Mac Headlines

iOS 8.1: ‘Text Message Forwarding’ Activation Requires iMessage Email Address [iOS Blog]

October 21st, 2014 by Arnold Kim

Earlier today, Apple released iOS 8.1 which introduced number of new features to iOS and Yosemite. One of the anticipated features was SMS Text Message Forwarding, which allows SMS messages received by your iPhone to be mirrored on your iPad or Mac running OS X Yosemite.

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Several of our forum members had difficulty activating the feature, as the required activation code would never appear on their Macs or iPads.

MacRumors reader Michael wrote in with this solution which requires an email address to be activated in iMessage:
...you need to have your email address turned on for iMessage on your iPhone in order to enable Text Message Forwarding. If you don't, the numeric access code will not appear on your iPad or Mac during the setup process. As soon as you enable your email address for iMessage (you only need to do this on your iPhone) the numeric access codes appear as expected. Once you have text message forwarding setup you can disable your email address again in iMessage as it seems to only be necessary for the numeric access code setup step, not the actual text message forwarding itself.
MacRumors was able to verify this scenario and found that an email address does indeed have to be active on your iPhone for the activation message to properly be sent. In our testing, SMS messages were still received after the email address was removed from iMessage. The setting to add your email address to iMessage is under Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive. Note, you may have to wait a few moments after adding an email address before the activation code will send.






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2014 Mac Mini Teardown Highlights Increased Difficulty For User Upgradability

October 21st, 2014 by AppleInsider

iFixIt has conducted their teardown of the brand new Mac mini, finding that the new device is more difficult to open than previous models. They've also discovered that the RAM is soldered onto the machine, which was first discovered late last week.

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The team found that gaining entry into the new desktop is more difficult than previous models. Instead of a twistable bottom cover, the new Mac mini requires a plastic opening tool to pop off the cover. Underneath that is a new solid door that blocks easy access to the RAM and fan. The door uses what iFixIt calls "the smallest Torx Security screw" they've ever seen, requiring their tool design team to prototype a new screwdriver to open the desktop.

Inside, the Mac mini now sports a new AirPort card that connects straight to a PCIe slot rather than via a cable. Unlike past Mac minis, the new version only contains one SATA port. Previously, Mac mini users could upgrade their desktops with an extra hard drive. However, iFixIt notes that there is an extra socket that could potentially be used for a SSD blade via a PCIe cable. Oddly, the new Mac mini's power supply is identical to both the 2012 and 2011 models.

Finally, iFixIt gave the new Mac mini a repairability score of 6 out of 10, which is a worse score than the 2012 Mac mini's 8 out of 10. Although disassembly is straight forward, the team noted that the presence of Torx security screws and soldered on RAM made it more difficult to repair than previous models.






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Royals and Giants Stadiums to Accept Apple Pay for Concessions During World Series [iOS Blog]

October 21st, 2014 by AppleInsider

attheballpark.pngKauffman Stadium in Kansas City and AT&T Park in San Francisco will accept the new Apple Pay mobile payments program beginning tomorrow with Game One of the World Series in Kansas City.

Fans who attend games at the two participating stadiums will be able to use Apple Pay to purchase food and beverages at concession stands, thanks to a partnership between MLB Advanced Media and MasterCard.
We thank MasterCard for its great involvement in bringing another simple and secure mobile technology to baseball fans," said Noah Garden, EVP, Revenue, MLBAM. "Introducing this service underscores the importance of our on-going commitment to mobile innovations at Major League Baseball ballparks. Being able to build reliable, convenient and authentic technologies on their personal devices is no longer a nice-to-have option for fans. It's central to their experiences."
Enabled today through the iOS 8.1 update, Apple Pay is Apple's new mobile payments service that is accepted at any retail location that supports NFC-based contactless payments. Apple Pay can also be used within select apps that support the Apple Pay API, allowing physical purchases to be made with a single tap.

Major League Baseball is an Apple Pay app partner, which means Apple Pay is being built into the At the Ballpark app. When single-game tickets for the 2015 Major League Baseball season go on sale in November, Apple Pay users will be able to purchase tickets with a single tap using the payments service.

Major League Baseball was also one of Apple's first iBeacon partners, rolling out thousands of iBeacons at a range of different stadiums ahead of Opening Day in 2014.

The MLB At the Ballpark app can be downloaded for free from the App Store. [Direct Link]






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Spotlight Suggestions Sends Minimum Amount of Data to Apple, Exact Location and IP Addresses Not Collected

October 21st, 2014 by AppleInsider

Following the release of OS X Yosemite with new Spotlight Suggestions, some users noted that Apple's Spotlight privacy policy began offering a warning letting users know that search terms were being uploaded to Apple's servers, with some of the info being forwarded to Microsoft's Bing search engine.

The search terms were being shared with Apple in order to enable Spotlight's new capabilities, which include searching sources like the Mac App Store, Wikipedia, and the web.

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When you use Spotlight, your search queries, the Spotlight Suggestions you select, and related usage data will be sent to Apple. Search results found on your Mac will not be sent. If you have Location Services on your Mac turned on, when you make a search query to Spotlight the location of your Mac at that time will be sent to Apple. Searches for common words and phrases will be forwarded from Apple to Microsoft's Bing search engine.
While Apple noted directly within Yosemite's Spotlight preferences that the search terms were collected only to improve Spotlight Searches and directed users to turn off Spotlight Suggestions and Bing Web searches in System Preferences if they didn't want their data uploaded, the issue still received quite a bit of attention over the course of the weekend, with one developer even uploading a Python script to prevent Apple from collecting data.

Apple has now given a statement on Spotlight Suggestions to iMore, stating that the company is "absolutely committed" to protecting user privacy and that Spotlight Suggestions minimizes the information that's sent to Apple.
"We are absolutely committed to protecting our users' privacy and have built privacy right into our products," Apple told iMore. "For Spotlight Suggestions we minimize the amount of information sent to Apple. Apple doesn't retain IP addresses from users' devices. Spotlight blurs the location on the device so it never sends an exact location to Apple. Spotlight doesn't use a persistent identifier, so a user's search history can't be created by Apple or anyone else. Apple devices only use a temporary anonymous session ID for a 15-minute period before the ID is discarded.

"We also worked closely with Microsoft to protect our users' privacy. Apple forwards only commonly searched terms and only city-level location information to Bing. Microsoft does not store search queries or receive users' IP addresses.

"You can also easily opt out of Spotlight Suggestions, Bing or Location Services for Spotlight."
As Apple says in the statement that it gave to iMore, users that are concerned about their data being uploaded to Apple's servers can easily disable the new features by going to System Preferences --> Spotlight and unchecking both the boxes for "Spotlight Suggestions" and "Bing Web Searches."

Along with offering users its privacy policy directly in the System Preferences app under "About Spotlight Suggestions & Privacy," Apple has also updated its iOS 8 Privacy website to make it clear that limited user data is collected and that the data the company does acquire is obscured by an anonymous identifier.

Introduced with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Spotlight Suggestions allow Apple's Spotlight feature to give users search suggestions from sources like Wikipedia, the iTunes Store, and Maps. For example, it's now possible to search for an app in the Mac App Store using Spotlight, or look for a specific term on Wikipedia without needing to access Safari or another web browser.






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iOS 8.1 Brings iCloud Photo Library to All Users, With Images Accessible on iOS Devices, iCloud.com

October 21st, 2014 by AppleInsider

iOS 8.1, released to the public earlier today, included Apple Pay support as its most notable feature, but it also brought several other updates to the mobile operating system, including iCloud Photo Library. With iOS 8.1, the iCloud Photo Library beta is now available to all iOS 8 users, as is a new iCloud Photos app that can be found within iCloud.com.

First introduced during WWDC, iCloud Photo Library stores all of the photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, making them available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Macs through iCloud.com. It will also work with the Photos app that Apple is creating for the Mac, which is expected in early 2015.

icloudphotolibraryhero
iCloud Photo Library. You’re never without your camera. Now you’ll never be without your photos. Every photo and video you take now lives in iCloud — giving you the freedom to access your library from any device, anytime you want. So you can view a photo from last week or last year no matter where you are.
iCloud Photo Library is designed to keep all of a user's photos synced on all of their devices at all times. When an image is edited on an iOS device in the Photos app with Apple's built-in editing tools, those changes are immediately uploaded to iCloud and visible on other devices right away.

iCloud Photo Library is also designed to free up valuable storage space on iOS devices. Full high-resolution photos and videos are stored in the cloud, while smaller versions of the images are displayed on devices, taking up far less storage space. iCloud Photo Library uses the iCloud storage space of each user, with 20GB of storage space available for $0.99 per month. Apple's iCloud storage plans go up to 1TB, which is priced at $19.99 per month.

iCloud Photo Library can be enabled on iOS devices in the Settings app by going to iCloud > Photos and toggling on "iCloud Photo Library." The Settings app also lets users choose whether to optimize iPhone storage or download and keep original full-sized photos on their devices.

icloudphotolibrarysettings
Once iCloud Photo Library is enabled, images and videos stored on iOS devices will be automatically uploaded to the cloud. They can be viewed as usual within the Photos app for iOS, and on the web, they can be viewed through the new iCloud Photos app on iCloud.com.

icloudphotosapp
In the iCloud Photos app, users can perform several actions that are also available in the iOS version of the Photos app. Images can be favorited, which sends them to a special "Favorites" album, they can be downloaded in full resolution, or deleted, which removes the photos from iCloud Photo Library on all devices. From the main "Moments" view, it's also possible to click on the "Select Photos" option to delete or download multiple images at once.

deleteitemsicloudcom
iCloud Photo Library does not appear to be working flawlessly at the current point in time, which is likely why it's still given "beta" status. In MacRumors own testing, deleting some photos from the iCloud Photos app did not delete the photos from the iPhone 6 Plus they were taken on. A later sync even returned the photos to iCloud.com.

While iCloud Photo Library was available to developers during the iOS 8 beta testing period, Apple opted to pull it from the iOS 8 golden master ahead of iOS 8's public release and demote it to beta status.

The reason behind iCloud Photo Library's removal from the release version of iOS 8 was unclear, but it is possible Apple delayed the release in light of the negative press iCloud received in early September due to the celebrity photo leak.

With Apple having taken significant steps to bolster the security of iCloud, adding two-step verification and sending security emails when changes are made to iCloud or a device is restored, the company appears ready to let the public have full access to the new photo storage feature.






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Apple CEO Tim Cook: iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Demand ‘Far Outstripping’ Supply

October 20th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the balance between supply and demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus during today's earnings call, stating that demand is far outstripping supply despite a satisfactory production ramp-up. Cook noted that available data makes it unclear as to when supply will catch up with demand, and that the company was "not close" to having a balance between supply and demand at the end of Q4 2014.

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Supplies for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have remained tight since the launch of both devices last month, as new iPhone 6 orders still show a shipping estimate of 7-10 business days while the iPhone 6 Plus is still showing a shipping delay of 3-4 weeks. It is worth noting that the iPhone 6 has been mostly available at Apple's own stores and other retail locations, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a constrained supply in-store.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple delayed plans to mass produce the larger 12.9-inch iPad in order to shift its resources towards the iPhone 6 Plus as it has remained unsatisfied with the production output from its suppliers for its larger iPhone. A report from earlier this month also stated that the company is shifting its production balance towards the iPhone 6 Plus which may gradually improve its supplies of the larger phone.






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Apple CEO Tim Cook: Apple’s ‘Creative Engine’ Has Never Been Stronger

October 20th, 2014 by AppleInsider

During today's fiscal fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that "obviously" the company is working on new products, but that he was going to keep things in the "cone of silence."
I'm not sure what to say. I'm not going to give any hints. We look at a lot of different things and we're fortunate to have a lot of creative people here that want to change the world and have a lot of great ideas.
Cook went on to say that Apple's "creative engine" had never been stronger and the company had never been more passionate, as evidenced with Apple's recent launches of Apple Pay and Apple Watch. Apple Pay, said Cook, is "classic Apple," with the company taking something old and outdated and focusing on making something "very elegant."

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Cook also extolled the virtues of Continuity, which allows Macs and iOS 8 devices to integrate in new and innovative ways. "Use your imagination and think about where Continuity goes," said Cook. He went on to say that it would be "incredibly important" going forward for customers.

Cook said that Apple's investors should look at what Apple's done and what it has delivered, along with the skills of the company. Apple is the "only company on the planet" that has the ability to integrate hardware and software at a "world class level" according to Cook, but the company always has "more ideas than resources" to deal with. He also said as a personal investor, he "feels great" about products that are coming up in 2015.

While Cook declined to mention what products Apple might be working on, rumors have suggested the company has several new devices in the works that could significantly boost future sales, including a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air and a 12.9-inch iPad, dubbed the "iPad Pro" by the media.






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Apple Sells Record-Breaking 5.5 Million Macs in Q4 2014 [Mac Blog]

October 20th, 2014 by AppleInsider

Apple today announced during its earnings call that it sold 5.5 million Macs in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, which is the highest quarter ever for Mac sales. The 5.5 million Macs sold is up almost 1 million year-over-year and represents a 21% growth from 2013, creating $6.6 billion in sales. The company also noted that it sold a total of 19 million Macs for all of fiscal 2014, saying that sales were particularly strong for the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. retina-imac-27
Apple launched updated models for nearly all of its Macs in 2014, aside from the redesigned Mac Pro which was released last year. The MacBook Air was updated in April and brought a price reduction along with slightly faster Haswell processors, while the MacBook Pro saw a minor update in July which also brought Haswell and Crystal Well processors that improved battery life. Last week, Apple launched a new 27-inch iMac with a high-resolution "Retina 5K" display, and updated the Mac mini for the first time in three years with Haswell processors and new Intel HD Graphics.

The company is also rumored to be working on a new 12-inch MacBook, which will feature a new ultra slim design and a high-resolution Retina display. Reports have suggested that the new MacBook will come in the iPhone color variants of Silver, Gold, and Space Gray, and will integrate fan-less internals with a Broadwell-Y low-power Core M processor along with the possible adoption of USB Type C. The 12-inch MacBook is said to be launching in mid-2015.






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Apple Acquired 20 Companies Across 2014, 7 In Fiscal Fourth Quarter

October 20th, 2014 by AppleInsider

During today's fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple purchased 20 companies over the course of 2014, including seven companies during the fiscal fourth quarter. Of the 20 companies purchased, some remain known, but many remain unknown.

Apple's biggest purchase of fiscal 2014 was Beats Electronics, which the company bought for $3 billion in May. With the acquisition, it gained Beats popular line of headphones, the Beats Music music service, and it took on Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, aka Andre Young, as executives.

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Other recent known acquisitions in fiscal 2014 include iPad-publishing platform Prss, book recommendation platform BookLamp, radio streaming app Swell, social recommendation service Spotsetter, and low-power display company LuxVue.

Last quarter, Apple announced that it had acquired 30 companies thus far in fiscal 2014, which brings the total number of acquisitions since last October up to approximately 37. While some of those acquisitions were known, many of Apple's acquisitions were kept quiet, going under the radar.

The technology from Apple's acquisitions will undoubtedly make its way into future products and updates, and details on its acquisitions may become apparent over time.

Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple was "on the prowl" for additional companies to acquire and that Apple is always looking at acquisition space to avoid letting "money burn a hole in our pocket."






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iTunes by the Numbers: $4.6B Revenue for Q4, $18B Total Revenue in 2014, 85B App Store Downloads [iOS Blog]

October 20th, 2014 by AppleInsider

itunes.jpgDuring its financial results call covering the fourth fiscal quarter (third calendar quarter of 2014), Apple shared details on the success of its iTunes Store, which has become an increasingly important revenue source for the company in recent years, mainly due to the ever-growing popularity of the App Store.

$4.6 billion in revenue marks Apple's most successful iTunes quarter ever, up $2 billion from last year, and its $18 billion in revenue for 2014 is $2b higher than last year's $16 billion in total iTunes revenue.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple hit an all time high in App Store revenue, with growth of 36 percent compared to Q4 2013. Apple has seen cumulative app downloads of 85 billion, up 10 billion since July. Along with "tremendous" growth in the App Store, the iTunes Store saw all-time record billings, up 22 percent year over year.

Overall, Apple posted revenue of $42.1 billion and a net quarterly profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $37.5 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.5 billion ($1.01 per diluted share) in the year-ago quarter.






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