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New 3D Touch display makes new iPhones heavier

While the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are relatively close in size to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, respectively, Apple’s latest product environmental reports show the new models are around 11 to 12 percent heavier, mostly due to the new 3D Touch screen technology. The display for the iPhone 6s weighs in at 29g, more than double the 12g weight of the display in the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6s Plus display weighs 40g compared to the iPhone 6 Plus’ 19g display, again, more than double the weight. Even with a marked decrease in the circuit board weight in both new phones and a slight drop in battery weight in the iPhone 6s (the iPhone 6s Plus’ battery weight stayed the same), both of the new models added enough weight in displays and glass to account for a 10.9 percent increase in weight for the iPhone 6s over the iPhone 6, and an 11.6 percent increase in weight for the iPhone 6s Plus over the iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple shutting down HopStop app in October

In a banner message to users on its website, HopStop announced it will no longer be available in October, as Apple said it will be shutting down the popular transit directions app, according to 9to5Mac. Apple acquired HopStop in 2013 in an effort to improve its own transit directions in Apple Maps, and with those improvements coming online when iOS 9 launches on Sept. 16, Apple is shutting down HopStop’s app. The plan will leave some users in the lurch, as the transit feature in Apple Maps currently supports far fewer cities than the HopStop app. Apple is reportedly working quickly to close that gap — aiming to expand to cities like Boston and Tokyo, Japan by next year — and already provides transit directions for many areas outside those listed on it website, but in the meantime HopStop’s exit could leave users in countries like Russia, Israel and Australia without a working solution.

Report: Supply problems limiting iPhone 6s Plus availability

In a note to investors, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the iPhone 6s Plus is facing serious supply shortages due to backlight module production issues at Japanese supplier Minebea. Kuo said Apple is transferring module orders to alternate supplier Radiant in an effort to keep up, increasing that company’s orders to 4 to 5 million units in September. While Apple has cited record-breaking demand for the three to four-week wait times some users are seeing when trying to pre-order an iPhone 6s Plus, Kuo points to the supply problems as the cause. He expects Apple to have between 1.5 million and 2 million iPhone 6s Plus units available for sale on the Sept. 25 launch date. [via MacRumors]

New BMW CEO open to Apple partnership

BMW’s new CEO told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he is open to exploring a deeper partnership with Apple, Reuters reports. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with senior managers working on BMW’s i3 electric car and opened negotiations to use the body of the i3 as the basis for Apple’s own electric car. Those talks broke off amid big personnel changes at BMW, with Apple opting to pursue creating a car on its own and BMW skeptical of sharing its manufacturing expertise with outsiders, but BMW’s incoming CEO Harald Krueger said similarities between the BMW and Apple brands provide the potential for both companies to benefit from a partnership. “Fundamentally, both partners need to profit from the cooperation, otherwise it will not last. And both companies need to share the same principles, for example with regard to data security,” Krueger said.

Apple claims it’s on pace to break opening weekend iPhone sales record

Apple said strong pre-orders of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have put the company on pace to beat last year’s 10 million unit first weekend record, CNBC reports. The company said online demand for the iPhone 6s Plus exceeded its own forecasts and that it’s “working to catch up as quickly as we can,” while still guaranteeing that both iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units will be available at Apple retail stores when they open next Friday. Online demand in China was particularly high, with wait times for the iPhone 6s Plus at three to four weeks and waits for the iPhone 6s around two to three weeks, as of last Saturday.

Apple News ad restrictions angering media companies

Irate media company executives are complaining that the Apple News app to be released with iOS 9 next week is too restrictive on advertising content, the New York Post reports. The company has placed unconventional restrictions on ad formats and requires strict approval hurdles for ad campaigns, leading one unnamed senior news executive to say, “[Apple News is] giving us some great ways to distribute our product, but they’re not giving us a lot of ways to monetize it.” Popular tools like real-time bidding for ad placements aren’t supported yet, and Apple has refused to accommodate Google’s Doubleclick, one of the most popular tools for placing and tracking online ads. Apple’s requirement that the company be allowed to approve every ad campaign within 48 hours’ notice and refusal to run pre-roll video ads without direct vetting has also made the process “very difficult,” according to another news executive. While publishers like CNN, Vox Media and Time Inc. have agreed to make most of their content available on the new app, others with strong paid subscription models like The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are reportedly restricting Apple News to a few dozen stories a day. Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Report: iPad Pro has 4GB of RAM, iPhone 6s has 2GB

Developer Hamza Sood claims that a clever hack of Xcode’s asset catalogs confirms that the iPad Pro will contain 4GB of RAM and the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will each feature 2GB. Adobe posted similar specs for the iPad Pro’s RAM last week before quickly taking down the information. To find out if the information was accurate, Sood set assets in Xcode that would load different images depending on the device’s RAM capacity. If the figures hold up, that means the new iPhones have twice the RAM of the iPhone 6 and the iPad Pro also has double the RAM of the iPad Air 2. [via 9to5Mac]

Media player app Plex coming to Apple TV

Popular media streaming app Plex is coming to Apple TV, according to a report from IT World. Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski confirmed that the company is awaiting tvOS developer beta information to work on adapting the app to the new platform. The app — which organizes video, music and photos on a computer and allows them to be streamed to media players, smart TVs and mobile devices — is available on iOS, but has only been accessible on Apple TV through a software hack. While Olechowski declined to give a timeline for Plex’s debut on Apple TV, he said there is no question that it will be possible to run a fully loaded version of the app on the new platform. “Our goal is to enable people to enjoy Plex on the hardware platforms of their choice, and there is no doubt this will be a top platform for us,” he said.

Report: iPhone 6s Live Photos to take up 2X the storage

Photos taken with the new “Live Photos” feature on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will reportedly take up twice the storage as a standard 12MP picture, according to a new report from TechCrunch. In a video, TechCrunch’s Editor-in-Chief Matthew Panzarino explains that even current iPhones are buffering photos as soon as the Camera app is launched in order to create a fast and responsive user experience, with only the most recent image stored when the shutter button is pressed. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, on the other hand, will basically dump this entire buffer in such a way as to store the standard 12MP image along with “sidecar data” that adds up to approximately one more image’s worth of data, thereby requiring twice the space. According to Apple’s Developer Documentation on the feature, iOS 9.1 will also offer APIs that will provide third-party apps with the ability to incorporate playback of Live Photos, and export Live Photos for sharing and exporting both Live Photos and traditional JPEG versions of Live Photos.

Apple required to pay unpaid back taxes, fines in China

Apple has found itself in hot water in China, CNN Money reports, with the Chinese Ministry of Finance revealing that Apple had misreported sales and profits in the country. The company failed to report 8.8 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) in sales in 2013 while also overstating its profit by 5.4 billion yuan ($220 million) that same year. Apple has been required to pay 452 million yuan ($71 million) in back taxes to the Chinese government, and a 65 million yuan ($10 million) fine has been levied against the company for the failure to report the 2013 taxes. A spokesperson for Apple claimed the error was discovered during an audit of the company’s 2013 operations, and resulted from “a difference in interpretation of a tax rule.” The Apple spokesman stated, “We pay all the taxes we owe wherever we do business and we will continue working closely with the Ministry of Finance.” China has reportedly been cracking down on unpaid taxes by U.S. companies recently, with Microsoft also being charged with $140 million in unpaid taxes in November 2014.

Zagg announces iPad Pro, iPad mini 4 keyboard lineup

Zagg has announced the release of its new Bluetooth keyboard lineup for the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4. Three new iPad mini 4 keyboards include the Slim Book ($120), Folio with backlit keys ($100), and Folio with non-backlit keys ($80), which will be available for order on Sept. 15 for the Slim Book and Sept. 25 for the Folio models. Two new iPad Pro keyboards are also coming in November — the Messenger Universal ($70) and the Slim Book Pro ($140). All of the new keyboards provide device protection, 135-degree viewing angles, and two-year battery life along with multi-pairing so that they can be used with multiple iOS devices or even Macs. On Thursday, Logitech introduced its Smart Connector-compatible keyboard for iPad Pro, Create, so it hasn’t taken long to see third-party accessories for Apple’s upcoming large-screen iPad.

Ive discusses Hermès Apple Watch partnership

In a joint interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple design chief Jony Ive and Hermès artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas provided some insight into Apple’s new partnership with the French fashion house and where the company is positioning the Apple Watch in terms of luxury branding. Ive revealed that he approached Hermès about collaborating on the Apple Watch before the device had even been announced — an unusual move for the normally secretive company — and that the two companies decided to partner over lunch in Paris last October.

Ive noted that Apple also took a very unique approach in its partnership with Hermès, allowing the fashion company’s branding to display more prominently on the Watch, using three fonts that Hermès has long used in its own watches, and excluding the Apple name and logo from the Hermès user interface — the first time Apple has ever allowed another company’s symbols to upstage its own. While the new Hermès Apple Watch is far from either company’s most expensive offering, the $1,500 Hermès edition is clearly intended to enhance Apple’s positioning of the Apple Watch as more than a high-tech gadget, although Ive shies away from the idea that the Apple Watch is heading in a more exclusive direction in the manner usually associated with luxury goods. He stated that he doesn’t feel the attention that has been lavished on the Apple Watch Hermès provides it with any special status, indicating that even placed next to the lower-end Sport Edition, “there’s not one that had more care invested in its designing or making.” The new Hermès edition Apple Watch goes on sale Oct. 5 and will be available in Apple and Hermès stores in fourteen countries, with prices ranging from $1,100 for the 38mm classic bracelet version to $1,500 for the 42mm cuff version.

Pokémon, Niantic, and Nintendo announce Pokémon GO coming to iOS

The Pokémon Company, Ingress developer Niantic, and Nintendo have announced that they are collaborating on the release of Pokémon GO, a new location-based iOS game set in the Pokémon universe. Trainers will use their iPhone GPS to explore real-world locations to catch, trade, and battle with each other in their search for Pokémon. The game director of the original Pokémon video game series, Junichi Masuda, will also be contributing to the project, ensuring that the new Pokémon GO app remains true to the original Pokémon experience while at the same time branching out into new types of gameplay and tying into the main Pokémon series. Nintendo will also be developing and selling a separate Bluetooth device called Pokémon GO Plus that will alert users to nearby events with flashes and vibrations, such as Pokémon in their vicinity, and allow them to catch Pokémon with the press of a button without having to reach for their iPhone. Pokémon GO is expected to debut as a free download on the App Store in 2016.

Google releases Mobile Application Management for iOS devices

Google has announced that its Mobile Application Management (MAM) solution for Google for Work environments is now available to iOS devices. A new Google Device Policy app for iOS allows users of Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government to enroll their iOS devices in their organizational policies in order to streamline access to device approval requests and internal Wi-Fi networks, use single sign-ons across all Google Apps such as Gmail, Drive, and Docs, and install iOS apps that have been whitelisted by the organization in a managed device profile.

Google Apps Administrators will be able to use the Google Admin console to whitelist any free app found on the iOS app store, allowing a list of approved apps to be easily discovered and downloaded by their organization’s users without having to scour the App Store or recall specific app names from an orientation session or employee handbook. Apps installed through the Google Device Policy app are also managed by the organizational policies and can be removed from a user’s device when no longer whitelisted, or when a device is remotely wiped by an admin, ensuring that corporate information is not retained on personal devices when a user leaves the organization.

SteelSeries introduces Nimbus Game Controller for Apple TV

SteelSeries has announced Nimbus, the first wireless gamepad controller for the new Apple TV. Featuring a rechargeable battery with over 40 hours of life, a Lightning connector for rapid charging, and pressure sensitive buttons for precise control, Nimbus is designed to allow users to take advantage of the gaming capabilities of Apple’s new tvOS platform, while also supporting the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The SteelSeries Nimbus Gaming Controller is expected to be available on Apple’s online store and in Apple Retail stores in late October for $50.

FiftyThree’s Paper app comes to the iPhone

FiftyThree has released a major update to its popular Paper idea capture app, adding support for iPhone users along with a number of interesting user interface improvements. Version 3.0 allows iPhone users to capture images, notes, and sketches at the tap of a button and provides a new home view to make it easier to see everything at a glance. Text in notes can now be quickly styled by swiping to create headers, checklists, and bullet points, or rearrange items in a list, and photos can be “spotlighted” using freehand drawing to outline an area for highlighting. Annotation features for writing notes on photos are also provided. Users can collaborate with other Paper users, or export notes as PDFs, Keynote and Powerpoint files, or export to Adobe Creative Cloud apps such as Illustrator.

Apple posts iPhone 6s ‘Get ready for pre-order’ instructions

Apple has added a “Get ready for pre-order” link on its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus store pages, leading to a pop-up box that provides customers with guidance on what they can do now to ensure that they’re ready to pre-order the new iPhone models when pre-orders begin on Sept. 12. Instructions include advising users to enter their account details to check their account status and upgrade eligibility now, as well as directing them to the Apple Store app on their current iPhone where they can store their wireless account details to save time when pre-orders actually begin. Customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT on Sept. 12, and if past years are any indication, availability of new models will become scarce within the first few minutes, so tips on speeding up the checkout process will be helpful both for customer satisfaction and avoiding heavier loads on Apple’s servers.

Logitech announces Create keyboard for iPad Pro

Logitech has announced Create, the first third-party keyboard for Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro. The new full-sized keyboard will be compatible with Apple’s new magnetic Smart Connector. Create automatically connects to the iPad Pro when docked in the typing position, and the keyboard is powered by the iPad Pro itself. Create is said to be made of “tightly-woven premium fabric,” but few other details are known at this time. It will be released when the iPad Pro launches. Logitech has yet to reveal pricing information for the new accessory, but Apple’s own upcoming Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro will cost $169 at launch.

Apple adds ‘Hey Siri’ training mode in iOS 9 GM

Apple has added a new series of setup and training screens for enabling the “Hey Siri” feature in iOS 9, explaining the feature and taking users through a series of steps where they’re asked to speak phrases such as “Hey Siri”, “Hey Siri, how’s the weather today?”, and “Hey Siri, it’s me.” Users updating to iOS 9 — even from a beta to the GM candidate — will likely find that the “Hey Siri” feature has been disabled under Settings, General, Siri, and turning it on will take them through the process before the feature gets enabled. The new training mode should likely help to reduce the number of false positives where Siri accidentally thinks users are talking to it, and will probably be particularly useful in the case of the new iPhone 6s models which will allow “Hey Siri” to function even when not connected to power.

New Apple TV to have 2GB RAM, iPad Pro 4GB RAM?

A new tweet from Steve Troughton-Smith has revealed that Apple has actually listed the new Apple TV’s RAM in the documentation as 2GB – a very uncharacteristic move for the company which normally says nothing publicly about the amount of RAM in each of its iOS devices.

In a similar vein, an Adobe blog post yesterday revealed that the new iPad Pro is expected to include an unprecedented 4GB of RAM, although the memory references were later removed from the post, making it unclear whether the information is in fact accurate or whether Apple simply may not yet want these details revealed. (via GforGames)

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