posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today updated iWork for iCloud with support for up to eight new languages and more than 50 new fonts. The changes were added to the cloud-based versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote and were first reported by German blog Macerkopf. New iCloud languages include French, German, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese, Arabic (Pages only) and Hebrew (Pages only) with Pages receiving 8 new languages and Number and Keynotes now supporting six. Apple also expanded the number of available fonts, adding 50 new font types that improve the creative options available to users as well as add support for the new languages. Other changes include a revised main toolbar that now allows users to easily change the name of a document and other-app specific improvements like the ability to undo the deletion of section breaks while editing in Pages. Apple introduced iWork for iCloud at WWDC 2013 and has been steadily improving the service with small, but regular updates. The company still maintains a desktop version of the productivity suite and recently updated its iWork apps with new features and a redesign for OS X Yosemite. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, shipping estimates for the iPhone 6 Plus have improved slightly, with the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers now carrying a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days in the United States. Shipping estimates for the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers have also seen improvement, going from 3 to 4 weeks to 2 to 3 weeks. While shipping estimates for the 16GB and 64GB iPhone 6 Plus have improved, shipping estimates for the harder-to-find 128GB iPhone 6 Plus remain at 3 to 4 weeks, suggesting the higher-capacity model is the most constrained. Apple is also seeing improved supply of the iPhone 6, and the 16GB device now has a shipping estimate of 5 to 7 days, down from 7 to 10 days. Higher-capacity 64 and 128GB iPhone 6 models continue to ship in 7 to 10 days. Many other countries in Europe and Asia are also seeing the same improved shipping times, as are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In store supply of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus also appears to be improving somewhat, as many stores across the country list availability of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 16 and 64GB configurations. Apple Stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments on a regular basis, but stock can go quickly because many retail locations are still seeing lines more than two months after the phones first went on sale. Tracking tool iStockNow can be used to find where iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices are available. During Apple's fourth quarter earnings call on October 20, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was "far outstripping" supply, and that the company was "not close" to having a balance between supply and demand at that time. Apple has, however, been working hard to improve iPhone 6 and 6 Plus supply, reportedly delaying mass production of the rumored iPad Pro in order to focus its resources on higher iPhone 6 Plus output. Early analysis has suggested that consumers in the U.S. are favoring the iPhone 6 over the 6 Plus by 3:1, but as supply of both models remains constrained, it is impossible to determine the true ratio of iPhone 6 demand vs. iPhone 6 Plus demand at this time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the first beta of OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite to developers, just three days after releasing OS X 10.10.1 to the public. The new beta, build 14C68k, is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and should be available in the Mac Dev Center soon. Like OS X 10.10.1, as a minor update, OS X 10.10.2 is likely to bring bug fixes and performance improvements to the operating system. OS X 10.10.1 introduced several reliability improvements, including improvements to Wi-Fi, but many users have still been reporting issues with Wi-Fi stability in Yosemite. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Billboard is planning a major overhaul of its Billboard 200 chart in the coming weeks, which will take into account the growing popularity of streaming music. Billboard's new methodology will shift away from simply tracking album sales, adding both digital track sales and streaming music into its algorithm. Published weekly, the Billboard 200 is a chart that ranks the 200 best selling music albums in the United States. At the current time, the Billboard 200 chart only takes into account retail (both physical and digital) album sales, but the addition of digital track sales and streaming music from services like Beats and Spotify will allow the chart to give a clearer picture of overall popularity by taking into account consumption activity rather than measuring based on straight sales. Beginning on December 3, and measuring data during Thanksgiving week, the Billboard 200 will count 10 individual song sales or 1,500 song streams as a standard album sale. Billboard plans to incorporate data from every major streaming audio subscription service, including Spotify, Beats Music, Google Play, and Xbox Music. Ad-supported radio services like Pandora and iTunes Radio will not be counted, as Billboard is only planning to focus on on-demand services."Adding streaming information makes the chart a better representation of music consumption activity," says Silvio Pietroluongo, VP of charts and data development at Billboard. "While an extremely valuable measurement, album sales would mostly capture the initial impulse only, without indicating the depth of consumption thereafter. Someone could listen to the album just once, or listen to one track or a number of tracks 100 times. We are now able to incorporate those plays as part of an album consumption ranking throughout one's possession of an album, extending beyond the initial purchase or listen."According to Billboard, incorporating individual song sales and streaming music could see some artists moving up the charts, including Ariana Grande and Maroon 5, both of which have higher streaming and digital song sales than album sales. The methodology change was done under the guidance of music industry executives, to represent the growing popularity of streaming music services. According to Nielsen and Billboard's mid-2014 Music Industry Report [PDF] on-demand streaming music sales were up 42 percent year-over-year, with streams surpassing 70 billion songs. On-demand streaming music services are now in hundreds of countries, and the most popular streaming service, Spotify, now has more than 10 million subscribers. Non-paid radio-style streaming services like Pandora have also exploded in popularity, with Pandora hitting 76.4 million active monthly users back in August. Apple's own streaming music service, Beats Music, had only 110,000 subscribers when it was purchased by Apple, but it may see an explosion in growth next year as Apple is said to be planning to rebrand the service with a lower price. It may also be incorporated into iTunes and bundled onto iOS devices directly. Though Billboard has plans to update its Billboard 200 chart with new methodology that takes into account streaming music services, a pure album sales chart called Top Album Sales will also be published to maintain the existing Billboard 200 methodology. Genre album charts will also continue to be sale-based at the current time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Like Walmart, Best Buy has decided to offer some pre-Black Friday sales, which start today and last through the weekend. Best Buy is discounting all of its original iPad Air stock by $80 to $100, dropping the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air to $319.99. Higher-capacity Wi-Fi only models are discounted by up to $85, while some cellular models are discounted by as much as $100. For example the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air from AT&T is available for $479.99. Best Buy is also offering the fifth-generation 64GB iPod touch for $249.99, which is $50 off the standard retail price. The deal is available for all colors Best Buy has in stock, including Space Gray, Blue, Pink, Silver, and Yellow. As for Apple accessories, Best Buy is selling the older Solo HD Drenched Beats by Dr. Dre headphones for $99.99, a discount of $70. The discount is available for black, white, and red models. When Black Friday rolls around, Best Buy will offer some of the best deals available on Apple's newest product, the iPad Air 2. The retailer is planning to discount all iPad Air 2 models by $100, which drops the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 to $399. Best Buy will also be discounting all iPad mini 3 models, dropping the price of the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model to $324.99. For a full list of Best Buy's upcoming Black Friday deals and the deals that other retailers are planning to offer, make sure to check out our comprehensive Black Friday Roundup. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Following the launch of iOS 8 back in September, many iPhone 4s users reported widespread issues ranging from slow performance to choppy animations. With Monday's release of iOS 8.1.1 promising "increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S", Ars Technica has now put those claims to the test.iOS 8.1.1 improves performance in a few specific places, ones that may well be important to heavy users. However, it doesn't improve responsiveness or consistency, two of the problems you'll notice the most if you upgrade from iOS 7. Let's look at the short list of things you can expect to improve if you're using an older iDevice and the longer list of things that won't.In its study, Ars Technica found launch times of system apps like Safari, Camera, and Messages essentially unchanged from iOS 8.0 for users with Apple's A5-based phones and tablets. The one exception was Safari, which saw a minor improvement compared to iOS 8.0, but all system apps still took considerably longer to launch on iOS 8.1.1 than on iOS 7.1.2. Interface lag such as for bringing up the keyboard or Control Center also remains an issue for these devices under iOS 8.1.1 The one bright spot Ars ran into was, surprisingly, in long-term speed and stability. Under certain circumstances, iOS 8.1.1 was found to in fact improve stability and performance despite the confines of 512MB of RAM on these devices. Tests involved loading up multiple memory-intensive tabs in Safari and then using multitasking to switch away from and then back to Safari to measure reloading times.It's hard to say exactly what Apple has done to improve performance under these RAM-starved conditions, at least not without more input from Apple (the company has declined to comment for this story). We also can't list exactly when users can expect to see improvements, beyond the "play around in other apps and then jump back to Safari" test we've engineered here. The best we can say is that something about the process of loading and ejecting processes to and from the A5's 512MB of RAM could cause slowness and instability in iOS 8.1, and whatever the problem was has been at least partially addressed in iOS 8.1.1. Overall, improvements for A5-based devices under iOS 8.1.1 are minor, as has been shown in other testing, although some will appreciate the improved multitasking performance with Safari. As Ars notes, iOS 8.1.1 isn't exactly the vast improvement for the iPhone 4s that iOS 7.1 was for the iPhone 4, but it does offer nominal improvements to the overall experience without making other areas worse. Apple's A5 devices are definitely showing their age, although they do remain on the market with the original iPad Mini and iPhone 4s being sold as low-end options and the fifth-generation iPod touch still being the current model of that device. The spread between these A5 devices and Apple's latest A8-based iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 models is indeed significant, and it is clearly posing challenges for Apple and developers alike to continue adequately supporting these low-end devices. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iPhone 6 continues to outsell the iPhone 6 Plus around the world, but the larger-sized phone is proving to be a significant hit in some markets, reports AppLovin in its latest November 2014 report. According to AppLovin's analytics data, the iPhone 6 outsold the 6 Plus in an 80/20 ratio overall in the first 45 days of availability. While Europe, North America and Australia roughly follow this global sales distribution or lean slightly more heavily toward the iPhone 6, the trend changes in Asia, where the iPhone 6 Plus typically accounts for 35 percent or more of iPhone sales. South Korea, home to rivals Samsung and LG, is the only Asian country studied with an iPhone 6 Plus adoption rate below 35 percent. The country has a lower 71/29 split, perhaps related to competition from Samsung's Galaxy Series and LG's G3 phone in the large-screen market or simply due to customer preference for other reasons. The split between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may still be artificially constrained due to continuing shortages of the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but AppLovin's data offers an interesting glimpse of screen size preferences around the world. The ratio also varies significantly by data source, with a recent survey putting the U.S. ratio at 3:1 in favor of the iPhone 6 over the first four weeks of availability while AppLovin's data points to a 5:1 split. As discussed by Apple's iPhone marketing chief Greg Joswiak at the Code Conference last month, the true ratio of demand won't be known until supply shortages are alleviated, but he did acknowledge that the ratio varies from country to country with Asian customers typically proving more likely to prefer larger screens, an observation supported by AppLovin's data. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Foxconn Technology Group has plans to spend NT$80 Billion, or $2.6 billion, over the course of the next two years on a new factory in Taiwan to produce displays exclusively for Apple, according to Bloomberg. In a conversation with Sophia Chang, a public relations representative for Foxconn's display unit Innolux Corp., Chang stated that equipment installation will begin next month, although she would not confirm that Apple is the client for the facility. Following an urgent request for exclusive capacity, the mass production of panels is expected to begin by the end of 2015. Chang also mentioned that the advanced sixth-generation display plant will be built at Innolux's Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan. The forecast details that the funds for the plant will be spent over a two-year building period with the company planning to hire 2,300 employees to operate the facility. Foxconn has been a longtime manufacturer of Apple's products, primarily handling final assembly of the devices. After attempting to partner with Sharp in 2012 to focus on advancing LCD technologies, Foxconn was rumored to be in talks to utilize the Japanese display manufacturer's technology in order to start producing iPhone and iPad displays. The company struggled to meet high demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when the two phones launched earlier this fall, sparking a large-scale hiring effort by Foxconn to meet production demands. Demand has been so high that Apple has reportedly tapped secondary manufacturer Pegatron to boost production on the iPhone 6, and perhaps even the iPhone 6 Plus, to help meet demand. The new Taiwan plant announcement comes as Foxconn has reportedly been in discussions for a $5.7 billion display factory in Zhengzhou, China. Foxconn has been angling to become a larger player in the display market, seeking to win orders for iPhone and iPad displays and avoiding the sourcing of those parts from vendors like Samsung, LG Display, Sharp, and Japan Display. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Things for iOS Now Free as Apple's Featured 'Free App of the Week' • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Corning today unveiled its new Gorilla Glass 4, its next-generation glass production that is even more resistant than previous versions to glass shattering drops. According to Corning, the company extensively studied shattered screens to understand how and why they break. Corning scientists examined hundreds of broken devices and found that damage caused by sharp contact accounted for more than 70 percent of field failures. The scientists then developed new drop-test methods that simulate real-world break events, based on thousands of hours analyzing cover glass that had broken in the field or laboratory. The culmination of this testing was Gorilla Glass 4, which reportedly is two times stronger than competing products and can survive 80 percent of face-down falls onto rough surfaces such as sandpaper. The company also claims the glass retains most of its initial strength following a shatter-free fall. Corning is long-time supplier for Apple, providing the Cupertino company with Gorilla Glass for its iPhone and iPad lineup. Apple considered using the scratch-resistant sapphire for its iPhone display, but its partnership with GT Advanced fell apart when the supplier declared bankruptcy earlier this year. Corning says product shipments of Gorilla Glass 4 to customers are already underway, making it a strong candidate for inclusion on next year's iOS devices should sapphire remain an infeasible option. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Despite Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs movie being in the casting process and moving towards full fledged production, Sony Pictures has dropped the movie and put it "in turnaround", which allows another large studio to purchase the movie and take over, reports Deadline. The report also notes that Universal Studios is the likely landing destination for the film. In a shocking development, the Aaron Sorkin-scripted film about Apple genius Steve Jobs has been put in turnaround by Sony Pictures, and Universal Pictures is making a strong play for the movie. The film, an adaptation of the bestselling Walter Isaacson biography, has Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle set to direct, with Michael Fassbender recently courted to play Jobs. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady.It's unknown why Sony Pictures, who has been developing the movie for two years, would drop the film as its about to wrap up casting and enter production, but Deadline reports that Universal Studios is keen on picking up the movie and may do so by tomorrow. It is rare for a well-known project to be dropped by a studio and made available for rival studios to purchase. As reported by Deadline, the film is unlikely to lose any momentum if it's picked up by Universal Studios, which suggests the movie will likely move forward with the filmmakers' current plans. Recently, Christian Bale also dropped out of the film because he reportedly feel he was not right for the part. X-Men: First Class actor Michael Fassbender has been rumored to be the frontrunner for the role with Sorkin saying that casting announcements are imminent. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Continues to Boost Maps Efforts with New Business Data Providers • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
It's widely known by now that Apple and GT Advanced's sapphire partnership fell apart after the latter company was unable to produce enough high-quality sapphire to meet Apple's production needs, but *The Wall Street Journal* has taken a deeper look into GT Advanced's failures and its defective sapphire boules, which ultimately led the company to file for bankruptcy. Apple and GT Advanced's sapphire partnership may have been doomed from the start because GT Advanced had no experience with mass producing sapphire before it inked a deal with Apple. Its first attempt at a large 578 pound sapphire boule, created just before the deal was finalized, was reportedly "flawed and unusable." Images of cracked and damaged boules produced by GT Advanced GT Advanced COO Daniel Squiller stated in a court affidavit that Apple had basically forced the company into a contract with onerous and unfavorable terms that were impossible to fulfill, but the profile from The Wall Street Journal, largely sourced from Apple's court filings, paints a very different picture, putting much of the fault on GT Advanced's mismanagement. In an effort to ramp up production quickly to meet Apple's needs, GT Advanced hired hundreds of workers "with little oversight" before all of the company's furnaces were fully functional. Bored employees were paid overtime to sweep floors, while others skipped work all together.GT quickly set out to hire 700 staffers. Hiring moved so quickly that at one point in late spring, more than 100 recent hires didn't know who they reported to, a former manager said. Two other former workers said there was no attendance policy, which led to an unusual number of sick days. GT managers in the spring authorized unlimited overtime to fill furnaces materials to grow sapphire. But GT hadn't built enough furnaces yet, so many workers had nothing to do, two former employees said. "We just kept sweeping the floors over and over," one of the former employees said. "I just saw money flying out the door."The first sapphire boule that GT produced for Apple after the deal was inked came out "cracked so badly" that all of the sapphire was unusable. GT Advanced was spending 30 days and $20,000 on each sapphire boule, and according to people familiar with Apple's operations, "more than half of the boules were unusable." In fact, GT stored broken and damaged boules in an area that employees ended up labeling the "boule graveyard." GT Advanced attempted to switch to smaller sapphire boules in June, but production still wasn't up to par, with Apple receiving only 10 percent of the originally promised sapphire in the weeks leading up to the launch of the iPhone 6. It quickly became evident that Apple would not be using sapphire in the iPhone 6, and in September, GT began running into serious money trouble. Facing cash flow issues, the company requested its final $139 loan payment from Apple, which was initially withheld because production milestones were missed. Apple offered $100 million, a delayed repayment schedule, a higher price for some of the sapphire, and a relaxation of the exclusivity agreements between the two companies, and a plan was in place for the two companies to meet on October 7. GT Advanced ended up filing for bankruptcy on October 6, however, opting to keep the filing quiet because GT executives believed Apple would "try to thwart them." Following the filing, Apple and GT reached an agreement to end their partnership and dissolve their contracts, with GT Advanced shutting down all sapphire production at the Mesa, Arizona plant. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Walmart today announced that it is planning to offer discounts on select Apple products a week ahead of Black Friday, with the deals kicking off on Friday, November 21 at 8:00 a.m. at Walmart stores across the United States."The retail environment is incredibly competitive and we know that our customers are looking to us for the lowest prices and great deals all season long," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. "That's why we've more than doubled the amount of items included in our Pre-Black Friday Event. Combined with our Black Friday weekend, there is absolutely no other place to shop this holiday season."Walmart will be selling the new 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air 2 for $489, with a $100 Walmart gift card included in the purchase. That drops the price down to $389, an impressive $110 off Apple's price. That's almost on par with Best Buy's iPad Air 2 deal, which will see the retailer discounting all of its iPad Air 2 stock by $100. Walmart will be selling the 16GB iPhone 6 for $179 with a two-year contract, which is $20 off Apple's standard price, but it will also include a $75 Walmart gift card. A similar $75 gift card deal is available for the iPhone 5s, priced at $79 with a two-year contract. iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s purchases made with AT&T Next or Verizon Edge will require $0 down from qualified customers and will include the gift card. Walmart's deals will be available for as long as "supplies last," but it's likely that hot ticket items like the new iPad Air 2 and the iPhone 6 will go quickly. Earlier this month, Walmart began matching prices with Amazon.com and other online retailers, and Walmart will be matching prices on select Black Friday deals from other companies as well. Along with its pre-Black Friday sales, Walmart will be offering deals that are limited to November 27 and November 28 (the traditional Black Friday day), including a 16GB Wi-Fi only original iPad mini for $199 plus a $30 gift card and a $100 gift card with the purchase of an original iPad Air. For a full list of Walmart's Black Friday deals and the deals other retailers have shared thus far, make sure to check out our comprehensive Black Friday Roundup. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'WALTR' for Mac Lets Users Upload Any Media File to an iOS Device for Native Playback • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
As part of Apple's revamp of its recently acquired Beats Music streaming service, the company plans to bundle Beats directly into iOS, reports Financial Times.Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming. The inclusion of the paid-for Beats service in an iOS software update could happen as early as March, according to people familiar with the situation.The report notes that Beats will continue to be a paid service and will likely be rebranded under the iTunes umbrella. The move could come alongside the launch of the Apple Watch, with users able to push Beats music from their iPhones to the wearable device. While Apple has praised the Beats Music model, highlighting the curation aspect of the service as a major reason for acquiring the company, Beats has struggled to gain subscribers. Estimates put Beats' subscriber base at just 110,000, dwarfed by several other services such as Spotify that offer both free and paid options. Apple's acquisition of Beats has been seen as major avenue to boost interest in the service, but so far cross-promotion has been fairly limited. A revamp of Beats under the iTunes banner and including access directly in iOS may, however, substantially improve customer interest. Still, Apple has struggled with streaming music in its first foray with the ad-supported iTunes Radio. The service is still available only in the United States and Australia despite rumors of a significant international expansion for early 2014, and the service has reportedly underperformed Apple's goals of driving listeners to purchase tracks from the iTunes Store. But with a three-pronged strategy of traditional iTunes Store purchases, ad-supported iTunes Radio streaming and a subscription Beats service all integrated on iOS, Apple may finally be in a position to satisfy many music listeners. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update • LittleBits Introduces Do-It-Yourself Smart Home Kit for $249

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has changed the wording for free games in its App Store, and the app purchase buttons that once read "Free" for apps with no cost now read "Get" instead. The change has been implemented on both the iOS App Store and the desktop App Store. Apps that have an upfront cost continue to be listed with a price underneath, but apps that do not now display the new wording. "Get" has replaced "Free" in the main App Store view on iOS, on the App Store Top Charts, and on individual app pages. The main App Store view on the desktop is still using the former "Free" wording, but it's likely to update soon. It is not entirely clear why Apple has decided to replace Free with Get, but it may have to do with the growing sentiment that apps with in-app purchases are not free. Earlier this year, the European Commission asked Apple and Google to implement changes to the way they sell apps, to avoid misleading customers about "free" games that are not actually free. Back in July, Google announced that it would cease calling games with in-app purchases "free," prompting the European Commission to pressure Apple into making the same moves by saying the company had not done enough to adequately address its concerns. In a statement following the EU's accusations, Apple pointed towards its "strong" parental controls, labels for in-app purchases, and kid sections in the App Store. Apple also highlighted "Ask to Buy," an iOS 8 Family Sharing feature, and said that it would "continue to work with the EC member states to respond to their concerns." As the App Store has evolved, Apple has made significant changes to attempt to adequately inform customers about in-app purchases. All apps with in-app purchases are clearly denoted with an "Offers In-App Purchases" disclosure on their purchase pages and in the App Store Top Charts. Apple requires users to enter a passcode before making an in-app purchase, notifies consumers when an in-app purchase is about to be made, and obtains express permission with a popup warning. iOS 8 introduced even more control over app purchases, letting parents approve or deny their children's purchases via Family Sharing. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Sync Solver' Allows Fitbit Users to View Fitness Related Data in Apple's Health App • Mophie Launches 'Powerstation Plus' External Batteries With Integrated Cables, 2.4A Charging • SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS Gaming Controller Launches on Apple Store • Parrot Bebop Drone Landing at Apple Stores in December for $499 • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update • LittleBits Introduces Do-It-Yourself Smart Home Kit for $249

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Energy technology group Intelligent Energy Holdings today announced the retail launch of the Upp in the United Kingdom. The Upp device is a portable power solution driven by a hydrogen fuel cell that is used to charge USB-compatible devices. A rumor this past summer claimed Intelligent Energy was partnering with Apple on a patent acquisition and to potentially produce fuel cell technology for future Macbooks and other portable devices. It is unclear if this Upp sales deal is related to that rumored partnership, but Apple patent applications have revealed the company's interest in fuel cell technology over the years. Using miniaturized hydrogen fuel cells, Upp can deliver instant energy boosts to any USB-powered technology such as smartwatches, phones, portable gaming handhelds, e-readers and digital cameras. The Upp uses snap-on refillable cartridges, providing a charge which is equivalent to "the same speed as plugging it into the wall." The product can be purchased in a starter pack that comes with the Upp Fuel Cell and one Upp Cartridge for £149, or around $230. “Upp represents the start of the next generation of energy devices, a signal to the portable electronics market that customers are ready to adopt transformative technologies," Intelligent Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Henri Winand said about the device. "Consumers want energy independence as the demand and reliance on portable devices accelerates.” The company promises that one cartridge will last for about a week. When in need of one, users can use the Upp smartphone app to find a local Upp Cartridge exchange, hand in the used cartridge, and purchase a new one for £5.95, or about $9. That week of power on average equates to about 900 additional hours of standby or 32 hours of call time, 26 hours of video, or alternatively an extra 40 hours of web browsing. Pocket-lint went hands-on with the Upp and pointed out that the device advises the user to charge the fuel cell itself in a traditional wall-socket manner before attaching a cartridge and a device needing charge. Not doing so may massively undercut the company's "one-week of charge" claim, but could still feasibly provide a handful of zero to 100% charges. They also discovered a few minor caveats to the Upp's design, calling it a "weighty and large beast" and that it "lets out a weird hissing sound and faint odor" when charging up a device. They also pointed concern towards the small number of retail vendors offering cartridge trade-ins at the moment.It's also worth noting that it's a fledging technology that will no doubt get better over time - hopefully lighter at least - and more widely supported. For now though, if you plan a long trip up a mountain or something, you might find the £149 starter pack (Upp cell and cartridge included) a useful addition to your gear. The Upp also comes with a downloadable app that displays usage statistics, power levels, Upp Cartridge exchange locations, FAQs, and customer support and can be downloaded from the App Store. The Upp can be purchased at Apple Stores in the UK or on Upp's official website. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update • LittleBits Introduces Do-It-Yourself Smart Home Kit for $249 • PayPal Launches Mobile Payments App for Pebble Smartwatch • Facebook Introduces New Standalone 'Groups' App • OWC Opens Pre-Orders for New 12-Port Thunderbolt 2 Dock • New 'Loose Leaf' App for the iPad Aims to Replace Scratch Paper

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today revamped its online store and sent out emails to customers in preparation for the upcoming holiday shopping season. The new holiday promotion emphasizes gift ideas with a focus on iOS devices, Macs and Beats audio hardware. Immediately below the tagline "From one gift come many," Apple places its focus on its iPad line of tablets, which recently were refreshed with the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. The company promotes the utility of the devices, noting how people can use the tablets to complete a variety of tasks, including choreographing a recital or exploring the North Pole. Apple next highlights the Mac with an advertorial that entices people to create the next holiday classic in a subtle reference to last year's award-winning "Misunderstood" holiday commercial. Other showcased products include the Apple TV, new Apple Store gift cards, the iPhone and Beats by Dr. Dre audio accessories. Apple traditionally offers a Black Friday sale to kick off the holiday shopping season with modest discounts on its product lineup. Apple has yet to announce its 2014 Black Friday promotion, but the company last year offered Apple Store gift cards with the purchase of select items including iOS devices, Macs and various Apple-related accessories. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Launches Lightroom 5.7 with Built-In Migration Tool for Aperture and iPhoto • Logitech Announces New AnyAngle Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update • LittleBits Introduces Do-It-Yourself Smart Home Kit for $249 • PayPal Launches Mobile Payments App for Pebble Smartwatch • Facebook Introduces New Standalone 'Groups' App • OWC Opens Pre-Orders for New 12-Port Thunderbolt 2 Dock • New 'Loose Leaf' App for the iPad Aims to Replace Scratch Paper

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is not planning to abandon its now-defunct Mesa, Arizona sapphire facility, reports Bloomberg. The company has told city officials that it remains committed to bringing jobs and manufacturing to Mesa, Arizona, following the bankruptcy that caused hundreds of GT Advanced employees to be laid off."They've indicated their commitment to us: They want to repurpose that building and use it again," Mesa City Manager Christopher Brady said in a recent interview. Apple has said it's focused "on preserving jobs in Arizona" and promised to "work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps."Back in October, Apple confirmed in a statement that it would look for other ways to utilize its Mesa, Arizona facility, stating that it "remained committed to the city" and planned to help GT Advanced employees who had been impacted by the bankruptcy to find new jobs. Apple initially chose Mesa, Arizona as the site for its sapphire facility after city officials agreed to expedite permitting approvals, build out power infrastructure, and cut property taxes. Apple insisted on 100 percent renewable energy for the facility, which required the city to construct a new power substation. GT Advanced sapphire facility image via Cult of Mac Mesa also planned to leverage Apple's presence in the city with the creation of a new technology corridor in the area, with several other companies having already expressed interest in being located near Apple."Apple could've invested in a facility literally anywhere in the world," said Mesa Mayor John Giles, who is planning to visit Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, to show the city's support. "There's a reason they came here, and none of those reasons have changed."Apple and GT Advanced reached an agreement to end their partnership back in October, and under the terms of the deal, GT Advanced will wind down operations at the sapphire plant in Arizona before officially closing up shop in December. At the current time, most of the company's employees have already been laid off, while remaining staff cleans and decommissions sapphire furnaces to be sold. It is unclear how Apple will repurpose the facility, but the company has been working hard to bring more Mac production to the United States. Apple's Mac Pro, released in late 2013, was the first Apple product line to be assembled in the United States as a result of the company's efforts to bring manufacturing jobs back to the country. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Chrome for Mac Gains 64-Bit Support in Latest Chrome 39 Update • LittleBits Introduces Do-It-Yourself Smart Home Kit for $249 • PayPal Launches Mobile Payments App for Pebble Smartwatch • Facebook Introduces New Standalone 'Groups' App • OWC Opens Pre-Orders for New 12-Port Thunderbolt 2 Dock • New 'Loose Leaf' App for the iPad Aims to Replace Scratch Paper • 'Minecraft Pocket Edition' Update Brings 'Prettier, Faster, Less Buggier' Experience • Mobile MOBA Game Vainglory, Showcased at iPhone 6 Keynote, Launches Today

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple may introduce its "biggest camera jump ever" in the next-generation iPhone, according to Daring Fireball's John Gruber (via The Tech Block). In a recent episode of his podcast The Talk Show, Gruber said that he heard "from a birdie of a birdie" that Apple is working on major camera improvements.The specific thing I heard is that next years camera might be the biggest camera jump ever. I don't even know what sense this makes, but I've heard that it's some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery.Gruber says that he's heard that Apple's rear camera could incorporate a two-lens system, which sounds somewhat similar to the Duo Lens camera that was introduced with the HTC One M8. In the One M8, a standard sensor is combined with an "Ultrapixel" sensor that lets in much more light to improve image quality. The secondary lens in the M8 is used to provide additional image information to the first lens, which also lets the focus be shifted. Another two lens system that hints at what a two-lens setup in the iPhone might be capable of is being developed by Corephotonics. Corephotonics' system takes advantage of two lenses with separate focal lengths, switching between lenses to magnify distant subjects without the need for a traditional zoom. With two lenses, the Corephotonics system compares images taken from both, choosing the clearest pixels for the best overall photo. It also utilizes a lens that only snaps black and white images, improving fidelity and allowing in additional light. Given the fact that there's little information on what Apple's actually working on for its next-generation iPhone, it's hard to say whether a potential two-lens system would work in the same way as the above examples, but two-lens cameras are a new frontier that manufacturers are exploring in order to improve image quality while keeping devices slim. Apple's iPhone has long been the most popular camera choice on image sharing site Flickr, and over the years, Apple has embraced iPhone photography. Each new iPhone iteration includes significant camera improvements, with its "S" upgrades often bringing the biggest improvements. With the iPhone 4s, for example, Apple introduced an improved 8-megapixel camera that marked a large jump in quality over the iPhone 4 camera, and with the iPhone 5s, an improved sensor, an aperture of f/2.2, a True-Tone flash feature, better autofocus, and a new "Slo-Mo" mode. Apple introduced some impressive camera improvements with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, including a new Apple-designed image signal processor with Focus Pixels, but it's possible even better camera improvements are being saved for the introduction of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in 2015. Just yesterday longtime Apple supplier Sony unveiled a new 21-megapixel "stacked" sensor with ultra fast autofocus and 4K HDR video. While the 21-megapixel version is unlikely to make its way into iOS devices, it's possible that Apple's next iPhone could incorporate an upcoming Sony 16-megapixel sensor that includes the same impressive features. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • PayPal Launches Mobile Payments App for Pebble Smartwatch • Facebook Introduces New Standalone 'Groups' App • OWC Opens Pre-Orders for New 12-Port Thunderbolt 2 Dock • New 'Loose Leaf' App for the iPad Aims to Replace Scratch Paper • 'Minecraft Pocket Edition' Update Brings 'Prettier, Faster, Less Buggier' Experience • Mobile MOBA Game Vainglory, Showcased at iPhone 6 Keynote, Launches Today • Fleksy for iOS Used to Set New World Record for Fastest Touch-Screen Text Message Typing • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With the WatchKit SDK now in the hands of developers, some new information about Apple's wearable device is coming out, including its display resolution, which was not previously disclosed by Apple. According to Apple's human interface guidelines, the two separate Apple Watch models have different screen resolutions. The smaller 38mm Apple Watch has a resolution of 272 x 340, while the larger 42mm Apple Watch has a resolution of 312 x 390. Apple directs developers to provide image assets for different screen sizes "as needed." Developers can use the same image resources as long as they "look good on both screen sizes," but if not, developers will need to provide separate image resources for both devices. Content displayed on Apple Watch "should be the same regardless of the device's screen size," and Apple says developers should "let items expand or contract naturally" to fill available space. Icons on the Apple Watch will have variable sizes based on screen size and type. For example, the Notification Center icon should be 29 pixels for the 38mm Apple Watch, and 36 pixels for the 42mm Apple Watch. A home screen icon on the smaller device should be 172 pixels, while a home screen icon for the larger Apple Watch should be 196 pixels. In addition to unveiling information on the device's resolution, Apple's WatchKit guidelines give some insight into how Apple views the device. Apple asks developers to be mindful of certain concepts when creating content for the Apple Watch, including its deep personalization and connection to people via heart rate and activity monitoring. According to Apple, the Apple Watch aims to "blur the boundaries between physical object and software" through the Digital Crown navigation tool, the Taptic Engine for subtle alerts, and Force Touch, a new touch control system. Thoughtful design, says Apple, "should contribute to this experience of hardware and software feeling indistinguishable." Apple suggests that all content created for the Apple Watch should be "lightweight," as the device is designed for simple interactions that are "accessible and dismissible quickly and easily, for both privacy and usability." Apps must "respect the context" in which the user accesses them, "briefly, frequently, and on a small display." Apple's WatchKit development software became available earlier today, as part of the iOS 8.2 beta. The beta can be downloaded from Apple's developer site, and developers are able to immediately begin creating actionable notifications and Glances for the Apple Watch. Tools for creating full Apple Watch apps will be made available next year. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Facebook Introduces New Standalone 'Groups' App • OWC Opens Pre-Orders for New 12-Port Thunderbolt 2 Dock • New 'Loose Leaf' App for the iPad Aims to Replace Scratch Paper • 'Minecraft Pocket Edition' Update Brings 'Prettier, Faster, Less Buggier' Experience • Mobile MOBA Game Vainglory, Showcased at iPhone 6 Keynote, Launches Today • Fleksy for iOS Used to Set New World Record for Fastest Touch-Screen Text Message Typing • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers • AT&T Bumps 10 GB Mobile Share Plan to 15 GB for a Limited Time

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that its set of WatchKit development tools are now available for developers, allowing them to begin creating apps and software for the company's upcoming Apple Watch. "Apple Watch is our most personal device ever, and WatchKit provides the incredible iOS developer community with the tools they need to create exciting new experiences right on your wrist," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "With the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, developers can now start using WatchKit to create breakthrough new apps, Glances and actionable notifications designed for the innovative Apple Watch interface and work with new technologies such as Force Touch, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine."WatchKit is being released as part of the iOS 8.2 and Xcode 6.2 beta, both of which have been made available to developers today. The iOS 8.2 Beta with WatchKit can be downloaded immediately from Apple's Developer Site. It includes programming guides, human interface guidelines, templates, and more. While WatchKit can be used for creating glances and actionable notifications at the current time, developers will need to wait until next year to begin creating fully native apps for Apple Watch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Facebook Introduces New Standalone 'Groups' App • OWC Opens Pre-Orders for New 12-Port Thunderbolt 2 Dock • New 'Loose Leaf' App for the iPad Aims to Replace Scratch Paper • 'Minecraft Pocket Edition' Update Brings 'Prettier, Faster, Less Buggier' Experience • Mobile MOBA Game Vainglory, Showcased at iPhone 6 Keynote, Launches Today • Fleksy for iOS Used to Set New World Record for Fastest Touch-Screen Text Message Typing • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers • AT&T Bumps 10 GB Mobile Share Plan to 15 GB for a Limited Time

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is cracking down on Notification Center widgets in iOS once again, this time telling Neato that its note taking widget is unacceptable and will need to be removed due to the fact that it includes a keyboard. First launched in early November, Neato installs a quick note taking widget in the Notification Center, letting users type directly in the widget. Notes can be sent instantly to either Evernote or Dropbox. As a widget-focused app, Neato has no other functionality, which means the removal of its keyboard will essentially kill the app. According to the developers behind Neato, who spoke to Gizmodo, Apple contacted the company after it became popular, hitting the top 10 business list in more than 65 countries.We were expecting Neato to be featured by Apple but instead Apple called us on Nov 10th, and we were told that: "Neato does not comply with one or more App Review Guidelines". They required us to remove the keyboard from the widget. But Neato without the keyboard is nothing, and like a limp horse.The company attempted to appeal, but Apple stuck with its decision to force Neato to remove the keyboard, stating that its position on the app had "not changed" and that an update removing keyboard functionality would need to be submitted within two weeks. Apple appears to be having some difficulty deciding on what constitutes acceptable use of the Notification Center as app developers come up with clever ways to take advantage of widget functionality. In late October, Apple told PCalc's developers that the PCalc calculator widget would need to be removed as Notification Center widgets were not allowed to perform calculations, but a day later, the company reversed course and allowed the calculator widget to remain in the App Store. Another app, Launcher, wasn't quite as lucky. Introduced shortly after iOS 8 was released to the public, Launcher installed a Notification Center widget that provided access to quick actions like making a phone call, opening a pre-defined Maps route, or sending a tweet. Launcher was only available for a few days in the App Store before Apple opted to pull it. According to Apple's App Extension guidelines, Notification Center widgets should have a "simple, streamlined UI," a limited number of interactive items, and are prohibited from creating "a mini version" of an app. Apple has run into several apps that, like PCalc, were not expected widget use cases and are not outlined in the widget guidelines, leading to apps that are accepted and then later rejected as Apple further defines how it wants the Notification Center to be used. Neato can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • New 'Loose Leaf' App for the iPad Aims to Replace Scratch Paper • 'Minecraft Pocket Edition' Update Brings 'Prettier, Faster, Less Buggier' Experience • Mobile MOBA Game Vainglory, Showcased at iPhone 6 Keynote, Launches Today • Fleksy for iOS Used to Set New World Record for Fastest Touch-Screen Text Message Typing • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers • AT&T Bumps 10 GB Mobile Share Plan to 15 GB for a Limited Time • OWC Introduces New ThunderBay 4 Mini Portable Storage With RAID 5 Option • iMessage Down for Some Users, Unrelated to iOS 8.1.1 Update [Update: Fixed]

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
During today's opening of the Slush 2014 conference, Nokia announced its new N1 tablet, the first device from the Finnish company following the sale of its mobile division to Microsoft. With its aluminum casing, curved styling and 7.9-inch screen, the N1 is a dead ringer for Apple's iPad mini. Powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop and Nokia's Z launcher, the Nokia N1 ships with a 2.3GHz Intel Atom processor, PowerVR GPU, 2GB of RAM and a 7.9-inch Retina-resolution display. Other hardware specs include an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera and connectivity options that include 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0. Similar to Apple's Lightning connector, the N1 includes a reversible USB Type-C connector for charging and syncing. The port is located on the bottom edge of the tablet and is nestled between the tablet's two speaker openings. When it launches next year, the N1 will be available in Lava Grey and Natural Aluminum colors with one storage capacity option of 32GB. The N1 will ship with Nokia's flavor of Android and the company's branding, but it will be manufactured and distributed by Nokia partner Foxconn. Foxconn will handle support and most other product responsibilities. The N1 will launch first in China in Q1 2015 for $249USD with plans for expansion to other regions. Nokia is just the latest manufacturer to announce a tablet device that looks remarkably similar to Apple's iOS device lineup. Just weeks ago, Lenovo introduced its S90 tablet that shares a number of design elements with Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with Lenovo even using marketing images reminiscent of Apple's advertising. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Mobile MOBA Game Vainglory, Showcased at iPhone 6 Keynote, Launches Today • Fleksy for iOS Used to Set New World Record for Fastest Touch-Screen Text Message Typing • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers • AT&T Bumps 10 GB Mobile Share Plan to 15 GB for a Limited Time • OWC Introduces New ThunderBay 4 Mini Portable Storage With RAID 5 Option • iMessage Down for Some Users, Unrelated to iOS 8.1.1 Update [Update: Fixed] • Spotify and Uber Partnering for User-Generated Playlists During Car Trips • Buyer's Guide: Deals on 'Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel', iPad Mini 2, Retina MacBook Pro, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple Pay this week continued its retail expansion with the mobile payment service now being adopted by SunTrust bank and Bi-Lo holdings, which manages BI-LO, Harveys, and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The latter announcement follows our earlier report of Winn-Dixie and BI-LO beginning to go live with Apple Pay support late last week ahead of an official debut, despite not being included on Apple's "Coming later this year" list. Customers with a SunTrust credit or debit card will be able to add their card to Apple Pay and use it to make purchases at participating retailers. Headquartered in Atlanta, SunTrust bank has 1,497 bank branches across eleven southern states and Washington, D.C. At the same time SunTrust has added Apple Pay support for its card holders, supermarket chain Bi-Lo Holdings also added Apple Pay as a payment option during checkout. Customers who shop at the primarily southeastern supermarkets of BI-LO, Winn-Dixie, and Harveys will be able to use their iPhone 6 of 6 Plus to streamline their grocery purchases."Customers want a shopping experience that is convenient, easy and secure, which is why we’re so pleased to announce support for Apple Pay," said Bert DuMars, vice president, digital marketing at Bi-Lo Holdings. "Bi-Lo Holdings is prioritizing digital mobile solutions for our customers, and Apple Pay is an exciting first step in our journey." Apple Pay debuted last month alongside iOS 8.1 and has seen strong adoption in the month following release. According to a recent New York Times report, Apple Pay transactions accounted for 50 percent of recent tap-to-pay purchases at McDonald's and doubled the number of mobile payments processed by Walgreens. Currently, there are almost 40 retailers that officially support Apple Pay, with the number continuing to grow. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Fleksy for iOS Used to Set New World Record for Fastest Touch-Screen Text Message Typing • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers • AT&T Bumps 10 GB Mobile Share Plan to 15 GB for a Limited Time • OWC Introduces New ThunderBay 4 Mini Portable Storage With RAID 5 Option • iMessage Down for Some Users, Unrelated to iOS 8.1.1 Update [Update: Fixed] • Spotify and Uber Partnering for User-Generated Playlists During Car Trips • Buyer's Guide: Deals on 'Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel', iPad Mini 2, Retina MacBook Pro, and More • Microsoft Announces New Skype for Web Beta with Future Plugin-Free Safari Support

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While Apple's Lightning connector has become ubiquitous across the company's iOS device lineup over the past several years, third-party accessory manufacturers have so far been unable to include ports for the connector on their products. That appears set to change in the relatively near future, however, as Apple has informed members of the company's MFi program that it will begin shipping a version of the Lightning port for third-party use early next year, reports 9to5Mac.Allowing accessory makers to build-in a Lightning port provides a number of benefits, according to manufacturers briefed during Apple’s MFi Summit. One of the biggest benefits is to reduce costs for manufacturers and simplify the product experience for users by using Lightning to provide power to both an accessory and the iOS device. Dock or battery case manufacturers, for example, would previously have to provide a separate USB cable and power supply to charge an accessory. The report indicates Apple is also developing a new "slimmed down, low profile version" of the Lightning connector itself currently used in third-party accessories. The new package will offer a simpler and smaller method for building connectors into accessories such as docks and charging cases. Some two years after introducing the Lightning connector with the iPhone 5, Apple is clearly working to broaden the ecosystem of accessories taking advantage of the versatile space-saving connector. Earlier this year, the company announced new MFi specifications that would allow headphones to connect to devices over Lightning. While the announcement led to speculation that Apple is looking to remove the traditional headphone jack from its devices, at least for now the feature appears intended to provide additional features such as power to headphones. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers • AT&T Bumps 10 GB Mobile Share Plan to 15 GB for a Limited Time • OWC Introduces New ThunderBay 4 Mini Portable Storage With RAID 5 Option • iMessage Down for Some Users, Unrelated to iOS 8.1.1 Update [Update: Fixed] • Spotify and Uber Partnering for User-Generated Playlists During Car Trips • Buyer's Guide: Deals on 'Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel', iPad Mini 2, Retina MacBook Pro, and More • Microsoft Announces New Skype for Web Beta with Future Plugin-Free Safari Support • Apple Releases Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update 1.2

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Yesterday, Apple released OS X Yosemite 10.10.1, which brought improved Wi-Fi reliability after a number of users reported connection issues with the new operating system. However, Computerworld reports that a number of users on Apple's support forums are still claiming to have issues with Wi-Fi even after updating to OS X 10.10.1, with some saying that they are still not able to connect at all while others note that their Wi-Fi has remained significantly slow. The largest thread on Apple's support forums discussing the Wi-Fi problems in OS X Yosemite has grown to 1,120 replies with more users reporting issues with a number of Macs and a variety of router types. Members of the MacRumors forums have also reported problems with Wi-Fi after updating to 10.10.1 even when using their computer in different areas. One user even reported Wi-Fi issues with the iMac with Retina 5K Display and the newest Time Capsule networking device. Currently, some users are finding success with performing a clean install of Yosemite, running their routers in "Access Point" mode, switching their connection a 2.4 GHz band, or running a user-created script to restart OS X's Wi-Fi Monitor. However, there appears to be no general solution for users still having Wi-Fi issues. In addition to Wi-Fi issues, other users are reporting problems with OS X Yosemite's Dark Mode on non-Retina displays, unstable Bluetooth connections, and high CPU utilization. Apple has not issued an official statement on the reported users issues, although Apple support representatives have instructed users to remove excess preferred networks in the Network section of System Preferences and to reset the System Management Controller. It is likely that Apple will issue more fixes with forthcoming software updates to OS X Yosemite, although there is currently no timetable as to when those updates might come. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Snapchat and Square Partner Up for 'Snapcash' Money Transfers • AT&T Bumps 10 GB Mobile Share Plan to 15 GB for a Limited Time • OWC Introduces New ThunderBay 4 Mini Portable Storage With RAID 5 Option • iMessage Down for Some Users, Unrelated to iOS 8.1.1 Update [Update: Fixed] • Spotify and Uber Partnering for User-Generated Playlists During Car Trips • Buyer's Guide: Deals on 'Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel', iPad Mini 2, Retina MacBook Pro, and More • Microsoft Announces New Skype for Web Beta with Future Plugin-Free Safari Support • Apple Releases Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update 1.2

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