iOS 7.1 is out
This week saw the introduction of iOS 7.1, and yesterday Moderator "P" took to the MacNN forums to get the conversation started, saying that they hope this fixes the issues some iPad owners have had with iOS 7 Safari. "Will Apple release a 4K Thunderbolt Cinema Display soon?" asks one Fresh-Faced Recruit who is wanting to replace their 10 year old Apple Cinema Display.
iMacs from $1,049
At Apple's online store today save up to 22 percent off refurbished iMacs. At the low end of the pricing scale is the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, which has been cut by $250 to $1,049. A $300 discount lowers the cost of the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive down to $1,199.
MacBook Pros, SSDs and more
At MacMall's St. Patrick's Day blowout sale, save $449 on a 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro which has been cut from $2,199 down to $1,749.99. That beats the next lowest price by $330. This MBP features a 2.4GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage with Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics and Intel HD Graphics 4000. It is backed by a one year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
May better compete with Google Maps
Apple is working on a number of major improvements to Maps for iOS 8, sources say. These include using assets picked up through acquisitions of companies like BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop to make data more reliable. Apple is in fact said to be planning to insert more points of interest, and new labels, making it easier to find places like airports, parks, bus stops, and highways. The look of maps has reportedly been cleaned up in general, making streets easier to spot.
Could keep older Apple devices relevant for longer
Apple has won rights to a new US patent, Modifying operating parameters of a device based on aging information. The concept would bake aging detection circuitry into a device, set to react if parameters fall outside of a predefined scale, or using data collected from other users. As a device gets older, the circuitry could help optimize performance and extend battery life.
Institutional and volume buyers now get better price break
Organizations and enterprises that spend more than $5,000 a year on Apple products will be seeing an increased discount on volume buying of Apple hardware. Apple as of last week has improved its hardware volume purchasing discount, and added the unlocked iPhone and Apple TV to the program for the first time. The improvement in discount ranges from one to three percent, depending on the level of annual spending on Apple products.
Close to capturing second, but still far behind reigning champ Pandora
Barely six months after it debuted, Apple's iTunes Radio has already eclipsed Spotify and Google Play All Access (and others) to become the third most popular music streaming service in the US, according to a new report from Statista. While long-time veteran Internet radio station Pandora continues to maintain a clear lead over all rivals, it has taken 14 years for the latter service to reach its current level of 70 million active listeners (as of last April) and it continues to struggle with profits.
Apple first among smartphone makers, fourth when all mobile phones counted
Specific (and more importantly, accurate) country-by-country statistics when it comes to smartphones and "feature" cellphones are often hard to come by, but not in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country keeps detailed records on its telecom providers, providing complete records of mobile phone statistics. Apple has emerged as the top smartphone seller, though it runs far behind Nokia when all types of cellphones are counted.
Ironically patches loopholes that allowed Evasi0n jailbreak to work
In a backhanded compliment, the security notes accompanying today's release of iOS 7.1 thank the jailbreaking hacker team known as Evad3rs -- known for their jailbreaking software, Evasi0n -- for finding several security flaws, which iOS 7.1 patches. Ironically, these discoveries are also what made the Evasi0n jailbreaking software work, and thus iOS 7.1 "breaks" the software and un-jailbreaks any iOS devices using Evasi0n.
Highlights main features of new version, showcases CarPlay
Apple's release earlier on Monday of iOS 7.1 is considered significant enough to prompt the company to create a dedicated page for it, showing off some of the new features and improvements made in the release. The page covers the major "marquee" features of iOS 7.1, including support for CarPlay (in supported automobiles), automatic HDR selection, better control of Siri, changes to the Calendar and phone icons, and a bevy of bugfixes, along with improved performance for iPhone 4 users and other more subtle and optional tweaks.
Remote gains Apple TV upgrades
(Updated with Logic Remote news) In the wake of iOS 7.1 and Apple TV 6.1, Apple has released updates to Remote, Podcasts, and GarageBand for iOS, as well as Xcode and iAd Producer for desktops. While the Podcasts and GarageBand updates merely include bugfixes, Remote can now control iTunes Radio on an Apple TV. Apple TV owners have also gained the ability to browse purchased video through the app.
Bypasses Parental Controls menu
In tandem with iOS 7.1, Apple has released new firmware for the Apple TV, v6.1. While a relatively minor update, the code adds the ability to hide unwanted apps, a frequently-requested feature. It was previously only possible to change visible apps by blocking them through the Parental Controls menu. 6.1 can be downloaded through the Apple TV Software Update system.
Available for all iOS 7-compatible devices
After a lengthy development and testing period, Apple has released the finished version of iOS 7.1 to the public. The code makes a number of improvements to iOS 7, for instance enabling CarPlay support in yet-to-be-launched vehicles. Siri will now let users hold down the Home button to decide how long a device should listen, instead of having to wait for the system to decide no one is talking. More naturalistic voices have been supplied for Japanese, British and Australian English, and Mandarin Chinese.
Company so far focusing on small buyouts
A new Apple job listing is calling for an "acquisition integration analyst." The successful candidate will help to "deliver the successful integration of acquired companies," Apple writes, and "drive multiple integration work streams, identify issues and drive decisions while coordinating with experts throughout Apple," acting as a "central point of contact for integration information." The person will presumably report to the company's Mergers & Acquisitions head, Adrian Perica.
Initiative making gradual international expansion
As anticipated, the iPhone Reuse and Recycling program has been introduced at Canadian Apple Stores. The option lets people trade in an old iPhone for a gift card, usually to put towards the purchase of a new phone. In Canada, Apple is promising "up to $275" for previous devices.
First time the event has been held in the US, will stream live on web, iOS devices
Just a few days ahead of the beginning of the first US iTunes Festival, being held as part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, Apple has now re-added its iTunes Festival channel back to Apple TV, where concerts will be streamed live. Currently the channel also offers information on the concert schedule and background on the various acts, as well as a history of the festival -- which has previously only been held in London.
Case shrinks dramatically as Apple, Samsung agree to avoid SEP disputes
The second patent trial between Apple and Samsung, scheduled to start on March 31, took a dramatic turn late on Friday as the two companies filed a stipulation with the court dropping some of the claims and counter-claims to be debated in the second trial. Samsung, perhaps fearing further investigations over its improper use of standards-essential patents (SEPs) as legal weapons and bargaining tools, has agreed to drop all SEP claims from the case, leaving it with only two claims on two patents, down from its original five.
Agreement with Apple requires $28 million in marketing as well
After not carrying the iPhone for nearly four years because of a dispute about sales guarantees, Russia's second-largest carrier Megafon signed a new deal with Apple late last year to return to selling the popular smartphone. The new deal requires the carrier to buy at least 750,000 iPhones over the course of three years, and spend at least $28 million in marketing the smartphone. While not a high number compared to the US, the figure was called "reasonable" by Russian financial analysts.
Report confirms speculation that 5s outselling 5c by 3:1
A new report from mobile ad analysis firm Mixpanel has reinforced some speculation about the iPhone 5s, even as it has dispelled other rumors about the iPhone 5c. In its latest report, the company says that the iPhone 5s is set to top the popular iPhone 4s in user share, with the newer model currently accounting for about 19 percent of all active iPhones.
Apple likely to appeal portions as well, renew fight for product ban
With surprising speed, Samsung has now officially filed a notice of appeal over the final judgement in the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The last ruling in the case was handed down yesterday, when Judge Lucy Koh ruled in Samsung's favor that sales injunctions on the products it was found guilty of infringing Apple patents with were not warranted in the interests of competition. Apple is likely to appeal that portion of Judge Koh's rulings.
the future of Mac OS X debate continues
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to debate what the future of Mac OS X will hold, with some forum-goers noting that Microsoft is attempting major redesigns and customers are rejecting it. On another topic, "Can I delete apps without having to enter ID?" asked Mac Elite "jeff k" yesterday.
Mac Pro and Mac mini
This week at Apple's online store, find a wide selection of refurbished Mac Pro and Mac mini models. The refurbished 2012 Mac Pro with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive has seen a $360 price cut down to $2,139. A $560 discount is available on the refurbished Mac Pro with dual 2.4GHz six-core Xeon processors, 12GB of RAM and a 1T hard drive, bringing it down to $3,239.
iMacs, MacBook Pros and more
MacMall.com has reduced the price of a 27-inch iMac from $1,799 down to $1,349 with instant savings and a $100 mail-in-rebate, amounting to $449 in total discounts. That makes the deal about $50 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive with Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M graphics, two Thunderbolt ports, and OS X Mavericks comes pre-installed. Included is an Apple wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse and one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
iPhone still most popular device
Apple grew its share among US smartphone owners during the last quarter to 41.6 percent, according to new comScore data. Data polled between October and January shows that Apple advanced 1 percentage point. The company's main rival, Samsung, grew ownership by 1.3 points, but remained firmly in second place at 26.7 percent. LG's share rose just 0.3 points to 6.9 percent, presumably on the back of the G2 and the Google-branded Nexus 5.
ProtectCell report highlights iPhone, iPad desirability; tablet thefts rising
Third-party insurance firm ProtectCell has issued a report based on its two million policies with various mobile device owners, saying that while iPhone users are 46 percent less likely than other platform smartphone owners to need a replacement device due to accidental damage, they are 65 percent more likely to have their device get stolen or go missing than other groups.
Short video clip made available by Israeli PM's office
As reported previously, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple headquarters as part of a California-driven initiative to strengthen commercial ties between the state and Israel. In a short video posted to the prime minister's official YouTube channel, Netanyahu can be seen touring Apple's headquarters and posing with Cook ahead of a lunch meeting.
Users move to 7.0.6 quickly to avoid threat of SSL and VPN-based attack
Following the discovery of a dormant but serious flaw in iOS 6 and iOS 7's handling of VPN and SSL security and the release of a patch by Apple to handle the issue, advertising and content-presentation company Onswipe estimates that more than 50 percent of the entire iOS userbase has already moved to iOS 7.0.6 as of March 3, under two weeks since the update became available. The transition has set a record for the fastest in iOS history.
New Flagship store in San Francisco gains final approval
All obstacles have been cleared, and the long-planned Union Square flagship Apple Store has finally received final clearance from the San Francisco City Council to demolish the current standing building and begin renovations and construction on the new store. The new building will be a two-story structure with an all-glass frontage facing Union Square, utilizing a cantilevered design that features a patio and waterfall behind the store.
Graphics, audio requested as areas of focus in new build
Slightly less than two weeks after the public release of OS X 10.9.2, which brought FaceTime audio calling, Mail improvements and an important security fix to Mavericks, Apple is seeding the first beta of OS X 10.9.3, build 13D12, to developers. The brief release notes mention that developers are requested to focus on audio and graphic drivers in their testing. The previous update was released after approximately 14 weeks of testing across seven betas.
App visible in US, but downloads may be broken
[Updated: US version of the app now downloading normally] Apple appears to have released an updated iTunes Festival app, v5.0, with content support for next week's SXSW concerts in Austin, Texas. So far, though, mostly people outside the US have successfully downloaded the software; Americans trying to download it via iTunes are encountering errors saying the app is "unavailable." Likewise, the title doesn't appear in US App Store searches.
Changes could be wedged into iOS 7.1
Apple is "scrambling" to make changes to the way in-app purchases work ahead of an FTC deadline, a source tells ZDNet. As a part of its $32.5 million settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, Apple must fix flaws in the App Store that have allowed people -- mostly children -- to inadvertently rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars in iTunes charges. The deadline for those changes is just a few weeks from now, March 31st.
Repackaged iPhone doing poorly next to iPhone 5s
Due to poor sales, unsold inventory of the iPhone 5c has amassed to more than three million units, anonymous Taiwanese supply chain sources claim. Production of the phone is said to have been cut completely towards the end of 2013. Regardless, manufacturer Pegatron allegedly is said to have two million or so units in stock, with the remaining phones being held by carriers and distributors.
May be supplying tech related to Retina displays
A company specializing in image processing semiconductors and software, Pixelworks, has revealed itself as an official Apple supplier through a new filing with the SEC. In 2013 Apple is said to have accounted for more than 10 percent of Pixelworks revenue. The news has sent the latter company's share price surging, boosting it by about 53 to 54 percent in Thursday trading, or more than $2.58 per share.
Majority of shares due to vest in three intervals through 2018
Newly-published SEC filings reveal that on Wednesday, Apple awarded six top executives 35,780 restricted stock units each. Recipients include senior VP of Operations Jeffrey Williams; general counsel Bruce Sewell; senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller; senior VP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio; senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi; and finally, senior VP of Internet Software and services Eddy Cue.
Company failed to prove harm caused by Samsung patent infringement
A California court has denied Apple a renewed motion it sought for a permanent injunction against Samsung, according to reports. In December 2012, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh made the initial denial of a permanent injunction against 23 Samsung devices. Apple won a partial appeal of the ruling at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the denial of trade dress (design) patents, but handed back an injunction over software patents to Koh for review.
Practice is perfectly legal, admits government, but abused
Apple's practice over the past decade of funnelling all of its foreign profits through its international sales office in Cork, Ireland has allowed it to skip out on taxes in some other countries on billions of dollars in profits, according to an audit done by the Australian Financial Review. In Australia, Apple has paid only $200 million on ten years' worth of profits, totally nearly AUS $9 billion, the report said.
Original judge, DOJ misapplied antitrust law, 'ignored economic evidence'
Two economists from CalTech and NYU have filed an amicus curae ("friend of the court") brief that makes powerful arguments for a reversal of the verdict in the original bench trial overseen by Judge Denise Cote. Across more than 30 pages, they tell the appeals court that fundamental concepts of antitrust law and crucial economic evidence and reasoning were "disregarded" by the judge.
Tour of Silicon Valley part of California-Israel technology partnership deal
On Wednesday, visiting head of state Benjamin Netanyahu -- the prime minister of Israel -- met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and the founders of Facebook's recently-acquired WhatsApp as part of a tour of Silicon Valley, part of a state government initiative to forge stronger trade and business relationships between California and Israel. According to reports, Netanyahu had lunch with Cook at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.
First Apple outlet in Turkey
The delayed grand opening of the Istanbul Apple Store will take place on April 4, says local site ElmaDergisi. The report further claims that Turkish President Abdullah Gül will be present, along with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook only rarely appears at Apple Stores, and it's even rarer for major government officials to inaugurate a location.
System prevents visually impaired from entering own PINs
A recent class action lawsuit -- filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida -- charges that the point-of-sale devices used by Apple Store workers discriminate against the visually impaired. Because shoppers can't enter a debit card PIN by themselves, plaintiff David New argues, Apple is in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other retailers use POS devices with "tactiley discernible keypad surfaces," the complaint remarks, meaning that there's no fundamental reason why Apple Stores should be different.
Breaks down another distinction of iAd
Beginning sometime this year, companies advertising via iAd will be able to use fullscreen, auto-playing interstitial video ads on the iPhone/iPod touch as well as the iPad, according to Advertising Age sources. At the moment, a person has to tap an iAd banner to get a video to play. As interstitials the videos will likely play after certain in-app actions have finished, such as reading an article or finishing a game level.
May solve smartwatch interface problems
Apple is working to expand Siri's third-party app integration with the iWatch in mind, a new report says. Siri already interacts with some third-party apps, like OpenTable or Wolfram Alpha, but in every case so far the companies have had to forge deals with Apple. The new scheme would allow third-party integration without an expressly signed agreement.
Court filing points out double-standard in allegations
At the same time as it was accusing Samsung of leaking the same information, Apple publicly exposed the terms of its patent licensing terms with Nokia and NEC, Samsung remarks in its latest Apple v. Samsung lawsuit filing. In October, Apple filed a motion against Samsung as part of the original Apple v. Samsung case, alleging that Samsung's counsel -- Quinn Emanuel -- had inadvertently leaked licensing terms to Samsung executives, giving them an edge in corporate negotiations. In January the the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the latter was never sufficiently proven, and denied sanctions against Samsung, pinning the blame on counsel.
Touch ID fix on the way
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to discuss problems with Touch ID, and to many users' delight, Apple has announced that there is an iOS update in the works to fix the issue. Yesterday Grizzled Veteran "And.reg" turned to the forums looking for a reason why iTunes 7 is not showing any radio stations on a Powerbook G4 that they recently picked up.
MacBook Pros from $999
This week, Apple's online store is offering price cuts of up to $350 off refurbished MacBook Pro models. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive has been reduced by $200 to $999. For $1,099 is the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.
Judge said to be hesitant to go through with measure
A Belgian judge is considering whether to order local ISPs to block access to Apple websites in the country, local reports say. The measure is a possible response to charges of fraud brought by consumer protection group FPS Economy. FPS points out that while Apple has been claiming a standard warranty of just one year, European law mandates a minimum of two, at no extra cost. Apple has been asking Belgians to buy an extended AppleCare warranty to get two years of support.
News comes one day after appointment to Goldman Sachs board
In a surprise announcement, Apple has announced that its chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, will retire at the end of September. His replacement will be Luca Maestri, currently the company's VP of Finance and its corporate controller, who handled portions of the previous quarterly results presentation. A transition period is set to begin in June.
Pandora support could come down the road
As it stands, Apple's CarPlay doesn't currently support Pandora, according to an official statement. When CarPlay was announced on Monday, Apple initially highlighted just Spotify, Beats Radio, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and its own Podcasts and iTunes Radio as compatible music/podcast-themed apps. "At this time, Pandora is not integrated with Apple CarPlay," the Pandora statement reads. "As a first mover in the auto space, we continue to broaden our relationships with OEMs while also exploring other opportunities to expand our presence in the car. Apple has been and continues to be a valued partner."
Unusual single building will house 12,000 employees in far less space
One of the most overlooked factors in the spaceship-like ring design of Apple's forthcoming "Campus 2" is that the building is expected to house some 12,000 employees in a single (albeit enormous) structure -- about the same as Hewlett-Packard, the previous occupants of the land, house in more than 26 buildings formerly on the property. Chief Architect Norman Foster has recently revealed more details about the building's origins.
Could be playground for new campaign, effort to capture youth demographic
The advertising agency behind many of Apple's campaigns appears to have launched an official iPhone 5c Tumblr page, using the multi-media blogging space to showcase and promote the colors of Apple's iPhone 5c, called "ISee5c." While the junior of Apple's two current top phones is actually doing better than the iPhone 5 did at the same point in its history, reports have claimed that the fashionable phone is losing ground to the more advanced iPhone 5s.