Apple Releases Third OS X Yosemite Public Beta

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Apple today released the third Yosemite public beta for beta testers, following the release of the second Yosemite public beta on August 21. The last developer beta, Developer Preview 7, was released on September 2.

The software update can be downloaded through the software update function of the Mac App Store.

yosemitebeta
It’s likely the new public beta includes content released in the last developer update, version 7, which included a new look for Dark Mode, several tweaked icons, and the removal of the “Software Update” option from the main Apple menu.

Apple is expected to release OS X Yosemite to the general public later this year, possibly following an October event that may introduce new iPads.



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Apple Creates Tool for Users to Delete Unwanted U2 Album

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

During Apple’s keynote announcement, the company announced plans to provide U2’s new album, “Songs of Innocence,” to all iTunes customers for free. Rather than letting customers choose to download the album on their own, however, Apple pushed it to iTunes accounts, causing some devices to automatically download the album without explicit user permission.

The move upset users who did not want to have U2’s album listed on their devices, which has now prompted Apple to create a process for removing the album from user’s devices. According to Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr, who gave a statement to Re/code, customers were asking Apple how to delete the album after it was distributed, which has led Apple to create both a tool and a support document that outlines the process for removing the album from iCloud.

u2albumremoval

Here’s Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr’s explanation: “Some customers asked for the ability to delete ‘Songs of Innocence’ from their library, so we set up http://ift.tt/1m6aoVh to let them easily do so. Any customer that needs additional help should contact AppleCare.”

To remove the U2 album, users are directed to Apple’s new removal tool that will automatically remove the U2 album from an account after signing in with an Apple ID and password.

Apple warns that once the album has been removed from an iTunes account that it will no longer be available as a previously purchased album. Users have until October 13, 2014 to manually reinstall the album for free.



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Retina iMacs and Apple Displays Within Reach as New DisplayPort 1.3 Spec Finalized

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

imac_27_angleWith Dell having announced its upcoming 5120 x 2880 “5K” display that would be the equivalent of a Retina 27-inch iMac or Apple Thunderbolt Display and Apple rumored to be launching its own such display later this year, connectivity options for such displays have now taken a significant step forward with today’s official release of the DisplayPort 1.3 specification by the Video Electronics Standards Association (via 9to5Mac).

The new standard offers a 50 percent increase in bandwidth to 32.4 Gbps, or 25.92 Gbps of uncompressed video data once overhead is accounted for.

The increased bandwidth enables higher resolution monitors, including recently announced 5K monitors (with pixel resolutions of 5120 x 2880) using a single DisplayPort cable, without the use of compression. It will also enable higher resolutions when driving multiple monitors through a single connection using DisplayPort’s Multi-Stream feature, such as the use of two 4K UHD monitors, each with a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2160, when using VESA Coordinated Video Timing.

Apple has been rumored for some time to be working on Retina iMacs and displays, but connectivity bottlenecks have been one of the factors slowing progress in that area.

The previous DisplayPort 1.2a standard offered enough bandwidth to support 4K displays without compression, but pushing resolutions to 5K has presented difficulties for connectivity. With the new DisplayPort 1.3 standard, which will presumably be built into future Thunderbolt implementations, computer manufacturers such as Apple will be able to fully support the new high-resolution displays set to hit the market in the coming months.



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Apple to Preinstall iLife and iWork on Higher-Capacity iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Models [iOS Blog]

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Taking advantage of the high storage capacities available on its 64 GB and 128 GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, Apple will be including the free iLife and iWork apps on those models preinstalled. The 16 GB models will still be eligible for the free apps, but users will have to download them manually, based on early word from a MacRumors source and now seconded by a separate source who provided 9to5Mac with details from Apple’s internal documentation on the matter.

The preinstalled apps includes iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and iTunes U, all of which are currently offered as free downloads the first time the App Store is launched on a new device.

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Apple last year updated its iLife and iWork apps and started offering the two suites for free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device. New device owners received the apps for free in the App Store with the option to download them to their devices at any point in time.



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Photos From Inside a 747 Flying iPhone 6 Units to the U.S.

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

As retailers prepare to begin sending out iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders to customers, shipping company employees behind the scenes are working hard to transport the phones from China to the United States. One MacRumors reader who works in shipping has posted photos of 195,000 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders that he flew from China to Alaska in a 747, which will then be sent on to Chicago.

phone6shipping1iPhone 6 and 6 Plus orders in cargo plane, courtesy of goforblacksky.

Yep, that’s what I do. I fly stuff. Privileged to be a small part of the Apple supply chain. Just landed a 747 full of iPhone 6’s in Anchorage. Another crew will take the airplane on to Chicago. It’ll be on the ground at O’hare about 9am Sept. 15. I gave it a little extra gas coming over the Pacific, just to get them here a little quicker. You’re welcome

According to the poster, goforblacksky, the massive load of phones weighed approximately 256,000 pounds. Though the photo shows the cargo under tarps and concealed, a second shipping photo from China Daily depicts a similar plane loaded with iPhones departing from the Henan province in China bound for Chicago last week.

iphone6shippingchinaPhoto of a different plane being loaded with iPhones, courtesy of China Daily
Customers who pre-ordered early from carriers like Verizon have already begun receiving shipping notifications, and customers who placed orders from Apple and were lucky enough to receive a 9/19 shipping date are seeing their phone statuses listed as “Preparing for shipment.” Apple orders may begin shipping out later today.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus orders will begin arriving to customers on Friday, 9/19, which is the date that the iPhone will also begin appearing in stores. Apple will have additional iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units available for customers willing to wait in line and purchase in store on that date.

iphone6shipping2Photo looking down inside the airplane at iPhone 6 and 6 Plus orders, courtesy of goforblacksky
Currently, all pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have sold out. iPhone 6 orders placed on Apple’s online store now have shipping estimates of 7 to 10 days, while iPhone 6 Plus orders have shipping estimates of three to four weeks.



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Microsoft Acquiring ‘Minecraft’ Developer Mojang for $2.5 Billion [iOS Blog]

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Microsoft today announced the acquisition of Mojang, the company behind the popular crafting game Minecraft. Both Microsoft and Mojang confirmed the Redmond company paid $2.5 billion for the gaming franchise in a deal expected to close in late 2014.

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Microsoft bought Minecraft following the game’s success on the Xbox platform and PC, where it has logged over 100 million downloads since its 2009 launch. Though its financial interests are focused on the Xbox and Windows PC, Microsoft confirmed that Minecraft development will continue on all existing gaming platforms, including iOS, where Minecraft Pocket Edition [Direct Link] consistently ranks near the top of the paid app charts.

“Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”

As part of the deal, Mojang founders Carl Manneh, Markus Persson (Notch) and Jakob Porsér are leaving the company to work on new projects. The remaining team will continue to work at Mojang under the guidance of Microsoft, which expects to recoup its investment by the end of 2015.



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Duke and Stanford Begin Patient Trials With Apple’s HealthKit Service

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

healthkit-logoDuke University, Stanford University Hospital, and medical device manufacturers are working with Apple on patient trials involving Apple’s new HealthKit API, reports Reuters. Apple mentioned the trials in its recent September press event, but did not provide any details on the health parameters or patient groups being studied.

Speaking to Reuters, Duke University’s Ricky Bloomfield, internal medicine pediatrician and director of mobile strategy, confirmed the research institution will use HealthKit to track vital health parameters such as blood pressure and weight for patients with cancer or heart disease. iOS 8’s HealthKit API will gather this health-related information from a variety of sources and compile it so patients and doctors can easily view this information in one place.

“This could eliminate the hassle of getting data from patients, who want to give it to us,” said Bloomfield, “HealthKit removes some of the error from patients’ manually entering their data.”

Stanford Children’s Chief Medical Information Officer Christopher Longhurst confirmed that the research hospital will be monitoring Type 1 diabetes patients, who will be sent home with an iPod touch and instructed to enter blood sugar levels in between doctor visits. Two patients already are enrolled in the trial.

Besides doctors, medical device makers are interested in HealthKit, taking advantage of HealthKit’s ability to gather medical information from a device and share it with an iOS app. Apple already announced it has electronic health record software vendor Epic Systems as a HealthKit partner. Many other manufacturers, such as glucose monitor company Dexcom, are interested in HealthKit and are in talks with Apple and the FDA about adopting the technology.

Apple has made clear it views HealthKit as an important aspect of iOS 8 and upcoming devices such as the Apple Watch, in line with the company’s emphasis on enriching the lives of users through innovation in technology. That vision, however, will take some time to develop as Apple continue its own work and relies on partners to help support the effort going forward.



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