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Apple updates first-party apps with iOS 8 support, minor improvements

09/17, 1:47pm

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.

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iOS 8 now live, adds features like Health app, Extensions, Continuity

09/17, 1:21pm

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.

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Stanford, Duke to start medical trials using Apple's HealthKit

09/15, 1:29pm

Institutions aim to improve speed, accuracy

In the next few weeks, two major US hospitals -- linked with Stanford University and Duke University, respectively -- are embarking on medical trials using Apple's HealthKit platform, according to Reuters. Doctors at Stanford say they're working with Apple on tracking blood sugar for children with diabetes. Duke, meanwhile, is planning a pilot to track blood pressure, weight, and other statistics for patients with cancer or heart diseases.

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Apple delays introduction of SMS Continuity, iCloud Photo Library

09/12, 5:09pm

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.

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Apple deals: iPads from $249, iPods from $99

09/12, 3:37pm

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.

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Philips offers 24-bit D/A Lightning-connected headphones for iOS

09/11, 10:17pm

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.

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Panic's Transmit FTP file manager coming to iOS

09/11, 4:30pm

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.

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Integrated SwiftKey coming to iOS alongside release of iOS 8

09/10, 4:02pm

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.

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Gold masters of iOS 8, Xcode 6 reach developers

09/09, 4:20pm

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.

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Apple removes iPod classic from online store, signals retirement

09/09, 4:17pm

Removal of iPod classic from range after seven years of availability

At the same time as introducing new iPhones and the Apple Watch, Apple has apparently stopped selling the iPod classic. The long-running music player is no longer visible in Apple's online store, suggesting the company has finally retired the device after seven years, and almost 13 years after the first version of the iPod went on sale.

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Forthcoming iOS 8 to go live on September 17

09/09, 3:07pm

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.

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Review: Blue Mikey Digital add-on microphone

09/08, 7:41am

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.

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Apple launches official iOS app for TestFlight beta-testing service

09/05, 11:31am

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.

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Sources: iOS 8.0.1 already in preparation for testing partners

09/05, 10:37am

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.

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Rumor: U2 may be involved with iPhone 6 launch next Tuesday

09/04, 12:30am

May have shot special video for the introduction, Bono could make appearance

A variety of rumors have surfaced suggesting that U2 -- the legendary Irish band whose members have close ties to former and current Apple executives -- may be involved in some manner with the launch of the iPhone 6, which is expected to happen at a scheduled press event next Tuesday, September 9. Reports range from Bono (and perhaps the rest of the band) performing at the end of the Apple event to the possibility that the group's new album would be pre-loaded onto the iPhone, though the latter seems highly speculative.

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Briefly: PayPal's 25 percent off UK iTunes cards, DJ Player updated

08/27, 12:56pm

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.

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Google debuts Slides app for iOS, updates Docs and Sheets

08/25, 2:19pm

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.

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Photo shows Lightning cable with reversible USB connector

08/18, 1:06pm

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.

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Lawsuit about DRM on 2006-era iPods shambles to life in courts

08/14, 1:22pm

Last prong of three-spoke trial initial hearing held in front of skeptical judge

A nine-year-old lawsuit over Apple's digital rights management in the iTunes Music Store and on the iPod rages on. Lawyers for the complainants continue to claim that changes in iTunes blocking other companies' music stores from functioning on the iPod allowed Apple to raise prices. The $350 million lawsuit against the Cupertino manufacturer had a hearing earlier this week, following the retirement of the first judge in the case.

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Beats Music now being pushed to new iOS device users

08/12, 3:03pm

Title appears as official Apple app

People setting up an iOS 7 device for the first time are now seeing Beats Music among the list of recommended Apple apps, according to anecdotes. The App Store splash page is otherwise full of titles like iBooks, Podcasts, Find My iPhone, and the iWork suite. Notably Beats Music is the only one to require payments, since it's based on monthly subscription plans.

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Apple deals: iPods, iPads, and Mac accessories

08/08, 11:06am

iPods, iPads, and Mac accessories

Right now at Apple's online store, chose from a selection of refurbished iPod touch models -- starting as low as $129 for the fourth-generation Touch with 8GB of storage. A $100 discount drops the cost on the refurbished fifth-generation iPod touch with 32GB of storage in black and slate down to $199.

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Apple runs 'limited-time' sale on 20 iOS productivity apps

08/08, 10:14am

Clear, Notability, Fantastical 2 among notable entries

On the iOS App Store, Apple is now running a "limited-time" sale on 20 productivity apps. Most of the titles are well-established, such as Realmac's Clear, Ginger Labs' Notability, and Flexibits' Fantastical 2. Some lesser-known examples include Andreas Karlsson's Tydlig and Ten Touch's Grafio.

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NFL Now arrives on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad

08/07, 9:34am

Full access limited to monthly subscribers

As anticipated, NFL Now apps have been launched for the iPhone and iPad and the Apple TV. The titles promise "hundreds of new videos daily" connected to teams and players; users also can get a non-stop stream based on preferences learned over time.

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iOS 8 beta 5 changes include SMS Relay support, several Health tweaks

08/04, 4:47pm

Many changes simply UI refinements

Users are beginning to discover some of the changes in iOS 8 beta 5, which was released earlier today. Many of these appear to affect the Health app. On top of supporting spirometry data, there are for example several new icons, and users can now export the app's information. Privacy settings for the app have appeared within Settings.

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Apple seeds fifth betas of iOS 8, Xcode, OS X Yosemite to developers

08/04, 1:45pm

Apple TV, OS X Server, Configurator get matching updates

Apple is now seeding its fifth betas of iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and Xcode to developers, as well as a preview of OS X Server 4.0, and fourth betas of new Apple TV firmware and Configurator 1.7. Relatively little is known about their content so far, although notes for the iOS 8 beta add that "spirometry data types are now available in HealthKit;" spirometry is the measurement of lung capacity. Xcode has received Swift-related improvements involving ranges and easier scripting.

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Android overtakes iOS in global online usage tracking

08/04, 1:01pm

Usage begins mirroring device ownership

For the first time, global usage of Android devices has surpassed that of iOS, according to Net Applications tracking data. iOS slipped from 45.61 percent in June to 44.19 percent in July, while Android advanced from 43.75 percent to 44.62. Windows Phone has made some more marginal progress, growing from below the 1 percent mark in April to 2.49 percent.

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Forums: iOS 8 questions and discussion

08/01, 4:57pm

iOS 8 questions and discussion

With the Beta release of Yosemite in the hands of a million Mac owners, and questions about that subsiding, the next big question in the MacNN forums is about the future of iOS 8. Forum-goers discuss the future of the Mac desktop in two different threads, one asking if a consumer Mac Pro might surface, and the other questioning the possibility of a Retina iMac.

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Bitcoin app Blockchain allowed to return to App Store

07/28, 4:46pm

Part of sea change in Apple policies

A Bitcoin trading app, Blockchain, has been allowed to return to the iOS App Store, reports note. The title was one of several removed from the App Store early this year during an Apple crackdown. The company's policy is normally to prohibit apps allowing activities which may be illegal in some countries. Although Bitcoin has become increasingly accepted, it still sits in a legal limbo in many regions.

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Users of iOS iPhoto may lose Journals, Books, Slideshows in iOS 8

07/25, 3:04pm

App to be discontinued

Beginning with iOS 8 beta 4, Apple is warning owners of iPhoto for iOS that some features may not make the transition to its replacement, at least at first. Much as with iPhoto on the Mac, users will eventually be migrated over to an all-new, native Photos app, a huge overhaul of the existing iOS Photos app. When trying to run iPhoto in the current beta of iOS 8, an error message now appears stating that iPhoto isn't supported; instead, people are offered the choice to migrate data to Photos, with the exception of "layouts and text added to Books, Journals and Slideshows."

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Apple document attempts to explain alleged backdoors in iOS

07/23, 9:22am

Tools intended strictly for diagnostics, file capture, company says

In another step to address concerns of possible backdoors in iOS, Apple has published a newdocument explaining what three services are intended to do. The first, com.apple.mobile.pcapd, is said to support "diagnostic packet capture from an iOS device to a trusted computer," something useful for "troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with apps on the device as well as enterprise VPN connections." Another, com.apple.mobile.file_relay, "supports limited copying of diagnostic data from a device."

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Apple Q3 breakdown shows biggest growth in China

07/22, 5:17pm

iPod continues terminal decline

In addition to its official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown of its fiscal Q3 results. "Greater China" -- including Taiwan and Hong Kong -- continued to lead the charge regionally, with its revenue increasing 28 percent year-over-year to $5.935 billion. Europe and Asia-Pacific each advanced 6 percent, to $8.091 billion and $2.161 billion, respectively. Apple's most important market, the Americas, rose 1 percent to $14.577 billion. Global retail numbers were up 1 percent to $4.104 billion.

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Several backdoors included on every iOS device, researcher says [U]

07/22, 12:26am

May enable collection of private data by Apple, governments

[Updated with rebuttal from Apple] Apple's iOS platform contains several backdoors that may allow for Apple and/or governments to collect private data, according to a forensic scientist, Jonathan Zdziarski. Presenting at the recent Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference, Zdziarski said that that there are several conspicuous design gaps -- and some deliberately-included forensic services -- that make it possible to extract data using forensic tools. The services have names such as "lockdownd," "pcapd," and "mobile.file_relay."

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Apple seeds fourth preview betas of iOS 8, OS X Yosemite [u]

07/21, 2:25pm

OS X gets iTunes 12, iOS 8 gets new Tips app

(Updated with other beta releases, more Yosemite changes) Apple is now seeding its fourth betas of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to developers. Perhaps the most significant change is in the latter, which includes the first beta of iTunes 12. The updated media player uses a flatter, streamlined design more in keeping with Yosemite, and is the first version to support Family Sharing, something also present in iOS 8. While Yosemite is still only accessible to developers, sources claim that the first public beta could go live later this month, after Apple has put more polish on it.

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LiquidFun 1.1 brings Google's 2D physics to iOS, Chrome

07/17, 3:33pm

iOS support comes out of unofficial stage

Google has released v1.1 of LiquidFun, its open-source 2D physics engine. The software now officially supports iOS, as well as desktop versions of Chrome, the latter via extensions. It was previously possible to make LiquidFun run on iOS, but Google didn't enable that compatibility by default.

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Unreal Engine 4.3 adds support for Apple's Metal API

07/17, 3:00pm

Should allow game studios to start full-scale iOS 8 development

Epic Games has released v4.3 of the Unreal Engine, code that undergirds many desktop, console, and mobile games. Although most of the changes are of interest only to developers, the update also includes the first support for Metal, Apple's new 3D graphics API. Developers must be using the Xcode 6 beta to compile it, and it's not enabled by default. It can however be toggled on via a game's Project Settings.

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Apple switching from TSMC back to Samsung in 2015, reports say

07/17, 9:18am

Reasons for possible reversal unclear

TSMC will probably lose chip production orders from Apple and Qualcomm to Samsung in the second half of 2015, says KGI Securities analyst Michael Liu, quoted by Reuters. Liu made the comments in a memo issued after a TSMC investor conference. The Commercial Times and the Economic Daily News both suggest that Qualcomm has in fact already started working with Samsung, a claim which has hurt TSMC shares in trading.

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DirecTV reveals digital-only NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions

07/16, 3:26pm

Reduces obstacles to cord-cutting

Satellite TV provider DirecTV has announced its first digital-only subscription plans for NFL Sunday Ticket. Subscribers will have to wait until September 7th for the first games, and will only be able to watch out-of-market events, but will have access to them on phones, tablets, computers, and/or consoles without also having to have a satellite or cable package. Costs begin at $200 for a subscription covering phones, tablets, and computers. A separate console-only plan is $240; the $330 Max plan covers all devices, and further includes access to the Red Zone channel and DirecTV's new Fantasy Zone.

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Fourth iOS 8 beta for developers, testers anticipated on July 21

07/16, 10:51am

Gap between betas shrinks back to two weeks

Apple is currently planning to seed iOS 8 beta 4 to developers on July 21, an inside source has claimed. That date would be two weeks after Beta 3. There was a three-week gap between the second and third betas, which may have been needed to cope with flaws hampering the OS' basic performance.

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Google search results now warn iOS, Android users about Flash content

07/15, 4:02pm

Designed to save time wasted on incompatible content

Google has implemented a change to the way mobile search results are displayed, warning users if a website uses Adobe Flash. On devices running iOS or Android, results may now show a tag saying "Uses Flash. May not work on your device." Below this are links letting users "try anyway" or learn more about the problem.

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Apple expands iDevice trade-in program to Australia

07/15, 1:03am

Older iPhone and iPads can be traded in for credit up to A$250

Australians can now trade-in their older iOS devices for up to A$250 ($235 US) towards the purchase of a new device, Apple announced on Monday. The higher reward is available to for iPhones, while buyers can get up to $202 (A$215) in credit for iPad trade-ins at Apple Stores across the country. The new program arrives just shy of a year after the US debut, which offers up to $225. Since then, the initiative has expanded to Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the UK.

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Google Maps iOS app gets on-map displays of search, Gmail content

07/11, 12:57pm

New Explore feature points out places and activities

Google has released an update of its Google Maps client for iOS, adding several significant features. When searching for places, for instance, results will now appear directly on a map. Users can switch between this view and a more standard list.

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Forum Roundup: Bugs Apple should fix for Yosemite

07/11, 10:39am

bugs Apple should fix for Yosemite

This week has been rather quiet in the MacNN forums, however members continue to discuss and debate a wide range of topics. Earlier this week, Mac Elite "And.reg" started a thread discussing bugs and weird issues that need to be fixed in Yosemite before it becomes a public release this fall. Yesterday, "chasg" was trying to determine why his iMac wasn't booting from an external disk, and turned to the forums looking for advice.

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Briefly: IK Multimedia's iRig MIDI 2, Google AdWords Express for iOS

07/10, 5:39pm

IK Multimedia launches portable Lightning/USB iRig MIDI 2

IK Multimedia has announced that it is now shipping the iRig MIDI 2, a portable MIDI interface with Lightning and USB connectivity for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac and PC. The device is equipped with three standard-sized female MIDI DIN sockets -- IN, OUT and THRU -- which allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard, hardware synthesizer and more. Its two blue LED lights provide monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the In and Out sockets.

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MLB launches second iBeacon expansion, updates iOS apps

07/10, 4:16pm

All-Star Game gets interactive content

Major League Baseball is entering into a second phase of iBeacon deployments at stadiums. Beginning this is project for the 2014 All-Star Game, which is being hosted at Target Field in Minneapolis. People with a supporting iPhone and the latest version of At the Ballpark will get extra content, including interactive material, when visiting nine different exhibits in the stadium. iBeacons are already in use at 28 other ballparks, but mostly for check-ins and discounts.

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TSMC begins shipping A-series processors for Apple

07/10, 10:24am

Samsung, TSMC splitting orders

TSMC has begun shipping Apple A-series processors out for assembly, according to the Wall Street Journal. Production is said to have begun on 20nm fabrication lines in the first quarter, but shipments have only started happening more recently. Despite TSMC's involvement, the firm is expected to split orders with Samsung, which has traditionally produced every A-series chip.

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Apple launches promised iTunes U 2.0 with full course creation

07/08, 4:30pm

Discussions let students, teachers communicate

As promised at the end of June, Apple has released a major update of iTunes U, v2.0. On the iPad, teachers can now create and manage courses entirely on their own, including assignments, outlines, and other course materials. Custom content can be added via an "Open in iTunes U" extension in other iOS apps such as Pages and Keynote; photos and video can be captured and uploaded directly. If a teacher is associated with a qualifying institution, they can publish courses to the official iTunes U catalog.

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Target now discounting iPhones, offering rebates on iPads, iPod touch

07/08, 1:33am

Joins other retailers in Back-to-School offer bandwagon

US retail chain Target is now offering gift cards with the purchase of any of a selected range of iOS devices, including the iPod touch, the iPad Air or Retina iPad mini, or the iPhone 5s or 5c. In addition to the gift card, Target REDcard users receive an additional five percent off the normal price. Buyers of the iPad (in any variety or capacity) will be given a $100 Target gift card, while those opting for the 32GB iPod touch will get a $30 gift card. The retailer has discounted the 16GB iPhones to $100, and buyers also get a $20 gift card.

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Third iOS 8 beta changes include iCloud Drive, App Analytics [u]

07/07, 3:06pm

New toggles appear for Handoff, keeping Messages media

(Updated with T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling support, more) People with access to iOS 8 beta 3 are beginning to share some of the changes in the firmware. Perhaps the most notable is the ability to upgrade from Documents in the Cloud to iCloud Drive, which will let people upload any kind of file and organize their own folders with the amount of space they have received or paid for. Accordingly, the Settings app has a new iCloud Drive section, where people can toggle the whole service on and off, or enable access on a per-app basis. The service will evidently also be available from the web.

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Apple seeds third OS X Yosemite, iOS 8 betas to developers [u]

07/07, 1:45pm

Precise changes so far undocumented

[Updated with Yosemite changes] Apple has started seeding third previews of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 to developers. The former is listed as build 14A283o, and can be downloaded via the Mac App Store or the Mac Dev Center. Beta 3 of iOS 8 is identified as build 12A4318c, and available either as an over-the-air update or through the iOS Dev Center. To go with it, Apple is pushing out new betas of Find my iPhone and Find My Friends.

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Mac, iOS glitch assigns wrong holidays in official Calendar app

07/07, 1:22pm

US, UK, and Russia apparently immune

Over the weekend, a number of iOS and OS X users have started reporting glitches with Apple's official Calendar app. Affected people will see holidays from other regions appearing on their personal calendar, such as UK holidays in Ireland, or Mexican, Canadian, and even Hong Kong holidays in Lithuania. Some countries appear to be immune to the bug, including the US, the UK, and Russia.

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