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July 29, 2014

Retina MacBook Pros Get Speed Bump

Apple MacBook Pro

Need a new computer before heading back to school this fall? Apple just updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup with faster processors and more memory ahead of the release of its next-gen operating system, OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

The base 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is keeping its $1,299 price tag but getting a speedier 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip and 8GB of memory. Prior to the upgrade, the base model featured a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 CPU and 4GB RAM.

Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, whose price was cut from $2,599 to $2,499, now boasts a faster quad-core Intel Core i7 processor up to 2.5GHz and 16GB of memory, up from 8GB.

If you're on a budget, Apple also knocked $100 off the starting price of the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro, which it said is a "very popular system with Windows switchers," bringing it down to $1,099.



July 24, 2014

How to Get the Mac OS X Yosemite Beta

OS X Yosemite

A beta version of Apple's newest operating system - Yosemite - is now available for testing. Access opens today, but Cupertino will only grant passes to the first 1 million people who request them, so act fast to be assured a place in line.

Note that not all the features that Apple showed off during WWDC will be available in the beta "since the beta software is unfinished." For a more polished product, you should wait until the fall, when Yosemite will be released as a free upgrade.

But if you love finding bugs in pre-release software, here's how you can get your hands on the Yosemite beta.



July 23, 2014

Mac OS X Yosemite Beta Lands July 24

OS X Yosemite

A beta version of Apple's next-gen operating system will be released tomorrow, July 24, Cupertino announced today.

The OS X Beta Program for OS X Yosemite invites customers to participate in the beta testing process and submit feedback to Apple directly.

OS X Beta Program members will be able to download the beta seed of OS X Yosemite tomorrow, but space is limited to the first 1 million people who sign up with their Apple ID.

You can sign up on Apple's website now, and the company will send out a redemption code when the software is ready, which you can use to download and install OS X Yosemite Beta from the Mac App Store.



July 23, 2014

Apple Patent Tips ‘iTime’ Watch

Apple iWatch patent

Apple iWatch rumors began anew this week with news that Cupertino has been granted a smartwatch-related patent for a technology it has dubbed iTime.

Drawings of the device look similar to smartwatches currently on the market, but the iTime comes with a twist: its rectangular face can be removed to operate independently of the band, which provides its own set of separate sensors.

The central iTime unit could serve as a sort of mini iPod, and in fact does resemble the 7th-gen iPod nano, storing and playing media controlled via the touch-screen display, as well as displaying information about incoming phone calls and text messages.

Apple also described the watch's "personal wireless environment," which allows for the exchange of information between nearby cellular- or Internet-connected iDevices or Mac computers. That way, wearers can receive push notifications directly on their wrist.



July 22, 2014

Apple Going Big With New iPhone Orders

iPhone 5S and 5C Apple is feeling super confident about its new phablet-sized iPhones.

The Cupertino tech giant has asked its suppliers to manufacture between 70 and 80 million of the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch handsets by Dec. 30, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. That's Apple's biggest initial iPhone production run, surpassing the 50 million to 60 million iPhone 5s and 5c models it ordered last year, the report notes.

Apple's two main iPhone makers — Foxconn and Pegatron Corp — plan to start mass producing the 4.7-inch model in August while Foxconn parent Hon Hai will exclusively begin making the 5.5-inch handset in September. To get ready, Foxconn and Pegatron have been on a "hiring binge" in China, with Foxconn hiring workers by the hundreds every day.

The Journal report also backs up previous rumors that the new iPhones will feature all-metal cases, like the iPhone 5s, and come in several different colors. At 4.7 and 5.5 inches, the new devices dwarf the current 4-inch Retina display iPhone 5s.

The new iPhones are expected to make their debut this fall, but there were recently reports about production issues surrounding the phablet-sized device could delay its launch until November. Of course, there were similar rumors about the iPad mini with Retina display, but those were largely inaccurate.

Another iPhone rumor, meanwhile, says that the handsets will sport super-durable sapphire crystal displays, which are practically indestructible. In addition, word has it that the Apple logo on the back of the phones will light up for notifications, meaning you'll be able to put the handset face down and still be alerted to an incoming message.



July 21, 2014

Rumor: Notifications to Light Up Apple Logo on iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Glowing Apple Logo Rumor If the latest rumors are true, iPhone 6 users will have no excuse for missing a text message.

Word has it that the Apple logo on the back of the phone will light up for notifications on the next version of Apple's smartphone. This means you'll be able to put the handset face down and still be alerted to an incoming message.

The rumor has been circulating for some time, but new photos obtained by uSwitch with the help of notorious Apple leaker Sonny Dickson offer even more evidence that Apple may be going for the glow with its next iPhone. The site compared the rear housing of the alleged iPhone 6 with earlier-generation iPhone shells to reach its conclusion.

"Rear housings for previous iPhones were aperture-free solid blocks that featured the Apple logo embossed on the exterior of the handset," the site notes. "However … this time the logo is part of a plastic panel that's inserted in a recessed part of the interior of the rear housing and peeks through the hole. Tellingly, the plastic part looks to have been made thin enough that light can easily shine through to alert you to updates and other important messages."

Savvy iPhone users may know that you can already use the flash on the back of your phone as a notification light for text messages and other alerts. To enable this feature head over to Settings > General > Accessibility, and switch on the option "LED Flash for Alerts."

Meanwhile on the iPhone front, Apple is widely expected to unveil two new smartphones this fall: a 4.7-inch handset, and a 5.5-inch model, though the larger handset may be delayed due to production issues. The handsets will likely sport super-durable sapphire crystal displays, which are practically indestructible.



July 17, 2014

Apple Rolls Out iTunes Pass Payment System

iTunes Pass Apple iOS users in the U.S. and a handful of other countries now have access to Apple's new iTunes Pass feature, which first debuted in Japan.

Customers in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, and the U.K. can now use the Passbook-based service to refill iTunes account balances at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores.

To get started, visit the iTunes Store on your iDevice, then scroll down to the "Redeem" button and follow the on-screen instructions.

With iTunes Pass—not to be confused with the short-lived music subscription service—accessible via Passbook, it's easy to personally deposit money into a digital account, instead of fumbling with a credit card number or scanning gift cards.



July 17, 2014

iPhone 5s Sales Best Newer Galaxy S5

iPhone 5S Eight months after its launch, Apple's iPhone 5s is still the most popular smartphone in the world, beating out the newer Samsung Galaxy S5, according to new data from Counterpoint Research.

The market research firm's survey of 35 countries, released this week, reveals that the iPhone 5s was the best-selling smartphone in May, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 , which came out less than three month ago, took second place. In fact, Samsung's latest flagship is "still a quite distant number two in terms of (sell through) unit sales," Counterpoint said.

Meanwhile, Samsung's Galaxy S4 came in third place and its Note 3 came in fourth, beating out the iPhone 5c, which came in at No. 5 for the month.



July 14, 2014

Rumors Tip Delay on 5.5-Inch iPhone 6

iPhone Air Concept Those holding their breath for the still-unconfirmed 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may want to let the air out: Reported production issues surrounding the phablet-sized device could delay its launch until November.

Rumors suggest Cupertino will unveil two new smartphones this fall: a 4.7-inch handset, and its larger sibling. But bottlenecks on the 5.5-inch assembly line mean the phone might not hit shelves until a couple of months later.

As quoted by Apple Insider, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the issues may be related to the new in-cell touch panels, which struggle with touch sensitivity on larger screens.

Kuo also cited concerns over the scratch-resistant sapphire glass display, which he doesn't expect will "easily pass the drop test near term." That same display panel technology was put to the test recently, with knives, keys, and deep pressure applied without any adverse results. Only when someone drove a car over the screen did it break.

And while Kuo predicted the "most conservative scenario," in which Apple holds the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 for a 2015 launch, these delays are unlikely to hamper the expected autumn release of Cupertino's 4.7-inch device.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Of course, as PCMag mobile analyst Sascha Segan warned earlier this year, it's best to take this type of gossip with a grain of salt.

Rumors about iDevice production delays are nothing new. Prior to the launch of the iPad mini with Retina display, there were reports that display shortages would push the device's launch until 2014, or limit its 2013 availability. Instead the device arrived in late October 2013 and wait times were nothing too dramatic.



July 8, 2014

Report: Apple Drops Google Maps From ‘Find My iPhone’

apple Maps If you're in the unlucky position to have to use Apple's Find My iPhone service, you'll now need to rely on Cupertino's own mapping technology instead of Google Maps.

Apple has begun swapping out Google Maps in favor of its own mapping technology in the Find My iPhone Web app on iCloud.com, Apple-focused blog 9to5Mac first reported on Tuesday. That's right – your reunion with your phone is dependent on the mapping tool that has irked users, been mocked on Tumblr, and been made fun of on late-night TV.

At this point, Apple Maps are live on the iCloud.com beta site, and some users are also seeing it on the main iCloud site. Others are still seeing Google Maps, meaning Apple is either testing its Maps with the feature, or slowly rolling out the change.

The switch comes nearly two years after Apple first replaced Google Maps with its own less-than-perfect Maps app in iOS 6. Find My iPhone was one of the only Apple products still using Google Maps; Apple still uses Google Maps on its website for retail store listings.