Mac Headlines

Apple Begins Mass Production of 4.7-Inch iPhone 6, 5.5-Inch Model and iPads Start in September

July 25th, 2014 by AppleInsider

China media sources (via GforGames) report that mass production of Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone is underway ahead of the phone's expected fall launch. These same sources claim the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 has not entered mass production, further suggesting that the launch timeframe for this larger iPhone model is still uncertain.

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Besides the iPhone 6, Apple also is preparing the next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad mini for mass production starting in September. Apple is expected to unveil its new iPads, possibly alongside the iWatch, at an October event that also will likely be used to announce the public release of OS X Yosemite.

As Apple prepares to launch new iPhones and iPads later this year, the company's Asian suppliers are gearing up to boost production by as much as 85 percent by Q4 2014. Some of this increased production may be handled by Foxconn robots, "Foxbots", with the company reportedly deploying as many as 10,000 robots at a cost of up to $25,000 each.

Anticipation for Apple's fall lineup of devices is high, fueled by comments from Apple executives that suggest the company will enter new product categories with a device lineup that is the best it has had in 25 years.






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Sense Sleep Monitor Tracks Sleep Behavior and Bedroom Environment [iOS Blog]

July 25th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Hello Inc's new Kickstarter project Sense is an iOS-compatible sleep tracking system that allows users to monitor their sleep patterns and bedroom environments without the need for intrusive hardware.

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The primary Sense device is a glow-in-the-dark polycarbonate orb that derives data from factors such as noise, light, temperature, humidity, and air particles to measure sleep quality. Sense also comes with the Sleep Pill, which is a small sensor that clips onto a pillow to track movement with a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope.

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Sense works with its own companion app for iOS to provide users a snapshot of their last night's sleep, offering an overall sleep score in addition a timeline of events throughout the night that triggered movement. The app can even play back noises that were captured by Sense, allowing users to listen to sound disturbances that may have led to an interruption in sleep.

The app also includes a Smart Alarm feature, which works with the Sense monitor and Sleep Pill to wake a user up at the right time. For instance, if a user begins to move more frequently after an extended period of rest, the app's Smart Alarm will sound off in sync with a sleep rhythm. Sense also includes a number of pre-made sounds and alarms to aide the sleeping experience.


The Sense sleep monitor and Sleep Pill can be preordered for a special price of $99 on Kickstarter, with regular pre-orders costing $129 afterward. The first Sense monitors and Sleep Pills are expected to begin shipping in November 2014.






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OS X Yosemite Beta: First Impressions, Installation Tips, Known Issues, and Bug Fixes

July 25th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Today marked the first day of Apple's public beta testing program for OS X Yosemite, letting thousands of non-developers download the software for the first time. With so many new users, new issues and bugs in the beta are coming to light and being catalogued in our Yosemite forum.

We've pulled out some user reactions from the forums to share, along with some tips on troubleshooting possible issues. For users having problems with the beta, the Yosemite forums can be an invaluable resource, and for users still debating whether or not to install the beta software, make sure to check out this post and our forums before taking the plunge as Yosemite is still somewhat unstable.

First Impressions
A lot of new Yosemite users think that the operating system looks great. According to one user, it makes Windows and Mavericks look antiquated in comparison with its new focus on translucency and clean lines. A "Yosemite is Beautiful" thread is full of praise, with users calling it "stunning" and "the best OS X has ever looked."

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While there are a lot of Yosemite users who like the changes Apple's brought to Yosemite, there's a much longer complaint thread entitled "Yosemite Looks Terrible" that includes complaints about Dark Mode, "crappy" fonts, and the bland look of the translucency. Users also say Yosemite looks far less appealing on a non-Retina display.

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Yosemite's Dark Mode, screenshot from Yosemite forum thread

Thus far, most users have not noticed significant performance improvements going from Mavericks to Yosemite, but that could change as Yosemite is still very much in a beta form.

Bugs and Issues
A lot of users have received an error message suggesting their Yosemite codes had already been redeemed after requesting a code. According to Apple, simply refreshing the beta page will provide an entirely new code.

One new Yosemite user who installed the operating system on a partition discovered that Yosemite may cause problems with partitions. Other users have also reported issues with partitions after installing Yosemite, while some have had no problems at all. The linked thread contains some Terminal fixes for users experiencing issues.

There's a lengthy bug thread on OS X Yosemite that has been added to throughout the beta testing period. Some remaining bugs include poor management of dual iTunes accounts, crashes in Activity Monitor, making and receiving calls with the FaceTime app, and unreliable WiFi connections. Problems with specific apps are listed in a separate thread, but some issues include frequent crashes with apps like Spotify and Microsoft Office. Apps like Final Cut Pro X, Aperture, iMovie, and Pixelmator also do not appear to be fully functional.

Handoff and Continuity
For users who have the iOS 8 beta installed on their iOS devices, MacRumors forum member Armen has put together a detailed walkthrough on how to set up Continuity and Handoff, new integration features introduced with the two new operating systems. Continuity appears to be largely functional for users with compatible machines, which have a Bluetooth LMP version of 0x6. Handoff does not appear to be working with 2011 MacBooks, but those machines do appear able to access SMS texts and phone calls.

New Features
New Yosemite users and those who are thinking about installing the beta should also check out the OS X 10.10: All The Little Things forum thread that details all of the lesser-known changes made to Yosemite throughout the beta testing period thus far to get familiarized with the operating system. For example, the latest developer preview introduced an entirely new version of iTunes, a new calculator app, and more.

Installation
Users who signed up for the public beta program can access promo codes to install Yosemite through the beta program website. Apple has also been sending out emails to those who have been selected to beta test Yosemite.

Apple recommends Yosemite be installed on a secondary machine as it is beta software, but users who do not have a secondary machine may want to install the operating system on an external drive or on a separate partition. OS X Daily has a set of instructions that walk users through both scenarios, explaining how to install on a partition or external hard drive. A MacRumors forum member has also explained how to create a bootable USB installer.

OS X Yosemite is expected to remain in beta testing until October, with new versions being seeded to both Appleseed participants and developers. Public beta test members will not, however, get as many updates to the software as developers.






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Possible 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Volume/Power Flex Cable and SIM Card Tray Shown in New Images

July 24th, 2014 by AppleInsider

We've seen several different parts for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but parts for the larger 5.5-inch version have thus far been in short supply. Apple.club.tw [Google Translation] has shared some new images of what might be the first leaked internal parts for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, offering up pictures of power/volume flex cables and SIM trays said to be for the device.

The two flex cables that separately house the left side volume buttons/mute switch and the top power button are similar in design to an earlier set of leaked flex cables said to be for one of the iPhone 6 models. There are, however, some design differences that suggest there are two distinct sets of flex cables designed for two different devices floating around the Asian supply chain. For example, the new set of flex cables depicts less space between the volume buttons and the mute buttons and the two flex cables for the power button have different shapes.

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iPhone 6 volume/mute flex cable on top, power button flex cable on bottom

Like the earlier cables, the flex cables in the new images resemble parts from other devices and have an Apple-style part number.

As it is difficult to determine size based on images, it is unclear which set of leaked flex cables might be designed for the 4.7-inch iPhone and which is destined for the 5.5-inch iPhone, but as both cables are different than existing parts for the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini, they point towards two separate devices if legitimate.

Apple.club.tw has also shared images of a longer flex cable with an unknown purpose and a set of SIM card trays in a cobalt blue color. Blue is not expected to be a color for the iPhone 6, as current rumors have pointed towards a release in the existing silver, gold, and space gray for both models, so the blue SIM trays are somewhat questionable.

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As we move closer to the September launch date of the iPhone 6, we expect part leaks to become more frequent. We may also see more parts designed for the larger iPhone 6 as it is expected to enter mass production in August or September. The 4.7-inch iPhone is said to have entered mass production in July.

Rumors have suggested that Apple may ship the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 ahead of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 due to supply constraints with the latter, so it remains unclear if we will see the bigger phone at Apple's prospective iPhone 6 launch event in September.






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Apple Maintains Tablet Market Share Lead Despite iPad Sales Drop

July 24th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Apple's recent earnings call revealed that iPad sales continue to decline, with the company shipping only 13.3 million iPads during the third fiscal quarter of 2014 (second calendar quarter), compared to 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Despite the sales drop, Apple continues to be the world's leading tablet vendor, with a total 26.9 percent of the market, according to new numbers from research firm IDC. Samsung retains its number two spot with 8.5 million shipments and a 17.2 percent share, but both major companies have been losing significant ground to companies putting out more affordable tablet devices.

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Lenovo, for example, saw its share of the tablet market rise from 3.3 percent to 4.9 percent, a 64.7 percent jump. ASUS saw 13.1 percent growth, and the "Others" category, which is comprised of vendors not quite in the top five list, has jumped from a 37 percent share to a 44.4 percent share, an increase of 33.4 percent.

Overall, the worldwide tablet market has grown 11 percent year-over-year, with total tablet shipments of 49.3 million, up from 44.4 million in 2013.

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As we indicated last quarter, the market is still being impacted by the rise of large-screen smartphones and longer than anticipated ownership cycles," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets. "We can also attribute the market deceleration to slow commercial adoption of tablets. Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market."
To date, Apple has sold 225 million iPads and according to Tim Cook, the company isn't worried about declining sales. Cook noted the tablet category is still "in its infancy," and Apple is planning to bring "significant innovation" to the iPad in the future.

iPad sales will likely pick up later this year with the introduction of a second-generation iPad Air and a second-generation Retina iPad mini. Both tablets are expected to include upgraded processors and Touch ID integration. Apple is also expanding its presence in the enterprise tablet market with a new partnership with IBM.






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Gmail for iOS Updated With Improved Google Drive Integration [iOS Blog]

July 24th, 2014 by AppleInsider

gmailGoogle today updated its Gmail for iOS app to version 3.14159, adding improved integration with its Google Drive storage solution.

It's now possible to save email attachments directly to Google Drive, making them accessible everywhere and saving storage space. Users are also able to insert Google Drive files directly into messages. Google has also included new account management options and the ability to change a profile picture in the Settings menu.
- Save attachments directly to Google Drive so you can access them anywhere while saving space and bandwidth on your device
- Insert Google Drive files directly into messages
- New account management options to choose which accounts you want to have visible in Gmail without removing accounts from your device.
- Change your profile picture (in Settings)
Gmail is a universal app that can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]






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Apple’s iWatch Already a Hit, Even When It’s a $20 Casio Watch [iOS Blog]

July 24th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel covered Apple's upcoming smart watch on last night's show, airing a humorous segment that featured the team showing pedestrians on Hollywood Boulevard a $20 Casio watch with an Apple sticker on the back.

The people were told the cheap watch was Apple's new smart watch and predictably, Kimmel's team received some hilarious reactions. "It's very lightweight and it's kind of like old school, but still in style, you know?" said one woman, and a man complimented its rubber wrist band and the big numbers, which are "easy to see."


Featured interviewees were all impressed with the watch's ability to show the time and the date, and several noted that they were willing to purchase anything Apple made. "I just like that it has an Apple insignia on the back," said one commenter. "If it's Apple it's good, right?" said another.

Kimmel also had some quips to share about the upcoming larger-screened iPhone 6, claiming Apple was introducing the larger device so it could debut a smaller "iPhone mini" in the future. "They make the bigger phones, and then in two years they'll release the iPhone mini, which is the size of the phones we have now," he joked. "And we'll wait in line for like three days for it because that's how we are."






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OS X Yosemite Public Beta Now Available via Mac App Store Redemption Codes

July 24th, 2014 by AppleInsider

In line with yesterday's announcement, Apple today made available a pre-release version of OS X Yosemite to consumers who signed up for the company's OS X public beta program. Public beta program members can access promo codes through the beta program website that allow them to download Yosemite from the Mac App Store for free.

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Early reviews of the pre-release build are favorable, with several reviewers noting improvements in Safari, Messaging and Notifications. Notably missing from the beta, however, are the highly anticipated Continuity features that allow for the integration of OS X with an iPhone or iPad running iOS 8, as only Yosemite is included in the program.

To sign up for the beta program, users must have a Mac running OS X Mavericks and need to register with an Apple ID on Apple's website. Apple cautions members to install the OS on a secondary Mac as it is beta software and may cause unexpected errors or other issues. Enrollment in the beta program is limited to the first one million registrants.

MacRumors readers who want to discuss the beta can do so in our Yosemite forum, which has tips on troubleshooting, comments on new features, and more.

Apple is expected to release OS X Yosemite to the general public later this year, possibly following an October event that also may be used to unveil the iWatch and new iPad models.

Update 12:25 PM PT: Some users who have signed up for the Yosemite beta have encountered an error indicating their beta codes have already been used. Apple suggests that users getting that error message refresh the beta program redemption page to generate a new code.






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Kwikset’s Kevo Smart Door Lock Adds Free Guest eKeys, Scheduling for Standard eKeys [iOS Blog]

July 24th, 2014 by Eric Slivka

While several high-profile smart deadbolt systems such as Lockitron and August have experienced significant delays, Kwikset has been shipping its Kevo Bluetooth deadbolt for some time now, and today the system is receiving a software update to provide new access options for users.

Similar in appearance to other electronic deadbolt locks with a relatively large housing on the inside of the door, the Kevo system allows users to lock and unlock their deadbolts with a simple touch, relying on a Kevo iPhone app or physical fob to determine whether access should be granted. After a simple set-up process, the Kevo deadbolt can determine relative positioning of the device or fob, only granting touch access when the user is outside the door. A standard key can also be used to operate the deadbolt.

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Much of today's upgrade centers around the system's eKeys that allow users to unlock the door using the Kevo smartphone app. The new features include free and unlimited Guest eKeys that can be sent to guests to allow access for 24 hours, as well as a new Scheduled eKey type that allows to restrict the days and times a standard eKey is valid.
From giving a neighbor day-long access to keep an eye on your kids, or letting in a weekend guest who beats you home from a busy day at work, the Guest eKey provides ultimate convenience and flexibility.

The new Scheduled eKey enhances home access control by allowing users to set day and time constraints right from their phones. Ideal for house cleaners, dog walkers, nannies or others that need regular access at pre-determined times, like on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. Kevo owners can schedule these eKeys to be active prior to sending, so they don’t have to remember to grant or revoke access to these users in real time.
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Guest eKey management (left) and Scheduled eKey setup (right)

Kevo comes with two free Anytime or Scheduled eKeys, and additional ones can be purchased in-app for $1.99 each. The new Guest eKeys are available free of charge without limits.

Kevo is available from Apple, Amazon, and other retailers for approximately $220. The updated Kevo app for iPhone is available now through the App Store [Direct Link], and the app also facilitates a firmware update for the lock itself.






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Swatch Denies Report It Is Working With Apple on iWatch Wearable

July 24th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group today denied a recent report that it was working with Apple to develop a smartwatch product, reports Reuters. VentureBeat first reported this joint venture, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of Apple's plans.

A spokeswoman for Swatch told Reuters that the Apple rumor was "unfounded," adding that Swatch's only relationship with mobile phone manufacturers is as a supplier of integrated circuits and other electronic components. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek reiterated in an interview with Reuters that "he was not interested in teaming up with a tech group to develop a smartwatch."

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The original VentureBeat rumor claimed Swatch and possibly Timex would build a smartwatch based on Apple's iWatch specifications. These third-party manufacturers would release their watches alongside Apple's own iWatch, providing "a family of smart watches to suit all tastes "from geek to chic."

This type of agreement would be unusual for Swatch, whose CEO has publicly expressed skepticism about the future success of the iWatch, saying he doesn't believe "it's the next revolution." Earlier reports also indicate that Apple is working alone on the iWatch, hiring a variety of medical, fitness and fashion experts to help develop the wearable product.

Apple is rumored to unveil its wearable device later this year with reports indicating its will be available in different materials at various price points in order to appeal to a range of consumers. The smartband may have a fitness focus with sensors that measure vitals such oxygen saturation, hydration status and heart rate. This data may then be shared with iOS 8's new Health app in order to generate a comprehensive health profile.






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