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Apple Surpasses Google to Reclaim Title of World’s Most Valuable Brand

Posted by | May 27, 2015.
2015 BrandZ Rankings Apple

Apple was named the most valuable global brand in market research firm Millward Brown’s tenth annual BrandZ brand value report [PDF], seeing a 67% rise in brand value to $246.9 billion. The Cupertino-based company surpassed Google, which ranked first in the 2014 report, to reclaim the top ranking in the study for the fourth time in the past five years. See BrandZ’s annual reports in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for reference.

“With a 67 percent rise in Brand Value to $247 billion, Apple returned to number one in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking. Success of the iPhone 6 and the related excitement surrounding the Apple brand drove the increase. Apple also led in the rate of brand value growth over 10 years – 1,446 percent.”

The top ten most valuable global brands in the report is made up almost entirely of technology and telecom companies, with Microsoft, IBM, Visa, AT&T, Verizon, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Marlboro rounding off the top ten after Apple and Google. Other notable technology companies on the list include Facebook (12th), Amazon (14th), HP (39th), Oracle (44th), Samsung (45th) and Twitter (92nd).

Millward Brown explains that its <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" Continue Reading

New iOS Bug Crashing iPhones Simply by Receiving a Text Message

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
messagescrashingbug

A new bug has been discovered in the Messages app, allowing a string of characters sent to a person via iMessage or text message to crash an iPhone and cause the Messages app to fail to open. The bug, which requires a specific string of characters, was first noticed on reddit earlier this afternoon and has been spreading around the Internet since then.

Sending the string of characters to an iPhone results in an immediate respring, causing an iPhone to crash and quickly reboot, and then it prevents the Messages app from being opened again.

If you receive one of these messages, there’s a quick way to fix it. The Messages app appears to be able to be opened to the last conversation where the offending message was sent from, so sending another message (or having a person send you a message) in this conversation clears the bug and returns functionality to normal.

Other fixes include sending yourself a message via Siri or sending yourself a message through the Share feature in the Notes app or any other app if you can’t open the Messages app at all.

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Apple Replaces Problematic ‘Discoveryd’ Process With mDNSresponder in 10.10.4 Beta 4

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
discoverydmdnsresponder

In today’s fourth OS X 10.10.4 beta, Apple made a significant behind-the-scenes change that could result in improved networking performance for some users — the removal of the “discoveryd” process. As noted by MacRumors forum members and 9to5Mac, in OS X 10.10.4 beta 4, the discoveryd process has been replaced by mDNSresponder.

Since OS X Yosemite debuted in October, there have been ongoing complaints about discoveryd consuming CPU resources, draining battery life, and causing issues with Wi-Fi. These problems have lingered for several months, even after multiple bug fixes and performance improvements included in OS X 10.10.1, 10.10.2, and 10.10.3.

Discoveryd was introduced with OS X Yosemite, replacing mDNSResponder for managing Mac networking tasks, but it’s led to a host of problems like those listed above along with issues like slow wake from sleep, failures to resolve DNS names, duplicate machine names, and more, as detailed in a post earlier this year by Ars Technica. Several developers have also complained about discoveryd in Yosemite, including Instapaper’s Marco Arment and Iconfactory’s Craig Hockenberry.

It’s no secret in the tech community that discoveryd is the root cause of so many problems. There are Continue Reading

iOS 9’s Upcoming Transit Addition to Maps May Be Limited in Scope at Launch

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
Apple Maps iOS 8

Apple has been working on adding mass transit routing information to its Maps application for several years, and while the feature appears to be ready to debut as part of iOS 9, it could be limited in scope at launch. The transit service may initially be available only in a small number of cities across the United States, Canada, Europe, and China when iOS 9 is released to the public, according to sources that spoke to 9to5Mac.

San Francisco and New York are said to be two of the locations in the United States where transit directions will be available. Both major cities are known for their public transportation options. In Canada, Toronto will likely gain transit routing options in the Maps app, as will London, Paris, and Berlin in Europe. Cities in China will also be included in the initial launch.

Apple is planning to expand access to transit information to additional cities following the fall launch of iOS 9, and cities that the company is hoping to add support for in the near future include Boston, Massachusetts and Tokyo, Japan, among others. Apple will likely work quickly to expand the feature even further across Continue Reading

Apple Facility in Mesa, Arizona Catches Fire [Mac Blog]

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
Mesa Arizona Apple Fire

Local news affiliate ABC 15 Arizona is reporting that Apple’s facility in Mesa, Arizona, which it acquired through its ill-fated partnership with GT Advanced last year, caught fire this afternoon. While the fire appears to be extinguished on the rooftop, equipped with multiple solar panels, local firefighters and emergency crews remain on the scene and authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Developing…

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Apple Considering $1.6 Billion Bond Sale in Japan [Mac Blog]

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
Apple Red Logo

Apple is considering issuing about 200 billion yen ($1.62 billion) in bonds as early as June in Japan, in what would be the company’s first fundraising activity in the country, according to Nikkei. The report claims that Apple plans to take advantage of low interest rates in Japan to procure the funds, which could be used to boost shareholder rewards and expand Japanese operations.

“Early this month, Apple started gauging potential demand for the yen-denominated bonds among regional banks, life insurers and other institutional investors,” claims the Nikkei Asian Review. “The bonds will target Japanese investors but will likely be sold to overseas investors as well.”

Apple has issued 2.8 billion euros ($3 billion) and 1.25 billion Swiss francs ($1.31 billion) in bonds since last year, and will reportedly benefit from an interest rate on bonds in Japan about 1 percentage point lower than in the United States. It was also reported in February that Apple was planning to raise $6.5 billion in a corporate debt sale. The funds are used for corporate purposes such as repurchasing of common stock and payment of dividends through Apple’s capital return program.

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Apple Seeds Fourth OS X 10.10.4 Yosemite Beta to Developers, Public Beta Testers

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
os_x_yosemite_round_icon

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of OS X 10.10.4 to developers, just over two weeks after releasing the third OS X 10.10.4 beta and a month after releasing the first OS X 10.10.4 beta. OS X 10.10.4 has been in testing since mid April, following the early April release of OS X 10.10.3 with the new Photos for OS X app.

The new beta, build 14E26a, can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store or through the Mac Developer Center.

OS X 10.10.3 brought several consumer-facing changes including the new Photos for OS X app, a redesigned emoji picker, and diversified emoji, but OS X 10.10.4 appears to be an under-the-hood update that brings performance enhancements and bug fixes. Thus far, OS X 10.10.4 betas have not included outward facing design changes or feature additions.

The first two updates to OS X Yosemite, OS X 10.10.1 and OS X 10.10.2, were also minor behind-the-scenes updates that improved performance through bug fixes and enhancements.

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iOS 9 to Feature Force Touch With Haptic Feedback, New Keyboard and Group Read Receipts

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
iphone6_6plus_laying_down

Following a recent report suggesting that iOS 9 could feature “Rootless” security, “Trusted Wi-Fi” and support for legacy A5-based devices, today 9to5Mac reiterated on a few smaller-scale improvements to Apple’s next major software version that could have a big impact on the overall experience for iPhone and iPad users.

The next-generation iPhone will feature some form of Force Touch as one of the biggest new additions to the hardware, a rumor that has been circulating since the beginning of the year and only gaining forward momentum. The report today, however, specifically mentions that Apple has designed iOS 9 “to be Force Touch-ready” and is already hard at work with developers to integrate the technology into various apps.

Since Apple’s work on Force Touch runs the gamut of iOS devices, there’s also a possibility of updated Force Touch displays on new iPad models sometime this year. All iOS versions of Force Touch are also expected to provide the real-time haptic feedback buzz similar to that of the Apple Watch to provide users a physical response when their deep presses have been noticed. As 9to5Mac points out, however, since any new Force Touch on iOS Continue Reading

Apple Patents Hybrid Keyboard With Touch-Sensitive Mechanical Keys [Mac Blog]

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
keyboard patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a patent application filed by Apple in September 2011 (via AppleInsider), detailing a new keyboard that includes inputs for both traditional mechanical keystrokes along with a new touch-sensitive interface laid over each individual key.

The so-called “Fusion keyboard” would be able to detect the traditional swipe and zoom inputs of a MacBook trackpad, simply spread across the touch-sensitive interface of individual keys. The keyboard – noted to be both an integrated or external accessory, meaning the feature could come to both iMac and MacBook – could also allow for a sort of multi-touch input, meaning a user could simultaneously type something with their left hand while using a touch gesture for cursor control, for example, with the other.

Notably, the new keyboard patent also includes two-position mechanical switches that perform certain tasks at different levels of pressure, unlike the single-position design of not only the Mac line but most keyboards used today. The first level of pressure could act as a normal text input, while the second level could generate some alternative command similar to that of a mouse click. Although no indication of increased forceful pressure is Continue Reading

Microsoft Announces Cortana For iPhone Available Later This Year

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
Microsoft Cortana Nokia

Microsoft today announced that its Cortana personal digital assistant will be available for iPhone and Android smartphones later this year, after multiple rumors hinting at cross-platform expansion of the service over the past year. Windows 10 will also feature a new “Phone Companion” app as a central place for PC users to install Cortana and other Windows-related apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

Microsoft unveiled Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1 last April as the company’s answer to Siri and Google Now, and the company is also bringing the personal digital assistant to the desktop as part of Windows 10 this summer. Cortana’s features include contextually-aware reminders, routing and mapping, current weather and traffic conditions, sports scores, biographies and more.

Some of Cortana’s features on Windows Phone won’t initially be available on iPhone and Android smartphones, including toggling settings, opening apps or “Hey Cortana” hands-free invoking of the personal digital assistant. Microsoft will also release an updated version of its Xbox Music app for iOS with free streaming playback of your music files and playlists from OneDrive.

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Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer at Apple, Alan Dye and Richard Howarth Take Over Day-to-Day Design Management

Posted by | May 25, 2015.
dye_ive_howarth

Apple today announced the appointment of Jony Ive to a newly created position of Chief Design Officer, allowing him to continue overseeing design aspects of numerous projects within the company while turning over the day-to-day management of the design teams to Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, who have both been elevated to vice president positions. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the changes today in a company-wide email.

Alan Dye, Jony Ive, and Richard Howarth (Gabriela Hasbun for The Telegraph)

Team,

I have exciting news to share with you today. I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.

Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.

Design is one of the most important ways Continue Reading

How to Calibrate Apple Watch for a More Accurate Offline Workout [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 25, 2015.
christy turlington burns

Apple Watch tracks your movement and heart rate. It uses that information in conjunction with your gender, height, age, and weight to estimate how many calories you burn during daily movement, including light strolls and dedicated workouts.

However, Apple Watch needs proper calibration to get the most accurate reading of your movement and heart rate, which is used to help determine distance and pace measurements when you are walking or running without your iPhone, or while using a treadmill.

Calibration is fairly easy and takes about 20 minutes of exercise. For this purpose, you will need both your iPhone and your Apple Watch. After calibrating, you won’t need to bring your iPhone on walks or runs anymore.
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How to Pair Bluetooth Headphones and Listen to Music on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 24, 2015.
addingmusicapplewatch

Apple Watch includes 6.2 GB of storage space for adding content like apps, photos, and music, with up to 2GB of that space dedicated to storing songs. When you add a playlist, you can listen to music on it, even when your iPhone is not in range. While the process is fairly self-explanatory, there are a few steps you don’t want to forget in order to play music from Apple Watch to your Bluetooth connected headphones

Adding Music to Apple Watch

In order to listen to music on Apple Watch without an iPhone in range, you must sync a playlist to it first.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap My Watch.
  2. Select Music from the list.
  3. Tap “Synced Playlist” to access your iPhone’s playlist.
  4. Select a playlist from the list (if there is no playlist visible in this list, you will need to create one on your iPhone).
  5. Place your Apple Watch on its charger to initiate the sync. This step is important. Apple Watch will not sync a playlist if it has not been connected to the charger.

You can customize your playlist limit here. Switch between the amount of storage or number Continue Reading

How to Set Up Apple Pay on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 23, 2015.
passbookapplewatchapplepay

Apple restricted Apple Pay to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus due to the need for an NFC chip that’s not included in older phones, which means Apple Pay has been limited to those with newer iPhones since it debuted in October of 2014.

One of the major perks of the Apple Watch is that it enables Apple Pay for some older iPhones because it has the same NFC chip that’s in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If you have an Apple Watch and an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s, you can now use Apple Pay and the watch to make secure purchases in retail locations.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to use Apple Pay, we’ve written up a tutorial that walks through how to set it up on your watch.

Setting Up Apple Pay

How to Apple Pay on Apple Watch 5Even if you are already using Apple Pay on iPhone 6, you will need to add your credit and debit cards to Apple Pay for Apple Watch. You can add up to eight cards.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and then select My Watch.
  2. Continue Reading

    Selfie, Bacon, and Avocado Among Emoji Proposed for Inclusion in 2016’s Unicode 9

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    emojicandidates

    The Unicode Consortium today released a list of 38 emoji characters that are candidates for inclusion in Unicode 9.0, which is set to be released in the middle of 2016. These represent emoji that could be available on iOS and Mac devices in the future.

    Candidates include a range of different character emoji, from “face with cowboy hat to “drooling face” and “lying face.” “Selfie,” an emoji represented by a hand holding a camera, is also on the list, as is “shrug,” and “handshake.” As for food, emoji proposals include croissant, avocado, cucumber, bacon, potato, and carrot. There are also several proposed animal additions: fox face, eagle, duck, bat, shark, and owl.

    According to the Unicode Consortium, these emoji have been chosen for several reasons. Some are proposed based on expected high frequency of use or due to requests from online communities. Others on the list fill in gaps in existing emoji sets or are compatible with emoji characters in existing systems.

    Emoji candidates are not finalized so it’s possible that some of the characters on the list could be removed before Unicode 9 is released in 2016, and it’s also possible that additional characters could Continue Reading

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