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Apple to Continue Offering Public Beta Versions of OS X Software

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
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With the release of Yosemite, Apple introduced a public beta test for the first time, allowing more than a million consumers to sign up for and participate in the Yosemite beta. In past years, beta testing new Mac software has been left up to developers and a select number of Apple Seed members.

It appears that Apple found Yosemite’s public beta testing to be successful, as the company today sent out an email that suggests it will continue to offer public beta tests for OS X software in the future. In an email that thanks Yosemite testers, Apple says that members of the OS X Beta Program will continue to be offered beta versions of OS X software updates.

Thanks for participating in the OS X Yosemite Beta Program. As you know, OS X Yosemite brings an elegant redesign, continuity features for using your Mac, iPhone, and iPad together, and major enhancements to the apps you use every day. And it’s now available for free from the Mac App Store.

Please install the release version of OS X Yosemite. As a member of the OS X Beta Program, you will continue to be offered beta versions of Continue Reading

List of Stores and Apps That Accept Apple Pay Payments

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
applepaypartners

While Apple Pay will work in any store that accepts contactless payments, Apple has partnered up with several retailers for the launch of Apple Pay, to ensure the mobile payment service will work smoothly in those locations. In retail stores, only iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users can take advantage of Apple Pay, as payments require NFC.

Retail partners that will begin accepting Apple Pay payments today or in the immediate future include Aeropostale, Babies R Us, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Bloomingdales, Champs, Chevron, DuaneReade, Foot Locker (including Lady Footlocker, Run by Footlocker, Kids Footlocker, and House of Hoops), FootAction, Macy’s Nike, Office Depot, Petco (and Unleashed), Radioshack, Six:02, Sports Authority, Texaco, Toys R Us, Walgreens, and of course, Apple’s own retail stores.

Fast food locations now accepting Apple Pay include McDonald’s, Subway, and Panera Bread, while grocery stores accepting the payments service include Wegmans and Whole Foods Market.

Apple Pay can also be used within apps on devices that support Touch ID, which includes the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple’s upcoming iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2. Apple’s iPhone 5s does not appear to be compatible according to the Apple Pay website, even Continue Reading

How to Set Up Apple Pay and Add Credit Cards

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
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Now that iOS 8.1 has been released to the public, we’re getting our first look at what Apple Pay looks like on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple Pay isn’t immediately obvious when iOS 8.1 is installed — users will need to open up Settings or Passbook to see various Apple Pay features.

The initial setup for Apple Pay can be done through Passbook. Tapping the “+” icon in Passbook will allow users to add a card. If a card is already associated with an iTunes account, users can tap choose to use that card, or enter another one using the camera.

The camera roll will capture a card number, expiration date, and user’s name, requiring the security code on the card to verify the number with the bank.

The verification process takes just a few seconds for most cards that are currently working with Apple Pay, after which the card can immediately be used for purchases. Some cards require additional verification steps, such as phone calls and emails. All cards stored in Passbook will be stacked on top of each other in Passbook’s traditional style, with tap pulling a specific card to Continue Reading

Apple Updates ‘Apple Store’ iOS App With Apple Pay Support [iOS Blog]

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
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Apple today updated its Apple Store app, adding support for Apple Pay, which was enabled with the recently released iOS 8.1 update. Following the update, users will be able to use their iPhones to make purchases in the Apple Store app that are verified with a simple finger on Touch ID.

In-app Apple Pay purchases are available for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus users. When the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 are available, those devices will also be able to use Apple Pay within apps thanks to the addition of Touch ID. While all devices with Touch ID can app purchases for physical goods using Apple Pay, retail purchases will be limited to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users, as those devices support NFC.

Along with the Apple Store app, several other apps should be receiving updates in the very near future to allow them to work with Apple Pay. Apple has several app launch partners including Starbucks, Uber, Grupon, Target, and more.

The Apple Store app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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iOS 8.1 With Apple Pay Now Available, Here’s What Else It Brings To Your iPhone And iPad

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
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Apple’s iOS 8.1 arrives today, and it brings with it some impressive new abilities. First and foremost, at least in terms of its long-term impact, is probably the introduction of Apple Pay, the new mobile payment solution built into iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. But 8.1 also offers the ability to send/receive texts and phone calls from your phone on your… Read More
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Apple Releases iOS 8.1 With Apple Pay Support, SMS Relay, Camera Roll, and More

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
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Apple today released iOS 8.1, its first major update to iOS 8. First seeded to developers at the end of September, iOS 8.1 brings quite a few significant features to the operating system. The update activates Apple Pay, enables Yosemite users to access Continuity features like SMS relay and Instant Hotspot, offers all iOS 8 users access to iCloud Photo Library, fixes several bugs, and more.

iOS 8.1, build 12B410, is available immediately as an over-the-air download and after updating, it will allow iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners to access Apple Pay, Apple’s new payment service. With Apple Pay, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be used to make payments in both retail stores that support NFC and participating apps. Apple has also released Apple TV software 7.0.1.

Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (U.S. only)

Photos include new features, improvements, and fixes
-Adds iCloud Photo Library as a beta service
– Adds Camera Roll album in Photos app and My Photo Stream album when iCloud Photo Library is not enabled
– Provides alerts when running low on space before capturing Time Lapse videos

Messages includes new Continue Reading

Apple’s New Retina iMacs Offer Slight Performance Boost Over Non-Retina iMacs

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
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Apple’s new Retina iMacs, released last Thursday, have been showing up in Geekbench benchmarks, giving us a look at how the new machine’s performance compares to the non-Retina iMacs released in 2013 and still being sold.

A Geekbench 3 result for the base 3.5GHz Core i5 Retina iMac has been shared by John Poole of Primate Labs, displaying just slight performance increases over the 3.4GHz Core i5 model used in the late 2013 iMac. The 4.0GHz Core i7 Retina iMac has yet to be benchmarked, but should see performance that exceeds that of existing Core i7 iMacs due to its faster processor.

In both single-core and multi-core performance, the new Retina iMac offered moderately faster speeds, which is unsurprising as the machines continue to use Haswell processors that have been clocked slightly higher. More significant performance boosts in the iMac won’t be seen until 2015, when Intel’s Broadwell chips become available.

retina-imac-64bit-october-2014-multicore
Compared to the 2013 Mac Pro lineup, the Retina iMac offers faster single-core performance, but all 2013 Mac Pro models beat out the iMac when it comes to multi-core performance. Results for the Core i7 iMacs are expected to be similar, Continue Reading

Chinese Government Accused Of Staging ‘Malicious Attack’ On Apple’s iCloud Service

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
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China’s government is being accused of trying to wiretap Apple customers in the country. Great Fire, a reputed non-profit organization that monitors Internet censorship in China, claimed today that Chinese authorities have laid a trap to snare log-in details for iCloud users via a “malicious attack.” Great Fire said that a ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack has been… Read More
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Chinese Authorities Allegedly Harvesting iCloud Logins Using Redirected Dummy Site [iOS Blog]

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
icloudbeta

Chinese authorities allegedly are using a man-in-the-middle attack to harvest Apple ID information from Chinese users visiting Apple’s iCloud service, reports web censorship blog Great Fire (via The Verge). A similar attack reportedly targets Microsoft’s login.live.com website.

According to Great Fire, Chinese users trying to access iCloud.com are redirected to a fake site that resemble’s Apple’iCloud website. While some browsers will issue a warning, popular Chinese browser Qihoo gives no indication users are entering their Apple credentials into a dummy site. Users fooled by the site may be putting their personal information at risk as attackers can then use these login details to access contacts, messages and more stored in iCloud.

This is clearly a malicious attack on Apple in an effort to gain access to usernames and passwords and consequently all data stored on iCloud such as iMessages, photos, contacts, etc. Unlike the recent attack on Google, this attack is nationwide and coincides with the launch today in China of the newest iPhone. While the attacks on Google and Yahoo enabled the authorities to snoop on what information Chinese were accessing on those two platforms, the Apple attack is different. If users ignored the security warning Continue Reading

Apple Pushing for $5 Beats Music Subscriptions as Spotify Debuts Discounted Family Plan

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
beats

As previously reported, Apple plans to relaunch its recently acquired Beats Music subscription early next year and hopes to offer the service with with a lowered monthly cost. According to new “industry scuttlebut” relayed to Re/code, Apple is pushing music labels to cut streaming music subscription prices in half to $5 per month.

The logic of Apple’s argument, relayed by people who’ve heard the pitch secondhand: Apple’s best iTunes buyers spend about $60 a year on downloaded music — $5 a month. So if subscription services dropped that low, any download buyers that switched over to the streaming model would generate just as much revenue for the music labels. And, more important, the market of potential subscribers would get much larger.

Any reduction offered to Apple would be available to other services, making it less likely music industry executives would approve of a 50 percent discount. Re/code notes Apple will more likely meet the music labels in the middle with a monthly fee in the range of $7-8.

While Apple negotiates the terms for its Beats Music streaming service, rival Spotify is upping the ante with a new Spotify Family plan. Similar to Rdio’s Continue Reading

Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support [iOS Blog]

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
dropboxios8

File-sharing service Dropbox has updated its official iOS app with a number of new features, including full optimization for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as well integration with Touch ID for more convenient unlocking. The app also includes a fix for previewing rich text format format files and general stability and performance improvements.

Dropbox saw its last major update last month after the release of iOS 8 which brought a new Notification Center widget, a new Share extension that allows files from other apps to be opened and saved, and the ability to manage shared folders in the app. A number of other apps have also included support for Touch ID since the release of iOS 8 last month.

Dropbox is a free app for the iPhone and iPad and can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Apple Expecting In-App Purchases to Make Up Most of Early Apple Pay Activity

Posted by | October 20, 2014.
applepayinapps

Ahead of the launch of Apple Pay tomorrow, The Wall Street Journal has posted an overview of the mobile payments service with some insight from Apple about what it expects from it over the coming months.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue stated that he expects the biggest share of early Apple Pay transactions to be in-app purchases. Currently, in-app purchases require users to sign into their iTunes account and set up a new card if one isn’t registered already. Apple Pay will allow users to simply use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on a device to complete an in-app purchase.

Cue also spoke on how the company sees its roll-out of the service:

“We’re trying to do something that I think is a game changer and it requires a lot of people to play together,” said Eddy Cue , Apple’s senior vice president in charge of Internet software and services, in an interview. “There’s a lot to do here and we have a lot of work to do, but it should be huge.”

While the company’s mobile payments solution will also allow shoppers to physically buy items in-store Continue Reading

Late 2014 Mac Mini Benchmarks Indicate Decreased Multi-Core Performance

Posted by | October 19, 2014.
macmini2014

The newly refreshed Mac mini is seeing improved single-core performance over the previous models, but decreased multi-core performance, according to a newly released GeekBench benchmark. John Poole of Primate Labs says that the upper tier Late 2012 Mac minis, which had quad-core Ivy Bridge processors, saw better multi-core performance than the new Late 2014 models, which have dual-core Haswell processors.

Unlike single-core performance multi-core performance has decreased significantly. The “Good” model (which has a dual-core processor in both lineups) is down 7%. The other models (which have a dual-core processor in the “Late 2014″ lineup but a quad-core processor in the “Late 2012″ lineup) is down from 70% to 80%.

Poole notes that Apple may have switched to dual-core processors in some Late 2014 Mac minis because Haswell dual-core processors use one socket to connect the logic board and processor while Haswell quad-core processors use different sockets. This would mean Apple would have to design and build two separate logic boards specifically for the Mac mini, while other Macs use the same logic boards across their individual line.

This trade-off didn’t exist with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors because both of its dual-core and quad-core processors used Continue Reading

Flickr Launches Updated iOS App with Full iPad Optimization [iOS Blog]

Posted by | October 19, 2014.
flickr3

Yahoo-owned photo sharing service Flickr today updated its iOS app to Version 3.2, bringing full optimization for the iPad along with other new features. Flickr for iPad allows users to browse images on their feeds in high resolution and contains a full camera interface and editing suite for shooting and editing photos. In addition to a new interface, Flickr also now comes with its own iOS 8 share extension that allows photos to be shared through social media services like Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.

This version of the Flickr iOS app is optimized to take full advantage of the larger screen on iPad, while delivering the gorgeous design you expect of Flickr, our powerful camera, and the versatility you need to manage your photos while on the go. On iPad, Flickr can now display images in high resolution by pushing up to 3,000,000 pixels per photo.

Flickr launched a redesigned app for the iPhone earlier this year, which brought new features like live filters and HD video recording. The service was acquired by Yahoo in May 2013, which led to a major overhaul and 1TB of free photo storage space for all users.

<img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2014/10/flickr1-800×564.jpeg" alt="flickr1" Continue Reading

New 2014 Mac Mini Has Soldered RAM, Not User Replaceable

Posted by | October 18, 2014.
macmini1

After going more than two years without an update, Apple’s Mac mini was refreshed yesterday, adding Haswell processors, Intel HD 5000/Iris graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and PCI-based flash storage options for the higher-end models.

Unfortunately, the upgrade was disappointing to some Mac mini fans as Apple stopped offering a build-to-order quad-core processor upgrade and dual-drive storage options that exceed 1TB.

Many have speculated that the Mac mini also includes soldered RAM, which has now been confirmed by Macminicolo’s Brian Stucki. According to Stucki, the RAM in the Mac mini is “not user accessible,” which means those who purchase Mac minis are limited to 16GB of RAM that must upgraded when purchasing the machine from Apple.

All three Mac mini models can be upgraded to a maximum of 16GB of RAM, with the upgrade priced at $300 for the base model and $200 for the mid and high-end models.

While the RAM is not upgradeable, Stucki says that it is possible to replace or upgrade the hard drive, but doing so may void the warranty.

Apple’s new Mac mini starts at $499 and comes in three separate base configurations. On the low end, the Continue Reading

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