Figure significantly higher than unofficial tracking
New data from Apple -- based on Sunday traffic at the App Store -- indicates that iOS 8 adoption is actually up to 46 percent of iOS devices, despite lower numbers tracked by third-party firms. Apple's figures put iOS 7 at 49 percent, and iOS 6 or earlier at 5 percent. iOS 8 became available for compatible devices on September 17th, and is pre-installed on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which launched Friday.
MacNN and Electronista weekly deals for September 19, 2014
Standing in line at the Apple store? We aren't, so this afternoon we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best deals on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy. We do add deals over the weekend, so keep checking!
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.
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.
Should include new iPads, OS X Yosemite
(Updated with October 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.
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.
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.
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.
Features relegated to October
Two key iOS 8 features -- SMS Continuity and iCloud Photo Library -- have been pushed to October. The delay was quietly mentioned in a press release from earlier this week. Even when Photo Library does appear, it will only be in beta form. The feature has meanwhile been removed from Apple's iCloud marketing page, and it can't be found in the iOS 8 gold master.
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.
May require iOS 8, hardware upgrade in order to play true 24-bit audio files
Audio and video equipment maker Philips has debuted a new headphone set for iOS devices that offers a pair of distinct differences: it features 24-bit digital-to-analog conversion and amplification built right within the headphones, and it uses a Lightning connector rather than a standard 3.5mm connector. The Fidelio M2L headphones are said to the first to use the Lightning connector.
Formerly Mac-only app makes use of iOS 8 Extensions
Panic will be bringing its Transmit FTP file manager to iOS with the release of iOS 8, according to an announcement. The new app is currently in beta, and will be able to handle both FTP and local files. Apple's forthcoming iOS 8 is essential, because the app will make heavy use of Extensions; separate apps will be able to save files to a local Transmit folder, or else use Transmit to upload to FTP/SFTP, WebDAV, and Amazon S3 servers.
Exploits hooks in new OS
The system-integrated version of SwiftKey's mobile keyboard will be coming to iOS next week with the launch of iOS 8 on September 17, the developer has confirmed. A SwiftKey iOS app -- Note -- already exists, but is largely self-contained. The new app will take advantage of iOS 8's support for system-wide third-party keyboards.
Priced at A$129 each, service fees vary per device
As anticipated, Apple has introduced AppleCare+ plans to Australia. Separate plans cover the iPhone, iPad, and iPods. Each plan is priced at A$129, but has different service fees for accidental damage. The iPhone fee is A$99, whereas it's just A$65 for an iPad. iPods are subject to a A$45 fee.
Likely to be final pre-release versions of each
Apple has started seeding the gold master versions of iOS 8 and Xcode 6 to developers. The former is build 12A365, while the latter is 6A313. Both should be the identical to the versions that reach the public, barring the discovery of serious bugs that might prevent the software from working, or create serious security issues.
Two days ahead of new iPhones
During today's Apple press event, the company quickly mentioned that iOS 8 will be available to download free starting on September 17. The oldest devices compatible with it will be the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and fifth-generation iPod touch. It will come preloaded on Apple's newest devices, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Small, handy mic add-on enhances iOS recordings
Blue Microphones, a company that makes some of the most popular digital USB microphones among podcasters and musicians, has for some time made a Mikey clip-in microphone for 30-pin iOS devices that significantly enhanced the sound quality of recordings. The company has now brought out a new model -- the Mikey Digital -- designed for Lightning-based devices, and introduced a few new tricks in the process. While not the equal of Blue's more expensive desktop mics, it is a godsend for on-the-go recording. Is it right for you? Check out our review for samples and insight on this little wonder.
A larger iPad allows for full-size keyboard, split screen multitasking
Rumors recently surfaced again that Apple could be planning to introduce a larger iPad, perhaps up to 12.9-inches in size and as early as the first quarter of 2015. This could well go a long way to making the iPad an excellent Office-style productivity tool, with particular appeal to enterprise. Even though the iPad has been a resounding success since its introduction in late 2010 with over 224 million sold, third quarter sales figures for 2014 saw a 9 percent decline, which Apple CEO Tim Cook downplayed as a 'speed bump.' We recently looked at the question of iPad productivity now that Microsoft Office is available for the platform when coupled. Even when combined with a nicely designed product like the Logitech Keyboard Folio for iPad Air, the current 9.7-inch model when used in that way is not ideal.
Could be harbinger of expansion to other countries
AppleCare+ plans should be on sale in Australia in the next few weeks, a source says. Apple Store workers are expected to start sales training within days. Unlike regular AppleCare plans, AppleCare+ options include reduced fees for fixing accidental damage to iPhones and iPads. It's not clear what those fees might be in Australia, nor what the overall plans will cost.
References to service appear in iTunes Connect
As it prepares for the launch of iOS 8 later this month, Apple has made public its official TestFlight app. The software requires iOS 8, but lets owners participate in beta tests via email invitations from developers. The app's interface is relatively simple, used mostly to fetch available updates and launch existing downloads. Notes for each app explain changes, what a developer wants to test, and when a release is set to expire.
Likely to fix leftover glitches
Even though iOS 8 has yet to be released, Apple is already on the verge of seeding iOS 8.0.1 to its testing partners, sources say. The firmware is expected to be seeded shortly, and carry unspecified enhancements to iOS 8.
Violations include excessive overtime, lack of protective gear
Another Apple supplier, Catcher Technology, is being accused of violating labor and safety standards, according to The New York Times. The paper says that two groups -- Green America, an environmental non-profit, and China Labor Watch -- have found that workers at a Catcher-owned factory in Suqian, China are being forced to work excessive overtime and in unsafe conditions. Although Catcher has contracts with other electronics firms, Apple is a major client, for whom it produces metal iPad and MacBook shells.
One combination pen and stylus released, two Bluetooth pens shown
Wacom has unveiled a series of new devices at the German IFA show this week. Starting the reveals are the third-generation Bamboo Stylus Solo and Bamboo Stylus Duo as a combination with a traditional ball pen for use on capacitive devices and paper. Also revealed are the Intuos Creative Stylus 2 for sketching, drawing and painting on an iPad. Finally, the Bamboo Fineline is a smart stylus with new "thin tip" technology for precise work with an iPad.
Switch toggles between Bluetooth-connected devices
Logitech has announced a new keyboard peripheral, the K480. While usable as a generic, compact Bluetooth keyboard, the K480 is more versatile in being able to connect to three devices simultaneously, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Chrome OS devices. A dial lets users change which device is being controlled.
Tablet should be thinner, faster, equipped with Touch ID
Supply firms are ramping up production for the second-generation iPad Air, sources say. The people indicate that touch panel makers like TPK and GIS are receiving Apple orders for full-lamination units. Sharp, Japan Display, and LG Display -- typically believed to be the tablet's main LCD suppliers -- are also reportedly receiving an uptick in orders, but for the iPhone.
Includes Home, Personal tiers
Microsoft has today updated the Office iPad apps -- including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- with in-app purchases of monthly Office 365 subscriptions. These are divided into Personal and Home tiers. The first costs $7 per month, and is limited to one iPad and one PC/Mac. It does, however, come with 1TB of cloud storage, and 60 minutes of Skype calling to cellphones and landlines.
iPad mini for $200
Right now at BestBuy.com, get the 16GB iPad mini in Space Gray on sale for $200. That is $100 off the list price of $300, and about $50 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This iPad features a Retina display, 1GHz A5 dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, iSight camera and a FaceTime front-facing camera. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
iPads, iMacs and curved HDTVs
Staples.com is currently offering a $30 price cut on the 32GB iPad Air in Space Gray, which drops the cost from $599 down to $569. Use coupon code '11605' at checkout to drop the price down to $469, beating the next lowest price by more than $65. This iPad features 32GB of storage space, a 9.7-inch Retina display, A7 chip with M7 motion coprocessor, built-in Wi-Fi, 5MP iSight camera, FaceTime HD camera and a battery that lasts for up to 10 hours. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Extended warranty available for both iPhones and iPads
A leaked internal memo seems to reveal that Costco's in-store wireless kiosks may begin offering AppleCare+ on iPhones and iPads beginning on Thursday, August 28. The offer applies only to devices activated at the kiosk rather than iPhones or iPads that may be offered on the main sales floor. Costco resumed selling iTunes gift cards after a nearly four-year dispute with Apple ended in early June; iPhone and iPad sales were resumed just before the end of that month.
Original deal tainted with cost overruns, conflicts of interest, other issues
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that both Apple and educational curriculum and textbook publisher Pearson will re-bid on a new contract to supply the LA United School District (LAUSD) with computer and tablet options as part of a program that could eventually grow to $500 million. Both companies were the core of the previous contract that would have seen all students receiving iPads, but questions of cost overruns, problems and lack of transparency combined to force the district to cancel that arrangement.
PayPal offering discounted UK iTunes cards at 25 percent off
PayPal is currently offering digital iTunes cards at 25 percent off for UK customers. Users can purchase iTunes codes to redeem for music, films, TV programs, games, apps and more from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store and the App Store. Content purchased can be accessed on iOS devices and Mac or PC computers. The discount offer is available until tonight at 11:59 BST.
Program will also include 1,000 MacBook models, rise to $8 million per year
Even as questions arise about the LA Unified School District's handling of its botched and now-abandoned iPad program, Apple continues to win school districts over to the tablet. The St. Paul School District in Minnesota is launching a program that will offer tens of thousands of iPads to students in a total of 61 schools over time, with an initial rollout to 37 schools in the city. The district is leasing the equipment from Apple, which includes up to 1,000 unspecified MacBook models.
Apple makes changes to iAd, opens platform to Russia, Switzerland
Apple continues to tweak its iAd mobile advertising platform, now offering new formats, including full-screen interstitial ads (as often seen on iTunes Radio in iTunes) as well as Facebook-style "pre-roll" videos where video clips begin playing silently until clicked on by users, which opens the full video with sound. A new implementation guide has also been issued with the updated offerings. Additionally, the company says that the iAd network is now available in Russia and Switzerland beginning today. Ad creators can choose to update their ads to target either or both countries using iAd workbench, notes 9to5Mac.
Every category being hit, CEO says
Flattening iPad sales during the last two quarters are nothing to worry about, says Apple CEO Tim Cook in a new interview. "We couldn't be happier with how we've done with the first four years of the iPad," he tells Re/Code's Walt Mossberg. "I'd call what's going on recently a speed bump, and I've seen that in every category."
Next-gen iPad Air, iPad mini models already entering assembly
Apple suppliers are preparing to build a long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad, with production scheduled to start by the first quarter of 2015, sources tell Bloomberg. The unnamed sources don't have any further details on the tablet, except that Apple has been working with suppliers for a year or more to develop larger touchscreen devices. As for the iPad Air and iPad mini, a new Air is said to be in production now, while a new Mini is on the cusp. Both should ship later this year.
Superintendent, deputy had close links to Apple, Pearson
The superintendent of Los Angeles' Unified School District, John Deasy, has formally suspended future implementation of an iPad contract with Apple. "Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple," he writes in a memo issued to the Board of Education. "Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the [project]."
Fills out iOS productivity suite
Google is today launching a new iOS app, Slides. Much like Microsoft PowerPoint, Slides lets people create and edit presentations. Because these files are stored in the cloud, users can start work on one device and continue on another, including via the Slides web app. Collaboration features let several people work on a presentation simultaneously; any changes to a file are saved automatically, and the app can work both on and offline. Offline changes are uploaded after reconnection.
Magnus iPad stand uses magnets to hold tablet in place
Ten One Design has announced the release of its new iPad stand, Magnus, which uses magnets to hold the tablet in place. Designed to work with iPad Air, the low-profile stand features aluminum finishing and is minimally visible from the front of the tablet. Its rubberized magnetic grip protects the refined aluminum enclosure of the iPad from unwanted scratches, additionally providing surface traction. Weighing less than two ounces, its 22-degree viewing angle offers a suitable positioning for viewing in landscape mode. The Magnus Air is priced at $40.
Tablet has been popular with medical sector, gov't calls hospital a 'model' for others
One day after US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald called the Palo Alto Veterans Administration hospital one of the "crown jewels" of the VA healthcare system," the facility received a visit from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who tweeted that he was "honored" to meet doctors alongside California legislator Anna Eshoo, noting that the facility is "now using iPads to help treat vets and families." The message was accompanied by a photo of Cook with an iPad-using staffer.
Releases $2.6M Apple bond covering never-enacted Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban
On Wednesday, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on two motions in the ongoing leftover matters related to the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The first ruling denied Apple the opportunity to recover attorney's fees from Samsung related to its guilty verdict on trade dress claims, and the second returned a $2.6 million Apple bond the company had put up to enforce a sales injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was found to have copied Apple's iPad technology. No action was ever taken on the ban due to the appeals process, and both companies have since agreed to drop the injunction.
Retailers looking to clear out old stock
Best Buy is conducting a one-day sale on all its iPad Air models, cutting their costs by $75 each. That makes a 16GB Wi-Fi Air $425, and a 16GB 4G Air $555. The most expensive iPads -- 128GB 4G models -- have been lowered to $855. A further $50 discount on any of the models is available to educational buyers.
iWatch may have 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage
The second-generation iPad Air should see a switch from 1GB to 2GB of RAM, according to a Taiwanese site, TechNews. The third-gen iPad mini, however, will allegedly retain 1GB, according to the publication. That would be a reversal of last year, when the Mini was made equivalent to full-sized iPads in everything but size.
Organization debuts new Tablets/Slates category, required for gov't purchasing
The Apple iPad is overwhelmingly dominant in a new EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) category covering tablets and slates. Out of 135 devices currently registered, 134 are simply different configurations of the iPad Air, iPad mini, and fourth-generation iPad. The one non-Apple entry is the Dell Venue 11 Pro.
Compelling endorsement from Morgan Stanley may encourage buyers
Apple's stock closed on Tuesday with a new 52-week high, and at one point in the day threatened to top its all-time highest stock price (based on straight split-adjustment). It officially closed at $100.53, not far from its all-time split-adjusted high of $100.72, though it hit $100.68 in intra-day trading. The company's valuation also rose to a market cap of $602 billion.
First-gen iPad minis on clearance in anticipation of new models
Target stores in the US and its online store are now offering first-generation iPad minis at clearance prices, selling the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model for $199 -- a price that is lower or equal to most competing (but smaller) seven-inch tablets, such as the Kindle HDX or Google's Nexus 7. The price is $100 lower than the normal retail price in all configurations, and $20 below Apple's own price for its refurbished model. The sale also offers $50 off the price of the iPad Air in all configurations. The promotion is good for "this week only," and is based on limited amounts of stock, according to the Target website.
Slight change could make cables more convenient
A new photo (below) from well-known leak source Sonny Dickson shows what's said to be an Apple Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector. While current official cables are reversible on the Lightning end, the USB connector can only be facing a single direction when it's plugged into a computer. Dickson isn't the first person to show images of updated Lightning cables, but a leak from last week came from a more questionable source, especially since third parties manufacture Lightning cables with and without Apple's permission.
Gameplay appears to follow decade-old collectible card game
Nintendo property The Pokemon Trading Card Game is coming to the iPad. Following a tease of the game during the Pokemon World Championships currently underway in Washington DC, official representatives have confirmed the title, and that it is coming out on the iPad "later this year." The Pokemon Company has several properties on iOS, but this will be the first game to appear on the platform.
TweetDeck updated for OS X, adds Regional + City level Trends
TweetDeck by Twitter has received an update for OS X. The app is designed for publishers, marketers and power users of Twitter, and features a customizable layout for the social networking platform. Tweetdeck v3.8.4 offers the ability to find locally trending topics for Regions and Cities, adding a column based on the trend.
iMacs, iPads, printers and more
At BestBuy.com this week, get the 21.5-inch iMac for $990. That's $110 off the list price of $1,100, and the lowest price we have seen by $10. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This iMac features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple. This configuration is also available in open-box condition for $921.
Manchester United bans electronic devices later than 150mm x 100mm from home game grounds
UK football (soccer) team Manchester United has announced a new ban on iPads and other tablet devices being brought into Old Trafford by its fans. The restriction was instigated by concerns that fans can record large portions of live matches on their tablets, and so the devices now join large bags, large cameras and liquids on the list of prohibited items.