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Title:Mac Rumors: Apple Mac iOS Rumors and News You Care About
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Alleged 'iPad Pro' Model Shows What the Giant Tablet Might Look Like In-Hand
Friday May 16, 2014 9:43 am PDT by Juli Clover
A model said to be an industrial prototype of the upcoming 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" has surfaced, giving a look at what the larger tablet might look like in-hand. Discovered on Chinese Twitter-like site Weibo by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translation] the machined aluminum is said to be a reference for creating cases and other accessories.
The design of the mockup is very rudimentary and while it is said to be the iPad Pro, it is impossible to determine the exact size of the prototype from the photos. It is also not clear if this "prototype" is based on any type of legitimate specifications as Apple is said to be multiple months away from releasing a larger tablet. Along with a larger size, the model also has an Apple logo and a rear camera cutout. At 12.9-inches, the iPad Pro would be similar in size to a 13-inch MacBook Air and quite a bit larger than the existing 9.7-inch iPad Air.
Rendering of a 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air
News that Apple was testing displays for a larger 12.9-inch iPad first surfaced in July of last year in a report from The Wall Street Journal. While initial rumors suggested Apple could release the device in 2014, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has pointed towards a possible 2015 launch date for the device, while Digitimes indicated in March that development on the tablet had been shelved in favor of other projects.
Rumors have suggested the iPad Pro, if released, will adopt many of the same design elements offered in the current iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, including an ultrathin chassis and narrow side bezels. It is also rumored to include an ultra high-definition display.Related roundup: iPad Aira
31 comments
OS X 10.9.3 Bug Hides '/Users' Folder for Some Users
Friday May 16, 2014 9:25 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple yesterday released OS X 10.9.3 with support for 4K displays, contact and calendar syncing improvements, and more. Many (but not all) users are, however, experiencing a bug in the update that hides the /Users folder.
The /Users folder is a top-level folder that contains the home folder and personal files for each user on a Mac. It's not clear why only some OS X users lose access to the /Users folder, but the inability to browse this folder could be problematic for some Mac owners affected by the glitch.
A range of solutions for the bug have been suggested with varying degrees of complexity, with perhaps the simplest noted by Kirk McElhearn and Chris Breen of Macworld: Launch Terminal (/Applications/Utilities), enter "sudo chflags nohidden /Users", and press the Return key. You鈥檒l be prompted for your user password. Enter it, press Return again, and the Users folder will be visible as it once was.This solution is not, however, a permanent one, as the issue will reappear if the machine is restarted and the fix will need to be applied again.
Breen goes on to outline a more permanent solution that involves creating an AppleScript for running the Terminal command and saving it as an application to run at login.
Another recommendation comes from The Loop's Dave Mark, who suggests creating an alias for the folder that will remain accessible even with the folder itself hidden.For a more permanent solution, [after manually navigating to the hidden folder] control-click on the /Users folder and select Make Alias from the contextual menu that appears. Though the /Users folder will become hidden again when you close your Finder window, the alias will stick around.For many users, the bug will not have a significant impact on their Mac usage, as they can still access their own home folders through shortcuts in the Finder sidebar. Consequently, some users who are not inconvenienced by the bug may prefer to simply wait for Apple to address it in a future update.Related roundup: OS X Mavericksa
41 comments
Pioneer's NEX In-Dash Systems to Receive CarPlay Firmware Update in a 'Few Weeks'
Friday May 16, 2014 7:59 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Pioneer announced earlier this year that its latest aftermarket NEX infotainment systems will be compatible with CarPlay, allowing customers to install the Apple technology in an existing automobile. The hardware requires only a firmware update that is expected to be available in "a few weeks", putting the company on or even slightly ahead of its original "early summer" schedule.
Pioneer was in San Francisco this week showcasing the technology, which provides drivers with an integrated experience for placing phone calls, using maps, listening to music and messaging via Siri. As noted by Macworld, demo cars included the high-end #36;1400 Pioneer AVH-8000NEX system, which contains an in-dash capacitive touchscreen that allows the driver to tap on the infotainment screen to interact with the CarPlay system. CarPlay also supports hands-free operation using Siri to control many of the available functions.
Macworld did note some issues with Siri's ability to handle background noise in the car, but Pioneer's Ted Cardenas pointed out that with Siri's ability to learn and improve over time, those background noises will become less of a distraction as Siri learns to pick out the driver's voice.
The current version of Apple's Carplay technology requires a Lightning cable connection between the iPhone and the receiver, limiting its usage to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Rumored wireless support over Wi-Fi connection has not been confirmed by Apple, but even then the feature would require updated hardware for Pioneer, as the current NEX systems do not support Wi-Fi connectivity.
Pioneer is one of the first automobile electronics companies to offer an aftermarket CarPlay system to customers who don't want to purchase a new car in order to experience the feature. Alpine also announced its own series of aftermarket CarPlay receivers, but they are expected to arrive later this year.
54 comments
EFF Report Highlights Apple's Efforts to Protect Consumer Data, Increase Transparency
Thursday May 15, 2014 3:24 pm PDT by Juli Clover
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit digital rights group, today released its annual "Who Has Your Back" report, ranking companies on their efforts to protect user privacy and resist government data demands.
Apple was awarded a full six stars in all of the categories the EFF measures, including requiring a warrant for content; telling users about government data requests; publishing transparency reports; publishing law enforcement guidelines; and fighting for users' privacy rights in courts and in Congress.
The EFF notes in its report that Apple has made a "remarkable" improvement over the course of the last year when it comes to user privacy policies, as it only earned a single star in past years. The report, which is based on publicly available information, does not include secret surveillance orders.Apple earned credit in all 6 categories in this year's Who Has Your Back report. Apple's rating is particularly striking because it had lagged behind industry competitors in prior years, earning just one star in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Apple shows remarkable improvement in its commitments to transparency and privacy.After the public revelation of PRISM, a top secret intelligence gathering program run by the U.S. National Security Agency, Apple made several moves towards increasing transparency about data requests to assure users it was not participating in the program.
The company issued a "Commitment to Customer Privacy" statement and began disclosing information on government data requests and its own policies, which include asking for warrants for information. It also released a "Report on Government Information Requests" back in November, and has pledged to implement a policy to notify users of information requests from law enforcement.
In addition to its new transparency policies, Apple also joined the Government Surveillance Coalition to urge the U.S. government to agree to greater transparency over demands for user data and Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Barack Obama and other tech executives to discuss government surveillance in August of 2013. In March, Apple hired Sabrina Ross to oversee the protection of consumer data and in May, the company released guidelines for law enforcement requests, specifying what information the company can and cannot retrieve from devices after receiving a search warrant.
In an interview with ABC, Cook publicly discussed the NSA's surveillance operations and once again assured users that the Government does not have access to Apple's servers. "They would have to cart us out in a box for that. And that just will not happen," he said. "I've been pushing very, very hard to open the books and be totally transparent."
Along with Apple, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo also received a full six star rating from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
52 comments
Developers Now Able to Provide Promo Codes for In-App Purchases
Thursday May 15, 2014 12:58 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple appears to be allowing developers to create promo codes for in-app purchases, a useful feature that makes it far easier to test and promote freemium games and apps with content that can only be purchased within an app once it has been downloaded.
Promo codes for apps have long been available, but were previously limited to initial app downloads and were not available for in-app purchases. This change will make it easier for developers to give early app testers, reviewers, and other users access to the full content available within freemium apps.
While it is unclear if the feature is currently available to all developers, Jeff Scott of 148apps.com shared a screenshot on Twitter of an in-app purchase promo code for Real Racing 3, from major developer EA. EA is using the promotion to give customers 10 free gold within the app, which has an in-app value of #36;1.99. The gold can be obtained by visiting this link on an iOS device.
Entering the promo code provides users with gold in the app, and if the app is not installed, it will automatically download before redeeming the in-app purchase code.
Apple has not yet updated its developer site to reflect the availability of in-app promo codes and its rules still state "Promo codes don't work for In-App purchase products, including Newsstand issues."
36 comments
Apple Releases OS X 10.9.3 With Enhanced Support for 4K Displays, Syncing Improvements
Thursday May 15, 2014 10:11 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released OS X 10.9.3, after two months of developer testing. The last 10.9.3 developer beta, build 13D61, was released just over a week ago. The update, which is recommended for all Mavericks users, improves 4K display support on the late 2013 Mac Pro and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. According to the release notes, it also re-adds the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Macs and iOS devices using a USB connection and it improves the reliability of VPN connections using IPSec. Today's update also includes Safari 7.0.3, and Apple has released iTunes 11.2 as well. The OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Update is recommended for all Mavericks users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.This update:- Improves 4K display support on Mac Pro (Late 2013) and MacBook Pro with 15-inch Retina Display (Late 2013)- Adds the ability to sync contacts and calendars between a Mac and iOS device using a USB connection- Improves the reliability of VPN connections using IPsec- Includes Safari 7.0.3For detailed information about this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6228For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222First outlined after the initial 10.9.3 beta, the improved 4K support enables HiDPI Retina scaling on 4K displays for the 2013 Mac Pro and Retina MacBook Pro with DisplayPort 1.2, which improves the size and readability of text and other on-screen elements. 10.9.3 also includes 60Hz 4K output for the 2013 Retina
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'iWatch in 60 Days or Bust' Analyst Claims Apple Developing a 3D Printer
Thursday May 15, 2014 9:43 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry has made a number of outlandish predictions when it comes to Apple, and his latest claim is that Apple is preparing to enter the 3D printer market. Chowdhry shared his thoughts with Benzinga, outlining his belief that Google is pursuing a 3D printer project based on its expectations that Apple will be making a similar move.Retro Apple Logo in 3D by arguncencen on Shapeways Chowdhry provides little to no details on Apple's 3D printing plans, citing only the company's experience in hardware and its intellectual property covering the technology as substantiation for his prediction."It's either Apple or Microsoft [that inspired Google]," Chowdhry told Benzinga. "But developers feel that Apple is probably the focus for Google because Google considers Apple to be its prime competitor, not Microsoft. And Google really sees Apple to be a strong competitor, not Microsoft, because Microsoft has a lot of issues to worry about." [...]"Apple does have intellectual property [in that space]," said Chowdhry. "And they often have more expertise in hardware development than, say, Microsoft has." Chowdhry also points to Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense last year, with that firm's 3D sensors made famous for their role in the original Microsoft Kinect perhaps playing a role in Apple's 3D printing ambitions.As for timing, Chowdhry doesn't specify anything for Apple but speculates that Google could announce its 3D printing intentions this June or October with product launches coming a full 12-18 months later.As if the
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Graphene May Be Next Area of Innovation for Apple and Samsung
Thursday May 15, 2014 7:34 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
In a world where mobile devices are becoming thinner and thinner and in some cases being worn on the wrist or other parts of the body, graphene may be the wonder material of the future, with properties that make it stronger than steel, more flexible than rubber and more conductive than most metals. As a result, the material could initiate a new wave of innovation in hardware design and manufacturing that may lead to incredibly thin and flexible devices. According to Bloomberg, it also may become the next battlefield for Apple and Samsung. Graphene is graphite, the material in pencils, arranged in a layer that is one atom thick. The arrangement of the carbon molecules makes the material stronger than steel and even diamonds. It also is flexible, conductive and so transparent that is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It can be applied to other materials, potentially allowing for the creation of flexible displays and bendable devices. Apple, Samsung and Google are allegedly in an arms race to acquire patents and other intellectual property to cover the design and use of the material in both mobile and wearable devices. With global mobile device sales predicted to reach #36;847 billion by 2016 and wearable technology to explode to a #36;19 billion business in the next five years, the development of graphene may be critical to a company's ability to compete in the future electronics marketplace.The biggest hurdle for the widespread adoption of graphene is the high cost of production. These technological and manufacturing issues are being addressed by Seoul National
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Apple's Purchase of Beats May Not Be Finalized Until Next Week
Wednesday May 14, 2014 8:41 pm PDT by Husain Sumra
Following reports last week that Apple had purchased Beats Electronics, it was thought the deal would be finalized and announced this week. However, Re/code is reporting the deal may not be finalized until next week.Apple鈥檚 planned deal to buy Beats Electronics for #36;3.2 billion聽may not be finalized until next week, according to people familiar with the transaction. That鈥檚 a longer timetable than some people expected as recently as a few days ago.Once the deal is completed, Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are expected to take on senior roles at Apple, with Iovine potentially becoming Apple's new music chief. In addition, Iovine and Dre's first official appearance as Apple聽employees is expected to take place at June's Worldwide Developer
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Ahead of iPhone 6 Launch, One-Third of Smartphones Sold Have Screens Larger Than 5"
Wednesday May 14, 2014 3:03 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
With the next iPhone widely expected to be available in larger screen sizes, Canalys reports that a third of all smartphones sold worldwide in the first quarter had screen sizes larger than five inches, a full inch larger than Apple's 4" iPhone 5s screen. The five-inch market -- some 90 million units in the quarter -- was the fastest growing portion of the smartphone market in the first quarter.Internal documents released during the Apple v. Samsung trial show how Apple has been aware of consumer interest in larger screened smartphones for quite some time, and the iPhone 6 is expected to have 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch options to compete in this market.Smart phones with 5" and larger screens grew 369% - a substantially greater rate of growth than the overall market. Worldwide, they represented just over a third of shipments (34%), and in Greater China the figure hit 39%, and 43% in Asia Pacific."This is still a market segment led by Samsung, but the trend is unmistakably toward larger-screen handsets at the high end of the market. It held a 44% share of devices with displays of 5" and above, and 53% if the view is narrowed to look at 5.5"-plus displays," said Canalys Analyst Jessica Kwee. [...]Consumers now expect high-end devices to have large displays, and Apple鈥檚 absence in this market will clearly not last long. It is notable that 5" and above displays featured on almost half (47%) of smart phones with an unlocked retail price of US #36;500 or more. Of the remaining 53% of high-end smart phones, 87% were iPhones.Only 12 percent of smartphones sold had
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Flappy Bird to Return to the App Store in August, Will Be Multiplayer and 'Less Addictive'
Wednesday May 14, 2014 2:17 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen today announced plans to return Flappy Bird to the App Store in August in a new interview with CNBC's Kelly Evans. According to Nguyen, the new version of Flappy Bird will be a multiplayer title that is "less addictive."Back in February, Nguyen unexpectedly pulled Flappy Bird from the App Store after it became wildly popular, due in part to the attention he was receiving. "Please give me peace," he tweeted just a week before removing the app from the App Store. At the height of its popularity, the game was generating approximately #36;50,000 per day in revenue from in-app ads, causing a media frenzy.In a March interview with Rolling Stone, Nguyen confessed that the reason he pulled the app was in part due to the overwhelming amount of attention he garnered from the media, but also because of troubling messages he received from Flappy Bird players about the game's addictiveness. One woman told him he was "distracting the children of the world."Nguyen noted that he had trouble in school in his own youth because of an addiction to video games, and admitted to feeling guilty that Flappy Bird was an "addictive product." After Flappy Bird was removed from the App Store, hundreds of other Flappy-style apps flooded the App Store as developers attempted to clone some of Nguyen's success, and at one point towards the end of February, one-third of new games released over a 24-hour period were heavily influenced by Flappy Bird.Though the prominence of Flappy Bird clones has died down in recent weeks, fans will likely welcome the
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Apple Customer Support Claims Apple Stymied by Phone-Switching iMessage Glitch
Wednesday May 14, 2014 9:45 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
There is a long-standing problem with lost iMessages for select users when they switch from an iPhone to another device. Apple allegedly is aware of the problem and not able to provide a fix, claims former Lifehacker editor-in-chief Adam Pash, whose iPhone was affected by this message delivery problem. After disabling their iPhones, some users experience an issue where iMessages sent from other iPhone owners are routed to the now-disabled iPhone and not forwarded as a text message to the active phone. The recipient never receives the text message, creating a situation that is frustrating for both people involved in the conversation. Pash spoke to Apple's customer support after he stopped receiving messages from iPhone-owning friends when he switched to an Android phone. The support personnel confirmed "this is a problem a lot of people are facing" and "added that engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it." In the meantime, Apple has completely hijacked my text messaging and my phone number portability (portability between devices, not networks). No one can fix this but Apple because it鈥檚 a problem at the device level, which means people in my position have no recourse but to wait for Apple to figure out what the problem is. But Apple isn鈥檛 offering any public support on the issue that I鈥檝e been able to find (and it鈥檚 worth repeating that proper support is behind a #36;20 paywall for most people who鈥檝e switched devices, who would also be the most commonly affected by this problem) This issue with iMessage has been reported as far
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Transition to '3x' iPhone 6 at 1704 x 960 Likely Smoother Than Move to Retina
Wednesday May 14, 2014 8:26 am PDT by Eric Slivka
With an expected transition to a larger screen on the iPhone 6, MacRumors forum member pgiguere1 has taken a look at how non-optimized apps would appear on a rumored 1704 x 960 display that would move from the current "2x" pixel doubling technique to achieve Retina quality to a "3x" technique.In Apple's earlier transition to 2x Retina displays, it was relatively simple for non-Retina assets to be scaled up using automatic pixel doubling techniques to represent a single non-Retina pixel as a 2x2 grid of Retina pixels until developers could get up to speed. But with a potential move to 3x (or 1.5 times current Retina), many have wondered if that transition would be awkward.As pgiguere1 shows, while developers will undoubtedly want to optimize their apps with new 3x graphical assets, automatic scaling of current 2x assets will look considerably better on this new iPhone display than non-Retina assets did during the transition to 2x.Keep in mind however that unlike with the @1x - @2x transition we had in 2010, this time we鈥檇 only have a 50% enlargement rather than 100%.The thing is, a 50% enlargement with interpolation doesn鈥檛 look worse than a 100% enlargement with pixel-doubling, despite the loss of details due to the interpolation. [...]As you can see, older non-@3x-optimized apps would actually look better on an @3x iPhone than non-@2x-opitmized apps did on an @2x iPhone. Add to this the fact that the screen's pixel density would be higher this time around, and the perceived image quality difference would be even smaller.While Apple is unlikely to
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Apple May Adopt 1704 x 960 Resolution Display for Upcoming iPhone 6
Wednesday May 14, 2014 7:32 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple's next generation iPhone 6 may adopt a higher resolution display, jumping from the current iPhone 5s resolution of 1136 x 640 to a sharper 1704 x 960 resolution, reports 9to5Mac. On the rumored 4.7-inch model, this would result in a display with 416 ppi and the same 16:9 ratio of the iPhone 5/5s/5c, while a 5.5-inch model at the same resolution would carry a density of 356 ppi.With Apple's rumored move to larger displays in the iPhone 6, much discussion has been centered around what resolution Apple will use and how any changes would affect developers. Some speculation had suggested Apple might simply maintain the same resolution as on the iPhone 5s, making a seamless transition for developers. This stretch process would, however, drop the pixel density of the display below Apple's criteria for a "Retina" display.Alternatively, Apple could boost the resolution to maintain or increase the pixel density, although this move would require work from app developers to maintain compatibility with the new devices. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested last month that Apple would maintain the current 326 ppi density, which could be achieved by bumping a 4.7-inch display to 1334 x 750, and we previously explored how that might work.But according to 9to5Mac, Apple may adopt an even higher-resolution display that triples the base number of pixels of the iPhone screen in both length and width. This "3x" mode would take the base "1x" resolution of 568 x 320 and expand it to 1704 x 960. Using this method, Apple would retain the Retina branding at 416 ppi and
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5.5-inch iPhone 6 Mockup Compared to iPhone 5s in New Photos
Wednesday May 14, 2014 6:47 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Following the leak of a simple case for the rumored 5.5-inch iPhone 6, Nowhereelse.fr today pointed to [Google Translate] a pair of posts on Rocket News 24 sharing photos of a physical mockup of the larger iPhone 6 model alongside an iPhone 5s. While there have been numerous renderings, cases, and physical mockups of the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in recent weeks, this is one of the first comparison shots of the 5.5-inch version. The resin-based mockup was printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D Printer using design drawings published earlier this year by MacFan. The comparisons show just how much larger the 5.5-inch device is than the iPhone 5s, with the mockup measuring 157 mm in length, 77 mm in width and just 6.7 mm in thickness. It is longer and wider than the iPhone 5s (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm), but has a thinner profile that matches more closely to the iPod touch fifth generation (123.4 x 58.6 x 6.1 mm). The mockup adopts the iPod touch-style curved edges, which are markedly different from the hard corners of the iPhone 5s, and elongated volume buttons. Unlike previous high-quality mockups of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model, this mockup is relatively crude, providing few details beyond the basic form factor. Apple is rumored to be preparing a 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 for release in the fall, while the 5.5-inch version may debut several months later due to production issues that may have delayed its
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'GBA4iOS' Game Boy Emulator Shut Down After Nintendo Files DMCA Notice
Wednesday May 14, 2014 4:24 am PDT by Richard Padilla
GBA4iOS, the popular Game Boy emulator for iOS, has been removed by its creator Riley Testut on GitHub after Nintendo filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request, reports The Next Web. First sharing the news through his Twitter, Testut stated that the emulator will continue to function normally on iOS devices, as in-app ROM downloads will be "temporarily suspended."GBA4iOS saw its last major update in February, which added iPad support, controller skins, iOS 7 controller support, Dropbox integration, and an in-app web browser that could used to download Game Boy games from any ROM website. The emulator was also notable for bypassing Apple's App Store restrictions as it could be installed directly on an iOS device by visiting the project's official website and tapping a download link. Traditionally, Apple has taken a strict stance on emulators in the App Store, which has caused apps like GBA4iOS to seek alternative methods for user downloads. For instance, open emulators such as iMAME and iDOS have made their way onto the App Store only to be pulled a short time later likely because of potential legal issues. Despite the removal of GBA4iOS, the 'NDS4iOS' Nintendo DS emulator for iOS devices released last month remains available on its respective web page. However, it is unknown if Nintendo will file a similar takedown notice in efforts to prevent potential
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Apple Restricting Retail Employee Vacation Time in September Ahead of New Product Launches
Wednesday May 14, 2014 2:48 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Apple will look to restrict vacation days for its German retail employees this September ahead of a likely launch for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and other products, reports German site iFun.de (Google Translate). The move will likely also be enacted at the company's other stores across the globe, and follows a similar move last year in which Apple restricted vacation time for AppleCare employees from September 15 to 28 for the launches of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iOS 7 in that time period. The Apple Store Kurf眉rstendamm in Berlin, Germany The majority of rumors throughout the past few months have indicated a September release for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, with the larger 5.5-inch version of the device to launch towards the end of the year or in early 2015 due to production issues. However, this latest report contrasts a rumor from earlier this month that stated Apple will launch the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in August and the larger 5.5-inch version in September, which would be a different strategy compared to past iPhone launches that have traditionally come in the fall for the past three years. In addition to a larger display, Apple's next-generation iPhone is said to feature a thinner profile, a faster A8 processor, and an upgraded rear-facing camera in the form of either optical or electronic image stabilization.The report also gives an update on the progress of Apple's upcoming retail store in Hanover, Germany, which is now on track to open sometime this fall. A previous report in March estimated that the store would open sometime in April, however multiple
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Tim Cook Charity Lunch Auction Ends, Earning #36;330,001 for RFK Center
Tuesday May 13, 2014 12:46 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Tim Cook's second CharityBuzz auction, for a one hour lunch meeting with Cook at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, ended today at #36;330,001. Bids for this year's auction were quite a bit more reserved than the coffee charity meeting Cook auctioned last year, which brought in #36;610,000.The money earned from the auction will benefit the RFK Center for Justice amp; Human Rights, a charity that aims to achieve "a just and peaceful world by partnering with human rights leaders, teaching social justice and advancing corporate responsibility."The winner of the auction will be able to meet with Tim Cook for approximately one hour at Apple's Cupertino campus, on a "mutually agreed upon date." The cost of the meal is included, but travel to Cupertino must be paid by the auction winner.On May 10, Tim Cook added an additional benefit for the auction winner -- a VIP guest spot at an upcoming Apple event, announced on Twitter. Join me for lunch and advance human rights @rfkcenter.You can also be my VIP guest at an Apple event. https://t.co/02aONVPQM9 #RFKauction鈥 Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 10, 2014 Following multiple shill bids last year, CharityBuzz implemented a credit card authorization requirement for all bidding customers, a policy that may explain why this year's auction was ultimately less popular with bidders.(Thanks, Eric!)
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LG's Heart Rate Earphones and Lifeband Touch Launching This Month
Tuesday May 13, 2014 10:03 am PDT by Juli Clover
Earlier this month, a clandestine report on anonymous sharing site Secret suggested Apple might be exploring the possibility of sensor-laden EarPods able to measure heart rate. The report was later revealed to be a hoax, but earphones with built-in sensors are a reality -- for LG.First introduced during January's CES, LG's fitness-oriented Heart Rate Earphones are designed to offer real-time heart monitoring. The earphones, which use sensors to measure blood flow through the inner ear, connect to a small medallion that is strapped to the arm or attached to a waistband, tracking metabolic rate and maximum oxygen consumption, while allowing users to listen to music.The medallion that connects to the earphones is designed to work as a data processing hub, sending biometric information directly to the LG Fitness app or other popular third-party apps on an iPhone via Bluetooth. The earphones are said to offer hi-fi sound and they include a built-in microphone for making calls.LG's earphones are also designed to work alongside the company's Lifeband Touch Activity Tracker, which is a full-fledged fitness band that measures a range of fitness-related statistics, including distance covered, calories burned, steps taken, and more.LG's Heart Rate Earphones are designed to provide accurate heart rate data by measuring blood flow signals in the ear via PerformTek sensor technology while also delivering excellent sound. Because of the unique physiology of the ear, wearers can get more accurate health and fitness metrics with LG's Heart Rate Earphones than with other
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Beats Music's Subscriber Base Pegged at Just 111,000
Tuesday May 13, 2014 9:13 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
A new screenshot shared by The Trichordist (via The Guardian) allegedly reveals that the Beats Music service had only about 111,000 subscriber accounts during the month of March, indicating that Apple is indeed likely to be purchasing Beats for some combination of its headphones business, streaming technology, brand, and industry connections rather than the existing subscription service.An acquisition by Apple would undoubtedly boost exposure for the Beats Music service, and potential tie-ins with Apple's existing iTunes services would offer a strong platform for growth, meaning that Apple is likely relatively unconcerned with the small subscriber base.The leaked royalty sheet breaks down the subscriber numbers according to the available plans, and of the roughly 111,000 accounts, just under 50,000 were individual accounts while 61,621 were joint "family" accounts available through a promotional arrangement with AT T. Beats Music has not released subscriber numbers, but this leaked sheet appears to corroborate an earlier report from Billboard that claims Beats' early subscriber estimates have been "disappointing" to music label executives. Apple had reportedly been impressed with the subscription conversion rate for Beats, although it is not entirely clear from the chart where those users are accounted for. Roughly 70% of total plays fall under a "promotional royalty rate" category, with the remaining being subject to standard royalty calculations, although it is unclear what criteria cause a play to be placed in either of the two categories.Looking at
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