As much as we lampoon some of the sillier rumors in this space, we do like taking a peek into the crystal ball of what might happen and picking out our favorites to bet on. As we all know, some of them come true, some of them never do, some may come true someday -- so they're like prayers, in a way -- and there is some fun in handicapping the likelihood of which camp a given rumor will fall. In recent years, the dead zone between the end of WWDC and the announcement of the new hotness(es) in the fall there comes a second "silly season" where analysts, pundits, and other assorted otherwise-unemployable types put out their guesses. This year, it is particularly contradictory.
Editor's Note: there are many examples of our MacNN Podcast that we are proud of, but this one we picked as an example of "the best of MacNN " because it is so representative of what the podcast was about: comraderie, laughs, news, insight. Even though the podcast focused on stories that had already been reported on the site, it gave listeners both our analysis of those events as well as a look at the people behind the reporting. The good news is that the podcast will continue after MacNN's shutdown under a new name, so we hope previous listeners and new ones will join us for more banter, bad jokes, and ballyhoo starting the week of July 11. To our previous listeners, thank you again for your support. We loved doing this, and we think this episode shows that well.
Editor's Note: as we count down the last days of MacNN , we've been picking some favorite stories to re-run. We've seen it all across these 21 years, and we've pointed to some of the biggest stories we've ever covered, but just as memorable are the oddball ones. This is another of those: the phrase "detachable beeper disc digital gym shoe computer wrist watch" won't leave our minds anytime soon, nor Ms. Washington-Gross' demand for $5 billion in recompense from Apple (and not anyone else in the wearable field, it would seem). The case was dismissed about a month after it was filed, but it lives on in our hearts.
Some of you may have a similar feeling when you find out that they have torn down your old childhood school, or when you see a picture of your old flame; there are a lot of happy memories, and everything turned out okay, but what was and could have been are a bit sad nonetheless now that they're gone. I have been really touched and a bit overwhelmed at the outpouring of well-wishes and memories from our readers, Twitter followers, FB buddies, fellow Apple-centric sites, and others around the world, and like you I wish things had turned out differently, but the feedback has made a bad week better.
On Wednesday, Apple released both developer and public-tester versions the fourth beta for its next current-release update for OS X and iOS, and a developer-only fourth beta for tvOS. Developers are also expecting to gain access to a second beta for the major upgrades to these and watchOS in the near future, as it has been two weeks since the first beta was released at WWDC. The latest updates -- iOS 9.3.3, OS X 10.11.6, and tvOS 9.2.2 -- are focused on bug fixes, along with security and performance enhancements, as usual.
Editor's Note: Today marks the ninth anniversary of the iPhone's initial sale to the public. On June 29, 2007, the smartphone that effectively changed the mobile phone industry, and arguably computing as a whole, overnight was put on sale in Apple Stores, though with this Best Of MacNN post, we're instead looking at an earlier event, namely when it was first unveiled onstage by Apple chief Steve Jobs during Macworld.
Apple's latest version of its desktop OS has picked up a rebrand, bringing it into alignment with its tvOS, watchOS, and iOS lowercase stablemates. The rebrand also suggests that Apple is going to settle into a pattern of continually evolving its desktop OS iteratively -- OS X is now macOS in perpetuity, with the internal codename now taking top billing. While it naturally picks up several new marquee features, the arrival of Siri on the Mac is by far the biggest news in macOS Sierra. Read on for our initial thoughts.
While in no way legal or binding, The Little Las Vegas Chapel has played host to an unusual ceremony where a man named Aaron Chervenak had a commitment ceremony to "marry" his iPhone . While the groom himself did not comment, chapel owner Michael Kelly, who has overseen similar ceremonies involving pets "getting married" or "weed weddings" where people professed their love for marijuana, said the "iPhone marriage" was intended as a statement on society's dependence on the devices.
The "Trade Up with Installments" plan from Apple Stores that allows customers to buy new iPhones with built-in yearly upgrade options for set monthly payments saw some minor changes on Tuesday. The new plans offer customers more flexibility in how they use the money they earn from trading in the older smartphone, but lowers the maximum value of a trade-in from $300 to $250. The changes are only for the Trade-Up option, and don't affect the similar iPhone Upgrade Program.
Editor's Note: crazy lawsuit stories are a special favorite among the staff as we reminisce on the stories that stood out as particularly memorable, and we have plenty of them. For every legit-but-ultimately-unsuccessful patent lawsuit or the exceedingly rare occasion where Apple is found guilty of something, there's a dozen "huh?" lawsuits. We are proud of our in-depth analysis and reporting of the Samsung-Apple battles, or the DOJ-Apple court fight, or our coverage of the California hiring-agreement case, where Apple was very clearly in the wrong. Forgive us, though; its hard to summarize those complex cases, and easy to smile at the memories of hopeless schemers and dreamers who tried to work the system and cash in quick on dubious claims.
Florida resident Thomas S. Ross on Monday filed a lawsuit with the Florida Southern District Court alleging that Apple infringes upon his unpatented 1992 submission of an "Electronic Reading Device" that does imagine a device not dissimilar to the Newton, and is seeking $10 billion in damages and a 1.5 percent royalty on all of Apple's iOS devices. The court filing notes that the plaintiff "was the first to file a device so designed and aggregated," but admits that the patent application was declared abandoned in 1995 because Ross never paid the required application fees.
A fourth lawsuit against Apple over alleged infringement of patents used by FaceTime has been filed, this time by Straight Path Group. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern California District Court, claims that FaceTime infringes on five patents previously owned by NetSpeak, which made the popular VOIP application WebPhone in the mid-1990s. As with previous suits underway by patent trolls VirnetX , VOIP-Pal , and Uniloc , the suit covers older and more general audio-video patents allegedly used by Apple in its FaceTime and Messages technologies.
Editor's note: we're winding down the site with some of our special stories and moments across the last few years. As a long-time staffer, the heyday of the Macworld Expos were a very special time for all of us working at MacNN: it was a rare chance for us all to get together in person, report on the latest and greatest in an intense blitz of publicity, and stay in swanky New York City or San Francisco hotels. Editor Charles Martin attended the final Macworld/iWorld Expo in March of 2014, and filed this report.
Over the weekend, Apple employees once again participated in the Bay Area Pride Festival, including CEO Tim Cook , as they have as an official participant since 2014. Employees received special rainbow-colored Apple Watch bands this year, accompanied by a special playlist of related iTunes content . The event, which continues to focus on the LGTBQ community but has expanded to be a more general celebration of freedom from oppression or discrimination. This is the third year that Apple has officially participated, though employees have marched in the parade for many years prior to the official involvement.
I'm not even supposed to be here. While, strictly speaking, I started my career in BBC local radio, I soon moved into computer magazines -- and then I left, from boredom. I'm only telling you this because it's you. Also because they were PC computer magazines: I struggled to get excited when this month's grey box was one percent faster or perhaps 10 percent greyer than the last. Yet by sheer number of hours alone, I think I've written more computer journalism on MacNN in the last 19 months than I have anything else.
[Update: outage resolved] Since at least 2:17 PM Pacific Time today, the iTunes and App Stores appear to be dysfunctional for at least some users. The problem appears to be most severe in the northeastern US and in England, but there are scattered reports from a number of other countries, though not all users are affected. For those that are, however, upgrades and purchases are not able to go through. This also is having an impact on Apple's streaming services and the ability of users to log into their iTunes accounts.
Editor's Note: As we wind down operations, the staff of MacNN is running some of their personal favorite stories, either moments we were especially proud of or -- as with this one -- stories that really stuck out in our minds. I'm MacNN writer William Gallagher, and I've chosen my colleague and pal Malcolm Owen's series about being a Windows user returning to the Mac. It's a fresh perspective on what, to me, is the very familiar Apple environment.
Honda has revealed that it will offer an upgrade for buyers of the brand-new 2017 Honda Accord, which debuts June 27, that supports both Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto for those buyers who include the seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen in their options packages. Honda currently supports CarPlay in the 2016 Accord and Civic, and the 2017 Ridgeline, with the 2017 Civic Hatchback gaining the technology when it arrives this fall. The company did not say how much the 2017 Accord upgrade would cost.
I first started writing for MacNN and Electronista back in 2010, after seeing an ad in the banner of the site, looking to hire new writers. I was already gainfully employed in a good job, but I just love technology so much, and always had aspirations as a writer, that I thought I'd apply and see what happened. I was very fortunate to be chosen out of over a hundred applicants, and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey since then. For me, it has been nice to have a second income stream, but I've done this job because I've absolutely loved it, not because I've had to do it.
Apple on Thursday confirmed that it was no longer producing the only independent monitor it was still making, the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display . The $999 high-quality device was popular with graphic artists and other large-monitor enthusiasts in its heyday, and was designed to promote the then-new Thunderbolt port on 2011 and later MacBook Air and Pro models. The peripheral featured a 16:9, 2560x1440 display that was well-regarded in terms of out-of-the-box color fidelity, and included a built-in FaceTime HD (720p) camera, mic, speakers with subwoofer, a built-in MagSafe cable, and a design intended to complement the iMac and MacBook Pro lines.
Editor's Note: As we wind down operations, the staff of MacNN is running some of their personal favorite stories, either moments we were especially proud of or -- as with this one -- stories that really stuck out in our minds. Without question, this was one of them. Originally written in 2013, we have laughed about this one many times (only because we can't afford it), but fret not -- some more "night shift what th--?" type stories are yet to come. In the meantime, we give you one of the stories we're glad we didn't flush the press release on -- the Bluetooth Toilet. And yes -- it is still available.
Editor's note: We are running a selection of some of our favorite -- best, oddest, warmest -- stories from the past few years of the site, starting with this one: arguably the most personal story we ever covered. I wrote this with tears in my eyes. Personally, I think his Stanford Commencement Address (seen below) -- and the follow-up articles we ran with so many quotes from those who knew and admired him ( here , here , here , and here ) -- are the best tributes to the impact he had on us all.
The problem of doing something you love for a job is when you aren't able to do it anymore, and you have to separate yourself from it. As you are likely to be aware from earlier this week , myself and other members of the editorial team were informed our services will not be required from the end of this month. Since each of us are writing what could be described as a note of farewell for an impending closure, I'm now having to go through that separation process -- and believe me, it's hard.
A lawsuit borne of the short-lived "Error 53" issue that happened to some iOS devices where the Touch ID button had been replaced or repaired by unauthorized non-Apple personnel was dismissed on Tuesday by a US District Court judge, who rejected both the plaintiff's original complaints and their amended claims following Apple's release of a tool to restore iPhones bricked by the anti-tampering feature, which was designed to prevent third-parties from altering or hacking into the Touch ID sensor.
Apple's infusion of artificial intelligence (AI) into some aspects of the forthcoming iOS 10 and macOS Sierra will have a number of implications for users, from a more intelligent Siri to a particular new feature found in the updated Photos, as seen in the macOS Sierra developer preview. Photos can, in addition to auto-creating groupings of photos by who is in them and where or when they were taken, but can also be asked to group things like "photos with cars" or "surprised people."
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.
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.
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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