Apple has opened registrations for its annual summer camp for kids in the US, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, allowing children ages 8 to 12 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian to attend a series of workshops at a local Apple Store focused on iMovie, iBooks Author, and in some countries, basic programming. The sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis, and tend to fill up quickly.
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Today's highlighted items are all photography-based gadgets, with the imaging devices including a dash cam, a handy waterproof snapper, a high-tech post-shot-refocus camera, and one retro item that could be used as a history lesson for younger photographers to learn from.
As expected, Apple on Tuesday released the public-tester versions of its latest OS X and iOS betas -- the third round of OS X 10.11.6 and iOS 9.3.3 betas for testing, alongside a developer-only version of the forthcoming tvOS update, v9.2.2. The two major-platform betas, now available to pre-registered public testers, offer no notable changes or major bug fixes, but instead focus on minor bugs, security enhancements, and performance or interface tweaks.
Adobe has made a large number of updates to its suite of Creative Cloud apps today. While most of the main apps have extra features for designers and film makers to try out, the main changes revolve around a few major additions to Photoshop, as well as a deeper integration with Adobe Stock, increasing the library of content available to use as well as making it easier to add content to a project, and notice of an upcoming change for users to make money from their own creations.
Apple is starting to pay customers who purchased e-books from the iBooks store in the past, as part of its $450 million settlement to end a lawsuit over alleged e-book price fixing. Starting from today, affected consumers will receive a store credit from the company, with the law firm Hagens Berman advising the $400 million allocated to customers would be paid out at different levels, depending on the popularity of the books in question.
For quite a while now, MacNN sometimes finds a deal that is too big or important to go into our other deal lists, and is deserving enough to be highlighted inside its own Big Deals post. Even though this writing team hasn't got much time left, we're still going to point out the deals we think you will enjoy. This time, it is one of the largest photography bundles available online right now, with the aptly named The Big Deal 2016 from Foto Promos.
Various reports have confirmed that Apple is beginning to remove the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro, the least expensive model, off the floor of its stores, with clerks steering budget-minded customers towards refurbished Retina models instead. The move comes even as expectations rise about a forthcoming refresh of the MacBook Pro line, which is overdue for a specifications bump and may -- according to rumor -- drop the non-Retina model entirely in the next round of possible upgrades, including a move to Skylake processors and new graphics systems.
Spotify has broken a major milestone, with the streaming music service claiming it has now got more than 100 million active monthly subscribers. The Swedish streaming company advised earlier today that approximately 30 percent of its user base pay a monthly subscription fee, and the number of users of the service continues to grow at a rate of 1.8 million users per month, though at a cost to its bottom line.
Cast your mind back to the spring of 1995. Apple was making Macs -- the last of the Performas, among other models -- and the Clone Wars were already underway, all while MacNN was starting out as a serious journal covering Mac technology. Nothing has changed since then, and yet everything has changed: Apple is now a cultural force, it's shaping new industries, and it's even making some money now, we hear. From when the company was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance, to the crowning of Apple as the most valuable and influential tech company in the world, MacNN has been there. As of July 1, Apple will carry on -- but MacNN will not, we're sorry to say.
Apple may have its own retail outlets in India after all, as the government has made changes to requirements hindering the company's progress. Rules that force retailers to source at least 30 percent of its products from within the country have been eased, giving Apple and other major companies with their own retail presence the ability to open stores in India, without having to worry about fulfilling the requirement for a while.
It's time for episode 67, and we're going to mix it up a bit this week. Mike and Charles, both of whom are former residents of Orlando, start off the show talking about the mass shooting there, and (despite very different political leanings) come up with a reasonable and rational set of proposals that would dramatically cut down on such tragedies (with proof) while preserving protected liberties, and thus no rational person would disagree. Oops, we can already see the flaw in that plan from here.
It's a week of departures from Apple -- and not to spoil things too much, but whether people chose to leave or were pointed toward the door, it doesn't seem to have worked out brilliantly for them. Then again, it's not as if this has been an entirely good week for Apple itself, as there are two huge product launches that are marred by mistakes. All in all, there's not a lot in this week of June 18 to 24, across 1976 to 2016, to give you any clue that Apple would take over the world. Except, this is the week it did take over eWorld.
Every day, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our MacNN Deals store. Today's selections are all light-providing devices and accessories, including a way to improve your light for selfies and video calls, something to help you connect devices in the dark, and two neat ways to illuminate your desk or a room.
It is now possible to get money out from a bank account via Apple Pay, as Bank of America has started to roll out ATMs capable of using Apple Pay for transactions in a limited number of markets. Hinted at earlier this year, the first ATMs that are compatible with Apple Pay for withdrawals have been spotted in California, expanding a recent pilot program consisting of two ATMs based in the Bay Area of San Francisco into other markets.
In a bid to boost the discoverability of new apps, Apple announced earlier that it would launch a test program for Search Ads, a forthcoming feature to the App Store that offers -- for the first time -- paid promotions on one of Apple's storefronts. Previously, Apple staffers have picked items to received promoted status at will, resisting efforts at putting advertising in the search results for fear that big players would dominate and further obscure up-and-coming, smaller, and new releases.
Apple's iOS has reached a significant milestone in reaching its tenth iteration, and Apple continues to pump out the changes with renewed momentum. If there are some themes running through the latest release, it is that Apple is making iOS and the built-in app experience "richer," making them "bolder," and making them more "intuitive." When you're actually in them, that is. When you are not, you can still get things done through your apps via the upgrades to Siri, without needing to open them at all. If you thought that iPhone apps had somehow reached the conclusion of their evolution, Apple has shown with iOS 10, that there can never be enough reinvention, reimagination and reinvigoration of the user experience.
Apple, which is seen as a relatively minor political player compared to other tech firms, has opted out of supporting the Republican Party's 2016 presidential convention due to presumptive nominee Donald Trump's long string of racist, misogynist, and minority-bashing comments. A number of other tech and non-tech companies have also indicated they will not provide funding or other support for the convention as well -- HP had previously said it would skip the convention, and Microsoft has opted to cut back on its contribution. Most of the big tech players generally offer computers and cash to both of major party conventions.
Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff that you can get, and possibly make use of this weekend, without spending a single cent. The freebies this time include lessons on how to improve the food you cook, a way to keep track of your workouts, and an extremely powerful OCR app.
We spend a fair amount of time in this space belittling the predictions and pontifications of pundits around here (one in particular -- though we would like to stress that it is the sites that unfairly balloon his above-average-but-imperfect record into gospel-like status that we actually don't care for, not the man himself). We love deconstructing rumors (where needed), rooting out the source, watching it evolve and refine (or be walked back and forgotten), and let's not forget: even if it's clearly nonsense, rumors can be fun and entertaining. We feed on them.
An accessory for the upcoming Pokémon game for mobile devices is now available to pre-order. The Pokémon Go Plus, an accessory that was revealed during E3 to be arriving sometime after the iOS and Android game's release date, has surfaced on Amazon for players to acquire before it ships, though while it keeps the $35 price tag declared by Nintendo earlier this week, it is currently listed with a release date of December 31, instead of an expected launch in the months following July.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE