other problems have come to light. An iCloud Drive issue with the "Reset All Settings" option causes iCloud Drive documents to be deleted from iCloud, and multiple users have experienced problems with Bluetooth. Furthermore, iOS 8 users have complained of other issues with the operating system, including slow wi-fi speeds and excessive battery drain. Apple's iOS 8 adoption numbers closely mirror data from Mixpanel, which also puts iOS 8 adoption at 47 percent. iOS 8's adoption rate appears to be slower than iOS 7 adoption as Mixpanel's numbers last year put iOS 7 adoption at 69.7 percent 20 days after launch. Mixpanel iOS 8 adoption numbers, October 4 to October 7 In late September, Apple stopped signing iOS 7.1.2, making it impossible for iOS 8 users to downgrade back to a previous-generation operating system. The company is working to combat the issues facing iOS 8, however, simultaneously working on iOS 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3. iOS 8.1, seeded to developers last week, fixes at least one major problem, repairing the Bluetooth pairing issue many users have been facing. The update also includes support for Apple Pay, which is expected to debut in October. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 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 • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update

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posted 14 days ago on mac rumors
According to Apple, both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have "faster LTE download speeds" than the iPhone 5s, reaching up to 150Mbps thanks to the inclusion of the Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE chip, which supports LTE Advanced. A demonstration of the speed difference between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6 when connected to a high-quality LTE network has been conducted by iClarified, suggesting the iPhone 6 is able to reach much higher speeds than the iPhone 5s. The test, which was conducted in London, Ontario, Canada on the Fido network, shows the iPhone 6 topping out at download speeds of 101Mbps while the iPhone 5s reaches 35Mbps. Upload speeds are similarly improved, reaching 27Mbps on the iPhone 6. According to iClarified, the tests, which were conducted using the Ookla SpeedTest.net app, were done in a spot in the city where the best reception was found.We were able to consistently reach speeds in the high 90s with the iPhone 6. The absolute highest download speed we were able to obtain was 111 Mbps. I'm confident that if the conditions were optimal we could have obtained even higher speeds.First introduced in 2013, LTE Advanced takes advantage of carrier aggregation technology, combining separate spectrums into a single faster connection to increase data speeds and network capacity. Several carriers offer the technology, and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are Apple's first devices to support it. Because not all carriers support LTE Advanced and due to differences in connection strength, not all users may see increased speeds on Apple's new devices. Along with LTE Advanced, Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus offer several other connectivity improvements, including support for up to 20 different LTE bands. With additional bands (7 more than the iPhone 5s), iPhone users are able to connect to more LTE networks when traveling abroad and LTE connections are available in more countries. The phones also include support for voice over LTE (VoLTE), improving voice quality and allowing some users to access voice and data simultaneously over LTE for the first time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 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 • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
More than a decade ago, Walter Isaacson began working on a book to highlight the history of computers and the Internet, but the project was sidelined in early 2009 when he took on the task of writing Steve Jobs' authorized biography. That book, which debuted just weeks after Jobs' death in October 2011, topped best seller charts and revealed a number of interesting details about Jobs and Apple. Following the publication of Steve Jobs, Isaacson returned to his earlier project of documenting the history of computing, and that work debuts tomorrow as The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. While Apple and Jobs play relatively minor roles in the book, overall it offers an interesting look at how computers and the Internet developed into what they are today. Isaacson breaks his book into nearly a dozen different sections, highlighting a number of advancements along the way. It begins with Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage outlining their thoughts on a mechanical "Analytical Engine" in the 1830s and 1840s before jumping ahead nearly 100 years to Vannevar Bush and Alan Turing and their visions for the earliest computers that would follow soon after. Further sections address advances in programming, transistors, microchips, video games, and the early Internet before broaching the topics of the modern personal computer and the World Wide Web. Throughout the book, Isaacson focuses on the importance of teamwork rather than individual genius in the development of computers, frequently involving contrasting but complementary personalities of visionaries, technical experts, and managers. Popular examples include Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at Apple, or Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove at Intel, but the observation extends further as time and time again teams have been responsible for many of the biggest innovations.Innovation comes from teams more often than from the lightbulb moments of lone geniuses. This was true of every era of creative ferment. [...] But to an even greater extent, this has been true of the digital age. As brilliant as the many inventors of the Internet and computer were, they achieved most of their advances through teamwork.Isaacson also emphasizes the importance of building on previous discoveries, including collaboration both within and between generations of scientists. A number of characters in the book appear at multiple stages, often first as innovators themselves and later helping to foster discoveries by the next generation. Other observations include the various roles of government, academia, and business in the development of computing and how they frequently came together, particularly in the early days, to lead advancements. Isaacson also uses several cases to argue that innovation works best when different business models compete against each other, particularly in software development as with Apple's integrated systems vying with Microsoft's unbundled model while the free and open-source approach maintained its position in the market.Each model had its advantages, each had its incentives for creativity, and each had its prophets and disciples. But the approach that worked best was having all three models coexisting, along with various combinations of open and closed, bundled and unbundled, proprietary and free. Windows and Mac, UNIX and Linux, iOS and Android: a variety of approaches competed over the decades, spurring each other on -- and providing a check against any one model becoming so dominant that it stifled innovation.Packing the entire history of computing into 500 pages leaves some topics feeling brief or left out altogether, but Isaacson's book gives an interesting overview for those who may not be familiar with the technical advances stretching back decades that have given rise to the current state of the art. Focusing more on the people and relationships than the technical details, it offers some insight into how breakthroughs have been made and how some innovators have gained fame and fortune while others slipped into near obscurity. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 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 • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is expected to hold an event on Thursday, October 16, where it will unveil the second-generation iPad Air, Retina iMacs, and OS X Yosemite. Ahead of that event, The Michael Report claims to have acquired "pictures and illustrations" of the iPad Air 2 from "sources within Apple," although it has opted not to share such evidence publicly. While the site goes into significant detail about the iPad Air 2, it appears to be largely aggregating existing rumors about the device, adding little new information. Overall, the site claims the iPad Air 2 will have a slightly thinner body, something that has been claimed in previous reports and perhaps enabled by a new integrated display, as shown in early part leaks from April. Along with its display prediction, The Michael Report details several minor design changes that have previously been seen in an iPad Air 2 dummy unit, which MacRumors also has had on hand for several months, suggesting the site may be basing much of its information off of a replica device rather than actual information. For example, the site suggests that the second-generation iPad Air 2 will do away with the mute switch to "achieve [a] thinner profile," but that is likely an erroneous conclusion based on the unfinished design of the circulating dummy units rather than a legitimate leak as claimed by the site. On the iPad Air 2 dummy units, there is indeed a hole where the mute switch would normally be located. The Michael Report suggests this may be a microphone, but more likely, it is a pilot hole marking the location for the mute switch. Similar pilot holes have been seen for larger physical features such as SIM card trays in other dummy units and unfinished prototypes. Recessed volume buttons and pilot hole for mute switch from MacRumors' dummy unitThe mute/vibration switch is completely gone in the new redesign, with sources from within Apple telling us that it was a necessary move to achieve the thinner profile of the new tablets. [...] The microphones on the iPad Air 2 have been relocated from the top of the iPad Air (where it currently is; within the antenna band) to next to the back camera modules. One of them is to the right of the camera module, the other is to the left -- on the sides of the iPad Air.Other predictions from The Michael Report include recessed volume buttons, a redesigned speaker grille, and a microphone hole relocated near the rear camera, all design elements that have been previously seen in the iPad Air 2 mockups. When examining the dummy device, MacRumors did notice that the recessed volume buttons and hole for the mute switch had been moved higher on the device than on the original iPad Air, nearly in line with the rear camera. The reason for this design change is unclear. Echoing other previous rumors, the site's predictions include an upgraded A8 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, support for Touch ID and Apple Pay, and 2 GB of RAM, which has not been confirmed but is a rumored upgrade to support split-screen multitasking. Many of The Michael Report's predictions are based on previous rumors and are likely to be accurate, but some of the more unsubstantiated claims, like 2 GB of RAM and the lack of a mute switch are somewhat more nebulous. Another image of the iPad Air 2 mockup with Touch ID Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6, The Michael Report came out with a similar roundup that it claimed was based on contact with Apple employees, but several of the predictions (seemingly based on rumors circulating at the time) turned out to be wrong, including "a waterproof and dust-proof enhanced sapphire glass screen" and an "iPhone 6L" nomenclature, among other things. Apple is expected to unveil its second-generation iPad Air on October 16, and it is possible the second-generation Retina iPad mini with support for Touch ID will also debut at that event. Apple is also expected to unveil Retina iMacs and provide a final look at OS X Yosemite before its public launch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
The City of Cupertino, where Apple is building its spaceship-shaped second campus, has today shared an update on the progress of the campus along with a new aerial photo. Construction continues at a rapid pace, with workers on site throughout the weekday and weekend. Apple appears to have completed much of the foundation of the main circular building and concrete mixers have been on site for the last several weeks. Much of the construction continues to be hidden from view at street level, but heavy construction equipment is visible. Traffic around the area of the campus remains congested, as several roads continue to be shut down. Pruneridge Avenue is permanently closed, and there have been several lane reductions on Wolfe Road and Homestead Road, which surround the campus. Along with a new aerial photo shared by the city, a drone captured new footage of the building site over the weekend, giving a clearer picture of the ongoing construction. As seen in the video, several sections of the circular foundation are covered with concrete. According to a general project schedule, Apple plans to have street utilities and demolition complete by the end of the year, with earthwork continuing on until Q2 2015 and construction on the building itself lasting until the end of 2016. Apple's completed campus, located in close proximity to the company's existing Infinite Loop campus, will feature the iconic 2.8 million square foot ring-shaped main building, an underground parking facility capable of accommodating 2,400 cars, a 100,000 square foot fitness center, and a 120,000 square foot auditorium. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
eBay seller kimberlyk1018 claims to have received a prototype iPhone 6 by accident and is auctioning the device with bids reaching over $89,000 since the auction's posting late last week. While the high bids are undoubdtedly not genuine, the auction is obviously attracting a significant amount of attention. According to a rather suspect story from the auction description, the device supposedly is a prototype 64 GB iPhone 6 that was shipped to the seller from Verizon Wireless. Apple does NOT let these phones out of their possession yet I was accidentally sent one upon renewing my contract. As you can see from the photos, iOS8 has not been placed on this device, rather it is in the true developer mode. There are no FCC markings on the rear of the device or a model number. This is the real deal!!! The lightening port is red which is a sure sign of a prototype. The authenticity of the device and the story behind it cannot be verified, but several photos that accompany the listing suggest it is not a consumer device. The device apparently does not include iOS 8, instead shipping with several development and testing apps that are similar to those seen on previously leaked prototypes. It also ships with a red-bordered Lightning port and lacks the FCC regulatory information that appears on all consumer iPhone models. If authentic, this unit joins several previous prototypes that have made their way from Apple to eBay's auction listings. Most of these earlier prototypes were quickly removed from the auction website, likely at Apple's request. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
GT Advanced Technolgies, Apple's partner in a sapphire production facility in Arizona, today announced that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to reorganize its businesses. The company remains positive that it will continue to be able to meet its obligations during this time of transition. GT indicated that as of September 29, 2014 it had approximately $85 million of cash. In addition, it is now seeking debtor-in-possession financing, which, once obtained, would provide the company with an immediate source of additional funds. These funding sources will enable GT to satisfy the customary obligations associated with the daily operation of its business, including the timely payment of employee wages and other obligations. [...] "GT has a strong and fundamentally sound underlying business," said Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer of GT. "Today's filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet. "We are convinced that the rehabilitative process of chapter 11 is the best way to reorganize, protect our company and provide a path to our future success. We remain committed to our roots in innovation and our diversification strategy. We plan to continue to operate as a technology leader across our core set of businesses."GT's finances have taken a significant hit as it has retooled to support its partnership with Apple, turning its focus to ramping up sapphire production for Apple rather than selling furnaces to other companies. Still, with Apple making a series of pre-payments to GT to help fund the new initiative, the circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy filing are not yet clear. Apple had been widely expected to include sapphire display covers on at least some iPhone 6 models, but the development did not come to pass. With Apple having no commitment to purchase sapphire from GT, it is possible that an unexpected decision by Apple to omit sapphire from the device put GT into a precarious financial position. Apple is planning to use sapphire on some versions of its upcoming Apple Watch, but it is unclear whether it is indeed sourcing sapphire from GT for the product, and if so, whether the quantities involved would be enough to support GT's investments thus far in the area. Update 7:47 AM: GT's stock, which was halted prior to the announcement, has resumed trading and is currently down 90 percent. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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posted 15 days ago on mac rumors
At its Adobe MAX conference today, Adobe is announcing updates for nearly all of its iOS apps, bringing new features that emphasize the creation of shapes and brushes along with enhanced syncing with the company's Creative Cloud services. The updates come alongside a new Creative SDK to allow developers to build mobile apps connecting to Creative Cloud, as well as a number of enhancements to the core Creative Cloud apps. Building on its existing Adobe Kuler app, which allows users to create color palettes using any photo and which is now being rebranded Adobe Color CC, the company is now rolling out two additional "Capture" apps for mobile: Adobe Brush CC, which turns photos into brushes for use throughout Photoshop and Illustrator apps, and Adobe Shape CC, which automatically converts high-contrast photos of objects into vector art for use in Illustrator. Adobe Shape CC (left) capturing a shape to be used in Illustrator (right) Meanwhile, the newest version of Adobe Photoshop Mix is now a universal app for both iPad and iPhone, while Adobe Photoshop Sketch brings new acrylic and pastel brushes and integration with brush sets created in Adobe Brush CC. Adobe Illustrator Line now allows users to utilize content from the Creative Cloud Market and includes new smart spacing and grid tools. Adobe Lightroom for iOS now allows specified users to comment on photos shared through Lightroom's web interface, and includes additional language support in addition to the ability to sync GPS information from the iPhone with Lightroom desktop. Adobe Illustrator Line Finally, Adobe Premiere Clip lets users edit video shot on an iPhone or iPad right from the device, or send to the full Premiere Pro CC for more advanced editing. Adobe Premiere Clip Core Creative Cloud apps are also seeing a number of updates today, including new 3D printing support for Photoshop CC, a new Curvature tool for Illustrator CC, interactive EPUB support for In Design CC, SVG and Synchronized Text support for Muse CC, and 4K/Ultra HD viewing support for Premiere Pro CC. All of Adobe's updated iOS apps require a free membership to Adobe Creative Cloud, while desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Illustrator CC require separate subscriptions. Download links for all of the apps can be found below, while the full set of updates for Creative Cloud are expected to be available to members by the end of the day. - Adobe Brush CC [Direct Link] - Adobe Shape CC [Direct Link] - Adobe Color CC [Direct Link] - Adobe Photoshop Sketch [Direct Link] - Adobe Photoshop Mix [Direct Link] - Adobe Lightroom for iPad [Direct Link] - Adobe Lightroom for iPhone [Direct Link] - Adobe Illustrator Draw [Direct Link] - Adobe Illustrator Line [Direct Link] - Adobe Premiere Clip [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Last week, Russian anti-virus firm Doctor Web disclosed a newly discovered piece of OS X malware known as Mac.BackDoor.iWorm that at the time had affected roughly 17,000 machines around the world. While the exact mechanism of infection was unclear, an interesting twist to the story involves compromised machines running search queries on Reddit to obtain instructions about which command and control servers should be used to manage the botnet.It is worth mentioning that in order to acquire a control server address list, the bot uses the search service at reddit.com, and -- as a search query -- specifies hexadecimal values of the first 8 bytes of the MD5 hash of the current date. The reddit.com search returns a web page containing a list of botnet C&C servers and ports published by criminals in comments to the post minecraftserverlists under the account vtnhiaovyd.Once connected to a command and control server, the backdoor opened by the malware on the user's system can receive instructions to perform a variety of tasks, from stealing sensitive information to receiving or spreading additional malware. In an effort to address the threat, Apple has now updated its "Xprotect" anti-malware system to recognize two different variants of the iWorm malware and prevent them from being installed on users' machines. First introduced with OS X Snow Leopard, Xprotect is a rudimentary anti-malware system that recognizes and alerts users to the presence of various types of malware. Given the relative rarity of malware targeting OS X, the malware definitions are updated infrequently, although users' machines automatically check for updates on a daily basis. Apple also uses the Xprotect system on occasion to enforce minimum version requirements for plug-ins such as Flash Player and Java, forcing users to upgrade from older versions known to carry significant security risks. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Thanks to a new marketing deal with Bose, NFL players will no longer be allowed to wear Apple's line of Beats headphones around television cameras, according to Re/code. The restriction is in place for TV interviews during training camp, practice sessions and game day, running from before the game or event through 90 minutes after play has ended. Many professional athletes have sponsorship deals with Beats, with the headphones frequently spotted around the necks of players both before and after games. Beats accounts for more than 60 percent of the premium headphone market. "Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual," a Beats spokesperson said. "Music can have a significant positive effect on an athlete’s focus and mental preparedness and has become as important to performance as any other piece of equipment." Beats, which has seen significant success with its athlete endorsements, ran ads last year with NFL stars Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman tuning out opposing fans with Beats noise-canceling headphones. Something similar happened during the World Cup when headphone sponsor Sony banned Beats from stadiums, but not from outside the arenas where players frequently used their preferred headphones. Many advertising industry experts said Beats still won the day with its star-studded "The Game Before The Game" video, portions of which ran repeatedly during World Cup commercial breaks. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on the Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone 6 Cases, and More • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of the third anniversary of Steve Jobs' passing, Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent a memo to Apple employees (via iClarified), asking them to take some time to remember the "many ways Steve made our world better." Team, Sunday will mark the third anniversary of Steve's passing. I'm sure that many of you will be thinking of him on that day, as I know I will. I hope you'll take a moment to appreciate the many ways Steve made our world better. Children learn in new ways thanks to the products he dreamed up. The most creative people on earth use them to compose symphonies and pop songs, and write everything from novels to poetry to text messages. Steve's life's work produced the canvas on which artists now create masterpieces. Steve's vision extended far beyond the years he was alive, and the values on which he built Apple will always be with us. Many of the ideas and projects we're working on today got started after he died, but his influence on them -- and on all of us -- is unmistakeable. Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for helping carry Steve's legacy into the future. TimThough Steve Jobs passed away three years ago on October 5, 2011, the former Apple CEO has continued to have a major impact on the company. His fourth floor office has remained untouched since his death, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken several opportunities during recent interviews to emphasize Jobs' influence on the company's direction and on the development of new products. "His spirit will always be the foundation of the company," Cook said in an interview with Charlie Rose, where he said that Steve will always be in his heart. "He is deep in Apple's DNA." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Chinese model Liu Wen may be involved in a fashion-oriented advertising campaign for the Apple Watch, according to an image that she recently shared on Instagram. In a photo that shows her trying on the Apple Watch at Parisian fashion boutique Colette, Wen writes "My second meeting with the #AppleWatch, this time in Colette. The first time? Well, you'll see soon." Several fashion publications have taken Wen's statement to mean that she is somehow involved in marketing the Apple Watch, possibly taking part in an upcoming advertising campaign designed to promote Apple's wearable device. Liu Wen is a well-known fashion model, who has modeled for high-end luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Gucci, Chanel, and more. The Apple Watch is Apple's first product that has had a distinct focus on fashion, and the company has been working towards positioning it as a high-fashion accessory. In addition to debuting the Apple Watch at French luxury boutique Colette last week, Apple also made an effort to include high-profile fashion editors and bloggers at the September event where the Apple Watch was introduced along the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. As Apple gears up to launch the Apple Watch in early 2015, it is likely that the company will hold additional fashion-oriented events in order to promote the device. Apple may take several different approaches in its Apple Watch advertising to reach a wide range of potential customers, as June rumors suggested it was also testing the watch with several different professional athletes, who may also be involved in advertisements. Ahead of introducing the Apple Watch, Apple made a number of hires from various luxury retailers, including Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry CEO who now serves as Apple's head of retail, and Paul Deneve, the former Yves Saint Laurent CEO who now works on "special projects." Apple has also picked up Patrick Pruniaux, a former Tag Heuer Sales Director, and famous designer Marc Newson. The company's Apple Watch, expected in early 2015, will be available in a wide range of materials and at several different price points. On the lower end, the Sport version of the device will retail for $349, and rumors have suggested the higher-end solid gold Edition models could sell for thousands of dollars. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to hold its next fall event on Thursday, October 16, where it is expected to introduce new iPads, reports Re/code. The company is also expected to introduce new Retina iMacs and release OS X Yosemite to the public. According to the site, the iPad event will be more low-key than its September iPhone event, and it will be held at the company's Town Hall Auditorium. Physical mockup of the second-generation iPad AirApple has a few more new products to unveil before the year is out, and it plans to show them off in a couple weeks. Sources tell Code/red the company will hold its next special event on Thursday, Oct. 16 -- not the 21st. Headlining the gathering: The latest updates to its iPad line, along with those new iMacs that 9to5Mac told us about earlier this week. Also: OS X Yosemite.Apple's next-generation iPad Air and iPad Retina mini are both expected to come with updated processors and support for Touch ID, the fingerprint first sensor introduced with the iPhone 5s. The iPad Air may also come in a gold color variation, and it may include a new anti-reflective laminated display. The Retina iMac, which may come with a "5K" resolution of 5120 x 2880, may be available only in 27-inches and it may also feature AMD graphics. It is expected to use a Haswell processor, as next-generation Broadwell processors for the iMac won't be available until 2015. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple and several of its partners showed off CarPlay at its official unveiling earlier this year, mainstream users are finally getting their hands on the system with Pioneer's release of its promised CarPlay update for for several of its aftermarket car audio receiver yesterday. Early reviews of CarPlay from Consumer Reports and Australian technology and car blog EFTM suggest the system is indeed easy to use and effective at reducing driver distraction, thanks to excellent Siri integration. Consumer Reports points out the many benefits offered by Siri, which allows you to send text messages, get directions, set reminders, and more without touching your iPhone.As handy as Siri’s natural speech recognition is when you’re just walking around with your phone, it really comes into its own in the car. Siri makes it easy to choose music, get directions, and read or send text messages—all by using your voice with natural speech, rather than menu-driven, formulaic commands.Consumer Reports also notes that updating the AVIC-5000NEX unit was easy, requiring the owner to download the firmware to a USB stick, plug the stick into the receiver, and wait for unit to update itself. For his part, Trevor Long of EFTM provides a detailed walkthrough with screenshots of CarPlay's major features. Demoing Pioneer's AVH-X8650BT stereo installed in a 2010 Mazda 2, Long shows how easy it is to make phone calls, interact with visual voicemail, listen to music, and more.CarPlay is a revolution in in-car entertainment. While many of the features have been available for some time on other cars, the genuine integration with your smartphone and capabilities that have been added make it well worth considering if you’re an Apple iPhone user who spends a great deal of time in your car. If you’re shopping for a new car – ask the dealer – is CarPlay available? and if no – will it be available via a firmware upgrade in the future?Pioneer this week released its CarPlay firmware update, making it the first aftermarket receiver manufacturer to offer CarPlay to consumers. Among Pioneer's U.S. models, CarPlay is available for the $1400 AVIC-8000NEX, the $1200 AVIC-7000NEX, the $900 AVIC-6000NEX, the $750 AVIC-5000NEX and the $700 AVH-4000NEX. CarPlay is also compatible with Pioneer's new $600 smartphone receiver, AppRadio 4. Consumers can generally find Pioneer's units at significant discounts from list price from a variety of retailers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Reservations in China Top Four Million • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
The iPhone 6 Plus is expected to account for 60% of total iPhone 6 device shipments as sales of the device are exceeding initial expectations, reports Digitimes. The information comes from industry sources observing parts shipments to longtime Apple suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron. Foxconn is said to be responsible for the production of the iPhone 6 Plus, while Pegatron is in charge of the iPhone 6. While parts shipments to both suppliers were even as the launch of both devices neared, Foxconn appears to have received more parts shipments for the iPhone 6 Plus as of late. Apple announced last month that it opening weekend sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus topped ten million units, although the company did not specify how that number was divided between both units. Shipping estimates for new iPhone 6 orders remain at 7-10 business days, while the iPhone 6 Plus is still showing a shipping delay of 3-4 weeks. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hulu Updates 'Hulu Plus' with New Look, In-App Subscriptions • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' App With iPhone 6 Support

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is asking music labels to cut prices on music streaming subscription services so that it can offer its new, revamped Beats Music service for less than $10 a month, reports Re/code. The Cupertino company is also looking to add new features to the service. Sources say Apple is talking to the big music labels about a new set of rights and features it would like to include in a revamped version of the Beats Music service it bought earlier this year. Among the things Apple wants is a new pricing structure that would allow it to sell the service for less than the $10 level it’s at now.Apple isn't planning on overhauling Beats Music until next year, and discussions with music labels are in early stages. In late September, it was rumored that Apple was planning on introducing a revamped Beats Music in early February, presumably timed to debut alongside the Grammy Awards on February 8. The company has tried to undercut competitors with music rates before, trying to pay half the royalty rate that Pandora paid while in negotiations for what would become iTunes Radio in early 2013. Re/code notes that music executives were once worried about streaming services cannibalizing CD music sales but eventually agreed to deals with streaming services, which some music industry observers feel is priced too high as the market for consumers who want to pay $10 a month to stream music is limited. In August, a report from Midia Research suggested only 25 percent of consumers pay $10 for music every three months. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' App With iPhone 6 Support • Verizon Offers Double the Data for 'MORE Everything' Plans

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has withdrawn from negotiations to play Steve Jobs in Aaron Sorkin's upcoming film about the late Apple co-founder, according to The Hollywood Reporter. DiCaprio was set to begin work on the movie after finishing work on The Revenant, but sources close to the actor have said that he plans to take a lengthy break soon. Now with DiCaprio out, the studio is eyeing a number of actors to take on the iconic tech figure, who has been both worshipped and reviled. Christian Bale, who Fincher wanted for the title role, is on Sony’s wish list, as is Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper (though Affleck seems unlikely given that he just signed on for the thriller The Accountant). The report also notes that the movie will be directed by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, who was said to be in talks with Sony Pictures this past April. According to information shared by Sorkin, the film will use material from Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography and will focus on three 30-minute scenes showing three of Apple's product launches. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is also working as a consultant on the film. Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs biopic has yet to receive a release date. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Releases New iTunes 12 Beta for OS X Yosemite • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' App With iPhone 6 Support • Verizon Offers Double the Data for 'MORE Everything' Plans

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released a new version of the iTunes 12 beta for both developers and OS X Yosemite beta testers, following Monday's release of the Yosemite Golden Master Candidate and a fourth public beta. First introduced in July, iTunes 12 includes an "elegant new design" that also includes support for several iOS 8/Yosemite features, including Family Sharing. Apple has released several iTunes beta updates thus far, fixing small bugs and other issues, but with the third beta, the iTunes Store has a new look and a new layout. The iTunes Store and the iTunes Library are now integrated, with separate sections for Music, TV, apps, and more. Each separate section includes tabs for store content and a user's own library. iTunes 12 also includes improved playlists, a redesigned Info Window, and a new icon. Both iTunes 12 and OS X Yosemite remain in a beta testing phase, though a public release for the software is expected in October. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' App With iPhone 6 Support • Verizon Offers Double the Data for 'MORE Everything' Plans • Sprint Responds to AT&T's Promotion With Its Own Double Data Deal

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has described its new Apple Pay payments service, which is designed to be the first step towards the company's goal of replacing the wallet, as "easy, secure, and private." Apple Pay includes several different features that offer customers much greater security than a traditional credit card, including Device Account Numbers that replace credit card numbers, dynamic security codes for each transaction, and biometric payment verification through the use of Touch ID. Ahead of the release of Apple Pay, TUAW's Yoni Heisler has taken an in-depth look at the security features built into the payments service, outlining the ways Apple is safeguarding customer information. While Apple Pay is built on existing NFC technology, Heisler's research suggests it is the first implementation of the EMVCo tokenization specification, a newly introduced security framework designed to cover emerging payment methods. According to former credit card executive Tom Noyes, this specification is "the most secure payments scheme on the planet." As previously rumored, Apple Pay utilizes a "token," which the company refers to as a Device Account Number, to replace a user's existing credit card number on the iPhone. A randomized 16-digit number, the Device Account Number ensures that no merchant is able to obtain a user's credit card number, protecting consumers from retail security breaches, as TUAW points out, because tokens are randomized numbers that cannot be decrypted back into a credit card number. Device Account Numbers, or tokens, are paired with a dynamically generated one-time use code that replaces the credit card's CCV with every transaction.Providing an additional layer of security, an Apple Pay-equipped iPhone at the time of each transaction also sends a dynamically generated CVV up the chain along with a cryptogram. The CVV is the three-digit string located on the back of your credit card and, in the case of Apple Pay, is a algorithmically-generated dynamic string that's tied directly to the token. The cryptogram itself "uniquely identifies the device" that created the token and, according to the EMV Payment Spec, is likely composed of encrypted data sourced from the token, the device itself, and transaction data. Note, though, that the precise components of the Apple Pay cryptogram aren't publicly known.As noted by Heisler, a Device Account Number can't be used in a transaction without an accompanying one-time use cryptogram, which verifies that the "token in transit originated from the device being used." Cryptograms also carry transaction information like the merchant's identity and the amount of money being charged. The transaction comprising the Device Account Number and accompanying cryptogram is further verified through the use of Touch ID, which essentially replaces insecure verification methods like passwords and PINs. According to a credit card executive who spoke to TUAW, token transactions as implemented by Apple "are a new and much higher standard of security for electronic payments."The amount of security built into provisioning tokens and supporting transactions is a new standard that I think will definitely shift fraud patterns going forward.Apple Pay is expected to go live in October, enabled through an update to iOS 8. Hints of Apple Pay have already been found in the iOS 8.1 beta, which was seeded to developers on Monday. TUAW's full look at the security behind Apple Pay, which covers tokens, Touch ID, and more, is well worth a read. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Steve Dowling Takes Over as Interim PR Chief at Apple • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' App With iPhone 6 Support • Verizon Offers Double the Data for 'MORE Everything' Plans • Sprint Responds to AT&T's Promotion With Its Own Double Data Deal

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today has announced revisions to a number of components of its employee benefits packages in order to retain existing workers and attract new ones to the Cupertino company, reports Forbes. The changes, which target both full-time and part-time employees, were initiated by Human Resources vice president Denise Young Smith and detailed in an employee-wide memo shared with the publication."I don’t think these [benefits] would be immediately thought of," Young Smith told Fortune. "But for the first time we’ve probably got four generations in the workplace at the same time, and we need a plethora of programs." New and updated benefits include perks such as educational reimbursements, expanded donation matching, and more. One major change is in the parental leave policy following the birth of a child. With the new policy, expectant mothers can take up to four weeks before a delivery and up to 14 weeks after a birth, while fathers and other non-birth parents are eligible for up to six weeks of parental leave. The report also profiles Apple's new "wellness center" at its Cupertino headquarters designed to meet the medical needs of its employees. Employees can seek treatment while at work with appointment wait times as short as five minutes. The head of HR says 43,000 employees have already visited the center, which opened about a year ago and employs seven doctors plus a large team of chiropractors, physical therapists and dieticians. [...] Doctors work out of a central "pod" in the middle of the building, surrounded by a circle of examination rooms, which they enter through a different door than their patients. Inside, the paperless, minimalistic exam rooms hold a small table with an iPad and Apple monitor (what else?). Many of these changes have been spearheaded by Young Smith, who took over the lead human resources position earlier this year. Young Smith's emphasis on the company's employees is part of Tim Cook's overall focus on people as well as the products that make Apple successful. Besides these expanded employee benefits, Apple also has been working to improve working conditions overseas, requiring factory manufacturers to provide safe working conditions as part of the company's Supplier Responsibility initiative. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update • Twitter for Mac Updated With Support for Multiple Photos and Photos in Messages • iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities • Verizon Reverses Course on Plan to Throttle Unlimited LTE Customers • Apple Updates 'Apple Store' App With iPhone 6 Support • Verizon Offers Double the Data for 'MORE Everything' Plans • Sprint Responds to AT&T's Promotion With Its Own Double Data Deal • iPhone 5c Topped UK Smartphone Sales Charts Ahead of iPhone 6 Launch

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