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Swatch Denies Report it is Working With Apple on iWatch Wearable

Posted by | July 24, 2014.
swatch-logo

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group today denied a recent report that it was working with Apple to develop a smartwatch product, reports Reuters. VentureBeat first reported this joint venture, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of Apple’s plans.

A spokeswoman for Swatch told Reuters that the Apple rumor was “unfounded,” adding that Swatch’s only relationship with mobile phone manufacturers is as a supplier of integrated circuits and other electronic components. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek reiterated in an interview with Reuters that “he was not interested in teaming up with a tech group to develop a smartwatch.”

The original VentureBeat rumor claimed Swatch and possibly Timex would build a smartwatch based on Apple’s iWatch specifications. These third-party manufacturers would release their watches alongside Apple’s own iWatch, providing “a family of smart watches to suit all tastes “from geek to chic.”

This type of agreement would be unusual for Swatch, whose CEO has publicly expressed skepticism about the future success of the iWatch, saying he doesn’t believe “it’s the next revolution.” Earlier reports also indicate that Apple is working alone on the iWatch, hiring a variety of medical, fitness and fashion experts to help develop the wearable Continue Reading

Apple Launching 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 After 4.7-Inch Version to Avoid Competition Between Two Models

Posted by | July 24, 2014.
iphone_5s_6_grass

Apple will launch the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 several months after the 4.7-inch version to avoid competition between the two models, according to a new report from DigiTimes citing supply chain sources.

The different timetables have been set as Apple does not want to repeat the mistake it made in 2013 when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c simultaneously, said the sources.

Prior rumors have pointed out that production issues with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 would cause Apple to delay its release a few months after 4.7-inch version, however this newest report claims that isn’t the case for the launch delay. A report from Bloomberg last month suggested that Apple would be launching both versions of the iPhone 6 simultaneously, noting that the company had begun preparing the 4.7-inch model and 5.5-inch for manufacturing.

4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 mockups compared to iPhone 5s
Apple is expected to unveil the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 at a September event, although a report yesterday noted that the company is unsure as to whether it will show off the 5.5-inch version at the same time. The company is said to be Continue Reading

Apple Seeds New Builds of Safari 7.1 and Safari 6.2 to Developers [Mac Blog]

Posted by | July 24, 2014.
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Apple has seeded developers with new versions of Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for OS X Mountain Lion as works continues on OS X Yosemite. In its release notes for both betas, Apple is asking developers to test AutoFill for passwords and credit cards as well as general website compatibility and extension compatibility.

Focus Areas
– Please focus testing on the following areas:
– Please test password and credit card AutoFill.
– Please test general website compatibility.
– Please test extension compatibility.

Apple also once again touts support for WebGL, which was included in prior seeds and allows users to view 3D content without the use of plug-ins. Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for for OS X Mountain Lion are expected to be released in the near future. Meanwhile, the company’s public beta for OS X Yosemite launches tomorrow, July 24.

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Apple to Open New Wuxi, China Retail Store on August 2 [Mac Blog]

Posted by | July 24, 2014.
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Apple has announced on its official Chinese website that it will open its new retail store in Wuxi, China at Wuxi Hang Lung Plaza, which is about an hour’s train ride from Shanghai, on Saturday, August 2 at 10 AM.

Last week, Apple announced that its new Chongqing store is set to open this Saturday, July 26. New Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts plans to have a focus on furthering Apple’s business in China, expecting to oversee the opening of 20 stores in the country through 2016.

The moves are a part of Apple’s larger effort to grow its presence in China, as the company started partnering with the country’s biggest carrier China Mobile late last year and became China’s fifth-largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2013. Apple is also working hard to attract Chinese app developers to iOS. Thanks Jacob!

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Apple Working With Swatch For iWatch With Multiple Designs, Price Points?

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
paparazzi

Apple may be working with manufacturing partners like Swatch to create multiple versions of the iWatch that are available in a range of styles and price points, according to a questionable report from VentureBeat, citing a source with knowledge of Apple’s plans.

While most Apple-watchers and media have been laser-focused on one or two “iWatches” from Apple itself, the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics and media giant may actually be working a number of partners in the watch business.

Apple and its partners will offer a family of smartwatches to suit all tastes “from geek to chic,” our source says.

VentureBeat suggests it is possible that Swatch may be involved in building one or more of Apple’s smart watches, and the site’s source also believes Apple may be teaming up with Timex as well. Watches from third-party manufacturers would likely accompany an iWatch of Apple’s own branding, according to the source.

A possible partnership with Swatch or another watch maker would seemingly go against many of the existing iWatch rumors, which have indicated that Apple is building its own wrist worn device with multiple screen sizes up to 2.5 inches and an array of complicated health sensors.

Apple Continue Reading

Apple in Talks With Credit Card Companies Over Payment Solution, Could Launch Mobile ‘Wallet’ This Fall

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
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Apple’s talks with companies in the payment industry have been heating up in recent months, according to a new report from The Information. Apple executives have discussed launching a mobile payment solution as soon as this fall, allowing users to pay for physical goods with their iPhones.

Apple is currently speaking with credit card company Visa over a possible partnership, a move that would bypass third-party payment processors resulting in direct savings for retailers and customers.

Apple’s payment solution is said to work with a “secured element” within the iPhone, safely storing payment credentials. This secured solution may involve the “Secure Enclave” built into Apple’s A7 processor.

Apple has told some partners its system would involve a so-called secured element in the phones–a piece of hardware where sensitive information such as a phone owner’s financial credentials can be stored. The company also aims to run the system without giving up any control to wireless carriers.

The Secure Enclave, which was designed for Touch ID, is a coprocessor within the A7 chip that uses a secure boot process to ensure that its separate software is both verified and signed by Apple. It functions independently even if a kernel is Continue Reading

Comprehensive List of Apps Compatible With iOS 8 Beta 4 [iOS Blog]

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
ios_8_fall_roundup

Our forum members are building a comprehensive list of all the apps that function in iOS 8 beta 4, which may be helpful for users who have installed the beta or who plan to install it. The list also includes apps that are known to be broken and apps that work but have specific issues.

Notable apps that fully work with the beta include 1Password, Dropbox, Deliveries, Google Chrome, Instagram, Pandora, Rdio, Tweetbot 3, and Vine. Other apps, like Facebook and Snapchat work as well, but have some issues with videos.

Popular apps that do not work with the beta at this point in time include Adobe Photoshop Touch, Camera+, Evernote, Google Docs/Drive, Infinity Blade 1-3, LastPass, Whatsapp, and YouTube.

It is not unusual for apps to malfunction with the introduction of new beta software, as developers often need to make multiple tweaks to accommodate new APIs and protocols. Apple’s extended beta testing periods are designed to give developers the time they need to get their apps working with the new operating system before it is released to the public.

The forum post that lists all of the working apps is a Wiki post editable Continue Reading

Fantastical for iPhone/iPad Gains Snooze and Birthday Notifications, Goes on Sale [iOS Blog]

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
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Fantastical 2 for the iPhone and the iPad were today updated to version 2.1, adding several new features to both mobile apps including a new Snooze feature, event invitation notifications, birthday notifications, and more.

The biggest new feature, Snooze, allows users push back notification times for calendar events or reminders using either preset times or custom set durations, a useful function when a notification pops up and needs to be paused until a later time.

Along with Snooze, the 2.1 update adds notifications for upcoming birthdays and event invitations, plus it’s possible to search for and add contacts and locations when creating new events. There are also new keyboard shortcuts enabled when using an external keyboard and several little tweaks have been added, such as improved calendar colors for the week view and an improved appearance for events that span multiple days. A complete list of changes can be found below:

- Snooze! Open a Fantastical event or reminder notification to see snooze options
– Search and add contacts or locations when creating a new event (tap the arrow in the location field)
– New event invitation notifications and app icon badge option
– Upcoming birthday Continue Reading

OS X Yosemite to Launch in Late October, 12-inch Retina MacBook and 4K Desktop in the Works

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
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Following an earlier report on the launch of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, 9to5Mac has released a second report with details on OS X Yosemite and Apple’s fall Mac plans. As has been previously mentioned, OS X Yosemite will launch in October, following iOS 8′s September release alongside the iPhone 6.

The final Yosemite Developer Preview is expected to be seeded to developers on September 29, with a final golden master build coming around October 10, which suggests a late-October public launch date for Yosemite.

October will also see the potential introduction of the iWatch, as has been widely rumored, and Apple may also be planning to unveil several new products designed to promote Yosemite, including a smaller 12-inch MacBook with a high-resolution display and a new desktop computer, which may be an iMac or a standalone monitor with a 4K resolution screen.

Along with providing a few details on the desktop Retina machine, 9to5Mac‘s report echoes several details on the 12-inch MacBook previously shared by rumor sites, suggesting it will have a Retina display and a “thinner and slightly lighter aluminum body.”

Apple believes that this new Retina MacBook will be a significant step Continue Reading

Apple Planning Mid-September Event for 4.7-Inch iPhone 6, Timing of 5.5-Inch Model Unclear

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
iphone_5s_6__side_grass

According to claims a sixth beta is planned for Friday, August 15. A golden master version may debut a few weeks later at the end of August or early September. As rumored, dual-screen multi-tasking for the iPad and Maps improvements are still in the works, but these features are not expected to be available at launch and would come in a later iOS 8 update.

Following the September event, Apple also is planning a second event in October that will showcase the iWatch, Apple’s entry into the wearables market. This late fall event also will be used to discuss OS X Yosemite as well as unveil new iPad models. The iPad update is expected to be a modest refresh with hardware additions such as Touch ID and a faster A8 processor.

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Apple’s 36% Boost in Research and Development Spending Points to Strong Product Pipeline

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
iwatch-concept-nike

Apple made a significant investment into research and development this past quarter, increasing spending in the category by 36 percent over the same quarter last year, reports Financial Times. As noted by BTIG Research analyst Walt Piecyk, Apple’s $1.6 billion quarterly investment represents 4 percent of sales, the highest percentage of spending in R&D since 2006, the year before Apple released the first iPhone.

This huge increase supports rumors the company is investing significantly in more than just new iPhones, iPads, and Macs for its upcoming product pipeline. Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly confirmed the company is preparing to enter new product categories, with Cook saying Apple is working “really great stuff.” Apple’s Internet Software and Services chief Eddy Cue also enthusiastically noted that Apple’s planned products for 2014 are “the best product pipeline that I’ve seen in my 25 years at Apple.”

iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton

The highlight of these new products is likely the iWatch, a fitness-oriented smartwatch rumored for release later this year. The sensor-laden wearable device is expected to sync with the iPhone including via a new Health app for iOS 8 and may Continue Reading

iPhone Camera Supplier Sony Investing $345 Million to Boost Image Sensor Production [iOS Blog]

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
sonyexmor_imx220s

As hinted at in an earlier report from Nikkei, Sony today confirmed it is investing 35 billion yen ($345 million) to increase the production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, reports Reuters.

The electronics firm will use the 35 billion yen to boost production of stacked CMOS sensors at two factories in Kyushu, Japan as well as complete work at a factory it recently purchased from Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics. This investment will increase manufacturing by 13 percent, allowing Sony to produce up to 68,000 wafers a month by August 2015.

Sony is a leader in the imaging sensor market, supplying camera modules for major mobile phone and tablet manufacturers, including Apple and its iPhone since the iPhone 4s. Sony is rumored to be supplying Apple with a 13-megapixel Exmor IMX220 rear camera sensor and possibly the front-camera module for the iPhone 6.

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OS X Yosemite Public Beta Launches Tomorrow, July 24

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
yosemite_public_beta_machines

In a coordinated release today, a number of publications have released official overviews of the latest OS X Yosemite beta build alongside word of Apple’s plans to open up the public beta tomorrow, July 24. As noted by The Loop, the public beta of Yosemite will be the same build released to developers on Monday.

The public beta version of OS X Yosemite is the same version released to developers on Monday, so to start off, consumers and developers will be running the same software. However, the developer version of Yosemite will be updated more often over the next few months than the public beta version. This is so developers can continue to test their software with the latest operating system available. Consumers really don’t need updates that frequently.

As far as the overviews designed to bring members of the public beta up to speed as the program launches, the general feeling is positive. Some note, however, that many of Yosemite’s best features involve integration with iOS 8 and will be inaccessible during the public beta as the program covers only OS X. Here are a few snippets:

Dana Wollman, Engadget

For anyone who thought OS Continue Reading

Apple Addresses iOS ‘Backdoor’ Concerns by Outlining Legitimate Uses for Targeted Services

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
apple_security_icon

Earlier this week, forensic expert Jonathan Zdziarski attracted attention for his disclosures of what appeared to be “backdoors” in iOS that could allow for covert data collection of users’ information from their devices. While Apple issued a statement denying that anything nefarious was involved, the company has now posted a new support document (via Cabel Sasser) offering a limited description of the three services highlighted in Zdziarski’s talk.

Each of these diagnostic capabilities requires the user to have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer. Any data transmitted between the iOS device and trusted computer is encrypted with keys not shared with Apple. For users who have enabled iTunes Wi-Fi Sync on a trusted computer, these services may also be accessed wirelessly by that computer.

The three processes include:

com.apple.mobile.pcapd: Diagnostic packet capture to a trusted computer, used for diagnosing app issues and enterprise VPN connection problems.

com.apple.mobile.file_relay: Used on internal devices and can be accessed (with user permission) by AppleCare for diagnostic purposes on the user’s device.

com.apple.mobile.house_arrest: Used by iTunes for document transfer and by Xcode during app development and testing.

Security experts will undoubtedly have additional questions Continue Reading

iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite May Launch Separately Despite Integration Features

Posted by | July 23, 2014.
continuity

While iOS and Mac OS X have traditionally followed different release schedules, Apple’s recently announced Continuity features suggested it was possible for Apple’s two operating systems to debut at the same time. However, Apple is planning to stagger the releases of both iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite, reports 9to5Mac, citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans.

iOS 8 is expected to launch in September alongside the iPhone 6 while OS X Yosemite will not launch until October. Apple used the same release schedule last year, launching iOS 7 alongside the iPhone 5s in September and OS X Mavericks one month later in October.

Continuity allows users to work seamlessly between iPhone, iPad and Mac, with the ability to start emails on one device and easily finish it on another, or using Macs and iPads to answer phone calls and “green bubble” text messages. Because iOS and OS X have never been designed to work better together than with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, many saw a dual release as a good opportunity for Apple to cross-promote both its iOS devices and Macs with a stand-out new feature like Continuity.

Apple is planning on Continue Reading

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