Still unclear why app was removed
Apple has removed a well-publicized iPhone hookup app from the App Store after just one week of it going live, Valleywag notes. Bang With Friends, still accessible via Android and the web, lets people indicate if they'd like to have sex with a Facebook friend. Notifications are sent out only if the feeling is mutual. Since launching in January, the service has already accumulated about 1 million users.
Mobile users spending tree times as much as portable console users
A report by market analysts App Annie and IDC continue to show that mobile devices such as the iPhone or the Nexus 7 control a clear majority of mobile gaming interest and dollars spent on purchases, with portable handhelds fading rapidly. The first quarter of 2013 saw another milestone achieved for the Android platform, with it seeing more downloads and consumer spending on games than iOS for the first time.
BMG said to be among industry holdouts
Apple's mired negotiations with the music industry may prevent it from announcing an "iRadio" service at WWDC on June 10th, industry sources tell The Verge. The people note that Apple is having trouble not just with Sony/ATV, but also BMG. At the same time they suggest there's still a lot of "market momentum" behind iRadio, and that major players such as Universal want to see it launch as soon as possible.
Retina MBP shuts down while sleeping
This week in the MacNN forums, one Professional Poster was trying to get to the bottom of a problem they had with their Retina MBP shutting down while in sleep mode, a solution has yet to be found. Fresh-Faced Recruit "frozentundra" is wondering when Apple will update the Mac Pro line.
15.4-inch MacBook Pros from $1,489
A vast selection of refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro models are available at Apple's Online Store. The 15.4-inch MBP with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been reduced to $1,489, a savings of $310. A $420 price cut is offered on the 15.4-inch Retina MBP with 2.3GHz quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, now $1,679.
$200 off 12-Core Mac Pro, more
Currently JR.com has the Mac Pro for the reduced price of $3,599.99, that's $199.01 off the list price of $3,799 and the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model, brand new, anywhere. Free shipping is included and sales tax applies for residents of New York and California. The Mac Pro features a 2.4GHz 12-Core Xeon processor, 12GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. A one year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
FIPS 14-2 certification, STIG approval opening DoD doors
Apple's iPhones, iPads and other devices running iOS 6 or higher are officially cleared for use on the US government's secure networks, the Department of Defence announced on Friday. The final approval, which we first reported on in March, also grants Samsung Android devices that are running the Korean company's Knox security lockdown, as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 the ability to be used on secure networks. The move is expected to further hurt BlackBerry, as it faces competition in the military space for the first time.
Apple tablet replaces 40-pound paper-based flight bags, maps
A move by the US Air Force last year to replace maps, charts, logs and other paperwork contained in a kit with iPads is expected to save more than $50 million over next 10 years. The 18,000 deployed iPads form an "electronic flight bag" that can hold flight manuals, weather and navigation charts and volumes of technical and procedural information -- eliminating the need for the 30- to 40-pound flight bag pilots used to have to carry with them, resulting in savings ranging from fuel costs to printing costs to even reducing pilot back injuries.
The HTC One could be the most enticing Android smartphone yet
The HTC One may be the ultimate iPhone switch-inducing Android device yet, even if the Samsung Galaxy S4 juggernaut remains unstoppable for the time being. There are a few of key aspects of the HTCís Android flagship device for 2013 that makes it the most likely to interest Apple iPhone 4, 4S and 5 users itching for a change of scenery, but who canít wait as long as September when Jony Iveís design-influenced version of iOS could be released. Many iPhone users also love the beautiful industrial designs that Jony Ive has cooked up for the iPhone over the past few years. For many, however, even if they have contemplated switching to an Android device, most were simply not made to Appleís high standards of design and finish -- until now.
Will feature day-after airing of new episodes
A CW app should soon appear on the Apple TV, Deadline reports. CW CEO Mark Pedowitz announced a deal with Apple during the network's annual upfront presentation in New York. A version of CW TV Now is already available for two Apple platforms -- the iPhone and the iPad -- but Apple TV support should put the app in a more viewing-friendly spot, as with the Xbox 360 and Windows 8 apps.
Foxconn staff still overworked
Apple's biggest supplier, Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is continuing to break Chinese labor laws, according to a newly-published audit by the Fair Labor Association. The latest evaluation was conducted in January, and did find that Foxconn is complying with 98.3 percent of the 360 points of action the FLA and Apple initially agreed to. 70 out of 76 items that were pending in mid-2012 have been complied with.
'Apple does not funnel its domestic profits overseas'
Ahead of the Apple CEO's US Senate testimony, Tim Cook has replied to questions about politics and Apple's offshore tax practices in a new Politico interview. "We don't have a large presence in Washington, as you probably know, but we care deeply about public policy and believe creative policy can be a huge catalyst for a better society and a stronger economy," he says.
Begins more aggressive dividend plan
Apple is today paying out its latest dividend to shareholders. The amount is rated at $3.05 per share, translating into a total of about $2.867 billion for all of the company's 940 million outstanding shares. To be eligible for the dividend, a person must have been a shareholder by May 13th; because qualifying purchases must be settled though, realistically, any stock must have been bought no later than the 8th.
Update mandatory, Apple says
Apple has posted a new support download for mid-2012 MacBook Airs, MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0. Unusually, Apple states that the patch is mandatory; it fixes a problem with the Air's firmware that can, potentially, prevent a computer from recovering from a crash. The file is a 1.69MB download, and requires either OS X 10.7.5 or 10.8.3.
Adds album artwork to Songs, supports multi-disc albums, more
On Thursday, Apple updated its flagship program iTunes to version 11.0.3, which brings some new features as well as addresses a number of minor bugs and improves security and performance for those running and sorting large collections. The main new features include a redesigned MiniPlayer that now features artwork and a progress bar, and some changes to the Songs view that also adds album artwork. Importantly, multi-disc albums are now seen and counted as one album rather than individual discs.
Various other parts photos in high-res leaking onto net
A long-standing rumor that the next iPhone -- presumably called the 5S -- will be available in colors beyond just black and white received a boost with the publication of photos featuring differently-colored SIM trays, along with high-rez pictures of various other small parts said to be from the forthcoming iPhone model, expected to be released sometime this summer. Though the SIM tray images would be easy to fake, Apple has been making the iPod touch and iPod nano in a set of colors and may have decided to follow suit with the iPhone 5S -- and perhaps a future iPad.
New store will feature more staff, feature latest design
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Apple will be eventually closing its One Stockton Street store -- which has been a flagship venue among the San Francisco stores -- and moving it about three blocks away, adjacent to Union Square. The new store will feature an updated design with a more glass-centric design, somewhat reminiscent of the Upper West Side store in New York City. It will also be about 45 percent larger than the current location and increase its staff from 350 to 400.
Associated contest winner, 50 billionth app name announced
[Updated with the winner's name, the winning app and other details] The App Store has officially surpassed 50 billion downloads, Apple has announced. The company has now announced the winner of the associated contest. Brandon Ashmore of Mentor Ohio, who downloaded the 50 billionth app, will get a $10,000 App Store gift card; meanwhile, 50 runner-ups will each get a $500 card.
Indicates Apple was pushing for prices higher than Amazon
US Department of Justice filings in the e-book price-fixing case against Apple reveal an exchange between former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and News Corporation/HarperCollins' James Murdoch, notes AllThingsD. In the course of a Jobs-penned email, which dates back to January 2010, the CEO explains why Apple is proposing to tie e-book prices to hardcover ones. "We simply donít think the e-book market can be successful with pricing higher than $12.99 or $14.99," Jobs writes.
Company may be on accelerated pace ahead of WWDC
Apple is seeding yet another build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, 12E52. As before there are no known issues, and Apple is still asking developers to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, and graphics drivers. When it's finished v10.8.4 is primarily expected to be a maintenance update, although it does appear to include support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Google believes FTC consent decree restrictions overstated
A Google-made appeal filing in the Motorola Mobile versus Apple smartphone patent trial in Judge Richard A. Posner's court has been made public. Controversially, the Google-owned Motorola claims that the still-pending FTC consent decree it agreed to does not prevent it from seeking an injunction against Apple products -- claiming that in refusing a 2.25 percent fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) license, Apple is unwilling to negotiate in good faith for use of the patent.
Apple, other companies accused of trying to avoid tax share
Apple will be the focus of a US Senate hearing next Tuesday, Politico says it has learned. The company's CEO, Tim Cook, is expected to testify in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation regarding offshore tax practices. Other witnesses are also expected to speak, such as representatives from the Treasury Department and the IRS.
Google I/O sways market in Google's favor
Apple and Google both passed important financial milestones during Wednesday trading, notes The Next Web. While Apple's market value has fallen under $400 billion, Google's value has climbed over $300 billion. The surge in the latter company's worth is being linked to today's Google I/O keynote, where the company showcased several new products, services, and features, such as unified messaging and a Galaxy S4 with stock Android.
Bench trial is set to begin on June 3; Apple says no collusion
In advance of the bench trial in which Apple will have to fight off charges that it colluded -- and fostered collusion -- with publishers to raise prices on e-books, both the iPhone maker and the US Department of Justice have filed initial court documents to lay out their respective cases. At issue is both the use of Apple's "agency model" pricing scheme, as well as former CEO Steve Jobs' overtures to the major publishers -- seen by some as trying to wrangle publishers into raising prices.
Minor update reaches Mac App Store
Apple has released a minor update for iMovie, the video editor included as part of its iLife suite. Version 9.0.9 copes with a trio of issues, mainly a glitch which can prevent iMovie from detecting connected video cameras. It also deals with general instability, and compatibility problems when importing iOS iMovie projects. The app is a 1.36GB download.
Says Apple was aware of issue but kept quiet
A Florida woman, Debra Hilton, has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of iPhone 4 owners, says GigaOM. The case alleges that Apple knew about a flex cable defect that was causing problems with the phone's power button, but stayed quiet to sell phones without fixing the issue. A lawyer for Hilton points to threads on Apple's support forums, as well as a repair video on YouTube claiming that the issue is prevalent with the 4.
Winner of charity auction remains anonymous
A charity auction for a coffee meetup with Apple CEO Tim Cook has come to a close. The initial goal of the auction, supporting the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, was to raise roughly $50,000. By the time bidding closed today however, the final bid was valued at $610,000.
This week in the MacNN Forums, Mac Elite "asxless" started a discussion about ways to travel "Mac-less" using only iOS devices while road-tripping this summer. Yesterday, Professional Poster "mindwaves" was looking for a reason why their Retina MacBook Pro was shutting down while in sleep mode.
Refurbished iMacs from $979
Currently, Apple's online store has a vast selection of refurbished iMac models. The 21.5-inch iMac, with a 2.5GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has seen a price cut of $220, bringing the cost down to $979. A $310 discount is offered on the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $1,189.
MacBook Air, Logitech iPad keyboard and more
This week, MacMall.com has reduced the price of the 13.3-inch MacBook Air from $1,399 down to $1,319 with free shipping. That $79 discount makes this the lowest price we have seen by about $30. This MacBook Pro features a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, along with Intel HD Graphics, built-in FaceTime camera with 720p resolution, and it comes with Mountain Lion pre-installed. A one-year warranty is included from Apple.
Would perform the same as current mechanical button, report says
Rumors that Apple was going to incorporate a fingerprint sensor in the home button of the next iPhone still have no evidence to support them behind Apple's acquisition of Authentec in 2012. A new rumor has thus appeared, saying that Apple plans to do away with the physical push-style home button entirely in the next iPhone release, replacing it with a capacitive touch area that would perform the same functions. The new "button" will be covered in sapphire glass to prevent scratches.
Second patent suit against Samsung scheduled for spring 2014
Apple has told the US District Court in California hearing motions for the upcoming second patent-infringement trial against Samsung that it intends to add the Galaxy S4 as an infringing device. In order to do so, the iPhone maker will have to drop one of its previously-listed infringing devices from the list, such as the Galaxy S III, S II, Note or Nexus (among other possible models). Judge Lucy Koh is attempting to keep both companies down to a minimum number of patent claims and infringing devices.
Mechanical engineer listing requires skill associated with glass alloy
A job listing from Apple describing the need for a mechanical engineer with a wide knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes -- and some specific experience in skills required for dealing with the bulk-metallic glass alloy known as Liquidmetal -- has fuelled speculation that Apple's investment in the technology may be finally bearing more fruit. The technology is already used for specialized parts such as the SIM card ejector pin in older iPhone models, but very little has been seen of it thus far.
Updates could arrive on or soon after WWDC
Several recent Apple job listings may hint that the company is on the verge of updating both the OS X and iOS editions of iWork, reports say. Some of the listings date back as far as March; one of them, though, was posted on May 11, and specifically calls for an iWork QA tester, which could mean Apple is in the last phases of development. Another opening, dating back to May 7, asks for a "HiDP Image Specialist," tasked with bringing iWork visual designs to Retina displays.
Points to violent assaults over iPhones
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent letters to several smartphone makers asking them to explain what they're doing to deter thefts, Bloomberg reports. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung are said to have been contacted on May 10th. "I seek to understand why companies that can develop sophisticated handheld electronics, such as the products manufactured by Apple, cannot also create technology to render stolen devices inoperable and thereby eliminate the expanding black market on which they are sold," reads Schneiderman's letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Stream appears restricted to US
Apple has posted a free streaming preview version of the upcoming Daft Punk album on the iTunes Store. Random Access Memories is 74 minutes in length, and due to be released May 21st for $12. At the moment, at least, the preview is only available to US shoppers.
May heighten tensions over tax avoidance in EU countries
French President Francoise Hollande is considering a new tax on tech products, the money from which would fund cultural projects. The move, which would be decided this summer and has been described as "minimal and widely distributed," may increase tensions between tech companies and the government of France -- along with other EU countries, many of which have complained that firms such as Apple and Google are gaming the system in order to avoid paying taxes that would normally be due.
Friends and rivals discussed family, history, future
An unaired portion of a 60 Minutes interview with Bill Gates saw the founder of Microsoft in an unusually reflective state when questioned by interviewer Charlie Rose on the topic of the late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, his friend and rival. Jobs met with Gates for an extended period very near the end of his life, an unusual concession to a colleague he had had a tumultuous relationship with over the decades. Gates said the two men had "grown up together," each building the computer industry in their own image.
BlackBerry likely to suffer due to loss of monopoly on secure devices
A spokesperson for the Pentagon has told Bloomberg that mobile devices using Apple's iOS 6 as well as Samsung devices supplemented with the company's Knox security lockdown as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 are expected to be allowed onto the Defense Department's high-security data networks early next week, barring final approvals. The news comes on the heels of iOS's FIPS 140-2 certification for the CoreCrypto kernel module, which was added in the iOS 6 release.
More repairs for damaged iPhones, phone support extended, more
According to leaked reports from an Apple "town hall" meeting, some significant changes are coming to AppleCare and AppleCare+ policies starting this fall -- however, unlike most news of this nature, the changes should benefit consumers while still cutting some costs. Among the bigger changes will be a new policy to repair, rather than replace, damaged iPhones when possible; an extension of telephone support; more remote hardware fault diagnosis, and a change to tie an AppleCare policy to a customer rather than a specific device.
Could affect outcome of Apple v. Samsung battles
The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a preliminary rejection of some claims in an Apple patent, Method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display, says FOSS Patents. Claims 29-30 and 33-35 have been rejected. The USPTO says that aspects of the patent were obvious or anticipated in light of another patent, Method and apparatus for displaying simulated keyboards on touch-sensitive displays, as well as prior art.
Bluetooth keyboard typing issues with iPad and more
Earlier this week in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "abbaZaba" was trying to figure out why the Apple Bluetooth keyboard that they have paired with an iPad 4 will stutter the first letter when typing. After making a digital copy of a 20-year-old VHS home movie, one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums looking for any advice on ways to make the imported footage look a little less faded.
Five refurbished iMacs for $1,699 or less
This week at Apple's online store, save on refurbished iMacs starting as low as $1,099 for the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. For $1,269, after a $230 price drop, is the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive.
Discounts on iPad mini, Lightning cables, TB drives, more
Currently, Walmart.com has the 16GB iPad mini with Wi-Fi for the rollback price of $299. That's $30 less than the MSRP and the lowest price available on this iPad brand new anywhere. In fact, it costs the same as a refurbished model from Apple's online store. The iPad mini features 16GB of storage space, Wi-Fi, an A5 chip, FaceTime camera with 1080p HD video recording, and it comes with iOS 6 pre-installed. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Agencies stymied by locked-down operating system
Apple is receiving so many requests from police agencies looking to decrypt seized iPhones that the company has started a waiting list, CNET reports. In an example exposed by court documents, the ATF is said to have wanted to break through the encryption of an iPhone 4S owned by a Kentucky man accused of distributing crack cocaine. The agency "contacted Apple to obtain assistance in unlocking the device," according to US District Judge Karen Caldwell, but was "placed on a waiting list by the company."
Apple apparently reticent to add Metro support
"You shouldn't expect an iTunes [Metro] app on Windows 8 any time soon," Microsoft CFO Tami Reller tells CNN Money. "iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It's not for lack of trying." The quote may suggest that Microsoft has been talking with Apple about adding Metro support for iTunes, but without any progress.
Option will appear automatically in account details
Apple is extending its two-step verification option for Apple IDs to a wider range of countries, users say. When the feature first launched in late March, it was restricted to the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Now though people in Canada, Argentina, and Pakistan are reporting getting the feature, and other countries may be following suit.
Survey includes notebooks, tablets, phones, excludes actual sales
In its latest report, industry research firm Canalys is reporting on what it calls "worldwide smart mobile device shipments" for the first quarter of the year -- a term that includes smartphones, notebooks and tablets. Of the 308.7 million devices that fall under one of those categories that shipping in Q1, around 60 percent were said to be Android devices, reflecting the platform's strength in smartphones -- the fastest-growing area of mobile electronics. Apple's iOS placed second again, despite a dominant presence in tablets.
Small press had use 'ibooks' for imprint, never registered trademark
Of the many contentious and complex legal battles Apple has had to fight, some are easier to sort out than others. In a New York courtroom on Wednesday, Judge Denise Cote -- who is also handling the complicated battle between Apple and the Department of Justice over e-book pricing -- made short work of a trademark dispute between Apple and a small-press publisher of sci-fi and horror novels. At issue was Black Towers' line of "ibooks" it obtained in the purchase of a smaller rival, and Apple's "iBooks" trademark.
Sony allegedly holding out for higher fee for streaming music
Apple may have hit another snag in its alleged plan to launch an "iRadio" service in the near future, according to an unconfirmed report from London's Financial Times. The forthcoming service, should negotiations get completed, would allegedly see iTunes offering a streaming music service that leveraged its enormous statistical and purchasing information from users to serve curated songs they would be likely to enjoy from artists they have bought before or would probably like. Sony, according to sources, is still holding out.