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Apple Announces April 10 Grand Openings for Apple Watch Shops in London, Paris, and Tokyo

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
apple_watch_selfridges_opening

Apple today officially announced April 10 grand openings for its three dedicated Apple Watch shops located in high-end department stores in London, Paris, and Tokyo. As previously outlined, the store-within-a-store locations are at Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and Isetan in Tokyo.

The new locations appear set to handle only Apple Watch viewing and sales, with customers being directed to other Apple retail stores for their support needs.

The Selfridges Apple Watch shop will be located near the entrance to the iconic Wonder Room, a massive shopping hall that houses a wide selection of luxury jewelry and watch brands alongside a concept store and mezzanine wine bar. Apple has reportedly been drawing employees from other retail stores in London to staff the new shop. The Galeries Lafayette shop will take over four balcony sections overlooking the main rotunda of the department store.

Apple will begin in-store previews and pre-orders for the Apple Watch on April 10, with launches in the first wave of countries coming two weeks later. The high-end gold Apple Watch Edition models will only be available at select Apple retail stores, and the dedicated Apple Watch Continue Reading

iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Mac Blog]

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
applesystemstatus

According to Apple’s System Status page, several of its services are experiencing downtime. Some users may be unable to access the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, and iBooks Store.

The page also suggests some users may be experiencing issues with the Apple TV, iTunes Match, iTunes Radio, iTunes U, and OS X Software Updates.

The downtime appears to have started just after 3pm and is ongoing. We have received several emails and tweets from users who are unable to access the App Store or can only access certain parts of the App Store.

App Store Top Charts, for example, have been unavailable since the downtime originally began, and while some app categories were also blank, those seem to be reappearing, suggesting the outage may be short.

Today’s App Store outage is the second Apple has seen this week.

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Apple Watch Apps Begin Showing Up in the App Store Ahead of Apple Watch Launch

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
thingsevernote

Ahead of the Apple Watch’s upcoming April 24 launch, apps that include Apple Watch support are beginning to be released in the App Store. As of today, several popular iOS apps have been updated with built-in Apple Watch apps, including Evernote, Dark Sky, Things, and Target.

Additional apps with Apple Watch support will be rolling out over the course of the day, giving us a first look at how many of the apps on the device will function. We’ll be updating this post with a list of Apple Watch apps that are available as they come out in the App Store.

According to Evernote‘s app description, for example, users will be able to dictate notes into the Apple Watch, which will be transcribed and synced to Evernote. Users will also be able to see recently created, updated, and viewed notes, and get reminders about items that are due. Dark Sky‘s weather information will be brought to the wrist, and according to the app release notes, it’s been designed from scratch to fit on the smaller screen of the Apple Watch.

As we’ve mentioned before, Apple Watch apps are bundled into existing iPhone apps because the iPhone Continue Reading

How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac [Mac Blog]

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
MacRumors PDF Signature

When you receive a PDF document by email that you must sign, the process of printing out the file, signing on the dotted line with a pen, scanning the signed document and sending it back can be a rather tedious task. Fortunately, Apple introduced the ability to digitally sign a PDF document using Preview, a program that comes preinstalled on every Mac, on OS X Lion or later.

The steps involved to digitally sign a PDF using Preview on Mac are quite simple and will save you valuable time, especially if you have multiple documents, contracts, forms or other paperwork to sign. If you are worried that your digital signature will look bad, rest assured that you can create your signature by using the trackpad or holding up your signature on paper to a Mac’s built-in iSight camera. …CONTINUE READING =>

Amazon Cloud Drive Now Includes Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon on Thursday announced two new unlimited cloud storage plans for Amazon Cloud Drive, enabling users to store an endless amount of photos, videos, movies, music, and files. Amazon users can choose either the Unlimited Photos Plan for $11.99 per year or the Unlimited Everything Plan for $59.99 per year, with a free three-month trial available for each plan for customers that want to try the service.

The lower-tier Unlimited Photos Plan allows for an unlimited number of photos to be stored on Amazon Cloud Drive, alongside up to 5GB of additional storage for videos, documents and other files. The more expensive Unlimited Everything Plan allows for unlimited storage of photos, videos, files, documents, movies and music with no restrictions. Amazon Prime members are already provided with an Unlimited Photos Plan at no additional cost.

“Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they don’t know how many gigabytes of storage they need to back all of them up,” said Josh Petersen, Director of Amazon Cloud Drive. “With the two new plans we are introducing today, customers don’t need to worry about storage space—they now have an affordable, secure Continue Reading

Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion [Mac Blog]

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
Apple Store Sao Paulo

Apple has posted several job listings in recent weeks to fill retail positions at an under-construction Apple Store in São Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil. The company is seeking to hire Creatives, Specialists, Geniuses, Managers and a number of other positions for the store, which appears to be nearing completion based on new photos published by Brazilian website Blog do iPhone.

Apple has placed its traditional large wooden tables throughout the store, while the lighting fixtures and interior panels have also been installed. This new location will be the second Apple Store in Brazil, alongside the Village Mall store in Rio de Janeiro that opened in February 2014. Apple now has over 450 retail stores in 16 countries, with aggressive plans to continue opening new stores in China and other emerging markets.

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Tim Cook Named ‘World’s Greatest Leader,’ Reflects on Leading Post-Jobs Era at Apple

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
Tim Cook

Following the release of Becoming Steve Jobs, an acclaimed biography of the late Apple co-founder, Fortune has named Tim Cook the “world’s greatest leader,” accompanied by an in-depth profile that reflects on the chief executive in the post-Jobs era. The interesting article provides a closer look at Cook’s transition from a soft-spoken operations manager to a high-profile leader at Apple, and reveals how Cook has managed the pressure that comes with his new role.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Image Credit: Joe Pugliese)
Cook brings a different leadership style to Apple, placing more trust in others instead of being as impulsive and manipulative as Jobs often was. The results have been favorable, as Apple has grown to become the world’s most valuable company during the three-and-a-half years since Cook took over the helm. Nevertheless, he admits that he has needed to grow thicker skin to handle the intensity that comes with the territory.

“I have thick skin,” he says, “but it got thicker. What I learned after Steve passed away, what I had known only at a theoretical level, an academic level maybe, was that he was Continue Reading

Apple Watch Learns Runners’ Strides Over Time, Becoming More Independent From iPhone [iOS Blog]

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
Turlington Apple Watch

After talking with Tim Cook onstage at the March 9 “Spring Forward” media event, model Christy Turlington Burns has kept a weekly blog on Apple’s official website with updates on her preparations for the London Marathon next month.

In this week’s post, Burns mentions in passing that the Watch will not only learn a user’s stride after a few exercises when paired with an iPhone, after a while the Watch will be able to act independently in tracking fitness-related stats without needing to be tethered to an iPhone at all (via MacObserver).

Burns shows off the ease of exchanging Apple Watch bands in this week’s blog post
The post, titled “The Art of Vacation Training”, finds Burns on a bit of a break from her usual training regimen while on vacation with her family in the Caribbean. Still finding time to put in a 14-mile run in one day, Burns discusses how her personal Apple Watch has since learned her stride and speed, the Watch becoming less reliant on the iPhone in the fitness-tracking departments the more she uses it.

I switched up my runs between the treadmill at the hotel gym and outside. After Continue Reading

Twitter Launches Live-Streaming iOS App ‘Periscope’ [iOS Blog]

Posted by | March 26, 2015.
Periscope

After acquiring live-streaming video service Periscope back in January, Twitter today officially launched the Periscope app, which aims to compete with newly popular apps like Meerkat in allowing users to instantly live-stream right from an iPhone (via The Verge).

In development for over a year, once a user syncs their Twitter account with Periscope, they can view a list of curated live feeds on the app’s homepage and even replay streams that have since ended. Streams can be replayed up to 24 hours after ending, and broadcasters can opt-out of allowing users to view their stream after it’s over.

That replay feature could be Periscope’s killer feature over Meerkat, as The Verge points out, with the ability to browse old feeds and dig through current live streams resulting in “an app that can actually be browsed.” Though working in tandem with one another after being installed, the Twitter and Periscope experiences will stay separate from one another, according to Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour.

You won’t be able to launch Periscope directly from the Twitter app, at least not for a while. “We don’t think we need to start there,” Beykpour says. “We think this deserves Continue Reading

Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu [Mac Blog]

Posted by | March 25, 2015.
acunu

Just a day after Apple acquired database company FoundationDB, Bloomberg reveals Apple had previously acquired U.K.-based data analytics company Acunu. The acquisition appeared to have happened in late 2013.

The purchase of the Vienna, Virginia-based software maker follows a deal for closely held Acunu Ltd., a U.K.-based data analysis company, Apple said.

Acunu creates technology that provides analytics on databases, and its technology can be used in conjunction with other tools, improving their performance. Bloomberg notes the company’s tools work well with free Cassandra databases, which Apple runs on several thousand computers.

It’s likely that the Acunu acquisition will be used for iCloud and its various services, like iTunes Radio, the upcoming reimagined Beats Music streaming service and Apple’s over-the-air TV service. Acunu Chief Technology Officer Tim Moreton began working in Apple’s iCloud division in December 2013, and other Acunu employees made the jump to the Cupertino company in early 2014.

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iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and 4-Inch iPhone 6C Rumored for 2015 Release

Posted by | March 25, 2015.
iphone_screen_sizes

Apple is planning on releasing three new iPhone models in the second half of 2015, according to a new report from DigiTimes. The site claims that a 4-inch iPhone model will join the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

Apple will release three different iPhones in the second half of 2015, the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and a 4-inch device currently being referred to as iPhone 6C, according to industry sources.

A new 4-inch iPhone was also rumored in December 2014, with a report claiming that the device would be aimed toward female users. However, even if a new 4-inch iPhone isn’t introduced, Apple will presumably have the iPhone 5s to offer for free on a two-year contract once the current models slide down.

DigiTimes notes the 4-inch iPhone 6c is likely to be manufactured by Wistron while both the 6s and 6s Plus will be manufactured by Foxconn. In January, a report from Chinese site Feng.com claimed that Apple had not made any orders in its supply chain for a 4-inch iPhone.

Earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook said the new, larger iPhone models had brought the highest Android switcher rate over Continue Reading

Facebook Turns Messenger Into a Platform, Allows Third-Party iOS App Integration

Posted by | March 25, 2015.
facebookmessengerforios

At today’s F8 Facebook Developer Conference, Facebook debuted its new Messenger Platform, a major update to the Messenger service that allows users to send content like GIFs, photos, videos, and more from third-party apps within the Facebook Messenger app for iOS.

Beginning today, iOS app developers can build Facebook Messenger support into their apps, making them directly accessible within the Facebook Messenger app. Facebook has already worked with more than 40 developers, so apps with Messenger support are already available in the iOS App Store.

Apps can be accessed in the Facebook Messenger app for iOS when the “More” icon is tapped within a conversation. This opens up a list of available apps that can be installed, and when tapping install, you’ll be taken to the app’s install page in the iOS App Store.

The way third-party apps work with Messenger on iOS is a bit convoluted. Apps are installed independently, but those that support the Messenger Platform will send their content via Messenger. For example, if you install GIF app Giphy on your iPhone (which is one of the new apps that supports the Messenger Platform), tapping on it from within the Messenger app Continue Reading

Former Beats Execs Jimmy Iovine and Trent Reznor Leading Development of Apple’s New Music Service

Posted by | March 25, 2015.
beats-music-app-ios

Rumors about a revamped Apple-branded Beats streaming music service have been circulating since September of last year, but as the launch of the service draws nearer, information on pricing and content has been leaking out.

In a detailed report on the upcoming service published today, The New York Times confirms some previously known information and adds new details on the roles Trent Reznor and Jimmy Iovine are playing in the development of the music service. The report also divulges some information on Apple’s interest in exclusive album releases and the company’s work on an iTunes Radio revamp.

Apple’s upcoming streaming music service is said to take on many of the characteristics of the existing Beats Music service, with a focus on curated playlists and a “vivid visual appeal” that also fits into Apple’s minimal design aesthetic. It’s unlikely to retain the “Beats Music” moniker, and it is being tested as a part of iOS 9.

As previously rumored, while Apple hoped to price its new service at $7.99, undercutting the prices of competing services like Spotify and Rdio, it saw significant resistance from record companies. As a result, the service will likely be priced Continue Reading

Apple Adds CNNGo Channel to Apple TV

Posted by | March 25, 2015.
cnngo_apple_tv_menu

Just a day after adding TED, Tastemade, and Young Hollywood channels to the Apple TV, Apple has added yet another new channel to its set-top box — CNNGo.

CNNGo is CNN’s service that lets users watch live news coverage and see segments from the past 24 hours. It also includes recent CNN coverage and films on demand. The service has previously been available on CNN.com and via the CNN iPad app.

Much of the content within CNNGo requires authentication through a cable provider. Live television and full shows require authentication, but clips can be watched without a cable subscription.

cnngo_apple_tv
Today’s new CNNGo channel comes as Apple is preparing to reveal both a new set-top box and a new television service at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The rumored streaming television service will consist of approximately 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month, with Apple partnering with networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, Discovery, and more for content.

The next-generation Apple TV is said to have an A8 processor with a built-in App Store for downloading content and Siri support, plus more internal storage and a redesigned remote control.<br Continue Reading

PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone [iOS Blog]

Posted by | March 25, 2015.

We went hands-on with Mazzo’s PowerDrive Slim, which combines an external battery with a hard drive, to give you extra storage and extra battery life for your iPhone. There’s 32GB of storage space for storing files, photos, and videos, plus a 3,000 mAh battery that translates to approximately one full charge for an iPhone 6 Plus.

Files can be transferred to the PowerDrive Slim using the accompanying PowerDrive iOS app, and at the same time, it can charge your iPhone. You’ll need to supply a Lightning cable for transferring files and for charging your iPhone from the PowerDrive Slim.

Size wise, the PowerDrive Slim is thicker than an iPhone 6 Plus, but not quite as wide or tall, so it fits easily enough in a pocket. We liked the portability, and we were impressed with the app, especially when it came to the auto backup feature for photos.

The 32GB PowerDrive Slim can be purchased from Amazon for $59.99. Mazzo also sells the device in higher capacities up to 128GB, but those are unavailable at this time.

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