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Apple ID now required for online Genius Bar appointments

Apple now requires all users booking a Genius Bar appointment online to sign in using an Apple ID. In the past, only a name, address, and email were required, but the Genius Bar appointment page now asks for an Apple ID and password. A report notes Apple is trying to link the Apple ID with all actions in the company’s ecosystem. Additionally, by tying appointments to one specific Apple ID, scalping issues — such as those reported in China — should be eliminated. [via TechCrunch]

iPhone 5s Touch ID won’t store fingerprint images

Apple’s new Touch ID system in its upcoming iPhone 5s won’t store users’ fingerprint images on the device, an Apple spokesman said. Touch ID will store encrypted “fingerprint data” in the iPhone processor, according to the Wall Street Journal. At this point, third-party applications will not be allowed to use the scanner. Touch ID users will also be required to set a passcode as a backup. Although the sensor is said to perform better than laptop fingerprint scanners, Apple noted Touch ID may have issues reading fingertips covered in sweat, lotion or liquids. The system might also struggle with reading scarred fingertips.

Apple offers discontinued iPhone 5 starting at $99/$549

Following the introduction of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s yesterday, Apple is selling off its stock of iPhone 5 units at $99/$199/$299 for 16GB/32GB/64GB models with a standard contract, iLounge has confirmed. The recently discontinued device will also be sold for $549/$649/$749 off contract. The prices are notably for new — not refurbished — iPhone 5 devices. It’s likely the iPhone 5 will be sold at these prices for at least the next week or so until the remainder of the stock goes back to Apple; refurbished models may well appear at even lower prices in the near future.

AppleCare+ now for iPod touch/classic, iPhone price hiked

Apple has added its AppleCare+ extended warranty coverage to iPod touch and iPod classic, at a cost of $59 for either device, then $29 per service incident. AppleCare+ launched in Europe yesterday, with iPod coverage in the UK, France, and Italy. That iPod coverage is also now available for countries that already had AppleCare+.

Apple also quietly increased the service fee for iPhone AppleCare+ to $79 per incident, from $49. New customers will now pay $99 for AppleCare+ for iPhone, then $79 each time they require a replacement device under the plan. Up to two replacement devices can be issued under the policy.

Apple kills Cards app

Apple quietly announced that as of yesterday, its Cards service for iOS is no longer available, putting an end to an unusual standalone app that debuted in October 2011. A support page notes that “Cards ordered before 1 PM Pacific time on September 10, 2013, will be delivered, and push notifications will continue to work.” Previous purchases can still be viewed in the app’s Saved Cards feature. On the same support page, Apple recommends using iPhoto on the Mac for ordering letterpress cards with customized photos and text.

Apple now accepting iOS 7 app submissions

Following the release of the iOS 7 GM seed to developers earlier today, Apple has officially announced that developers can now begin submitting apps built with the new iOS 7 SDK to the App Store.

Apple has also posted a set of developer documents covering building apps for the new iPhone 5s, including programming guides for the new A7 64-bit chip, OpenGL ES 3 and M7 and Core Motion.

China gets cheap iPhone after all: 4 remains, now 2,588 Yuan

Although many observers expected Apple to target the new iPhone 5c at the lower-end of the market, specifically to win over particularly budget-conscious Chinese consumers, the company instead has kept the 2010-vintage iPhone 4 alive in China at a new low price: 2,588 Yuan (approx. $423) off-contract, down from a previous price of 3,088 Yuan (approx. $505). This model includes 8GB of storage capacity. To help ease the cost of the iPhone 4 for consumers, Apple continues to offer a monthly installment plan of 119 Yuan (approx. $20) over 24 months.

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Apple also lowered the price of the iPhone 4s in China to 3,288 Yuan (approx. $537), also with an 8GB capacity, markedly down from 4,488 Yuan (approx. $733) before, though with 8GB of storage capacity rather than 16GB. Notably, the iPhone 4 and 4S have more limited support for Chinese cellular networks than the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s introduced today.

Apple releases iOS 7 GM seed to developers

Apple has released its Gold Master seed of iOS 7 to registered developers. Listed as build 11A465, the GM build is normally the last to be seeded prior to the software’s official launch, expected on September 18, and as such can be used to submit iOS 7 applications to the App Store for review. It is unclear whether the iOS 7 GM seed will be made available as an over-the-air software update, as has been the case with past iOS beta releases, however Registered Developers can download the iOS 7 GM seed and the accompanying SDK from the iOS Dev Center now.

Apple quietly introduces 2m Lightning to USB Cable

Among new iPhones and corresponding accessories, Apple today added a 2m version of its Lightning to USB Cable to its online store. It appears that the only differences between this cord and the 0.5m and 1m cables are the length, and the $10-higher price.

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Apple’s website lists the cable as shipping within 24 hours, and ready for in-store pickup starting September 12, 2013.

 

AppleCare+ launches in Europe

Apple launched its AppleCare+ program in Europe today. The extended warranty program is available in the UK, France, and Italy. Apple is offering AppleCare+ for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod in each country. In the UK, AppleCare+ will cost about $124 for iPad and iPhone, and $78 for iPod. Until today, AppleCare+ was only available in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. It’s unknown if or when other countries will gain access to AppleCare+. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple unveils iPhone 5c, 5s Docks

After abandoning its white plastic docks with the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple has brought them back with new editions for the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

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Both docks cost $29, and sport Lightning connectors inside recessed ridges. On the back, each has a Lightning output, next to line out audio. They’ll both be available for purchase on September 20, 2013.

Apple debuts iPhone 5c, 5s Cases

At its keynote address today, Apple introduced cases to accompany its new iPhone 5c and 5s handsets. The iPhone 5c Case, which goes for $29, is made of silicone rubber and features a 5 x 7 series of dots to reveal the color of the device below. It will be available in white, pink, yellow, blue green, and black.

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The iPhone 5s Case sells for $39, and is made of leather, with brown, beige, black, yellow, blue, and PRODCT (RED) hues. It’ll also fit the iPhone 5.

Apple debuts flagship iPhone 5s with Touch ID

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5s. It comes in three colors — space gray, silver, and gold. The iPhone 5s is made of aluminum, with chamfered edges. It uses a Touch ID fingerprint scanner within a sapphire Home Button, for security purposes. Touch ID can be used to unlock the iPhone 5s, or to authenticate iTunes purchases. It can be set up to read multiple fingerprints. Apple says fingerprints will never be uploaded to its servers, or backed up to iCloud. The data will be encrypted. The Touch ID sensor is 170 microns thin, with 500 ppi resolution. It can be read in any orientation — 360 degree readability. A ring around the Home Button is a detection ring that activates the Touch ID.

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It contains a 64-bit A7 processor with 2x general purpose registers and one billion transistors. Apple pointed out the 5s is 40 times faster than the original iPhone, while graphics are 56 times faster. It’s noted that iOS 7 has been reengineered for 64-bit, and is backward-compatible with 32-bit apps. The iPhone 5s runs Open GL ES 3.0, which will allow for greater graphic performance. A demo showing off the graphics used Infinity Blade III, which will be along with the iPhone 5s.

A new part, the M7, works as a motion coprocessor alongside the A7. It continuously measures motion data, with accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass support.

The new iPhone 5s iSight camera has a newly developed five-element Apple lens with f/2.2 aperture, and a 15 percent larger active area. iOS 7 is designed to work with the new camera — to set white balance and exposure level, and to create a dynamic local tone map. The camera actually takes multiple photos and picks the best one available. True Tone Flash is the expected dual-flash LED — one cool and white, the other warm and amber. The flashes are used in tandem to improve color balance. Auto image stablization has also been added, and a new 10 frames-per-second Burst Mode is activated when holding the button down to take pictures. Exposure in a 28MP panoramic shot can be adjusted automatically.

As for video, the iPhone 5s camera can record slow-motion video and 720 HD video at 120 frames-per-second. It’s possible to select separate parts of a video to be normal speed or in slow-motion.

Battery life is 250 hours on standby, 10 hours of 3G talk, 10 hours of LTE browsing, and 40 hours of music playback.

iPhone 5s costs $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB, with a standard two-year contract. A line of Apple cases for the device will be $39 each. The iPhone 5s will be released Friday, Sept. 20.

Apple debuts colorful iPhone 5c

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5c comes in five different colors — white, blue, pink, yellow, and green. Made from a single part, the seamless iPhone 5c has a polycarbonate shell.

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Containing a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5c comes with the same A6 processor as the iPhone 5, with the same rear camera. The front-facing FaceTime camera is improved, with larger pixels and improved backside illumination. It supports “more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world.” The iPhone 5c is also equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. A steel frame inside the device doubles as an antenna.

The iPhone 5c is $99 for a 16GB model, and $199 for a 32GB model with two-year contract. Apple also introduced a line of its own custom cases for the iPhone 5c at $29 each. The iPhone 5c will be released Friday, Sept. 20. It will be available for pre-order on Friday, Sept. 13.

Apple announces iWork, iPhoto, iMovie iOS apps go free*

Apple today announced that its iWork productivity apps for iOS—Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—along with iPhoto and iMovie, will now be available for free to purchasers of new iOS devices. Previously, each app individually cost between $5 and $10. No mention was made of GarageBand, the third iLife app. Updated: This story was updated after initial publication for clarity; it remains uncertain at this point whether the apps will continue to have their old price tags for prior iOS device users.

Apple sets iOS 7 release date

During today’s iPhone event, Apple announced the official release date for iOS 7, the next generation of the company’s mobile operating system. Originally unveiled at WWDC in June, iOS 7 includes a “stunning new user interface” that marks a dramatic visual departure from every prior version of iOS, sporting refined typography, with new animations, layered effects, and transparency.

During the event, Senior VP Craig Federighi took the stage to quickly demonstrate several of the major new features in iOS 7, including the new lock screen and “harmonious layout” of the home screen, along with the new Control Center, Notification Center, and multitasking view. He also highlighted how Siri can search Twitter, Wikipedia, and perform inline web and photo searches, and showed off the new camera filters and mode features and the new “share sheet” with AirDrop support for sharing items with other nearby iOS devices over a Wi-Fi connection. Federighi highlighted the new iTunes Radio feature as well, describing it as “the best way to experience new music.”

iOS 7 is compatible with the iPhone 4 and later, fifth-generation iPod, iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, and iPad mini. It will be available for download as a free update via iTunes and OTA update on September 18th.

Live updates from Apple’s 2013 iPhone Event

Breaking with recent tradition, Apple apparently will not be streaming live video of its 2013 “brighten everyone’s day” iPhone Event from its Cupertino headquarters. Regardless, we’ll be posting live updates here to discuss what’s taking place at the event as it happens. Thus far, details leaked before the event strongly suggest that we will see the introduction of the iPhone 5S (possibly styled “iPhone 5s”), iPhone 5C (“iPhone 5c”), and iOS 7, as well as software updates to iTunes and the Apple TV—the basic details of which have been known for days or weeks. Also possible are price changes and other tweaks to the iPod lineup, which has been suffering from declining sales for quite some time.

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Apple has announced the plastic iPhone 5c ($99 for 16GB, $199 for 32GB) as a complete replacement for the iPhone 5, available in five plastic colors (white/pink/blue/green/yellow). It has also debuted the iPhone 5s (16GB: $199, 32GB: $299, 64GB: $399) as a sequel, in three colors (space gray, silver/white, and gold/white), with a 64-bit processor, improved cameras (improved FaceTime HD, faster iSight lens, plus 120fps 720p video recording), Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and promised somewhat better battery life. The iPhone 4S (now restyled as “iPhone 4s”) will oddly remain as an 8GB model for $0 on contract. The new phones will go on pre-order September 13 and hit stores on September 20.

Additional details are found after the fold, so if you’re on our main page, click on the title of this article for the full story. Updated: Apple’s official video of the event was posted after its conclusion, and is available here.

Fast Company interviews reveal Apple design history

Fast Company is on the cusp of concluding an extensive feature story titled “An Oral History of Apple Design.” The story has interviews from many interesting figures throughout Apple’s recent history, revealing a number of details that were little-known or unknown before. As the piece notes, very few designers have left the design team of Apple Senior Vice President Jony Ive — “Two quit; three died.” Fast Company interviewed the two designers who quit, along with a number of other Apple veterans. The series is set to end tomorrow, and it’s a recommended read for anyone with a remote interest in Apple design. We’ve highlighted a few interesting tidbits and revelations within the expansive article.

The feature starts in 1992. It notes that Ive personally tailored the design studio’s every facet to make former Apple CEO Steve Jobs comfortable, ranging from the clothing people wore to the music they played, to the rule that people had to slowly move away from where Steve was when he came in. It became the CEO’s “happy place.” Apple designers chose translucent plastic for the iMac because it gave “the feeling that there was something intelligent” inside the computer, which were all previously opaque beige boxes, a design theme that carried over to the iPod.

Keep reading for many additional interesting details.

Class action filed over iTunes Breaking Bad Season Pass

Apple is being sued by an Ohio man who claims he’s owed $22.99 for not receiving all 16 episodes in the iTunes Season Pass for Breaking Bad — the fifth and final season of which was split into two parts by AMC. The suit claims Apple engaged in false advertising, as the Season Pass page notes that viewers will get “every episode in that season,” but Apple only provided the first eight episodes with the pass. The suit makes the case that the last 16 episodes of the show have always been referred to by show creators as “Season 5.” The class action suit seeks either $14.99 or $22.99 depending on whether viewers purchased the Season Pass in standard or high definition. [via GigaOM]

Jony Ive collaborates on gold EarPods for auction

Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive has teamed up with U2’s Bono and designer Marc Newson to create special items for The Global Fund in an upcoming auction, including a pair of 18-karat solid rose gold Apple EarPods. Ive and Newson customized the EarPods for the (RED) Auction, which takes place on Nov. 23 at Sotheby’s in New York. The two also designed a customized Leica Digital Rangefinder camera for the auction. The Global Fund is an organization dedicated to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. [via AppleInsider]

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