Traditionally, iPhones bought from Apple Stores come in two varieties: locked to an individual carrier with a two-year contract, or completely unlocked but at full retail price. Last month, the company began allowing sales of iPhones on pre-paid plans, and now appears to be poised to allow Apple Store sales of iPhones to existing (and eligible) AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, T-Mobile Jump, and possibly Sprint EasyPay customers, who have the freedom to upgrade their phones more often in exchange for a slightly higher monthly charge.
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2 hours ago | Posted in: audio, iPhone apps, Apple, iPad apps
As the process of Beats Music's acquisition by Apple continues, the iOS app for the subscription-based Beats Music service has received an update to both make playback better and more reliable as well as to improve the overall user experience. The new version 2.2.0 gives users the ability to customize the services's "Just For You" recommendations by changing artists and genres with a new feature called Tune Your Taste. In addition to some other changes, Beats reports that it has "fixed a ton of bugs."
5 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple
Two years after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial, the big winner in that case -- Apple -- has dropped a motion to cross-appeal a portion of Judge Lucy Koh's final verdict. The action means that the company has officially given up hope of seeing any product bans on the 23 Samsung products found guilty of copying Apple technology, though the matter is largely moot as none of the products are still offered for sale anyway. Despite the clear victory in the jury trial, Judge Koh twice refused to issue sales injunctions on the infringing Samsung products.
7 hours ago | Posted in: industry, gadgets, iPhone apps, mobile phones, Apple, iPad apps
HBC Department Store Group, which owns both the Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay department store chain, has announced it will be using indoor iBeacons leveraging Apple technology, manufactured by Motorola Solutions and powered by software from Swirl Networks across more than 130 of the corporation's stores in Canada and the US. The move follows in the footsteps of Macy's, which did a similar deployment of iBeacons last November in stores in New York City and San Francisco.
9 hours ago | Posted in: iPod, iPhone, industry, iPhone apps, iPad
A Bitcoin trading app, Blockchain, has been allowed to return to the iOS App Store, reports note. The title was one of several removed from the App Store early this year during an Apple crackdown. The company's policy is normally to prohibit apps allowing activities which may be illegal in some countries. Although Bitcoin has become increasingly accepted, it still sits in a legal limbo in many regions.
10 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone apps, iPad apps
Hilton Worldwide has announced that its guests will now be able to use their iOS or Android device to control most elements of a guest's hotel stay. Due to roll out this summer, the upcoming Hilton app will soon allows users to choose a preferred room, make requests, and check in and out of the hotel. Room selection is anticipated to be available by the end of the year, and will include DoubleTree and Embassy Suites. In 2015, guests' phones will also unlock their room. Most of these features focus on bypassing the physical hotel lobby. By the end of 2016, Hilton aims to integrate the majority of its rooms world-wide with these new app-based functionalities.
12 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone
A Chinese repair firm, GeekBar, claims to have obtained photos of the logic boards for Apple's upcoming 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones. The two are noticeably different from each other and the board for the iPhone 5s; significantly, the one for the 5.5-inch iPhone -- sometimes dubbed the "iPhone Air" -- isn't larger than the one for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but simply has a different layout. In both cases, chips and other installed components are missing.
13 hours ago | Posted in: mobile phones
T-Mobile has unveiled a new promotional price plan, one which is taking aim directly at AT&T. In remarks against AT&T's "Best-Ever Pricing for Families" marketing, T-Mobile CEO John Legere relayed details of a plan effectively providing four lines on the carrier's Simple Choice shared price plan, complete with 10GB of LTE service, for $100 per month.
Apple is on the verge of buying out Swell, a radio and podcast streaming app for iOS, sources say. The deal is reportedly worth $30 million, and if completed should result in the shutdown of the app's services sometime this week. While Swell has a dedicated fanbase, it's also said to have had trouble finding users beyond that group. An Android app was in beta testing but never released.
The European Commission has authorized Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats, according to an official statement. The organization was tasked with scrutinizing any possible antitrust concerns in the deal. In its judgment, the Commission notes that while both Apple and Beats sell headphones in Europe, even their combined marketshare is low, and the companies aren't in close competition. Their headphones are said to "differ markedly in functionality and design."
15 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps
Bartender allows users to clean up their menu bar by hiding, rearranging, or moving menubar items into the Bartender bar. The latest release includes support for the OS X Yosemite beta, as well as a number of fixes for issues specific to the latest Yosemite builds.
TotalFinder is a tool that adds tabs, hot keys, and other various tweaks to the Mac OS X Finder. New to v1.6.2 is initial compatibility for the OS X Yosemite beta, as well as a TotalFinderDockIconIgnoresVisor tweak that has been requested by users. A scenario where the cut selection would stop updating itself has also been fixed and a number of general stability improvements have been made.
VLC Media Player includes support for a wide range of audio and video file formats, including DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Version 2.1.5 includes a number of fixes and improvements, including a more stable QTSound capture module, correct video-on-top support, a larger audio output buffer size, and a fix for DxVA2 sample decoding.
CyberDuck is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. A connection failure that occurs when sandboxing denies access to ~/.ssh/known_hosts has been fixed with this update.
Default Folder X provides users with quick access to folders and commands by attaching a toolbar to the right side of Open and Save dialogs in OS X. The v4.6.8 update fixes a code signing problem that prevented the previous release from enhancing some applications when running Yosemite.
16 hours ago | Posted in: security, iPhone apps
16 hours ago | Posted in: computers
The MacBook Pro refreshes hinted at during the weekend may ship on Tuesday, according to a source for French site MacG. The updated 13-inch Pro is said to have a "J44a" model name, while its 15-inch counterpart is the "J45a." The source didn't have any specifications or prices to share.
23 hours ago | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage, Apple
A sign spotted by a Mac user at the new Paradise Walk Apple Store in Chongqing , China may have leaked the changes coming to the next lineup of 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, with the most dramatic being the bump up to 16GB of RAM as standard on all models, even the low-end unit. Assuming the sign is correct, all three models of Retina MacBook Pro will bump around 200MHz in speed, with the line jumping to 2.2GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz, respectively. It is assumed that the RAM in the Retina models remains non-upgradeable.
Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: audio
For all the different configurations of headphones on the market, it's always a tough choice for buyers to get something that is just right. For consumers searching for a strong sound but who don't want to shell out a couple hundred dollars on over-the-ear headphones, on-ear is the next step down. But does that mean the sound quality is a step down as well? The JBL Synchros E40BT headphones aim to convince users otherwise, with their balanced approach to sound and mid-range price. Does that mean that the headphones are good, or something that consumers would be settling for? Find out in our review.
A new patent application from Samsung has surfaced, in which the company is seeking to claim a patent on a new type of sleeve for tablets. While that would not be cause for concern in most cases, some of the art in the application makes a direct call to a familiar cover for Apple's iPads. In the filing, Samsung - which has been repeatedly accused by Apple and others of "slavishly copying" the iPhone maker -- introduces prior art in the form of Apple's Smart Cover.
Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: industry, mobile phones
The Pirate Bay, a website linked to illegal torrent downloads, launched a new version of the site last week that aims to make the experience of using the service easier for mobile users. The new website, aptly named The Mobile Bay, revamps the design of the current website to make it friendlier to touch devices and easier to filter content.
Sun July 27, 2014 | Posted in: software, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps
E-on Software has announced the release of its Ozone 2014 Personal Learning Edition, a sun and atmospheric lighting simulator. The software produces ultra-realistic environments with volumetric clouds, accurate light dispersion, and natural phenomena such as "Godrays." Users can create new atmospheres, and load any of the included presets and modify them.
Sat July 26, 2014 | Posted in: networking
In a letter filed with the US Federal Communications Commission regarding the pending net neutrality proposal, pro-cable company advocacy group The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) believes that if the "fast lane" net neutrality proposal stands as is, then "hyper-giants" like Amazon, eBay, Netflix, Facebook, and Google could charge the cable companies to allow customers to access services, essentially holding Internet Service Providers hostage. The cable companies allege to have no defense against such tactics, and claim to lack a "practical ability" or the incentive to throttle said large Internet companies.
Sat July 26, 2014 | Posted in: industry
Some authors have begun to side with publisher Hachette in its struggle against Amazon. A letter, signed by almost 900 authors, is objecting to the way that Amazon is handling Hachette, saying that the fight is "harming authors who have nothing to do with this dispute to gain leverage." Amazon claims to be "looking out for the customer" in the dispute, and has already responded to the unpublished letter, calling the spearhead of the campaign "entitled" and an "opportunist."
Sat July 26, 2014 | Posted in: software, accessories
Mac accessories producer Incase has announced the introduction of its newest sleeve case for MacBook Pro and iPad. The Icon Sleeve features a construction comparable to that of performance footwear, offering lightweight framing material that can absorb shock. The sleeve protects the device on its outer edge, making it less vulnerable to damage. Its sleeve panels are neoprene, featuring soft flexibility. Priced at $60, the Icon Sleeve is available online through Incase and at Apple store locations.
Though the increase is insignificant in the larger picture of overall global Mac web traffic, new numbers from GoSquared suggest that the release yesterday of the Yosemite (OS X 10.10) public beta, limited to a pool of one million Apple ID holders already running Mavericks, doubled the number of people using the forthcoming new update on the web literally overnight. According to GoSquared's live analytics page, use of Yosemite jumped from 0.26 percent on Thursday to 0.57 percent on Friday.
On Friday, Apple revealed that it had purchased book analytics and discovery company BookLamp for an undisclosed sum, though TechCrunch estimated the sale between $10-15 million. While it acknowledged the deal, the iPhone maker's only comment on the deal was its standard "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans" line. The company is likely to use BookLamp technology in its iBookstore to help readers discover new content.
Regulatory filings with the SEC have revealed that Apple spent another $5 billion during the June quarter as part of its share-repurchase program to retire an additional 58 million shares of stock at an average (split-adjusted) price of $85.23 per share, still well below the current trading average, and about the same price per share as well CEO Tim Cook first announced the buyback plan just over two years ago. The recent expenditure is less aggressive than seen in quarters where the share price was lower, signalling reduced buyback activity.
Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, security, mobile phones
In an unexpected move, and avoiding a potential fight, the House of Representatives has passed bill S517, aiming to make cellphone unlocking legal. The amended bill, passed by the Senate last week, was passed with no changes -- a controversial clause of the bill previously passed by the House, prohibiting bulk unlocking by companies, has been removed from the final passed version.
Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: computers, troubleshooting, Apple
This week in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" asks "Why isn't anyone excited about Yosemite?", to which a variety of answers ranging from "I'm ecstatic" to "Yosemite is...eh" have been provided. Dedicated MacNNer "gregfripp" is trying to fix something in his dock, but is unable to do so, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.
Today Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished Mac models on sale, starting as low as $719. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $130 to $719. A $150 discount drops the price on the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, OS X Server, 4GB of RAM and dual 1TB hard drives down to $849.
Fri July 25, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, networking, mobile phones, iPad
Starting October 1, Verizon will begin throttling some of its "unlimited" LTE users, according to an official announcement. The carrier promises that only five percent of that group -- those using 4.7GB or more per month -- will be affected, and "only in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand." Unlimited 3G access has been throttled in a similar manner for some time.
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