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Gartner, IDC: Mac sales slip in Q2, Apple still in fourth place

26 minutes ago | Posted in: computers, industry, Apple

Although Apple still retains about 10 percent of the US PC market and remains the fourth-place manufacturer, new preliminary numbers from market analyst firms IDC and Gartner note that Apple was the only top-five PC manufacturer to post negative growth from the year-ago quarter, dropping between 1.3 and 1.7 percent (the two firms disagree on the specifics). IDC says Apple now holds an even 10 percent, while Gartner says Apple has a 10.6 percent share.

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Hyundai offers extended demo of CarPlay tech in 2015 Sonata

1 hour ago | Posted in: peripherals, Apple

A new, 11-minute video of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata offers viewers an in-depth look at CarPlay, Apple's car technology for iOS device integration. In addition to showing off the system itself, the video also makes clearer how CarPlay (and other technologies like Android Auto) can co-exist with built-in infotainment systems that are part of the vehicle itself. The video also distinguishes Apple's "Siri Eyes Free" feature from the rest of the CarPlay technology.

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NFB asks for Apple to set disability standards for App Store titles

4 hours ago | Posted in: industry, developer, Apple

The National Federation of the Blind will soon start a campaign to get Apple to factor in accessibility when it approves App Store titles, according to Reuters. The organization approved a resolution for the campaign at a convention held last week in Orlando, Florida. While there are no plans to repeat a 2008 lawsuit which targeted iTunes' accessibility, some NFB members -- including California board member Michael Hingson -- have suggested that one might be necessary to get Apple to change its practices.

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Cook promises Apple workforce diversity report 'at some point'

5 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, Apple

Apple will eventually release data about the racial and gender diversity of its workforce, according to Tim Cook. The CEO made the comment at this week's Sun Valley conference in Idaho. "We'll release the information at some point," he remarked. "We are more focused on actions."

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Apple's Cook, Cue make appearances at 2014 Sun Valley conference

6 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

As anticipated, Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior VP of Internet software and services Eddy Cue are currently in Idaho for this week's Sun Valley media conference. Cook was spotted by the Wall Street Journal's Doug MacMillan. Cue, meanwhile, was briefly stopped by The Information's Jessica Lessin, who asked if he was talking to companies about TV programming deals. "Nah, just going back to my hotel room," the executive is quoted as saying.

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Vimeo redesigns Apple TV app to streamline viewing, browsing

7 hours ago | Posted in: peripherals

Vimeo has launched an update of its app for the Apple TV, according to an official blog post. The new app has a more streamlined interface, reducing the number of button presses needed to get to sections like the Watch Later queue, uploaded videos, or collections. The home page now features a number of curated channels, such as monthly staff favorites and popular videos. One of these is a Vimeo On Demand section, which lets people watch trailers for paid titles and later buy them.

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Apple tried nudging FTC into investigating Google Play, email reveals

8 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Apple's general counsel, Bruce Sewell, tried to get the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate in-app purchase policies at Google Play, an email obtained via the Freedom of Information Act shows. Days after Apple agreed to pay a $32.5 million settlement over its own approach to in-app purchases, Sewell forwarded a Consumer Reports story to FTC commissioners Edith Ramirez and Julie Brill. The article accused Google of being equally lax, and letting children spend their parents' money "like a drunken sailor."

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Disney content returns to Japanese iTunes Store

9 hours ago | Posted in: industry, Apple

Disney content is once again available on the Japanese version of the iTunes Store, according to an official statement. That content suddenly disappeared recently, and without explanation. In talking with Variety, though, Disney confirms that "the interruption was due to difficulties negotiating the renewal of the old contract between Apple and Disney Japan. The new contract was signed on Wednesday and both rentals (VoD) and electronic sell-through returned to normal."

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UK follows US in banning uncharged electronics from air travel

9 hours ago | Posted in:

Following on from a recent decision by the US Transportation Security Administration effectively banning uncharged electronics on flights to the United States, the United Kingdom is preparing to do something similar. The Department for Transport is now requiring air passengers arriving or departing the UK to have their devices charged before going through security checkpoints.

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New Foxconn robots to serve in supporting role, report says

9 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry

Foxconn's upcoming robot deployment on Apple-based production lines will only be in a supportive role, leaving human jobs mostly intact, claims Taiwan's United Daily News. Sources say that the robots will help in tasks like locking down screws and polishing parts, leaving the most essential tasks -- namely assembly and quality control -- to people. The sources add that the robots will first be used at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory, where flagship iPhones are built.

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iOS apps: PDF Expert, Halftone 2, Todoist

10 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps

  • 59MB

    PDF Expert 5.1.3 ($10)

    PDF Expert allows users to store and read PDF files on an iPad. The app includes support for password protected, full text document search, navigation through embedded PDF bookmarks, and more. The v5.1.3 update improves app stability for a number of situations that were reported by users.

  • 50.6MB

    Halftone 2 1.3.1 ($2)

    Halftone allows users to turn their photos into vintage-style comics that can easily be shared with friends and family. Version 1.3.1 offers an improved video export feature, along with the added ability to archive and unarchive projects for simpler iTunes file sharing. A bug where some documents would no longer open has also been fixed, and the color palette now includes true black.

  • 11.6MB

    Todoist 8.4.1 (free)

    Todoist is a task management tool that can help users keep track of everything they need to accomplish. Tasks are automatically synced across all of a user’s devices, and can also be saved to the cloud for access from any web browser. A number of small bug fixes and improvements are included in this release.

  • 12.9MB

    Instagram 6.0.4 (free)

    Instagram is a popular social network for sharing images and videos. Within the app users can edit their media and share it with all of their followers in a photo feed, or privately share content directly with friends. The latest release is strictly a maintenance update that fixes some bugs and improves overall performance.

  • 52.6MB

    Fruit Ninja HD 1.9.5 ($2)

    In Fruit Ninja players attempt to slice as many fruits as possible by swiping their finger across the screen. The game includes three different play modes, Classic, Zen, and Arcade, as well as online multiplayer for Game Center-enabled devices. The v1.9.5 update fixes some small bugs and makes a few minor improvements.

 
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Beijing court upholds Zhizhen patent in dispute over Siri

10 hours ago | Posted in: Apple

Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has upheld a 2006 Zhizhen patent challenged by Apple, says China's official Xinhua news agency. Zhizhen filed suit against Apple in 2012, accusing it of violating a patent used for its "Little I Robot" voice-controlled assistant with Siri, the voice command system used in iOS. Apple though sued Zihizhen and China's Patent Review Committee late last year, with the hope that the court would render Zhizhen's patent invalid.

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Adobe issues 'critical' patch for Flash for AIR, OS X, Windows, Linux

19 hours ago | Posted in: security, software

Adobe has issued an emergency patch of its Flash Player technology to correct a security flaw that could allow hackers false access to thousands of popular websites -- notably Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and eBay among many others. The patch, which will update Flash to version 14.0.0.145, is considered "critical" for users of OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems. Even if users have Flash Player disabled in their browser, they may still need to update if they are using any products that require Adobe AIR.

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Briefly: Google Search app's fix function, Odyssey.js map tool beta

19 hours ago | Posted in: developer, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Google Search's voice recognition has a new feature that aims to relieve the problem of misheard words. Prior to the update, users would need to restart their verbal search query if it was originally misheard by the app - now, the command "no I said" is in effect, meaning that the new search replaces just the one word that was incorrect. The update is available for both iOS and Android versions of Google Search.

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Report: 60 million Bluetooth beacons in US by 2019

20 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, enterprise, Apple

A new report from ABI Research claims that the technology behind Apple's iBeacons is set to expand on a massive scale over the next five years, thanks to new applications that will make use of the "indoor GPS" abilities and personal notification services of Bluetooth LE-powered beacons. While Apple is the best-known "brand" of Bluetooth-enabled sensors with its iBeacon hardware and technology catching on, the study says Apple is unlikely to get into making the actual hardware that will generate $500 million a year by 2019.

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Apple hires two engineers from former Nike Fuelband team

22 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets, software, developer, Apple

Two former Nike Fuelband engineers have jumped ship to join Apple, presumably to lend further support to the company's expected "iWatch" health and fitness device, according to discoveries made on the pair's LinkedIn profiles. Both hardware engineer Ryan Bailey and sensor software expert Jon Gale started with Apple last month, just two months after Nike gutted its own Fuelband team and essentially exited the wearables market.

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Briefly: MapQuest 4.4 improves ETAs, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps

AOL's MapQuest: Maps, GPS, Voice Navigation and Traffic app for iOS has received an update, improving its ETA feature, and adding new components. MapQuest for iOS allows users to access travelling resources such as live maps, GPS, voice navigation and live traffic updates. The release of v4.4 now includes additional traffic data for improving the accuracy of the estimated arrival time. Its new volume slider helps control volume relative to other applications, so that dictated directions can be adequately heard.

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Previous News

Construction sample of Apple Campus 2 appears in Germany

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

A life-size "slice" of the planned exterior of Apple's under-construction Campus 2 has popped up in Gundelfingen, Germany, reports German enthusiast site iFun.de. Pictured posted on the site show two stories of the expected four- or five-story (above ground) structure, which will be built as a massive ring-like office building with a large natural area in the center. The segment was likely created to test the materials chosen for the building's exterior.

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Wink-enabled products arrive at Home Depot, platform links 60 devices

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: accessories

As several big companies are gearing up for entry into the home automation market, a smaller company may end up beating them to the punch. Wink, a company that originates from the crowdsourcing inventor hub Quirky, has partnered with several big names in home automation to allow a central service for device control. The endeavor is getting a new boost, as Wink-enabled products are now in 2,000 Home Depot locations.

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Lyft starting NYC service on Friday despite city government objection

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: industry, iPhone apps, iPad apps

Ride-sharing service Lyft has revealed that it intends to start operating in the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens as initial launch markets in New York City. Calling the areas "vastly underserved by public transit options," the service launches on 7PM EST on Friday, July 11, but is facing significant resistance both from established cab companies and city government.

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Apple launches promised iTunes U 2.0 with full course creation

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: iPod, education, iPhone, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad, iPad apps

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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Fourth Swiss Apple Store to open in Basel on July 12

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: Apple

Apple is opening a new outlet in Basel, Switzerland on July 12 at 10AM local time, according to the company's website. The shop will be based in Freie Strasse, well-known as a shopping and restaurant district. Regular operating hours will be relatively limited, however: Monday to Wednesday, the store will be open from 9AM to 6:30PM. It will close at 6PM on Saturdays, and will not reopen until the following Monday. Only on Thursdays and Fridays will people be able to shop until 8PM.

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Forums: Mavericks Applescript Problem

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, software, upgrades/storage, Apple

This week, MacNN Forum members assist others with troubleshooting Applescript problems, updating Flash issues with Safari, and more. One Fresh-Faced Recruit has been having problems with an Applescript after upgrading to Mavericks from Mountain Lion, and he hopes that others might be able to assist in figuring out why. Today, "jeff k" was asking fellow forum-goers if they could figure out why Safari would keep asking him to do a Flash update after he has already updated Flash.

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Apple deals: Macs from $779

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: computers, Apple

This week at Apple's online store, find bargain prices on refurbished Macs staring as low as $779 for the 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. A $150 discount drops the price on the refurbished Mac mini with OS X Server, a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives down to $849.

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DealNN: MBPs, monitors and more

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: computers, gaming, gadgets, upgrades/storage, Apple

This week, Adorama has the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro for the reduced price of $2,550. That's $150 off the list price of $2,700, and the lowest price we've seen on this model by nearly $100. This MacBook Pro features a 2.8GHz processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.

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Apple opens 'secret' eBay storefront with unlocked iPhone 5 models

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, Apple

Apple appears to have opened another "factory outlet" storefront on eBay, in this case offering unlocked, refurbished GSM iPhone 5 models, notes AppleInsider. The page is similar to one launched last year that was selling products like refurbished iPads. Each phone is said to be officially inspected and include a one-year warranty, as well as a manual and charger.

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Senior Apple Maps engineer makes jump to Uber

Tue July 8, 2014 | Posted in: industry, Apple

A senior Maps engineering manager at Apple, Chris Blumenberg, has left the company to work at ridesharing service Uber, according to reports. Blumenberg was with Apple for over 14 years, and is credited with helping to develop the original iOS (then iPhone OS) Maps app, as well that platform's version of Safari. Uber, notably, has been rising in popularity, and is closely associated with Google.

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