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Apple to reportedly shutter Beats Music? (Update: No)

A new report from TechCrunch reveals that Apple may be planning to shut down its Beats Music subscription service. Citing “five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats,” the report notes that a number of engineers from the Beats Music team have already been moved to other projects at Apple such as iTunes. Although it remains unclear when this is expected to happen, all sources point to Apple planning to discontinue the Beats Music brand. Even more surprisingly, this news comes on the heels of an Apple TV Software Update that added the Beats Music channel, as well as promoting the Beats Music app for iOS devices, suggesting at least some commitment to the service by Apple. No information was disclosed about Apple’s future plans for streaming, so it is entirely possible that the company intends to fold Beats Music into some future service under the iTunes brand. [via 9to5Mac]

Updated: Apple has denied the report to Re/code, which suggests that the company may change the name of the service or otherwise integrate it into iTunes.

First Look: Western Digital My Passport Wireless

Western Digital's My Passport portable hard drives have all been appealingly small and ready to take pretty much anywhere -- except that they've depended on a computer for connectivity and power. Made entirely from plastic, My Passport Wireless ($180-$220) preserves the same compact design but is capable of fully wireless operation. A six-hour rechargeable battery and 802.11n MIMO Wi-Fi enable the 1TB or 2TB hard disk to stream media content to up to eight devices, using the company's My Cloud iOS app to browse content. One USB 3.0 cable and a wall adapter are included for times when you're able to connect to a data and/or power source. The neat twist here is an integrated SD card slot, which can be used to instantly share content over the same Wi-Fi connection; you can also use My Passport Wireless as a Wi-Fi hub, or get it to join your existing wireless network. We'll have a full review of My Passport Wireless soon.

Report: iOS 8 adoption rate estimated at 30%

Several research and analytics firms have reported that iOS 8 adoption has reached 30% following the first weekend of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales, based on in-app analytics reported by Fiksu, Mixpanel, Appsee, and Chitika. While this number is up from the estimated 15% adoption following the initial iOS 8 public release last week, it still falls short of the almost 50% of users that had updated to iOS 7 by this time last year. The higher adoption rates of course include the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which come with iOS 8 preinstalled, which would account for at least some of the increase. Stats from Appsee also notably indicate that 2% of users are still on iOS 6.0. Apple has not yet released any official numbers for iOS 8 adoption. [via 9to5Mac]

 

Daily Deal: Get Wireless Feather Buds for only $24.99

Today in iLounge Deals you can grab a pair of Wireless Feather Buds Bluetooth earphones for only $24.99—60% off the normal price. A perfect mix of comfort, convenience, and high-quality sound, these bluetooth headphones are packed with great features. The noise-cancelling outer shell isolates the sounds you want to hear, and the lightweight and tangle-free design allows you to use and wear the earbuds comfortably. Bluetooth support provides a wireless range of up to 30 feet, with a built-in microphone and remote to allow you to easily answer phone calls while on the go.

Get the Wireless Feather Buds now for only $24.99

Apple Watch to come in 4GB, 8GB versions?

A new analyst report suggests that the Apple Watch may be released in both 4 GB and 8 GB versions. Based on discussions with Apple’s suppliers, Timothy Arcuri of investment research firm Cowen and Company released a note to investors today outlining that the component makers expect the Watch to include 512 MB of RAM and and 4 GB of storage in the “mainstream” version, with a larger-capacity 8 GB version also expected to be available. Arcuri’s report also stated that he expects the Apple Watch to feature a wireless combination chip similar to that found in the iPhone 5s. The Apple Watch is also expected to incorporate chips and circuitry from many of Apple’s other usual suppliers, including chips from NXP and AMS for NFC its NFC technology, likely similar to those used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. [via AppleInsider]

Apple hits 10 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus sales in first weekend

Apple today announced the achievement of a new milestone for first-weekend iPhone sales, hitting a record 10 million sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices only three days after their September 19 debut in stores. The record includes over 4 million pre-orders, and was notably achieved despite Apple’s last-minute inability to sell the new iPhones in China due to regulatory delays, as well as significant shortages of the larger iPhone 6 Plus model.

“While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, “we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.” The new iPhones will go on sale in 20 additional countries at the end of this week, and a total of 115 countries by the end of 2014.

First Look: Apple iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus Silicone Cases

Released alongside the new iPhones, Apple's iPhone 6 Silicone Case ($35) and iPhone 6 Plus Silicone Case ($39) are slightly less expensive versions of its Leather Cases, available in a wider and generally brighter array of six colors, but otherwise featuring the exact same design. Each case is a wraparound shell with full top and right side coverage, substantial back and left side coverage, then a completely open bottom and front. On the outside is a thin layer of silicone rubber, while the inside has an embossed microfiber lining; the rear camera is ringed by a thin layer of black plastic in each version. Button protection is included, but the bottom of each iPhone 6/6 Plus is left fully open, a boon for accessory connection but less than ideal for protection of the bottom speaker, microphone, and accessory ports.

Video First Look: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Check out our new Video First Look focusing on Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. See both devices side by side as we dig into the differences between the two new, bigger iPhones. While you’re at it, take a look at our First Look article, and our unboxing gallery showing off both iPhones, as well. Our official comprehensive review of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will also be coming soon.

iPhone 6, 6 Plus support 2.1A charging, ship with 1A adapters

Our preliminary testing of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has revealed that both devices are capable of using 2.1-Amp power under certain circumstances, despite shipping with lower-powered 1-Amp USB Power Adapters shown here.

When connected to a Mac running OS X Yosemite, both models reported drawing 1600 mA of extra power, in addition to the base 500 mA used by the USB standard, suggesting that the new models can be charged more rapidly when using a higher-current power adapter or newer Mac. With 2.1-Amp power, the iPhone 6 Plus appears to be capable of recharging to 90% in around two hours, a number that will be markedly longer with the slower included 1-Amp adapter.






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