posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
WWDC 2014 will kick off on June 2nd with a keynote address from Apple CEO Tim Cook. iOS 8 is the mostly likely focus of the event, but there are a number of other possible topics, including OS X 10.10, Apple TV, MacBook Airs, and the long rumored iWatch. Read full article for more details. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'PayPal Here' for iOS Updated with Revamped User Interface, Dynamic Search • Apple Bringing More Chip Development In House • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Late last month, a set of alleged design drawings was published by Japanese magazine MacFan, showing dimensions for upcoming 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch iPhone models. It's not uncommon for us to see design and case leaks in the months leading up to the new iPhone release. In some cases, as with the iPhone 5C, early design leaks turn out to be quite close to the final product, though in other instances they turn out to be inaccurate. Based on those drawings, MacRumors commissioned designer Ferry Passchier to create some full product renderings of the rumored iPhone 6. While these aren't the first renderings, we asked Ferry to also show how they would compare in size to existing devices such as the iPhone 5s and iPad mini. iPhone 6 (4.7") and iPhone 6 (5.7") The iPhone designs in the drawings include several differences compared to the iPhone 5s. The top power button has been moved from the right side to the left side of the device. The rear camera on the larger model is also shown as protruding slightly from the rear shell, as is the case with the current iPod touch. The camera flash has also reverted back to a round-design unlike the one found on the iPhone 5s. Left to Right: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 (4.7"), iPhone 6 (5.7"), iPad mini This image shows how the new iPhone 6 design compares to the existing product line. The iPhone 5s is depicted on the left with a 4" screen, while the iPad mini (7.9") is on the far right. In between are the rumored 4.7" and 5.7" iPhone 6 from the design document. Over the weekend, an Apple slide deck from April 2013 surfaced from the ongoing Apple-Samsung patent trial, illustrating Apple's awareness that smartphone growth was coming from the low end of the market and in phones with screens larger than the iPhone's 4-inch display. With the slides noting that "customers want what we don't have", it's clear why Apple is reportedly planning to increase the size of the iPhone's display with this year's models. The iPhone 6 is expected to debut this fall, although a recent report from Reuters claims that the larger version may not be ready to launch at that time. We can't be certain these schematics are accurate, but Apple clearly sees the need to address the larger smartphone market. We expect more leaks in the future as production of the iPhone 6 begins ramping up. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'PayPal Here' for iOS Updated with Revamped User Interface, Dynamic Search • Apple Bringing More Chip Development In House • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung is the leader in mobile advertising, significantly outspending all its rivals on commercials that target the U.S. market. Though still number one, the Korean company's advertising dollar lead is shrinking, reports the Wall Street Journal, with Samsung's rivals increasing their advertising spending by 33 percent year over year in 2013. According to ad research company Kantar Media, the top seven U.S. smartphone makers spent over $1.3 billion in 2013 on advertisements for print, TV online, radio and outdoor venues. Apple spent $351 million last year, with the bulk of that money ($339 million) going toward TV ads. While Apple increased its spending 5 percent year over year on mobile phone ads, Samsung scaled back its advertising efforts, reducing its U.S. advertising by 10 percent in 2013 to $363 million. The gap between Samsung and Apple now has narrowed to $12 million, which is less than the $68 million gap in 2012. Samsung is known for its aggressive Galaxy marketing campaigns, which routinely target rival devices. Samsung's clever tagline "The next big thing" reportedly infuriated Apple executives and lead to a tense email exchange between Apple's head of marketing Phil Schiller and the company's longtime ad agency, TBWA/Media Arts Lab. Despite outspending Apple in advertising dollars, Samsung trails Apple in U.S. smartphone subscribers, with 26.7 percent market share as compared to Apple's 41.6 percent. Apple's market share continues to grow, but the overall rate of adoption is slowing as the smartphone market approaches saturation. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'PayPal Here' for iOS Updated with Revamped User Interface, Dynamic Search • Apple Bringing More Chip Development In House • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Benoit Dupin, the Vice President of Amazon A9′s Search Technology group, has left his position at the online retailer to join Apple, reports 9to5Mac. Dupin's profile recently was removed from Amazon's A9 website, and Dupin's LinkedIn profile now reflects his new position as Director at Apple. At Amazon, Dupin worked in the A9 group, which powers product search and advertising throughout Amazon's international web stores. Dupin has experience working with search infrastructure, search experience and search relevance at Amazon. He also held positions at HP, Easyplanet and Canon Research France. Dupin is joining Apple as a possible replacement for the exiting Cathy Edwards of Chomp, who joined Apple when the Cupertino company acquired the smartphone app search engine. Edwards served as the Director of Evaluation and Quality for Apple Maps, iTunes Store and App Store. Dupin will assume a similar role as Edwards, bringing his search expertise to those product areas within Apple. Dupin's exact role at Apple in not known, but his search expertise could be utilized in Apple's Maps as well as its iTunes and App Store, all of which have been criticized for their undependable search results. The company regularly tweaks its search algorithm within its App Store, recently adding a new search suggestion feature for iOS owners. Apple also is rumored to be working on improving the Maps experience in iOS 8 with new transit Directions and improved points of interest data. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'PayPal Here' for iOS Updated with Revamped User Interface, Dynamic Search • Apple Bringing More Chip Development In House • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
An alleged bill of materials for Apple’s upcoming iWatch has surfaced, with supply chain sources indicating that the product will launch in the third quarter of this year, reports Taiwan’s Economic Daily News [Google Translation] (via DigiTimes). iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton, based on the Nike FuelBand The report claims that the iWatch itself will be manufactured by Apple supplier Quanta Computer, with Richtek Technology and TPK supplying chips and sapphire touch panels, respectively. Meanwhile, the device’s processor is said to be developed by Apple, with chip production being outsourced to Samsung. In total, Apple is said to be targeting production of 65 million iWatch units by the end of 2014. Notably, two suppliers mentioned in the report have been linked to previous stories about iWatch production, albeit with contrasting details. In November, Quanta Computer was rumored to have landed a contract to mass produce the iWatch for a Q2 2014 release, while a report this past February claimed that Apple had chosen TPK to supply flexible AMOLED panels for iWatch. While the exact features of the iWatch are currently unknown, past rumors have indicated that the device will feature biometric sensors to track a number of health-related statistics, including sleep activity, UV light exposure, and heart rate. A “Healthbook” companion app is also said to be in the works for iOS 8, which would integrate with the iPhone and iWatch to monitor and track other health statistics. To this point, most reports have pointed to a release later in the year for the iWatch alongside the iPhone 6 and iOS 8. A Q3 2014 release as indicated by the Economic Daily News would mean that the device could be unveiled by Apple sooner, possibly at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Bringing More Chip Development In House • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple’s long-rumored “iWatch” smartwatch may include a UV light exposure sensor provided by Texas-based Silicon Labs, according to a new research note from Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis (via AppleInsider). The digital ultraviolet sensor, which was announced in February, is described by Silicon Labs as “ideal for activity-tracking wrist and arm bands, smart watches and smartphone handsets.” In addition to tracking UV sun exposure, the sensor is also said to track heart/pulse rate and blood oximetry levels and provide proximity and gesture control. Traditional watch-style iWatch concept by Gábor Balogh These chips measure UV exposure to aid those with elevated risk of sunburn or just a general concern about excessive sun exposure, and we believe they may be of appealing to OEMs looking to differentiate in a crowded market. To that end, while these products have seen little public hype thus far, we believe SLAB has a win in Apple’s upcoming iWatch (late 2H14 or early 2015). Past reports have indicated that Apple is preparing to include the ability to monitor a number of health-related metrics in the iWatch such as heart rate, sleep activity, movement, perspiration levels, and skin temperature. Apple is also said to be developing a “Healthbook” app for iOS 8 which would help the iWatch monitor and track health statistics like weight, heart rate, calories and step counts in conjunction with the iPhone. Over the past year, Apple has also hired a number of health experts in fields related to heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking, including two executives from pulse-oximetry company Masimo and others from C8 MediSensors, a company that develops non-invasive blood monitoring sensors. While details on the iWatch have been mostly limited, more information on the product is likely to be revealed as the product’s release grows closer. It is unknown when Apple plans to release the iWatch itself, but a fall release date alongside iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is likely. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Adobe's professional photo editing software Lightroom has finally made its way to iOS devices with Adobe's new Lightroom mobile app for the iPad, allowing photographers who use the desktop version of Lightroom to edit and organize photos from anywhere. Lightroom mobile is not a standalone app, requiring both a subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud and Lightroom 5 to function. Integrating seamlessly with the full version of Lightroom 5 for PCs and Macs, Lightroom mobile allows users to log in to the app with an Adobe ID to access the library of content stored in a desktop version of Lightroom. The app downloads Smart Previews of files from the desktop app, allowing for very fast content transfers between the desktop and the mobile app.The new Lightroom mobile app brings powerful Lightroom tools to the iPad, delivering photography essentials – such as non-destructive processing of files – and utilizing new Smart Preview technologies to free professional-class photo editing from the confines of the desktop. Lightroom mobile is built on a powerful synchronization architecture, designed specifically for photos, and provides the most efficient way to manage and edit images across desktops, mobile devices and the Web.Smart Previews do require an ongoing Internet connection to sync back and forth between Adobe's servers to prevent iPad users from having to download huge files, but files can also be downloaded in full for offline editing if preferred. Lightroom mobile supports much of the same functionality as the desktop version of Lightroom, offering users access to metadata and a basic editing toolbar that contains desktop presets (except for custom presets) and adjustment tools for altering shadows, clarity, contrast, and more. There are also crop and rotate tools for manipulating photos, and a simple three finger tap on the screen displays the before and after when editing. All of the adjustments made within Lightroom mobile are automatic and sync to Lightroom on the desktop, with history states saved as well, making all iterations of a final image visible at a glance. Adobe's new app has been designed with mobile productivity in mind and it is not, at this time, designed to replace the desktop version of Lightroom for editing. Adobe envisions it as more of a quick-use tool, allowing users to sort through images and make quick edits on files to determine what might need further editing via the desktop. Swiping through a huge number of images and using quick touch gestures to mark favorites can be done somewhat more quickly on a tablet, for example. Adobe's Lightroom mobile has intuitive gestures that include a two-finger tap as an app-wide gesture that controls a number of different functions, including toggling metadata, turning on the histogram, and more. Images are grouped by folders specified in Lightroom and displayed in a grid gallery. Tapping an image allows it to be viewed full screen and a simple swipe up or down allows it to be flagged for editing or rejected. Lightroom mobile also has some powerful organizational capabilities, letting users sort images by different aspects like capture time, file name, modification time, and more. Photos in Lightroom mobile can be saved to the camera roll or shared via social networking sites and images taken with the iPad can also be set to import directly into the app – and the desktop version of Lightroom via syncing. The app also contains built-in slideshow functionality, allowing users to use their Lightroom photos in presentations. Adobe purposefully left some features out of Lightroom mobile so the simple touch experience wouldn't be overwhelmed with a glut of unnecessary functions. Custom created presets are not available, for example, nor are star labels. The company did make it clear, however, that it is open to adding additional features that its customers want in Lightroom mobile in the future. With Lightroom mobile, photos will also be viewable and shareable on Lightroom.Adobe.com. While Lightroom mobile is limited to the iPad 2 or later at this time, Adobe does has plans for an iPhone version later this year. Lightroom mobile for the iPad is available as a free download [Direct Link] but using it will require an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Access to the app is included with following plans: Creative Cloud Complete ($49.99/month), the Photoshop Photography Program ($9.99/month), which includes access to both Photoshop and Lightroom, Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition ($29.99/month) and Creative Cloud for teams ($69.99/month/user). Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Because of overwhelming demand for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple enacted a lottery to determine who would be able to attend the 2014 event, accepting entries from Thursday, April 5 to April 7 at 10:00 AM PT. The ticket lottery has now ended and Apple has begun notifying lottery winners by email. According to the WWDC site, all applicants who submitted an entry were supposed to know if they had won (or lost) by 5 PM PT, but it appears the emails are taking a bit longer to be sent out. In 2012, Apple sold tickets on a first come first serve basis, with the available tickets selling out in just under two hours. A year later, in 2013, those tickets were gone in just two minutes, though Apple later invited additional developers to attend. Demand for WWDC prompted Apple to reinstate its Tech Talk sessions for developers throughout the fall of 2013, which will likely be repeated this year. Lottery winners will be able to purchase an all-inclusive ticket for the Worldwide Developers Conference that includes access to Sessions, Labs, and special events for $1,599. 200 scholarship tickets are also available for students. Apple's 2014 WWDC event is set to begin on June 2 and will likely open with a keynote where the company will unveil upcoming hardware and software products, giving us glimpses of iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, among other things. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • American Express Offers $5 off a $5 iTunes/App Store Purchase • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
iOS 7 adoption continues to grow, with Apple seeing the operating system on 87 percent of devices connected to the App Store, according to Apple's App Store developer support page. The numbers come seven months after the operating system's original release and two months ahead of the expected preview of iOS 8 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in two month's time. Apple has traditionally seen speedy adoption of its new iOS releases because it makes it easy for customers to upgrade to the new operating system without too much trouble, and it's likely that iOS 8 will see similar adoption after its expected release this fall. iOS 8 is expected to include upgrades to Apple's Maps app, including possible support for public transit directions and enhanced points of interest, a Healthbook app that assists users in aggregating personal health data like blood pressure, heart rate, and more -- perhaps in concert with a smart watch product -- as well as improvements to Siri and iTunes Radio, two of the more recent additions to Apple's mobile operating system. In contrast to Apple, Google sees only 5.3% of its users running the latest version of its Android operating system, version 4.4 or KitKat, which came out in October 2013 -- a month after iOS 7 was released. The increasing adoption rate of iOS 7 has also led to a drop in iOS 6 usage, with the older operating system now installed on just 11 percent of devices. 2 percent of devices are using older versions of iOS. In early December, iOS 7 usage was at 74 percent, jumping to 78 percent later in December, 80 percent in late January and 85 percent towards the end of March. Apple's data, which comes directly from the App Store, represents concrete iOS 7 adoption information for developers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Multiple insider details on Apple and its business practices are surfacing during the company's second patent trial with Samsung, including a series of tense emails between Apple's head of marketing Phil Schiller and Apple's longtime ad agency, TBWA/Media Arts Lab (via BusinessInsider). Following the January 2013 release of an article from The Wall Street Journal entitled, "Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?" Schiller emailed Media Arts Lab and told them "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around…." In the article, The Wall Street Journal lauds Samsung's aggressive marketing campaign for the Galaxy S3, which had the clever tagline "The next big thing is already here." Samsung has argued that the campaign was a tipping point for the company and that it infuriated Apple executives as the advertising was coming at a time when Apple's own advertising was in a slump. Following Schiller's email about the WSJ article, the ad agency wrote back a lengthy email outlining a plan to put the iPhone back in the spotlight, unfortunately comparing Apple in 2013 to Apple in 1997, when the company was on the brink of going out of business. The email went on to suggest that the agency be given more freedom to experiment with ideas and that Apple needs to consider specific questions, such as company behavior, sales approaches, and product roadmaps. Schiller was "shocked" by the email he received from Media Arts Lab, both at the reference to 1997 and the idea that the team should be given free rein to create ideas that had not been pitched in Marketing and Communication (Marcom) meetings. The advertising agency quickly penned an apology to Schiller and a few weeks later, another email exchange indicated Apple was happy with the advertisements the company was creating for the iPad, but still dissatisfied with iPhone advertising. Schiller noted that he watched Samsung's pre-Super Bowl ad, saying "I can't help but think 'these guys are feeling it'". While it's clear there was some serious tension between Apple and its advertising agency in 2013, the two did not end up parting ways. Later in the year, Apple launched its "Music Every Day" and "Photos Every Day" ads, which turned out to be highly successful. Apple followed it up with a heartwarming iPhone 5s commercial, ending out the year on a high note and picking up advertising in 2014 with the current "Your Verse" campaign. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Intel Expands Thunderbolt Networking with PC Support for Ultra-Fast Connections • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
In the coming months, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will assume her new position as the senior vice president in charge of Apple's retail and online sales efforts. Before she leaves the fashion world for technology, Ahrendts will be made an honorary Dame of the British Empire for her work at Burberry, reports The Daily Mail. Because she is American, Ahrendts won't receive the honor from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and she won't be allowed to use the title Dame, only the initials DBE (Dame of the British Empire) at the end of her name. She will be honored at a small ceremony to be held today at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in Westminister with the UK's business secretary Vince Cable as the Master of Ceremonies. Mr Cable will pay tribute to the mother of three, from Indiana, describing her as a ‘landmark figure in business’ and a ‘powerful role model to the next generation of young British talent.’ He will say: ‘She has revitalised this iconic British brand with flair and cutting edge innovation, allied with sound commercial acumen.’ Ahrendts is not the only Apple executive to receive the honorable title from the British government. Apple's Jony Ive received his knighthood in 2011 and described the honor as "absolutely thrilling." Steve Jobs also was set to be awarded honorary knighthood, but his nomination was reportedly blocked for political reasons by Gordon Brown, who was Prime Minister at the time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Internal documents included in the second patent trial between Samsung and Apple last week revealed how Apple viewed Android, calling for a "Holy War" against Google and expressing concern about competition from larger-screened, lower-priced Android phones. A new set of documents reported by Re/code and AppleInsider reverses this perspective, showing how Samsung was laser-focused on Apple with the objective of beating the Cupertino company as its "#1 priority" in 2012. The internal document outlines the lessons Samsung learned in 2011 as it continued development on its Galaxy line of phones and faced a patent infringement lawsuit from Apple. Samsung considered the threat from Apple to be "extremely real and urgent" and communicated to employees that "everything must be [in the] context of beating Apple" in 2012. Samsung listed the expected features of the upcoming iPhone 5 and predicted how Apple's iPhone would perform in the marketplace. The Korean company also detailed how it would boost its own Galaxy branding and work with both carriers and retailers to expand its retail presence to combat growing consumer interest in the iPhone. Samsung also detailed a strategy of "continuous" branding campaigns where "Galaxy Nexus rolls into Galaxy Note into GSIII," playing upon Apple's consistent branding of iPhone across generations of its products. "Drive consumer pull," Samsung's Galaxy branding document strategized, hoping that "customers walk into stores asking for Samsung." To get there, Samsung said it needed to "understand why customers buy Apple," and then "develop countermeasures by carrier/retail." The documents reveal that Samsung shifted its product lineup to serve carriers with 80% of the company's product roadmap supporting carrier demands for joint projects, exclusive offers and low-cost handsets for entry-level consumers. Only 20% of its product lineup focused on high-end handsets like the Galaxy S3 and the Note II. Samsung also spent billions on advertising to support its Galaxy phones with Apple-targeted ads that focused on iPhone line-waiters, Apple's Genius Bar and more. Samsung credits the company's 2012 "Next Big Thing" advertisements as "a tipping point" for the company's branding and claimed in its opening arguments last week that Apple was taken aback by the edgy marketing campaign. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • LaCie Unveils Three New Thunderbolt 2 Storage Solutions for 4K Video Editing • Apple Expands iPhone Trade-In Program to Germany • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
The latest internal documents coming out of the Samsung/Apple trial show some candid insight into Apple's analysis of the future of the smartphone market. The documents posted by Re/code include an Apple slide deck from April, 2013 for 2014 planning. The document includes graphs showing that Apple's growth rates are slowing quarter after quarter. The main reason for the decline amongst consumers? Consumers want less expensive and larger screen smartphones: In a further breakdown, Apple acknowledges that "consumers want what we don't have" -- which shows that the majority of smartphone growth is in both >4" screen sizes and Apple has been heavily rumored to be introducing a larger iPhone 6 this fall. The size of the new iPhone has been thought to be 4.7" or 5.5" with the 4.7" model coming first. While rumors have been consistent, Apple's own insights from 2013 explain why such a move is likely to happen. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content    

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Google is gearing up to release a new Android TV set-top media box that utilizes a simple card interface with native apps and games, voice search, and a proactive recommendation system, according to new documents obtained by The Verge. The documents note that while Android powers the box’s experience, the interface will be represented by a simple “cards” interface that represent a variety of mediums, including movies, shows, apps, and games. Users will be able to scroll through the interface with a four-way directional pad that contains Enter, Home, and Back buttons, with the set-top box reportedly featuring “optional” game controllers. “Access to content should be simple and magical,” reads one Google document, which adds that it should never take more than three clicks or gestures to go from the homescreen to enjoying a new piece of content. Even search appears to be secondary to intuitively understanding what you want and delivering it as soon as possible, though search will be still be one of Android TV’s primary tools. In addition to universal search, pressing the Search button on the controller will let you search from within individual apps as well. Moreover, Android TV is said to contain support for voice input, notifications, and search, with the set-top box also being able to recommend content based on a user’s interests and resume content viewed elsewhere the moment Android TV is turned on. Google is reportedly asking select developers to create games and apps for its new set-top box with optimized interfaces for the TV, as apps for Vevo, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora are expected to ship with the device. The company will also work in its own apps including Play Movies, YouTube, and Hangouts. “Android TV is Android, optimized for the living room consumption experience on a TV screen,” writes the company, but the focus is on simplicity for now. Google is stripping away unneeded features like telephony, cameras, touchscreen support and near-field communication to keep developers focused, and handing them ready-made interfaces where they can hopefully just plug in shows, games, photos, music, and films. Google is also expected to keep its popular Chromecast HDMI streaming accessory with the release of Google TV, with The Verge noting that developers will be required to build two different interfaces for the two different devices. It is not known specifically when the device will launch, but it is clear that Google’s Android TV will enter a growing market of set-top boxes - just this past week, Amazon launched its own Fire TV media streaming box with voice search, game support and more that competes with others devices such as Apple TV and Roku. The move comes as Apple is said to be preparing a new version of the Apple TV that will integrate with Comcast’s network to enable a streaming TV service for users. Apple is expected to unveil its new Apple TV sometime in the near feature, although some rumors have suggested a launch as early as April. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content    

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Steve Jobs outlined a potential future for the Apple TV in an email correspondence with top Apple executives in 2010, a year before his death, noting potential plans for the "Apple TV 2" that included TV subscriptions, apps, browser and a "magic wand" control device. The email was published today as a part of Apple's lawsuit trial with Samsung (via The Verge). 8. Apple TV 2 - David Moody, Jeff Robbin - Strategy: stay in the living room game and make a great "must have" accessory for iOS devices - sales so far, projections for this holiday season - add content: - NBC, CBS, Viacom, HBO, ... - TV subscription? - where do we go from here? - apps, browser, magic wand? While the potential Apple TV features aren't mentioned in concrete terms, they do provide insight into features Apple was internally discussing and considering in 2010. Additionally, the internal email also confirms that Apple has considered using its patented Nintendo Wiimote-like MagicWand to control Apple TV. Jobs' email also goes over other subjects for Apple's 2010 Top 100, a secret meeting in which top Apple employees discuss strategy for the upcoming year, including plans for the "plus" iPhone 4 that was eventually named the iPhone 4s and a low cost iPhone model based on the iPod touch that would replace the iPhone 3GS. Plans for the future of iOS are also mentioned, with Jobs noting that strategy should be to "catch up to Android where we are behind (notifications, tethering, speech...) and leapfrog them (Siri, ...)". The subject of Apple's now defunct MobileMe service makes up another large part of the email, with Jobs acknowledging that Google was "way ahead of Apple in cloud services" and that both the search giant and Microsoft had better technology than Apple but had not "figured it out yet". The email also notes that Apple's plan was to improve MobileMe to the point where it tied all Apple's products together and made its ecosystem even more "sticky", so that it would be more difficult for customers to leave for a competitor. Finally, the email makes mention of Apple's desire to further its lead over Google in music and great apps in the App Store as a part of Apple's "holy war" with Google, with mentions for both The Beatles and iTunes in the Cloud. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content    

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple senior software engineer Greg Christie took the stand today in Apple's second patent trial against Samsung, where he shared some details on the development of the "Slide to Unlock" function Samsung is accused of copying and gave additional details on the development of the original iPhone. One of Apple's major arguments against Samsung is the fact that developing the iPhone was a serious risk for the company as it was new territory, a point that Christie reiterated in his testimony as he described the three year journey of the iPhone's development (via CNET). The iPhone went through hundreds of different design tweaks as Apple worked to make the phone function in a way that anyone could understand. The company's focus on simplicity remains to this day, with Apple designing for "normal people," as described by Christie."One of the biggest challenges is that we need to sell products to people who don't do what we do for a living," Christie, one of the inventors of the slide-to-unlock iPhone feature, said. When designing products, Apple keeps in mind that it wants “normal people – people with better things to do with their lives than learn how a computer might work – to use the product as well as we can."Christie helped develop some of the original iPhone's key features and he is known as the inventor of "Slide to Unlock," a function that prevents the iPhone from being activated accidentally while within a pocket. During his testimony, Christie also detailed the creation of the function (via Re/code), noting that Apple had originally aimed to have the device's screen on at all times. A screen that was always on proved to be infeasible, with Christie citing an inability to meet power requirements. "We had to resort to a power button," he said, stating that the company was also concerned with "pocket dialing.""We knew we had to have a locked mode, or a locked state, where it wouldn't let you do most things, except you could unlock it," Christie said.That need resulted in the development of Apple's famous Slide to Unlock function, which Christie testified was an important feature on the phone because it is the first thing a customer sees on the iPhone, both in store and at home. During this second patent trial, which covers newer devices, Apple was limited to levying just five patents against Samsung, making each one vital to the case. Apple is aiming to prove that each patent is highly valuable to the company and is seeking $2 billion in damages from Samsung. Greg Christie gave additional details on the development of the original iPhone ahead of the patent trial, which can be found in his March interview with The Wall Street Journal. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content    

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is worried about larger-screened, lower-priced Android phones, according to an internal document shared today in the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit (via Re/code). The document, which is from the company's sales department, notes that iPhone growth could drop due to competition from smartphones that have larger screens or lower prices than the iPhone."Competitors have drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems," a member of Apple's sales team wrote in a document that was prepared as part of a fiscal 2014 offsite meeting. Portions of the document were shown Friday to the jury in the Apple-Samsung case. Other concerns noted in the document included the idea that Android rivals were "spending 'obscene' amounts of money on advertising and/or carrier channel to gain traction" and that mobile carriers had an interest in limiting iPhone sales because of, among other things, the high subsidies they had to pay on the device.Samsung presented the document during its cross-examination of Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller, who was on the stand earlier today. According to Schiller, the document was not representative of Apple policy and contained information that he largely disagreed with. Ahead of the release of the iPhone 5c, many thought Apple would enter the low-cost smartphone market for the first time, positioning the phone as an alternative to cheaper Android phones. The iPhone 5c ended up being priced higher than expected and was later described by Tim Cook as a mid-tier device rather than a low-cost option. Though it is unwilling to sacrifice quality for price even amid fierce competition, Apple is gearing up to compete with Android phones and boost its growth through another arena in 2014 -- larger screens. Rumors have indicated the iPhone 6 may be released in two sizes, 4.7 and 5.5 inches, both of which are larger than the existing iPhone 5s. Analysts have already suggested the release of a larger-screened iPhone could lure back a significant number of Android switchers and cause a massive spike in upgrades. Other tidbits from the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit include details on its "Holy War" with Google and the fact that Apple considered dropping its advertising partner, Media Arts Lab, due to its dissatisfaction with its advertising in early 2013. Following Phil Schiller, Apple senior software engineer and inventor of "Slide to Unlock" Greg Christie has taken the stand, largely reiterating details on the development of the original iPhone, which were first published in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in March. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content    

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Steve Jobs is best known as the co-founder of Apple and the man who spurred the company to greatness, but he also co-founded Pixar Animation Studios, another company that's both highly successful and widely admired for the quality animated movies that it produces. In a new book that's slated to be released next week, Pixar president and co-founder Ed Catmull gives an inside look at Pixar and what made the company so successful. An early excerpt describing Steve Jobs and his influence on the company has been published at Gizmodo, giving an inside look at Jobs' later years. Though Jobs is often described as obsessed with perfection and relentlessly tough on his employees, Catmull notes that he underwent a significant transformation as he matured, becoming sensitive to other people's feelings and their "value as contributors to the creative process" during his last two decades of life. Catmull attributes some of that personality shift to Jobs' experiences at Pixar, a company that he was particularly proud of because of the lasting impact its films had on the world. Jobs believed that movies endure because they "dig for deeper truths" and later in life, he fully embraced the "nobility of entertaining people."His experience with Pixar was part of this change. Steve aspired to create utilitarian things that also brought joy; it was his way of making the world a better place. That was part of why Pixar made him so proud—because he felt the world was better for the films we made. He used to say regularly that as brilliant as Apple products were, eventually they all ended up in landfills.During Pixar's early years, Jobs is described as the company's benefactor, later becoming a "protector" who gave constructive criticism within the company but defended it to the outside world. As a side project, Pixar was a "place [Jobs] could relax and play a little," which changed him for the better, according to Catmull.While he never lost his intensity, we watched him develop the ability to listen. More and more, he could express empathy and caring and patience. He became truly wise. The change in him was real, and it was deep.Jobs was able to diagnose problems at Pixar with "startling efficiency," focusing on the problem itself and not the filmmakers. As he spent more time at the company, he became "more articulate and observant of people's feelings."Some people have said that he got mellower with age, but I don't think that's an adequate description of what happened; it sounds too passive, as if he just was letting more go. Steve's transformation was an active one. He continued to engage; he just changed the way he went about it.Catmull's Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration is currently available for preorder on Amazon.com and will be released on April 8. The full excerpt on Steve Jobs' role at Pixar is well worth reading and can be found over at Gizmodo. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content    

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's (Product) RED contributions towards the fight against AIDS have reached $70 million, according to a Friday tweet from the (RED) Twitter account. That's up $5 million from $65 million in July of 2013, with 100 percent of that total going towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. Great news to end the week! Apple's total for @RED reaches $70 MILLION. 100% goes to fight #AIDS. Thank you all for buying (APPLE)RED.— (RED) (@RED) April 4, 2014Apple has collaborated with (RED) since it was created in 2006, first releasing a special edition (RED) iPod nano. Since then, Apple has released a number of (RED) devices, including iPod nanos and shuffles, iPad Smart Covers, iPhone Bumpers, and iPhone 5s cases. With every (RED) product bought, Apple donates a portion of the purchase price to the charity. Last year, lead Apple designer Jony Ive teamed up with designer Marc Newson to create a range of one-of-a-kind products that were auctioned off by Sotheby's, with proceeds going to (RED). Items included a red Mac Pro and solid gold EarPods, earning nearly $13 million in total. (Product) RED is affiliated with several other companies in addition to Apple, including Starbucks, Nike, and American Express, raising more than $200 million to date. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Sprint Offers Up To $650 For New Framily Subscribers • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content    

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Earlier this week, Amazon launched its Fire TV media streaming box, entering a crowded market with devices from Roku, the Chromecast from Google and the Apple TV. With the Fire TV delivering a number of features rumored for a future Apple TV, reactions to Amazon's new box have certainly been of interest to Apple fans. With an immediate launch for Fire TV, the device has already landed in the hands of reviewers and at popular repair shop iFixit, which promptly tore the device down. Early analysis of the Fire TV suggests the device has market-leading hardware that is hindered by less-than-perfect software. On the hardware front, iFixit confirms the Fire TV is a powerhouse with a quad-core, 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Krait 300 processor, Qualcomm Adreno 320 dedicated GPU, 2 GB LPDDR2 RAM clocked at 533 MHz, 8 GB internal storage, 802.11a/b/g/n MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Fire TV has the power to play back HD videos, with extra to spare for games. Though the hardware is impressive, early reviews suggest the device's blazing performance is overshadowed by a poor search experience that makes finding content on the Fire TV a chore, says Dave Smith in a review for ReadWrite. While Voice Search offers an improvement over typical manual input, its results are limited to Amazon services.Due to the extreme limitations of Voice Search, browsing through Netflix — where you’ll probably spend most of your time, considering Amazon’s rather limited library of quality movies for free streaming — is, once again, manual labor. In time, applications like Netflix and Hulu+ could support Voice Search—maybe even through a simple software update. But since searching is so important on this device, Amazon has really hung early-adopters out to dry. Even when Voice Search works, it can’t filter the results by movies or programs you can stream for free. Because of its high-end hardware, Amazon couldn't undercut its competition and had to release the Fire TV at a price point that is on the high-end of the market as noted by Leslie Horn of Gizmodo. "More features and more horsepower are rarely a bad thing, but in this case it's driven the price of Fire TV much higher than one might have expected from an Amazon product. In a world full of $35 Chromecasts and $50 Roku sticks — which definitely can't do as much as Fire TV, but can arguably do more than enough — forking over $100 for the ability to play some biggie-sized tablet games is a tough sell." Scott Stein of CNET focused on the gaming feature of the Fire TV, saying it isn't groundbreaking and doesn't offer a compelling alternative to existing smartphone, tablet, or console games.Don't expect anything more than what Android/iOS already offers: the Fire TV's initial offerings, while better than I'd expected, cover a lot of familiar bases. Terraria, Badland, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP 2, Dead Rising 2, The Walking Dead, even Minecraft Pocket Edition...you can already get all these in many other places. To help set it apart from its competitors, Amazon included an app store, gaming and wireless controller support to Fire TV. Earlier rumors suggest Apple will bring similar features to its next generation Apple TV, adding support for games and Apple's iOS 7 controllers to the media box. Other rumors point to a device with the router features of the AirPort Express as well as a possible cable TV tie-in with partners such as Comcast. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple's First Turkish Store Opens to Press, Tim Cook Won't Attend Grand Opening • iPhone 5s Demand Wanes in China, While Interest in iPhone 6 Accelerates • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content • 'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff' Coming to iPhone and iPad April 10    

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple debuted its Touch ID fingerprint sensor in September of 2013 with the iPhone 5s, making it the first major smartphone to include fingerprint recognition technology. Samsung followed with its own version of a fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy S5, which is slated to be released on April 11. A new YouTube video from Tanner Marsh compares Touch ID on iPhone 5s with the fingerprint scanner of the upcoming Galaxy S5, walking through the process of setting up fingerprint recognition on both devices and comparing and contrasting some of the available functionality. The two fingerprint scanners are quite different, with Apple's Touch ID utilizing a round home button that captures a motionless fingerprint while Samsung's sensor is activated using a swiping motion that scans the finger from base to tip using a rectangular home button. iPhone 5s users may be familiar with the setup process of Touch ID, which includes placing each finger on the home button multiple times in order to register a fingerprint from multiple angles. Samsung's setup is a bit different, involving multiple swipes downward on the screen over the home button. Early reports suggested Samsung's fingerprint sensor was somewhat inaccurate, and the video depicts some of the same problems with fingerprint recognition. Marsh notes that he has to swipe directly over the center of the home button for a fingerprint to register and describes how the sensor on the S5 is hard to use with a single hand.It seems like it's sort of hit or miss unless you swipe directly over the center of the button, covering most of it with your finger. Moreover because you have to swipe starting from the bottom of the touchscreen it makes the process nearly impossible with one hand. As for the iPhone 5s, because the device essentially captures multiple scans of your finger in various positions you can literally unlock it from any orientation including upside down, left, right, or diagonally. It doesn't matter. It will almost always recognize your finger.While Samsung's fingerprint sensor appears to have some issues, Apple's Touch ID faced its own problems early on, including "fade," or the increasingly erratic performance of the fingerprint sensor over time. iOS 7.1, released in March, solved the issue, bringing much-needed improvements to Touch ID's fingerprint recognition capabilities. Apple also faced significant scrutiny over both hacking and privacy concerns after the launch of the iPhone 5s, leading it to publish multiple documents detailing how the feature works, assuring users that only mathematical representations of fingerprints are stored in the A7 processor’s Secure Enclave, which is walled off from the rest of iOS. Samsung may face some of the same scrutiny following the April 11 release of the Galaxy S5, especially as the company has plans to allow developers access to the feature. Samsung's S5 will also be compatible with PayPal's mobile payment app, allowing users to authorize PayPal payments with a fingerprint, a feature that could also cause concern with some users. Apple has plans to enter the payment arena with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner, but has yet to do so. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Build 13D33 to Developers • Nest Stops Selling 'Protect' Smoke Detectors Over Safety Concerns • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content • 'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff' Coming to iPhone and iPad April 10 • 'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' for iPad Now Available in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada • Jailbreak Tweak Auxo 2 Brings Unified Control Center, Gesture-Based Multitasking to iOS    

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is exploring touch screen technology that determines pressure sensitivity using a combination of capacitive touch and infrared light sensing, according to a new patent application recently published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider). The patent describes a method of determining the force of a user's touch on a capacitive screen using infrared transmit lines from transmitters and receivers positioned under the frame of the cover glass. Capacitive touch combined with light would determine both the position of the finger and distinguish a soft touch from a harder touch, allowing Apple to implement gestures that could vary with force. Using infrared light to determine where a user touches a screen is a method known as Frustrated Total Internal Reflection, or FTIR. FTIR is essentially a light-based way to detect multitouch, bouncing infrared light off of the touch screen to detect interference from a finger. When combined with capacitive touch, the interference measurements can also deduce force. FTIR has been used by Microsoft for its Perceptive Pixel products, as noted in Apple's patent application. Microsoft offers several large-screened multi-touch sensing devices that use FTIR and offers a technology called Microsoft PixelSense, which is used in the Samsung SUR40. As implemented by Microsoft, the FTIR technology, which uses cameras to detect light refracted by pressure, allows multiple people to use the device at once and it also recognizes and distinguishes objects that are not fingers. Though Apple has not yet built pressure sensitivity into the touch screens of its mobile devices, the company has been looking at various techniques for implementing pressure detection over the last several years. In addition to infrared light, Apple has explored force sensors, spring membranes, and pressure sensitive device casings. Given Apple's continued interest in pressure sensitive touch screens and competing products that already include pressure sensitivity, such as Microsoft's Surface Pro line of tablets, the implementation of the technology in some form or another seems like a logical step for Apple's future mobile devices. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content • 'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff' Coming to iPhone and iPad April 10 • 'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' for iPad Now Available in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada • Jailbreak Tweak Auxo 2 Brings Unified Control Center, Gesture-Based Multitasking to iOS • MacHeist Apple Design Award Bundle Offers 9 Mac Apps for $20 • Upcoming Reversible USB Cable Depicted in New Renderings    

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple purchased automatic speech recognition company Novauris Technologies last year, reports TechCrunch. Novauris' main product was NovaSystem, a server-based distributed speech recognition system. According to the company's website, its technology is able to handle multiple simultaneous voice requests, recognizing complete phrases and analyzing syllable structure for better speech recognition. NovaSearch doesn’t carry out recognition at the word or sequence-of-words level, but rather identifies complete phrases from start to finish by matching them against a potentially huge inventory of possible utterances. This enables it to assemble information about what has been spoken over utterances of virtually any length and take near-optimal decisions.While the Novauris website does not mention its acquisition by Apple, TechCrunch notes that a phone call to the U.K. offices was answered with "Apple," by Novauris's co-founder, who confirmed that the team now works for Apple. Novauris's founders are well-known speech researchers and formerly worked at Dragon Systems, the company behind products like Dragon NaturallySpeaking and DragonDictate, now owned by Nuance.One of the biggest differentiators about Novauris in terms of the competitive landscape, is that they operated in both the embedded and server space, and they also owned the core engine. This of course would make them a valuable asset for Apple, which had tried to acquire Nuance, the technology that powers Apple's Siri – a partnership that has long been known, but only officially confirmed last year.Novauris's technology has been used by companies like Verizon Wireless, Panasonic, Samsung, Alpine, BMW, and more. It has also been used to power several different voice-activated mapping systems, as seen in the demo video below. The acquisition took place in 2013 and the Novauris team has been working on improving Siri, Apple's voice-based digital assistant. Apple is rumored to be working on making some significant upgrades to Siri with iOS 8, possibly expanding its ability to interface with third-party apps. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content • 'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff' Coming to iPhone and iPad April 10 • 'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' for iPad Now Available in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada • Jailbreak Tweak Auxo 2 Brings Unified Control Center, Gesture-Based Multitasking to iOS • MacHeist Apple Design Award Bundle Offers 9 Mac Apps for $20 • Upcoming Reversible USB Cable Depicted in New Renderings    

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's customers may receive a boost in performance and improved battery life from the company's 2014 products thanks to improvements in Micron's LPDDR4 DRAM technology, claims Matt Margolis (Via 9to5Mac). According to Margolis, Micron is ramping up production of its DDR4 RAM and will supply Apple with memory chips for its 2014 iPad, iPhone and Mac models, which are expected to debut later this year. Margolis believes a "mystery" $250 million payment Micro received for "product to be supplied through September 2016" is from Apple as part of a multi-year deal. Apple is a current DRAM customer of Micron Technology, having last used Micron’s LPDDR3 DRAM memory in 2013. Micron presented detailed benefits and product highlights regarding their LPDDR4 DRAM Memory technology almost a year ago. Furthermore, just yesterday Micron’s Vice President of Wireless Solutions Marketing published an article highlighting the benefits of Micron’s next generation DRAM LPDDR4, which tells me this technology is ready for the big show. Lastly, Micron received a mystery payment of $250m from one customer that was reported during their Q1 2014 conference call and their 10-Q indicates that the payment was “for product to be supplied through September 2016″. Apple is in an arm’s race to improve the performance of their mobile, tablet and ultrabook devices and improve overall battery life. There appears to be little doubt that Apple is going to be showing off Micron’s LPDDR4 DRAM memory across their 2014 iPhones, Macbook and Tablets. You can take my word for it that Apple users are going to love how “lightning quick” the 2014 devices will be compared to the 2013 devices. Though not confirmed, this transaction is plausible as Apple currently uses Micron’s LPDDR3 DRAM in its 2013 models under the brand name of Elpida, a company that Micron acquired in July 2013. Even earlier, Apple reportedly inked a deal for DRAM chips with Elpida in 2012 that purchased half of the capacity at the firm's main manufacturing facility in Japan. This new DDR4 RAM technology offers two times the bandwidth performance of the previous genration LPDDR3, while keeping power consumption low, claims Reynette Au, Micron's Vice President of Wireless Solutions Marketing, in an article at Wirelessweek. These technological advancements in DDR4 RAM may complement Apple's 64-bit A-series processor, which powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and Retina iPad mini. Detailed analysis from Anandtech claims Apple's current A7 processor is so powerful that users are likely to encounter RAM bottlenecks and battery consumption limitations before overextending the CPU. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station • Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content • 'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff' Coming to iPhone and iPad April 10 • 'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' for iPad Now Available in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada • Jailbreak Tweak Auxo 2 Brings Unified Control Center, Gesture-Based Multitasking to iOS • MacHeist Apple Design Award Bundle Offers 9 Mac Apps for $20 • Upcoming Reversible USB Cable Depicted in New Renderings    

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for 2014 will be held June 2-6 at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco. The company also announced that tickets for the event will go on sale starting now through Monday, April 7 starting at 10:00 AM. PDT Tickets will be issued to attendees via a random lottery. “We have the most amazing developer community in the world and have a great week planned for them,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Every year the WWDC audience becomes more diverse, with developers from almost every discipline you can imagine and coming from every corner of the globe. We look forward to sharing with them our latest advances in iOS and OS X so they can create the next generation of great apps.” As was the case in previous years, Apple's requirements for purchasing a ticket to WWDC include membership in one of the company's paid developer programs. Developers who apply for a ticket via lottery will know their status by Monday, April 7 at 5:00 PM. PDT. Student scholarships will be given to 200 students, who will be able to attend the conference for free. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'FTL: Faster Than Light' Now Available for iPad with New Content • 'Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff' Coming to iPhone and iPad April 10 • 'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' for iPad Now Available in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada • Jailbreak Tweak Auxo 2 Brings Unified Control Center, Gesture-Based Multitasking to iOS • MacHeist Apple Design Award Bundle Offers 9 Mac Apps for $20 • Upcoming Reversible USB Cable Depicted in New Renderings • SITU Smart Food Scale Connects to iPad to Relay Nutritional Information • Popular Calendar Replacement Fantastical Comes to iPad    

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