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Apple Updates iWork for iOS/Mac, iMovie With Bug Fixes and Stability Improvements [Mac Blog]

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
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Apple today released a series of minor updates for its suite of iWork apps for both iOS and Mac, adding stability improvements and fixing bugs. iMovie for Mac and iOS were also given a minor update, adding iCloud compatibility improvements for iMovie Theater.

Today’s minor update for the iWork apps follows a more significant update that was first released in April, adding several new features and improvements to return functionality that was removed when the new iWork apps were introduced in first September of 2013.

Apple’s line of iWork apps are available for free to users who have recently purchased a new Mac or iOS device. The iWork apps for iOS are otherwise available for $9.99 from the App Store, while the Mac versions are available from the Mac App Store for $19.99. iMovie for iOS is available for $4.99, while iMovie for Mac is available for $14.99.

Pages for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Numbers for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Keynote for Mac [Mac App Store]
iMovie for Mac [Mac App Store]

Pages for iOS – [App Store]
Numbers for iOS – [App Continue Reading

iCloud Services Currently Down for Some Users [Mac Blog]

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
icloudoutage

It appears that many individuals are currently experiencing issues with iCloud, with several people reporting difficulties receiving/sending iCloud mail and logging into iCloud.com. Users attempting to access iCloud.com are receiving the following error message: “iCloud encountered an error while trying to connect to the server.”

Users appear to have been experiencing issues for the last half an hour or so, but Apple’s System Status page does not list any downtime and some users are still able to access the service, suggesting the outage is regional.

Over the last several months, iCloud has been down multiple times, with the longest outage happening just over a month ago. In July, a small percentage of users were unable to access iCloud Mail for approximately 27 hours.

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Apple in Talks With Insurance Companies Over HealthKit Partnership

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
ios8healthapp

In addition to seeking partnerships with several different hospitals and health institutions for its HealthKit initiative, Apple is also speaking with major U.S. insurance companies like UnitedHealth and Humana.

In a report on rising medical costs and partnerships between insurance providers, corporate employers, and fitness device makers, Bloomberg suggests that Apple has spoken with insurance companies about HealthKit, but no specifics on the conversation were provided.

The focus of the piece, highlighting the insurance perks that companies can offer to employees with healthy habits, implies that Apple may be exploring partnerships that would possibly allow its collected data to be shared with insurance companies and other medical providers.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the new national health-care law, companies can spend as much as 30 percent of annual insurance premiums on rewards for healthy behavior.

Technology companies are taking note. Apple Inc., which has new health-tracking software called HealthKit that will be released this year and is said to be developing its own wearable device, has talked with UnitedHealth, the biggest U.S. insurer, and Humana, about its health initiatives, executives at the insurance providers said. The companies wouldn’t provide specifics about the conversations. Apple declined to comment.

An Continue Reading

Apple Job Postings Point Towards Continued Work on Voice Over LTE

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
volteverizon

Several new job listings suggest Apple is continuing to work on building support for Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) into its line of mobile devices. VoLTE is designed to allow carriers to send voice calls over LTE networks, right alongside data. On the consumer end, this results in higher quality voice calls and faster call connection times.

Subscribers on CDMA networks (Sprint and Verizon) will further benefit from VoLTE, as it allows the simultaneous use of data and voice, something that’s not currently possible.

First discovered by LightReading (via Gigaom) job openings at Apple include Cellular Systems Protocol Engineer and Senior Baseband Audio Engineer. The protocol engineer position requires hands-on experience with VoLTE, among other wireless technologies, while the senior position also asks for experience with the VoLTE specification. Several additional positions also ask for experience with Session Initiation Protocol, which is essential for creating a connection between devices and LTE networks.

The company is currently advertising for a cellular systems protocol engineer, calling for experience with “VoLTE” and “IMS.” Other positions are calling for experience with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) protocol. [...]

Apple is also looking for a senior baseband engineer to work Continue Reading

Apple Releases Second OS X Yosemite Public Beta, iTunes 12 Update

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
yosemitebeta

Apple today released the second Yosemite public beta for beta testers, following the release of the sixth Developer Preview earlier this week. Apple has also released a new version of iTunes 12 for Yosemite.

The software update can be downloaded through the software update function of the Mac App Store.

It’s likely the new public beta bundles the content introduced in the last several developer updates, including multiple design changes added with DP 6. The last beta included new wallpapers, new System Preferences icons, and more.

Apple is expected to release OS X Yosemite to the general public later this year, possibly following an October event that may also introduce both the iWatch and new iPads.

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Lawyers Researching Possible Class Action Lawsuit Over 2011 MacBook Pro Graphics Issues

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
macbook_pro_2011_graphics_issue

Back in January, we profiled growing concerns from owners of 2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models over failing graphics chips and system crashes. While Apple has assisted some customers with logic board replacements, the issues have been known to reoccur after servicing and some users have been faced with expensive repair bills to address the problem.

With a Facebook group exceeding 2,200 members and a change.org petition requesting a more substantial response from Apple having surpassed 10,000 signatures, the issue appears to be a fairly widespread one, and now lawyers are getting involved in the situation.

Attorneys from Washington, DC-based Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP have addressed the Facebook group, launching a survey to gather information from affected MacBook Pro owners as the firm considers a possible class action lawsuit.

Alerted to the pervasive failures concerning the 2011 MBP GPU’s, we commenced an investigation leading us to your community.

Your posts are a great source of information, but to determine if any legal claims may exist, we need your help. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey below.

The firm touts its experience with lawsuits against other technology companies including topics Continue Reading

Apple Reveals Furthers Details on Reversible USB Cable With Flexible Internal Connector

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
apple-USB-patent-application

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published another Apple patent application that describes a reversible USB connector with a “double orientation design.” (Via AppleInsider) Today’s patent application, filed in February and titled “Reversible USB Connector with Compliant Member to Spread Stress and Increase Contact Normal Force,” differs slightly from a separate application made a few weeks earlier by highlighting a key design detail that adds flexibility to the USB connector contacts.

According to the patent description, the USB connector would feature a flexible tongue allowing it to bend to fit an existing USB port regardless of the insertion orientation. This flexible plug connector was mentioned briefly in the January patent, but Apple has expanded upon this idea in this latest patent application to address various types of support elements that would minimize stress on the flexible portion of the tongue while still ensuring strong contact between the connector and a USB port.

As mentioned previously, some plug connectors of the present invention may include structural support elements made from materials chosen to allow plug connector tongues to deflect. Connector 1610 may also include a structural support element, e.g., a structural support 1635. Structural support 1635 may Continue Reading

Leaked Schematics Suggest 128 GB Storage Option for iPhone 6

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
iphone-6-128-gb

Leaked schematics from phone repair company GeekBar (via G 4 Games) suggest Apple may be preparing to release a 128 GB iPhone 6 model. An accompanying part supply list contains entries for NAND flash modules from Toshiba and Hynix in capacities of 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. The 32 GB storage option is notably absent from the list, although the reason for its exclusion is unknown.

Previous rumors have suggested Apple has been working on a 128 GB iPhone model, with one rumor claiming the higher capacity module would debut in the 5.5-inch model only. The same leak also predicted Apple would drop the 16 GB option, introducing a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model with two storage options (32 and 64 GB) and a 5.5-inch model with three storage capacities (32, 64 and 128 GB).

iphone-6-memory-suppliers
This new parts list from GeekBar appears to refute that claim, opening the door for Apple to add the 128 GB model as a fourth storage option for consumers. Apple launched its first 128 GB iOS device in early 2013 with a mid-cycle upgrade to the fourth-generation iPad. The option expanded across the iPad Continue Reading

Tesla Model S Software Update Brings iPhone Unlocking And Ignition Start

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
model-s-photo-gallery-01

Tesla owners have been looking forward to OS 6.0, a software update for their vehicles, for a while now, but it’s finally rolling out to vehicle owners, reports Electrek. The system adds a bunch of new features for Model S vehicles, including a new Calendar app for in-car use, and big improvements to the Maps/Navigation software. What’s amazing (and surprising) for iPhone users is… Read More
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New Photos Claim to Show Various Internal Parts from iPad Air 2

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
ipad_air_2_flex_components

New photos shared by French Apple news website iPhonote (Google Translate) claim to show a number of components for the upcoming iPad Air 2, including the device’s GPS antenna, microphone, and Wi-Fi module. While previous leaks have shown off the device’s front panel and rear shell, these images could be the first look at the various internal components in the iPad Air 2.

Purported iPad Air 2 GPS antenna, microphone, and WiFi module
The website also posted a variety of comparison images between each component for the iPad Air 2 and its corresponding part on the current iPad Air. While no major changes can be immediately spotted from any of the comparisons, it does appear that the next-generation iPad Air’s GPS antenna is longer than its predecessor. Also shown are pictures of the iPhone 6′s front panel, which appear similar to prior leaks of the component.

Apple is expected to announce the iPad Air 2 alongside the next-generation Retina iPad mini at an event this fall. A report from Re/code claimed that Apple would be unveiling the iWatch at an October event, which may also include Continue Reading

Apple Halts In-Store Pickup Option for Apple TV in Online Store, Still Available for Shipping [Mac Blog]

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
apple_tv_no_pickup

Apple has seemingly halted in-store pickup for the Apple TV in its online store, as none of the company’s U.S. locations are providing the option. Notably, the Apple TV is still listed as shipping”within 24 hours” on the company’s online store, and is still being offered with a $25 iTunes Store gift card as a part of an ongoing promotion.

Currently, it is unknown as to why Apple halted the pickup option for the Apple TV. It is entirely possible that the inability to schedule an Apple TV for in-store pickup is an outage or error on Apple’s part. While mostly unlikely, it may also indicate that Apple is gearing up to release an updated Apple TV, which has been heavily rumored for quite some time.

Czech website Letem Svetem Applem (Google Translate) claimed last week that European Apple resellers have stopped receiving their supply of Apple TVs, however no other sources have indicated that stock has been running low. In the United States, retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon still show the product as “in stock”.

Previous rumors have suggested that the next-generation Apple TV would be a Continue Reading

New Research Claims iMessage Accounts for 30% of Mobile Spam Messages

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
imessage_ios72

iMessage is responsible for more than 30% of all spam messages on mobile devices, according to research done by security expert Tom Landesman and anti-spam company Cloudmark (via Wired). The researcher notes that there are multiple reasons as to why the platform has become a prime choice for spammers, stating that iMessage’s reach across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac along with its accessibility have made it easy to target users:

That fusion of the desktop and mobile world makes it particularly easy for scammers to write a Mac OS script that can send messages to all types of devices just as fast as Apple will allow. “It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” says Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Apple scripts, you can tell your Mac machine to send message to whoever they want.”

With iMessage, spammers can send unwanted messages to a user’s associated emails and phone numbers if enabled. The ability for the desktop Messages client to verify numbers with the iMessage network has also made sending spam to confirmed users easier, along with the fact that signing up for the service can be done with just an email. The researcher further notes Continue Reading

Walmart Dropping Price of iPhone 5c to $0.97, iPhone 5s to $79 for 90-Day Period [iOS Blog]

Posted by | August 21, 2014.
iphone_5s_5c.jpg

Walmart will begin offering the 16 GB iPhone 5c for $0.97 with a two-year contract during the next 90 days, reports Engadget.
The move by the retailer follows a permanent discount of the 16GB iPhone 5c to $29 in June, as Walmart will offer the special pricing to customers on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular. The company is also dropping the on-contract price of the 16GB iPhone 5s to $79, down from $99.

It is likely that these new price drops are being done to get rid of existing inventory before the introduction of the iPhone 6, which will be unveiled on September 9 and likely go on sale about a week later. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is expected to be launched first, as the release of the 5.5-inch version may be delayed due to production issues. Both versions are likely to incorporate a faster A8 chip, a new camera system, an improved Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and iOS 8.

Continue Reading

Photo of Possible 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Rear Shell Surfaces

Posted by | August 20, 2014.
rearshell2

While we’ve seen dozens of part leaks for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, parts for the rumored 5.5-inch version of the device have thus far been scarce, possibly due to the fact that the larger iPhone 6 is said to have entered production later than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

Photos depicting what might be the rear shell of the larger device have finally surfaced, however, and have been shared by Evasi0nJailbreak.com. According to the site, the photos have been sourced from “deep within Apple’s supply chain in China,” and may be only a prototype of the final rear shell.

Outside of 5.5-inch iPhone 6 rear shell compared to inside of 4.7-inch rear shell
That said, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 rear shell images, which are compared in the photos to the rear shell of a 4.7-inch iPhone, do resemble early images of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 rear shell, depicting thick antenna breaks, a rounded True Tone flash, a cutout for an embedded Apple logo, the camera, and the microphone.

rearshell1Inside of 5.5-inch iPhone 6 rear shell compared to outside of 4.7-inch rear shell
More convincingly, the screw holes on the rear shell Continue Reading

Best Buy Offers One-Day $75 Discount on All iPad Air Models [iOS Blog]

Posted by | August 20, 2014.
ipadairdeal

Best Buy is running a one-day sale on all of its iPad Air models, discounting the prices by $75 across the board. With the discount, the price on the entry-level 16 GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air is $424.99, down from $499, while the price on the entry-level 16 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air drops down from $629 to $554.99.

While these aren’t the lowest prices that we’ve ever seen on Apple’s iPad Air models, they are the most significant discount that’s been offered in the past few months. Best Buy also offers $50 off all iPad models through its educational site, which means students can get an iPad Air for as low as $374.99.

According to our Buyer’s Guide, the iPad Air is rated as “Caution” because it’s approaching the end of its product cycle. Apple is said to be working on a second-generation iPad Air with Touch ID and an A8 processor that may debut in October. Best Buy’s current iPad Air deal is still an excellent way to get an iPad Air at a low price, especially for customers who will not mind the absence of Touch ID.

Best Buy’s Continue Reading

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