Transition to Apple may depend on compensation promises
Future Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts may actually remain the CEO of Burberry until June, says The Guardian. Although Ahrendts has finished a mandatory six-month wait and is technically free to switch this month, she has allegedly promised to stay with Burberry until at least June 6th to ease the transition to her replacement, chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. She also has a strong financial incentive, since she could earn a bonus of as much as £8M (about $13.5 million) if she makes it to the 6th.
Special event to take place at Apple headquarters
On April 22nd, Apple will be holding its first real Earth Day commemorations since 2006, reports say. At retail, the company is expected to cover its logos in green, and give at least some stores special Earth Day t-shirts for workers. Back at Apple's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, a "large-scale internal event" is due to happen on the afternoon of the 22nd, presumably with Earth Day as a focus.
Content of v7.1.1 update unknown
Apple is preparing an immediate follow-up to iOS 7.1 in the form of v7.1.1, according to web traffic data from 9to5Mac. The site says that it has received "numerous" hits from v7.1.1 devices operating in areas around Apple's Cupertino campus. It's not clear when the update will go live, or what it will contain, but the version number suggests that it should arrive relatively soon and mostly contain bugfixes.
Song-identification technology may be enlisted for Siri, iTunes Radio
Citing unnamed sources "with knowledge of the product," Bloomberg is reporting that Apple may enter into a partnership with song-identifying app Shazam to bring the music-matching feature to iOS 8. Users could, for example, ask Siri "what song is playing?" as they listen to iTunes Radio or other streaming music services, with the voice assistant enlisting Shazam's services to return an answer after a short identifying pause. This in turn would produce a link to the song on iTunes.
CEO to make pitch to Apple to make Google search optional
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who has worked diligently to turn around the veteran search engine's fortunes with some success, is planning on appealing to Apple to make Yahoo's search engine the default choice on the Mac and iOS. Currently Apple offers Yahoo as a option for search, but uses Google as a default (and Bing to power Siri inquiries). Mayer may seen an opportunity to advance Yahoo's already-friendly relationship with Apple, given its fight with Google over Android and patents.
Launches mobile app to help users design, implement iBeacon-based 'SensorTags'
Veteran embedded chip and automotive systems maker Texas Instruments has announced plans to incorporate Apple's iBeacon technology in many of the company's forthcoming Bluetooth products, saying that "there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology" beyond its presence popular use in retail shops, restaurants and stadiums. TI will be adding iBeacons to its SimpleLink line of automotive micro-controllers, and it WiLink navigation systems.
Public assumed to be worried about Apple's prospects
Samsung decided to launch its "Next Big Thing" campaign -- parodying Apple -- in the wake of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, according to an email trail exposed during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung patent trial. Samsung America's VP of US sales, Mike Pennington, described Jobs' death as "the best opportunity" to run a campaign targeting Apple, since people would be worried about whether Apple could continue to come up with great ideas minus Jobs' influence. "Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone," Pennington is quoted as saying.
Model still not available in US
The 8GB iPhone 5c is now on sale in 14 more countries, checks show. When the 8GB option first became available last month, it launched in just a handful of regions. The model is newly available in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland.
String of Samsung witnesses find that Apple's patents are all invalid
Not only did Samsung not infringe on Apple's patents, a parade of witnesses for Samsung told the jury today in the Apple-Samsung trial, those patents aren't valid even if Samsung did copy them. With some help from Apple's very light cross-examination, Samsung again flew through a lengthy list of experts who testified on the relative worthlessness of Apple's patents for "data detectors" (also referred to as "quick links"), universal search, autocorrection and the "slide to unlock" concept.
Sighting adds to rumors that Apple plans multi-country but slow rollout
Fueling speculation that Apple may be planning to expand iTunes Radio to selected countries in the near future, tweets on Twitter have revealed that Apple's director of iAd services, Paul Wright, has been making the rounds of London media marketing and ad agencies where he is based. This follows claims by online radio service Bloom, which would be a competitor to iTunes Radio in the UK, that it was rebuffed from advertising on iAd, and a report of iTunes Radio briefly functioning in Ecuador.
Judge ignores Apple argument that states have suffered no harm
For observers in Apple's battle against the US Department of Justice over alleged e-book "price fixing," it will come as no shock whatsoever that Judge Denise Cote has ruled against the company on a connected legal matter -- but the fact that she actually cited a reasoning based in law this time may surprise some. The US District Court judge has refuted Apple's filing for a dismissal in the lawsuits brought by 33 states and territories based on the DOJ case ruling.
Weekly update comes with no known issues, few changes
Just shy of a week after the last release, Apple has issued its seventh beta of the forthcoming maintenance release, 10.9.3, to developers. As before, the new version lists no known issues, and asks testers to focus on any remaining issues with graphics drivers, audio, Mail, Safari, and the re-introduced feature of local syncing of Contacts and Calendar data through iTunes to local devices. The new build, 13D43, also includes preliminary support for pixel doubling on 4K displays.
Industry-led group will work on standards for phone security across platforms
Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft, among others, have joined with the top five US wireless carriers to create an industry group dedicated to fighting smartphone theft and implementing multi-platform technology to aid that cause by next summer. HTC, Huawei, Motorola and Nokia are also part of the group, which is aiming to create a "baseline anti-theft tool" similar to the steps Apple has already taken in its own iPhone security software, particularly with regards to preventing reactivation.
audio problems, Logic X questions and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members help other long-time users and Fresh-Faced Recruits resolve problems. Forum members are assisting one Fresh-Faced Recruit with an iMac that is unable to recognize audio inputs or outputs after a power failure, but so far have been unsuccessful in their attempts. Yesterday, Junior Member "phkc070408" was trying to determine if there was a way to assign a specific key or series of keys to type a pre-programmed set of text.
iPads and iPods
This week, Apple's online store has a wide selection of refurbished iPad and iPod models on sale. Right now, the refurbished 16GB iPad mini can be had for just $249 after a $50 discount. A $120 discount slashes the cost of the second-generation 16GB iPad 2 down to $279.
$400 off 27-inch iMac
MacMall.com has dropped the price on the 27-inch iMac from $1,800 down to $1,400. Until April 30, a $100 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price even further to $1,300. That is about $200 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Samsung offers Google engineers, but Samsung marketers in day of witnesses
Over the weekend, Judge Lucy Koh turned down Samsung's request for a summary judgement in the Samsung-Apple second patent trial, claiming that Apple had failed to prove its case during its presentation. Judge Koh rebuffed the claims and thus the trial continued on Monday, with Samsung still presenting its defense. Continuing its strategy of saying the case is about a dispute between Apple and Google rather than Samsung, the Galaxy smartphone maker put on a stunning seven witnesses -- most of them from the search and advertising giant.
Follows earlier report of occasional reception in Canada, UK
Users in Ecuador have provided evidence that iTunes Radio is now sporadically available in the South American country, suggesting that Apple is testing the service in preparation for international rollouts there and elsewhere. The news comes on the heels of previous reports in both the UK and Canada that saw testing of the service in those place, which may hint that Apple plans to announce a big expansion of the service in the near future. Officially, it is only available in the US and Australia currently.
Following deal with Appeals Court, all parties restart with fresh attitudes
Michael Bromwich, the court-appointed monitor for Apple's anti-trust compliance policies, demonstrated a marked change in attitude towards the company in his latest report, the first since a Court of Appeals and the DOJ significantly scaled back his powers of investigation and range of allowable duties following Apple complaints in February. A change of "point of contact" with the company has resulted in Apple being "more cooperative" than previously, Bromwich said.
Might theoretically be justified by larger screen size
Apple has been asking carriers for approval to raise the base subsidized price of the iPhone 6 from $199 to $299, claims Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. The carriers have allegedly balked at the idea so far. Apple could potentially justify the increase due to the phone's bigger size; it's unclear in fact if the hike would apply to the 4.7-inch model or the 5.5-inch one, since Misek refers to just one iPhone 6. Many shoppers would likely assume a 5.5-inch phone would be more expensive.
Existence of molds suggests Foxconn almost ready to go into production
(Updated with Nowhereelse mold photo) Photos posted to Chinese site Sina Weibo show what appear to be schematics and case molds for a next-generation iPhone. The schematics indicate a design roughly consistent with current iPhones, including touches like chamfered edges and thin bezels. It's difficult to determine size, but one obvious difference is the phone's depth, which is even thinner than the iPhone 5s.
Printer Pro adds nine languages, currently free to download
Wireless printing app for iPhone PrinterPro has announced that it has been localized into nine languages. Now the app is available in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese as well as English. The software allows users to print attachments, documents and web pages from their iPhone on any Wi-Fi or USB-connected printer. Currently free for the remainder of its 24-hour promotion, Printer Pro can be downloaded through iTunes, and is normally priced at $5.
Original plans for project called for 3-5Mw energy generation on seasonal basis
In order to help power its Prineville, Oregon data center with renewable energy as promised, Apple has taken over a small hydroelectric project located about two miles north of the Haystack Reservoir and 45 miles downstream from the intake. It is unclear how far the project had progressed before Apple acquired it, but original plans called for it generate 3-5 megawatts of energy on a seasonal basis, closing in the winter when the irrigation canal it relies on is shut.
Tweet: 'Both sides relying on stories to sell jury, Samsung borrowing Google's'
At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from "microeconomist" and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense -- by borrowing a Google software executive.
Company relies on conflation of sales with shipments to fool Wall Street, customers
A confidential report from Samsung dug up by Apple lawyers has -- for the second time in as many trials -- revealed that the Galaxy phone maker routinely misleads both investors and the public on its actual sales to end users, at least in the US market. The discrepancy can sometimes be large, and in Samsung's case it used those misleading figures to chip away at the iPad's "marketshare" when in fact it had not made even a modest dent.
Samsung begins its defense, downplays Apple patents, losses
Apple's presentation to the jury in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with attorneys for the iPhone maker resting their case as expected on Friday following the completion of damages expert Christopher Vellturo's detailed explanation of why Apple is asking for $2.191 billion in total from Samsung. Apple had one final witness on its list, but decided against calling him following Vellturo's testimony. Samsung has already begun its presentation, which seeks to minimize the value of Apple's royalties and calls the damages estimate "grossly inflated."
iOS home screen improvements
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss ways that Apple could change the home screen in iOS after "Hawykeye_a" noted that there hasn't been any real changes in the way that iOS works and provided some suggestions of things he thought could be modified. Today, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was looking for a way to edit icons on their Mac, and turned to the forums for advice.
5 refurbished Macs for $999 or less
Apple's online store today has a variety of Macs that are priced at $999 or less. The refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, OS X Server, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives is now $849 after a $150 discount. Also priced at $849 after a $350 price cut is the 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.
MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and more
At MacMall.com this week, save $350 on the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro which has been cut from $1,800 down to $1,550. A $100 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price further to $1,450, beating the next lowest price by $210. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Continues Apple's LGBT-friendly policies
Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter earlier today in support of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. "The House should mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act by passing ENDA," he wrote. If passed, the bill would make it illegal for companies to discriminate based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The bill has been trapped in the US political system since 1994, however, and a November 2013 editorial by Cook in the Wall Street Journal had little impact.
Apple says move in keeping with official policies
UK-based streaming service Bloom.fm has been banned from advertising on Apple's iAd network due to it being competition with iTunes Radio, according to Bloom PR representatives. Until recently, Bloom was spending £2,000 per month on iAd spots. In rejecting the advertising, Apple is quoted as telling Bloom that it constituted "a competitive service to iTunes Radio and it is against Apple policy."
Microsoft, Sony agree to providing more cash for patent buys
Two previous investment partners, Apple and Intel, have declined to put money into Intellectual Ventures' latest patent acquisition fund, says Reuters. IV is dedicated exclusively to buying intellectual property, and has so far acquired about 70,000 patents and other forms of IP. It has raised about $6 billion from investment partners in the past, but is looking to pick up another $3 billion. Microsoft and Sony have agreed to participate in the new round of funding.
AMD FirePro D-Series power the Mac Pro to new performance highs
One of the many exciting new features of the Mac Pro (late 2013) is Apple's choice to opt for dual AMD FirePro workstation GPUs as standard fitment, which certainly caught the eye of many observers. The previous generation Mac Pros included the option to fit dual CPUs, but as you can tell from the radical external redesign of the Mac Pro that Apple has fundamentally rethought its approach to the Mac workstation. Apple has chosen to adopt a dual-GPU configuration as standard fitment to leverage the massive processing power in GPU architecture. The biggest performance gains in certain professional applications come through harnessing the processing power in GPUs, rather than the CPU. To this extent, Apple has worked closely with AMD to develop three custom GPU solutions for the Mac Pro, to help Mac users tap into the power of AMD's Graphics Core Next microarchitecture for parallel processing using the OpenCL framework.
Might accompany rumored overhaul of iTunes Store
[Updated with Apple hiring details] Following on the heels of a claim that Apple is planning to "dramatically" overhaul the iTunes music store in the near future, a previous rumor that the company was considering offering "high-resolution" 24-bit music tracks has gained new currency. Apple has been reported to be looking for ways to boost digital music sales, which have seen a slump as users spend more time listening to on-demand streaming services like Spotify. The higher-quality music files would likely be offered in a lossless format.
SSL bug could still be found in Mac servers running PostgreSQL, MacPorts, other add-ons
Apple has confirmed on Thursday that all of its operating systems and key web services, as well as its website and iCloud service, are not affected by the "Heartbleed" SSL flaw that is threatening much of the web. The "Heartbleed" bug, a flaw in the implementation of later versions of OpenSSL -- which is used by many but not all websites to handle secure log-ins and other transactions -- has put as much as two-thirds of the World Wide Web at risk.
Xcode update a bug-fix release, iMovie adds features
A week after developers received the "golden master" for Xcode 5.1.1 (free), the minor update has been released to users by Apple. The 2.18GB program, which allows developers to author programs for OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks (10.8 and 10.9) as well as iOS 7.1, has received a handful of bug fixes, and improves the reliability of Quick Look within the debugger. In addition, Apple has updated iMovie for Mac to v10.0.3, which adds new sorting, title and font options.
Technology too 'notoriously difficult'
Apple's suspected movements towards in-house baseband development are unlikely to bear any fruit in new iPhones until 2015 at the earliest, says JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall. Baseband chips are said to be "notoriously difficult" to develop. As evidence he refers to Broadcom, which despite being the source of some of Apple's recent hires, struggled to develop an LTE modem.
Multiple sources confirm retirement was announced internally weeks ago
Earlier reports that senior iOS engineer and leader of Apple's Human Interface Group Greg Christie was leaving the company over tension with software and hardware design chief Sir Jonathan Ive appear to have been half-correct. Multiple sources have come forward to note that Christie is retiring, but had announced the move weeks ago internally.
Latest release comes with minor tweaks to new features
On Wednesday, Apple issued its sixth beta of the forthcoming maintenance release, 10.9.3. As with last week, developers are asked to focus on graphics drivers, audio, Mail, Safari and the newly-restored local syncing of contacts and calendar data over USB through iTunes. In earlier versions of iTunes 11, syncing was exclusively handled by iCloud. The new build, 13D38, is only five revisions higher than the previous release, suggesting that a public debut is likely to happen relatively soon.
New hires won't impact existing relationships, unrelated to 2012 dispute
According to venerable industry trade magazine Ad Age, Apple is again expanding and diversifying its advertising firms and staff. The iPhone maker is said to be adding as many as four digital-advertising agencies to its roster, presumably in an effort to beef up its mobile and online advertising efforts. Apple will continue its longstanding relationship with TBWA/Media Arts Lab as its main partner, despite some now well-publicized spats in late 2012 and early 2013.
Analysts predict 1.5 million Macs sold, Apple drops to fourth place
Compounding the usual decline in Mac and Windows PC sales following the holiday quarter, analysts IDC and Gartner say that the continuing worldwide drop in PC sales is affecting the entire industry, Apple included. While the Mac actually managed a 30 percent year-over-year increase in the last quarter of 2013, predictions for its first calendar quarter show a drop varying from 3.8 percent (Gartner) to seven percent (IDC). The overall PC market in the US is continuing to suffer from anemic or flat growth.
iTunes Radio failing to convert listeners into buyers
Apple is considering a major overhaul of the iTunes Music Store in light of iTunes Radio failing to slow the decline of music downloads, say anonymous executives allegedly familiar with the company's plans. One of the key features of iTunes Radio, from Apple's perspective, is the ease with which it lets people by music from the iTunes Store. Only about 1 to 2 percent of people are actually tapping the Buy button though, and overall music downloads have declined by more than 15 percent.
Could have significant impact on iOS 9 and beyond
Apple's Human Interface VP, Greg Christie, will soon leave the company following a conflict with design lead Jonathan Ive, sources say. Ive assumed control of both hardware and software interface design after iOS head Scott Forstall was forced out. Until this week, however, Christie was more directly responsible for Apple software design, and is credited not only with helping to invent the iOS interface -- including patented concepts like slide-to-unlock -- but influencing the direction of app design via his WWDC presentations.
Deframe version 1.5.1 released, features new video tools
Developer Einstein's Legacy has announced the release of its updated video tool software, Deframe. Allowing users the ability to extract high-quality still images and video clips from their footage, Deframe v 1.5.1 includes a redesigned user interface, new slide show creation, and the ability to share images via email or social media platforms. Deframe operations have been consolidated into a single window, providing a simplified interface for manipulating movies and extractions. Its slide show feature displays in a full screen mode, and can be navigated manually, or as a timed slide show. Available for $20 through the Mac App Store, Deframe requires OS X 10.8.5 or higher.
Google seen as most likely buyer
Both Apple and Google have explored buying mobile payment platform Square during the past year, sources say. Rumors about an acquisition have allegedly increased in recent weeks, with Google being picked as the most likely buyer, should a deal actually happen. No offers have been made though, and people close to Square's management say the company isn't actively chasing an acquisition.
May support rumors of Apple moving baseband design in-house
Two senior baseband engineers have left Broadcom for Apple this year, says AppleInsider. One of these is Paul Chang, who worked at Broadcom for 11 years, and was the RF hardware lead on baseband transceivers used by Nokia and Samsung. Chang's name is also on three Broadcom patents related to circuit manufacturing. According to his LinkedIn profile, Chang is now a senior program manager at Apple, having joined the company in February.
Apple's main FCPB supplier plans $100 million in upgrades
Three flexible PCB suppliers have reportedly been delivering validation samples to Apple in preparation for iWatch production, sources tell Digitimes. The people are scarce on other details, but do say they expect Apple to announce the iWatch in September. A company called Zhen Ding is said to be Apple's largest FPCB supplier, and planning to spend $100 million to upgrade its capacity not just for the iWatch, but for greater demand of iPhone and iPad parts.
Program seems to be in testing, wide deployment unknown
Apple is in the process of testing a new Maps error-reporting feature. Reports are surfacing that when users note errors in Apple's Maps iOS app, they given the option to receive a push notification when the error is rectified. Implementation is spotty, but has been reproduced in part by MacNN.
Apple reveals total damages and royalties sought from Samsung
The fourth day of testimony in the second Apple vs. Samsung trial has ended, with various Apple-hired experts and employees going over the nature of the patents at stake in Apple's part of the case. The jury also got a dose of history borrowed from the first patent trial, details about Apple's manufacturing process, and finally heard the full, exact amount that Apple is seeking from Samsung in terms of both damages due to lost sales as well as what it owes in royalties for its infringement: $2.191 billion.
Allows curators to easily incorporate iBeacons into exhibits, develop interactive guides
A Dutch startup called LabWerks is introducing a new platform aimed at museums, called mApp, that incorporates Apple's iBeacon technology to allow staffers to quickly and easily roll out interactive exhibits, potentially revolutionizing the mini-industry of museum tour self-guidance. The customizable mApp platform lets institutions use iBeacons that only trigger when visitors come within range of an exhibit, room or area of the museum where more information is available.