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Category - IPhone
Previously launched in Japan, and soft-launched in the US, the Apple and Belkin screen protector installation program will continue its rollout US-wide starting today. The program, supporting only iPhone 6-series phones, uses an installation apparatus to insure what the companies call "an impeccable result that mirrors the look and feel of the native screen."
Apple may face some legal trouble in the future, if lawyers decide to proceed with plans to launch a class action suit against the company. Law firms are apparently considering taking action against Apple over the "Error 53" controversy, where third-party repairs of the Touch ID button on iPhones would trigger an Apple-produced security measure that effectively makes the smartphone completely inoperative.
If you ever need to get your Touch ID-enabled home button repaired, be sure to have it done by Apple Authorized Service Providers or Apple directly only: UK newspaper The Guardian reports that "thousands" of users who have had their Touch ID button repaired by third parties and found that their iPhone would then "brick" itself (become inoperative) after the next iOS update. The notorious "Error 53" that causes this, according to Apple, is a security measure to prevent low-level hardware hacking.
At a "Town Hall" meeting with employees following the company's Q1 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly rejected the notion -- long favored by analysts -- that Apple needs a "pared down" and inexpensive iPhone model in order to attract buyers in developing or "emerging" markets like India. While most of the meeting dealt with a rehash of information given during the analyst call, some was concerned with employee matters like retention incentives, as well as saying the Apple TV and tvOS both have "bright" futures.
Apple Pay is now available at two million locations worldwide, according to a new report, in a year that should see rapid expansion of compatibility as US merchants update to point-of-sale (POS) terminals that support both mobile payment options and the new "chip-and-PIN" EMV debit and credit cards. A new Bloomberg article notes that a number of US chain restaurants and retailers will be adding Apple Pay and other NFC-based payment options to their stores, including Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, and Crate & Barrel.
Apple has announced that the expansion of the Apple Watch to new countries is continuing, with an emphasis on the Middle East. The wearable will become available in several regional countries, including Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Israel, and Kuwait beginning February 11, according to notices on the Apple website in those countries. In addition, the Apple Watch will launch in Greece on February 12. None of the countries in the latest set of rollouts have physical Apple Stores, so the debuts will happen through resellers.
It has been discovered that Apple acquired the two security researchers behind LegbaCore, Corey Kallenberg, and Xeno Kovah -- the developers of the firmware worm for Macs known as Thunderstrike 2. The hiring was revealed by fellow security researcher Trammell Hudson at a security conference in December, with Apple having brought the pair on board the previous month. LegbaCore had developed a method to infect Macs with a difficult-to-remove firmware hack that could be delivered via altered Thunderbolt connectors.
New developments in the rumor whirlpool have produced some further speculation about the alleged March event that was originally going to bring an all-new Apple Watch 2, then the "iPhone 6c," but now said to be about the "iPhone 5se," the "iPad Air 3," and some new Apple Watch bands (and possibly partnerships). One report has said that the company is looking to do its event on the 15th of March, though of course with the caveat that the date could change, "or turn into an online announcement."
The latest episode of The MacNN Podcast attempts to understand Wall Street thinking, which is surely an exercise in madness. Apple had a record (fiscal) Q1, again setting a record for the most profitable quarter from any company ever, but the fact that the growth wasn't as significant against last year's killer Christmas season made Wall Street unhappy, particularly with the guidance that next quarter will see the first-ever iPhone drop in sales from last year's quarter.
Apple is relaunching an advertising campaign it held last year, to showcase what iPhone users are capable of shooting with their smartphone's camera. Following after last year's successful "Shot on iPhone" campaign for the iPhone 6, Apple has started to do the same thing for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, with the company placing a selection of photographs taken by device users onto billboards in cities around the world.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL