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iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus come to 36 more countries and territories this month

Apple announced that it will release the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 36 more countries and territories by the end of the month. The new iPhones will be available in a total of 69 countries by October’s end, and Apple claims more than 115 countries will have the new iPhones by the end of 2014 — the fastest iPhone rollout ever. Starting on Friday, October 17, the phones will launch in India, Monaco, and China, while rolling out to more countries over the next few weeks. Chinese site Tencent claims more than 20 million preorders for the new iPhones have already been processed in China.

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The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.

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Apps of the Week: Autodesk SketchBook, TeleStory, Reckless Racing 3 + more

New Apps

Autodesk SketchBook Mobile (Free) — A new follow-up app to Autodesk’s highly popular original SketchBook app, this entirely new version is a complete from-the-ground up rewrite designed to unite the mobile experience across both the iPhone and iPad, allowing digital artists to capture inspiration on the go. The new SketchBook Mobile features an enhanced drawing toolkit including new layer blending modes, improved selection tools for manipulating, transforming and drawing ins specific parts of an image, and a whole new set of synthetic and smudge brushes along with great new fill tools including advanced gradients. In addition, the app has also been optimized for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

 

TeleStory ($3) — From LaunchPad Toys, the creators of Toontastic, this new app is designed to allow kids to use their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to easily create and broadcast their own TV show. Kids can choose from a wide variety of themes such as music, space, or reality TV and then mix and match over 30 animated scenes and 50 digital costumes that track the user’s face to record their own TV show, and even add special effects along the way. Users can craft their own script either from scratch or using a provided collection of TV tropes, and then broadcast their final creation to LaunchPad’s “ToonTube” network to share with other kids around the world.

GT asks court to void ‘oppressive and burdensome’ agreements with Apple

  • October 10, 2014

Following news earlier today that GT Advanced Technologies has made a request to the court to wind down its operations in both Arizona and Massachusetts, MacRumors highlights a new pair of filings that reveal additional details. Specifically, in the first filing the company is asking the court to void its contracts with Apple, describing them as “oppressive and burdensome.” GT notes that the agreements are “not a source of potential value” to the company, its creditors or its investors and that the agreements “constitute an unnecessary drain” on the company’s resources. Despite asking for the agreements to be voided, GT has asked that it still be permitted to maintain its right to pursue further claims against Apple in relation to the agreements.

The second filing discusses the procedures the company plans to follow to wind down its sapphire production facilities, specifically to allow high-value sapphire boules that are currently being grown in the company’s furnaces to be completed—process that can take up to 30 days. The company expects to maintain a crew of employees to handle the process of monitoring and preparing the boules for sale, followed by smaller groups of employees that will be required to properly shut down and clean up the furnaces and facilities. The final closure is expected to come December 31, and GT projects that 890 employees will ultimately lose their jobs as a result of the shutdown. Apple has made no further comments on the matter beyond its initial statement expressing surprise as the bankruptcy filing and pledging to do what it can to help preserve jobs in the area.

Report: Apple to remove Bose products from stores

  • October 10, 2014
  • Apple,

Apple is preparing to completely remove all Bose audio products from its retail stores, MacRumors reports. While no reasons were given for the move, the report speculates that Apple’s acquisition of Beats may have caused Apple or Bose to “end their retail relationship.” It’s notable that Bose now has an exclusive deal with the NFL that prohibits players from wearing other branded headphones during televised interviews, and Beats headphones have long been popular with NFL players. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 by the league this week after wearing Beats headphones during a post-game interview. Kaepernick, who has an endorsement deal with Beats, was wearing pink headphones for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Bose also sued Beats over noise-canceling patents in July.

Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced seeking permission to close plant

  • October 10, 2014
  • Apple,

Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has asked the court for permission to close its manufacturing plant, Re/code reports. GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this week, and Apple said publicly that it was “surprised” by the filing.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal and disclosed by court documents, GT failed to produce sapphire for Apple’s iPhone displays. A court hearing on GT’s request to wind down operations will be heard on Wednesday, Oct. 15. While reports have suggested GT’s problems won’t affect production of the Apple Watch — other suppliers could be used for the sapphire sizes needed for the watch — Apple may have to adjust its plans for using sapphire in future iPhones.

GT unable to disclose bankruptcy details due to ‘confidentiality agreements’

Following its bankruptcy filing earlier this week, GT Advanced Technologies has asked for non-disclosure in its pending bankruptcy proceedings, stating that it cannot disclose the details surrounding its Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to “an unspecified confidentiality agreement.” A lawyer for the company told a U.S. Bankruptcy judge that the agreement in question prevented the company from disclosing the cause of the bankruptcy, or any plans it has for dealing with the bankruptcy. The court was also asked by GT to seal specific documents referencing a third party, and asked that the proceeding be closed to the public to avoid violating “existing confidentiality agreements” that could make the company liable for potential damages of up to $50 million per violation. Since Apple is known for its strict confidentiality clauses, and was working closely with GT Advanced Technologies, it seems extremely likely that Apple is the unnamed third party in this case, although the larger company was reportedly surprised by the bankruptcy filing earlier this week.

WSJ: Larger iPad production to be delayed

Apple is pushing back mass production for its planned larger iPad into early 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports. Sources said the company was prepared to start production this December, but overwhelming demand for the new iPhones has become the top priority. A previous report also claimed that the device would enter production in the first quarter of 2015. It’s still expected that the new iPad — often referred to as “iPad Pro” — will have a 12.9” display. The actual release date for the product is still unknown, especially considering a production timeline that is apparently evolving based on other factors.

Apple ‘surprised’ by GT Advanced Technologies’ bankruptcy filing

Following news earlier this week that Apple’s sapphire supplier GT Advance Technologies had filed for bankruptcy, Reuters reports that Apple has stated it was “surprised” by the news and is now considering its next steps. An Apple spokesman noted that the company “focused on preserving jobs in Arizona following GT’s surprising decision and we will continue to work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps.” GT has still not provided any real explanation as to its sudden bankruptcy filing, however the company has stated that it will clarify the situation during its first Chapter 11 bankruptcy court hearing, set for Thursday, Oct. 9.

Apple sends out invites for Oct. 16 event

Apple has sent out invitations to its upcoming event on Thursday, Oct. 16. “It’s been way too long,” says the invitation. As usual, the event will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific time. The company is expected to introduce its new iPads at the event, in addition to new iMacs.

Leaked photos of alleged iPad Air 2 show thinner body, Touch ID

  • October 8, 2014

A number of photos posted to Vietnamese blog tinthe.vn allege to show off Apple’s upcoming second-generation iPad Air. The shots show a thinner iPad Air — reportedly 7mm thin, about the same as the new iPhones — with Touch ID and recessed volume controls. Curiously, the photos also show no mute switch on the new iPad, though what will actually happen to the switch remains ambiguous. Speculation that the switch was removed to save space makes little sense, considering the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus retained the mute switch at the same thinness. Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPad Air on Oct. 16. [via 9to5Mac]

Google releases News & Weather for iOS

  • October 7, 2014

Google has released Google News & Weather, a free new universal iOS app that aims to bring users a complete dashboard of headline and local news stories and information. Boasting coverage from over 65,000 publications, the app allows users to get local news and weather based on their device’s location, and customize their layout with 60 country-specific editions and personalized news sections. Users can easily dig deeper based on individual stories to get additional related in-depth articles, opinion columns, local perspectives, and more. The new app employs Google’s new standardized interface found in many of the company’s other iOS apps, allowing users to swipe to access different categories or pull out a Google+ style sidebar menu.

 

Apple sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies files for bankruptcy

Apple’s sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has announced that its has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company expects the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire to authorize GT to continue “business as usual” while focusing on reorganization. GT Advanced had approximately $85M in cash as of Sept. 29; the company is now hoping to obtain debtor-in-possession financing for a boost in funds. “GT has a strong and fundamentally sound underlying business,” GT President and CEO Tom Gutierrez said. “Today’s filing does not mean we are going out of business; rather, it provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain operations of our diversified business, and improve our balance sheet.”

It’s unclear what the bankruptcy filing means for GT’s working relationship with Apple. Not only does Apple use sapphire for its Touch ID sensors and iPhone camera covers, but the stainless steel and 18-karat gold models of its upcoming Apple Watch will feature sapphire screen covers. There were reports that Apple would use sapphire more extensively in the newest iPhone 6 models, including front screen covers, but the parts never materialized. Reports have variously suggested that the sapphire screen covers missed shipment deadlines to be included in the iPhones, or that they failed damage tests prior to being included.

Adobe introduces suite of Creative Cloud mobile apps

Adobe has introduced its Creative Cloud mobile apps, a suite of nine apps in four categories now available in the App Store. Many of the apps work in tandem, while Adobe’s Creative Profile connects users to their works, whether in mobile or desktop apps. Some of the apps have been updated from past versions, while others are completely new. All of the iOS apps require a Creative Cloud membership — the free membership offers 2GB of Creative Cloud storage.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud Capture apps include: Adobe Brush CC, Adobe Shape CC, and Adobe Color CC. The design and illustration category features Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Illustrator Line. Adobe Premiere Clip can be found in the video category, and the photography and creative imaging category contains Adobe Lightroom Mobile, Adobe Photoshop Mix, and Adobe Photoshop Sketch.

 

iLounge Weekly arrives Monday, sign up now

The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.

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IMPORTANT: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Earthlink and others, make sure we don’t end up in your spam box. Please accept emails from iLounge.com. Thank you.

 

Apple to hold new iPad event Oct. 16

Apple will hold its next special event on Thursday, Oct. 16, according to Re/code. The company will unveil “the latest updates to its iPad line” at the event, in addition to new iMacs and the public release of OS X Yosemite. This time around, the event is being held at Apple’s Town Hall Auditorium in Cupertino. It’s expected that we’ll see new, faster iPads with Touch ID, possibly with a gold color option.

Users reporting iOS 8 Bluetooth connectivity problems

Many users are having issues with Bluetooth connectivity following the update to iOS 8 earlier this month, as noted in a recent report from MacRumors. Reports from numerous users on the Apple Support forums and MacRumors forums indicate problems with connecting not only to car audio systems but also headphones, speakers, headsets, and more. Some have reported that Apple support is aware of the incompatibility issue with “some car/navigation Bluetooth” systems, pertaining at least to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and has said it is working on a fix. The problem with car audio systems appears to affect a wide variety of models, including Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Ford, and more. iLounge’s editors have experienced problems with the iPhone 6 Plus but not older iPhone models, although there are reports that other users of older devices are in fact experiencing similar problems. There have also been developer reports that Apple may have already addressed this issue in the iOS 8.1 beta released earlier this week.

Apps of the Week: Post-it Plus, WW2: Sandbox, Fruit Ninja 2.0 + more

New Apps

Post-it Plus (free) — This is a clever little app developed directly by 3M, maker of the iconic Post-it notes, designed to take your Post-its into the digital realm. With this app you can simply take a snapshot of a board filled with up to 50 Post-it notes and then individually rearrange and organize them in any way — you can group them into categories, or even combine notes from multiple sessions. The organized board can be shared with other users on your team who can work with the notes collaboratively, or you can export your board to apps such as Powerpoint, Excel, Dropbox, or PDF.

FitPort ($2) — If you’ve spent any time in the iOS 8 HealthKit app, you’ve probably discovered that while it’s a nice way to collect your health and fitness information in one place, it doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility for displaying that info. FitPort is a new app that aims to fill in some of those gaps by providing a “fitness dashboard” that will give you a straightforward and beautifully presented overview of your stats, taken right from the iOS Health app and iPhone sensors. Categories of information include steps, walking and running distance, cycling distance, calories, weight, and more, and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users can even see data on flights of stairs climbed courtesy of the new barometric pressure sensor.

Apple releases another iTunes 12 beta

Apple has released a new beta for iTunes 12. We took an in-depth look at the first iTunes 12 beta in late July, and we’ll update this story with changes found in the new edition. The latest beta includes a few more cosmetic changes, such as simplifying certain Preferences screens, adding media categories with keyboard shortcuts to the View menu, and improving support for viewing sync settings when multiple iOS devices or iPods are connected.

Report: Apple asks labels to cut prices for cheaper Beats Music service

  • October 3, 2014

Apple is in discussions with major music labels about “a new set of rights and features” — and new pricing — for a revamped Beats Music service, Re/code reports. The company reportedly aims to offer the subscription service for less than its current $10/month rate. It’s noted that talks are still in their initial stages, and getting the labels to cut prices will “require some work on Apple’s part.” A restructuring of the service wouldn’t happen until 2015. It’s unknown what new features the updated service would offer, or if those features would be in any way connected to Apple’s partnership with U2. Apple declined comment on the report.

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