Protest accommodated until doors to store blocked
A group of corporate and retail security guards for Apple stores staged a peaceful protest of what they consider to be low pay relative to other employees at the company's flagship San Francisco store on Thursday. The issue the guards were drawing attention to is not one specific to Apple, but endemic among tech firms in Silicon Valley -- who collectively tend to pay cleaning, support, maintenance and security staff lower wages on average than regular employees.
Should address one central fear
Purpose so far unknown
A "massive structure" is being constructed on the campus of the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, the site of Apple's September 9 press event, witnesses say. The structure is encased in a white barricade, and appears to be about three stories tall. "Scads" of security staff are reportedly protecting it, and administrators will only say that they "are not at liberty to discuss that [structure] due to client wishes."
Expected to feature iPhone 6, iWatch
(Updated with Bloomberg claims of iWatch debut) As anticipated, Apple has formally announced a September 9th press event. Unlike past fall events, however, this one will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, rather than the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It will begin at 10AM Pacific time, or 1PM Eastern.
Architecture partly designed by Steve Jobs
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.
Extended warranty available for both iPhones and iPads
A leaked internal memo seems to reveal that Costco's in-store wireless kiosks may begin offering AppleCare+ on iPhones and iPads beginning on Thursday, August 28. The offer applies only to devices activated at the kiosk rather than iPhones or iPads that may be offered on the main sales floor. Costco resumed selling iTunes gift cards after a nearly four-year dispute with Apple ended in early June; iPhone and iPad sales were resumed just before the end of that month.
Original deal tainted with cost overruns, conflicts of interest, other issues
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that both Apple and educational curriculum and textbook publisher Pearson will re-bid on a new contract to supply the LA United School District (LAUSD) with computer and tablet options as part of a program that could eventually grow to $500 million. Both companies were the core of the previous contract that would have seen all students receiving iPads, but questions of cost overruns, problems and lack of transparency combined to force the district to cancel that arrangement.
Motion involved infamous 'slide to unlock' patent, others
The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first trial as well.
Testing continues slow advance
A little over a week after the last one, Apple has issued a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is identified as build 13F24. Areas of testing focus remain unchanged, and include Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt support, and USB/USB smart cards.
Online store discounts 'still valid'
The Apple on Campus program -- which lets students buy discounted Macs and accessories through their school -- has been halted in Belgium and Switzerland, according to Apple officials. "Yes, Apple on Campus was stopped. However, the Apple Education Store discounts are obviously still valid," says a spokesperson for Apple Switzerland. Those prices are not as cheap as those that were available through Apple on Campus, however. One exception to the discontinuations is a program in Switzerland known as Neptune.
Verizon, T-Mobile upgrade support only being piloted at retail
Apple's US online store is now offering iPhone shoppers the chance to purchase a device via an AT&T Next upgrade plan, instead of just choosing a two-year contract or going unlocked. Previously, people on a Next plan had to upgrade through AT&T itself. Apple's site provides a chart illustrating the differences between the 12- and 18-month Next plans and going with a regular contract.
Program will also include 1,000 MacBook models, rise to $8 million per year
Even as questions arise about the LA Unified School District's handling of its botched and now-abandoned iPad program, Apple continues to win school districts over to the tablet. The St. Paul School District in Minnesota is launching a program that will offer tens of thousands of iPads to students in a total of 61 schools over time, with an initial rollout to 37 schools in the city. The district is leasing the equipment from Apple, which includes up to 1,000 unspecified MacBook models.
Apple makes changes to iAd, opens platform to Russia, Switzerland
Apple continues to tweak its iAd mobile advertising platform, now offering new formats, including full-screen interstitial ads (as often seen on iTunes Radio in iTunes) as well as Facebook-style "pre-roll" videos where video clips begin playing silently until clicked on by users, which opens the full video with sound. A new implementation guide has also been issued with the updated offerings. Additionally, the company says that the iAd network is now available in Russia and Switzerland beginning today. Ad creators can choose to update their ads to target either or both countries using iAd workbench, notes 9to5Mac.
T-Mobile will discount some models of iPhone by $50 off full price
Starting on Wednesday, T-Mobile will offer a discount of up to $50 off the full price of all iPhones, according to a leaked internal memo. The offer will not affect subsidized iPhones, but applies to "device only" (no contract) sales. The discount will vary depending on the model and capacity, notes TmoNews, and is likely a reaction to recent price-cutting of contract phones by retailers like Walmart, which has dropped the price of the iPhone 5c to 97 cents and the iPhone 5s to $79 with a two-year contract.
Audio versions of articles temporarily suspended for changeover
The USA Today newspaper app for iOS is temporarily removing the program's ability to feature audio versions of top articles, revealing that the reason is due to a change of serving technology needed to prepare a forthcoming update of the app to be CarPlay-compatible. In the current update of the app, the announcement was buried in the program's release notes, and there is no mention of when the audio feature will return.
Watch ABC app for iOS updated, adds AirPlay and Chromecast support
American television network ABC has updated its content streaming app for iOS. Watch ABC allows its users to view the network's shows, sports content, news and weather reports on demand - so long as a participating cable TV provider account is used to sign in to the service. Live video content is available in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles and other major cities, subject to the participating TV provider as well. Watch ABC v3.4.0 now includes the ability to stream content with AirPlay, via Apple TV, and as well by using Chromecast via Google Chromecast. Watch ABC for iOS is free to download, and requires iOS 5.0 or later to run.
Every category being hit, CEO says
Flattening iPad sales during the last two quarters are nothing to worry about, says Apple CEO Tim Cook in a new interview. "We couldn't be happier with how we've done with the first four years of the iPad," he tells Re/Code's Walt Mossberg. "I'd call what's going on recently a speed bump, and I've seen that in every category."
Participants must sign up for Beats account
Apple-owned Beats Music has launched a US contest to promote itself and next month's iTunes Festival in London. The #GoWithMe promotion offers 25 winners a chance to take a friend to see one of five concerts. Options include Kiesza, Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams/Jungle, Maroon 5/Matthew Koma, or Ed Sheeran/Foy Vance.
stubborn files, encryption keys and more
Yesterday, Mac Elite "jeff k" took to the MacNN forums looking for assistance with trying to figure out why a stubborn file won't clear out of the trash can. Mac Elite "rotuts" sparked a conversation about apps that can be used to catalog hard drive file usage by date.
iMacs as low as $1,099
Right now at Apple's online store, find big savings on refurbished iMac models. A $200 price cut can be had on the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $1,099. For $1,399 is a 21.5-inch iMac originally released in October of 2012, with a 3.1GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive.
Mac minis, hard drives and headphones
This week at Adorama.com, get the Mac mini desktop computer for the reduced price of $879 with free shipping. That's $20 less than the retail price, and the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by the same price margin. This Mac mini features a 2.6GHz Intel dual-core i7 processor, 1TB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Superintendent, deputy had close links to Apple, Pearson
The superintendent of Los Angeles' Unified School District, John Deasy, has formally suspended future implementation of an iPad contract with Apple. "Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple," he writes in a memo issued to the Board of Education. "Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the [project]."
deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Placebo among artists
[Updated with iOS app, Apple TV channel news] Another 19 musical acts have been added to the list performing at next month's iTunes Festival in London. Some prominent names include Mary J. Blige, deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Ed Sheeran, Placebo, and Little Dragon. In all, Apple has announced 40 artists, but over 20 more have yet to be made public.
Developers, testers must use beta 5 or later to continue testing new features
In something of an unusual move, Apple has sent emails to developers informing them that they must keep up to date with iOS 8 and Yosemite betas if they want to continue testing new features, particularly the CloudKit functionality that is part of the forthcoming iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library and MailDrop technologies. The change, which could be due to a change in iCloud sandboxing, will also impact Safari histories and call histories. Developers must be on Beta 5 of either platform in order to continue working with CloudKit.
Costs are up 18.5 percent year-over-year, signaling additional products
An analyst with RBC Capital Markets has told investors that a strong increase in Apple's manufacturing costs means that the company is gearing up for more than just refreshes of existing products. Amit Daryanani has noted that Apple's component and manufacturing costs are up 18.5 percent despite generally-falling component prices, suggesting both Apple's raised expectations about the success of the iPhone 6 (which may or may not comprised two new models) and the alleged "iWatch."
Effort expanding as expected to Hong Kong, Mexco, Sweden, Turkey, others
As expected, Apple has grown its Volume Purchase Program for institutions seeking apps and iBooks to 16 new countries. Effective immediately, the program is available in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Units sold between first launch and January 2013 have defect, may be replaced
On Friday, Apple announced that it had discovered that "a very small percentage" of first-run iPhone 5 units -- those sold between September of 2012 and January of 2013 -- have a defect that results in unusually short battery life, and have instituted a program to replace the battery. Users will need to bring the units to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or retail Apple Store; however, customers should be aware that Apple will send the unit off to a facility to be inspected.
Stock is up 27.29 percent for 2014 thus far, new products ahead
Apple's stock closed on Friday at an all-time record high, on a straight split-adjusted basis, cracking $101 per share. The 74-cent rise on Friday rang down the curtain on a week that saw the stock gain just over $3 per share, culminating in the record-breaking performance weeks ahead of anticipated new product announcements, and months before the start of the holiday buying season, which is again expected to favor Apple over its primary rivals. Thus far in 2014, AAPL is up 27.29 percent.
Ruling could have affected outcome of second Apple-Samsung trial
US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied Samsung's post-trial request to invalidate two Apple patents, both of which were used successfully to convict Samsung of copying the iPhone maker's technology yet again in the second federal Apple-Samsung trial, held earlier this year. Samsung had filed the motion in early July, based on a recent Supreme Court decision, Alice vs. CLS Banks, which stated that software ideas that were just abstract representations of real-world concepts (such as turning a doorknob) were not patentable.
encryption, crashes and hot Macs
This week, MacNN forum-goers discuss a wide range of topics including encryption software, consistent crashes, and how to cool down a hot Mac. One Fresh-Faced Recruit was wondering if there was some kind of one-click encryption solution that could encrypt a file before it is uploaded to cloud storage, and decrypt it when it is needed again. Moderator "Rumor" reported their third crash in one day, and was hoping fellow forum goers could help troubleshoot and get to the root cause of this problem.
MacBook Pro configurations from $929
Right now at Apple's online store, chose from a wide selection of refurbished MacBook Pro models with prices as low as $929. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and a 8x SuperDrive has been reduced by $170 to $929. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been cut by $180 to $1,019.
MacBook Air, iMac, HDTVs and more
BestBuy.com this week is offering a $150 discount on the current-generation 13.3-inch MacBook Air, dropping the price from $999 down to $849. That discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by about $50. This MacBook Air features a 1.4GHz Intel core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Reports, if accurate, shed light on earlier reports of thin device
A French Apple enthusiast site has published some photos from a screen, alleging that they come from Foxconn, detailing construction details and dimensions of Apple's new iPhone line. The screenshots dating in some cases back to February confirm the raised camera lens detail demonstrated in leaks a few days ago.
Issue resolved, stemmed from Apple seeking thinnest device possible
Adding to the mystery of the iPhone 6 and its shipment date, reports are circulating that Apple's suppliers were "scrambling" to source enough screens for the new device because of a shift in design. Not known is if the problem, linked to the backlight, will lead to shipping delays or extremely tight sales constraints on launch.
Company complies with only half of judge's controversial order
Following a ruling by a Brazilian judge that anonymous social apps such as Secret violate the Brazilian constitution, Apple has removed the program from the App Store in that country, citing that its own guidelines require that apps comply with local laws in the country they're sold in. In addition to Apple, the judge ordered Google and Microsoft to also remove the app or similar apps. There has not, however, been any reports of Apple or the other companies remotely deleting the app from users' devices.
Tablet has been popular with medical sector, gov't calls hospital a 'model' for others
One day after US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald called the Palo Alto Veterans Administration hospital one of the "crown jewels" of the VA healthcare system," the facility received a visit from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who tweeted that he was "honored" to meet doctors alongside California legislator Anna Eshoo, noting that the facility is "now using iPads to help treat vets and families." The message was accompanied by a photo of Cook with an iPad-using staffer.
Release notes offer little information, but iMovie Theater bug fixed
On Thursday, Apple issued minor updates to its OS X versions of iMovie, Pages, Keynote and Numbers. The most significant of the updates appears to be for iMovie, updated to version 10.0.5 that offers iCloud compatibility improvements for iMovie Theater, though there is still no fix for the program under the Yosemite Public Beta. Also updated were Keynote (to v6.2.2), Pages (to 5.2.2), and Numbers (to version 3.2.2).
Tech could be used to keep premiums, expenditures down
Apple is talking with at least two insurance companies about its HealthKit platform in iOS 8, according to Bloomberg. These include Humana and UnitedHealth, the latter being the US' biggest such firm. It's not yet clear what the parties might have in mind.
Affected services included Photos, Keychain, Find My iPhone
Many Apple online services -- and "some" percentage of users -- were caught in a brief but severe outage on Thursday, according to the company's official system status page. This included every iCloud service, such as Photos, device backups, Keychain, Mail, Documents in the Cloud, and web apps. Also impacted were Back to My Mac, Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, and iMovie Theater.
Tech may appear in iOS 8, new iPhone models
Apple has posted two job listings asking for people with experience in voice-over-LTE technology, better known as VoLTE. The first asks for a "cellular systems protocol engineer," while the second asks for a "wireless communication software engineer" familiar with "SIP, RTP, and VoIP related protocols." Although it's dependent on carrier support, VoLTE can allow for much better call quality than regular or even 3G voice channels.
Participants in the OS X Beta Program can now download a second public beta of OS X Yosemite via the Mac App Store. Changes are unlisted, but since it's following just a few days after the release of Developer Preview 6, it presumably incorporates that code's fixes and feature additions. Apple is believed to be building towards a final launch of Yosemite in October, which could mean one or two more public betas in the interim.
Empty stocks linked to $25 iTunes cards
The Apple TV is showing as "unavailable for pickup" at many Apple Stores across the US, including the most high-profile ones in California, Texas, and New York. The absent stocks are reportedly being blamed on the ongoing $25 iTunes card bundle. Sales may also be influenced by a recent Lollapalooza livestream, and Apple's forthcoming coverage of iTunes Festival London.
Walmart puts iPhone 5c up for $1, iPhone 5s for $79 under contract
Giant retailer Walmart has lowered the cost of the 16GB iPhone 5c to a mere 97 cents as part of what appears to be an early move to clear stock ahead of the arrival of the iPhone 6, or to bring in back-to-school shoppers. The chain has also lowered the price on the 16GB iPhone 5s to $79, cut from $99 previously. Both offers require signing a new two-year contract with either AT&T, Verizon or Sprint (T-Mobile is not included in this promotion).
Releases $2.6M Apple bond covering never-enacted Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban
On Wednesday, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on two motions in the ongoing leftover matters related to the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The first ruling denied Apple the opportunity to recover attorney's fees from Samsung related to its guilty verdict on trade dress claims, and the second returned a $2.6 million Apple bond the company had put up to enforce a sales injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was found to have copied Apple's iPad technology. No action was ever taken on the ban due to the appeals process, and both companies have since agreed to drop the injunction.
Rare part for 'phablet' iPhone emerges, but could be intended for knockoff
New photos allegedly from "deep within Apple's supply chain" have revealed what could be the backplate for the little-leaked 5.5-inch version of the "iPhone 6." The photos show the chassis of the larger "phablet" device next to the same part from the 4.7-inch version, suggesting that the models will be similar apart from sizing. It should be noted that these images could well be from Chinese knock-off devices based on rumored specs, such as the Android-based Goophone.
AutoFill, subpixel rendering, extension compatibility and more being tested
On Wednesday, Apple released two betas for its Safari web browser, as well as a new beta for OS X Server. The Safari betas, 7.1 for Mavericks and 6.2 for Lion and later, add new features to WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of the browser. In addition, Apple has asked testers to focus on general website compatibility in light of changes in some defaults, and tie-ins to forthcoming features in OS X and iOS. The new OS X Server beta requires the latest Mavericks (10.9.4).
Dubai picked as location
The upcoming United Arab Emirates Apple Store will be the "biggest Apple has ever built," according to men's luxury magazine Edgar, citing an anonymous source. The person also says that Apple has picked Dubai's Mall of the Emirates as the site for the shop, and that it was originally planned to replace a current cinema complex. Based on the timing of Apple's job listings, it's thought that the store could open in the first quarter of next year. Currently, there are no Apple Stores anywhere in the Middle East.
Blu-ray support a focus
Apple has issued minor updates to Final Cut Pro and two of its companion apps, Compressor and Motion. Final Cut has been updated to v10.1.3, primarily solving problems burning Blu-ray discs or creating a Blu-ray disk image. It also ensures that color corrections are kept when pasted between clips during Share, and that effects applied to clips in the Browser in previous versions are retained when clips are added to the timeline. Other fixes target XML round-trip imports, automatic library backups, and skimming growing files in the Browser.
Package changes developer ad ID with that of assailant with Cydia Substrate
A new piece of malware has started infecting jailbroken iOS devices earlier this year. The "AdThief" or "Spad" package hijacks advertising clicks and revenue, and redirects them to the author of the package, rather than the developer who inserted the advertising in the first place. The malware is simple and low profile -- it replaces the developer's ID with the attacker's ID. Mobile ad kits targeted by the AdThief malware are mostly from Chinese vendors, with four in the US, and a pair in India.
Apple, Google, Microsoft required to delete Secret from customer phones or face fines
A Brazilian judge has ordered Apple, Google, and Microsoft to remove Secret, an app used for anonymously sharing information with others, from citizen's phones. The unusual ruling requires both Apple and Google to delist Secret from the App Store and Google Play, with Microsoft ordered to do the same for the Windows Phone-equivalent Cryptic, as well as deleting it remotely from mobile devices in the country.