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As many observe in this country, tomorrow is Halloween, and as such MacNN and
As many observe in this country, tomorrow is Halloween, and as such MacNN and
The Pangu iOS 8.1 jailbreak tool is now being bundled with Cydia, and will get an English translation within 24 hours, its developers say. Cydia is commonly used to simplify jailbreaking, partly by offering an easy way to install unapproved apps. When the Pangu code was released earlier this month, it was only in Chinese and in a rudimentary form intended for developers.
In another sudden turnaround, Apple has reversed a decision to block apps with calculator widgets from the App Store. An Apple spokesperson says that PCalc and other similar apps will be permitted in the store without changes. It's suggested that the company simply hadn't anticipated the possibility of widgets serving as calculators, hence reviewers being confused as to whether they can give the greenlight.
A new report from IDC again places Apple and Samsung at the top of the heap for smartphone manufacturers as it has for years now -- but there is nonetheless notable change in the air. Samsung saw a significant drop in shipments for its smartphones, dropping 8.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple, in second place, saw a 16.1 percent increase in shipments. Though Samsung was dominant with 78.1 million units shipped, a new challenger from China is beating the Korean company on its home turf of low-end smartphones.
Apple has forced the developer of PCalc, James Thomson, to remove an iOS 8 Notification Center widget that let people do calculations without opening the app. The decision is an apparently sudden reversal, given that the app was previously approved with the widget intact. PCalc has been featured in several sections of the App Store, such as "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," and even "Extend Your Apps," which focuses on software with unusual widgets.
Apple is talking to Iranian distributors about the possibility of selling the iPhone in the country, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Senior Apple executives have reportedly met with the distributors at the former party's London headquarters. If the iPhone does become available in Iran, it will be through premium resellers, rather than Apple itself, which has no direct footprint to speak of. "Over a dozen" Apple employees -- including technical and marketing staff -- have been involved in the recent efforts, the Journal adds.
(Updated with news of CurrentC hack) Retailers partnering with MCX on the upcoming CurrentC mobile payment system are contractually obligated to use CurrentC exclusively, according to the New York Times. Several of the retailers say that if they break their contracts, there are steep fines in place. This will block several popular payment platforms, namely Apple Pay, Softcard, and Google Wallet.
As of October 27, iOS 8 was installed on 52 percent of eligible devices, Apple has announced in a posting on its developer website. While far slower than the take-up rate of iOS 7 last year, the milestone was achieved in a little less than six weeks' time -- still far faster than comparative figures for other mobile and desktop platforms. Early delivery and quality glitches in iOS 8 -- most notoriously the short-lived 8.0.1 bugfix release -- may have made the public more gun-shy about trusting later updates.
After having some display backlight and logic board issues with an older iMac, Mac Enthusiast "Boochie" has decided now would be a good time to start thinking about a new iMac. A post they made in the MacNN forums sparked a debate about what would be a better choice, a 2011 iMac with a Core i7 processor, or a new Retina iMac with an i5 processor. Yesterday, one Forum Regular was trying to determine the best cable to use to connect a Mac mini to a Dell UltraSharp monitor, and asked fellow forum members for their thoughts.
Via Re/code's first annual Code/Mobile conference, Apple's VP for iPhone marketing, Greg Joswiak, has apologized for the botched iOS 8.0.1 update in September. "It wasn't the software itself it was the way it was distributed," he explains in an interview. "We're very sorry."
During the service's first 72 hours, over one million credit and debit cards were activated on Apple Pay, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The executive made the comment yesterday at the WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, California. Cook moreover claims that Apple Pay already has more mobile wallets in the US than all other mobile payment platforms combined, despite the headstart of options like Google Wallet.
Apple has issued a formal response to CVS and Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay at their stores. "The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic," the company says. "We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations."
US bank Wells Fargo is offering one-time payments as an incentive to try Apple Pay. Customers willing to make a first-time credit card transaction through the service are being given $20, while a debit or prepaid transaction is worth $10. Both offers expire after November 30th; the $20 credit should appear on a statement in one or two billing cycles, but the $10 credit should appear in a checking account within 45 days.
Alpine has begun shipping the previously-announced iLX-007, its first receiver to support Apple's CarPlay platform. The device has also been given an $800 pricetag. It sports a 7-inch 800x480 touchscreen, three 2V preouts, one aux input, and an input for rear-view camera systems. Like other Alpine receivers, it uses a technology called MediaXpander to try to improve the quality of compressed digital audio.
Apple is hunting for new partnerships that will let it diversify the use of the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, a new report claims. At the moment the chip is meant exclusively for retail Apple Pay transactions, particularly since the related API hasn't been opened to third-party developers. Apple is allegedly negotiating with companies like HID Global and Cubic regarding purposes such as building security and public transit ticketing.
South Korean preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have surpassed 100,000, and are vastly outpacing last month's preorders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, according to the Wall Street Journal. The country's three biggest carriers -- SK Telecom, KT Corp, and LG UPlus -- opened up preorders last Friday. KT says it received 10,000 preorders within a minute, and 50,000 after 30 minutes. UPlus, a first-time iPhone carrier, received 20,000 orders in 20 minutes. SK Telecom isn't giving out hard numbers, but says that its first and second batches of preorders are already booked and that it's now starting on a third.
Sprint is making changes to its iPhone for Life rental plan, just over a month after launch. The carrier is adjusting the plan to allow customers the ability to lease an iPhone and upgrade it after 12 months, though the existing 24-month period between upgrades will continue to be offered to users at a lower cost compared to the new plan option.
With just a little over one week on the Mac App Store under its belt, OS X 10.10 Yosemite has been one of the hottest topics in the MacNN forums, with discussion topics ranging from claimed "unfixed bugs" and battery life issues to beefs with Dark Mode and tips for those who are just upgrading for the first time. Today, one Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help determining the cause of what appears to be USB power failure.
The Amazon Rewards Visa card has now been added to Apple Pay, some owners have noticed. The card wasn't initially compatible with Apple Pay when the service was launched earlier this week. Support for the card is notable because of its popularity, owing to users getting three percent back on Amazon purchases, two percent at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and one percent on all other purchases.
Apple's stock on Thursday hit a new all-time closing high, reaching $104.83 per share at the closing bell. While many are waiting to see if the company can close the week at that level or higher, others -- including activist investor Carl Icahn and CEO Tim Cook -- believe the stock remains undervalued. AAPL also set a new intra-day high of $105.05 during trading, and is up slightly from its close at this writing in after-hours trading. Stronger-than-expected iPhone numbers and the coming holiday season has helped fuel the rise.
Following a soft rollout to internal testers a few weeks ago, Apple has fully opened its TestFlight beta-testing service. "You can now invite up to 1,000 testers to beta test your iOS apps by simply sending them an email invitation through iTunes Connect," the company says on its developer portal. "Once they accept your invitation, testers can install your beta app on their iOS devices, get updated builds, and provide feedback, all within the TestFlight app."
Apple's chief assembly partner, Foxconn, is hoping to gain orders for iPhone displays by building a new factory in Zhengzhou, China, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The company is allegedly in talks with Zhengzhou's government about getting financial help for the factory, which could cost up to 35 billion yuan, or about $5.7 billion. One of the topics under discussion is how much money local government would have to invest in the project.
Non-practicing entity GPNE, which had tried to sue Apple over alleged infringement of expired pager-related 3G wireless patents, has come away completely empty-handed after a jury exonerated Apple of all charges. The firm, which has attempted to sue or sued most other big-name tech firms over the same or similar patents, had sought $94 million in damages (which Apple had referred to as an "attempt to extort money" from the iPhone maker), but was awarded nothing.
Although the service appears to be working in general, some banks supporting Apple Pay are encountering some early technical problems. One issue is that in some cases, the correct card designs aren't being displayed in Passbook. Affected cards will show generic logos for their associated institutions, and possibly lack descriptions as well, which can make numbers the only way to distinguish between them when a person has multiple cards from the same firm. Sources claim that a fix for the bug is already underway.
The Pangu jailbreak team has developed a new hack for iOS 8 and 8.1 devices, reports and the team's website note. The initial release is said to be intended strictly for app developers, since it doesn't install Cydia or other services designed to make jailbreaking simple and practical. The public version is in fact waiting on those services being brought up to speed for iOS 8.
After much bickering in court during bankruptcy proceedings that took Apple and Wall Street by surprise, former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has worked out an agreement with the iPhone maker that will let it pursue its plan of winding down operations at its Mesa, Arizona plant and laying off nearly 700 employees. Though Apple had initially said it would work to preserve the jobs involved, the deal instead offers incentives to certain employees to help wind down the plant, and provides a way for GT to pay back the money it owes Apple.
A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however.
Simple, stylish and effective, the Kenu Airframe + portable car mount is the latest addition to Kenu's lineup. Released earlier this year, the Airframe + takes the same basic design of the Airframe and gives it a little extra stretch in order to hold larger six-inch phones. In our review, we thoroughly put the Airframe + to the test to see what exactly it is that puts the "plus" in this portable car mount.
Even though Apple Pay -- launched yesterday with iOS 8.1 -- is nominally supposed to be US-only at the moment, it's already working overseas, anecdotes indicate. In particular, the service is functional in Australia, as long as a person is using both US credit cards and region settings on their iPhone. The region toggle is needed to make Apple Pay show as an option.
Apple may, for a second time, have to adjust the ratios of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus production to more equally favor the Plus, sources tell Digitimes. Earlier this month, the company is said to have noticed that global demand for the Plus was stronger than expected, and adjusted accordingly. After last weekend's launch in China, though, the company is said to have discovered strong demand there, too. Chinese buyers wanting a regular iPhone 6 can reportedly buy one without much trouble, but face a long wait if they opt for the bigger phone.
Major League Baseball, which has taken the role of unabashed cheerleader for several of Apple's financial and retail technology initiatives including Passbook and iBeacons, has announced another embrace -- this time, Apple Pay. Both of the two MLB stadiums involved in this year's World Series will be accepting Apple Pay for concessions starting with the event, which begins on Tuesday. San Francisco's AT&T Park and Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium will both have the hardware on hand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users.
As is his habit, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday released a company-wide memo to employees recapping much of the sales and growth data from the analyst conference call given earlier that afternoon. He referred to the expectation-beating results as "Apple's highest September quarter revenue ever, and our strongest growth rate in seven quarters," adding that this was made possible "by your hard work and dedication." He also noted the big jump in Mac sales, beating industry averages significantly.
In the wake of its official announcement, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its Q4 financial results. On a regional basis the company did well in most cases, for instance increasing Americans revenue 17 percent year-over-year to $16.247 billion, and European revenue 19 percent to $9.535 billion. "Greater" China -- including Hong Kong and Taiwan -- advanced 1 percent to $5.778 billion, and Japan was up 5 percent to $3.507 billion. Only the rest of the Asia Pacific region saw problems, with revenue dipping 3 percent to $1.923 billion. Global retail sales rose 15 percent to $5.133 billion.
Apple pulled in $42.12 billion in revenues during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended in September, according to an announcement. That figure surpasses the $37.47 billion the company posted in Q4 2013, as well as consensus expectations of $40 billion, and Apple's own guidance in the last quarter. Net profits rose year-over-year from $7.5 billion -- or $1.18 per diluted share -- to $8.5 billion and $1.42 per share. Gross margins increased from 37 to 38 percent.
As of February 1st, all new or updating iOS apps must not only be based on the iOS 8 SDK, but contain 64-bit code, Apple is informing developers. At the moment developers are still being allowed to submit 32-bit-only apps or universal binaries. The problem is that more recent iOS devices -- namely those based on 64-bit A7, A8, and A8X processors -- have to load extra resources into memory to handle 32-bit code, taking a toll on performance.
The official Apple Store app has been updated to v3.1, enabling support for online Apple Pay transactions. Shoppers can now also make NFC-based payments at the company's retail outlets, but this doesn't require an app update; in either scenario, users must have a compatible device running iOS 8.1, which was released earlier today. Online payments are supported by the iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. Only the 6 and 6 Plus can be used at retail.
As planned, Apple has released iOS 8.1 to the public. The main addition is support for Apple Pay, but a number of other important features are present. These include beta support for iCloud Photo Library, and the return of the Camera Roll to the Photos app. SMS Relay enables SMS/MMS messaging via a nearby Mac or iPad, and people can now force a device to use 2G, 3G, or 4G for data, instead of it selecting networks automatically. A minor photo-related improvement generates alerts whenever there's too little storage to start a timelapse video.
Apple's demo for the iPad Air 2 during its latest keynote event was hugely impressive. As the company often does during its live presentations, it invited two developers on stage to highlight not only their apps, but also the power of the new iPad Air 2. Although all the technical details are not yet fully known about the powerful new custom 64-bit A8X chip, Apple did reveal some impressive numbers. But numbers aside, if you ever held any doubts about the benefits of Apple going 64-bit for the iPhone and iPad, the performance capabilities of iPad Air 2 as demonstrated should put them to bed.
Financial services and credit card issuer American Express has posted a new web page on its site, extolling the benefits of Apple Pay and instructing users on how to add their cards to the Passbook-based payment system. The mobile payment system is designed for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (now expanded to include the latest iPads for online or in-app purchases only) and will be formally rolled out on Monday, alongside the release of iOS 8.1.
Although OS X Yosemite is out and most Continuity and Handoff features should already work, two important ones -- Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay -- won't function until iOS 8.1 is released on Monday, notes AppleInsider. The former automatically tethers a Mac, iPad, or iPod touch to an iPhone, while the latter lets people receive SMS/MMS messages from an iPhone on the above devices. Instant Hotspot requires the paired devices to be on the same Apple ID and the iPhone to have tethering enabled by a carrier.
The Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing, one of the company's most important in China, was witness to a "low-key" iPhone 6 launch Friday morning, says the Wall Street Journal. As close as an hour before store opening, just a handful of people had lined up, even less than the 24 security guards Apple had on site. The line grew to around 100 people by launch, but composed entirely of preorder customers with assigned pickup times. People without preorder reservations simply waited for their turn to get in line.
Now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are in the hands of millions of loyal Apple fans, many people are starting to look at useful accessories that third party manufacturers have to offer. One awesome addition to the list of "must-haves" is the PowerSkin PoP'n 2 portable battery pack. We have two of these battery packs to give away to our readers. Find out more about what makes this mobile charging solution different, and how you can enter to win.
Mailbox has officially released its beta versionemail client for OS X this week, now available to all. Mailbox for iOS arrived last year, offering a simplistic interface that aims to improve inbox organization. Mailbox for Mac is similar in design, and features controls to archive and delete email, as well as create lists and enable a "snooze" functionality. The app includes swipe gesture and hotkeys options. Those interested in downloading the beta version of Mailbox for Mac can do so for free through Mailbox.
Taiwanese supplier TSMC has secured orders to produce a processor for an "upcoming next-generation iPad expected to be released in early 2015," according to Digitimes sources. The chip is said to be "tentatively" codenamed the A8X, and be based on the same 20nm manufacturing process as the A8. TSMC is said to be producing A8 chips for the iPhone 6, and even a variety of related chips, including Dialog power management ICs, Qualcomm baseband chips, Synaptics LCD driver ICs, InvenSense gyroscropes, and Apple's own fingerprint sensors.
Making the decision to buy a smartphone needs to take into account more factors than simply the hardware specifications of the device. While this might be a starting point, there is a lot more to the contemporary smartphone experience than the device itself. There needs to be an overall balance between the hardware, software, services and overall system integration - and on each of these counts, Apple and its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus continues to lead the competition.
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one long-time member made some interesting points about the most likely clientele for the premium editions of the Apple Watch that could be priced above $500, stating that a watch is really the only piece of "jewelry" a man can pull off with style, so some of the higher-end models would likely be very appealing to watch aficionados. More suggestions for the best free iOS 8 keyboards have been coming in one thread started late last week.
Siri will have at least some commands related to Apple Pay, according to sources "close to Apple" cited by Bank Innovation. The site says that it has confirmed this to an extent itself; on an iPhone 6 with iOS 8.0.2, telling Siri to "open my Bank of America credit card" will open up Passbook, rather than a Bank of America app. Doing so also prompts users to enter their passcode or Touch ID.
Apple may be partially responsible for the economic troubles of two major industries in Finland, the country's Prime Minister has claimed. Alexander Stubb suggests Apple's products have impacted its mobile device and paper industries to such a level that it caused an economic downturn, and also caused the Nordic country to endure a sovereign debt rating downgrade.
Although some launches were previously announced, Apple has today confirmed that 36 more regions will be getting the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus throughout the month. China, India, and Monaco are leading the new wave of expansion beginning October 17. Israel is due on the 23rd, while the Czech Republic, French West Indies, Greenland, Malta, Poland, Reunion Island, and South Africa are scheduled for the 24th.
A leaked internal memo from US pharmacy chain Walgreens suggests that Apple Pay will launch this Saturday, October 18. The memo asks store managers to prepare workers for questions from the public. It also suggests that people will "only need to tap their iPhone 6 to the upper portion of the pinpad" to make a purchase. In truth the technology is slightly more complex, requiring a person to have a digit on their Touch ID sensor, and Apple Pay pre-configured with the card(s) they intend to use.
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