posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Amazon today unveiled its much-anticipated new smartphone, the Fire Phone, which Amazon calls "refined, beautiful, and robust." The phone has a 4.7-inch LCD HD display along with Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides and "precise" aluminum buttons. It includes a quad-core 2.2Ghz processor, an Adreno 330 Graphics Processor, 2GB of RAM, and dual stereo speakers. There's a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with an f/2.0 five element lens and built-in optical image stabilization. Aiming at Apple, Amazon touted the low-light capabilities of the camera included in the phone and announced free unlimited photo storage through its Amazon Cloud Drive service. Apple recently announced its own iCloud Photo Library, but it offers a limited amount of storage for free. Along with standard cameras, Amazon's Fire Phone utilizes four additional cameras for a 3D interface, called "Dynamic Perspective." 3D images on the phone change as it is tilted and viewed from different angles, thanks to advanced eye and face tracking capabilities. Demonstrated with a mapping app, the 3D UI displayed a 3D version of the Empire State Building that could be viewed from all angles, with a tilt of the phone expanding the view. Amazon's Fire Phone accomplishes the facial tracking with its four corner cameras and knows where a user's head is at all times to aid Dynamic Perspective, using infrared for tracking in the dark and advanced algorithms for head continuous tracking. Accelerometers enable navigation through tilt gestures, demonstrated within a maps app that brought up Yelp when the phone was tilted slightly. Tilting and Dynamic Perspective can also be used in apps and for web browsing -- scrolling through items, zooming in, pulling up menus, and more. There's an autoscroll feature that will scroll through web pages and books automatically, which Jeff Bezos called "incredibly natural." Amazon is releasing a Dynamic Perspective SDK for developers today. Also included with the phone is a new flagship feature called Firefly, a virtual recognition program able to recognize QR codes, barcodes, objects, and more, which facilitates the discovery and purchase of various items. Firefly is built directly into the Fire Phone with a dedicated button on the side. On stage, Amazon demoed Firefly scanning barcodes, URLs, and products like games, keeping a record of what was scanned and allowing the info to be used to make purchases, phone calls, and more. Firefly is also able to listen to music and recognize audio like TV shows, much like Siri can now do with Shazam, and it's also able to recognize art, pulling up a Wikipedia page for a painting. It's a fully featured recognition system that can even read street signs and phone numbers from a distance. According to Amazon, it recognizes a hundred million different items in real world situations, and provides a button so users can buy most of them on the spot. There's also a Firefly SDK that developers can utilize to build Firefly into apps. As for the phone's UI, it includes an app grid that lets users pin content like books, apps, magazines, and more, and there's also a scrollable carousel of apps at the top of the screen and four common apps on the bottom of the phone's interface. The phone also includes active widgets that can be used when opening a full app is unnecessary. Both the Kindle Fire's Second Screen and X-Ray feature work on the Fire phone, and users are able to "fling" video from the phone to the Amazon TV, while X-Ray gives details on whatever is being watched. HBO Go, Netflix, YouTube, ESPN, and more are all supposed in addition to Amazon's own video services. The Fire Phone will also support Amazon's new Prime music service, which the company launched last week, as well as music from Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartMusic, and it will include Kindle and Audible support. Much like the latest Fire tablets, it supports MayDay, a free service that lets users contact customer support representatives for free. Amazon's Fire Phone is exclusive to AT&T and will be priced at $199/$299 for 32/64GB of storage with a standard contract or carrier agreement. The price includes the phone, stay-flat cables, and premium magnetic earbuds. It can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com and is expected to begin shipping in July. (Images courtesy of CNET) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Announces Creative Cloud Updates, Expanded Creative Profile • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Sharp today announced its upcoming "Free-Form Display" technology that will allow the company to nearly eliminate the traditional bezel that surrounds LCD displays. As a result, Sharp will be able to build LCD panels in nearly any shape to conform to the display area of the intended product. Conventional displays are rectangular because they require a minimal width for the bezel in order to accommodate the drive circuit, called the gate driver, around the perimeter of the screen's display area. With the Free-Form Display, the gate driver's function is dispersed throughout the pixels on the display area. This allows the bezel to be shrunk considerably, and it gives the freedom to design the LCD to match whatever shape the display area of the screen needs to be.As an example, Sharp demonstrates a prototype display for a vehicle dashboard, with the display conforming to the shape of the main instrument panel, but the company also address the possibility of using the technology for "wearable devices with elliptical displays". The concept of non-rectangular LCD displays naturally ties in to Apple's rumored iWatch, which at least one analyst believes will include a round display, although most recent rumors have suggested the device will use an OLED display. Still, advancements in LCD technology that would allow for non-traditional display shapes open the door to many different possibilities for future devices, particularly as wearables appear set to become an increasingly significant focus for mobile device companies. Reducing bezel thickness on traditionally shaped devices such as the iPhone and iPad has also been a goal for Apple, seeking to maximize display size relative to the overall device size. Sharp's technology could serve to push this effort even further, and issues with devices registering unintended touches from simply holding the device should be minimized as Apple has already developed software solutions for recognizing those touches as part of the development of the iPad mini and iPad Air. Sharp has not announced when its Free-Form Display technology will be ready for use, noting only that will enter mass production "at the earliest possible date." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Announces Creative Cloud Updates, Expanded Creative Profile • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple may add an atmospheric pressure sensor to the iPhone 6, according to a report by 9to5Mac. This follows on a rumor from March that suggested the iPhone 6 could include humidity, temperature and pressure sensors when it comes out this fall. A barometer is used to measure atmospheric pressure, giving indications on current and future weather trends as well as altitude data. The report says new APIs in iOS 8 reference altitude data, including one called "isRelativeAltitudeAvailable" that tells apps if a device "supports reporting relative altitude changes". For an iPhone 5s, the API returns "no". According to sources at Apple, the Cupertino-company has been working on an updated version of the Compass application that includes altitude tracking, so perhaps that application, which was originally added in 2009 alongside the iPhone 3GS, is what customers will utilize to track their altitude.iOS 8 is expected to be launched this fall alongside new, larger iPhones. The altitude and pressure sensors could make an appearance in the phone as well as new iPads that are expected later this fall. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Announces Creative Cloud Updates, Expanded Creative Profile • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Developers who have installed the newest iOS 8 beta, the latest version of OS X Yosemite, and the current Apple TV beta, all released yesterday, have noticed a new pop up notification suggesting the Apple TV will gain some of the Continuity features Apple introduced during its Worldwide Developers Conference. As noted by 9to5Mac, the notifications are being received on Macs running on the same local WiFi network as Apple TVs that also have the newest software, suggesting at the least, that with Yosemite, Macs will be able to interact with the Apple TV in new ways. It is unclear how Yosemite and the Apple TV might interact as any Continuity features between the two are not yet functional, but it is possible that a feature like Handoff could be used in conjunction with AirPlay, allowing a movie, TV show, or music to be seamlessly transferred from one device to another. It's also possible the Apple TV could display notifications when a phone call is incoming to an iPhone, much like the Mac and the iPad are able to do. Call notifications and on-screen caller ID are not far-fetched, as some telecommunications providers that offer TV, Internet, and phone access are able to display caller information on screen. Continuity features like Handoff appear to require Bluetooth 4.0, a feature that is only available in the third-generation Apple TV. Yesterday's update was only available for third-generation Apple TVs, providing more evidence that the device is likely to gain some Continuity features. OS X Yosemite, the new Apple TV software, and iOS 8 are all expected to be released to the public in the fall after an extended beta testing period. Apple is also said to be working on an upgraded Apple TV set top box with new capabilities, which could also take advantage of Continuity features. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Announces Creative Cloud Updates, Expanded Creative Profile • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Following today's launch of a new entry-level iMac model curiously featuring an ultra-low voltage Intel processor actually used in the MacBook Air, the new iMac appears to have shown up in Geekbench's benchmarking database. As expected, the new machine posts relatively low 32-bit scores of 2820 in single-core mode and 5435 in multi-core mode. These scores are marginally better than the 2476/4690 scores posted by the current-generation MacBook Air running the same chip and actually fairly close to single-core scores from the previous low-end model, which remains available, at 2882. But where this new low-end iMac unsurprisingly falls far short of the previous low-end model is in multi-core performance, where the older model clocks in at 9204. This major difference is due primarily to the chip used in the new low-end model being a dual-core chip, while the older low-end chip is quad-core. The new low-end iMac comes in $200 cheaper than the previous entry-level model, but for that savings users will sacrifice some CPU and graphics performance and will have a 500 GB hard drive rather than the 1 TB drive included in the more expensive low-end model. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Announces Creative Cloud Updates, Expanded Creative Profile • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Adobe today announced the launch of a new suite of mobile apps and accompanying hardware that includes its Adobe Ink digital pen and its Adobe Slide digital ruler. Previously known as the "Mighty" stylus and the "Napoleon" digital ruler while in development, Adobe's new tools were created in partnership with Adonit, the company behind a line of popular styluses. Adobe's three-sided aluminum Ink stylus is pressure sensitive and connects to Creative Cloud, allowing users to access photos, color palettes, drawings, and more, while drawing within Adobe's mobile apps. Adobe Slide, the ruler that accompanies the stylus, is designed to enable precision sketching, including straight lines, perfect circles, and balanced shapes on Apple's iPad. The Ink and Slide are complemented by two new iPad apps, Adobe Sketch and Adobe Line. Sketch is a social sketching app for free-form drawing, with a set of simple tools (pencil, ink pen, blending markers, and eraser) and Behance integration to share sketches with the creative community. Line allows iPad users to create precision drafts and drawings, with a reimagining of traditional tools like rulers, T-squares, and shape templates. Along with Line and Sketch Adobe is introducing Photoshop Mix, an iPad app that interfaces with Photoshop on the desktop and makes it easy for users to do masking and compositing of images. It's a simple way to create masks on a touch screen, which can then be transferred to the desktop version of Photoshop. It is able to open PSD files and it includes features like Content Aware Fill and Camera Shake Reduction. There are also new Creative Cloud apps for the iPhone and the iPad, which allow Creative Cloud members to access and manage their files and assets from their mobile devices. Finally, the mobile version of Adobe Lightroom, initially available only for the iPad is now expanding to the iPhone. Adobe's new apps have been built using the Creative SDK, which is currently undergoing private beta testing but will be released to developers in the future, allowing for additional apps that will be able to take advantage of Adobe's new hardware and Creative Cloud connectivity. Adobe has also updated all of its Creative Cloud apps for the desktop and introduced expanded Creative Cloud profiles to improve connectivity between mobile devices and apps. Ink and Slide, Adobe's new hardware tools, are sold in a set and are available immediately from Adobe.com for $100. Ink and Slide are currently limited to U.S. customers only, but Adobe has plans to expand availability in the future. Adobe's new apps, Sketch, Line and Photoshop Mix will all be from the App Store today for free, as will the new Creative Cloud app and Lightroom for iPhone. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Adobe Announces Creative Cloud Updates, Expanded Creative Profile • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
On the same day it launched a new entry-level iMac model, Apple also used the downtime to adjust the prices on other hardware in some European markets. The price cuts we've noticed affect European models of the Mac mini, the European Apple TV and iMac models in the UK. Pricing on the Mac mini dropped between €30 and €60, depending on the country and model. Most European stores are now offering the entry-level Mac Mini for €619 with the quad-core and OS X server models selling for €819 and €1019, respectively, although some euro countries such as Germany are showing slightly lower pricing of €599/€799/€999. In the UK, the entry-level Mac Mini remains the same at £499, with price drops between €30 and €50 being applied to the quad-core and server models. Apple also cut the prices on the Apple TV in Europe, reducing the cost by €10/£20. The once €109/£99 media streaming device is now available for €99/£79 throughout most of Apple's European stores. While Europe saw a reduction, the Apple TV price remains the same in the US at $99. Along with the new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac, Apple UK also lowered the cost of existing iMac models. The existing 21.5-inch models were lowered by £100, while the 27-inch models saw similar reductions of £150. The reduction appears to limited only to the UK with most of Europe and the US still selling the iMac at its original pricing. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While rumors last week indicated that Apple would be launching minor updates to its iMac line, Apple today unveiled a new lower-cost iMac at $1,099. The new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac comes with a 1.4GHZ dual-core Intel i5 processor, a 500GB hard drive, 8GB of memory, and an Intel HD 500 Graphics chip for $1,099. All of Apple's other 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs are still available as well. Apple is also rumored to be working on Retina Display-equipped iMacs, as recent evidence in the OS X Yosemite developer preview suggested such models were in the works. While there is no specific release date for a Retina iMac, Apple could launch the new desktop computer later this year. Apple's new entry-level iMac is available today through Apple's various retail locations and online store, and shows an availability of "within 24 hours." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple and Samsung are attempting to find "common ground" in efforts to end their ongoing legal battle, reports The Korea Times (via GforGames). Citing sources "familiar with the negotiations", the paper notes that both firms are "trimming the number of disputed issues", stating that both Apple and Samsung are attempting to become "more practical" about finding a solution. Another source also claimed that Apple would like to keep Samsung as one of its main parts suppliers, with the report referencing the long-rumored iWatch: "As technology shifts toward wearable devices, Apple still wants to keep Samsung as its top-tier parts sourcing channel," another source said. "The recent release of the Samsung OLED tablet is an indication that Samsung can manage OLED displays to be used in almost all wearable devices, a segment that Apple is greatly interested in." In the past two years, Apple and Samsung have been in two trials over the issue of patent infringement. The first trial in 2012 awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages, however a damages retrial last November brought that amount down to $290 million. Meanwhile, the second trial wrapped up last month and found both companies guilty, although Samsung was ordered to pay $119.6 million while Apple was to pay just $158,400. Samsung has since filed an appeal to challenge the second verdict. Last week, both companies also agreed to drop their cross-appeal rulings on an ITC ban for older Samsung products, which focused on patent 7,789,697, and dealt with the concept of accessories being recognized when they plug in to devices. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Electronics CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon also reportedly attending a mediation session earlier this year, however both parties failed to reach an agreement in their ongoing legal battle. While a new agreement would take some time to reach, a move to end the ongoing legal battle would prove to be very beneficial for both Apple and Samsung. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Wikipad Announces 'Gamevice' iOS Game Controller for iPad Mini • 10 Mac Apps in Summer 'Name Your Own Price' Bundle and MacBook Air in Giveaway • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While there have been plenty of videos comparing the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and other smartphones, there haven't been many comparing the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 to other devices. However, YouTube channel TechSmartt (via AppleInsider) has acquired a dummy of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and compared it to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, offering a look at Apple's rumored "phablet" against its main competition. When compared to the 5.7-inch Note 3, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is slightly taller. This correlates with an earlier size comparison that found the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 was the same height or taller than leading Android smartphones that had slightly larger screens. If believed, these dummy models signal that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could be taller than the Note 3's height of 151.2mm. The extra height is largely due to a carryover of design decisions from previous iPhone models, which include identically sized top and bottom bezels. These bezels contain the FaceTime camera, the Touch ID Home button and numerous sensors. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Over the weekend, we posted a story that Apple's Handoff feature was limited to Macs that support the Bluetooth 4.0/LE specification. Handoff/Continuity allows OS X and iOS device users to seamlessly transition between the two operating systems. However, there was some debate about the accuracy of that claim at the time, though now it seems almost certain to be true. Bluetooth 4.0 was was first introduced in the MacBook Air and Mac mini in Mid 2011. The feature has since made its way into later Mac releases, finally coming to every Mac as of the 2013 Mac Pro. Apfeleimer put together this nice graph showing which Macs support Bluetooth 4.0/LE. The full bars represent Macs that can run OS X Yosemite, while only Mac models in the green bar timeframes support the required Bluetooth protocol for Handoff. For iOS users, the iPad 2 is the only device that is capable of running iOS 8 but doesn't come with hardware support for Bluetooth LE. There was some uncertainty about this being an absolute requirement, though in the WWDC sessions, Apple clearly states that Handoff runs on Bluetooth LE technology. However, now with the release of Yosemite Developer Preview 2, Apple has added a new field for Continuity Support in the System Information. The new field falls under the Bluetooth category: Owners of late generation Macs seem to be showing Continuity support in line with the chart above, while older Mac owners are seeing Continuity support set to "No". It's not yet clear if adding a 3rd party Bluetooth 4.0 dongle will enable support on older Macs. OS X Yosemite is in developer beta right now and will be released to customers later this year. Handoff support in the early betas remain spotty, so even those with supported devices may not see the feature working. Apple, of course, could change requirements over time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • New Apple TV Beta, iOS 8 Beta 2 Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Family Sharing Feature • Halfbrick's Entire Library of Games is Now Free, Including Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash • Facebook Launches New 'Slingshot' Messaging App • OS X Yosemite's 'Dark Mode' Now Available via Terminal Command • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is offering discounts on several popular e-books from Hachette Book Group, the publisher currently embroiled in a dispute with Amazon. As noted by Re/code, Apple is promoting a sale on several Hachette titles under a "Popular Pre-Orders: $9.99 or Less" section in the book section of the iTunes Store, which includes upcoming titles from major authors like James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and J.K. Rowling (under pen name Robert Galbraith). While Apple does not specifically mention the books on sale are published by Hachette, every book in the 26-book section is indeed a Hachette title. An Apple PR representative confirmed the promotion to Re/code, but declined to discuss pricing or other details. For those unfamiliar with the dispute, Amazon and Hachette have been at war for the last month, after negotiations over profit-sharing failed. Amazon has since refused to take pre-order sales of Hachette books and has also ceased discounting existing Hachette titles, leading to much higher prices, in an effort to get Hachette to agree to better terms.An Apple PR rep confirmed the promotion, but wouldn't discuss the pricing or any other details. So we have to assume that either Hachette is lowering wholesale prices on its own titles to help Apple tweak Amazon, or Apple is lowering the retail price on its own, and losing margin in order to tweak Amazon.Amazon released a public statement in May, noting that it was not optimistic about resolving the disagreement with Hachette in the near future. That means Amazon customers must pay more for Hachette books and must wait for books to be launched to make a purchase, a situation that benefits Apple as it is still able to offer customers pre-orders on popular titles. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 8, which brings a number of improvements, changes, and bug fixes to the beta software that was introduced on June 2. iOS 8 beta 2 also includes several minor interface tweaks and modifications that make the beta feel both faster and more polished. We've gathered a list of the enhancements that have been bundled into the release below. Podcasts: Following iOS 8 beta 2, the Podcasts app is a default iOS app that comes pre-installed on iOS devices. This means it can no longer be deleted. Safari: According to the release notes, Safari will now block ads from automatically redirecting to the App Store without user interaction. Safari also includes a new pinch to tab view. App Store Purchases: Apps in the App Store's purchased tab are once again sorted by purchase date. In iOS 8 beta 1, they were sorted alphabetically. QuickType Keyboard: Apple's QuickType keyboard is now available on the iPad as well as the iPhone, but does not appear to be available on the iPad 2. Brightness: In beta 1, the Brightness toggle in the Settings menu under Wallpaper and Brightness was broken. It is now functional again. Messages: Icons for the camera and the microphone in Messages are now gray rather than blue and there's a new setting to mark all messages read. Settings: There's a new "Raise to Listen" setting for Messages. Privacy: There's a new Home Data section within the Privacy menu of the Settings app. iCloud Photos: When entering the Photos app, there's a new "iCloud Photos" popup that activates Apple's new iCloud Photos feature, replacing a user's existing Photo Stream settings. Additional features in iOS 8 beta 2 will be added here as they are discovered. Apple is likely to continue pushing regular updates to iOS 8, bringing minor performance boosts and changes ahead of the operating system's public release, which is expected to come in the fall. For more information on iOS 8's features, big and small, make sure to check out our roundups. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Alongside iOS 8 beta 2, Apple today released a new version of OS X Yosemite, just over two weeks after initially introducing the operating system at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The update, Developer Preview 2, has a build number of 14A261i, and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store or the Mac Dev Center. OS X Yosemite brings a flatter, more modern look to OS X, with an emphasis on translucency, along with a slew of new features, including improved integration with iOS 8 through Continuity. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 8 to developers, just over two weeks after unveiling the new operating system at its Worldwide Developers Conference. The update, build number 12A4297e, is available through Apple's over-the-air updating system on iOS devices and will also be available via the iOS Dev Center. Apple has also released Xcode 6 beta 2, new beta software for the Apple TV, and OS X Yosemite Update 1.0. iOS 8 introduces a range of new features, including improved integration with OS X through Continuity, a Health app, Family Sharing features, interactive notifications, a new QuickType Keyboard and improvements to several apps like Safari, Mail, and Messages. iOS 8 is only available to developers at the current point in time, but it is expected to be released to the public this fall after several additional beta iterations. Based on past history, iOS 8 will likely be released alongside new iPhones, and possibly the much-rumored iWatch. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Garmin Launches 'Viago' Navigation App for iOS with Speed Limits, Lane Assist, and More • Automatic Gains Redesigned App, New Data on Fuel Level • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While Apple is widely expected to expand use of its Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPad Air and iPad mini later this year, new photos of an alleged "perfect replica" of the second-generation iPad Air shared by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] hint that there may be a few additional changes in store for the device. The replica, which is making the rounds in China and Japan, unsurprisingly depicts a Touch ID home button for the device, but also shows some tweaks to physical features around the edges of the device, including a new speaker grille with a single row of larger holes on each side of the Lightning port as opposed to the current double row of smaller holes on the iPad. Another difference lies in the volume buttons which are shown slightly recessed into the edge of the case, compared to the current design that sees buttons protruding slightly from a flush holes machines in the device's shell. Nowhereelse.fr mentions that the mute switch is also missing, although there is a small hole where the feature is usually located. Unfinished protoype and mockup parts sometimes feature these pilot holes to guide machining of the final hole. Updated iPads are expected to launch later this year, with October being Apple's usual timeframe for such launches over the past couple of years. The latter part of 2014 is expected to be a busy one for Apple, with rumors of launches for the iPhone 6, new iPads, the iWatch, and perhaps some Mac updates such as the company's rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook Air. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With conflicting opinions about whether Apple and partner GT Advanced Technologies will have enough sapphire crystal production ramped up for both rumored iPhone 6 models and the iWatch, Taiwan's Economic Daily News is now weighing in [Google Translate, via G 4 Games] with its own claims that only the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model will include a sapphire display due to production limitations. According to the report, the smaller 4.7-inch model will continue to use Corning's Gorilla Glass and represent the bulk of shipments for the new iPhone. From G 4 Games:The source also claims that the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 will hit the market with Gorilla Glass in tow. The main screen suppliers allegedly are LGD and JDI, and in anticipation of the handset’s success, the company expects to ship 60 million units (we assume that by the end of 2014). [...] As far as the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 goes, it will allegedly be built in limited quantities due to low sapphire yield, leading to a limited supply in 2014, therefore contradicting a recent report which claimed that Apple will have enough sapphire for both iPhone 6 models AND the iWatch. The report also addresses Apple's rumored iWatch, claiming that LG Display has been struggling to meet Apple's demand of nearly zero energy use in standby mode for the device's display. From G 4 Games:Reportedly, Apple has constantly pushed back the gadget’s release date because the device failed, in the past, to meet the company’s expectations. One of Apple goals with the iWatch is for the smartwatch’s display to draw almost no power when in standby, but this has proven to be a big challenge. And speaking of the display, the device will reportedly feature an OLED screen (between 1.3 and 1.6-inches in size) which will be supplied exclusively by LG Display, just as it’s been reported back in January 2014.Sources for the report reiterate previous claims that Quanta will be handling the bulk of iWatch production, although Inventec will reportedly also be helping out. According to today's report, the iPhone 6 and the iWatch will be introduced at the end of the third quarter, roughly in line with rumors and Apple's recent iPhone launch history putting this year's introductions in the September-October timeframe. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
FiftyThree announced today (via TechCrunch) that its "Pencil" iPad stylus will be updated with a new Surface Pressure feature when iOS 8 debuts later this year. This feature allows users to change the thickness of the lines they create by controlling how much of the pencil tip comes in contact with the iPad screen. Pencil’s tapered tip was inspired by the expressive richness of real pencil points, which allow creators to change the character of the line with the angle of the tip. With Surface Pressure you’ll be able to control the lines you create based on how much of Pencil’s tip or eraser is in contact with your iPad. Use the point for fine details or the angled edge for broad strokes. Surface Pressure unlocks new capabilities for each of Paper's tools—fill faster as you draw, shade as you sketch, or carve away in varying widths as you erase. This Surface Pressure option is made possible by iOS 8's variable touch sizing, which lets developers interpret touch along a range of point sizes that vary from a single point to a broad circle. The ability to adjust line thickness on the fly is a significant advantage over the current version of the stylus, which delivers a single line whose thickness is controlled via an in-app setting that is changed manually. FiftyThree released the Bluetooth Pencil stylus last November as a companion to its popular Paper drawing app. It is available in either a brushed aluminum (US$50) or walnut ($60) option for consumers who live in the US or Canada. Surface Pressure will be included in a free Pencil software update, which will be released this fall following iOS 8. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Settles State and Consumer Class Action E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
As it has done in prior years, Apple will once again be offering free summer camps for kids 8 to 12 at its retail stores, with this year's sessions focusing on filmmaking with iMovie and interactive storytelling with iBooks Author. The classes will run for three days with each class going for 90 minutes. The iMovie workshops will provide lessons on filmmaking with iMovie on the Mac and creating an original soundtrack in GarageBand for iPad. Meanwhile, the iBooks classes will teach kids how to draw illustrations using an iPad and how to add sound effects as well as Multi-Touch features using iBooks Author for Mac. The third day of each camp will also end with an Apple Camp Showcase so campers can share their finished projects. The first sessions begin in mid-July and go through early August. While some stores have already filled their slots for both workshops, others have many spots remaining. Interested parents can register for sessions on Apple's U.S. and Canadian retail websites, while parents in China, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom can register to be notified when registration opens in their countries. Apple Camp sessions for Australia's Apple Retail Stores will return in 2015. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Nest Protect' Smoke Detectors Back On Sale After Safety Recall, Now Starting at $99 • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Beats Headphones, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Parallels has updated its Parallels Access app, which allows iPad users access their Mac or Windows desktops on their tablets, with iPhone support, allowing iPhone users to also access their desktops on the go. “Parallels Access received a tremendously positive reception from iPad users, and now we are extending our solution to millions of Android and iPhone users. While traditional remote desktop products are trying to show a large desktop on a small mobile device, we worked hard to make remote access from mobile devices a truly simple and effective experience,” said Jack Zubarev, president of Parallels.The update also includes the ability to use an iPhone or iPad's microphone remotely for desktop apps that may require them, the ability to change the screen resolution, the ability to wake a sleeping remote computer, Facebook login integration and a new file browser. The browser allows users to browse and open files on their iPad or iPhone. Users must download the free Parallels Access app on both their desktop of choice and iPad or iPhone. They can then launch their desktop apps in "full-screen mode" via a SpringBoard-like App Launcher. While the apps are free, users must subscribe to the service, which costs $19.99 a year for up to five remote desktops. Parallels also offers a two-week free trial. Parallels Access is a universal app that's available for free in the App Store. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Beats Headphones, and More • Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Unicode Consortium today announced version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard, which will see the introduction of approximately 250 new emoji that could be included in future versions of the Android and iOS operating systems. According to the Unicode Consortium, the new emoji characters are primarily derived from characters used in the Wingdings and Webdings fonts, as seen in an example image: As noted by The Verge, Unicode member platforms like iOS and Android will need to implement support for the new standard and create pictographs to represent the emoji, which are only described by Unicode in plain text. Unicode A full list of the new emoji names can be found on Emojipedia, which includes descriptions for each future emoji, such as "white sun behind cloud," "man in business suit levitating," "derelict house building," "chipmunk," "flying envelope," and more. Earlier this year, Apple began working with the Unicode Consortium to introduce more characters to its emoji offerings, adding diversity to the character set, but this update does not seem to focus on people emoji. The Unicode update will also see the addition of new currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat, 23 lesser-used and historic scripts, plus many other symbols. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Beats Headphones, and More • Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Over the weekend, The New York Times released an in-depth profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook. For that piece, the publication interviewed Jony Ive, Apple's head of design, and now The New York Times has released a transcript of the full interview with Ive, which points towards Apple's design philosophies, how the company has changed under Cook, and the new products that Ive is working on. In an anecdote about Steve Jobs and the creation of small, highly focused design teams as his legacy, Ive says that Cook has continued on with Jobs' push for innovation, nudging Ive and his team into new areas of exploration that includes all new materials.I've worked for the last 15 or 20 years on the most challenging, creative parts of what we do. I would love to talk about future stuff -- they're materials we haven't worked in before. I've been working on this stuff for a few years now. Tim is fundamentally involved in pushing into these new areas and into these materials.Ive's statement about working with new materials is incredibly vague, but rumors have suggested that Apple has been experimenting with a range of materials that have not yet seen wide usage in its devices, including sapphire crystal, which may make its way into the iWatch and the iPhone 6, Liquidmetal alloys, which the company may use for various iPhone parts, and possibly graphene, which is seen as the hot new manufacturing material. Apple has experimented with sapphire as a cover for the home button and the camera lens on the iPhone 5s, and Liquidmetal has been used in the iPhone 3G's SIM tool removal device, but both materials are ripe for extended usage in Apple's future devices. Along with hinting at future products, Ive also spoke on a recent management change that saw him taking over the software interface design team, saying that the changes made in that department are not as dramatic as one might imagine as the design teams have always worked together closely. According to Ive, titles are unimportant at Apple. "That's not the lens through which we see our peers," he says. The rest of Ive's interview can be read over at The New York Times. The full piece on Tim Cook, which has details on product development and Apple's plans for the iWatch, is also well worth a read. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • G-Speed Studio 24TB RAID Storage Solution Takes on Mac Pro Design • New Retail Chief Ahrendts to Oversee Apple Store Restructuring, New Store Construction • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Beats Headphones, and More • Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Wall Street Journal profiles one of Google's recent acquisitions which has implications on mapping, competitive intelligence and even privacy. Skybox Imaging is an intelligence company that by the year 2018 will be able to take satellite imaging to the next level: By the time its entire fleet of 24 satellites has launched in 2018, Skybox will be imaging the entire Earth at a resolution sufficient to capture, for example, real-time video of cars driving down the highway. And it will be doing it three times a day.The ability to take such frequent imaging will certainly aid Google's Maps product, but it also opens up a market for competitive intelligence. Skybox says they are already looking at Foxconn every week and are able to pinpoint the next iPhone release based on the density of trucks outside their manufacturing facilities. Google plans on initially using the technology to improve their Maps product, potentially providing more up-to-date satellite images, but Skybox executives have long term plans for offering their data to outside developers for a fee. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Beats Headphones, and More • Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android • Twitter App Gets World Cup 'Timelines' in New Update • Facebook Updates Messaging App with 15-Second Videos, 'Big Likes'

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Speech-recognition company Nuance, which is responsible for the technology that powers Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, is in talks with Samsung Electronics about a possible acquisition, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company has spoken about a possible sale with Samsung and other private-equity firms, but it is unclear if a deal has been reached.The Burlington, Mass., company has recently spoken about a possible sale of the company with Samsung Electronics Co. and private-equity firms, some of the people said. It isn't clear where sale talks, some of which happened earlier this year, currently stand or if they will lead to a deal.Nuance is well known for its speech recognition and dictation recognition software, which includes Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It has also formed partnerships with multiple companies, such as Amazon, and released an API for developers. Nuance's best known partnership is with Apple, however, as its speech and dictation recognition algorithms are the backbone of Siri. The exact nature of the partnership between Nuance and Apple was unknown for many years as the deal between the two companies was kept secret, but in 2013, Nuance CEO Paul Ricci confirmed that Nuance's technology powers Siri's voice recognition capabilities. "We're a fundamental provider for Apple," he said at the time. It is unclear what impact a possible Nuance acquisition would have on Apple's relationship with the company. Apple may be forced to find another solution for Siri's voice recognition abilities, but it's important to note that many of Siri's functionalities beyond voice recognition come from integration with other companies like Yelp, OpenTable, and Wolfram Alpha. Back in 2013, a report suggested that Apple may already be working to move Siri development in-house, stepping away from longtime partner Nuance. Apple has a dedicated Siri team in Boston that may be working on a voice recognition solution in the event that Apple is forced to end its partnership with Nuance. Nuance's talks with Samsung and other parties remain in the early stages, however, as noted above. iOS 8 brings several enhancements to Siri, including real-time feedback, Shazam integration, hands-free voice activation, and the ability to open the App Store for the first time. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Beats Headphones, and More • Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android • Twitter App Gets World Cup 'Timelines' in New Update • Facebook Updates Messaging App with 15-Second Videos, 'Big Likes'

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Macworld's Jason Snell provides a nice hands-on writeup about Apple's new OS X Yosemite. Snell focuses on the user-experience from a long term Mac user, focusing on the visual and usability changes of Mac windows. He notes the increased use of transparency and the varying implementation of title bars in many applications: Overall, Snell feels that many of the design changes were done with Retina displays in mind: For a while now, I’ve thought that 2014 would be the year that Retina spreads across the Mac product line. After spending time with Yosemite on both Retina and non-Retina systems, I’m more confident than ever in that guess. Yosemite’s new design feels like it was built for Retina displays: Thin Helvetica Neue replaces the long-serving but chunky Lucida Grande as the system typeface. Apple first introduced Retina displays into the Mac line in with the Retina MacBook Pro in June, 2012. Since that time, Apple has been slow to extend Retina screens to the rest of their lineup. The MacBook Air seems likely to be the next Mac to deliver a Retina Display. Signs point to a 12" Retina model later this year, and there has already been early evidence in Yosemite of Retina iMacs in testing. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • MacBook Airs as Low as $649 With Best Buy EDU Deals • Foxconn Looking to Secure Orders for iPhone and iPad Displays with Sharp Partnership • Newest MacBook Airs on Sale for Father's Day • Apple Plans to Encrypt iCloud Email in Transit Between Providers • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Retina MacBook Pro, iPad mini, Beats Headphones, and More • Microsoft Considering Expanding Cortana Virtual Assistant to iOS and Android • Twitter App Gets World Cup 'Timelines' in New Update • Facebook Updates Messaging App with 15-Second Videos, 'Big Likes'

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