Sold-out conference will cost winners $1,600, Apple increases diversity scholarships
On Friday, lucky recipients started receiving emails that they had been selected at random in a ticket lottery to register for the company's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, which will start on June 8. The ticket lottery was required due to the incredible growth of Apple's iOS and OS X developer programs, which have nearly-instantly sold out over the last few years, and the company's desire to continue the conference at Moscone West, which allows for a total of 5,350 attendees, not counting press or the 1,000 Apple engineers who will be on hand.
Android gains 70 percent of downloads, iOS gains 70 percent of revenue
A new report by analytics firm App Annie has revealed that Apple and Google, as the progenitors of iOS and Android respectively, are locked in a roughly stalemated battle when it comes to revenues from apps versus app downloads. Google's Android enjoys the majority of app downloads, as it has for some time -- but continues to be unable to catch Apple in terms of being able to reward developers for their work. In a set of charts from the analytics firm, Apple's revenue from app sales is about 70 percent higher than Google Play, while Google's downloads outpaced Apple's by 70 percent.
Win 1 of 5 copies of DiRT 3 racing
Earlier this year Feral Interactive released their latest racing game, DiRT 3 for Mac. We got our hands on a copy for review a few weeks back and had some fun taking this off-road racing game through the wringer. The fun doesn't stop there though, we have 5 Steam redemption codes to share with 5 lucky winners.
Stores to offer workshop on Apple Watch starting April 24, despite shortages
Although the unexpected sellout of the Apple Watch will put a crimp of unavailability in the works, Apple is going ahead with new "Apple Watch Basics" workshops at some of its retail stores beginning April 24. The lucky relative few who will receive their pre-orders on or near launch day, along with those who are still waiting, are likely to be the chief participants in the workshops, which will run through May 8 in the US only. The classes will run approximately 60 minutes in order to cover all of the many key features of the new device.
OSX compatibility, iPhone screen replacements and more
This week in the MacNN Forums, Moderator "andi*pandi&" recently scored a white MacBook and discovered they are able to upgrade the OS for free, but wonders if 10.10 would "run like a dead horse" on that machine, or if it would be alright. Yesterday one Dedicated MacNNer announced the breaking of his wife's iPhone 4 screen, and has a few questions about buying a replacement.
iPods, iPads and accessories
At Apple's online store right now, take advantage of price cuts on refurbished iPods, iPads and Apple Accessories. The 5th generation refurbished 16GB iPod touch is now only $149 after a $30 price break, but for even more bang for your buck, get the 32GB 4th generation Touch for only $10 more, now $159. The 4th generation 64GB Touch is also a steal at $209 after a $120 discount.
Companies have worked in the US before; effort is first international deal
SunPower Corporation today announced that it plans to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40MW in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China. When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development, SunPower's project development joint venture, and Apple.
Contract between LAUSD and Apple not being examined, only financials
Adding a further level of complexity to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) failed iPad program, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an "informal inquiry" to investigate if the school complied with legal requirements for bond usage in the purchase. The agency is reportedly examining if the contract was properly disclosed to investors, and if sufficient documentation was provided to insure the bonds were used legally.
Veteran Apple PR spokesman named as replacement for retired Katie Cotton
Nearly a year after former Apple PR chief Katie Cotton retired from the post, Apple has finally named her successor: her lieutenant and interim chief, Steve Dowling. For the past 12 years, Dowling has been one of the lead spokespeople for the company, and was in charge of the iPhone maker's corporate PR team. Having filled in for Cotton since October, he will formally take the reins of the company's worldwide communications strategy. Prior to joining Apple, Dowling was a CNBC broadcaster covering tech news. The company also recently hired well-known MacWorld columnist Chris Breen for an unnamed promotional role.
New beta comes on heels of 10.10.3 release, no change log yet available
Just a week after the official release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 and days after the first beta of iOS 8.4, Apple has posted the first 10.10.4 beta for developers and testers, though it is has not been (and is not likely to be) made available to public beta testers until future builds are released. The sparse announcement of the new beta says only that the update focuses on "stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac," which suggests it will build on the improvements made in 10.10.3.
Company expands video tutorials on Apple Watch features in run-up to launch day
Yesterday, Apple posted four new videos to its site and YouTube channel showcasing additional tent-pole features of the Apple Watch, including handling phone calls, interacting with Siri, music playback, and Maps usage. Last week the company had posted a general overview tutorial video, along with shorter ones focusing on Digital Touch, messaging, and customizing the watch face. The videos reveal minor details of the various operations previously not publicized.
Not all users affected, but caused kernel panics, startup issues in some machines
On Thursday, Apple released a rare supplemental update to OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 that resolves a bug in a video driver that was causing some Mac owners to report startup issues or even full-blown kernel panics "when running certain apps that capture video," said the company. Users were reported longer-than-normal startup times or crashes. Not fixed by the new update are scattered reports of problems opening large JPEG files using Preview of QuickLook, but this is again not a universal issue.
Forest will be harvested under 'working forest' conditions to provide paper pulp
Apple, in conjunction with The Conservation Fund, is planning on a 36,000 acre purchase of forest land. The forests will be harvested in an eco-friendly way to supply Apple, and other companies needing pulp for packaging, and will be managed with "an eye toward the long-term economic well-being of the forest," according to a joint press release.
Apple CEO profiled by civil rights leader John Lewis; Ive profiles Airbnb CEO
Time magazine has named Apple CEO Tim Cook as one of the "100 Most Influential People," saying that his work at Apple proves "that even the most successful companies can and should be judged by more than just their bottom line." The profile on Cook was written by long-time civil rights activist and congressman John Lewis, while Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive was tapped to write a profile of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky in the same article.
Price district paid per iPad with educational materials still less than retail
In the wake of its collapsed iPad program, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is seeking millions of dollars in refunds from Apple. The district's board of education has authorized state and city attorneys to investigate litigation to claim money from Apple and Pearson after the district itself broke the contract.
Demand for the 'highly personal' product steep, retail sales impossible now
A letter by Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts has informed the Apple retail chain that the Apple Watch won't be available in store at all on launch date. Additionally, "high global interest combined with our initial supply" is preventing retail availability until June, at the earliest.
Apple to open three new stores in time for Apple Watch retail debut
Apple plans to open at least three new stores in time for the retail debut of the Apple Watch -- though it is unclear if any of the stores will actually have Watches to sell, as the company has switched to an online pre-order system only ahead of the debut date. The stores will open in Hangzhou, China; Miami Beach, Florida; and Sao Paolo, Brazil. The latter two have already been officially announced for April 24 by Apple. Of these, Brazil is the only new store not to be part of the first wave of countries receiving the Apple Watch.
Tapered batteries, soldered components both improve reliability and frustrate upgraders
A pair of new teardowns from iFixit and Laptopultra have revealed few surprises, and conclude that while the machines are easily openable, they are not easily repairable -- a factor that is likely to be very low-priority among potential buyers, given that the lack of moving parts in the unit also greatly improves reliability. While the new MacBook is completely un-upgradeable internally, the included USB Type C port will offer growing flexibility for any needed external connectivity or expandability.
Proceeds again benefit Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice, Human Rights
For the third year running, there is an opportunity for a winning bidder to have lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook, thanks to a Charitybuzz online auction. The lunch data and a pair of VIP tickets to one of Apple's future keynote events are on auction to raise money for Cook's preferred charity, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Last year, a similar auction raised $330,000 for the center. Current bidding, with 21 days to go, is $37,500.
New device to make rare non-Apple appearance at Milan exhibition
While nobody who sees it will be able to get one before next month at the absolute earliest, the Apple Watch will be exhibited in a rare non-Apple appearance at the furniture-oriented Salone del Mobile fair in Milan, Italy, in a special event celebrating design and art on April 17. The event has a history of spotlighting outstanding design, and attracts designers from around the world. Sir Jonathan Ive, the leader of the team that designed the Apple Watch, will be in attendance.
Apple takes lessons from mobile to make the ultimate ultraportable notebook
The all-new 12-inch Apple MacBook is here and MacNN and Electronista have our hands on it! It is Apple's definitive statement on the future of notebooks, but it is available right now to customers who want to go along for the ride. If you're in the market for an ultraportable notebook made for the mobility age, the MacBook has to be on the top of your shopping list. There is nothing else quite like it on the market, with the device boasting several firsts for Apple and the industry.
Apple Game roundup for April 14, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at an iPhone-specific Hearthstone update, cheating in an international chess tournament with an iPhone, the Steam user survey showing millions of Mac gamers, sales of Cities: Skylines, and Metro: Last Light Redux debuting on OS X.
Company continues to expand presence in country with latest acquisition
CNBC is reporting that Apple has acquired camera technology company LinX, which creates camera sensors utilizing multi-aperture imaging alongside image processing tech to improve general performance in cameras, including low-light capture, color fidelity and more. The Israel-based firm has been successful at creating sensors that can pack more information into images (allowing for some refocusing, similar to the technology used in Lytro's "light field imaging") in smaller cameras.
Safari troubles, Mighty Mouse programming and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss problems they have been having recently with the copy bounding box in Safari on the iPhone as it seems to be broken at the moment. One Mac Elite who is new to OS X and the Mighty Mouse is wondering how to program the Mighty Mouse to work different.
Macs from $419
At Apple's online store today, take advantage of price cuts on refurbished Macs with prices as low as $419. The refurbished Mac mini with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive has been discounted by $80 to $419. Priced at $809, after a $240 discount, is the refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 14, 2015
Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers to find discounts, offers, and sales for you, our discerning readers. A recap of still-active deals from Monday follows the new deals batch, which includes $100 off the Alienware Alpha, a triple-pack of Seagate storage drives, and a heavily-discounted Lytro camera.
Powerful set of tools enables researchers to attract volunteers, study larger pool of data
One of the most critically-lauded -- particularly by the public -- aspects of Apple's "Spring Forward" event last March wasn't the sleek new MacBook or even the remarkable miniaturization that enabled the Apple Watch; it was the section devoted to ResearchKit, a new SDK aimed at leveraging the sensors found in many mobile devices to help medical professionals develop apps that could further medical research into any number of diseases, conditions, or illnesses. On Tuesday, Apple released it to all developers and open-sourced it.
Patients can use iPhone 6 line for doctor's offices, hospitals; iPhone 5 and later for online
Apple Pay, the iPhone maker's mobile payment technology, has added another supporting payment network in the form of InstaMed. The company has announced that it will implement support for Apple Pay at the medical facilities it supports, including hospitals, doctor's offices and other medical businesses. InstaMed will support both iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch-based payments, along with in-app payments on any Touch ID-capable iOS device.
Negotiations not progressing with China financial institutions
As previously reported, Apple negotiations with China's UnionPay have been troublesome. Reports are circulating that the discussions continue to be mired in per-transaction fees and data center requirements, and the total lack of progress since Apple's announcement of the transaction service is what prevented the expected launch of Apple Pay in China with the release of iOS 8.3.
The future of Apple operating systems to be shown at the convention
Calling this year's show "the epicenter of change," Apple has announced its 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference. At this year's show to be held on June 8 through June 12, "the future of iOS and OS X" will be seen, the Apple Design awards will be presented, over 100 technical sessions will be hosted, and there will be over 1000 Apple engineers on hand for developer's questions.
Apple's Backup just gets on with it, until it doesn't
Apple's Time Machine and the Time Capsule I bought to use it on are the best things I've ever purchased that I've immediately forgotten, and didn't even realize I was using. I'm not sure what I did to backup anything before that came along, but I do have a big, big box of neatly-labelled floppy discs in my office, and no way to use them. Well, that's not quite true: I have used a couple as coasters for my tea mug. It's startling to think that I have several years of data on those discs that are effectively lost to me -- I could get them back with a concerted effort, and spending some money -- whereas in theory I now have multiple years of data available to me in an instant.
Healthcare companies announcing plethora of new apps for Apple Watch platform
A number of healthcare companies, many of whom are just now working deeply with the HealthKit APIs from Apple to create health-oriented applications, are already pivoting to create complementary apps for the new Apple Watch platform as well, which creates new opportunities for handling certain kinds of results and notifications. More than a dozen applications have been announced in just the last week, ranging from a medication reminder for patients to a glucose monitor system for the Watch.
'Sneak peek' offers better iTunes Radio experience; Xcode 6.4 beta updated also
On Monday, Apple released the first iOS 8.4 beta to developers, which among other feature includes what the company calls a "sneak peek" at a revamped Music app that now offers a new Miniplayer, global search, a better iTunes Radio experience and improved "Now Playing" screen that allows custom art from users, along with a Recently Added automatic playlist. In addition, Apple updated its Xcode 6.4 beta with new SDKs for iOS 8.4, and compatibility updates for OS X Mavericks (10.9) and Yosemite (10.10).
Watson Health to provide analytics, secure cloud for medical app data
IBM and Apple, already in a partnership to service the enterprise sector, have announced an expansion of the deal that will see IBM utilizing its Health Cloud and Watson Health initiatives to support and secure data gathered or entered by users through apps using Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit technologies. The partnership will work with the Watson Health business unit to offer developers a secure place to store gathered health data, and analytics to help researchers analyze it.
Apple Watch hands-on reports, a look at Photos, new videos, more
Following a longer-than-expected submission process to Apple, we're pleased to report that episode 10 of The MacNN Podcast, along with all previous episodes, has finally arrived on iTunes. Listeners can now search for, subscribe to, and generally wallow in our backlog of tech news, app picks, and bad jokes. The latest episode has a couple of remote reports from Australia and the UK about the Apple Watch concierge try-on experience, the arrival of Photos with OS X 10.10.3, our new videos, and more.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 13, 2015
Hello and welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search the Internet for sales, offers, and discounts for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it is the start of a new week, all older sales have been removed, with the new batch including discounts on the Lexar JumpDrive, $100 off the Moto 360, and $100 off the Apple iPad Air 2.
New 3D title support, expanded camera formats, precision color grading, more
On Monday, Apple upgraded its professional video suite, Final Cut Pro, and two of its supporting programs, Motion and Compressor. Final Cut is now up to version 10.2, which features better 3D title support, more camera formats, the ability to view more scopes simultaneously, and improved masking. Motion, now at version 5.2, also includes more options for 3D titles, with more third-party options coming soon. Compressor 4.2 gets a general speed bump, and improves its ability to make a movie sale package for iTunes.
Macs up nine percent, iPhone holds steady in US market
Led by gains in the US market both for its Mac computers and its iPhone 6 lineup, Apple continued to gain share where rivals lost it in the latest reports from both Gartner and ComScore. Although Apple actually lost a tenth of a percent in marketshare in smartphones in the US from last quarter, chief rival Samsung dropped ten times more, falling 1.1 percent on weaker demand. Apple now has 12 percent marketshare in the US, a nine percent gain year-over-year.
Users can color-coordinate with other Apple devices; other color options still available
Amidst all the hoopla surrounding the Apple Watch pre-orders and try-ons, as well as the availability of the new 12-inch Retina MacBook, Apple's Beats division has announced some new Beats Solo2 wireless headphone models, now available in iPhone/iPad/MacBook-matching Gold, Silver, and Space Gray colors. The new color options do not displace the existing black, blue, white, and red options, but are not available yet for the wired version of the Solo2.
new Photos App and more
This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss the new Photos app, weird issues with Airport Time Capsule and more. In the thread titled "Photos new Mac App from Apple" Dedicated MacNNer "Eden Aurora" highlights some problems that they are having with this new version of Photos. Yesterday, Grizzled Veteran "Walker" turned to the forums looking for help figuring out a problem with Time Capsule.
MacBook Air from $759
Today at Apple's online store, save up to 22 percent off refurbished MacBook Air models. They start at $759 for the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. The 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage has been reduced by $240 to $809.
Users, even power users, are often lackadaisical about this vital duty
Earlier this year, staff writer and long-time Windows user Malcolm Owen returned to the Mac following a five-year absence. Back to the Mac is a series of posts where he charts his progress in introducing Apple to his computing environment again. In this installment, Malcolm works out how to back up the Mini.
It's been some time since I first bought the Mac mini, and recent events have caused me to think about setting up some sort of backup scheme for it. I know it is bad form to not back up a computer from when you first get it, but I've been thinking about how best to do it, bearing in mind my existing backup systems.
Standard versions ship in 1-3 days, but gold still more popular with some buyers
As they used to say on Twin Peaks, "it is happening. Again." A new Mac product available in gold appears, and buyers go crazy. The solid-gold Apple Watch, despite its $10,000 opening price, appears to have had its limited inventory snatched up quickly, pushing availability now back into August for online pre-orders after just the first few hours. Apple has likewise seen a "gold rush" for its similarly-colored (but not actually made of gold) new 12-inch Retina MacBook.
How and where to download software safely
Look, we're not on Windows PCs here. Yet, even though we don't have the same overwhelming problems with viruses, that doesn't mean we should invite trouble. You can download apps that don't do what they claim, and instead do all sorts of things they shouldn't. Consequently, it is a very good thing that Apple has safeguards in place – yet those same safeguards are a problem for some of the very finest Mac software around.
Exploit demonstrated with physical access, possible remote exploit
Alongside bug fixes and other improvements, Apple has patched a longstanding security flaw which could give users with physical access to a machine root privileges, regardless of assigned permissions. The flaw, indexed as CVE-2015-1130, was reported to Apple in October of 2014, but Apple requested that it be not publicly disclosed until patched due to the "substantial amount of changes" required to fix.
Apple Watch shipping times already blown out
Apple Watch pre-orders are now live in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US, but only after a delay of several minutes past the scheduled go-live time. Despite renewed warnings that shipments would be constrained, some users may be disappointed, even shocked, to learn that some models may not be available until as late as August, according to live shipping information from the Apple Store. Users who seek an aluminum or one of the steel models might be getting theirs in a reasonable time frame -- but those hankering for a gold Edition could be waiting until August.
Apple Watch launches in store in select markets world-wide
Apple has officially launched the Apple Watch in stores, with Australian and New Zealand customers among the lucky first around the globe to finally get their hands on the smartwatch. MacNN and Electronista were on hand at the Penrith Store launch, about a hour west of Sydney, Australia. There were a small number of eager Apple fans keen to try on the device from a wide cross-section of age groups, but the throng of Apple Store employees on hand to mark the occasion easily outnumbered them. It certainly helped to create a buzz around the event. Pre-orders are now being accepted in the US and other countries, starting at 12:01AM Friday local time.
Supplies expected to be scarce, particularly for rose gold variant, on launch
As we reported earlier today, the super-expensive 18kt gold Edition version of the Apple Watch will be very constrained on launch, with the online store showing that shipments are already -- hours before pre-orders even begin -- pushed back until next month, with no specific window for those ordering online beyond "May." Buyers in stores will have similar issues actually going home with one, as only a total of 53 Apple Stores worldwide will be selling the high-end model, at least for now.
New 12.1.12 version of iTunes adds support for OS X Photos, iOS 8.3 syncing, more
Apple has updated its iTunes music software for OS X separately of its 10.10.3 release yesterday. The new version, 12.1.2, adds support for the OS X Photos application that was included in 10.10.3, though it also still supports iPhoto. The update brings sync support for Photos to sync to iOS devices. It has also added support for syncing with iOS 8.3, and made general "refinements" to the Get Info display in iTunes, as well as improving overall stability.
Reviews generally positive, with caveats on some teething issues
Reviews are starting to come in on the Apple Watch, but the overall consensus is what might have been predicted: that it is, by far, the best smartwatch in the world; that it redefines the bar for smartwatches in the same way that the iPhone did for mobile smartphones in 2007; that it makes nearly all other smartwatches look like toys. However -- much like the initial iPad reviews -- there is a lingering question of how much need there is for it.