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Foxconn struggling to meet demand for iPhone 6

  • September 17, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reports that Foxconn, Apple’s main manufacturing partner, may be struggling to keep up with the demand for the new iPhone 6 models. The company has reportedly been “churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6” units every day, which is its highest daily output every, but the volume still hasn’t been enough for the number of preorders. Foxconn has apparently had to hire additional workers at its largest production size in Zhengzhou, and is continuing to do so. The site currently employs more than 200,000 workers and is dedicated solely to making new iPhones and related components, operating about 100 production lines around the clock. As in previous years, production is expected to gradually improve over time as manufacturers streamline their processes.

Apple to require app-specific passwords for third-party apps in iCloud

Apple has released a new security document detailing the use of app-specific passwords for third-party apps in iCloud. A feature of two-step verification, the passwords will be required to sign in to iCloud when using third-party apps starting on Oct. 1. The passwords will allow for secure sign-ins, and ensure that third-party apps aren’t collecting or storing your primary Apple ID password. App-specific passwords can be generated and managed from the My Apple ID page. When the primary Apple ID password is changed or reset, all of the app-specific passwords will be revoked automatically, and new app-specific passwords will be required. For more details, see the security document.

Apple posts guide for moving content from Android to iPhone

Apple has posted a new guide online to help users move content from an Android phone to an iPhone. The guide details moving contacts, email, calendars, photos, videos, music, books, and documents. A number of third-party data transferring apps are also recommended, including Copy My Data, PhotoSync, and AT&T Mobile Transfer. There’s an app section in the guide, as well, but new iOS users will have to find and install the apps on their own — and pay for them again, in some cases. Apple has suggested that the larger-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will trigger a massive wave of upgraders and switchers from the Android platform, hence the release of this guide. [via 9to5Mac]

Court throws out $368M FaceTime judgment against Apple

  • September 16, 2014
  • Apple,

A federal appeals court today tossed out a jury order requiring Apple to pay VirnetX $368.2 million in damages, Re/code reports. Apple was originally required to pay the amount for infringing VPN patents in FaceTime — the judgment was made in November 2012. The appeals court agreed that Apple did infringe patents, but ruled that the damages were incorrectly calculated. Now, the case returns to the U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas, with a new damages total likely to come in the future.

Microsoft unveils iOS-compatible Universal Mobile Keyboard

Microsoft has announced the Universal Mobile Keyboard, a new Bluetooth keyboard designed to work specifically with iOS devices, as well as Windows and Android devices. The new keyboard incorporates a switch to choose the appropriate device mode and dedicated iOS keys such as CMD in their proper locations. The Universal Mobile Keyboard is also notably a Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod touch product, and is designed to be very portable and quick and easy to set up on the go. It is expected to sell for $80 and become available for purchase in October. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple: 33M iTunes users have accessed U2 album

Apple has announced that 33 million iTunes account holders have accessed U2’s Songs of Innocence album for free. That figure includes customers who downloaded the album, streamed it, or listened to it using iTunes’ radio player. A report notes that Apple SVP Eddy Cue “called the number record-breaking, but did not elaborate.” For those uninterested in the latest effort from U2, Apple has released a guide on how to remove the album from your iTunes music library. [via Associated Press]

Apple’s iPhone 6 NFC chip restricted to Apple Pay use

Apple’s NFC chips in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be restricted to use of the company’s Apple Pay mobile payment system. The information was reportedly confirmed in an email from an Apple spokeswoman to Cult of Mac. While most smartphones with NFC chips allow the use of NFC for a number of possibilities — including easy pairing of Bluetooth devices — that won’t be the case in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple will keep the NFC restricted from developers “at least for its first year,” according to the report.

Apple names Apple Watch execs, now hiring others

With the unveiling of the Apple Watch last week, Apple has announced new executive appointments to the Apple Watch team, as well as putting out a job listing for Apple Watch software engineers. Stan Ng, former Senior Director of iPhone Product Marketing, has been promoted to VP of Product Marketing for Apple Watch, while Dr. Michael O’Reilly has been named VP of Medical Technology. Stan Ng has been with Apple in various senior marketing roles since 1999, while Dr. O’Reilly was hired last year to reportedly work on health and fitness related projects for the company. The new job listing for a “Software Engineer, Apple Watch” is looking for candidates with “6+ years of software development experience” to work on “building world-class applications and frameworks on a brand new platform.” [via 9to5Mac]

Apple posts removal guide for U2’s Songs of Innocence album

Following last week’s iTunes exclusive release of U2’s new Songs of Innocence album, the company has now posted a new support article for users looking to remove the album from their iTunes libraries. During Apple’s iPhone event, Apple CEO Tim Cook and U2 frontman Bono jointly announced that the album would be distributed free to all iTunes customers, and took the unprecedented move of not only making the album available for free on the iTunes Store, but actually in fact automatically adding it directly to the music libraries of 500 million iTunes users. Songs of Innocence was soon pushed out as a download to users, resulting in a mix of praise and complaints.

For those who may not have fully appreciated this unexpected gift, the Apple support article, Remove iTunes gift album “Songs of Innocence” from your iTunes music library and purchases explains how users can go about deleting the album; a special SOI Removal page has been created on iTunes.com allowing users to remove the album from their iTunes music library and purchase history. Users can permanently remove the album and will need to purchase it again after October 13, 2014 if they want to get it back—alternatively, users can choose to simply hide purchased items if they want to keep the album but not have it displayed in their music library.

Apple medical trials will provide HealthKit insights

Two major U.S. hospitals are preparing to launch trials with Apple’s new HealthKit framework, Reuters reports. The trials will involve diabetics and chronic disease patients, and are expected to provide some insight into how HealthKit will work on iPhones in actual practice. Doctors at Stanford University Hospital indicated that they are working with Apple to facilitate tracking of blood sugar levels for children with diabetes. Young patients with Type 1 diabetes will be sent home with iPod touches that will be used to monitor blood sugar levels between doctor visits, using a glucose monitor made by DexCom that will measure levels using a tiny sensor inserted under the skin of the abdomen. Information will be sent via a hand-held receiver to a mobile app on the iPod touch. Another trial is being conducted at Duke University, where a pilot program is under development to track blood pressure, weight and other data for patients with cancer or heart disease.

Both trials are expected to focus primarily on improving the accuracy and speed of reporting data—a process normally done mostly by phone and fax—allowing doctors to be in a better position to warn patients of potential problems. Apple is said to be in talks with other U.S. hospitals for additional trials, although Stanford and Duke are among the furthest along. Both pilot programs are expected to roll out over the coming weeks.

iLife and iWork apps to be pre-installed on 64/128 GB iPhone 6/6 Plus

Apple’s iLife and iWork iOS apps will come pre-installed on the 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, 9to5Mac has discovered. The apps include iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and iTunes U. iPhoto isn’t included, as Apple is getting rid of it — the app won’t even load on iOS 8 devices. New 16GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units won’t come with the apps, but they can be downloaded from the App Store for free, as usual. It’s unclear whether users will be able to delete the pre-installed apps if they do not want them.

Report: Apple gets 0.15 percent from each Apple Pay transaction

Each transaction made with Apple Pay earns Apple 0.15 percent of the purchase, according to the Financial Times. This means that 15 cents of a $100 purchase would go to Apple, multiplying for higher-priced purchases. The article calls the deal “unprecedented,” noting that Google and other competitors do not earn such a share. Banking executives raved about Apple Pay — the banks are willing to give up revenue to Apple in “the hope that Apple Pay will become ubiquitous,” the report notes. Increased Apple Pay transactions will lead to higher revenue and should lead to fewer losses due to fraud, as well. Banks are also apparently excited about Apple Pay’s online shopping abilities, hoping that the quickness and ease of the transactions will lead to more spending.

Apple announces record 4M+ pre-orders for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

Apple has announced that its newest iPhones — iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — received more than four million pre-orders in the first 24 hours of availability. According to Apple, that’s a record number of pre-orders, though there have been numerous reports of customers ordering each of the new iPhone sizes intending to return the one they don’t want. In any case, the company notes that demand has exceeded the pre-order supply, “and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October.” More units will be available at 8 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 19 as the devices go on sale in Apple’s retail stores. “iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.”

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Apple and U2 to work together on music innovation

  • September 12, 2014
  • Apple,

On the heels of the historic free iTunes exclusive release of Songs of Innocence earlier this week, a recent Billboard interview with U2 manager Guy Oseary suggests that the partnership between Apple and U2 is expected to continue as “long relationship” between the two companies. Oseary revealed that U2 is “working on other things as well with Apple that have to do with how music is heard and innovation” and suggests that there are still a lot of interesting things to come from the partners hip to take music beyond just the “MP3 file.” The interview also revealed that Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine played a big part in the deal due to his existing relationship as “a big part of the U2 family” and somebody they look to for “support and guidance.” [via 9to5Mac]

Video Review: Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

Our newest video review takes a look at Logitech’s new Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 (reviewed here). The keyboard can switch between multiple iOS devices using Bluetooth, and a built-in stand holds the devices, as well. Be sure to check out our past video reviews, including last week’s Grace Digital Ecostone and iHome iBN6 waterproof Bluetooth speakers.

Apple delaying SMS Continuity until October?

New information found on Apple’s page on iOS 8 Continuity suggests that the company may be delaying the activation of the iOS 8 SMS Continuity feature until some time in October, possibly to coincide with the expected release of OS X Yosemite. Originally announced and demonstrated at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June, SMS Continuity will allow users with an iPhone and other iOS or OS X device to send and receive traditional SMS text messages from their iPad or Mac. While the feature seems to have worked reasonably well with earlier iOS 8 and Yosemite betas, iLounge readers and editors have noted that the feature no longer seems to function in the iOS 8 GM, and Apple’s iOS 8 Preview Page now shows it as “Coming in October”; a discussion thread at Macrumors reveals several other users having similar problems, with suggestions that the feature may in fact have been disabled on Apple’s servers sometime in the past couple of days.

Report: Apple to bring Apple Pay to China

Apple is planning to bring its new Apple Pay mobile payment service to China, MarketWatch reports. The company will be working in conjunction with China’s UnionPay to bring the service to the country. UnionPay, a state-backed bank card association, has agreed to let Apple use its cards in Apple Pay, the report claims. Apple Pay will be available this October in the U.S., but it’s unknown when the service will launch in China.

Report: Future Apple Watches to include more health features, sensors

Apple is planning to release future Apple Watches with more health features and additional sensors, according to a Reuters report. Of course, the first Apple Watch won’t hit the market until early 2015, so it’s unclear what the timeline would be for a second edition of the smartwatch. Numerous reports have claimed the Apple Watch would include many health features and sensors — one report said the watch would have more than 10 sensors — so it’s not surprising that Apple still has more extensive plans for the watch. The upcoming Apple Watch has a built-in heart rate sensor and accelerometer. Healthcare professionals interviewed for the article seem intrigued by Apple Watch’s health possibilities, but also seemed to share the same sentiments as MyFitnessPal CEO Mike Lee, who said the watch’s current sensors weren’t “revolutionary.”

iPhone 6 pre-orders plagued by issues

Attempting to pre-order Apple’s new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus this morning was an exercise in frustration for many customers, as Apple’s online store, which was scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. PT today, didn’t actually open for more than two hours after the announced time. By then, many customers had started pre-ordering the new iPhones on the Apple Store app — also a hit-or-miss proposition for some. Inventory seemed to change suddenly, if accessible at all. Carrier websites seemed to have similar issues. Some customers received notifications that an iPhone was reserved, complete with a reservation number, but Apple said it would email back later with instructions on how to complete the order.

When Apple’s online store did come back up some time after 2:00 a.m. PT, the iPhone 6 was available, but all capacities, colors, and carriers for the iPhone 6 Plus were showing shipping times of 7-10 days. As of this writing, there appears to be no shortage of iPhone 6 units in Apple’s online store, while the iPhone 6 Plus now won’t be available to ship for 3-4 weeks. It was expected that there could be a supply shortage for the iPhone 6 Plus.

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