'iPhone 6s' to Support Faster Download Speeds With Improved Qualcomm LTE Modem

Following a report yesterday that the next-generation "iPhone 6s" will appear essentially identical to the current lineup of iPhones with a few minor internal differences, an unnamed source has shared new photos of logic board from the device with 9to5Mac, revealing an updated Qualcomm LTE chip offering faster LTE speeds and greater energy efficiency. Specifically, the next iPhone will carry a Qualcomm MDM9635M chip -- also referred to as the "9X35" Gobi modem platform -- and it aims to give the iPhone 6s a significant increase in performance over the current 9X25 used in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. For everyday users, this gives the potential for significant increases in LTE network performance with download speeds of up to 300 Mbps, twice that of the current iPhone line. Real-world limitations of carrier support will, however, limit those speed improvements in many cases. The new Qualcomm chip, which was announced in 2013 and came to market last year, is also more power efficient. This power efficiency combined with the possibility of a slimmer motherboard could give the iPhone 6s some improvement in battery life this year. As shared yesterday, the iPhone 6s will appear nearly identical to the iPhone 6, which is typical for Apple's "S" generation iPhones. Apple will, however, be including a number of enhancements for the device, from the faster LTE modem to a Force Touch display and perhaps the "biggest camera jump ever." Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Disable Automatic Subscription Following Apple Music Trial • Olloclip Debuts New 'Studio' Mobile Photography System to Accompany Lenses • Replace the 'Apple Connect' Tab with a 'Playlists' Tab in Apple Music • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine

Posted by on 1 July 2015 | 11:07 am

Universal Releases Official Full Trailer for 'Steve Jobs' Movie

Following an initial teaser earlier in May, Universal today released the first official full-length trailer for the upcoming Steve Jobs movie. The two-and-a-half minute trailer provides the longest look at the Danny Boyle-directed biopic that anyone has seen yet, balancing focus between Steve Jobs' various behind-the-scenes product launches and his intense personal life regarding his relationship with daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs. The trailer also gives more in-depth looks at Jeff Daniels and Kate Winslet, especially, as John Sculley and Joanna Hoffman, with various through-the-years glimpses of Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs. After various casting calls and set photo leaks earlier in the year, excitement around the somewhat troubled film has only been steadily building. Fans can expect to see the full movie in theaters October 9. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Disable Automatic Subscription Following Apple Music Trial • Olloclip Debuts New 'Studio' Mobile Photography System to Accompany Lenses • Replace the 'Apple Connect' Tab with a 'Playlists' Tab in Apple Music • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine

Posted by on 1 July 2015 | 10:11 am

iPods in Unreleased Colors Spotted in iTunes 12.2

Following the release of iTunes 12.2 with Apple Music support yesterday, one MacRumors user has discovered graphics depicting iPods in colors not currently offered by Apple. The composite image of an iPod touch, nano, and shuffle is shown when setting up or restoring an iPod in iTunes. The new colors include a darker blue for the iPod touch, a new gold or beige color for the iPod nano, and a brighter pink color for the iPod shuffle. Apple has not updated its iPod color lineup in several years, most recently shifting the previous "slate" color to "space gray" back in 2013. Apple has typically updated its iPod lineup during the month of September, although it is unclear whether these new colors are actually in the works and what their release timeframe might be. (Thanks, iPhone.Freak!) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • How to Disable Automatic Subscription Following Apple Music Trial • Olloclip Debuts New 'Studio' Mobile Photography System to Accompany Lenses • Replace the 'Apple Connect' Tab with a 'Playlists' Tab in Apple Music • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine

Posted by on 1 July 2015 | 9:59 am

New iOS 9 Beta Seed With Apple Music Coming 'Early Next Week'

While Apple Music launched today with the releases of iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2, many members of Apple's developer program are currently running beta versions of iOS 9 that do not support most aspects of the service. Apple's Eddy Cue confirmed late last week that Apple will be releasing a new iOS 9 seed with Apple Music support, but he did not provide a timeframe for the release and one did not appear today. In a pair of responses to Twitter users tonight, Cue has clarified the new iOS 9 seed with Apple Music support will be arriving "early next week." @D2007CAVS new iOS 9 beta coming early next week— Eddy Cue (@cue) July 1, 2015 @jvdfrg @lokithorrrrr early next week— Eddy Cue (@cue) July 1, 2015 The last beta seed came on Tuesday, June 23, so next Tuesday would mark Apple's typical two-week interval for beta releases. Cue is also answering a few other Apple Music questions from Twitter users tonight, noting users can "easily" turn off auto-renew on Apple Music to prevent unexpected charges when the free trial ends and that the bitrate of Apple Music streaming varies depending on whether the user is on a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Replace the 'Apple Connect' Tab with a 'Playlists' Tab in Apple Music • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design

Posted by on 1 July 2015 | 12:41 am

Mac OS X 10.10.4 Supports TRIM for Third-Party SSD Hard Drives

Earlier today Apple released OS X 10.10.4, an under-the-hood update to OS X that introduced several bug fixes and improvements. One improvement, according to Ars Technica, is support for TRIM for third-party SSD hard drives. We previously covered TRIM likely coming natively to the next version of OS X El Capitan but it appears support has already arrived. Photo via ArsTechnicaWith today’s OS X 10.10.4 update, however, Apple has added a command line utility that can be used to enable TRIM on third-party SSDs without having to download and install anything. Called trimforce, the utility can be executed from the OS X terminal, and it requires a reboot to start working.TRIM is a system-level command that allows the operating system and the drive to communicate about which areas of the drive are considered unused and thus ready to be erased and rewritten to. In the absence of TRIM, users can see significantly slower drive writes as the drive begins to fill up. Most modern operating systems support TRIM but for Apple's OS X, it has only included support for its OEM SSDs. This means that Mac users looking to install an after-market SSD in a machine originally intended for spinning disc hard drives would run into trouble without the help of other third-party tools. To enable TRIM, a user just has to type "sudo trimforce enable" into the Terminal window. Ars Technica points out that running TRIM prompts a "scary" message from the system, but notes it's largely because each SSD implements TRIM in a different way, with older disks sometimes acting in a way OS X would not expect. MacRumors forum readers have been testing and discussing the update in our forums and sharing their experiences. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 11:07 pm

List of Countries Where Apple Music and Beats 1 Radio Are Now Available

Apple has posted a list of over 115 countries where some combination of Apple Music, Apple Music Radio, Beats 1 Radio and iTunes Match are available per iPhone in Canada. Apple Music and Apple Music Radio are available in 110 countries as of today's launch, while Angola, Puerto Rico, Israel, Taiwan, and Turkey are five countries where the streaming music service has yet to launch. Apple Music's "For You" section for curated playlists and music recommendations Beats 1 Radio is currently unavailable in select countries, including the Bahamas, Bahrain, Burkina-Faso, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. iTunes Match, technically available through Apple Music and as a standalone service, is available in all countries listed except for Romania. To check the availability of Apple Music, Apple Music Radio, Beats 1 Radio, and iTunes Match in your region, be sure to look at the full list of countries on Apple's website. Apple has also posted a similar list of regions where Apple Music will be available across the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Not all features of Apple Music will be available in each country. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 10:45 pm

Hands-On Walkthrough of Apple Music and Beats 1 Radio

Apple's much-anticipated music service, Apple Music, launched this morning as part of iOS 8.4, bringing on-demand streaming music, the Beats 1 radio station, and Apple Connect, Apple's new social network aimed at letting artists connect with fans in new and unique ways. We went hands-on with Apple Music in iOS 8.4 to give you a look at how the new service works, what it looks like, what it costs, and how to use it. Check out the video below to get a thorough overview of all three Apple Music components. Apple Music's main streaming feature is a "For You" section within the Music app that offers up on-demand music recommendations based on preferences you've entered and music you've listed to previously. "For You" is able to offer more refined, tailored recommendations as you listen to more and more music. The "New" tab, also part of the on-demand streaming service, displays a variety of music that's new and popular, organized into songs and albums. This section also includes music picks from Apple Music editors. Much of the content in these two Music app features requires a subscription to Apple Music, which is free for three months, after which it's priced at $9.99 or $14.99 for a family. A third "Radio" tab in the app houses the new 24/7 live Beats 1 radio station and other radio offerings, and radio content will always be free to access. Apple Connect, the artist-centric social network, is also available through a tab in the Music app, and it displays status updates, photos, videos, and more from artists you follow. The final section is focused on "My Music," housing music you've added from Apple Music, songs you've purchased from iTunes, and playlists you've created, all in one spot. All of these features that are available in iOS 8.4's new Music app are also available in iTunes 12.2, which was just released this afternoon. iTunes 12.2 offers up all of the same tabs and access to music, radio stations, and curated playlists. Because Apple Music is free for the first three months, all iTunes users can download it and check it out for themselves without having to shell out cash. If you haven't downloaded Apple Music yet, it's well worth giving it a look. To read more about setting up Apple Music, make sure to check out our guide on Getting Started with Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac, and PC. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 6:19 pm

Apple Releases iTunes 12.2 With Apple Music and Beats 1 Support

Apple today released iTunes 12.2 for OS X Yosemite users, introducing desktop support for the new Apple Music service. Launched today as part of iOS 8.4, Apple Music lets iTunes users to listen to on-demand music, create playlists, find music suitable for every activity, and more. Apple Music is also accompanied by Apple Music Connect, Apple's new artist-centric social network, and the Beats 1 24/7 live worldwide radio station. iTunes 12.2 can be downloaded immediately through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. Apple has also released a new version of iTunes 12.2 for Windows users. This update includes: For You. Get playlist and album recommendations you'll love, selected just for you based on your musical tastes. The more you listen, the better For You gets. New. Discover the best new music, handpicked by our music editors. Explore mixes created just for activities like exercising, or find great handcrafted playlists in a wide variety of genres. With Apple Music, you'll always have the perfect soundtrack for any occasion. Connect. A single place to connect with your favorite artists. See thoughts, photos, music, and videos shared from your favorite artists. You can comment on or love anything an artist has posted, and the artist can respond to you directly. Beats 1. Tune in to Beats 1, broadcast live from cities around the globe. Enjoy music, interviews, exclusive radio shows, and the best of what's going on in the world of music. Beats 1 -- worldwide and always on. Apple Music Radio. Radio has been completely redesigned. Play from Featured Stations, where our music experts hand select every song you hear. Or, start a new station from any artist or song. In addition, it's now easy to quickly return to your favorite stations with Recently Played. My Music. Find all your music in one place, including iTunes purchases, music you've imported from CD, and now songs from Apple Music. iTunes Store. The iTunes Store is still the best place to buy your favorite music -- one song or album at a time. Apple Music in iTunes 12.2 brings several new sections to the music portion of the app, including "For You," which displays recommended music that you might like based on preferences you've entered and past music you've listed to, and a "New" section that offers up new and trending music. iTunes' new Apple Music "For You" section There's also a section for Apple Music Connect, Apple's new artist-centric social network. With Connect, you can read status updates and see photos, videos, and more from your favorite artists. A radio section houses the Beats 1 radio station and other radio stations curated by music experts or based on various songs and artists. Apple Music Connect in iTunes iTunes 12.2 is the second major update to iTunes 12, which debuted alongside OS X Yosemite. iTunes 12.1, the previous major update, brought an iTunes widget for the Notification Center and performance improvements. All iTunes users can access Apple Music for free for a three month trial period. After that time, an individual subscription can be purchased for $9.99 and a family subscription with support for up to 6 users can be purchased for $14.99. Beats 1 radio and existing iTunes Radio stations will continue to be available at no cost. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Beats 1 Radio Accepting Song Requests from Listeners • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 5:14 pm

Leaked Photos of Next-Generation 'iPhone 6s' Show Only Minor Internal Differences

The next-generation iPhone, often referred to as the "iPhone 6s," will likely retain the same exterior design as the iPhone 6, based on purported images of the device's rear shell obtained by 9to5Mac. The report claims the rear shell is identical to the iPhone 6 on the outside, including the same thickness and width, with only minor internal differences. The leaked photos of the "iPhone 6s" reveal that the Lightning connector, speakers, microphones, headphone jack, volume rocker, mute button, sleep/wake button, SIM card slot, antenna lines and cutout for the rear-facing camera and LED flash are all identical to the iPhone 6, which is unsurprising given that "S" model iPhones have historically looked almost identical to the iPhone released one year prior. While the exterior design on the "iPhone 6s" looks unchanged, the rear shell has a notably different internal mounting structure that suggests a new logic board and other components are incoming. In particular, the next-generation iPhone is rumored to include an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, Force Touch, 7000 Series aluminum and improved 12-megapixel camera, among other changes. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Updates GarageBand for Mac With New Electronic/Hip Hop Synths and Drummers • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 4:15 pm

Apple SIM Cellular Data Plans Now Available in Over 90 Countries

Apple has reached a partnership with mobile connectivity company GigSky to expand Apple SIM cellular data plans to over 90 countries and territories around the world. iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users that have Apple SIM installed can now purchase short-term data plans while traveling in a long list of countries throughout Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, South America and other regions worldwide. Apple SIM is now available for purchase at Apple Retail Stores in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Apple SIM cellular data plans were previously limited to participating carriers in the United States and United Kingdom, including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S. and EE in the U.K."With Apple SIM in iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models, you get the convenience of choosing a cellular data plan from select carrier partners right on your iPad. And when you travel abroad, Apple SIM gives you the added flexibility to stay connected in more than 90 countries and territories around the world. So when you reach your destination and want to check your email, find directions, or send a message back home, you can purchase a cellular data plan for the duration of your trip — whether it’s a day, a week, or a month."GigSky cellular data plans are available on a pay-as-you-go basis with no long-term commitments. Exact prices are listed on GigSky's website and vary based based on the country, data amount and length of plan. Given that iPads are unlocked, travelers can also insert a SIM card belonging to a local carrier if preferred. Apple has posted a full list of countries with Apple SIM coverage on its website. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 1:29 pm

Beats 1 Worldwide 24/7 Live Radio With Zane Lowe Now Available

Following the launch of Apple Music alongside iOS 8.4, Apple's Beats 1 radio station led by Zane Lowe has begun broadcasting. Available in more than 100 countries, Beats 1 is a 24/7 radio station that will play music around the clock with live DJs and guests. The inaugural song played on Beats 1 radio right when it kicked off at 9:00 a.m. was Spring King's "City," which was followed by Beck's "Dreams" and Jamie xx's "In Color." Spring King was picked by Lowe as a great upcoming band from Manchester. In a move that might be somewhat controversial, Apple has decided to censor explicit content on the Beats 1 radio station, something listeners experienced when a song from Dr. Dre's Chronic album was played. Beats 1 features several shows by various on-air personalities, and a full lineup of what's going to be on can be found at the Beats 1 website, which forwards to Apple's new Tumblr page for Apple Music and Beats 1. The Tumblr page has a complete schedule that displays what's playing, and it adjusts to your time zone based on location. Beats 1 will include exclusive interviews and news broadcasts, with the first interview taking place tomorrow with Eminem. According to Zane Lowe, today's focus is on the music, and several exclusive songs will be played over the course of the day. Apple Music is available now and is free for all listeners for the first three months. Following the trial period, the service will cost $9.99 per month for individuals or $14.99 for families of up to 6. Update: Apple has confirmed that it is censoring explicit content on its Beats 1 radio station. Update 5:35 PM: It appears the Beats 1 radio station is currently experiencing an outage and is unavailable for some listeners. Attempting to play the station results in an unknown error. Update 6:13 PM: Beats 1 is back up. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC • Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 11:33 am

Apple Releases OS X 10.10.4 With 'Discoveryd' Process Removal

Apple today released OS X Yosemite 10.10.4, an under-the-hood update that introduces several bug fixes and performance improvements. Most notably, 10.10.4 includes the removal of the problematic Discoveryd process, which has caused multiple networking issues for some users in OS X Yosemite. The OS X 10.10.4 update can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. Unlike 10.10.3, which brought Yosemite's first outward-facing changes including the Photos for OS X app and new emoji features, OS X 10.10.4 is a behind-the-scenes update that focuses primarily on fixing bugs and introducing better performance through stability improvements. The biggest change in OS X 10.10.4 is the elimination of the discoveryd process that's been accused of being responsible for some significant networking and WiFi bugs within Yosemite. Discoveryd is a networking process that was introduced in Yosemite to replace mDNSresponder, but it caused problems like slow wake from sleep, failures to resolve DNS names, duplicate machine names, WiFi disconnects, excessive CPU usage, battery drain, and more. In 10.10.4, discoveryd has been replaced with the older mDNSresponder process. OS X 10.10.4 was in testing for approximately two months before seeing a public release, having been seeded to developers in mid-April. It's likely we'll see at least one more update to OS X Yosemite in the months preceding the public launch of OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Apple's next-generation Mac operating system that's also in the works. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 10:04 am

Apple Releases iOS 8.4 With Apple Music, Beats 1, and Revamped Music App

Apple today released iOS 8.4, the fourth major update to iOS 8. First seeded to developers in April, iOS 8.4 includes a newly revamped Music app and Apple's long-awaited on-demand streaming music service, Apple Music. iOS 8.4 is available immediately as an over-the-air download, and the new Apple Music service is located within the Music app. Apple Music will be available immediately after iOS 8.4 is installed, while the Beats 1 radio service will kick off at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Introduced at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple Music is an on-demand streaming music service that's much like Apple's former Beats Music service. It allows users to listen to an unlimited amount of music for $9.99 per month or $14.99 for a family plan that supports up to 6 listeners. Apple Music is accompanied by the Beats 1 radio station, which features 24-hour live human-curated music at no cost, and Apple Music Connect, a social networking platform that allows artists to interact with fans and share content like photos and videos. Apple Music includes millions of songs from iTunes and is launching simultaneously in more than 100 countries. Along with Apple Music, today's iOS 8.4 update includes a complete overhaul of the built-in Music app. It incorporates Apple Music and it features a new design that shows pictures of artists in the Artists view and a new MiniPlayer with a revamped "Now Playing" look. There are personalized playlists, global search capabilities that make it easier to search within the Music app, and a streamlined design for the radio feature to bolster music discovery. Other minor changes in iOS 8.4 include the relocation of audiobooks from the Music app to the iBooks app, consolidating all books, print, and audio into one convenient spot, and a new Audiobooks for CarPlay app, giving drivers a standalone app dedicated to playing their audiobooks. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 9:49 am

Apple Music First Impressions: Convenient All-in-One Experience With Overwhelming Design

As Apple Music gears up to launch in the next few hours this morning -- 9 AM Pacific to be exact, following iOS 8.4 at around 8 AM Pacific -- a few publications have posted some detailed first impressions of the the music streaming service. Getting to mess around with the app for the first time, Mashable, Re/code, The Loop and Rolling Stone came away with largely positive reactions to Apple's first foray into the music streaming game, although the large consensus hanging over it all was a tentative negativity regarding the app's overwhelming amount of content and the somewhat confusing UI that is used to navigate it all. First off, Mashable noted the big positive of the Apple Music service: for those baked into the Apple ecosystem it offers one library, combining purchases from iTunes with the songs users will listen to in Apple Music for one uniform experience. The site was also one of the few to enjoy Apple Music's UI, calling it, "more polished and finished than the old music app." Its biggest takeaway, however, was the "For You" section. It's hard for me to over-stress how much I like For You. From the very beginning, the recommendations in playlists and albums that the app showed me were dead-on accurate, reflecting my various musical interests. The idea behind "For You" is to help make it easy to find good music to listen to. Tapping on an album or playlist will play it instantly. You can then either add it to your library, keep it playing in the background, add a track to another playlist or just cycle through. The DNA of this experience really is what we saw with Beats Music last year, but now it's more refined and feels more fully realized. Re/code mentioned three big positives for the new streaming service: the slick combination of old iTunes songs with new Apple Music songs, surprisingly accurate and enjoyable song curation, and the $15 per month family plan. The biggest issue however tied into one of the app's positives, with the wealth of content and exploration somewhat kneecapped by an overly "confusing" user interface experience, especially within the "New" tab, which "could be a streaming app all by itself." I set out to gather some initial impressions of how it feels to use the product. And to answer the question: Would I pay $10 a month — $120 a year — to use it? My answer is a tentative yes, with some caveats. Apple has built a handsome, robust app and service that goes well beyond just offering a huge catalog of music by providing many ways to discover and group music for a very wide range of tastes and moods. But it’s also uncharacteristically complicated by Apple standards, with everything from a global terrestrial radio station to numerous suggested playlists for different purposes in different places. And the company offers very little guidance on how to navigate its many features. It will take time to learn it. And that’s not something you’re going to want to do if all you’re looking for is to lean back and listen. Similar to Re/code and Mashable, Rolling Stone was impressed by the "Netflix-style hyper customization" of the "For You" tab that will greet every user when entering Apple Music for the first time. Although Beats 1 Radio had not yet launched when the site had hands-on with the service, they got to preview a few artist-focused shows, including St. Vincent's "Mixtape Delivery Service," which saw the alternative musician reading notes from fans and spending the hour dedicating personalized songs to each one. Rolling Stone also detailed Apple Music's "Connect" platform a bit more than the others, noting that even though a few artists had Connect available to them in the pre-launch demo phase, the Twitter-like service "looked pretty quiet." The biggest issue, however, was the possibility of fan interaction amongst one another within Connect, and the fact that the only designated place for it to occur was within the comments of each individual post. Moreover, the only place where fans can interact is the comments section of each post, cutting out a major part of what Apple hopes will be a new music ecosystem: fandom. While it's possible fans would share music individually – with Apple Music's many options to post to text, email, Twitter and Facebook – the absence of fans' voices on "Connect" makes it more like a supplement to a social network than an exciting music-discovery platform. But only time will tell if it catches on. This is one place where Spotify, with its ability to follow and make playlists your friends, has a leg up. With its vast selection of music and smartly curated playlists and radio, Apple Music is robust enough to compete with, and possibly supplant, Spotify and Pandora as the go-to service for music fans. At the same time, users will need to play around with it a bit and dig to move past some of the less immediately intuitive facets (i.e., just how deep the "New" tab goes) for it to hook them. The Loop went into detail regarding the "My Music" section of Apple Music, noting that between the tab's two sections -- Library and Playlists -- all of a user's old iTunes music downloaded or in the cloud can be found there. Users will be able to add certain playlists to My Music so it can appear front-and-center in the tab without having to go through multiple pages, and entire playlists will be able to be made to listen to offline. Besides a finicky rating system for Beats 1, The Loop largely enjoyed Apple Music in the end. I’m damned impressed. Apple Music is a quality service, with the right mix of human curation and algorithms to help users figure out exactly what they want to hear. I can only imagine that the service will only get better from here. The more I use it, like/dislike songs, the better it will know me. I was interacting with Apple Music the entire time I was writing this and the radio station I started listening to improved quite a bit in those hours. I’m not skipping songs, instead I have a steady diet of Slash, Godsmack, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica. It’s hard to beat that. Everyone will be able to test out Apple Music for themselves soon enough, with the official launch of the updated music app in just a few hours at 9 AM Pacific. Those interested should remember to first download the new iOS 8.4 update an hour before in preparation for the streaming music service's debut. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps

Posted by on 30 June 2015 | 7:44 am

Apple Retail Announces 2015 Interactive Summer Camps for Kids

Apple has opened registration for its annual Apple Camp three-day workshops where kids aged 8 to 12 can visit a retail store and learn how to make movies or create interactive books using software such as GarageBand, iBooks Author and iMovie on iPad and Mac. This year's two free workshops are called "Stories in Motion with iMovie" and "Interactive Storytelling with iBooks." Apple's summer workshops will be hosted between 11 AM and 12:30 PM local time, on various dates from July 20 to August 7, in the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Parents are recommended to sign up early since space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. "Stories in Motion with iMovie" teaches kids how to create their own movies, ranging from storyboarding ideas and shooting video to creating an original soundtrack in GarageBand on an iPad and editing in iMovie on a Mac. "Interactive Storytelling with iBooks" shows kids how to create their own interactive books by drawing illustrations on an iPad and adding sound effects and Multi-Touch features using iBooks Author. Apple notes that children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the duration of each workshop. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps

Posted by on 29 June 2015 | 9:22 pm

AppleCare for Mac Now Covers Batteries Retaining Less Than 80% Capacity

Just a few days after updating the terms of its AppleCare+ Protection Plan for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch to cover batteries that retain less than 80% of their original capacity within the extended warranty period, Apple has extended the same policy to the AppleCare Protection Plan for the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Apple previously only replaced defective batteries under the old terms of the AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac, but a support page updated today now outlines that the company will also replace a MacBook's battery at no charge if it retains less than 80% of its original capacity. If the notebook is not covered by AppleCare, replacing the battery requires paying an out-of-warranty service charge ranging between $129 and $199. The new battery terms of the AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac:"Your Apple One Year Limited Warranty or AppleCare Protection Plan includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. If you purchased an AppleCare Protection Plan for your Mac notebook with a non-removable battery, Apple will replace the notebook battery at no charge if it retains less than 80 percent of its original capacity. If you do not have coverage, you can have the battery replaced for a fee." The old battery terms of the AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac:"Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. You can extend your replacement coverage for a defective battery to three years from the date of your notebook purchase with the AppleCare Protection Plan. However, the AppleCare Protection Plan for notebook computers does not cover batteries that have stopped working or are exhibiting diminished capacity due to normal use except when it is the result of a manufacturing defect."MacBook notebooks with non-removable batteries: MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) and later All MacBook Airs All MacBook Pros with Retina display MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009) and later; MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009) and later AppleCare for Mac extends the notebook's warranty coverage and telephone technical support to three years from the original date of purchase. Without an AppleCare Protection Plan, Mac customers are covered by a limited one-year warranty and 90 days of complimentary phone support. AppleCare for Mac costs between $249 and $349 depending on the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro model. MacBook batteries are designed to retain up to 80% of their original capacity at 1000 complete charge cycles, similar to the iPad and Apple Watch. Apple retail staff have been informed of the new policy which is effective immediately. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple to Announce Q3 2015 Earnings on July 21 • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps

Posted by on 29 June 2015 | 7:38 pm

Dr. Dre's 'The Chronic' Also Available Exclusively on Apple Music

One of the ways Apple will draw customers to Apple Music is through exclusive content that's unavailable on other music services. Pharrell will release his new single "Freedom" exclusively on the platform, Taylor Swift has already promised to make her 1989 album available on Apple Music, and now Apple has confirmed that Dr. Dre's album The Chronic will also make its streaming music debut on the service. Released in 1992, The Chronic has never before been made available on any streaming music service, including the hip hop star's own Beats Music service. As outlined by Rolling Stone, the site that first reported the news, the album had been the subject of an ongoing legal battle between Dr. Dre and his former label Death Row Records, which may be the reason why it's been previously unavailable. Dre received full digital rights to The Chronic in 2011 and is free to release the album on Apple Music. Exclusive content will likely be an ongoing feature in Apple Music, with Apple working to secure deals with a number of artists. Ahead of Apple Music's debut, the company was rumored to be in talks with dozens of high-profile musical acts like Florence and the Machine and Taylor Swift. In addition to sharing exclusive songs and album releases on Apple Music, Apple is also hoping to engage artists and customers through its Apple Music Connect platform, a social network that lets artists share photos, videos, and other content with fans. The company's worldwide 24/7 live radio station, Beats 1 radio, will also feature one-of-a-kind content like interviews and music curated by celebrities. Eminem, a close friend of Dr. Dre, will be the first Beats 1 interviewee following tomorrow's launch of Apple Music and Beats 1, and Dr. Dre will host his own radio show on the station. Update 6:35 PM Pacific: The New York Times reports that AC/DC will also be streaming its collection through Apple Music, Spotify and Rdio. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps • Apple Updating iTunes U With New Tools for Students and Teachers

Posted by on 29 June 2015 | 1:06 pm

Apple Watch Sport's Display With Ion-X Glass Outperforms Sapphire Models in Bright Lighting

Although there has been much comparison of the scratch-resistance and weight differences between the two Apple Watch display cover options -- sapphire crystal and Ion-X glass -- not much has been scientifically tested regarding each model's reflectiveness. A new report by DisplayMate out today, however, shows just how much lower reflectivity and higher contrast there is on the Apple Watch Sport's Ion-X glass compared to the higher-end Apple Watch models with sapphire. As DisplayMate points out, the two models have identical OLED displays internally, but thanks to the different outer coverings, the different models react uniquely in bright light situations. In summary, the site found that the Apple Watch with sapphire crystal display reflects 74 percent more ambient light than the Ion-X glass of the Sport model. The two displays behave almost identically in dark environments given the low levels of ambient light available for reflection. Photo comparing Ion-X glass (left) and sapphire crystal (right) taken at 2,000 lux, which equates to moderate outdoor lighting For the Apple Watch Sport with Ion-X Glass we measured the Screen Reflectance to be 4.7 percent, while for the Apple Watch with Sapphire we measured 8.2 percent Screen Reflectance, which is 74 percent higher than with Glass. Both values are about 0.6 percent higher than just pure sapphire and glass alone, indicating that Apple has done an excellent job in optically bonding both the glass and sapphire to the OLED display without an air gap. The 74 percent higher Reflectance of the Apple Watch with Sapphire means that its screen will reflect almost twice as much surrounding ambient light as the Apple Watch Sport with Glass. And it takes surprisingly little ambient light for that to make a significant visible difference… Starting in the dark at 0 lux, DisplayMate increased light levels in successive stages of testing to discover the contrast ratios of each screen under increasingly stressful lighting situations. With both displays set to their maximum brightness, at 500 lux ("mid-range indoor ambient lighting") the display contrast ratios had fallen from 100 to 64 for Ion-X and 38 for sapphire, illustrating the distinct visibility advantage for the cheaper model. Jumping to 2,000 lux ("moderate outdoor lighting in the shade or an overcast sky"), the ratios drop to 17 and 10 for Ion-X glass and sapphire, respectively. Chart comparing various aspects of reflectivity between the two displays For a full-on sunlight measurement of 10,000 lux, the Ion-X glass display contrast ratio fell to 3 while the Sapphire Crystal came in at just 2. So, while the Sport's display proves to handle moderate outdoor sunlight much better than the sapphire display, both are significantly impacted by harsh, direct sunlight. Higher reflectivity and lower light transmittance were highlighted as challenges for Apple amid Apple's failed partnership with GT Advanced Technologies for sapphire production and rumors the iPhone 6 would include a sapphire display cover. Recent advancements in sapphire production technology may, however, overcome those difficulties, with future generations of products able to use sapphire that has better viewing characteristics than glass while retaining sapphire's advantages of high scratch resistance. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps • Apple Updating iTunes U With New Tools for Students and Teachers

Posted by on 29 June 2015 | 11:17 am

Survey Suggests 'iPhone 6s' Could Outsell iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

While every new iPhone model released has gone on to outsell its predecessor, dating back to the iPhone 3G outselling the original iPhone, the overwhelming success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has created some skepticism about whether Apple will be able to continue that trend in the future. The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been popular among consumers because of their larger screens, a long-awaited hardware feature that was previously limited to Android-based smartphones and other devices. The new iPhones are also slimmer and feature faster A8 processors and improved iSight cameras. Nevertheless, a new survey from RBC Capital Markets suggests the so-called "iPhone 6s" could actually be more popular than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The research firm expects positive year-over-year growth in the December quarter, claiming that carrier contracts are ultimately the deciding factor in a customer's upgrade cycle."While there has been concern regarding AAPL going ex-growth in Dec-Qtr, our survey work shows carrier contracts are the bigger driver for refresh cycles, implying 6s cycle should be positive given contract renewals and sustained expansion of 4G networking in China. We are raising our estimates ahead of Street expectations for June, FY15/FY16 but maintaining our OP rating and $150 target."RBC Capital Markets surveyed 6,000 individuals about their smartphone purchasing decisions and found that loyalty remains strong among Apple customers, meaning that the company should be able to increase iOS adoption and revenue going forward. However, the investment bank warns that iPad demand has not picked up and could further disappoint expectations in the June quarter. 50% of surveyees who plan to purchase a new smartphone will do so within 12 months Specifically, the research firm found that 83.4% of current iPhone customers intend on staying with Apple, while 64.2% of Samsung customers expressed their future commitment to the South Korean handset maker. It also found that about 50% of customers who plan on purchasing a new iPhone will do so in the next 12 months, with longer battery life the most requested improvement. Apple's next-generation iPhones will likely retain similar physical designs as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, including 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes. The smartphones are also rumored to feature an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, Force Touch, 7000 Series aluminum, improved 12-megapixel camera, a new rose gold color option, improved Touch ID recognition and more. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps • Apple Updating iTunes U With New Tools for Students and Teachers

Posted by on 29 June 2015 | 10:51 am

Apple Released the iPhone Eight Years Ago Today

Eight years ago today, the smartphone market changed forever. On June 29, 2007, Apple released the original iPhone with a sleek form factor and revolutionary multi-touch screen and significantly disrupted an industry then dominated by companies such as Nokia, BlackBerry, Sony and Motorola. The original iPhone was exclusive to AT&T in the United States before launching in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Portugal, Ireland and Austria in November 2007. The 8GB model initially cost $599 on a two-year contract until Apple dropped the price to $399 in September 2007, far more expensive than today's starting price of $199. The eighth anniversary of the original iPhone's release takes place just one day before the worldwide debut of Apple Music, another launch that could prove historic as Apple attempts to enter the crowded streaming music market alongside Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, YouTube and other players. Fittingly, many people will try Apple Music for the first time using an iPhone. Apple has since sold hundreds of millions of iPhones around the world and launched ten models in eight years, ranging from the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. In the second quarter, the iPhone accounted for nearly 70% of Apple's revenue alongside the iPad, Mac, iTunes and other products and services. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Twist Plus+ World Charging Station for Mac and iOS Devices • Buyer's Guide: Discounts on iMac, Retina MacBook Pro, Apple Accessories, and More • Disney Launches 'Disney GIF' Keyboard on iOS for Easy GIF Sharing • Reserve Strap to Offer 30 Hours of Extra Apple Watch Battery Life, Launching in November • Troubleshoot Issues on Apple Watch by Backing Up and Restoring • App Store Search Bug Prevents iPads From Seeing iPhone-Only Apps • Apple Updating iTunes U With New Tools for Students and Teachers

Posted by on 29 June 2015 | 8:39 am