posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Though Apple and GT Advanced fought to keep documents related to their sapphire agreement sealed after GT's bankruptcy filing, a judge recently ruled that the documents did not contain trade secrets and would be largely unsealed. One of those documents, an unedited affidavit from GT Advanced COO Daniel Squiller, gave insight into the terms of the deal between the two companies, but another, the original privacy agreement that GT Advanced signed, gives a rare look into how Apple does business with its suppliers. According to the documents, Apple and GT's sapphire deal was known internally as "Project Onyx," and was subject to strict confidentiality agreements. GT employees were forbidden from referring to Apple or the project by anything other than code names, and they were also required to undergo training regarding confidentiality and security in addition to signing extensive non-disclosure agreements. Only employees who needed to know about the project were given information, in order to keep the deal as quiet as possible. GT was required to establish a qualified security team and adhere to strict guidelines that called for 24/7 surveillance, credential screening, tracking of all confidential supplies, and the secure destruction of all scrap materials to prevent potential leaks. As part of the agreement, Apple was able to audit records, inspect facilities, and interview personnel to ensure compliance, and any evidence of non-compliance with the non-disclosure agreement would result in a $135,000 "Security Fee" to pay for the cost of the audit and an increase in Apple's security efforts. In addition to agreeing to Apple's strict access restrictions, GT Advanced was required to maintain liability insurance, and comply with Apple's Supplier Code of Conduct, which demands safe working conditions for employees. GT was also required to fulfill orders for replacement goods for seven years after "the date Apple designates as end-of-life" for the Apple product featuring sapphire, as well as maintain an "adequate stock" of materials for Service Units. The privacy agreement that GT Advanced was required to sign is likely similar in nature to the agreements that Apple gives to all of its suppliers, giving us a glimpse of the lengths Apple goes to in order to maintain secrecy. Despite Apple's privacy efforts, the company still sees extensive product leaks. For example, ahead of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus release, hundreds of part leaks divulged information on nearly every aspect of the two devices, and a handset was even seen in the wild days before its official release. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Spotify Connect for Computers Turns An iPhone Into a Remote Control for Mac • United Airlines Spending $120 Million on Upgrading New Jersey Airport Terminal with iPads • Lenovo Borrows Heavily From Apple in New S90 Smartphone Marketing Push • Monument Valley Expansion 'Forgotten Shores' Coming to iOS November 13 • Facebook CEO Explains Separate Messenger Download, Points Towards 'Dedicated' Experience • 'Swype' Keyboard for iOS Named Apple's App of the Week, Available for Free • iMovie for iOS Updated With Support for iCloud Photo Library • Apple Adds CBS News Channel to Apple TV

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple and GT Advanced fought to keep key documents related to their sapphire agreement out of the public eye after the latter company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, but earlier this week, a judge ruled that the documents did not contain trade secrets or confidential information, and would thus be largely unsealed. As of today, those previously sealed documents are now available for public inspection, including an unedited affidavit [PDF] from GT Advanced COO Daniel Squiller. Squiller submitted a revised affidavit on October 28, which gave some insight into the deal between Apple and GT Advanced, but the newly available unedited version expresses much stronger negative feelings towards the partnership and places more of the blame for GT's failure on Apple. According to Squiller, Apple used a "bait-and-switch" strategy, offering GT Advanced "an onerous and massively one-sided deal" in 2013. He says that Apple initially drew GT in with the promise of a huge deal, originally agreeing to purchase sapphire furnaces and let GT operate them, but eventually demanding a "fundamentally different deal" requiring GT to purchase the furnaces itself.The new structure, as a contract matter, shifted all economic risk to GTAT, because Apple would act as a lender and would have no obligation to purchase any sapphire furnaces, nor did it have any obligation to purchase any sapphire material produced by GTAT.GT gave into Apple's new terms because it had "invested months negotiating a sale contract with Apple while being effectively locked out of pursuing other opportunities with Apple's competitors." During "extensive and all-consuming" negotiations with Apple, GT ceased speaking to other companies about its furnaces due to the lure of Apple's large offer. Apple reportedly told GT not to bother attempting to negotiate because it "does not negotiate with its suppliers." GT was required to agree to all of Apple's terms or risk losing the deal, and as has been previously noted, the contract was highly favorable to Apple, requiring GT to produce sapphire that Apple was not obligated to buy. Squiller alleges that when GT execs balked at the terms, Apple said "Put on your big boy pants and accept the agreement." As Squiller previously described, the company's relationship with Apple became "unsustainable" after Apple refused to take responsibility for cost overruns and expenses that it caused due to its control over operations. Apple also reportedly selected fabrication equipment that "could not economically produce a product that Apple would accept" and then refused to permit equipment changes that would allow the company to produce an acceptable product. Squiller accuses Apple of "embedding" itself in GT's operations so deeply that GT was forced to "divert an inordinate amount of its cash and corporate resources" into the Mesa facility, affecting GT's continued viability as a whole. Apple and GT Advanced have already reached an agreement to officially end their partnership, nullifying the terms of the original deal. Under the terms, GT will repay its loans to Apple by selling off its sapphire furnaces, and it has already begun shutting down its Mesa, Arizona plant and laying off employees. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Spotify Connect for Computers Turns An iPhone Into a Remote Control for Mac • United Airlines Spending $120 Million on Upgrading New Jersey Airport Terminal with iPads • Lenovo Borrows Heavily From Apple in New S90 Smartphone Marketing Push • Monument Valley Expansion 'Forgotten Shores' Coming to iOS November 13 • Facebook CEO Explains Separate Messenger Download, Points Towards 'Dedicated' Experience • 'Swype' Keyboard for iOS Named Apple's App of the Week, Available for Free • iMovie for iOS Updated With Support for iCloud Photo Library • Apple Adds CBS News Channel to Apple TV

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Last month, news surfaced of Apple's plans to cease selling Fitbit's line of activity tracking devices in its stores, and as of today, it appears the company has followed through with that decision. All Fitbit products have now been removed from the online Apple Store and Apple has begun removing the devices from its retail stores as well. Apple previously sold both the Fitbit Flex, Fitbit's activity tracking band, and the Fitbit One, a standalone tracker that could be clipped to clothing, for $99.95. It is not known why Apple opted to remove Fitbit's products from its online stores, but the decision follows Fitbit's announcement that it had no plans to integrate with Apple HealthKit, as it is "working on other exciting projects" for Fitbit users. Fitbit's activity trackers are similar in function to Apple's upcoming Apple Watch, offering users the ability to track steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed, and more. Last week, Fitbit announced a new Surge "Fitness Super Watch" that also includes GPS functionality and a heart rate monitor, bringing its tracking capabilities even more in line with the Apple Watch. Though Fitbit devices have been removed from Apple Stores, Apple is continuing to sell other fitness tracking products, including the UP from Jawbone and the Nike Fuelband. Jawbone recently introduced the UP3, its most recent fitness tracking device that includes skin and ambient temperature sensors along with a heart rate monitor. It is unclear whether Apple will continue to sell these devices as the launch of the Apple Watch approaches or if the ban is limited to Fitbit. Fitbit's activity trackers are not the first products that Apple has removed from its stores in recent weeks. Earlier in October, Apple removed Bose audio products from its stores, no longer offering the headphones online or in retail locations. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Facebook CEO Explains Separate Messenger Download, Points Towards 'Dedicated' Experience • 'Swype' Keyboard for iOS Named Apple's App of the Week, Available for Free • iMovie for iOS Updated With Support for iCloud Photo Library • Apple Adds CBS News Channel to Apple TV • How to Enable Text Message Forwarding and Answer Phone Calls on Your Mac • OWC Launches 1 TB SSD Upgrade Kits for 2010-2012 MacBook Air • Twelve South Launches SurfacePad Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
A growing number of Nest owners are reporting issues with the latest version the Nest Mobile app that was released on Friday. According to reports on Nest forums, the 4.4.0 version of the app crashes immediately on launch for many users who are running iOS 8.x. This glitch reportedly is affecting recent iPhone models including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. I just downloaded the update to the Nest Mobile App for iOS (version 4.4.0) and the App Crashes immediately upon launch. I am running the latest version of iOS (8.1) on my iPhone 5s. I had no issues with the previous version of the Nest app. I tried to delete the app and reinstall it but it still crashes when launched. Fortunately, I still had the previous version of Nest Mobile in iTunes on my PC and was able to copy it over to my iPhone. -Nest forum member Columbus_George. The Nest 4.4.0 update included a handful of small improvements, such as expanded weather and time zone support and improved thermometer history. Users who are experiencing the crashing glitch can restore the previous 4.3 version of the app from their iTunes app library. Founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, Nest Labs was acquired by Google in a $3.2 billion deal that closed earlier this year. Under Google's guidance, Nest acquired video-monitoring and security startup Dropcam and opened its API to third-party products and services. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Facebook CEO Explains Separate Messenger Download, Points Towards 'Dedicated' Experience • 'Swype' Keyboard for iOS Named Apple's App of the Week, Available for Free • iMovie for iOS Updated With Support for iCloud Photo Library • Apple Adds CBS News Channel to Apple TV • How to Enable Text Message Forwarding and Answer Phone Calls on Your Mac • OWC Launches 1 TB SSD Upgrade Kits for 2010-2012 MacBook Air • Twelve South Launches SurfacePad Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple will switch from using TLC (triple-level cell) NAND flash to MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus after users have experienced crashing and boot loop issues with the higher capacity versions of both devices, reports BusinessKorea. Sources have told the paper that flash memory firm Anobit, which Apple acquired in 2011, is to blame for the manufacturing defects. Apple will reportedly switch to MLC NAND flash for the 64GB iPhone 6 and the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus, and will also address crashing and boot loop issues with the release of iOS 8.1.1. Apple previously used MLC NAND flash in previous-generation iPhones. TLC NAND flash is a type of solid-state NAND flash memory that stores three bits of data per cell. It can store three times as much data as single-level cell (SLC) that stores one bit of data, and 1.5 times as much as multi-level cell (MLC) solid-state flash memory that stores two bits of data. On top of that, TLC flash is more affordable. However, it is also slower than SLC or MLC in reading and writing data. Apple released its first iOS 8.1.1 beta to developers earlier this week, although the company did not specify whether the included bug fixes addressed boot loop and crashing issues on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Users who are experiencing an unusual amount of boot loops and crashes with their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus are recommended to bring their devices back to an Apple Retail Store for a replacement. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Facebook CEO Explains Separate Messenger Download, Points Towards 'Dedicated' Experience • 'Swype' Keyboard for iOS Named Apple's App of the Week, Available for Free • iMovie for iOS Updated With Support for iCloud Photo Library • Apple Adds CBS News Channel to Apple TV • How to Enable Text Message Forwarding and Answer Phone Calls on Your Mac • OWC Launches 1 TB SSD Upgrade Kits for 2010-2012 MacBook Air • Twelve South Launches SurfacePad Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has recently updated its iCloud.com beta site for developers, adding the ability to upload images to iCloud Photo Library for the first time. The standard iCloud.com site currently allows users to view all of their iCloud Photo Library images, as well as download and delete them, but there are no tools to allow for the uploading of photos. On the iCloud beta site, it's now possible to upload JPGs, but the site does not currently accept other image and video formats like .PNG, .MOV, .MP4, and more. When a file is uploaded to the site, it syncs instantly to all of a user's iOS devices, much like a photo taken on an iPhone or iPad or added to iCloud Photo Library via the iOS Photos app. The presence of an uploading tool on the beta site means that the feature will likely make its way to the main iCloud site in the near future, giving users a way to add to their photo libraries from their Macs and PCs. Toolbar on beta.icloud.com site at top, non-beta iCloud.com toolbar on bottom Currently in beta and introduced with iOS 8.1, iCloud Photo Library is designed to store all of the photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, making them available on all iOS devices and Macs. iCloud Photo Library images can be viewed in the Photos app on iOS or through iCloud.com on the Mac, and the upcoming Photos app that Apple is creating for Macs will also work with iCloud Photo Library. While users now have the ability to upload all of their photos to iCloud Photo Library via the iCloud.com beta site, doing so uses iCloud storage space. Apple offers 5GB of storage space for free, with additional plans ranging from $0.99 for 20GB of storage space to $19.99 for 1TB of storage space. After being tested on the iCloud.com beta site, the iCloud Photo Library upload feature will make its way to the official iCloud site, but it is unknown how long testing will last. (Thanks, Konrad!) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Swype' Keyboard for iOS Named Apple's App of the Week, Available for Free • iMovie for iOS Updated With Support for iCloud Photo Library • Apple Adds CBS News Channel to Apple TV • How to Enable Text Message Forwarding and Answer Phone Calls on Your Mac • OWC Launches 1 TB SSD Upgrade Kits for 2010-2012 MacBook Air • Twelve South Launches SurfacePad Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support • Opera Mini for iOS Updated with 'Video Boost' Feature, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
It appears the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an inquiry into GT Advanced's trading activity, according to a new filing released today. The SEC sent a letter to GT Advanced on October 15, letting the company know that it was seeking "certain information regarding trading activity in the Company's securities," along with more information on its sapphire business and securities offering dating back to January 1, 2013. Shortly after GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it became clear that GT's CEO Thomas Gutierrez and COO Daniel Squiller had been selling off large amounts of stock, with some of the plans put in place just after production troubles surfaced in February 2014. Gutierrez sold off 9,000 shares of GT Advanced stock a day before the iPhone 6 was announced as part of a pre-arranged Rule 10b5-1 Plan enacted in March. He earned $160,000 from that particular sale, but had also sold shares on several other occasions in 2014, netting more than 10 million dollars. Comparatively, Gutierrez sold no stock in 2013, ahead of the company's Apple deal. Squiller sold $1.2 million worth of stock in May, and made plans to sell off additional shares throughout 2014, garnering an additional $750,000 before the company's October bankruptcy filing, and it appears that the well-timed divestitures have roused suspicion with the SEC. After GT Advanced inked a deal with Apple in 2013, its stock began to rise significantly on rumors suggesting Apple would use the company's sapphire in its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Stock prices went on to fall more than 1/3 in September after it became clear Apple had not opted to use sapphire for the devices. According to court documents and leaked information, the deal between Apple and GT Advanced soured over the latter company's inability to hit necessary milestones and the strict contract terms that Apple imposed on GT. Additional court documents were recently unsealed, and new details on the relationship could come to light as soon as tomorrow. The two companies have already signed an agreement to dissolve their relationship, with GT Advanced planning to decommission and sell off furnaces to repay the $440 million it was loaned from Apple. GT has already begun shutting down its Arizona plant, with a final shutdown planned for December 31. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Enable Text Message Forwarding and Answer Phone Calls on Your Mac • OWC Launches 1 TB SSD Upgrade Kits for 2010-2012 MacBook Air • Twelve South Launches SurfacePad Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support • Opera Mini for iOS Updated with 'Video Boost' Feature, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Apple Opening New Retail Store in Lille, France Saturday, November 15 • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple announced a partnership with U2 that saw the band's latest album distributed to iTunes users for free. In interviews following the launch of the album, U2's manager suggested Apple and U2 had formed a "long-term" relationship that would see them collaborating on additional projects, and now U2 frontman Bono has shed a bit more light on the partnership. At the Web Summit in Dublin that VentureBeat attended, Bono told the audience that Apple "let us into the labs," suggesting the band's been able to work with Apple on unreleased products and services. Bono went on to share a story about an interaction with Steve Jobs that hints at what U2 and Apple might be doing. Image via Chris O'Brien of VentureBeatTo illustrate the kind of concepts U2 and Apple might be exploring, Bono told the story of being in a house in France with Steve Jobs a decade ago. Bono looked at a version of iTunes being displayed on a TV screen and asked Jobs if he liked design so much, then "why does that look like a spreadsheet?" Bono said he had wondered why the album covers displayed on iTunes weren't interactive or why they didn't display archival photos, lyrics, or 3-D versions of band members: anything that would make for a more engaging visual experience with fans to complement the music. Jobs replied that the operating system and the technology didn't quite exist yet for such an experience. "But it does now," Bono said.Over the course of the last few years, Apple has been facing declining music downloads, which has led the company to launch iTunes Radio and purchase streaming music service Beats Music. There are rumors suggesting Apple is planning both a dramatic overhaul of iTunes and a rebranding of Beats Music, possibly merging the two into one all-inclusive service, and it's possible U2 is offering advice on new iTunes features. Apple has also been aiming to get artists more involved in the music distribution process. In a recent interview, Apple employees and Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine said Apple's goal was to bring together the people who create art with those who distribute it, which has been evidenced in the company's recent endeavors with U2. In addition to his comments on what the band might be working on with Apple, Bono told the audience that U2 "wanted to work with the creative people at Apple, and that Jony Ive is a guy he'd "like to be in a band with. He'd be like a bigger Edge." He also commented on the negative reaction that the "Songs of Innocence" album garnered from some users, which he apologized for in October, saying "We got a lot of people who weren't interested in U2 to be mad at U2. I would call that an improvement in the relationship." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Enable Text Message Forwarding and Answer Phone Calls on Your Mac • OWC Launches 1 TB SSD Upgrade Kits for 2010-2012 MacBook Air • Twelve South Launches SurfacePad Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support • Opera Mini for iOS Updated with 'Video Boost' Feature, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Apple Opening New Retail Store in Lille, France Saturday, November 15 • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Amazon today unveiled a new product called Echo, a cylindrical piece of hardware with a built-in Siri-style voice assistant that's able to answer a variety of requests and perform functions like playing music. The cloud-connected Echo is entirely controlled by voice and will wake to answer a question when the word "Alexa" is spoken. Like Siri, it can answer questions like "What time is it?" "What's the weather like?" and more, plus it's able to complete tasks like setting an alarm, playing music, or creating a shopping list. According to Amazon, Echo uses far-field voice recognition capabilities with seven microphones to detect a request from anywhere in a room, and its downward-firing speakers "can fill any room with immersive sound." Echo lets users have access to Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio and TuneIn, and with built-in Bluetooth, Echo is also able to play music from a phone or tablet. As it's connected to the cloud and Amazon Web Services, Echo is designed to learn and gain functionality over time, and an accompanying Amazon Echo app (Android/Fire OS only) or web interface is what lets Echo create alarms, music playlists, shopping lists, and more. Echo is priced at $99 for Amazon Prime members and $199 for non-Prime members, but currently users must request an invitation from Amazon to be allowed to purchase the device. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Twelve South Launches SurfacePad Case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support • Opera Mini for iOS Updated with 'Video Boost' Feature, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support • Apple Opening New Retail Store in Lille, France Saturday, November 15 • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In a newly posted video clip, screenwriter Alan Sorkin spoke to Bloomberg's Emily Chang about his upcoming Steve Jobs biopic that is expected to begin filming sometime next year. When asked why he was filming yet another movie about the Apple co-founder, Sorkin noted that Steve Jobs' life could provide content for at least ten movies. I think that you could do ten more movies about Steve Jobs, and I think if you lined up ten writers and said "write a movie about Steve Jobs", you'd get ten different movies, all of them worth going to see.Though he spoke relatively freely about Steve Jobs, such as mentions of the three times he spoke with Jobs on the phone including one where he "fixed a couple of typos" in Jobs' famous Stanford 2005 commencement speech, Sorkin did not address the casting for his upcoming movie, which has been in flux over the past year. Early reports had Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Bradley Cooper allegedly considered for the leading role, and just weeks ago Sorkin announced Christian Bale was selected without audition for the part. Bale has, however, reportedly pulled out of the project and Michael Fassbender is now reportedly in talks for the role. Sorkin went on to address the pressure he faces in writing the movie, noting it is "the same pressure that I feel when I'm writing anything...maybe with a little bit of sauce on top of pressure because he is a person that so many people have so many strong feelings about." He notes that he has met extensively with the other seven main characters in his Jobs movie, including Steve Wozniak, former Apple CEO John Sculley, and former Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman. The film will include 30-minute segments that focus on three major Apple product announcements with Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire fame as director. Seth Rogen reportedly is in talks to play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, while Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain may also play an unspecified role in the film. Sorkin's full interview will air tonight at 8:30 pm ET/PT on Bloomberg's Studio 1.0. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support • Opera Mini for iOS Updated with 'Video Boost' Feature, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Report • Apple Opening New Retail Store in Lille, France Saturday, November 15 • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Back in March, Microsoft launched dedicated Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for the iPad in a first effort to bring Office capabilities to everyone, everywhere. The apps have been highly successful, garnering more than 40 million downloads, and as of today, Microsoft is expanding its Office for iOS suite, offering dedicated Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps on the iPhone. While Microsoft's Office apps for the iPhone have been designed with the existing iPad apps in mind, offering full feature parity, the iPhone versions have been built to adapt to the iPhone's smaller interface and optimized to put touch controls first. All three apps take advantage of an innovative "vertical ribbon" that puts a full suite of editing tools right within thumb's reach at the bottom of the device's screen. Each individual app also has built-in tools to make the viewing experience more streamlined on the iPhone's Retina screen. Word for iPhone, main view and review changes view In Word, there's a Reflow button (located at the top menu bar) that shifts to a mobile-optimized view for reading and previewing what's been added to a document, and in Excel, Microsoft has focused on making it simple to edit formulas. Tapping on a cell brings up editing buttons and a dedicated formula keyboard. Excel has a fullscreen view that lets users have an unobstructed view of their spreadsheets, and PowerPoint has similar tools, including the ability to project slides from the iPhone using AirPlay. Excel for iPhone, main view and Pivot Table view Today's Office update that brings Microsoft's popular productivity apps for the iPhone also includes new features and functionality for the iPad versions. In addition to expanding its Office apps to the iPhone and updating its iPad apps, Microsoft has also decided to offer the core Office experience on the iPhone and iPad to all users for free. That means Office users will no longer be required to have an Office 365 subscription in order to access features like basic editing. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint users on iOS will be able to view, edit, create, and print documents for free, but many advanced editing capabilities will still be reserved for Office 365 subscribers. For example, advanced change tracking features in Word such as accepting or rejecting changes are reserved for subscribers, as are Pivot Tables in Excel and Presenter View in PowerPoint. Office 365 subscribers also get 1TB of OneDrive storage. Microsoft's Office apps for the iPhone are compatible with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus, and include full optimization for the two larger-screened iPhones. iOS 7 or later is required. Since releasing Office for iPad in March, Microsoft has added 150 new features. Microsoft's Principal User Experience Manager Han-yi Shaw told MacRumors that the company will continue to aggressively add features in the future, and it is investigating new iOS 8 technologies like Handoff. Microsoft's updated apps, which are now universal, will be available today from the App Store. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Pixelmator for Mac Updated With Redesigned Interface, OS X Yosemite Support • Opera Mini for iOS Updated with 'Video Boost' Feature, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Report • Apple Opening New Retail Store in Lille, France Saturday, November 15 • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In a new profile of Beats co-founders and new Apple employees Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, The Wall Street Journal interviews the duo about their newly launched undergraduate academy at the University of Southern California called the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and Business of Innovation. The Beats co-founders, who bankrolled the academy with a $70 million gift last year that led to the first students being enrolled this past August, are being profiled as part of the WSJ. Magazine 2014 Innovator Awards. Photo courtesy of The Wall Street Journal Echoing Steve Jobs' description of the philosophy of Apple, the school is aimed at preparing young people to be able to work in businesses that are at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. “We wanted to build a school that we feel is what the entertainment industry needs right now,” he says. “There’s a new kid in town, and he’s brought up on an iPad from one and a half years old. But the problem with some of the companies up north [in Silicon Valley] is that they really are culturally inept. I’ve been shocked at the different species in Northern and Southern California—we don’t even speak the same language. The kid who’s going to have an advantage in the entertainment industry today is the kid who speaks both languages: technology and liberal arts. That’s what this school is about."Erica Muhl, the school's first executive director, says that while other schools aim to mix business and technology, none of them add in the arts or culture. Iovine says the school's goal is to "find kids who can work at Beats or at Apple". While Iovine and Dre unsurprisingly haven't shared what their exact roles at Apple will entail, The Wall Street Journal notes that one of the primary things on their minds is to marry people who create art with those who distribute it.“I think what you’re seeing more and more are companies that are designed to do multiple things,” Iovine says. “If you look at the Beats model, there’s software and hardware. Look at what Amazon is doing; look at what Google’s trying to do. It’s technology and content in one.”In recent months, Apple's music strategy has seen increased cooperation from artists in its distribution channels. In December, Beyoncè launched her newest album exclusively on iTunes with no advance promotion, while iTunes Radio has consistently featured specially curated radio stations from artists like Sam Smith. More recently, Beats Music highlighted on Twitter that its service will still stream Taylor Swift's music after she decided to pull her content from rival streaming service Spotify. Apple is expected to launch a revamped version of Beats Music in early 2015. The full profile, which includes anecdotes on the creation of Beats Music and how Iovine had always wanted to work with Apple, as well as examples of what students are doing at the new school, can be found at The Wall Street Journal. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this year, Apple and IBM announced a major enterprise mobility partnership that would see IBM selling iOS devices to its corporate customers, creating industry-specific native apps, providing iOS-optimized cloud services, and providing support for a new AppleCare service. IBM and Apple are now moving forward with their partnership, and Apple has recently launched a new AppleCare for Enterprise website, suggesting that its promised enterprise-grade AppleCare plan is now available for IBM's enterprise customers. As detailed on the website, all AppleCare for Enterprise accounts are handled by an AppleCare Account Manager, providing a personal liaison with AppleCare. Apple promises a one-hour response time for all urgent issues, with IT department-level support available 24/7 via phone or email. All AppleCare for Enterprise customers can also replace 10 percent of damaged iOS devices, giving businesses an easy way to replace iPads or iPhones that have been accidentally damaged by employees. As promised during the announcement of its IBM partnership, Apple is offering an onsite hardware repair service for AppleCare for Enterprise customers. While Apple is handling all email and phone requests, IBM Global Technology Services will provide onsite repairs.You have the option to get onsite service coverage for two or three years from the date of your hardware purchase. If you have a hardware issue during that time, AppleCare for Enterprise will help get you back up and running quickly. IBM's Global Technology Services, a worldwide Apple Authorized Service Provider, will provide onsite service within the next business day.The new AppleCare for Enterprise site comes just ahead of IBM's first dedicated enterprise-focused iOS apps. During Apple's recent earnings call, Tim Cook said that next month, IBM will introduce apps across six sectors: banking, government, insurance, retail, travel, and transportation and telecommunications. Pricing on the Enterprise plans is unknown, but enterprise customers interested in finding out more about Apple's AppleCare for Enterprise plans are encouraged to contact their Apple or IBM Account Executives. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Researchers from Palo Alto Networks (via The New York Times) have published a research paper on WireLurker, a malware new family that's been infecting both Mac OS and iOS systems over the course of the past six months. The researchers say that WireLurker, which is targeting users in China, "heralds a new era in malware attacking Apple's desktop and mobile platforms." The WireLurker malware is the "biggest in scale" in the trojanized malware family, and it is able to attack iOS devices through OS X using USB. It's said to be able to infect iOS applications similar to a traditional virus, and it is the first malware capable of installing third-party applications on non-jailbroken iOS devices "through enterprise provisioning." Thus far, WireLurker has been used in 467 OS X apps in the Maiyadi App Store, which is a third-party Mac app store in China. The apps have been downloaded 356,104 times, infecting hundreds of thousands of users. According to the researchers, WireLurker looks for iOS devices connected via USB to an infected Mac, installing malicious third-party applications onto the device even without a jailbreak.WireLurker monitors any iOS device connected via USB with an infected OS X computer and installs downloaded third-party applications or automatically generated malicious applications onto the device, regardless of whether it is jailbroken. This is the reason we call it "wire lurker". Researchers have demonstrated similar methods to attack non-jailbroken devices before; however, this malware combines a number of techniques to successfully realize a new brand of threat to all iOS devices. WireLurker exhibits complex code structure, multiple component versions, file hiding, code obfuscation and customized encryption to thwart anti-reversing. In this whitepaper, we explain how WireLurker is delivered, the details of its malware progression, and specifics on its operation.Once installed, WireLurker can collect information from iOS devices like contacts and iMessages, and it's able to request updates from attackers. It's said to be under "active development" with an unclear "ultimate goal." Palo Alto Neworks offers several recommendations for avoiding apps infected with WireLurker, including an antivirus product and Mac App Store installation restrictions that prevent apps from unknown third parties from being installed. Users should not download and run Mac apps or games from third-parry app stores, download sites, or other untrusted sources and jailbreaking should be avoided. Unknown enterprise provisioning profiles must be avoided as well, and users should avoid pairing their iOS devices with unknown computers or charging with chargers from untrusted or unknown sources. Palo Alto Networks has notified Apple of the malware, but an Apple spokesperson declined to offer a comment. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple Pay competitor Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, which is a group of retailers working on a QR-code based payment system called "CurrentC," has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after two prominent MCX members, Rite Aid and CVS, opted to remove Apple Pay support from their retail stores. After a glut of negative press and a hacking incident, MCX executives have been scrambling to defend CurrentC, hosting a press conference and doing several interviews. The latest information on MCX and CurrentC comes courtesy of The Verge, in an interview conducted with MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson. According to Davidson, the MCX system uses the same tokenization system Apple Pay is based on, replacing card numbers with random numbers. He also says that if customers want to be "totally anonymous" to retailers, "they'll get that."We think Apple Pay, which has also embraced the concept of low value tokens as we did three years ago, we're probably in simpatico on that one. I pull out my phone, I hold up my phone with a QR code that says "I am a customer at lane 6", and now we're each sent a token and a message to the cloud that says "I am the seller" and "I am the buyer and I want to pay for this transaction with the payment instrument that I've selected in my phone." There's no piece of paper to sign, there's no print out, there's no signature to hand back. There are never credentials in my device at the point of sale, it all occurs in a secure server. So like with Apple, if anyone were to intercept the low value tokens there's nothing they could do with that.One of the major draws of CurrentC that MCX executives have highlighted time and time again is its ability to incorporate loyalty cards and discounts, stating that consumers want more than just a payment method. Davidson pointed out that the average American household is signed up for 18 loyalty programs but only uses a handful, with CurrentC making it "rewarding" and "hassle free" for customers to take advantage of loyalty programs. The CurrentC app offers automatic credits, points, and coupons, which are redeemed with each transaction.This puts all the power in the hand of the consumer to make it simple, to make it rewarding and to make it hassle free. So for us, it's a lot more than about payments. Paying by mobile is a flat value proposition, it'll be cool for a while, but we hear from our merchants and they hear from their consumers that they want something that brings it all together, that's what we're doing. On the subject of QR codes, Davidson says that CurrentC is "quite forgiving." Customers will not need to hold their phones "at a certain angle with certain light," and it's "designed to read a QR code pretty quickly." Davidson pointed towards Starbucks as a QR code success story, and said Starbucks is an "inspiration." Davidson also commented on MCX's exclusivity agreements that have prompted stores like CVS and Rite Aid to stop accepting Apple Pay, while MCX member Meijer has continued to offer Apple's payment solution. "They have to make the decision that's best for their business," he said, but he went on to say that defying MCX's exclusivity agreements does have "consequences." Merchants who do not keep agreements will not see MCX "put a lot of energy in helping get [them] launched in the near term." Davidson's full interview, which also includes details on why he thinks customers will use CurrentC, more of his thoughts on QR codes, and more information on the recent hacking attempt that saw customer email addresses compromised can be found over at The Verge. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is encouraging customers that have opted to stick with older versions of iOS to upgrade to its latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, released to the public in September. The company has been sending out emails to iOS users who have yet to install iOS 8, letting them know that their "iOS 8 update is waiting." The email offers information on what's included with iOS 8, detailing features like QuickType, the new Health app, Family Sharing, iCloud Drive, and Continuity. It also gives specific installation instructions, letting users know that they can upgrade wirelessly using the Software Update tool or through iTunes if their devices are low on space. Apple's iTunes installation tip could spur quite a few users to upgrade, as a lack of free space on low capacity devices appears to be one of the major factors preventing users from updating. iOS 8 adoption has been somewhat slower than iOS 7 adoption, and just three weeks after it was released, iOS 8 installation numbers had stagnated. While we originally chalked this up to a number of significant bugs in the operating system, our readers quickly pointed out that an over-the-air update requiring 5GB of free space was a major hurdle to overcome. Many users seem to be unaware that installing via iTunes is an option, as evidenced in one comment on our forums: I have friends who are still on iOS 7 because they don't have enough free space available to upgrade. When I tell them they can upgrade by connecting their phones to their computers, and thus, doing it through iTunes, they look at me like I'm crazy, or like it's 2008 or something.Over the course of the last week, iOS 8 adoption numbers have picked up somewhat, after Apple introduced new features like Apple Pay with the recent iOS 8.1 update. As of October 27, Apple's official installation numbers suggested the OS was on 52 percent of devices, up from 48 percent on October 13, and data from MixPanel suggests that number has risen even higher in November, hitting 59 percent. (Thanks, Jaime!) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF, a non-profit digital rights group, has investigated the security of various messaging apps and created a new Secure Messaging Scorecard, ranking messaging apps and tools like iMessage, FaceTime, BlackBerry Messenger, Skype, Snapchat, and more, based on seven different factors: - Is a message encrypted in transit? - Is it encrypted so the provider is unable to read it? - Can you verify contacts' identities? - Are past communications secure if keys are stolen? - Is the code open to independent review? - Is security design properly documented? - Has the code been audited? Unsurprisingly, the apps that score highest on the EFF's chart are those dedicated to secure messaging, such as iPhone apps ChatSecure, Signal, and CryptoCat, both of which scored checkmarks in all categories. Apple's iMessage scored five out of seven checkmarks, earning points for encrypting messages in transit and encryption that's unreadable by Apple, but the messaging app was faulted for an inability to verify contact identities and the fact that Apple's code is not open to independent review. FaceTime was scored in the same way as iMessage, also offering encryption but no contact verification/independent review capabilities. Outside of dedicated secure chat messaging apps, both FaceTime and iMessage scored higher than competing messaging platforms like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Snapchat, Kik, Google Hangouts, and BlackBerry Messenger. Few of the competing messaging services offer encryption that prevents the companies offering the services from accessing messages, though all encrypted messages in transit. Most iMessage/FaceTime competitors also fail to secure past communications if keys are stolen, and few had properly documented security design. QQ, a highly popular Chinese messaging app, failed at providing any of the qualities the EFF was looking for in a secure messaging app, not even bothering to encrypt messages. According to the EFF, Apple's iMessage and FaceTime products were the "best of the mass-market options," which is not much of a surprise given Apple's unparalleled focus on user privacy. Apple has a comprehensive privacy site that details all of its privacy policies and the security of various apps and services, including iMessage and FaceTime. On the site, Apple specifically says iMessage and FaceTime calls "are your business, not ours." The company offers end-to-end encryption and Apple has no way to decrypt it. "Unlike other companies' messaging services, Apple doesn't scan your communications and we wouldn't be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to," reads the site. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this year, Intel demonstrated an impressive wireless cable computer system made possible with Skylake, Intel's next-generation chip technology (after Broadwell). At a recent venture capital event, the company showed off even more of its upcoming technology, including a face-recognition 3D camera system that aims to do away with passwords and allow for new methods of computer control. As detailed by The Wall Street Journal, Intel's "YAP" concept (which stands for "you are the password"), is designed to recognize a user's voice, face, or fingerprint, to allow biometric access to a device. Kirk Skaugen, in charge of Intel's PC chip business, believes that such technology could be coming to computers as early as next year. Intel's Kirk Skaugen Facial recognition capabilities are mainly enabled through new camera technology that's able to create 3D models, which can also be used for other methods of computer control. According to Skaugen, the cameras could track a user's facial expressions and map them to an animated avatar. Intel's betting big on camera technology able to scan and create 3D models and will create a new 3D camera business. "We are planning to be the number one 3D camera manufacturer," said Skaugen. Apple itself may be working on similar technology, as in 2013 it acquired PrimeSense, a company that specialized in 3D sensing and scanning techniques. Apple has not yet produced a product taking advantage of PrimeSense technology, but rumors have suggested its gesture-tracking features could be built into the Apple TV. Just today a rumor coming out of the Asian supply chain suggested Apple's working on a glasses-free 3D display for next year's iPhone, which would go hand in hand with 3D camera technology possibly being developed by former PrimeSense employees. During the event, Skaugen also commented on the production of Intel's next-generation Broadwell chips, which is said to be ramping up to millions of units. Ultra low power Core M chips are already available, and Intel is prepping to release its main Broadwell chips in 2015. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Google Maps for iOS Rolling Out New Look With OpenTable and Uber Integration • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Taiwanese media website Economic Daily News [Google Translate] (via GforGames) is reporting that Apple may be gearing up to introduce a glasses-free 3D display on next year's iPhone. The site also reports that Apple is aiming to create a 3D "hardware and software ecosystem." Economic Daily News also mentions that this "naked eye 3D screen" could not be built using the current embedded touch technology Apple has used since the launch of the iPhone 5. The site claims Apple would once again seek the help of touch screen manufacturer TPK to assist in the development of the next generation of iPhone. This all comes on the heels of the Taiwanese site claiming Apple has plans to discontinue the iPad mini in favor of the upcoming release of the still-rumored iPad Pro. Though the validity of that rumor is still in question, Economic Daily News has had some hits (regarding Apple Watch sizes and release dates) and misses (claiming the iPhone 6 Plus would ditch the "iPhone" brand), making it difficult to assess the latest claim's reliability. Though the story is still firmly speculative, Apple has shown interest in 3D devices for many years now. The company applied for a patent regarding glasses-free 3D stereoscopic displays over six years ago. The proposed system was intended to solve issues found in previous incarnations of the technology, allowing tracking of the user to ensure proper 3D rendering no matter the location. Apple later applied for a patent regarding 3D "Hyper Reality" displays that proposed to change the perspective of objects on a screen in relation to the movement of the user's head, combining software and hardware to achieve the effect. The 3D technology that Apple has employed, of course, is the parallax feature that gives depth and 3D effects to iOS as the device is moved. More comprehensive implementations of 3D display technology such as that rumored for the next iPhone have seen a limited amount of interest from smartphone manufacturers, but none have so far seen significant success. Given apparent tepid consumer interest in the technology and a lack of other recent rumors regarding any plans by Apple to pursue it, today's claims should be considered questionable for the time being. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users • Original Apple-1 Sold by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction in December with $600,000 Estimate

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Increased consumer interest in NFC mobile payments related to Apple's recent launch of its Apple Pay mobile payment service appears to be having benefits for other services as well, reports Ars Technica. A major beneficiary of this new consumer awareness of mobile transactions is Google Wallet, which reportedly has seen a marked increase in usage over the past few months. NFC-based mobile payments have had a boost in recent months, possibly thanks to the launch of Apple Pay, which was announced in September. Now, a person with knowledge of the matter tells Ars that Google Wallet, which launched back in 2011 and saw tepid success in the ensuing three years, has had considerable growth in the last couple of months. According to our source, weekly transactions have increased by 50 percent, and in the recent couple of months, new users have nearly doubled compared to the previous month. Apple launched its mobile payment service in October with the support of major retailers and credit card companies. The service logged over 1 million card activations in the first three days of usage with overall positive reviews. The Apple Pay launch was not without controversy with both CVS and Rite Aid suspending their mobile payments shortly after the service made its official debut, moves that affected not only Apple Pay but all NFC-based payment services including Google Wallet. The two pharmacy chains, along with a number of other major retailers, are developing a competing service, CurrentC, which as currently implemented uses QR codes and an app to process transactions. The shutting down of NFC at these retailers has even resulted in an alliance between Android and iOS users on Reddit to boycott retailers involved in the CurrentC effort. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Jawbone Announces 'UP3' Wristband with New Sensors, 'Smart Coach' Functionality • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users • Original Apple-1 Sold by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction in December with $600,000 Estimate

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
French Apple website iGen.fr is reporting [Google Translate] that pricing for the stainless steel Apple Watch may start at $500, while the gold Apple Watches' pricing could start between $4,000 and $5,000. iGen.fr has been reliable in the past, most recently reporting the dimensions of both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While Apple had announced that the Apple Watch would start at $350, which was widely assumed to be the price of the aluminum model, and estimates pegged the price of the gold Apple Watch at prices as low as $1,000 or as high as $5,000, there has been little information regarding the pricing of the stainless steel option. The site's sources also indicate that Apple still aims to release the Apple Watch by Valentine's Day 2015, which somewhat echoes an earlier report that said the company would be "lucky" to release the device by that timeframe. iGen.fr also mentions that manufacturers and resellers are preparing as if the Watch would release in mid-February 2015. Previously, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts said the Watch would release in Spring 2015. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users • Original Apple-1 Sold by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction in December with $600,000 Estimate • Sam's Club Selling iPhone 6 as Low as $99 Starting November 15

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Following yesterday's news that Christian Bale had opted to pull out of Sony's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic penned by Aaron Sorkin, Variety has shared news that Michael Fassbender is now in talks to take on the role of Steve Jobs. According to the site, Fassbender is in "early talks" with director Danny Boyle and Sony executives about possibly starring in the film. Fassbender, while less well known than Christian Bale and previous Jobs candidate Leonardo DiCaprio, has been in several high profile movies including Inglourious Basterds, Prometheus, 12 Years a Slave, and The Counselor. He's perhaps most widely known for his role as Magneto in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Aaron Sorkin's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic focuses on three continuous 30-minute scenes that depict three of Jobs' product launches including the debut of the Mac, the introduction of the NeXT Computer, and the release of the iPod. While it is unclear who will take on the role of Steve Jobs, Seth Rogen is reportedly in talks to play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Jessica Chastain, from The Help is also being considered for an unspecified role in the film. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users • Original Apple-1 Sold by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction in December with $600,000 Estimate • Sam's Club Selling iPhone 6 as Low as $99 Starting November 15

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe, specializing in class action lawsuits, has announced that it has launched an antitrust investigation into CVS and Rite Aid over their decision to stop accepting Apple Pay in their retail stores. The firm says that it is looking into a potential class action lawsuit that would aim to restore Apple Pay at CVS and Rite Aid stores, and it is currently asking to speak with consumers who may have been affected by the stores' decision to stop offering the payment method.In light of this situation, Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe is investigating whether CVS and Rite Aid violated the antitrust laws by banding together with other MCX members in a decision to boycott other payments systems, including Apple Pay. Consumers with phones that support Apple Pay may be able to participate in a class action to restore the service at CVS and Rite Aid retail stores.Both Rite Aid and CVS stopped accepting Apple Pay just over a week ago, disabling the NFC capabilities of their payment terminals to prevent it from being used. Rite Aid and CVS are both members of the Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, a consortium of retailers developing their own barcode-based payment system called CurrentC. MCX has confirmed that all of its retail members, including CVS and Rite Aid, are subject to exclusivity agreements that prevent them from accepting alternate forms of payment at the current time, but all MCX members are free to leave at any point in time. MCX executives have said that the exclusivity agreements are "closer to months than years" and have been put in place to offer "breathing room" for the development of CurrentC. CurrentC is being tested in a limit number of markets at the current time, with a release planned for next year. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users • Original Apple-1 Sold by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction in December with $600,000 Estimate • Sam's Club Selling iPhone 6 as Low as $99 Starting November 15

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Unicode Consortium has released a technical report (via Emojipedia) detailing a new method for handling the representation of multi-ethnic groups in emoji. Previous guidelines have stated that emoji people be "as neutral as possible regarding race, ethnicity, and gender". Unless the emoji calls out specific gender or racial cues, then a "generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette" should be used in its place. A forthcoming update, Unicode 8.0, plans to change all of that. It proposes to introduce a skin-tone modifier which could be added to certain emoji, allowing users to send any emotion using any skin tone. Plans even reach as far as to allow emoji couples to feature individually different skin tones. Planned for release in the middle of next year, Unicode 8.0's skin tone and racial diversity proposals are only proposed drafts at the current stage. Mockup via Emojipedia Although the wide acceptance of new emoji is rather slow-going (no major platforms yet support Unicode 7.0 emoji released earlier this year), Apple has shown previous interest in updating the diversity in its emoji lineup. Earlier in the year, Apple's then-vice president of worldwide corporate communications, Katie Cotton, spoke to vocalized support in working with the Unicode Consortium and updating its emoji character offerings."Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard." The most recent major change to emoji on Apple platforms was for iOS 6, when the company expanded native support beyond Japan and made the feature accessible to all users without the use of a third-party app. 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 • Amazon Offers Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime Subscribers • AT&T Announces 'Next 24' Payment Plan, Allowing 30 Months to Pay Off Devices • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users • Original Apple-1 Sold by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction in December with $600,000 Estimate • Sam's Club Selling iPhone 6 as Low as $99 Starting November 15

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Microsoft and Dropbox today announced a partnership that will bring Dropbox support to Microsoft's suite of Office mobile apps. Microsoft will add this new Dropbox feature in upcoming versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPhone and iPad. The new Dropbox integration would allow Office users to open, edit and share files that are stored in Dropbox. After adding a Dropbox account to an Office app, users will be able browse their Dropbox contents, which appear alongside OneDrive and locally stored files. All mobile edits will be synced to Dropbox automatically with a sharing option available within the Office app.Over the coming weeks, we’re updating Office apps so that they work with Dropbox, too. With the next updates to Word, Excel and PowerPoint on iPhone, iPad and Android Phone you’ll be able to connect to your Dropbox account, so you can access, edit and share your Dropbox files right from your Office apps. Once you’ve added your Dropbox account to Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you can navigate folders and files on Dropbox for viewing and editing in the native Office apps. And accessing Word, PowerPoint and Excel from your Dropbox app is just as easy. Navigate to the file you want, and the Dropbox app will open the Office app you need.This collaborative effort is only in the beginning stages, with plans to expand Dropbox integration to other Microsoft products over time. After updating its mobile apps in the coming weeks, Microsoft is planning to add Dropbox support to its Office online web apps early next year. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Disney's 'Movies Anywhere' Service Now Allowing Users to View Films on iOS or Android • Samsung and TSMC Reportedly Still Competing for Rights to Produce Apple's A9 Chip • AT&T and Verizon Announce Voice Over LTE Interoperability for 2015 • Microsoft Announces 'Skype Translator' Early Preview for Windows 8.1 Users • Original Apple-1 Sold by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction in December with $600,000 Estimate • Sam's Club Selling iPhone 6 as Low as $99 Starting November 15 • AT&T and Verizon Boost Monthly Wireless Data in Ongoing Competition • Halloween Deals: Discounts on Scary Movies, Apps, Apple Accessories, and More

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