posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile CEO John Legere today took the stage at Re/code's Code/Mobile event in Half Moon Bay, California, where he spoke on the new Apple SIM, demand for the iPhone 6 Plus, and the importance of selling the iPhone. According to Legere, the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was T-Mobile's biggest phone launch the company had ever seen, and Legere called demand for the iPhone 6 Plus "mind blowing." He said that it skewed very differently from what the company anticipated, and while he couldn't comment on the current demand ratio, he said at one point it was around 55/45 rather than the 75/25 or 80/20 projected in favor of the iPhone 6. Legere said that while the backlog is coming down, it will be awhile before the company is able to provide devices to everyone. While on stage, Legere sorted out much of the confusion surrounding the Apple SIM, which is designed to allow users to easily switch from carrier to carrier with their iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. According to Legere, when bought from Apple, the SIM card in the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 offers customers complete flexibility, letting them choose Sprint, T-Mobile, or AT&T. iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 devices that Apple sent to T-Mobile and AT&T for sale include Apple SIMs that are pre-coded to each carrier, which means the SIM cards can't be used interchangeably. Because the iPads purchased directly from Apple are usable with any participating carrier (Verizon has opted out), Legere recommends that users purchase the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 directly from an Apple Store. Apple SIMs from an iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 purchased from the Apple Store and then associated with a T-Mobile plan will remain unlocked and usable with other carrier plans, but an Apple SIM activated on an AT&T plan will be permanently locked to the carrier, requiring a new Apple SIM if a user wants to switch plans. John Legere also commented on the importance of the iPhone, stating that "[a] store without the iPhone is sh*t," and attributing much of T-Mobile's recent success to its partnership with Apple. Legere noted one of his tasks upon taking the reins of T-Mobile two years ago was to do whatever it took to land the iPhone, and he accomplished it, noting that he was willing to "get down on his knees" to make a deal happen. Just ahead of Legere's appearance at Code/Mobile, T-Mobile announced its Q3 2014 earnings, noting that it saw its biggest growth quarter in the company's history. T-Mobile added 2.3 million customers during the quarter (1.4 million postpaid net adds), with revenue up 10.6 percent to $5.7 billion. T-Mobile also announced that it hit its LTE goals for 2014, bringing LTE service to 250 million customers. Since 2013, T-Mobile has been on a quest to revamp the mobile industry with a series of Un-carrier initiatives that have thus far seen it uncoupling device fees from service charges, encouraging customers to switch to T-Mobile by paying early termination fees, offering a JUMP! upgrade plan, providing unlimited texting and 2G data in 100 countries, letting customers test drive an iPhone at no cost, offering free streaming music, and bringing Wi-Fi calling to all T-Mobile customers with compatible devices. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Concept Video Demonstrates Apple Watch-Style Interface on iPhone • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 [Updated] • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Amazon today announced the launch of a new Fire TV Stick, designed to compete with Google's Chromecast and Apple's Apple TV. The Fire TV Stick is a media streaming stick much like the Chromecast, designed to allow users to plug it in to the HDMI port of a television to access content like TV shows, movies, games, and more. The Fire TV Stick offers a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, and dual-band/dual-antenna MIMO Wi-Fi. It can be controlled with a remote control, a smartphone, or voice control through an app. According to Amazon, it offers 50 percent more processing power than the Chromecast, along with 2x the memory and 32 times more storage. "Fire TV Stick is the most powerful streaming media stick available--a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, dual-band and dual-antenna Wi-Fi, included remote control, voice search with our free mobile app, easy set-up, an open ecosystem, and exclusive features like ASAP for instant streaming," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "The team has packed an unbelievable amount of power and selection into an incredible price point--Fire TV Stick is just $39."In addition to allowing users to access Amazon Prime content, the Fire TV Stick also supports third-party apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, Spotify, Pandora, and more, delivering much of the content that's also available on competing products like the Chromecast, the Apple TV, and products from Roku. The Fire Stick offers "Fling" technology, letting users switch between viewing content on their televisions and Fire Phone or Fire tablet, and it provides wireless mirroring from both compatible Amazon products and those that support Miracast. It also supports various Amazon technologies like X-Ray for looking up movie, music, or TV show information, and it utilizes Whispersync to sync all of a user's content. Amazon also has the Fire TV, a set-top media streaming box that's a closer competitor to the Apple TV than the Fire TV stick, but the slimmed down plug in-based media sticks from Amazon and Google are far cheaper than the Apple TV, which still costs $99. While Google and Amazon have concentrated on offering a slimmer portable media solution to consumers, Apple is said to be working on a revamped set-top box that might include support for third-party apps and games along with deeper integration with cable TV channels. It is unclear when Apple might launch its revised set top box, as development has reportedly been delayed several times over the course of the last two years. Amazon's Fire TV Stick is priced at $39, but for the next two days, Amazon Prime members will be able to purchase the device at a discounted price of $19. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 [Updated] • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Last week, news surfaced that popular drugstore Rite Aid was disabling support for NFC and Apple Pay in its retail stores and over the weekend, CVS followed in its footsteps. Apple has now commented on the situation, telling Business Insider that it's working to get as many merchants on board with Apple Pay as it can.The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.Both CVS and Rite Aid are members of Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, a team of retailers that are designing their own payments system to compete with Apple Pay. Headed up by Walmart, which has also publicly stated that it won't be supporting Apple Pay, MCX is composed of several different retail outlets and restaurants, including Best Buy, Lowe's, Old Navy, Southwest, Target, 7 Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Hobby Lobby, and more. MCX's payment solution, CurrentC, is currently in testing in Minnesota and takes a decidedly different approach to mobile payments. CurrentC does not use NFC, instead basing payments around the scanning of QR codes with a smartphone camera. CurrentC is highly beneficial to merchants, but appears to be of questionable value to customers given that it requires both a social security number and a driver's license number, along with access to a bank account. Despite only being available in Minnesota at the time being, MCX's CurrentC app has received hundreds of negative reviews from Apple Pay supporters. Android and iOS users on reddit have also teamed up to call for a boycott on all MCX partners, as disabling NFC support to prevent Apple Pay purchases also disables Android-based payment solutions like Google Wallet. Though quite a few big name retailers have opted out of Apple Pay, Apple has signed on with several major partners including Macy's, Chevron, Disney, McDonald's, Nike, Petco, Whole Foods, and more. Apple Pay is accepted at the retail stores of any of its partners, and at any store that accepts NFC payments. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 [Updated] • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this year, rumors suggested that Microsoft was preparing to launch a new version of Office for Mac in 2014, and now images of what is said to be a new version of Outlook have surfaced on Chinese site cnBeta [Google Translate], suggesting Microsoft is drawing closer to releasing updated Mac Office software. Depicting "Outlook for Mac 16," the images show a new version of Outlook that's been updated with a new OS X Yosemite-style look, adopting translucent menu elements and a flatter overall design. The interface takes on a "simple, modern style," according to cnBeta, which is "more intuitive" and it includes support for Retina displays much like Office 2011 for Mac. The design is said to be more unified with both the Windows version of Office and the iPad version, making it easier to switch between platforms. The new Office for Mac and Outlook for Mac are said to take advantage of cloud file sharing, allowing users to swap between devices and to collaborate on projects. It's also much simpler to share documents with an entire team and Outlook for Mac will integrate with OS X Yosemite's Notification Center. Microsoft's last major Office for Mac release came in October of 2010, more than four years ago, and there's been little information about an updated version of the software since then. A presentation given earlier this year by Thorsten Hübschen, Business Group Lead at Microsoft Germany, suggested that Microsoft would debut a new version of its Office productivity suite for the Mac in 2014, and a Microsoft representative later confirmed that employees were "hard at work" on the next version of Office for Mac. But with this leaked version of Outlook reportedly carrying the version 16 label and Microsoft only nearing a public preview of Office 16 for Windows ahead of a launch next year, the company's plans are somewhat unclear. Mac versions of Office typically follow their Windows counterparts by only a few months, but it has been two years since the launch of Office 2013 for Windows (version 15) and a corresponding Mac version has yet to appear. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 [Updated] • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While some merchants are pushing back against Apple's new Apple Pay mobile payment service as they work on their own competing solution, banks are putting their weight behind Apple's solution that seeks to streamline the current experience of using a credit or debit card. In an effort to encourage users to adopt Apple Pay, Wells Fargo has just launched a program offering credits of up to $20 just for trying out the service. Wells Fargo credit card users can receive $20 credits, while debit and prepaid card users can receive $10 credits simply by using their iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to complete an Apple Pay purchase on their cards through November 30. Credit card customers will receive their $20 credits on their accounts within 1-2 billing cycles, while debit and prepaid customers will receive their $10 credits on their linked Wells Fargo checking accounts within 45 days. Banks have been strong supporters of Apple Pay, as the Touch ID authentication offers improved security over traditional credit cards, reducing fraudulent purchases for which banks assume responsibility. Apple does take a small cut of transactions processed using Apple Pay, but that amount appears to be a worthwhile tradeoff for these banks. (Thanks, Matthew!) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 [Updated] • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Fitbit today announced three new wearable devices, including the Surge, described as a "fitness super watch," the Charge, an update to the Fitbit Force activity tracker, and the Charge HR, which tracks a user's heart rate. Positioned as Fitbit's most advanced wearable yet, the Fitbit Surge offers GPS tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, and the activity tracking that's been standard in Fitbit's early wearables, keeping track of steps, distance traveled, calories burned, floors climbed, sleep quality, and various other fitness-based activities like running and cardio workouts. Available in Tangerine, Black, and Blue, the Surge has a black and white touchscreen display. Aside from tracking various activities, it also allows users to control their music and it includes customizable watch faces able to display incoming smartphone information like call and text notifications. It is not possible to answer phone calls or texts from the device, but its limited capabilities allow it to offer up to five days of battery life on a single charge. Compared to Apple's upcoming Apple Watch, the Surge offers many of the same fitness capabilities, but cuts the vivid color display and the deep iPhone integration in favor of extended battery life. The device is also unable to offer many of the cutting edge vibration and pressure technologies built into the Apple Watch, but it is available at a lower price. Alongside the Surge, Fitbit has also released two simpler wearable devices that are the successors to the Fitbit Force, the wearable activity tracker that Fitbit recalled for skin irritation issues. The Charge and the Charge HR take on the same design as the Fitbit Force, offering the same capabilities like monitoring sleep and tracking steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed, and more. Both devices are identical, but the more expensive Fitbit Charge HR includes a heart rate monitor that continuously measures heart rate much like the Surge. The standard Fitbit Charge does not include heart rate monitoring capabilities. Earlier this month, Apple removed Fitbit's line of activity tracking devices from its stores and ceased selling the device. While it is unclear why the company pulled the activity trackers from its stores, the move did follow Fitbit's announcement that it had no plans to integrate with Apple's HealthKit and it comes ahead of the launch of Apple's own wearable device, the Apple Watch. Though it no longer offers the Fitbit line of activity trackers, Apple continues to sell other fitness tracking devices like the Jawbone UP and the Nike Fuelband. It is unclear if Apple will continue to allow these devices to remain in stores or if it will cease selling all competing activity trackers ahead of the early 2015 launch of the Apple Watch. Fitbit's standard activity tracker, the Charge, is available for purchase for $129.95. The Charge HR, which includes continuous heart rate tracking, will be available in early 2015 for $149.95, and the Surge, Fitbit's sensor-laden fitness wearable, will also be available in early 2015 for $249.95. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 [Updated] • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is pushing NFC in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for Apple Pay, but the company may have bigger plans for the wireless technology beyond mobile payments. A report from The Information claims Apple has been in talks with technology providers about using NFC for building security access and public transit ticketing. The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone. Apple debuted NFC in its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and is using the short-range wireless technology for mobile payments processing.The technology has wide-ranging applications beyond payments, including a replacement for office and hotel security cards, home automation processes and more. Besides the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple has also included an NFC chip in the new iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad Mini 3 to provide secure element of Apple Pay information for in-app purposes on those devices. Future iterations of the device, could however, add antennas and other components to enable NFC functionality for a variety of purposes. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 [Updated] • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With recent moves by pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid to disable Apple Pay or even NFC payments entirely at their stores, a separate mobile payments initiative backed by these and other major retailers is gaining significant attention. This consortium of merchants, which includes Best Buy, Walmart, Lowe's, and many more, is known as Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) and is developing a mobile payments solution known as CurrentC. Though it is supported by major retailers attempting to work around the credit card swipe fees charged by banks and card issuers, CurrentC may be hindered by a complicated user interface and security concerns as detailed in a report by TechCrunch. Unlike Apple Pay, which uses NFC to process payment wirelessly, the CurrentC system uses a dedicated app and relies on QR code scanning to process a consumer's payment. The app stores receipts as well as provide access to loyalty accounts, which can be used to apply discounts at participating retailers. To use CurrentC, consumers must have an active account that requires them to set up a bank account as a payment source and confirm their identity by providing their driver's license and social security number. This sensitive information is stored in the cloud and not on the phone. When you sign up for CurrentC, you’re supposed to add your bank account. This lets CurrentC process payments for you without retailers having to pay the steep credit card processing fee. You can also add retailers’ loyalty credit cards or gift cards as payment methods. Payments are pulled automatically from the bank account linked to the user's account via Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions, a system adopted as a way to help merchants avoid paying the approximately 2-3 percent fee levied by credit card companies. MCX also provides retailers with consumer intelligence information, allowing them to send targeted ads and discount offers to consumers based on their purchase history. CurrentC notes it may share info with your device maker, app store, or developer tool makers. Oddly, it will collect health data. Precise location information is used to verify you’re at the retailer where you’re making a transaction, and if you opt in it can be used for marketing or advertising. CurrentC notes that you can opt in to be able to capture and store photos in the app for a hypothetical visual shopping list or other features down the road. In 2012, MCX reportedly ramped up its efforts to entice retailers to join its mobile payments system., asking participating merchants for an upfront fee of up to $500,000 and requiring them to sign three-year exclusivity deals. These deals appear to be the reason Rite Aid and CVS disabled unofficial access to Apple Pay in their stores, although it is unclear why they waited until after the service went live and customers were using it before disabling their systems. CurrentC is currently in beta testing and on target for a 2015 launch, which positions it behind Apple's already existing Apple Pay system. It is reportedly being pilot tested in Minnesota at select retailers before rolling out nationwide next year. Because the payments do not require NFC or Bluetooth LE, the system will be compatible with a variety of Android and older model iPhones. Adoption may be slow as retailers must modify their point of sales systems to accept these payments. Consumers may also balk at a system that requires the cloud storage of sensitive information and a cumbersome checkout process that relies on QR codes accessed through a separate app and tied to direct bank withdrawals. To compensate for these detractors, MCX reportedly will push retailer discounts and loyalty purchases to entice consumers to adopt this upcoming mobile payments system. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With the iPad Air 2, one of Apple's main selling points has been the improved display, which includes a new bonded construction that eliminates the air gap between the display and the cover glass, as well as a new antireflective coating to reduce glare in situations with high ambient light. Ray Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies has now put the new display to the test, finding that the antireflective coating is indeed a significant improvement for the iPad and a major step above competing tablets, but in overall performance competitors are still doing better than the iPad. Apple receives only minimal credit for the bonded display, as it is mainly catching up with competitors on that aspect.A major innovation for the iPad Air 2 (that is not fully appreciated) is an anti-reflection coating on the cover glass that reduces ambient light reflections by about 3:1 over most other Tablets and Smartphones (including the previous iPads), and about 2:1 over all of the very best competing Tablets and Smartphones (including the new iPhone 6). [...] However, other than the new anti-reflection coating and bonded cover glass, the display on the iPad Air 2 is essentially unchanged and identical in performance to the iPad 4 introduced in 2012, and is actually slightly lower in performance than the original iPad Air (for example 8% lower Brightness and 16% lower display Power Efficiency) – most likely the result of an obsession with producing a thinner Tablet forcing compromises in the LCD backlight.With competitors such as Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft offering better color accuracy, viewing angles, and power efficiency, Soneira finds the improvements in the iPad Air 2 insufficient to move the device to the top of his tablet display rankings, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S retains its number one position. Moving on to the iPad mini 3, Soneira unsurprisingly finds that the display is unchanged from the one used in the previous generation, unsurprising given that Apple kept the specs of the iPad mini identical with the exception of the Touch ID home button and a gold color option. Soneira notes the unchanged display is a "major disappointment", as the iPad mini 2's display has been rated poorly for color gamut and accuracy.In 2013 the mini was given a Retina display, but remained with a reduced 62 percent Color Gamut – the only current iPad or iPhone without a full Color Gamut. Now, in 2014 the new iPad mini 3 still only has a 62 percent Color Gamut, plus it was denied the new enhanced anti-reflection coating and bonded cover glass of the iPad Air 2.Soneira again points to competitors offering higher-quality displays on their tablets, concluding that the iPad mini 3 is "embarrassingly mediocre and way overpriced" considering its $399 starting price tag and significantly poorer display performance compared to both competitors and the iPad Air 2. Full details on Soneira's testing of the new displays are available in his extensive report. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pre-Orders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Top 100,000 in South Korea, Outpace Samsung Galaxy Note 4 • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Last week, multiple reports indicated that pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid were disabling near field communications (NFC) payment terminals at some of their locations in order to stop the use of Apple Pay. Now, The New York Times reports that both drug chains have officially disabled Apple Pay from working at their stores nationwide. A spokeswoman for Rite Aid said that the company "does not currently accept Apple Pay" and that the company was "still in the process of evaluating mobile payment options." Representatives from CVS did not respond to interview requests from The New York Times. Apple declined to comment on the actions from both stores. However, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard Ed McLaughlin said that "consumers should have the ability to pay any way they want" and that the company "looks forward to [CVS and Rite Aid] turning on the functionality back on in their stores." Many believe that Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable Apple Pay support is related to their participation in the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is a group consisting of other retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Gap. MCX is developing its own mobile payment system known as CurrentC, which will be available next year according to a claimed internal Rite Aid message. Apple Pay launched last week and is accepted at over 200,000 locations in the U.S. Rite Aid and CVS competitor Walgreens has been one of the biggest supporters of Apple Pay, as the feature is available at many of its over 8,000 stores around the United States. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this week, pharmacy chain Rite Aid shut down unofficial support for the Apple Pay and Google Wallet mobile payments systems, resulting in an outcry from users who have been testing out Apple's new system since its launch on Monday. Rite Aid was not an official Apple Pay partner, but the payments system generally works with existing near field communications (NFC) payment terminals anyway, and many users had had success using Apple Pay at Rite Aid stores early in the week. It now appears that fellow major pharmacy chain CVS is following suit and as of today is shutting down the NFC functionality of its payment terminals entirely, a move presumably intended to thwart Apple Pay. Google Wallet services are obviously also being affected by the move. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums have indicated that CVS has sent an email to its stores indicating that NFC support is to be turned off. It is still relatively early in the day in the U.S., but we are now starting to see reports of NFC indeed being turned off at CVS stores. The reason behind Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable unofficial Apple Pay support in their stores is presumably related to their participation in Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a retailer group developing its own mobile payments system known as CurrentC. A claimed internal Rite Aid message shared with SlashGear supports this notion, instructing cashiers to explain to customers that Apple Pay is not supported but that MCX's solution will be available next year. Rite Aid internal memo regarding Apple Pay Rite Aid's and CVS's moves are also in stark contrast to competitor Walgreens, which has fully embraced Apple Pay and is one of Apple's launch partners for the service. With over 8,000 stores around the United States, Walgreens has been one of the most popular locations for those testing out Apple Pay over the first week of availability. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, MacBook Air, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Six days after being made available to the public, OS X Yosemite was installed on approximately 12.8 percent of Macs in North America, according to adoption numbers released by Chitika. That's just a slight bit higher than the 12.4 percent of Macs Mavericks was installed on six days after its release in 2013. Ahead of its launch, Yosemite adoption by beta testers and developers was more than 33 times higher than the adoption of Mavericks, and as measured by Chitika, its one percent share of North American Mac OS X-based Web traffic on the first day after release was double the day one adoption rate of Mavericks and Mountain Lion. OS X Yosemite may be seeing slightly faster adoption rates as the operating system introduces a complete visual overhaul along with several features that allow it to deeply integrate with iOS 8. While Mavericks focused heavily on under-the-hood updates that improved battery life and responsiveness, OS X Yosemite brought revamped apps, Continuity, Notification Center improvements, iCloud Drive, and more. Chitika also speculates that the OS's public beta may have positively impacted its adoption numbers.Apple had previously made a public beta of the OS available for the first time in the company's history, and this seems to have helped boost initial adoption rates slightly beyond what was observed for OS X Mavericks back in 2013.Chitika's numbers are drawn from millions of U.S. and Canadian Mac OS X-based online ad impressions from the Chitika Ad Network. Chitika measured ad impressions from October 16 to October 22 to acquire its data. Similar but somewhat higher numbers are being reported by GoSquared, which offers real-time analytics that measure OS X traffic. Yosemite installation numbers from GoSquared According to the site, Yosemite is installed on approximately 16 percent of Macs, though numbers fluctuated up to 10 percent over a seven day period as GoSquared measures real-time visits to more than 50,000 sites. Yosemite installation rates over the past 7 days, measured by GoSquared Released on October 16, OS X Yosemite is available from the Mac App Store as a free download. It is compatible with all Macs that were previously able to run Mountain Lion and Mavericks. [Direct Link] Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Get 'Handoff' Working in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on Original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, and Apple Accessories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has submitted Apple Campus Phase 2 architectural and site refinement plans to the City of Cupertino, signaling its readiness to begin the second phase of construction on its spaceship campus as soon as first phase construction has been completed. In a massive 72 page PDF, Apple outlines revised plans for a set of research and development buildings located to the east and west of North Tantau Avenue, adjacent to the main circular campus building. While Apple has already received approval for the second phase of construction, the updated documents address specific changes the company is hoping to make to the area. Constructed in a 600,000 square foot space, the Tantau Development will house 2,200 employees and will include parking facilities with 1,740 parking spots. The main Tantau building will include four stories of office space for employees along with a built-in cafeteria. Two other buildings will house two-story testing facilities. According to the revised documents, Apple's original plans for the area are largely intact, but some minor refinements have been made to address building size/height and the location of the parking facilities. The company originally planned for a parking basement, but has now shifted its plans to include both a smaller basement and a larger above ground parking structure, along with an underground server room. Apple also changed the size of the prospective cafeteria somewhat in order to accommodate more office space, and shifted the sizes of some of its planned research facilities. Apple originally planned to begin development on the Tantau buildings alongside construction of the main circular campus building, but the company ended up pushing back all development on the site to a second phase of construction in order to cut down on initial construction costs. It is unclear when construction on the Tantau buildings might begin, but Apple is scheduled to complete its main campus building in 2016. A city hearing to consider the updated plans will take place on November 15, 2014. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's new Apple SIM card in the iPad Air 2 and the Retina iPad mini 3 is designed to be universal, usable across a variety of wireless carriers in the US and UK, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and UK's EE. According to user reports in the MacRumors forums and on Twitter, AT&T is not supporting this interchangeability and is locking the SIM included with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 after it is used with an AT&T plan. Image via John Legere A newly posted Apple support document details what happens to the SIM when it is activated on US carriers.Using Apple SIM, you can choose from different cellular carriers and their various programs. The data plans vary by carrier. For instance, in the United States, you can choose a domestic plan from either Sprint or T-Mobile and also pick an alternate plan from the other carrier as needed. When you choose AT&T on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, AT&T dedicates Apple SIM to their network only.If your Apple SIM becomes dedicated to a specific network and you want to choose from other carrier programs, you can purchase a new Apple SIM from an Apple Retail store. Apple introduced this universal SIM along with the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3. It is the first SIM provided by Apple that is designed to work across multiple carriers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
After tearing down the iPad Air 2 earlier this week, iFixit has now moved on to the iPad mini 3, which also received a minor update during Apple's October 16 iPad event. Unlike the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3 saw few internal improvements, gaining a new gold color option and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. As expected, iFixit's teardown reveals many of the same parts that were used in first Retina iPad mini, now called the iPad mini 2. It continues to use the same 7.9-inch display, A7 processor with M7 coprocessor, 5-megapixel camera, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. There is one new addition, which is directly related to Touch ID and the iPad mini 3's ability to support in-app Apple Pay payments. Like the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3 includes a 65V10 NFC controller manufactured by NXP. NFC Controller in blue There is no accompanying NFC antenna to allow the tablet to make NFC-based payments within stores, but there has been strong speculation suggesting the NFC chip is where Apple Pay's "Secure Element" is located. According to Apple, the Secure Element is a dedicated chip that stores encrypted Device Account Numbers, which replace credit card numbers for security reasons. Though the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 are not able to make payments within stores, they can make Apple Pay payments within participating apps and thus utilize both the Secure Element and Device Account Numbers. NXP's own site details the use of a specific integrated circuit designed for handling and storing secure data on its website, stating the technology has been integrated into its NFC controller chips. While the 65V10 is not mentioned by name, its appearance in both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 suggests that it is indeed being used for its security function rather than its NFC function. Aside from the inclusion of the 65V10 NFC chip, which is located in a spot on the logic board that was previously left blank, there are few other notable features about the iPad mini 3. iFixit did find that the tablet has new home button cabling to support Touch ID and home button brackets that are securely affixed by hot glue, which makes removing the home button a much more difficult task. Like the Touch ID cable in the iPhone 5s, the location of the Touch ID cable in the iPad mini 3 makes screen repairs very difficult, as the cable is easy to sever when opening up the display. Due to the glue and the precarious position of the Touch ID cable, the iPad mini 3 earned a repairability score of 2 out of 10 from iFixit. Apple's iPad mini 3 is currently available in both retail stores and from Apple's online store, with prices that start at $399. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's digital music sales continue to spiral downward, falling more than 13 percent worldwide thus far in 2014, reports The Wall Street Journal. Last year, digital music sales dropped for the first time since iTunes opened in 2003, falling 5.7 percent year-over-year. This continued decline is likely one of the reasons behind Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music earlier this year. Apple may be hoping to offset this drop in digital music revenue with increased subscription revenue from Beats Music. The plummeting download numbers help illustrate why Apple bought the $10-a-month subscription streaming service Beats Music earlier this year, as part of its $3 billion acquisition that included headphone maker Beats Electronics. Apple is rebuilding Beats Music and plans to relaunch it next year as part of iTunes, according to a person familiar with the matter. To attract a broader customer base, Apple is rumored to be revamping Beats Music with an expected relaunch of the service slated for next year. The Cupertino company also is pushing for an industry-leading $5 monthly subscription cost that may increase the number of subscribers willing to pay for a premium service. Apple is not new to the streaming music business, having launched iTunes Radio last year alongside iOS 7. The Pandora-like service has reportedly failed to achieve its goals of spurring listeners to purchase tracks from the iTunes Store despite being bundled on millions of phones in its available regions, and has yet to expand beyond the United States and Australia. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this week, a teardown analysis of the iPad Air 2 by iFixit surprisingly revealed the presence of a near field communications (NFC) controller chip that is identical to the one inside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple never advertised the Air 2 as having NFC, and the tablet doesn't support contactless Apple Pay payments, so the inclusion of this chip is somewhat puzzling. In a new article, Gigaom examines the reasons why Apple might include but not activate this hardware in its tablet device, speculating that the chip may eventually serve to help small businesses process payments. Portion of iPad Air 2 logic board showing NFC chip boxed in red (Source: iFixit) In this scenario, the iPad Air 2 would serve as a cash register, potentially using the onboard NFC chip to process wireless Apple Pay payments without any additional hardware. The iPad already is gaining traction with small retailers for use as a mobile register, often in conjunction with a credit card reader and processing service such as Square. But with Apple Pay rolling out as an NFC system for payments, Apple could be eventually be looking to help retailers accept such payments with its hardware.The key to NFC in the iPad Air 2 is that it affords the possibility of becoming an Apple Pay cash register with no dongle needed. Conceivably, it could expand the number of outlets that take Apple Pay from around 40 to anyone selling stuff who owns the latest iPad. It brings Apple Pay out from the big box store and into farmers’ markets and boutiques.Such a system would appear to complement rather than replace existing credit card implementations used by small businesses, as Apple Pay currently has only limited distribution through the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and retailers would still need to accept traditional credit and debit cards. Businesses also still require credit card processing arrangements through either a bank or a separate payment service such as Square. Apple Pay launched earlier this week with only a few hiccups in an otherwise smooth release. Early reports were favorable with most users noting that transactions were processed quickly and easily. Its biggest limitation is distribution, with only large chain launch partners officially accepting the payment service. But as Apple Pay evolves, it will be interesting to see whether the NFC-equipped iPad Air 2 and small businesses will play a bigger role in Apple's mobile payment plans. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
According to reports on Twitter, Reddit and MacRumors forums, Amazon's Visa Rewards card is now compatible with Apple Pay. Amazon reportedly enabled the feature today, moving quickly to bring the mobile payments service to consumers who were disappointed in Amazon for not supporting Apple Pay at launch. Apple Pay launched on Monday with support from a large number of credit card companies and banks. Among the launch partners were Chase, which is the issuing bank for the Amazon Visa Rewards card. Amazon reportedly was the only Chase card not supporting Apple Pay, sparking rumors that the retailer was deliberately rebuffing Apple's mobile payment efforts for competitive reasons. Hey, Amazon Chase Visa cards now work with Apple Pay, complete with Amazon logo on the card and all. That was fast.— Dave Rutledge (@_) October 24, 2014 Amazon dispelled these rumors by confirming it would enable Apple Pay soon, but few expected the rollout to happen so quickly. Customers with an Amazon Visa Rewards card should be able to add the credit card to Apple Pay with full support for mobile payments. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Tim Cook was optimistic about Apple's relationship with China following a meeting with top Chinese government officials in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss data privacy and security. Cook told China's Xinhua news agency (Via Reuters) that he had "very open" talks with a senior official. Chinese vice premier Ma Kai, a member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, met with the CEO of the world's most valuable company on Wednesday morning. They had discussed a series of topics including privacy and security. Cook described it as "very open", "fascinating" and "impressive", but he declined specifics. As part of the interview, Cook also confirmed Apple's plan to launch Apple Pay and other technologies in China saying, "China is a really key market for us. Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list." Cook spoke to Xinhua News during his 4-day-long trip to China, which saw the CEO also visit a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou City. China is an increasingly important market for the Cupertino company, which now has 16 percent of the smartphone market share behind Samsung (23 percent) and Xiaomi (21 percent). Apple plans to expand its presence even further in the country by opening 25 new stores in the next two years. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • iHeartRadio for iOS Updated with Support for CarPlay • Powerful Image Editing App 'Pixelmator' Comes to the iPad • Facebook Announces Anonymous Chat App 'Rooms' • Apple's TestFlight Beta Testing Service Now Available for Developers • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple introduced "Continuity," a set of features designed to allow for deeper integration between Macs and iOS devices. Unfortunately, some Continuity features are limited to Macs with Bluetooth 4.0, which leaves many older Macs unable to access the new features. Additionally, even though the 2011 MacBook Air and 2011 Mac mini include Bluetooth 4.0, Apple has opted not to allow them to access Continuity features. Luckily, many resourceful members of the MacRumors forums have come up with solutions to allow them to enable Continuity on their older Macs, and discussion on our forums has led to the creation of a set of instructions and a Continuity Activation Tool that should get Continuity working on Macs unable to explicitly support the feature. Created by Dokterdok (based on instructions compiled by UncleSchnitty) and available on Github, the Continuity Activation Tool is designed to activate Continuity by doing a compatibility check, creating backups of original System drivers, and disabling a Mac-model blacklist in the Bluetooth code that prevents Continuity from working on ineligible Macs. From there, it also whitelists Mac board-ids within the Wi-Fi code to get the feature working. The tool can be downloaded as a zip file from Github and is installed by double clicking the app and following the instructions provided on the screen. The Continuity Activation Tool will enable Continuity on the mid-2011 MacBook Air and the mid-2011 Mac mini with no additional hardware required, as both of those devices include Bluetooth 4.0. That means installing the tool should get Continuity up and running on those machines in just a few minutes. On older Macs that do not come equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, new wireless cards will need to be installed, which makes it more difficult for casual users to get access to Continuity. USB dongles that provide Bluetooth 4.0 will not work with the Continuity Activation Tool, and a list of wireless cards that will provide Bluetooth 4.0 for each older Mac can be found on the MacRumors forums. Both MacRumors forum members and Redditors have confirmed that this method is able to successfully enable Continuity on a variety of Macs, including the mid-2011 MacBook Air, the early 2011 MacBook Pro, and the mid-2011 Mac mini. The Continuity Activation Tool appears to enable all Continuity features when used successfully, allowing older Macs to access Handoff, Instant Hotspot, SMS forwarding, and Mac phone calls without an issue. Some of these Continuity features may work already on older Macs as they use a variety of different connection methods ranging from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi, but the tool is confirmed to get Handoff and AirDrop, both of which require Bluetooth, to work. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite • Olloclip Debuts New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Working Apple 1 Computer Sells for Record $905,000 at Auction • Amazon Confirms Plans to Support Apple Pay on Visa Rewards Card in the Future • Fantastical for iPhone and iPad Go iOS 8-Only With Widgets, Extensions, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier today, GT Advanced Technologies officially announced its settlement with Apple, which will see the two companies dissolving their partnership, ending their production agreement, and eliminating contractual ties that kept GT from selling its sapphire to other parties. Under the agreement, GT Advanced will be selling off its remaining sapphire, along with 2,000 sapphire furnaces, with much of the proceeds going to Apple to repay the $439 million loan it provided to get the operation underway. Apple has now commented on the settlement with GT Advanced, telling Re/code that GT's sapphire manufacturing process simply wasn't ready for production, and that a relationship in the future remains a possibility as the company's sapphire production techniques improve. GT will continue research work focused on creating sapphire boules over 165 kilograms. Apple also says that it is going to look for other ways to use the Mesa, Arizona facility that it purchased for GT Advanced, which will be unused after GT fully shuts down operations at the end of December"Apple put a lot of effort into an ambitious new sapphire manufacturing process with GTAT which is not ready for production. We're going to continue evaluating GTAT's progress on larger sapphire boule development, as well as consider other options for the facility. We remain committed to the city and we're going to work with Mesa and Maricopa County to help the GT Advanced employees who will be impacted by this find new jobs."GT Advanced first filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of October, but the company was reportedly missing technical milestones as early as February, hinting at the trouble to come. While Apple was widely expected to use sapphire from GT Advanced for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus displays, the company opted to stick with Corning's Gorilla Glass after it became apparent GT would not be able to produce sapphire of the quality that Apple required. Approximately 650 employees at the Mesa, Arizona sapphire plant have already been laid off, and a limited number of employees will remain employed until the end of the year in order to help GT Advanced wind down production at the factory, finishing the sapphire boules that are currently growing and shutting down and cleaning furnaces for storage and sale. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite • Olloclip Debuts New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Working Apple 1 Computer Sells for Record $905,000 at Auction • Amazon Confirms Plans to Support Apple Pay on Visa Rewards Card in the Future • Fantastical for iPhone and iPad Go iOS 8-Only With Widgets, Extensions, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
A growing number of Apple Pay users are angry with retailer Rite Aid following the reported disabling of the mobile payment service within the past 24 hours. Apple Pay should technically be compatible with any point-of-sale systems supporting NFC technology, but customers who made successful Apple Pay payments earlier this week have found their payments were being denied yesterday and today. Among the disgruntled users was Josh Hundall, who shared his experiences and his conclusions that Rite Aid is deliberately crippling its payment systems to prevent Apple Pay transactions. Today, Allison asked me to pick up a few things on my way home from the office, and I’m a major nerd, so naturally I was all too happy to oblige. I was equally disappointed, then, when my transaction was declined with a message on the terminal informing me that Apple Pay was not supported. The terminal mentioned Apple Pay by name. So the system is smart enough to know about Apple Pay and to decide not to take it.Hundall spoke to an associate who claims Rite Aid recently sent an email informing stores that the retailer is not accepting Apple Pay payments, and Hundall speculates it is because Rite Aid is a supporter of the upcoming CurrentC payments system from Merchant Customer Exchange. Competitor Walgreens is also one of Apple's biggest launch partners for Apple Pay. According to Twitter reports, the retailer also unexpectedly turned off support for Google Wallet at the same time. Rite Aid has not confirmed the shut down of these services, nor commented publicly on these reports. @Futment @riteaid system IS compatible. @riteaid blocked it and Google Wallet today. Both worked yesterday. Bad business decision. — Yoshi (@YoshiTheShiba) October 22, 2014 Apple Pay launched earlier this week in a debut that was relatively smooth for most customers. As demoed in a McDonald's transaction, payments are processed almost instantly at supported terminals with the press of the Touch ID sensor on the phone. The most publicized hiccup occurred with Bank of America customers, who were accidentally charged twice for their purchases. Bank of America confirmed that the issue only affected a small number of users who will receive refunds. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Discarded Power Mac G5s 'Upcycled' Into Modern Office Furniture • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite • Olloclip Debuts New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Working Apple 1 Computer Sells for Record $905,000 at Auction • Amazon Confirms Plans to Support Apple Pay on Visa Rewards Card in the Future • Fantastical for iPhone and iPad Go iOS 8-Only With Widgets, Extensions, and More

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Nike CEO Mark Parker sat down with Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the company's brand and product strategy (via The Guardian). During the 13-minute-long "Market Makers" segment, Parker confirmed that he is bullish on Apple and the wearables market, hinting at a continued partnership between the two companies at the 9:45 mark. Though Nike recently discontinued further development on its FuelBand fitness wearables, the sports and fitness company is not ready to abandon the wearables market, instead waiting for the market to mature beyond it current geeky status. "I think it’s going to be a big part of the future, absolutely," said Parker. "I think the form it takes is critical. You can go from the very geeky kind of wearables today – we’ve all seen some of those – to what I think you’ll see in the future, things that are more stealth, more integrated, more stylish and more functional, yes." Echoing his earlier comments, Parker suggested Apple may be part of Nike's wearables strategy with the Nike CEO noting that the two companies that have a long history of working together can do things together they couldn't do alone. "Technologically we can do things together that we couldn’t do independently," Parker said. "So yeah, that’s part of our plan, to expand the whole digital frontier in terms of wearables, and go from what we say is tens of millions of users – right now there’s 25 million Nike+ users – to hundreds of millions." Parker wouldn't divulge details on any upcoming Apple-Nike collaborations, but the companies traditionally have worked together to promote each other's health and fitness technologies. Apple has sold the FuelBand fitness bracelet in its retail stores, while the Nike+ Move app was among the first to support the M7 motion co-processor in the iPhone 5s. The fitness partnership between Apple and Nike actually extends back to 2006 with the launch of Nike+iPod products such as the "Sport Kit" that allowed users to embed sensors in Nike shoes to wirelessly communicate exercise information to the iPod nano. Parker also has a long-term relationship with the Apple's leadership, having worked closely with both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, with Cook having served on Nike's Board of Directors since 2005. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite • Olloclip Debuts New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Working Apple 1 Computer Sells for Record $905,000 at Auction • Amazon Confirms Plans to Support Apple Pay on Visa Rewards Card in the Future • Fantastical for iPhone and iPad Go iOS 8-Only With Widgets, Extensions, and More • FXNOW iOS App, Apple TV Gain Support for 'Simpsons World', All 552 Episodes of The Simpsons Available

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Apple and its sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies had reached an agreement to effectively dissolve their partnership and allow GT to shut down operations at the Apple-owned sapphire production plant in Mesa, Arizona. Under the deal, GT will seek to sell off the over 2,000 sapphire furnaces currently installed at the facility, with the majority of the proceeds from those sales going to Apple to help repay $439 million in loans Apple made to help the operation get underway. GT has now officially announced the deal and published the full agreement, redacting only the amounts Apple will be paid per furnace sold.Under the terms of the settlement agreement, which is subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court, GT will be released from all exclusivity obligations under its various agreements with Apple. GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa and Apple is provided with a mechanism for recovering its $439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest, solely from a portion of the proceeds from ASF® [Advanced Sapphire Furnace] sales. The agreement provides for a mutual release of any and all claims by both parties. As a result of the agreed upon terms, GT retains control of its intellectual property and will be able to sell its sapphire growth and fabrication technology, including ASF and Hyperion™, without restrictions.While the two companies are severing their production agreement, they will remain in contact as GT continues its research work focused on producing larger sapphire boules of over 165 kilograms. The two companies will meet at least quarterly to discuss GT's progress on that front, with potential collaboration still possible if both sides agree to move forward. GT filed for bankruptcy earlier this month as it became clear the company was spending over a million dollars per day to run the operation even as it was apparently unable to produce sapphire of the quality required by Apple. GT's troubles began as early as February as it was late in meeting milestones to qualify for Apple loan payments. Apple's continued withholding of the final $139 million payment may ultimately have resulted in GT deciding to pull the plug on the operation, even as Apple reportedly continued to try to help overcome GT's technical problems. GT is looking to wind down its sapphire production operation by the end of the year, wrapping up sapphire boule production currently underway and decommissioning the furnaces to prepare them for storage and resale. Roughly 650 employees at the Arizona plant have already been laid off, and the company will continue to lay off additional employees across its locations as it brings the production partnership with Apple to an end. (Image: GT's Advanced Sapphire Furnace) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite • Olloclip Debuts New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Working Apple 1 Computer Sells for Record $905,000 at Auction • Amazon Confirms Plans to Support Apple Pay on Visa Rewards Card in the Future • Fantastical for iPhone and iPad Go iOS 8-Only With Widgets, Extensions, and More • FXNOW iOS App, Apple TV Gain Support for 'Simpsons World', All 552 Episodes of The Simpsons Available

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has confirmed in a Bloomberg interview that actor Christian Bale will indeed star as Steve Jobs in Sorkin's upcoming biopic based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography of the Apple co-founder. Bale, who was said last week to be in talks for the role, met with Sorkin but did not have to audition for the part. “We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin told Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang on a coming edition of “Studio 1.0.” “He didn’t have to audition. Well, there was a meeting.” Shooting for the film will begin in the coming months in what will be a challenging role for the established actor. Bale reportedly will appear in every frame of the movie with speaking parts that exceed three movies combined. The movie will focus on three 30-minute scenes that detail three different product launches. The movie will be released by Sony, with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire fame associated with the project. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple to Open 25 New Stores in China Over Next Two Years, Says CEO Tim Cook • How to Use 'Instant Hotspot' On a Mac with OS X Yosemite • Olloclip Debuts New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Working Apple 1 Computer Sells for Record $905,000 at Auction • Amazon Confirms Plans to Support Apple Pay on Visa Rewards Card in the Future • Fantastical for iPhone and iPad Go iOS 8-Only With Widgets, Extensions, and More • FXNOW iOS App, Apple TV Gain Support for 'Simpsons World', All 552 Episodes of The Simpsons Available • Staples Begins Accepting iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 Pre-Orders

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