posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted an Apple patent, originally filed in April of 2012, that deals with eye-tracking technology used to control a user interface on a computer or smartphone (via AppleInsider). The specific invention involves a method for ensuring users do not lose track of a cursor while controlling their devices through eye-tracking movements. The patent, with inventor credit going to David P. Julian, describes future Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices that could include the new camera technology, allowing movements of a user's eye to translate to the movement of a cursor on screen. The patent doesn't go into deep detail describing any further practical use of the "gaze control" technology, though it does mention in passing the possible use such advancements could have in vehicles, game consoles, and entertainment systems. The patent mostly attempts to battle the Troxler Effect, an optical effect that causes objects in the periphery to begin to disappear when a user focuses on a particular point on-screen. This is a particularly troubling issue with retina-tracking technology, which requires a user to focus on various on-screen interface prompts to properly work. Apple's invention seeks to counteract the Troxler Effect by monitoring eye movements and blinking to estimate when a user is likely to be losing track of a mouse pointer or other cursor due to the effect. The system would automatically move the cursor to bring it back to visibility.In certain configurations, the eye tracking system may persistently render the movable indicator wherever the user looks in the GUI. This rendering of the movable indicator may be accurate to the degree that the movable indicator becomes a stabilized retinal image with respect to the user's eyes. As such, the movable indicator may fade with respect to the user's perception of the GUI. In other words, the movable indicator may no longer be visible to the user. In such situations, it is desirable to restore the user's perception of the movable indicator to counteract this fading effect. Accordingly, the eye tracking system described herein may automatically alter the position, appearance, or both of the movable indicator so that it is no longer a stabilized retinal image and can be perceived by the user. A handful of older patents filed by the company have been released by the Patent and Trademark Office as of late, including a transforming home-button-to-gaming-joystick just last week. Like all other patents, the possibility of the eye-tracking tech showing up anytime soon in an Apple product is very slim, but is an interesting glimpse into the company's possible future nonetheless. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple China Posts New Calligraphy Video to Commemorate Upcoming Hangzhou Store • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Luxury watch maker Montblanc earlier this month announced the "e-Strap", an accessory band that will add notifications, music control, and other smartphone-connected functions to a traditional analog wristwatch, marking one of the first efforts by traditional watchmakers to offer smartphone integration as the Apple Watch's launch nears. Alexander Linz of the Watch-Insider blog had the opportunity to examine the e-Strap first hand during a demonstration by Montblanc CEO Jerome Lambert that was held over the weekend in Geneva. Detailed photos of the watch accessory reveal how it sits on a traditional watch band to rest firmly on the underside of the wrist. The display portion appears rather bulky, making discomfort a possible issue during daily use. Other photos showcase the 0.9-inch monochrome touchscreen display which shares information such as incoming phone calls, upcoming appointments, and more. The display quality is not nearly as good as depicted in Montblanc's renderings of the strap, with text and icons appearing rather jagged due to the low 128 x 36 resolution. Not a standalone device, the e-Strap will connect to an iOS or Android smartphone via an app that will allow users to customize the information being displayed on their wrists. The e-Strap is expected to cost 250 euros and will be available as an optional accessory to select Timewalker Urban Speed watches. The e-Strap also may be compatible with other Timewalker watches that ship with a 42-mm or 43-mm wide band. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger • Firaxis Announces New 'Sid Meier's Starships' Interstellar Strategy Game • Google's New Calendar App for iOS Shown in Leaked Images • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today updated its website to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a full page memorial on the company's home page. The image on the site is accompanied by a message to honor the civil rights leader and his work, “Today we reflect on the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the work that continues in service of the broader concerns of humanity.” Following the rollout of the website change, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted his own commemoration that highlighted Apple's remembrance of King's legacy. Honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLK Apple http://t.co/ngqL0bym8y— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 19, 2015 Previously, Tim Cook has publicly expressed his admiration for Dr. King, noting in a Charlie Rose interview last year that he keeps photos of King and politician Robert Kennedy in his office at Apple. "I had the — just tremendous respect for both of them, and so I do," he said. "I look at them every day because I think for people — there’s still too many cases in the world and in the United States where there’s a class kind of structure or where voting or people are trying to convince each other that this other group of people don’t deserve the same rights. And I think it’s crazy, I think it’s un-American." Besides the web page refresh, Apple reportedly also is encouraging its employees to volunteer with a donation matching program, reports 9to5Mac. Instead of a paid day off, Apple is offering to donate an additional $50 for each voluntary hour worked by employees. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another report outlining his belief that Apple will launch a stylus as an optional accessory for the company's rumored 12.9-inch "iPad Pro". With the new iPad's larger screen, it will likely prove popular with enterprise and creative users who tend to have more need for a stylus and Kuo believes Apple will fill that need with an in-house solution.Given that it’s more precise than a person’s fingers, a stylus can be more convenient to use than the combination of keyboard and mouse in some cases. Therefore, we believe Apple’s stylus will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad.Apple's proposed haptic stylus from a 2010 patent application, not necessarily reflective of the company's current thinking on such a device Kuo believes the stylus will be an optional accessory rather than included standard with the new iPad, as the relatively expensive stylus would drive the base cost of the iPad too high.We don’t think all users will need a stylus initially. Coupled with its unfavorable cost structure, high selling prices may turn consumers off if the 12.9-inch iPad is always bundled with it. We therefore expect the stylus to be an optional accessory before sufficient user feedback is received.Looking at technical details of the stylus, Kuo predicts it will charge via a Lightning connector, believing a more convenient wireless charging solution would be too expensive and require difficult antenna design that Apple will likely forego initially. Kuo also believes the initial stylus model will not include a gyroscope accelerometer, but future models could include the component to support "3D handwriting" to allow the user to write on other surfaces or even in the air. Kuo believes Apple will launch this new stylus in the second or third quarter of this year, roughly the timeframe predicted for the iPad Pro launch. The company has filed for a number of patents related to stylus technology, with the most recently publicized one being a "communicating stylus" that would automatically transcribe handwritten notes into digital form. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Steve Jobs Biopic Filming Begins at Jobs' Childhood Home in Los Altos • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Older iPads, Retina iMac, Mac Pro, Apple Accessories, and Apps • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is continuing its behind-the-scenes work on the upcoming iOS 8.1.3 update, and as of yesterday, retail employees that have been testing the software received a second iOS 8.1.3 beta, build 12B466, which is six builds newer than the previous seed they received on Wednesday, January 7. Last week, we speculated that the iOS 8.1.3 beta was close to release due to the fact that it was shared with quite a few retail employees, but it appears there are still bugs that Apple is working on fixing before it provides the 8.1.3 update to the public. MacRumors continues to see an uptick in the number of visits received from devices running iOS 8.1.3, and while we expect the update will be released to the public in the next week or two, it is not clear exactly when a launch could come. Overall visitors to MacRumors.com from devices running iOS 8.1.3 According to our source, iOS 8.1.3 appears to contain only under-the-hood bug fixes with no readily apparent visual changes to the operating system. Apple has not provided employees with release notes. With iOS 8.1.2 and iOS 8.1.3 positioned as minor updates, Apple has opted not to share the software with developers ahead of its release, instead testing the updates in house. Testing the iOS 8.1.3 update with retail employees is a new move for Apple, as it marks the first time retail workers have been invited to participate in the testing of an iOS beta. Retail employees have been involved in the beta testing of OS X for years. Apple may have avoided seeding the iOS 8.1.2 and 8.1.3 betas to developers in order to focus developer testing on iOS 8.2, which is currently on its fourth beta. iOS 8.2 is a major update that is expected to be released alongside the Apple Watch in the spring months. As we mentioned last week, along with iOS 8.1.3 and iOS 8.2, our site metrics indicate that a small number of Apple employees in Cupertino are also working on iOS 9, the successor to iOS 8 that we expect will be previewed in the summer and released in the fall alongside new iPhones. An iOS 8.3 update that was also observed in testing months ago has declined in activity according to our web logs, with visits from devices running it having peaked in late November and not rebounding significantly in the new year following the holiday lull. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Designers Envision Concepts for Apple Watch Apps Like Uber and Instagram • Apple's Swift Programming Language Proving Popular With Developers • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich appeared today on CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about the financial future of the technology company. Following discussions about Intel's disappointing Q1 forecast and flat PC sales, CNBC anchor Betsy Quick questioned the executive about rumors that Apple may eventually drop Intel chips from its Mac computers in favor of its own processors. Unfazed by the questioning, Krzanich toed the company line, revealing no new information about the future of Intel's relationship with Apple and simply calling it a "strong" one.I just hear the same rumors. Our relationship with Apple is strong and their products are great. Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability in innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate. They're a company based on innovation. Our job is to continue to deliver parts that have that capability give them that, that are better than our competitors. And then they want to use our parts. So I wake up every morning making sure that across the board, whether it's Apple or Lenovo or Dell or any of our customers -- we have to provide the most competitive part: performance, price, reliability, all of those. In his latest report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered the prediction that Apple may launch ARM-based Macs in the next few years. In this scenario, Apple would replace the Intel chips it currently uses with custom designed A-series chip, allowing the company to better time processor upgrades with new product launches. Apple last year was forced to delay major product launches across its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup, offering only minor processor bumps due to delays in Intel's Broadwell processors. Rumors of Apple's interest in ARM-based Macs are not new, with earlier reports suggesting Apple has developed ARM-Based prototypes of the iMac, Mac Mini, and a 13-inch notebook model. If the rumor pans out this time, the switchover to ARM processor would initially target low-end machines that would benefit from the low battery consumption of the ARM-based architecture. Future expansion may be possible as improvements in Apple's A-series processor begin to rival the performance of Intel's entry-level offerings. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple recently started selling the 27-Inch iMac With Retina 5K Display in the refurbished section of its online store, as first noticed by 9to5Mac. These refurbished models offer customers the chance to save up to 15 percent off the retail price of a brand new model. Several 27-inch Retina iMac models are available, including the entry-level model which is availablee for $2119 and includes a 3.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and a 1TB Fusion Drive. Other available Retina iMacs include a $2,419 model with 16GB of memory and a 3TB Fusion Drive and a $2,549 unit with 16GB of memory and 512GB flash storage. All three models are in stock and available to ship today. After months of speculation, Apple unveiled the 27-Inch iMac With Retina 5K Display during its October media event. The consumer desktop features a 5120 x 2880 pixel display with improved contrast, viewing angles, and color accuracy. Early impressions of the machine were favorable with reviewers praising the "stunning display" and noting that it is a "huge step up" from Apple's notebook Retina displays. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone 6 Gets Sent Into Space by Urban Armor Gear • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Ustwo, the developers behind the hit game Monument Valley today published a detailed infographic that gives a rare inside look at what it takes to develop an ultra popular game and the rewards developers can reap from creating an app that soars to the top of the App Store charts. For those unfamiliar, Monument Valley is a highly popular indie puzzle game that asks players to lead the main character through a series of mazes spanning 10 separate levels. The game was highly praised for its design, which included a unique and striking art style. According to Ustwo's infographic, it took Ustwo's eight person team 55 weeks and $852,000 to develop the original version of Monument Valley ahead of its April 2014 launch. The app's Forgotten Shores expansion, released in late November, took an additional 29 weeks and $549,000 to develop. Monument Valley received some negative attention after the expansion was priced at $1.99 in-app by users who believed that the update should be free, but the half a million in development costs for the Android and iOS apps explain why it would have been largely unreasonable for the team to release an expansion at no cost. The more than $1 million that Ustwo poured into the development of Monument Valley paid off, and the game earned a total of $5,858,625 from 2,440,076 sales. 81.7 percent of all revenue came from iOS from 1,736,431 sales while Google Play and Amazon represented a combined 18.2 percent of revenue. The game's highest one day revenue was $145,530, which it earned on the first day it launched. Monument Valley saw upticks in sales after earning an Apple Design Award in June, following the launch of the Forgotten Shores expansion, at Christmas, and after the December announcement of its status as iPad Game of the Year. The majority of iOS sales came from the United States at 38 percent, and the game ended up being translated into 13 local languages. 12 percent of sales came from China, five percent from the U.K., and 4.4 percent came from Japan. Half of the players who purchased Monument Valley finished the game, and 24 percent of players went on to purchase Forgotten Shores. Ustwo's full Monument Valley infographic can be seen over at the company's blog. Monument Valley can be downloaded from the App Store for $3.99. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Following some leadership changes that Google has implemented, Tony Fadell, creator of the Nest thermostat and "iPod Father," will oversee Google's Glass division, reports The Wall Street Journal. Google is planning on splitting out Glass, its wearable headset computer, from the Google X research lab into its own unit, led by Ivy Ross, who will report to Tony Fadell. Fadell will be in charge of Glass, and will provide "strategic guidance" on the product. Largely seen as a failure at this point, Google Glass failed to drum up enough developer interest to truly establish itself in the wearable market and Google has continually pushed back the product's mass market release. Google has opted to cease selling Glass to consumers through the Explorer program, but the company will continue to sell the product to companies and developers. In November, Glass Head of Business Operations Chris O'Neill said the company remained "completely energized and as energized as ever" about Glass and that Google remained "committed as ever" to an eventual consumer launch. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google still has plans to release a new version of Glass in 2015, but details on the upcoming product and its potential launch date are unclear. With the shift, it appears that Google is shying away from public testing in favor of internal testing, a strategy used by Apple. Under Tony Fadell, Glass could see some significant changes. In addition to creating the Nest thermostat, which was acquired by Google in early 2014, Fadell has been credited as one of the original creators of the iPod. Widely known as the "iPod Father," Fadell was the SVP of Apple's iPod division from 2006 to 2008 and helped to produce early versions of the popular music player. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's iBooks platform is seeing an average of a million new users per week after the company's decision to ship iOS 8 with the app pre-installed, according to Apple Director of iBooks Keith Moerer, who spoke today at the Digital Book World Conference. Apple's decision to ship iOS 8 with several new apps pre-installed, including Podcasts and iBooks, was somewhat controversial because pre-installed default apps are unable to be deleted from a user's device. At the same time, though, default apps that come automatically installed introduce the content to a range of new people who might not have otherwise discovered it in the App Store. iBooks Director Keith Moerer at the Digital Book World Conference, image courtesy of David Lamb Before iOS 8, the iBooks app had to be searched for and downloaded from the App Store, putting it on par with several other App Store-based e-books apps like Amazon's Kindle app for iOS. Pre-installing iBooks made it "so easy" for new users to try iBooks for the first time, said Moerer. Family Sharing, also new in iOS 8, helped to improve customer acquisition as well. According to Moerer, iBooks consumption on phones is also on the rise since the launch of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. "We are seeing more of our book sales starting to come from the phone," he told the audience at the conference. Moerer also highlighted the company's commitment to establishing relationships with creative professionals, including authors, and noted that indie publishing is one of iBooks' "biggest growth areas." Foreign publishing is also expanding, with Spanish-language publishing becoming a larger part of Apple's business in the United States and Japan seeing a lot of growth. Moerer commented on the overall e-book market, saying that while Apple has noticed a slowdown in "other digital media businesses", the company is content with "our place within it" and still has many opportunities for growth through leveraging other content from iTunes, including movies and music. Competing book stores were also a subject of discussion, with Moerer pointing out that Apple does not charge for publishers to promote books, unlike other stores like Amazon. "We accept no co-op payments, no pay for placement," he said. Apple is most focused on supporting artists big and small, according to a statement relayed by Gigaom:Whether an author chooses to self-publish or work with a small or large publisher, I'm very proud that our business terms are the same. The same 30---70 split applies to a self-published author as well as an author published by the very biggest house. Because we're not a publisher ourselves, we work very closely with publishers and we view them as partners. We view what we do as an expansion of our support of print professionals on the hardware and software side and the way we run our other media businesses.Apple's iBooks Store has gotten the company into hot water in the past, as Apple was found guilty of conspiring to fix the prices of electronic books. As a result, the company was subjected to a penalty of $450 million and forced submit to anti-trust monitoring. iBooks has remained a major focus for the company despite its troubles, and along with making the app a default iOS app, Apple also introduced several new iBooks features in iOS 8 like an auto night mode, new organization, and more. OS X Yosemite also saw the introduction of a Mac-based iBooks app that allows users to read books on their Macs. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Talks Expansion in China Amid Five New Store Openings • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple may boost the amount of internal RAM and use faster LPDDR4 RAM technology in its next-generation iPhone 6s, claims TechNews Taiwan (via G Gor Games). These RAM modules offer low power consumption and a significant performance increase over the 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM used in the current-generation iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. According to supply chain sources, the LPDDR4 RAM modules for the iPhone 6s will be supplied primarily by Hynix, Samsung, and Micron-Elpida. Elpida reportedly was behind schedule, but the company allegedly improved its manufacturing process to a level that will meet Apple's demand. Micron-Elpida and Hynix were identified in iFixit teardown analyses as the RAM suppliers for Apple's current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models. Apple's next-generation iPhone also is rumored to sport the same design as the iPhone 6 with internal improvements such as an A9 processor and a dual-lens DSLR quality camera. Today's report also hints at the adoption of "Force Touch" technology as seen on the Apple Watch to differentiate between quick taps and more forceful presses. It is not clear, however, how Apple would implement such a system on the iPhone as it would appear to require a major shift in display technology for the device given that the Apple Watch uses a flexible OLED display paired with electrode sensors to support the Force Touch feature. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent • Skype for iPhone Adds Enhanced UI Improvements and Pre-Release Feedback Program

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published an Apple patent application revealing the company's interest in an iPhone or iPad home button that transitions form its normal functionality into a small joystick for gaming (via Patently Apple). The "multi-function input device" would serve its normal home button functions, ostensibily with Touch ID and all other current features, but with a simple pressure click would pop up and transform into a slightly elevated thumb joystick. Home button mode (left) and joystick mode (right) A simple push of the elevated home button back into a flush position with the body of the iPhone would return it to its original state when done gaming. Diagrams included in the application show a very low-profile joystick , allowing for some level of physical control while being much smaller than traditional game controller joysticks in order to fit into the thin bodies of iOS devices. Apple's claims within the patent application note some gamers' hesitancy to play seriously on a smartphone due to the entire set of controls resting on the screen, with their fingers blocking a significant portion of the game's content. The company thinks a built-in solution in form of this new home button could be an acceptable option for those unable or unwilling to carry additional gaming accessories. As noted by Patently Apple, the patent, with inventor credit going to Colin Ely and Fletcher Rothkopf, was originally filed by the company in the summer of 2013. Though it's highly unlikely this particular technology will show up on the company's next iPhone, presumably launching later this year, like most patents it's still interesting to see what possibilities Apple has considered in the past and the possible directions it may choose to go in the future. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent • Skype for iPhone Adds Enhanced UI Improvements and Pre-Release Feedback Program

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple Pay was introduced last year during Apple's September iPhone event and debuted alongside iOS 8.1. Months after launch, the service continues to expand with two major announcements today that mark the further expansion of the mobile payments service into regional supermarket chains and the continued adoption by consumers. Starting today, California supermarket chain Save Mart Supermarkets is rolling out Apple Pay to all 217 Northern California and Nevada stores it operates under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx brands. Save Mart Co-President & Chief Strategy and Branding Officer Nicole Piccinini Pesco said that the grocery store chain is adding Apple Pay for the "benefit and convenience" of their customers, adding that Apple Pay will "transform the shopping experience for our customers". While Apple Pay continues to expand to new retailers, consumer interest in the mobile payment service also remains strong. As part of its Q4 2014 earnings report, Bank of America today announced that almost 800,000 customers have enrolled in Apple Pay and have added approximately 1.1 million cards to the service since it launched in October 2014.The number of mobile banking customers increased 15 percent from the year-ago quarter to 16.5 million users, and 12 percent of deposit transactions by customers were done through mobile, compared to 9 percent in the year-ago quarter. Since the introduction of Apple Pay™ in October, nearly 800,000 customers have enrolled in the service, adding approximately 1.1 million cards.Bank of America was a launch partner for Apple Pay, and the company has continued to promote Apple Pay since that time, releasing advertisements showcasing the convenience of using Apple's mobile payments service with a Bank of America credit card. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More • Apple Seeds OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Build 14C99d to Developers • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent • Skype for iPhone Adds Enhanced UI Improvements and Pre-Release Feedback Program

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
As the largest consumer electronics show in the world, CES often gives us a hint of the technologies we can look forward to in the near future, based on the products that are shown off at the show. In 2013 and 2014, there was a heavy focus on wearables, and this year's emphasis on home automation suggests 2015 will be a big year for connected home products. There's one other important emerging technology that we may see explode over the course of the next few years -- wireless charging. Several companies, including Energous and WiTricity, demoed upcoming wireless charging solutions, and the Alliance for Wireless Power had a booth showing off how wireless charging will work in the Home of the Future. MacRumors had a chance to sit down with Alex Gruzen, the CEO of WiTricity, who walked us through the company's technology, its existing partnerships, and gave us details on when we might see the debut of the first products using WiTricity's technology, which uses the Rezence specification agreed upon by the Alliance for Wireless Power. WiTricity's wireless charging solutions, which we have covered multiple times in the past, works using magnetic resonance, which is able to transfer power over distances using the magnetic near-field. In the past, wireless charging solutions like the Powermat (which uses a competing technology from the Power Matters Alliance) have required the electronic device being charged to rest directly on the power source, but WiTricity's wireless charging technology is unique because it does not require direct contact. The magnetic field used for charging is able to wrap around barriers, letting WiTricity charging pads be placed in unassuming locations like under desks, rugs, tables, and more. In our time at the WiTricity booth, we saw charging pads that were placed under concrete, under desks, and more, hidden out of sight but still capable of delivering a full charge to a device (or multiple devices at once) equipped with WiTricity's technology. This type of hidden charging technology is what we can expect in the future, and Energous, previously mentioned, also debuted a similar "WattUp" technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices, replacing a charging pad with a transmitter that can provide power up to 15 feet away. The Energous technology is quite new, but WiTricity has been working on its wireless charging solution for a number of years and already has several partners in the works. Intel, for example, is using WiTricity's technology in its upcoming Skylake processors, and according to Gruzen, we're going to see the first Ultrabooks able to charge wirelessly before the end of 2015 as a result of this deal. The WiTricity CES booth Apple itself uses Intel's processors for its range of Mac products and based on past history, it's likely that Apple will adopt Skylake processors, which means wireless charging for MacBooks is a possibility in the future. Apple has explored wireless charging based on past patents, and has even looked at a technology that's very similar to what WiTricity offers. Apple was rumored to be experimenting with wireless charging capabilities for the Apple Watch, but went with a MagSafe-style option instead, suggesting it isn't quite ready to adopt wireless charging technology at this point in time. Apple is not a member of the Alliance for Wireless Power and does not work with WiTricity currently, making it unclear whether the company will develop a proprietary solution if it chooses to adopt wireless technology or use the standard that's been agreed upon by a huge number of tech companies including Intel, Panasonic, Acer, Broadcom, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Qualcomm, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, and more. WiTricity technology being used to charge a Smart Car In addition to Intel, WiTricity has a range of high-profile partners and Gruzen expects those partnerships to result in a slew of products that use the company's technology in late 2015, like cell phones, electric vehicles, computers, and even accessories designed to work with Apple products. At CES, Gruzen demoed an iPhone 6 case the company's engineers had built to demonstrate how the technology could be used, which was similar in style to a Mophie charging case. iPhone 6 case concept built by WiTricity engineers WiTricity's technology is essentially able to be used in any product that needs charging, ranging from the large to the small. Toyota's next Prius, coming in 2016, will allow its users to charge the car using a wireless charging pad powered by WiTricity's technology, and WiTricity also showed off packaging created in conjunction with Gillette. Razors were packaged with a pulsing blue LED charged on the shelf with a hidden charging pad, and were designed to draw the consumer's eye towards the product. Gruzen showed MacRumors the chips that WiTricity has developed to enable wireless charging in a range of devices, which were paper thin and in some cases, tiny enough to be incorporated even into small wearable devices. In the very near future, likely before we see the end of 2015, wireless charging is going to make its debut in a big way. In several years from now, it's quite possible that charging our electronic devices through cables and cords will be a thing of the past, replaced with technology that allows us to hide away charging pads or eliminate them all together. It isn't clear what stance Apple will take on wireless charging, but its inevitable adoption in the technology space suggests Apple won't be able to ignore it for long. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent • Skype for iPhone Adds Enhanced UI Improvements and Pre-Release Feedback Program • Apple, Google, and Others Offer Increased $415M Settlement in Class Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit • New Survey Finds 18% of iPhone 6/6 Plus Owners Will 'Definitely' Buy Apple Watch

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Samsung has recently been in talks with BlackBerry about a potential takeover, reports Reuters. The South Korean company has reportedly offered to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion, in the hopes of acquiring BlackBerry's extensive patent portfolio. Executives from both companies are said to have met last week in order to discuss the potential deal.South Korea's Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over BlackBerry's current trading price, the source said.The offer price would imply an enterprise value of $6 billion to $7.5 billion for BlackBerry, assuming conversion of $1.25 billion of convertible debt, according to the documents. BlackBerry has struggled with flagging sales in recent years, and in 2013, the company received a takeover bid worth $4.7 billion from Fairfax Financial, but the deal ultimately fell apart. BlackBerry went on to receive interest from both Apple and Microsoft, among others, but was uninterested in breaking up the company to sell it piecemeal. Ultimately, the company accepted investments and aimed to re-establish itself in the smartphone market, which led to the launch of the Passport, a large square-shaped phone, and the Classic, a throwback to original BlackBerry designs. BlackBerry holds quite a few valuable patents, which are estimated to be worth $1 billion to $3 billion. In 2012 alone, its patent portfolio grew by 986 patents, many of which are relevant to competing smartphone companies like Samsung. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPad Buyer's Guide: Which Model is Best For You • Google Adding 'Word Lens' Camera Translation and Conversation Mode to Translate App • Facebook Announces 'Work' App for iOS Focused on Workplace Social Networking • European App Store Price Increase Turns Off Auto-Renewing Subscriptions • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent • Skype for iPhone Adds Enhanced UI Improvements and Pre-Release Feedback Program • Apple, Google, and Others Offer Increased $415M Settlement in Class Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit • New Survey Finds 18% of iPhone 6/6 Plus Owners Will 'Definitely' Buy Apple Watch

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has frequently offered accurate information on Apple's product plans based on supply chain information, has released a new report outlining his expectations for the company's chips over the next several years. Kuo highlights a diversified supplier lineup for Apple's A-series chips used in its iOS devices, with TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries all contributing to production. Kuo sees the 2015 chip breakdown with the A9 chip destined for this year's iPhones being shared by Samsung and GlobalFoundries, while TSMC handles the A9X that would be used in iPad models. That split is projected to flip in 2016, with TSMC handling the A10 iPhone chips and Samsung being responsible for A10X iPad chips. Perhaps most enticingly, Kuo projects that Apple could begin launching ARM-based Macs in the next year or two based on its custom chip designs.Apple may launch Mac products that use own AP in next 1-2 years. This prediction is based on the assumption that Apple’s self-developed AP performs at a level between Intel’s Atom and Core i3 and is good enough for Mac. Using self- developed AP can help Apple better control the timing of Mac launches and Mac product features.Use of A-series chips in Macs would certainly be limited to lower-end devices at first, but Apple's emphasis on controlling its supply chain and the improving performance of Apple's A-series ARM chips compared to low-end Intel chips could lead to a shift in the coming years. Kuo also looks at the Apple Watch, where Samsung has been reported to be handling the primary portion of Apple's custom "S1" chip for the upcoming smartwatch. He believes, however, that TSMC will take over responsibility in 2016 for the S2 in the second-generation Apple Watch. Kuo certainly does not have a perfect track record with his claims over the years, but he is reliable enough that his predictions are followed closely. Given muddled rumors of Apple's chip partnerships for future devices, it will be interesting to watch how these supplier deals play out over time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • GoPro Shares Tumble After Apple Granted Remote Control Camera Patent • Skype for iPhone Adds Enhanced UI Improvements and Pre-Release Feedback Program • Apple, Google, and Others Offer Increased $415M Settlement in Class Action Anti-Poaching Lawsuit • New Survey Finds 18% of iPhone 6/6 Plus Owners Will 'Definitely' Buy Apple Watch • Belkin Plans to Add HomeKit Support to WeMo Line in 'Very Near Future' • Late 2014 Mac Mini Gained Option for 2TB Fusion Drive in December • iPhone Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Collapsible 'TextBlade' Keyboard for iOS Devices Uses Just Eight Smart MultiTouch Keys

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's latest iOS 8.2 beta includes a reference to an Apple Watch companion app that will be installed on the iPhone to give users a way to access settings on their Apple Watch devices, and a new report from 9to5Mac using code created by developer Steven Troughton-Smith (which can be found on Github), details some of the functionality that can be found in the upcoming app and in the Apple Watch. Called the Apple Watch "Companion," the app is described as housing both settings for the Apple Watch itself and settings for various Apple Watch applications. As we learned from the WatchKit SDK included in the first iOS 8.2 beta, initial Apple Watch apps will be extensions of existing iPhone apps and will be reliant on the iPhone to function. According to screenshots of the app running on an iPhone, the Apple Watch will be able to send reminders to stand up every hour, progress reports on activity at selected intervals, and notifications for goal completions such as reaching a daily Move, Exercise, or Stand goal. The Apple Watch will also be able to send notifications for achievements, such as when a personal activity milestone is met, and there's an option for a Weekly Summary, which will give users a brief recap of how much they moved during the previous week. In addition to various fitness-related alerts, there are sections in the app to turn on push alerts from the iPhone for Timers and Alarms, get a notification alert in the form of a red dot on the Apple Watch face, and specify acronyms for various cities in the World Clock. All of these aforementioned settings and notifications can be controlled within the "Companion" app. There's also an interesting feature that lets users choose a one to four letter monogram that will appear on the Apple Watch's Color watch face, which is described as a "Complication." First introduced in new marketing earlier this year, Apple Watch Complications are special functions that are displayed within various watch faces, such as stock quotes, weather, and more, like the monogram. With this enabled, the Apple Watch face will display a user's initials. Apps displayed on the Apple Watch home screen in a cluster pattern will be able to be organized and rearranged within the Apple Watch Companion app on the iPhone. Because there's no keyboard, there are tools within the Companion app that suggest the Apple Watch will use voice-based communications for messages and other text-based entry forms. Like the iPhone and the iPad, the Apple Watch will include an option for a passcode that's used to verify Apple Pay payments. As has been detailed in the past, the Apple Watch will require users to enter a passcode when putting the watch on for the first time, and it will make sure that skin contact is maintained to prevent unauthorized Apple Pay payments with the device. The Companion app also appears to confirm that the Apple Watch will indeed feature its own storage and the ability to play songs stored directly on the device, as the About Screen lists storage capacity, songs, and photos stored on the Apple Watch. As the launch of the Apple Watch approaches, details on the device are beginning to leak out, but there are still several unknown elements. For example, there's no solid word on how long the battery will last, aside from Apple CEO Tim Cook's suggestion that users will need to charge it on a nightly basis, and we have no word on pricing, aside from the entry-level $349 Sport model. There's also no clear cut launch date in place, but the most recent rumors have suggested that the device could be released in March. There are a few other minor details that can be gleaned about the Apple Watch based on the Companion app screenshots, and a full range of images is hosted over at 9to5Mac. Other details include stock selections, the use of the Taptic Engine for Maps directions, various Accessibility features, and more. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iPhone Buyer's Guide: Which Model to Choose • Collapsible 'TextBlade' Keyboard for iOS Devices Uses Just Eight Smart MultiTouch Keys • EA Announces 'The Sims 4' Will Launch on Mac in February • InvenSense Faces Investor Lawsuit for Not Disclosing 'Sweetheart' Sensor Deal With Apple • AllCast Lands on iOS With Streaming Media Support for Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, and Fire TV • Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop App for iOS • Viawear to Launch Fashion-Oriented 'Tyia' Wearable Aimed at Women • Apple Launches New 'Games for Kids' App Store Feature

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education has found the Los Angeles Unified School District's $1.3 billion "iPad-for-all" education initiative, announced in the summer of 2013, had been "plagued by lack of resources and inadequate planning for how the devices would be used in classrooms," reports the Los Angeles Times. The iPad initiative was officially canceled last month amidst an investigation by the FBI focusing on the relationship between Apple executives and former LAUSD superintendent John Deasy. The investigation was sparked by claims the bidding for the deal had been altered to favor Apple and Pearson, the higher-education company providing content for the iPads. The troubled project led to the resignation, under threat of dismissal, of former head of technology for LAUSD, Ronald Chandler. Deasy also resigned under similar circumstances last October. The new report deems the project too heavily focused on Apple's iPad as the centerpiece for the initiative, with no willingness to focus on a less-expensive alternative. It also found that the teachers who were supposed to incorporate the iPads into their classroom on a daily basis weren't provided nearly enough training in ways to successfully integrate the technology into an effective lesson plan. The report further mentions that senior managers were "unable or unwilling" to voice concerns over these issues before they snowballed into bigger problems, with the Department of Education mainly looking at a lack of an immediate replacement for Chandler, as well as general mismanagement of the project, as main points of blame. Attempts to fix the program before its eventual end were tried, but faced stonewalling at the hands of a few Deasy supporters, all believing the former superintendint did nothing unethical at any time before or during the intiative's lifespan."The Department of Education had a number of common-sense suggestions ... such as better planning, better testing and evaluation of technology, and better training," said school board member Monica Ratliff, who chaired a panel that reviewed the technology project last year. She produced a report that raised issues similar to those of the Education Department, but it was discounted by some Deasy allies as unfair to the superintendent. The initial rollout of the program - in 47 schools and with $30 million spent on Apple products - in the fall of 2013 met immediate criticism amid ill-prepared teachers, spotty Internet connections, and crafty students bypassing security filters. Following a suspension of the contract between the LAUSD and Apple back in August, the program initially begun over a year and a half earlier was officially canceled last December. The iPad-for-all program and its components currently remain under review by the FBI. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop App for iOS • Viawear to Launch Fashion-Oriented 'Tyia' Wearable Aimed at Women • Apple Launches New 'Games for Kids' App Store Feature • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has seemingly ended its weekly iTunes "Single of the Week" promotion that gave out a free music single download each week on the iTunes storefront. As noted by Business Insider, a member of the Apple discussion forums claims an Apple support employee informed him the company decided to drop the weekly promotion. I contacted iTunes Support and they told me the decision was made to drop the free Single of the Week. Seems they don't want people browsing the Store anymore. I told them that the free single each week got me to the Store and I usually bought a few songs. Now, there's less reason to go. They've stopped the free single in other countries too. The "Single of the Week" promotion began in 2004, and in a similar vein to Apple's "App of the Week" promotion on the App Store, it gave out free singles every week from artists and bands of varying genres and popularity. Though forum user Bob Foss' confirmation of the promotion's end remains unverified, Apple also recently decided to end its annual "12 Days of Christmas" iTunes Store giveaway. Volunteers in our forums have tracked the free iTunes Store content in several countries for a number of years, but the 2015 music thread remains empty as evidence of Apple's apparent decision to cancel the promotions. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop App for iOS • Viawear to Launch Fashion-Oriented 'Tyia' Wearable Aimed at Women • Apple Launches New 'Games for Kids' App Store Feature • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple supplier Quanta Computer has begun ramping up production of the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air ahead of a release during the first quarter of 2015, reports Digitimes. The company has stepped up its efforts to recruit more workers for its production efforts on the notebook, and is looking to bring in a total of 30,000 workers during the quarter to also help with the Apple Watch. Sources close to Quanta further note that the 12-inch MacBook Air will replace the existing 11-inch MacBook Air, with Apple choosing to keep the 13-inch MacBook Air. Rendering of 12-inch MacBook Air done by Martin Hajek The next-generation MacBook Air is expected to feature a high-resolution Retina display and a new Broadwell Core M processor that will enable a thin, fanless design. Other reports have also claimed that the 12-inch MacBook Air will do away with nearly all of the parts found on Apple's current line of MacBook Airs and contain a headphone jack, a pair of microphones, and a USB Type-C port that may handle both connectivity and charging. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop App for iOS • Viawear to Launch Fashion-Oriented 'Tyia' Wearable Aimed at Women • Apple Launches New 'Games for Kids' App Store Feature • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple saw an increase in its U.S. PC shipments during the recent holiday quarter, according to PC shipping estimates from Gartner. Apple shipped over 2.1 million Macs in 4Q14, up from 1.9 million Macs in 4Q13, marking an 11.5 percent increase. Though the company's shipments were up, its growth rate slightly trailed the overall market, resulting in a share of 11.7 percent down from 11.9 percent in the year ago quarter. With its 11.7 percent share of the market, Apple is the third largest PC vendor in the United States, behind HP and Dell, which captured 29.2 and 22.6 percent of the market, respectively. Lenovo and ASUS came in behind Apple, with 10.2 and 6.8 percent of the market, respectively. Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q14 (Thousands of Units) Overall, U.S PC shipments totaled 18.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 13.1 percent increase from the year ago quarter. HP saw the largest amount of growth in the U.S. at 26.2 percent, followed by Lenovo's 21.6 percent growth, Dell's 13.5 percent growth, and Apple's aforementioned 11.5 percent growth. Apple's U.S. Market Share Trend: 1Q06-4Q14 (Gartner) IDC has also released its own estimates of Apple's U.S. PC shipments during the holiday quarter, which are quite different from Gartner's estimates. According to IDC, overall U.S. PC shipments totaled 17.6 million, with Apple responsible for 2.2 million of those with a growth rate of 18.1 percent. In IDC's estimations, Apple's share of the market grew from 11.3 percent in Q413 to 12.7 percent in Q414, rather than declining slightly as in Gartner's estimate. Apple does not rank as one of the top five worldwide vendors in Gartner's data, which ranks ASUS above Apple, but in IDC's data, Apple ranks higher than ASUS and is counted as the number five worldwide PC vendor. IDC's data suggests that Apple's worldwide PC marketshare climbed to 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 with a record breaking 5.7 million shipments, while Gartner's data suggests ASUS was the number five worldwide PC vendor with 6.2 million shipments. It is important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift. Last year, for example, Gartner predicted shipments of 2.2 million for Apple in Q4213, later revising that number to 1.9 million. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Viawear to Launch Fashion-Oriented 'Tyia' Wearable Aimed at Women • Apple Launches New 'Games for Kids' App Store Feature • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App • CES 2015: ibattz Claims Upcoming Power Banks Will Fully Charge in 15 Minutes [Updated]

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of iOS 8.2 to developers, nearly a month after seeding the third beta and more than two months after releasing the first iOS 8.2 beta. The beta, build 12D5461b, is available immediately to registered developers as an over-the-air update and it can also be downloaded from the iOS Developer Center. Today's update also includes Xcode 6.2 beta 4 with WatchKit. iOS 8.2 includes the WatchKit SDK, allowing developers to create apps, Glances, and notifications for Apple's upcoming wearable device ahead of its 2015 launch. The first iOS 8.2 beta, with WatchKit SDK and developer documentation, revealed several new details about the Apple Watch, including its heavy reliance on the iPhone and the different types of content developers can create for the device. Along with iOS 8.2, Apple is also working on a minor iOS 8.1.3 update which is in testing and could come later this week. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Launches New 'Games for Kids' App Store Feature • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App • CES 2015: ibattz Claims Upcoming Power Banks Will Fully Charge in 15 Minutes [Updated] • Upcoming Plex Update to Add One-Click iTunes Library Import, New Music Features

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
GM today at Detroit's North American International Auto Show showcased the upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, and as spotted by The Verge, the latest Volt model includes an option for CarPlay as well as MirrorLink in the vehicle's entertainment system settings. 2016 Chevy Volt in-dash entertainment system by The Verge GM was listed as a CarPlay partner when the technology was announced in early 2014, but the company was not expected to incorporate CarPlay into its automobiles right away. Almost one year after the announcement, GM appears to finally be bringing CarPlay to its automobile lineup starting with the 2016 Volt, although the new model is not expected to go on sale to the public until the second half of this year. Chevrolet has previously been involved in CarPlay demonstrations, but the upcoming second-generation Volt looks to the be first production vehicle with the feature built-in. GM's CarPlay unveiling follows similar CarPlay announcements from Volkswagen and Hyundai, both of which used CES to showcase their CarPlay-enabled in-dash entertainment systems. CarPlay also is expanding in the aftermarket automobile receiver market with Parrot, Kenwood and Pioneer recently unveiling new CarPlay in-dash receivers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Launches New 'Games for Kids' App Store Feature • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App • CES 2015: ibattz Claims Upcoming Power Banks Will Fully Charge in 15 Minutes [Updated] • Upcoming Plex Update to Add One-Click iTunes Library Import, New Music Features

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Marsh Supermarkets and inMarket today are announcing the launch of a new iBeacon platform throughout Marsh's 75 supermarket locations that will enable Apple Watch users to receive interactive alerts and other content on their devices based on their proximity to Marsh's beacons. The program is the first integration of iBeacon technology with Apple's wearable product, which is expected to launch to the public in the next several months."iBeacons have created new ways to connect with mobile shoppers in the store, and inMarket allows us to reach many of our shoppers through the apps they love and use everyday," said Amit Bhardwaj, Senior Director of Customer Loyalty, Marsh Supermarkets. "Now with wearable integration, shoppers who use Apple Watch will enjoy the same digitally-augmented, real-world shopping experience."Marsh and inMarket are working together to develop a platform that will initially include Marsh's own app and inMarket's List Ease app, with other apps likely to quickly follow. As envisioned, inMarket's beacons in Marsh stores will be able to trigger alerts such as shopping lists, ads, and other content for customers who use Marsh's mobile app or one of the apps that incorporate inMarket's Proximity SDK. Customers who opt into the program could receive offers, recipes, and other alerts on their mobile devices as they walk through the grocery store, and the system will automatically extend to the Apple Watch on day one as the apps are updated to add support for the device. Marsh may be the first to extend Apple's iBeacon capabilities to the Apple Watch, but it isn't the first to adopt the location-based technology. Retailer Macy's, Virgin Atlantic airlines and Major League Baseball are among the early adopters that rolled out iBeacons in their respective venues. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App • CES 2015: ibattz Claims Upcoming Power Banks Will Fully Charge in 15 Minutes [Updated] • Upcoming Plex Update to Add One-Click iTunes Library Import, New Music Features • CES 2015: Kensington Announces 'KeyFolio Thin X3 Plus' Battery Case for iPad Air 2

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Flickr over the weekend released data detailing the most popular camera rankings of 2014 for the online photo sharing service. With 100 million users uploading 10 billion photos last year, the usual standouts of Canon and Nikon edged out most of the competition, but most interesting was Apple moving past Nikon to take second place in the rankings (via The Next Web). Focusing solely on the top 5 camera brands used on the service last year, Canon took first place with 13.4 percent, followed by Apple with 9.6 percent and Nikon with 9.3 percent. Samsung and Sony round out the other top spots. Individual iPhone models have long registered as the most popular camera devices on Flickr, but in looking at overall brand performance, major traditional camera manufacturers Canon and Nikon with as many as several hundred different models on the market long held down the top spots until Apple's entry in 2014. Flickr also looked at the top mobile device cameras used on Flickr, where Apple unsurprisingly dominated the top ten list. In first through fourth were the iPhone 5 (10.6 percent), iPhone 4s (7.0 percent), iPhone 4 (4.3 percent), and the iPhone 5c (2.0 percent). The iPhone 6, iPad, and iPad mini also placed in the top ten. It is unclear why the iPhone 5s is not included on Flickr's year-end lists, as it has been registering as the most popular camera overall for a number of months now. Though Flickr's data can't exactly be used to specifically track the rise or fall of full-fledged DSLR and professional cameras, as Flickr is used by both paid professionals and everyday amateurs, it's still interesting to see Apple's own hardware slowly edge out such big brands in the photography space. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Buyer's Guide: Deals on Retina iMac, Older iPads, Apps, and Apple Accessories • California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple • CES 2015: SVALT Launches Stylish Cooling Dock for Apple MacBooks • Nest Teams Up With Automatic for Energy Saving Temperature Tweaks Based on Vehicle Activity • Evernote Offering Automatic Document Scanning With New 'Scannable' iOS App • CES 2015: ibattz Claims Upcoming Power Banks Will Fully Charge in 15 Minutes [Updated] • Upcoming Plex Update to Add One-Click iTunes Library Import, New Music Features • CES 2015: Kensington Announces 'KeyFolio Thin X3 Plus' Battery Case for iPad Air 2

Read More...