Following the release of an obviously fake video purporting to be the "iPhone 6c," an alleged budget iPhone model with a four-inch display that -- depending on who is reporting -- is either an enhanced iPhone 5s or a smaller and dumbed-down iPhone 6. The latest twist in the tale has the rumored imminent new iPhone model now dubbed the "iPhone 5se." In other rumor news, a former major event in March that was to debut the next Apple Watch has been considerably scaled down.
Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff you can make use of this weekend, without spending a single cent. This time, we have a Kelly Clarkson album, some handy items aimed at designers, and a trio of apps for photographers from the App Store.
It's the end of the week, and you probably don't want to go outside (especially in parts of the United States besieged by snow) for the rest of your weekend. Stay at home instead, and peruse this list of deals picked out by the staff of MacNN, and let the delivery service deal with the cold weather. Today's selections include a HGST Deskstar 6TB 7,200RPM NAS hard drive for $240, a Logitech Harmony smart control for $60, and an LG 60-inch 120Hz UHD LED TV for $900.
App development has taken off in the last few years, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of all the latest versions. To help all of you out, we here at MacNN are dedicated to sorting through new update releases, and highlighting some of the important ones, as well as showcasing apps that we find to be interesting. Today, we bring you a brand new Pay What You Want Mac app bundle, and also cover some recent updates to e-mail client Airmail, activity mapper TrailRunner, VPN client Shimo, time-tracker Daily, task manager OmniFocus, and text processor TextSoap.
Back in the long-ago time of the early 2000s, Apple consciously made the iPod simpler and better to use than any other MP3 music player of the day. It worked out well. Now iPods are all but forgotten, and often it seems that so is this idea of simplicity. While rival MP3 players were complicated just because they were bad, Apple's offerings have become complicated primarily because they do so much.
Apple's latest hiring may hint the company is looking into working in virtual reality and augmented reality, by reportedly bringing aboard a top researcher in the field. Doug Bowman is a Virginia Tech computer science professor and Director for the Center for Human-Computer Interaction that has an extensive history in the field of AR and VR interfaces, and is said to be joining Apple following after a sabbatical period.
A total of 968 US financial institutions (not counting two store loyalty cards, Kohl's and BJ's Wholesale Club) are now issuing cards supporting Apple Pay, according to an update on Tuesday to Apple's partner list for the mobile payment technology. Another 55 banks and credit unions were added in Friday's update, though Apple has recently been focused on expanding the international reach of Apple Pay through deals with American Express and UnionPay in China.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spent the past couple of days in Europe, where he met with the head of the European Commission's antitrust division as well as Pope Francis at the Vatican in a brief private meeting. On Thursday, Cook met with Margrethe Vestager, the antitrust chief, presumably to reiterate the company's innocence in the Irish tax scandal that could conceivably result in Apple owing billions in back taxes, despite the fact that Ireland's politicians appear to be the guilty party. Cook also met with some Italian developers as Apple opened a new development center in the country.
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. After a long working week, take some time out and pick up some entertainment-related deals, including a cheap subscription to Xbox Live Gold, a retro-styled Bluetooth game controller, something to make arcade-style tablet games easier, and a way to experience virtual reality cheaply.
A bill presented in California is seeking to force smartphone manufacturers to add backdoors to their devices, if they are to be sold in the state. Introduced by Democrat assembly member Jim Cooper, bill 1681 echoes a similar bill proposed in New York, aiming to make it easier for law enforcement officials to gain access to data on mobile devices, though simultaneously making it potentially easier for others to access the same encrypted data.
Google is paying Apple a large amount of money in order to have its search bar on the high-selling iPhone, according to recently published court transcripts. In a battle between Oracle and Google over the unpaid use of Java to develop Android, Oracle's lawyers claimed in court that Apple received $1 billion for the privilege of being included in the iPhone's search in 2014, among other intriguing details Google believes should have remained confidential.
Come with us on a week-long dive into the database app FileMaker Pro 14. We've previously enthused about it in a review and various MacNN staff have been using it to run book research projects that lasted years. Yet this isn't a product, this isn't an application, this is a world: FileMaker Pro is a behemoth. Individuals, companies, corporations use this but the reason FileMaker Pro is not lauded as much as we think it should be is that it's not one thing. You don't buy FileMaker Pro and run your business. You buy it and develop your own database that then organizes your firm, transforms your work, and takes over your life.
In our pursuit to find items for our MacNN Deals and Daily Deals lists, we occasionally find items deserving to be featured in their own post. The Big Deal this time is the Pay What You Want: The 2016 Mac Bundle from the MacNN Deals store, which offers you up to 12 apps to help you get the most out of your Mac, at the price of your choosing.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE