Security, user data respect seen as differentiators from rival companies
Company is a 'very different place,' but changing market suits Cook's management style
A hit-and-miss profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook has brought some new details to light about changes made at Apple since Cook took over in late 2011. It also confirms that the Apple Watch project was started after former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died, that the consolidation of hardware and software teams that led to Scott Forstall's ouster was a deliberate move by Cook, and that those who work with him have no doubts about the ability of the company to continue innovating.
Official iPhone User Guide updated on iBooks for iPhone 6 line, iOS 8
Following the arrival of iOS 8 on Wednesday, Apple has updated its official iPhone User Guide (a free e-book download available from the iBookstore) to cover its release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as offer a tour of all the new and changed features of iOS 8. The e-Book can be read on the iBooks app for iOS, or on the OS X version of iBooks for Mavericks and later. The guide covers all iOS 8-compatible iPhone hardware, from the iPhone 4S to the latest iPhone 6 models as well as offering iOS 8 tutorials, including the new Health app.
Mavericks updated includes Safari 7.0.6, fixes VPN and SMB server bugs
In what is likely the final numerical update for OS X Mavericks, Apple has released version 10.9.5 just one day after it was seeded to AppleCare representatives. The release notes indicate that it improves the reliability of VPN connections requiring USB smart cards, and access to files on SMB servers. The patch also includes Safari 7.0.6, though it was released separately about a month ago, alongside v6.1.6 for older operating systems for security patches. The company also updated iMovie for iOS to add iOS 8 compatibility.
Despite half the megapixels, iPhone 6's sensors and phase-detection win the day
The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Fowler has had a chance to take the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung's Galaxy S5 on a test run from a photographic perspective, comparing the built-in cameras on each. On paper, the iPhone models were at a serious disadvantage: the photo modules are only 8MP, compared to the 16 megapixel units on Samsung's flagship smartphone. Nevertheless, Fowler's photos make clear that Apple's combination of lenses, camera, sensor and post-processing technologies create consistently better pictures.
Compatible titles should return to App Store by end of September
Apple has confirmed the existence of a bug in HealthKit that resulted in the removal of related apps from the App Store. In an email to the Financial Times' Tim Bradshaw, the company states that it has "discovered a bug that prevents us from making HealthKit apps available on iOS 8 today. We're working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month."
Williams says holiday launch was possible, but bad idea
A new interview with CEO Tim Cook, lead designer Jonathan Ive, and Operations head Jeff Williams sheds some light on the development of the Apple Watch. Ive remarks that Apple first began working on the project about three years ago, and calls it "probably one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on." The company delved into an extreme amount of research, going so far as to invite watch historians to speak at its Cupertino headquarters. "What was interesting is that it [watches] took centuries to find the wrist and then it didn't go anywhere else," Ive says. "I would argue the wrist is the right place for the technology."
'Point' update to Xcode suggests very minor change
Adding to the bevy of updates released today, Apple has released an update to Xcode bringing it up to 6.0.1. Additionally, a new version of OS X Server Developer Preview for OS X 10.10 has been released, incrementing the pre-release to version 4.0 build 14S291i.
Will eventually support iCloud Photo Library
Accompanying iOS 8 today is updated firmware for the Apple TV. Immediately visible are new cosmetic touches, namely thinner fonts and "flatter" app icons. It also includes some feature additions, such as a Beats Music channel, making it possible to listen to the subscription service Apple acquired earlier this year.
iTunes U gets ability to add deadlines to Calendar
In tandem with the release of iOS 8, Apple has also begun updating its optional first-party apps with fresh support. These include Podcasts, iTunes U, Remote, and Find My iPhone. Other apps should be updated shortly.
CTO, Heath Project Manager at briefing; Apple security defended
Apple has sent two high-ranking executives to Capitol Hill earlier this week to brief lawmakers on what it is doing to keep users' data secure and private in the wake of new devices tapping into users' health information and financial data. Apple Chief Technology Officer Bud Tribble and Health Project Manager Afshad Mistri briefed the House Energy and Commerce Committee behind closed doors on Tuesday, according to sources within Congress.
Strike started on September 11th, salaries unchanged since 2012
Workers at a Foxconn factory in Brazil are on strike, potentially affecting shipments of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The strike, by 3,700 workers at the largest factory under Foxconn control in South America, originally started on September 11 and is still underway, and it appears the worker-led disruption will continue for some time.
Over-the-air updates may be impossible for some users
As planned, Apple has released iOS 8 via iTunes and as an over-the-air update. The latter may be difficult or impossible for some users, as it requires roughly 5.7GB of free space on an iPhone, and 6.9GB on an iPad. In any event users must have at least an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or fifth-generation iPod touch.
'No ETA' for fix
An unspecified, last-minute problem with HealthKit is prompting Apple to pull some compatible apps from the App Store, developers say. The developer of CARROT Fit, Brian Mueller, says that he received a phone call from Apple explainingadds on Twitter.
Should include new iPads, OS X Yosemite
(Updated with Oct. 21 date and counterclaim) Apple's next press event should take place in mid- to late October, a source tells AppleInsider. The company has reportedly set internal project and marketing deadlines for mid-October, ahead of a planned announcement. Previous rumors have called for an October event, but without specifying more precise timing.
New system avoids compromise of Apple ID, limited to 25 active passwords
Starting next month, Apple will add another layer of security to its iCloud service for third-party apps that utilize iCloud storage or other access. The company will allow users to assign up to 25 app-specific passwords for those users who don't want a third-party app to have the user's Apple ID credentials to utilize services such as syncing. The app-specific password approach not only protects the iCloud and Apple ID account, but enhances security for apps that don't support two-step authentication.
Show website features full interview in two parts, includes talk of Jobs, diversity, innovation
A nearly two-hour conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook covering a wide variety of topics is now available in full from the Charlie Rose show website as well as PBS' own Hulu channel. Excerpts from the interview are also available on PBS' iOS app. The sit down discussion with Rose was filmed almost immediately after Cook unveiled the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Apple Watch and the Apple Pay mobile payments system.
Company confident that new larger iPhones will attract switchers
With its combination of more and better apps, better security and now large-screen mobile devices, Apple is expecting the new iPhone and iOS 8 to help persuade more Android users to move up to iOS, and to that end has published a document on its website guiding switchers on how to move content from their Android device to the iPhone. The expectation isn't based on hubris: surveys have shown that at least a third of Android users would consider switching to the iPhone 6 family.
Phones still waiting for Sept. 19th
Early orders of Apple's official cases for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are beginning to reach customers, user reports indicate. While the company usually gives strict instructions to courier services that prevent them from delivering iPhones and iPads before a launch date, it doesn't do the same for accessories. The strict timing with hardware is believed to be for the sake of marketing impact, as well as deterring scalpers.
MacNN forum-goers anxiously awaiting the delivery of their latest, greatest iPhones have converged in the thread titled "Incoming iPhone" to discuss just where in the world the tracking numbers state their precious cargo resides. Forum members who are looking for an iPad sleeve with a spot for a power adapter that doesn't cause a bulge are conversing about the available options in a thread started by Clinically Insane member "subego" earlier this week.
savings of up to $770 on 15.4-inch MBPs
Right now, Apple's Online Store is offering steep price cuts on a selection of refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro models. The 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 500GB of storage and 8x SuperDrive has seen a discount of $690, and is now down to $1,109. A $710 discount drops the price on the refurbished 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage down to $1,489.
new Mac Pro for $3,199
This week at MacMall.com, get the new Mac Pro for the sale price of $3,149. That's $150 off the list price of $3,299, and $100 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of California, Tennessee and Wisconsin. This Mac Pro offers a 3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage, dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics, and comes with OS X Mavericks (10.9) pre-installed. As always, Apple's one-year warranty on parts and labor applies.
Apple takes another step towards securing iCloud
Apple has once again enabled a two-factor authentication option for iCloud.com. It was briefly introduced in June, but then vanished for reasons unknown. Much like its equivalent for Apple IDs, the iCloud.com two-factor system requires verifying identity through SMS or Find My iPhone. Only once this is done can users load the site's apps.
Virtual private networking used in FaceTime infringed VirnetX patents
Last week, the US Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, DC threw out a jury award of $368.2 million to patent holder VirnetX. While the court agreed that some patents were infringed by Apple, the appeals court ruled that incorrect jury instructions were doled out by the judge, which tainted the jury when it determined the damage award.
Hints at imminent public launch
OS X 10.9.5 is already being seeded within Apple, say several sources working for AppleCare. The step is believed to be an immediate precursor to launching the update for the public, since AppleCare staff need to be familiar with the update in order to troubleshoot it. Furthermore, iOS 8 is being released tomorrow, and Apple often clusters major software updates.
Finished code will likely be last Server release for Mavericks
Apple is seeding another preview of OS X Server 3.2 to developers. Changes are so far unknown, but the code is listed as build 13S5179. Server 3.2 is intended for Macs running OS X Mavericks, particularly 10.9.4 or later.
Police largely silent during pre-announcement era
Chinese police have arrested a 40-year-old Foxconn worker, identified only by the surname Qiao, for stealing iPhone 6 shells from a factory in Jincheng, according to the state-run Taihang Daily. The person was detained on September 4, and is specifically accused of selling six of the shells for 6,000 yuan (about $960) to a gadget market in Shenzhen, where a number of electronics makers are located.
Users could 'pour' files from one device to another
Apple has won a US patent on an unusual tablet-based graphical interface. The UI would not only make use of touch and motion, as iOS does currently, but simulated physics -- including mass, gravity, friction, and/or drag. A basic example involves selecting multiple files or folders; by drawing a circle around them, users would create a selection "bubble" that could be behave like a floating ball, even bouncing off of screen edges. File and folder size could dictate mass, such that a larger file might move more slowly.
Tech initially reserved for Apple Pay
Third-party app developers won't be able to access the APIs for Apple's NFC chips this year, a company spokesperson says. That effectively limits the NFC support in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Apple Pay, as well as a few other authorized uses, at least for the next few months. That may be a security measure on Apple's part, since opening up the APIs too early could make it easier for hackers to crack the payment technology.
Battery life is critical to widespread consumer adoption of the Apple Watch
As an early adopter of all types of technology, I will be among the first to get my hands on an Apple Watch when it launches early next year. There is a lot that Apple looks to have nailed with it, including the typically elegant industrial design, advanced materials and system architecture combined with what looks to be the most evolved smartwatch OS by some margin. The multiple collections and easily swappable bands also make it highly customizable, greatly enhancing its overall appeal. However, the biggest question mark over it at this point is its battery life, which is a potential issue that could be addressed by Apple if it adopts a slightly different tact before launch.
Some users downloading, some streaming, averaging 5.1 million per day
Less than a week after Apple added U2's new album Songs of Innocence to iTunes' users libraries as a free gift, Apple has revealed that the album has been downloaded, streamed or played in its entirety more than 33 million times, an average "sales" figure of 5.1 million copies per day. Apple did also provide a tool for users who didn't want the gift to remove it completely if they desired.
Apple's product-centric business model differentiates it from others, CEO says
During more of the interview for PBS' "Charlie Rose" show, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the thorny issue of user privacy, with Cook coming out strongly differentiating Apple from other companies, noting that Apple "tries not to collect data." Cook said he believes users "have a right to privacy," and used the issue to reiterate that Apple was not cooperating with US government spying programs.
New iPhone 6 will become default 'test drive' model once availability normalizes
US carrier T-Mobile is still running its "Test Drive" promotion, which offers to send a no-obligation iPhone 5s and a week's worth of access to non-customers to help them evaluate if they want to switch networks. On Monday, the carrier acknowledged that it will be upgrading the "test drive" iPhones to iOS 8 beginning just days after its debut on September 17. The company also said it will eventually move to the iPhone 6 as its default model for the "test drive" promotion, pending sufficient availability.
Association's aim is to improve cryptographic and data keys, thwart physical and online attacks
Apple is now a member of a non-profit trade association made up of mostly financial institutions, cellular carriers and software and hardware developers devoted to improving security in applications, transactions, data and cryptography. The group, GlobalPlatform says its objective is to "create a standardized infrastructure that accelerates the deployment" of secure software and data, "protecting them from physical or software attacks." Most of Apple's carrier and financial partners in Apple Pay are also members.
Part is likely to be the PowerVR Series6XT GX6650, running at 1.4GHz
An analysis of the claims of Apple and leaked benchmarks with regards to the graphics performance and technologies in the new A8 chip that powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus indicates that Apple has likely moved to a new PowerVR GPU. The most likely candidate is the six-core PowerVR Series6XT GX6650 made by Imagination. Apple is also likely using a revised version of the Cyclone architecture, first used in the A7, to manage graphics processing.
Concerns more directly related to HealthKit
Connecticut's Attorney General, George Jepsen, has issued a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking the company to explain how the Apple Watch will collect and store data. Jepsen asks, for instance, "whether Apple will allow consumers to store personal and health information on Apple Watch itself and/or on its servers, and if so, how information will be safeguarded," and "if and how Apple will review application privacy policies to ensure that users' health information is safeguarded." Other concerns include consent, the specific types of data the watch and its apps will collect, and guideline enforcement.
Automatic downloads annoying some users
Responding to complaints, Apple has created a special web tool for removing U2's Songs of Innocence album from an iTunes account. Users must sign in with an Apple ID, and the company cautions that once the album is removed, people must purchase it if they want it again. The record is still free until October 13th.
Little time left before gold master ships
Apple has released a third public beta of OS X Yosemite, as well as an eighth developer preview. Both are available through the Mac App Store; for the former people must be participants in the AppleSeed program, and for the latter users must be registered developers. So far, any changes beyond bugfixes have yet to be discovered.
Institutions aim to improve speed, accuracy
In the next few weeks, two major US hospitals -- linked with Stanford University and Duke University, respectively -- are embarking on medical trials using Apple's HealthKit platform, according to Reuters. Doctors at Stanford say they're working with Apple on tracking blood sugar for children with diabetes. Duke, meanwhile, is planning a pilot to track blood pressure, weight, and other statistics for patients with cancer or heart diseases.
Downloads still optional for 16GB models
People picking up a 64 or 128GB iPhone 6/6 Plus later this week will find several of Apple's iLife and iWork apps pre-installed, a leaked internal Apple training document reveals. The company specifically lists iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and iTunes U. "These apps are also available as a free download from the App Store for the 16GB models," Apple writes.
Black one remaining option
Apple has winnowed its official case selection for the iPhone 5s down to just a single black option, checks of the company's online store show. Previously there were was a collection of several leather cases in different colors. At the moment, Apple appears to be concentrating on production of leather and silicone cases for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Full weekend numbers being kept quiet
Having only made ambiguous references on Friday, Apple has today officially announced that it achieved a "record" 4 million preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the first 24 hours of availability. "Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the initial pre-order supply and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October," the company continues.
Traditionally quick to upgrade, new health features may increase adoption further
Although it is not surprising to learn that Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad have an above-average adoption rate among medical professionals, new information from a networking site devoted to doctors has shed new insight on the relationship between Apple and the medical field. Doximity, described by Forbes as a "LinkedIn for doctors," reports that of its 300,000 member database, some 85 percent of doctors carry iPhones -- and they tend to upgrade to new models very quickly.
SecureMac releases PrivacyScan 1.6, improves OS X compatibility
SecureMac has released an update for its privacy software for OS X, featuring a new digital footprint security wipe functionality. PrivacyScan allows users to erase sensitive information to securely prevent recovery, as such cache files, browsing history, cookies, temporary files and more. The latest version (v1.6) improves compatibility with future versions of OS X, and also adds greater Firefox web browser support and fixes. PrivacyScan is priced at $15 on the App Store, with a free demo version available directly through SecureMac.
HEVC implementation likely assisted by hardware boost, offers high-quality video calls
In addition to the more publicly-known features found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple's tech specs page for the new models has revealed that they support H.265 video encoding and decoding, otherwise known as High Efficiency Video Coding. It allows the same quality of video as H.264, but using only half as much bandwidth -- allowing FaceTime video-conferencing calls to maintain the necessary quality on cellular networks without requiring large amounts of data. It could foreshadow the option of multi-party FaceTime calls on broadband.
New interview reveals CEO still focused on TV, thinking bigger
In a new interview for the PBS Charlie Rose show, Apple CEO Tim Cook adds some small tidbits to hs previous public statements around Apple's latest products. Specifically, he reveals that the company's "great interest" in television is continuing, that the company is working on products not even "rumored about yet," and more.
Apple gets 0.15 percent cut of purchases, does not affect purchase price
Some of the details of Apple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, have been revealed in a report by Britain's The Financial Times. As briefly alluded to by CEO Tim Cook, Apple does get a small commission on sales made using Apple Pay, to the tune of 0.15 percent (15 cents on every $100 spent), though this does not affect the purchase price.
Timeouts, rejected credit card charges among problems
A number of people trying to place early preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been met with technical issues. Shoppers are complaining, for instance that they were initially unable to buy unlocked T-Mobile or AT&T models. Apple servers in fact appear to have had problems connecting to carrier servers, forcing the company to issue reservation numbers via email that people could use to complete an order within the next 24 hours.
Apple watch…why bother?
As everyone knows by now, this week Apple took the wraps off their latest creation -- the Apple Watch. While there was much hype about this device leading up to its release, some MacNN forum-goers don't seem to think there is much reason to get this particular device over the competition, as is discussed in the thread titled "Apple watch…why bother." One Mac Elite wonders if the Apple Watch will be on display in stores before it is available for sale.
iPads from $249 and iPods from $99
Apple's Online Store currently has a wide selection of refurbished iPads and iPods on sale for bargain prices. Save 37 percent on the refurbished iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and 16GB of storage space for $249, which is a savings of $150 off the original price. Get special limited-time pricing on the refurbished iPad mini with Wi-Fi and Cellular for AT&T; it was $429, but has been cut by $110 to $319.