Stars composer Stevie Wonder, singer Andra Daye
Apple has revealed its 2015 Christmas ad, titled "Someday at Christmas" after a 1967 song by Stevie Wonder, on its YouTube channel. The spot stars Wonder and singer Andra Daye, who duet on the piece while portraying an African-American family at Christmas, with kids running around and holiday decorations deployed. Unlike most recent Apple ads, the TV commercial does not feature any product or service, though Wonder, who has been blind since early childhood, can be seen mixing the track on a MacBook, using VoiceOver in Garageband.
Improves VoiceOver support, adds two-factor iTunes authentication, more
In addition to iOS 9, Apple has updated its iTunes program for OS X to version 12.3 to support the new iOS release, tweak some aspects of the "love" rating, improve iTunes accessibility with VoiceOver, and add support for two-factor authentication for Apple IDs -- along with the usual "improvements to overall stability and performance." While any changes or fixes to the paid Apple Music service or its relationship to iTunes Match are not mentioned, fixes for Up Next and Recently Played are included.
Wi-Fi, VoiceOver, Mail, general system compatibility are focus areas
On Wednesday, Apple released a new build of the forthcoming 10.10.2 maintenance update to developers and testers. The new version, 14C94b, indicates few new binaries since the previous developer build (14C81f) issued nearly a month ago, and could hint that the patch update is nearing release. Testers are again asked to focus on Wi-Fi, Mail, and VoiceOver, the latter two areas of which were added in the last developer build. Apple has also released the build for previously-signed up public beta testers.
Parallel case could nullify Samsung patent at heart of dispute
Among the many other battles Samsung and Apple are fighting in various courts around the world, a particular case in Germany involves Samsung suing Apple, claiming that the latter's "VoiceOver" feature violates some Samsung patents. The case, being tried in Mannheim, has been put on hold as Apple has challenged the validity of the patents as a whole, which experts believe has a good chance of being successful. The judge in the case said that a possible nullification of the one remaining patent being asserted could render the current case moot.