Attorney responding to Comcast merger complaint spills the beans
Throwing some doubt on the veracity of earlier reports by the Wall Street Journal NBCUniversal has said in a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission that not only is it not keeping back content from any prospective Apple television network, it has not even been launched discussions with Apple in the first place. The revelation was made as part of an information request fulfilled by the programmer, answering questions about the prospective Time Warner Cable and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast's merger.
Launch of MacNN's twice-weekly Mac-specific gaming roundup
We've had some emails about our Sunday game roundup -- it turns out that some of you want Apple-specific gaming news, as sources for that seem to be in short supply these days. Today launches the first installation of a twice-weekly column, published on MacNN on Tuesdays and Fridays rounding up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at an interview with the developers of This War of Mine, an iOS game boosted by Apple that we reviewed earlier in the week, and the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate released as the fruit of a successful Kickstarter campaign.
how to erase and reinstall OS X and more
One Forum Regular turned to the MacNN Forums this week looking for advice on how to erase and reinstall OS X, and found some useful information which might be helpful to anyone else who is trying to do this. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is looking for help trying to access data in an administrator account after their computer froze and was forced to shut down.
up to 24 percent off 13-inch MacBook Pros
This week at Apple's online store, chose from a wide selection of refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro models and save up to 24 percent off. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive is now available for $829 after a $270 discount. For $929, upgrade to a 13.3-inch MBP with Retina display, 2.4GHz intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.
Class action given go-ahead by appeals court over privacy violating data collection
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has dismissed an attempt by Google to prevent British computer users from being able to sue it in England. The landmark hearing followed an earlier defeat for Google in the English High Court in which it was unsuccessful in preventing three British computer users from having the right to sue it for breach of privacy, after the computer giant ignored users wishes not to have tracking cookies placed on their computers.
Prognostications after long term use of Apple's set top box
Once upon a time, there was a nascent technologist in the early part of the century. This writer was flummoxed by having to burn DVD for video playback for his occupation at the time, given the cost of the media. Then, a certain Cupertino fruit-branded computer company released the Mac mini's first iteration. Connected with a $20 video dongle, and an audio adapter, the (at the time) cutting-edge concept of a computer connected to a television solved many local problems. Apple, and this technologist, have both come a long way since then. The vast majority of the functionality of a Mac mini connected to a TV was replaced by the Apple TV shortly thereafter. The future is bright, but vague, for Apple's once-hobby. What's come before, and what's yet to come?
New interview discusses pressures of leadership, higher profile of colleagues
On Thursday, Fortune magazine named Apple CEO Tim Cook to the top spot of its "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," which largely refers to business and industry leaders rather than government officials. The honor came with a new interview with Cook as well as some of those who work with him, and addresses many of Cook's and the company's successes (and a few missteps) in the lengthy profile.
Trade-up program for older iPhones expected to kick off March 31
According to reports, Apple is set to launch an iPhone trade-in program in China on March 31, joining several existing programs in other countries around the world, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and a number of European countries, among others. Users will be able to bring in older iPhone and trade it in for store credit towards a newer model. The program has been shown to boost sales.
Women's fashion targeted in Australian magazine spread on Apple Watch
Following recent magazine features that focused on the fitness and athletic aspects of the Apple Watch, and a recent spread showcasing the Watch going with men's fashion, another recent foreign-magazine spread has returned the device back onto the wrists of female models, with suggestions on how to dress to best highlight the image the Apple Watch conveys. Elle Australia's fashion editor and editor-in-chief weigh in on the device.
Other members include Microsoft, LinkedIn, Evernote, DropBox, many others
Nearly all of the tech industry, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and LinkedIn have co-signed a letter to the US government, calling for reform of Section 215 of the Patriot Act before it expires and is likely renewed in May. The coalition is seeking an "effective end to bulk collection" of user metadata, "transparency and accountability mechanisms" for federal and industry reporting, and eased declassification of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decisions.
Beats integration, iTunes overhaul likely to be on agenda for WWDC in June
A new article in The New York Times describes in some detail the alleged transition plans Apple is undertaking to transform both iTunes and Beats Music, it's acquired subscription streaming service. Among other details, the report assigns roles to iTunes Radio chief Zane Lowe, who until recently was a top BBC Radio 1 DJ, and describes musician Trent Reznor as a "point man" on an iOS Music app overhaul.
Connectivity down globally, but issue resolved by 11:30AM ET
A widespread but apparently brief outage was reported to have affected Apples online digital storefronts this morning, such as the App Store, iTunes Store and Mac App Store. The problem appeared to occur worldwide, but Apple's System Status Page did not acknowledge the issue until hours after it was resolved, which occurred at approximately 8:30AM Pacific. The company suffered a much longer and more severe outage just two weeks ago.
Former Panasonic factory to be repurposed, joins other new global facilities
First announced late last year by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese media and the mayor of the host city have confirmed that Apple will begin repurposing part of a former Panasonic plant into a new research and development center late this year, which is expected to open sometime in 2016. Apple has recently opened similar offices in China, Israel, and will be adding England to the list shortly.
Government websites seeing 25 of traffic from Apple devices
A measurement of US government web traffic has revealed that 26 percent of visits come from Apple devices -- with nearly 17 percent originating from iOS devices, with another nine percent from Macs. This puts the platform at about one-half the traffic generated by Windows devices (58 percent), with Android devices in third place with 14 percent. The data comes from analytics of over 300 government websites.
Drought-stricken state encouraging water-recycling projects in new construction
The Water District Board and other entities have approved a measure to work with Apple on the creation of a water recycling pipeline from Sunnyvale to Apple's Campus 2 headquarters in Cupertino. The $17.5 million project, partially funded by Apple, will provide the new facility with non-potable water to use for systems such as sprinkler systems, landscaping users, toilets and more starting in late 2016.
May have plans to integrate services into iTunes, Apple TV, iCloud
A new report claims that Apple has purchased FoundationDB for an undisclosed sum. The company was best known for its NoSQL, ACID-compliant database software, which offered super-fast speeds that Apple may want to improve its database-related web services, ranging from Apple TV and iTunes in the Cloud to iCloud generally.
This week in the MacNN forums, Fresh-Faced Recruit "Pootie Tang" raised a red flag over an incident they had with Safari that they believe to be caused by a virus, thought they quickly discovered it was just easily-removable adware. Mac Elite "And.reg" has been having bizarre issues with trying to get iCloud keychain working, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.
27-inch iMacs from $1,489
At Apple's online store today, chose from a wide variety of refurbished 27-inch iMacs. The entry level 27-inch iMac model is priced at $1,489 after a $310 discount and features a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive. A $340 discount drops the cost on the refurbished 27-inch iMac with a 3.4GHz quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive down to $1,659.
Fourth iOS 8.3 beta shows no progress on known issues, likely arriving next month
Apple issued a fourth developer beta of iOS 8.3 on Tuesday, one day after an updated OS X 10.10.3 beta emerged. In addition, the company released the second version of a "public" 8.3 beta to registered public Appleseed testers, which is identical to the developer beta. Also included was a new, fourth beta of Xcode 6.3, which includes Apple's Swift coding language, version 1.2.
Apple TV gains three additional channels amid talk of fall revamp
On Tuesday, Apple added three channels to its ever-expanding Apple TV lineup, bringing Young Hollywood, Tastemade, and TED to current-generation (black) Apple TV boxes. The TED app channel brings access to over 2,000 lectures and performances, with existing TED members able to sign in and sync viewing and watch lists across devices, as well as bringing the personalized "lean back" autoplay feature to the Apple TV.
Users of new 13-inch MBP, forthcoming MacBook can take advantage of pressure sensitivity
The first third-party drawing app designed for the new Force Touch trackpad, found on the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro and the forthcoming MacBook, has arrived alongside an iMovie update from Apple that adds compatibility with the new technology as well. Inklet and Autograph from Ten One Design have been updated to support the pressure-sensitivity features, while iMovie has gained haptic feedback for certain commands.
First products with Bang & Olufen to appear 'this spring'
HP and Bang & Olufsen today announced a collaboration that brings the sound and engineering of Bang & Olufsen and B&O Play to HP's PCs, tablets and accessories. The move was made necessary by Apple's purchase and cessation of nearly all licensing programs of the Beats brand, previously found on a wide array of HP products.
Raid in 2013 first step in hunting down diverted Apple profits
The Italian government has concluded its investigation into Apple's tax practices in the country, and diversion of profits generated in Italy to its Ireland operation. The investigation's completion, which spans tax years 2008 through 2013, paves the way for the Italian government bring Apple to trial in Italy with nearly $1 billion in taxes owed at stake, though it is unclear if the government found enough evidence of any malfeasance to bring the case forward.
Absorbing and informed new look at the man's life
Becoming Steve Jobs is an engrossing account of the Apple CEO's life, and very specifically on his journey to becoming a businessman with art and style. It's not as well written as Leander Kahney's Jony Ive book but it's significantly better than Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography.
Apple quietly revolutionizes the trackpad with Force Touch
The new 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display looks exactly like the model that it replaces, though it remains comfortably the most beautifully designed and finished full-power 13-inch notebook on the market. Beneath the hood, however, it has been substantially reengineered with Intel's new 5th-generation Core i5 or i7 dual-core processors, also known by their "Broadwell" codename as well as flash storage that is twice as fast as the previous model. Nice. As an unexpected bonus, Apple has also included its brand new Force Touch trackpad to the equation, which is in many ways the real star of the show.
Apple launches web page offering free Apple Pay decal kits for businesses
A new webpage is offering merchants who support Apple Pay compatibility free decals and a guide to placement to help them make customers aware that they accept Apple's mobile payment technology. The free kit offers both window and smaller register decals, can now be ordered online for quantities up to five. For larger orders, merchants must call a special toll-free phone number.
Version is identical to new update for Appleseed testers
On Monday, Apple issued the fifth beta version of OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite to developers. The latest version, which comes on the heels of the previous fourth release that was aimed solely at new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro users, is also being released to registered public beta users as the second such version. The forthcoming Photos app has been updated (though it still has some known issues), as well as Yosemite's recovery tools.
Pioneer debuts second-generation NEX in-dash receivers with CarPlay, Android Auto
Auto audio accessories maker Pioneer has debuted a new series of second-generation NEX receivers that feature both CarPlay and Android Auto baked in, replacing earlier models that added CarPlay compatibility through a firmware update. Versions are available with either resistive touch or capacitive touch screens, ranging from $700 to $1,400 for aftermarket installation. The new models add support for Android Auto, and offer better touch sensitivity, brighter screens, and better color vibrancy.
Combination of larger screens, Apple Pay, Apple Watch intriguing Android users
Investment firm Cowen and Company has opted to raise its year-end target price on Apple stock to $135 following a survey it conducted with existing smartphone owners around the world. After polling some 3,000 people in various regions, the firm discovered that 25 percent of all iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus sales are coming from Android switchers, who are persuaded not just by the larger displays.
Inner circle felt need to help provide more complete picture of complex leader
After a long period of refusing to participate, and following some "reflection" on how Jobs was portrayed in his own authorized biography, Apple executives reversed course and agreed to be interviewed for a new biography on the mercurial co-founder and twice-CEO of Apple. Due to go on sale tomorrow, Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, includes statements made by CEO Tim Cook and numerous other Apple executives, a first for the company since Jobs' death in 2011.
Disrupting industries is the new black, great apps and fair app prices, bad jokes
The MacNN Podcast episode seven is now available, and this week we looked at the rumor that Apple is preparing to revamp the Apple TV and sweeten the pot with an optional package of channel offerings that don't require a cable subscription; Google's entry into the MVNO space; the recent Microsoft announcements about Windows 10; Facebook getting into inter-site payments; the return of Launcher to the App Store, and the removal of so-called "anti-virus" iOS apps; our latest "Living With" column; and our favorite apps of the week.
New blog update from model and athlete ties training to Apple Watch
As promised, Apple has posted an update on the blog for model, athlete, and activist Christy Turlington Burns as she prepares for the London Marathon, having only recently completed the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon in Tanzania. In the entry, Burns noted that after two week at home in New York, she flew to London to begin the training, and "put the Modular face on my Apple Watch right away" to get more at-a-glance information.
Apple employees used as health, fitness test subjects for Watch, HealthKit
In an unusual move for the normally-secretive company, Apple has allowed ABC News crews access to a previously top-secret heath and fitness lab that was designed to test and improve the Apple Watch. A report on the facility, which aired on Nightline on Friday, showed the nondescript building where the company created its full gym and testing facility, centered around activity.
New Pro, Air, MacBook now require Windows 8 or later; VMs still support Win7 for now
Apple's traditional zeal to push users forward extends even to its support for a rival platform, as the latest MacBook refreshes -- the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 13-inch MacBook Air, and the forthcoming MacBook -- now require Windows 8 or later to work with Boot Camp, Apple's tool to create a dedicated Windows partition for users who need the compatibility. The company first dropped Windows 7 with the latest Mac Pro in 2013.
New device will be available for try-ons, reservations at Apple Stores on April 10
As Apple has previously stated, the Apple Watch will get its first large-scale public debut beginning April 10, when potential buyers or the idly curious can visit their nearest Apple Store to check out the new device in person, and perhaps to place a reservation for a unit that will be available beginning April 24. Employees will take up to 15 minutes per customer to help those interested try on, learn to use, and educate buyers about the new device.
iCloud keychain issues, Office 2016 for Mac and more
Yesterday in the MacNN Forums, members discussed bizarre issues with trying to get iCloud keychain working in a thread started by Mac Elite "And.reg," who was baffled about "what the heck is going on." "What do you think of Office 2016 for Mac?" asks Mac Elite "schalliol," who is looking for opinions about Office, and not looking for alternatives.
Macs from $419
Right now at Apple's online store, get bargain prices on refurbished Macs -- starting as low as $419. The Mac mini with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive has been reduced by $80 to $419. Priced at $809, after a $240 discount, is the refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB of flash storage.
Will be able to run selected iOS apps, offer storage, HomeKit support, more
Citing unnamed "sources familiar with the company's plans," a new report claims that Apple's long-awaited Apple TV revamp is finally about to appear, with the company allegedly planning to show off the new device at the Worldwide Developer's Conference this June. According to the report, the set-top box would see an increase of storage, its own dedicated App Store and SDK, a revised interface, and more.
Move intended to capture more of the burgeoning digital audio ad market
Apple has brought its iAd platform to iTunes Radio, and is now offering programmatic ad buying. Alongside the new offering, the Cupertino company is giving ad buyers additional customer targeting ability, with Apple's "Customer Match" tool which indexes customers based on iTunes purchases and behavior in its app stores, linked to an automatic IDFA mobile identifier, rather than manual pairing.
Leading reseller B&H gets Apple mini-store at brick-and-mortar Manhattan HQ
Although many MacNN readers will be familiar with B&H Photo Video through the company's online site via its frequent mention in our various deals posts, the firm is actually the largest non-chain electronics retailer in the United States, having a midtown Manhattan location since 1973 and being a widely-recognized photo, video, and Apple specialist. Earlier this week, the store opened its Apple-authorized "store within a store" focusing on Apple products.
Early 2015 MacBooks, MacBook Pros get separate version
Apple on Thursday has updated OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 (only) with a new security update. While details are not available, the update could possibly be the first to address an https vulnerability known as FREAK, which can compromise secure web browsing on a variety of systems and applications. In addition, the company has issued an update for iPhoto to further help with the eventual transition to Photos, as well as clear up a few bugs.
MacNN and Electronista deals for March 19, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour the Internet's major retailers to uncover the finest price cuts and discounts on technology and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's recap of deals from earlier in the week is accompanied by a swathe of new additions, including a GoPro Hero4 bundle, the SteelSeries Stratus, and an extremely cheap memory upgrade.
Apple releases new Safari betas for OS X 10.9 and 10.8
On Wednesday, Apple updated the developer versions of Safari with two new betas aimed at users of older OS X versions, specifically 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks). The new versions follow a slight update to the current Safari versions for OS X 10.8 and later that contains several WebKit fixes for security issues. Version 7.15 is for Mavericks, while Mountain Lion owners will see only version 6.2.5.
A little fine-tuning will result in delightful listening
Apple's iTunes Radio is one of those things that is criminally underused by most Mac and iOS users, and its a shame: the service is really very good -- and with a tiny amount of effort, can be as, or more, enjoyable than even Pandora One or the other subscription streaming music services, not to mention cheaper. In this post, we're going to show you how to create, and then fine-tune, a custom station that features music you love and compatible new discoveries.
Potential but unwieldy security threat to those running pre-iOS 8.1.1
A new device on the market costing $300 could be used by attackers to crack the PIN codes on iOS devices running system versions older than iOS 8.1.1. While the chances of it being used on someone's personal device are extremely low -- since it requires both physical access to the device as well as a great deal of time -- users can protect their devices and foil the so-called "IP Box" attack by moving to a more complex passcode.
CEO vows to improve quality, says collaboration is why Apple is better
Following an excerpt from the forthcoming biography called Becoming Steve Jobs about the mercurial co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the company's current leader Tim Cook was interviewed by Fast Company about what has changed -- and what has stayed the same -- since Jobs' untimely death in 2011. In the wide-ranging conversation, Cook owns up to some growing pains, but says the spirit of Jobs lives on.
Big China carriers now offering latest LTE-capable iPad models for first time
Apple's sales in China are set to further increase now that the country's second- and third-largest carriers will offer the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the latest iPads, the first time China Unicom and China Telecom have been able to do so. The special iPad models, which vary slightly from the North American and European versions, will support China's proprietary TD-LTE and FDD-LTE standards, as well as other LTE versions.
Apple hints that Apple Watch has received FCC approval
Apple on Tuesday removed disclaimer language from its Apple Watch web page, signalling that it has obtained approval for sale of the device in at least the US, if not all the major countries where Apple is currently planning to launch the Apple Watch at retail beginning April 24. The Watch will be available for preview and pre-ordering -- but not for sale -- at Apple Stores beginning April 10 in select countries.
Email not always working between GMail, iCloud accounts
Some users are having issues with iCloud-based accounts, such as those ending with @me.com or @icloud.com not receiving messages from GMail, an issue that Apple is aware of and is working to fix. The problem is inconsistent in nature, but most often marked by a timeout message from Apple's servers that blames "too many rejections" and encourages users to try again later.
Port is full of potential, but accompanied with loss of Magsafe
Apple spent very little time detailing USB Type C alongside its new MacBook -- this is expected, given the magnitude of the overall announcement. Despite a spec for it being released in parts over the last two years, USB Type C isn't well understood, and we'd like to help. So, once again, MacNN and Electronista have pored over some of the technical documents so you don't have to.