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Video Review: Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Our video review of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus gives viewers a look at some of the ground covered in our comprehensive site review of both devices. We hope this gives consumers even more background and information on the new iPhones as you see them up close and in action. Please read our full review for many more details.

Report: Same manager in charge of iOS 8.0.1 and Apple Maps releases

Apple’s quickly-pulled iOS 8.0.1 update was overseen by the same manager in charge of catching problems with Apple Maps before that program was released, according to Bloomberg. The report claims mid-level manager Josh Williams oversees quality assurance for iOS, and Williams was also in charge of quality control for Apple’s much-maligned Maps release in 2012. A source said Williams was removed from the Maps team “after the software gave users unreliable directions and mislabeled landmarks,” but he remained in charge of iOS testing. Williams has reportedly been working on quality control for iPhone software “since early iterations of the product,” and he leads a team of more than 100 people worldwide.

Former employees said the company relies on people to find bugs more than it uses automation-testing. The report also notes that engineers in charge of testing new software “often don’t get their hands on the latest iPhones until the same time that they arrive with customers, resulting in updates that may not get tested as much on the latest handsets.” Only senior managers can use unreleased iPhones without special permission, sources said.

Apple releases iOS 8.0.2 (Updated)

Apple has released iOS 8.0.2 tonight, just one day after releasing and pulling iOS 8.0.1, which was immediately received with complaints of cellular and Touch ID issues from iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. iOS 8.0.2 resolves those problems, and also allows HealthKit apps to be available on the App Store, among other fixes.

Update: Some Australian users are still experiencing cellular and Touch ID problems after installing iOS 8.0.2, according to MacRumors.

Apple says only nine customers have complained about bending iPhones

Apple has issued an official response to the controversy surrounding alleged problems with iPhone 6 units bending during normal use, stating that it has received complains from only nine customers, and that the iPhones “feature steel/titanium inserts to reinforce stress locations.”

 

The company also told the Wall Street Journal that cases of the iPhone 6 bending through normal use are “extremely rare,” and that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have undergone “a series of tests meant to check the products’ strength and durability to withstand every day, real-life use.” [via 9to5Mac]

Report: Apple was aware of iCloud security hole in March

Apple was informed of an iCloud security vulnerability that could lead to compromised user data as early as March 2014, a new report indicates. E-mails obtained by The Daily Dot reveal that London-based software developer Ibrahim Balic informed Apple on March 26 that he had successfully bypassed a “brute-force” security prevention measure, effectively allowing him to try over 20,000 password combinations on any iCloud account. Balic also informed Apple of the vulnerability using the company’s online bug reporter. Another e-mail dated May 6 shows that Apple was aware of the problem, with a representative continuing to question Balic on the nature of his discovery. Apple came under fire earlier this month with a high-profile celebrity photo hack involving iCloud accounts, and while Balic notes that the nature of the attack bears a “stark resemblance” to the issue he reported, it remains unclear if they are the same vulnerability.

Bent iPhones may qualify for warranty replacement

Following reports earlier this week that iPhone 6 Plus users were experiencing problems with iPhones bending in their pockets, Apple Support has responded to an inquiry from The Next Web indicating that bent iPhones could be replaced under warranty if they pass a “Visual Mechanical Inspection” test, but that it is ultimately up to the Genius at any given Apple Store as to whether the device would qualify for a replacement or not. The Apple Support representative also noted that they are “looking into this with an insane amount of detail” although no official warranty policy has yet been confirmed by Apple.

Apple offers instructions on downgrading from iOS 8.0.1, says 8.0.2 coming soon

Apple has released a new support document that instructs users on how to downgrade from iOS 8.0.1 back to iOS 8. The document is called “Loss of cellular service or ability to use Touch ID after updating to iOS 8.0.1 on iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.” iOS 8.0.1 was pulled only hours after it was released on Wednesday, after many users reported losing cellular service and the ability to use Touch ID on the the company’s newest iPhones. Apple also notes in the document that 8.0.2 will fix the issue and be released “as soon as it’s ready in the next few days.” It’s also noted that the Health app won’t work for users who reinstall iOS 8 after downgrading — that issue will also be fixed in iOS 8.0.2.

UK Apple TV adds Sky Movies, Entertainment to Now TV

Sky Entertainment has augmented its Now TV streaming service for Apple TV for users in the UK, going beyond Sky Sports to add access to Sky Movies and Sky Entertainment. As of now, Sky customers can select from three packages, with Movies and Entertainment requiring a monthly fee and Sports available on an individual 24 hour pass basis. Sky has announced that it will increase the price of its Movies and Entertainment packages next month by £1-£2.

Apple pulls iOS 8.0.1 update after iPhone 6 issues reported

  • September 24, 2014

Apple has retracted its iOS 8.0.1 update released earlier today after a flood of reports from iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users that the update disabled their devices’ cellular capabilities and Touch ID sensors. The company now notes that it is “actively investigating these reports” but no further information has yet been forthcoming about when or how the problem may be fixed for those users who have already updated.

 

While Apple support initially recommended that affected users simply perform a full erase and restore of their devices via iTunes, the company has obviously decided to remove the update entirely to avoid impacting users who have not yet attempted the over-the-air download. iPad and iPod touch users, as well as users of other iPhone models, have reported having no issues with the update. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users who have been having problems with the iOS 8.0.1 update may be able to restore their iPhone back to 8.0 via iTunes and restore from their pre-8.0.1 iCloud backup, although it is unclear if this will work at this time due to the way in which Apple signs iOS updates. [via MacRumors]

Apple releases iOS 8.0.1 (Update: with serious problems)

Apple has already released a maintenance update only a week following the company’s release of iOS 8. Listed as “containing improvements and bug fixes,” iOS 8.0.1 notably addresses the issue that affected use of HealthKit by third-party apps revealed last week. Other improvements and fixes include issues with third-party keyboards, apps accessing the Photo Library, reliability of the Reachability feature on the iPhone 6, fixes for unexpected cellular data usage when receiving SMS/MMS messages, and more. The update is now available in Settings, General, Software Update.

Update: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users have reported a complete loss of cellular connectivity and Touch ID functionality following the 8.0.1 update. iPhone 5s and other iPhone users appear to be unaffected, but we would advise users to hold off on this update for the time being.

Update 2: Apple has pulled the iOS 8.0.1 update following widespread reports of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus problems.

Peer-to-Peer AirPlay restricted to 2013 Apple TV models

A recent change to Apple’s release notes for the Apple TV Software Update 7.0 indicates that iOS 8’s new Peer-to-Peer AirPlay feature will actually be limited to the “Rev A” third-generation Apple TV released in March 2013. Peer-to-Peer AirPlay is a new feature that allows users to wirelessly stream content to an Apple TV from an iOS 8 device or Mac running OS X Yosemite without having to connect to a host Wi-Fi network.

This is the first time a feature was added solely to this model, and not to earlier, supposedly identical 1080p Apple TVs. The newest Apple TV model was quietly released by Apple last year with relatively minor internal upgrades, and at the time Apple said these component changes would not affect any product features. Further, Apple’s Identifying Apple TV models support document still lists both third-generation models as essentially one class of device that was introduced in “Early 2012.” While it’s unclear why Peer-to-Peer AirPlay would be limited to only the Rev A model, it’s worth noting that we have already noted some wireless performance differences in our testing between the original third-generation Apple TV and the “Rev A” model when running the latest 7.0 software update.

Report: iPhone 6 Plus costs only $15 more to manufacture

  • September 24, 2014

Although Apple sells the iPhone 6 Plus at a $100 premium over its smaller sibling, a new report from research firm IHS cited by Bloomberg suggests that the larger iPhone 6 Plus model actually only costs Apple an additional $15.50 to manufacture. The report notes that main cost increase comes from the larger screen, although the camera and battery components also cost slightly more. It goes on to note that both iPhone 6 models are still more expensive to manufacture than the iPhone 5s, however, despite the decreasing costs of components such as camera and memory chips.

Apple acquires Digital Magazine Platform PRSS

  • September 24, 2014
  • Apple,

Apple has acquired a small Dutch digital magazine startup, according to a new report (translated link) from Dutch Apple blog iCulture. The company, PRSS, launched in 2012 as a way to allow users to easily create digital magazines for the iPad Newsstand platform without requiring iOS coding or development experience. While neither Apple nor PRSS has confirmed the acquisition officially, TechCrunch received a boilerplate statement from Apple that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Apple’s Newsstand platform has not gained much traction since its launch in 2011, and the PRSS acquisition, which essentially provides a magazine-specific alternative to the textbook app iBooks Author, could be used to encourage publishers to take better advantage of the platform. [via 9to5Mac]

 

 

Apple quietly pulls back on 2014 CarPlay availability

Apple appears to be quietly pulling back on its promise of 2014 availability for CarPlay technology, with an update to its CarPlay page now removing any indications of 2014 availability for specific models. Apple originally announced earlier this year that CarPlay would be “available in select cars shipping in 2014”, and several other manufacturers including Audi, Hyundai, and Volvo had originally indicated that they would be delivering CarPlay in at least some 2015 models due to hit the market this year. However, Mercedes and Volvo have since both announced last month that they are now delaying CarPlay support until 2015. The specific reasons for the delay are unclear at this time. [via 9to5Mac]

iPhone 6 Plus users reporting bending iPhones

  • September 23, 2014

Several MacRumors readers have reported cases of iPhone 6 Plus units actually bending while being carried in pockets, merely days after the device launched. One user reported discovering that his new iPhone 6 Plus had bent slightly after only about 18 hours of sitting in a front suit pocket. While the problem of iPhones bending slightly isn’t new, the much larger but thinner profile of the iPhone 6 Plus increases the likelihood of this occurring, particularly when users attempt to carry the 5.5” device in a typical pants pocket. [Photo by hanzoh, courtesy of MacRumors]

FXNOW channel comes to Apple TV

Apple has added the FXNOW channel to Apple TV. It was reported in July that FXNOW would be arriving on Apple’s set-top box in the next 12 months — that time has already come. FXNOW is the on-demand service for FX, FXX, and FXM, and as such, the channel features a number of FX shows, and a surprising amount of popular movies, as well. Authentication of a cable subscription is required to access the content.

Apple airs two new iPhone 6 ads

Apple has posted two new ads for the iPhone 6, featuring Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The new ads, Huge (above), and Cameras, began airing last night and highlight the larger screens of the new models and the enhanced camera capabilities. [via 9to5Mac]

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

  • September 22, 2014
  • Apple,

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.

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]

 

 

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]

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