Both among tech and entertainment names to be interviewed
Among the list of speakers coming to the New Establishment Summit hosted by Vanity Fair in October will be Apple's Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive, making a second appearance at the event. He will be joined in Apple representation by Beats co-founder and Apple music executive Jimmy Iovine, though it is unclear if the two will appear together. The event will run October 5–7 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
Apple now selling third-party Apple Watch accessories in Apple Stores
Apple Stores around the US are now selling third-party Apple Watch accessories at the stores, often featuring packaging co-designed with Apple in an effort to give accessories a more uniform look. The first of these new products is the NightStand for Apple Watch, created by ElevationLabs. The new unit is only available in retail stores, and has not yet appeared online.
Up to $600 off refurbished Mac Pros
At Apple's online store today, take advantage of steep discounts on refurbished Mac Pro configurations. Starting at $2,549, after a $450 discount, is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. Next up, priced at $2,889, is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core E5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage.
Our grades for the likelihood of various whispers and scuttlebutt
So now that it is finally confirmed that Apple has chosen September 9 for its big event, and a different venue than usual to accommodate more press and that requires some street closures for a likely outdoor component (which hints strongly that something unexpected is up), the rumors are again flying about what we should expect to see at the event. Let's have a look at what's being whispered about, and a (speculative) look at the odds any of it will happen.
Classes and workshops more popular, also being revamped
As previously reported, Apple is retiring the $99 per year "One to One" training program in favor of an upgraded and free workshops program as of September 28. The company, in a leaked memo to employees, cited lower attendance as the primary reason for the sunsetting of the paid program, and has reorganized its workshop scheduling pages on its website to make it easier for users to schedule classes.
Sensor project will cost $171M, potentially help monitor soldiers, vehicles
Apple is working with the US government alongside a number of other major companies and institutions to develop new wearable technology. The Pentagon project, said to be using third-parties instead of its own development resources due to the rapid pace of creating new technologies, is aiming to create ways for sensors and other electronics to be embedded into the outwards-facing surfaces of vehicles, such as a jet, or part of the uniform worn by military personnel.
Executive helped create Beats 1 streaming radio station, hiring of DJ Zane Lowe
A key executive that helped with the launch of Beats 1 has resigned from Apple, just two months after it went live as part of Apple Music. Ian Rogers, instrumental in the creation of the always-on streaming radio station, is said in reports to be moving on from Apple to work in an "unrelated industry" for an unnamed company in Europe, with the decision to leave Apple being described as an unexpected departure by the executive.
Bone conduction, multiple microphones used for noise cancellation proposal
Apple is experimenting with ways to use bone conduction technology with its EarPods, in order to make calls through headsets clearer for both parties. The patent application, recently published but originally filed in February last year, explains a system where untethered earbuds include a multitude of sensors and microphones that can combat background noise and wind, allowing the wearer to be better heard by the other party of a call.
Not everything can be an iMac
There's a discussion on this week's new MacNN: One More Thing podcast about Macs versus Windows wherein one person says it would now take dynamite to get him off OS X. Just occasionally, it's as if Apple says Challenge Accepted because alongside gorgeous iMacs and sleek MacBook Airs, it has also devoted its design skills to some truly dreadful hardware. Machines so bad that we know they lost Apple customers -- even when they were specifically meant to celebrate the company's skills.
'Hey Siri, give us a hint' headlines the invitation
Apple has officially invited media to its September 9 event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The heading for the event is "Hey Siri, give us a hint," referencing Apple's voice recognition and interpretation technology that may extend itself past the iPhone and iPad at the event in either OS X or other hardware.
Looking at little things you can give yourself, in the absence of children
Kids are great -- except when they aren't. The fall is fabulous for many reasons, not the least of which is sending the munchkins off to be educated for the day, and off to college for the older set. Yeah, kids are the future, but parental freedom is good -- and necessary too. In this gift guide, we look at a few options for parents sending their entire brood off to school.
Engineer hired by Korean company revealed FinFET fabrication process
A senior engineer at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) who left the company after nearly 20 years, has been found guilty of illegally passing on the firm's trade secrets, specifically the FinFET fabrication process, to Samsung -- which then copied the process in order to win a majority of the orders of Apple's A-series processor manufacturing, a Taiwanese court has found.
Learning a lesson and hammering on the keys with help from Apple Music
This is my 20th year of freelancing, I think. Could be 21st. Maybe 22nd. It's funny how leaving regular employment was a mountain when it was ahead of me, but not even a hill in retrospect. Whenever I did it, though, I've now had at least two decades of working from home, plus very often fitting in with many different offices. A week-long project in a book publisher's building, one day a week at a magazine's office, running mentoring sessions in people's homes, workshops at festivals, and once doing a thing in an abbey. Call me stupid, but it's taken the new Apple Music service to make me realize that across every place I went, I had to adapt to different attitudes to music.
Part of ongoing consolidation between retail and online stores
As part of an ongoing revamp focused on greater integration between online and retail experiences, Apple has made some changes to its now-integrated retail areas of the its website, specifically to clean up and consolidate workshop scheduling and appointments. The new system is similar to the Genius Bar reservation system, and allows users to quickly locate workshops, One to One classes, and Joint Venture events.
Patent troll Acacia and Adaptix shot down in Judge Paul Grewal's ruling
US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has shut down a non-practicing entity, or patent troll, seeking to relaunch suits against cellphone manufacturers Sony, Amazon, and Apple, among others, over 4G patents. Patent aggregation company Acacia and subsidiary Adaptix has been denied further suits over new products launched by the companies using the same technology, with the judge saying that it must be satisfied with existing lawsuit results and patent agreements in place.
Company denies shot at Apple with trademark, says 'film noir' product inbound
Responding to recent coverage of Swatch's "one more thing" trademark, the company has refused claims that it has anything to do with Apple, and claims inspiration from classic television show Columbo. In an interview, a company spokesperson denied any such move by the watch manufacturer and said that regarding the phrase "obviously our design team plans to launch a collection inspired by the 'Film Noir'."
Award part of pre-arranged performance compensation package
[Updated with filing info for Eddy Cue] A pair of filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed that Apple CEO Tim Cook and SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue have been awarded a total of 910,000 shares of AAPL stock for differing reasons. In the case of Cook, the company's performance relative to other companies in the S&P 500 over the last two years merited the award. The combined gross value of the stock is nearly $94 million at current prices.
Ruling benefits Lenovo, Android generally, though patent no longer infringed
One of the lynchpins of Apple's original court challenges against Android was set aside in a European court on Tuesday, as a top patent court in German ruled that the European version of Apple's "swipe-to-unlock" feature for the iPhone "was already suggested by the state of the art" at the time, and should not have been granted patent-level status.
Tales of MacNN staffers' hardware in days of yore
Apple hardware has, generally, been solid since inception. Sure, there was the Apple III, and the Performa, but generally, the quality of the OS and hardware beats the alternative. However, besides just the Cupertino hardware, everybody we've talked to recently speaks fondly of a peripheral that really drove home the point of the platform. Most of these innovations have since made it to other devices, but for a while, the Mac was the center of innovation. Three of our more "seasoned" staffers were there for the inception of the Mac, and either by destiny or accident, made it their platform of choice. Here are their stories of the non-Apple gear that pushed the assimilation for them.
New version also features more presets, filters, modulation sources, more
On Tuesday, Apple issued a major update of its pro audio software Logic Pro X, now incorporating the Alchemy soft synthesizer from its takeover of Camel Audio and adding new loops, filters, presets, modulation sources, and ways to more easily find and control them. Alchemy and some of the other improvements added to Logic Pro X have also been incorporated into MainStage, now at version 3.2 with the Alchemy synth in it as well.
Rush to put Watch in all stores accompanies revamp of Apple SWASs
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly has announced that the retailer will change course on the Apple Watch, and rush to put the wearable in all 1,050 of its retail locations in the US "by the end of September," instead of the 300 outlets it was previously planning for. In addition, the iPhone maker's "Store Within a Store" branded Apple sections within Best Buy stores in some 740 locations are undergoing renovations in time for the holiday season.
Cook's letter to Jim Cramer may have violated SEC disclosure regulation
Attorneys at various news agencies are claiming that Apple CEO Tim Cook is in violation of US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. The analysts purport that the letter to CNBC analyst and fund manager Jim Cramer that was read during a broadcast violate fair disclosure of corporate financial information, and the public exchange of data that may impact stock pricing.
In-store tuition scheme allegedly being phased out by Apple
Apple may be making another change to its retail stores, by allegedly ending its "One to One" subscription-based tutoring scheme. A report claims the program will be shutting down in favor of providing more free workshops, allowing multiple people to learn the same topic at the same time, which increases the number of people visiting the store as well as making more efficient use of its employees.
In which, a pair of staffers cover the topics of the week, shotgun style
Two man show! While the rest of the gang is off having a life, Mike and Jordan hit the microphones for this week's lean-and-mean episode. Up this week -- iPad Pro rumors, why we cover some of the rumors (but not all), Bungie's Destiny changes, and so much more!
New beta includes support for latest iOS 9, OS X 10.11, watchOS 2 betas
On Monday, Apple alerted developers that a new beta of Xcode 7 was now available, the sixth beta of the IDE program. The new build, 7A192o, includes an XCTest user interface testing tool, and fixes issues with watchOS app installation protocols and Xcode source control management. The beta also updates its support for forthcoming iOS, watchOS and OS X versions and the latest betas of same.
Apple Watch with Link Bracelets increase the appeal of wearing it regularly
As the Apple Watch global rollout continues, it has become clear that it is the single most successful smartwatch released to date. Although Apple hasn't broken out the exact sales figures, it is estimates that Apple has sold upwards of four million Apple Watches and counting. Two of the most appealing models within the range of ordinary buyers are the steel Apple Watch models with matching Link Bracelets. We take a closer look to see if they are worth the premium.
Requires vents to release small amount of water vapor, runs for a week
Users of smartphones are always complaining -- despite huge advancements in battery technology over the past few years -- about the need to recharge devices frequently. A new form factor from British firm Intelligent Energy could potentially change this to only having to recharge a phone on a weekly, rather than daily, basis. The company has placed a hydrogen fuel-cell battery into an iPhone 6 as a proof-of-concept, with only tiny changes to the casing for the device.
CEO seeks to reassure investors on China market strength, Apple growth
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has previously demonstrated a fondness for CNBC stock showman Jim Cramer, sent the host an email that Cramer subsequently made public in which Cook reassures Cramer and his audience that current worries about the Chinese economy (which have taken a substantive toll on the entire stock market, including Apple's stock) are fleeting, and that Apple's growth in the country continues apace.
Foxconn, Sharp talking new joint venture based on shared LCD plant
Two Apple suppliers -- Japanese TV maker Sharp, and Hon Hai (also known as Foxconn) -- are talking about a deal that would allow Sharp to spin off its display panel supplier business into a new joint venture with the China-based manufacturer. The two companies already run a LCD panel manufacturing facility in Osaka, and the new deal would like be an expansion of that existing partnership, possibly along with other companies.
CEO asked about digital divide, Silicon Valley diversity
Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared in a pre-recorded segment on Good Morning America today, highlighting Apple's participation in the US ConnectED program, rather than launching a new program as many media outlets reported. The Cupertino executive spoke about the digital divide, and answered questions about diversity in the technology sector with host Robin Roberts.
Concierge web service allegedly being integrated into individual Apple Store pages
Apple is allegedly preparing to make some changes to the way it handles Genius Bar and Workshop appointments, as it merges its online and physical stores into a more integrated experience. Arriving weeks after a refresh to the Apple website making it easier to buy items directly from their product pages, another upcoming change will reportedly do something similar for store appointments on the site, with it possibly happening as soon as August 25.
iTunes, and Swatches, and Bear stocks, oh my!
We hope your Sunday is going well so far. Today, as with nearly every Sunday, we share what informed us, or just plain tickled us. We're not just highlighting our own writing -- anything that we've discussed behind the scenes here at MacNN is fair game! Read on for thoughts on the events of the week in the tech world including more Swatch's impending assault by Apple legal ninjas, a Patreon for a site friend, French rumors about the new iPhone launch, and more!
Safari crashing, iCloud mail issues and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members troubleshoot problems ranging from Safari crashing to iCloud mail issues and more. Today, one Fresh-Faced Recruit is looking for answers as to why Safari keeps quitting unexpectedly every day at the same time, and has provided crash reports.
Macs from $679
At Apple's online store today, take advantage of price cuts on a wide selection of refurbished Apple models. The 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been reduced by $120 to $679. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of flash storage is now only $759 after a $140 discount.
Small percentage of devices have component failure that results in blurry photos
Apple has posted a new repair program for owners of the iPhone 6 Plus that will replace the device's iSight (rear) camera free of charge for up to three years after the phone was purchased, regardless of warranty status. Apple said it had determined that "a small percentage" of iPhone 6 models sold primarily between September of 2014 and January of 2015 have a component in them that could fail, causing photos to look blurry.
Leak from French carrier hints at seven-day preorder window for next iPhone
Some carriers may reportedly start to offer preorders for the next collection of iPhones within days of the rumored upcoming September 9 event, one expected to launch the smartphones. A leaked image from a French carrier appears to show an internal notice to staff that registrations for iPhone preorders will begin from September 11, just two days after the event, with the possibility similar timing may also apply to other carriers around the world.
Notes that mobile payment option is accepted at a million stores in US
Apple has added another commercial to its gallery of recent ads under the "if it's not an iPhone" banner, with a new rhyming ad that touts Apple Pay as another competitive advantage over rivals. The company's mobile payment option, which replaced credit and debit cards with more-secure Wallet-stored encrypted cards that can be used in conjunction with the iPhone 6 line's built-in Touch ID to offer safe, nearly-instant payment.
Apple Watch reseller expansion reaches London department store
In a follow-up to a story run earlier today about Apple expanding the number of third-party resellers of the Apple Watch, Selfridges department store in London has created an elaborate display of manmade flowers that emulate the various face options on the Apple Watch. The store has actually been one of only a handful of select resellers that have carried the Apple Watch since its April debut.
Steve Jobs common announcement phrase never trademarked by Apple
Watch manufacturer Swatch has applied for, and been granted a trademark on the term "one more thing." The company's application, filed in November of 2014 and granted by the Swiss regulators in May, covers products including watches, electronics, and other consumer goods and services.
China iPhone sales continuing to skyrocket amid contracting market
A new report from industry analyst Gartner claims that Apple's iPhone sales are continuing to grow, and that Samsung's sales are continuing to fall, particularly in China. Overall, the report says that Apple's worldwide smartphone share increased 36 percent, rising 2.4 percentage points to 14.6 percent, while Samsung's sales have dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year. In China, Apple's sales grew by 68 percent, while the overall Chinese smartphone market fell four percent compared to the same quarter last year.
Report claims Russian sapphire producer one of few to make operating profit
Following the issues at GT Advanced, one of Apple's producers of sapphire glass for the Apple Watch has been identified as a Russian company called Monocrystal, according to a report. The synthetic sapphire producer is claimed to be a supplier to Apple, providing two-inch sapphire wafers specifically for the wearable device, and is believed to be one of the few sapphire glass producers making an operating profit by the end of 2014, with Monocrystal bringing in $87 million in annual revenue.
Apple making strides to fix the problem, but not quite there yet
Following up on our last two rounds of iTunes testing has been grueling this week. After upgrading our test rig to the new iTunes last week, we re-ran our battery of tests regarding library corruption and re-tagging. Additionally, in response to some questions, we've re-ripped CDs recorded and produced in the last five years, and tested them with an entirely new Apple ID. How did the Apple update fare? Better, but still not where it needs to be -- read on for more details
Australian bond orders pass $1.2B in under 2 hours
Apple has launched a corporate bond sale in Australia managed by Goldman Sachs, Commonwealth Bank, and Deutsche Bank, marking its first such sale in Australian dollars. Launched as a "benchmark-sized" sale, one which would usually involve raising somewhere between AU$500 million and AU$1 billion ($365 million and $730 million) , the orders for this particular sale reached AU$1.2 billion ($877 million) within just two hours of being available to purchase.
List of 20 companies provides transit data covering ten cities
A recently-spotted change to the Apple Maps acknowledgements page has revealed a list of sources for the upcoming Transit feature. A total of 20 companies have been listed on the page, with each providing Apple with information relating to public transport schedules and other data that will be offered to Apple Maps users in the future, when iOS 9 is released for download by the public.
Public version was briefly released on Tuesday before being pulled
On Wednesday, Apple re-released a fifth public beta of OS X 10.11 El Capitan for registered public testers, and debuted a slightly different built as the seventh developer beta of the forthcoming OS X upgrade. Public testers got build number 15A262e, while developers received 15A263e -- suggesting that the new public beta version is identical to the one accidentally released -- and then pulled -- on Tuesday.
At stake is $400 million of $548 million damages award
Samsung has made its intention known to appeal the ruling on the its first trial with Apple before the US Supreme Court. In papers filed today, the Korean manufacturer petitioned that the continuing battle with Apple in the California courts be suspended until the matter could be heard before the Supreme Court, following the refusal last week at the US Federal Court of Appeals.
Customized watch face hack code for watchOS 2.0 beta published
A developer has found a way to add a custom watch face to the Apple Watch, a software feature that is unavailable to developers and users normally, outside of any officially-sanctioned faces. Hamza Sood has uploaded a video on Twitter demonstrating a self-created watch face he created, as well as providing the source code on GitHub to interested developers looking to create and use their own faces on the Apple-produced wearable.
Wall will stock units for direct sale rather than pulling stock from backroom
As part of a minor reorganization of the company's stores, Apple will make some changes to its signage, display, and layout in its Apple Stores over the next week that will see the iconic iPod line "demoted" to being a stockable product on the accessories wall rather than having its own section. Currently, a small iPod section has been used to sell both the music player and demonstrate Beats headphones, but this will be cannibalized to create space.
Company granted exception to foreign ownership rules
Apple has reportedly been granted a special exception to the United Arab Emirates' foreign ownership laws that will allow it to retain complete control of its operations in the country, and in exchange will finally move forward with two planned stores, the first in the Middle East. Reports say that the iPhone maker will now go ahead with construction of stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with the Dubai store possibly opening later this year.
Initial, erroneous, reports claimed device was banned on field
Contrary to previous reports, Major League Baseball (MLB) has not extended its smartphone ban on players and managerial staff during games to the Apple Watch and other wearables. Concern was raised by the Los Angeles Angels during a series earlier this week, which launched the query about the device when not connected to a phone.