Apple has made another acquisition in efforts to continue building up its Maps infrastructure, Re/code reports. The company this month acquired Mapsense, a startup that builds location data analysis and visualization tools, paying somewhere between $25 million and $30 million for the small twelve-person team, according to multiple sources familiar with the details. Apple provided its usual generic statement that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Apple’s Phil Schiller has confirmed that screen protectors should not interfere with the sensitivity of Apple’s new 3D Touch display on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, according to 3D Techtronics. While there were some concerns that the presence of a screen protector overlay might interfere with 3D Touch operations by changing the pressure sensitivity on the new displays, Schiller replies to an email from the blog stating that “screen overlays that follow [Apple’s] guidelines will continue to work with 3D Touch.”
As hinted at during last week’s event, Apple has released iMovie 2.2, an update designed primarily to bring 4K video editing support for the new iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPad Pro. In addition to 4K video, the update also introduces support for 1080p video at 60fps and adds 3D Touch interactions for the new iPhone models. Several iPad enhancements have also been added, including a new user interface design for the iPad Pro, including a full-height media browser and 1080 HD viewer, support for editing shortcuts on external keyboards, improved Inspector controls, and redesigned Project Details and Video views. The new version also adds support for Slide Over and Split View along with a redesigned Audio Browser in the iMovie Extension for Photos.
Apple has released iTunes 12.3, which addresses several issues with Apple Music support and enables two-factor authentication security. This latest release specifically notes fixes for Apple Music and VoiceOver support, reordering songs in Up Next, radio stations appearing in Recently Played, and syncing of Loved songs between iOS and iTunes. iTunes 12.3 is now available as a software update in the Mac App Store, or as a direct download from iTunes.com.
As announced last week, Apple has released iOS 9, its latest operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update should now be available for over-the-air installation via Settings, General, Software Update, or by connecting to iTunes and using the Check for Updates option. Described by Apple as its “most advanced mobile experience”, the new version includes more intelligent Siri features, proactive suggestions, new keyboard and multitasking features for iPad users, and a number of under-the-hood performance and stability improvements. Stay tuned for our iOS 9 Instant Expert feature, filling you in on everything you need to know about iOS 9.
Apple is delaying the release of watchOS 2, which Apple Watch owners were expecting to see today alongside the release of iOS 9, TechCrunch reports. “We have discovered a bug in development of watchOS 2 that is taking a bit longer to fix than we expected,” an Apple spokesperson said. “We will not release watchOS 2 today but will shortly.” Apple didn’t say specifically which part of the OS was affected by the bug or set a date for watchOS 2’s eventual release. The company has only pushed back a major OS release once before, when a VoIP bug was discovered in iOS 4.2 in 2010. Today’s release of iOS 9 seems to be unaffected by whatever hindered watchOS 2 and is still on schedule for 1 p.m. Eastern Time.
Mobile device accessory maker Incipio Technologies has acquired Incase Designs, which specializes in laptop bags and cases for Apple devices. The move comes on the heels of Incipio buying up iPad keyboard case and peripheral manufacturer ClamCase this June and two years after the company acquired speaker manufacturer Braven. Incase’s product lines further expand Incipio’s reach into Apple-specific accessories, while Incipio’s distribution network will allow Incase to expand its market globally. Financial terms of the deal remain confidential, but like Braven and ClamCase, Incase will continue as its own standalone brand with its own headquarters.
Stephen Colbert got his hands on a rose gold iPhone 6s during his interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook Tuesday on The Late Show, taking viewers through the basics of how to work the device’s 3D Touch technology within email. A light touch gave Colbert what Cook called a “peek,” a quick glance at the email he selected. A harder press resulted in a “pop,” actually opening the email for full viewing. The host noticed the haptic feedback immediately, saying, “It kind of touches me back.” Colbert even created a slapstick comedy bit with the phone’s new Live Photos feature, which records video during the second and a half before and after a photo is taken. The host pressed Cook on comments made by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick last week, who casually suggested that Apple was working on its own car project during his own interview with Colbert. Cook gave a standard non-answer, saying only, “We look at a number of things along the way and we decide to really put our energies in a few of those.”
CBS is planning to launch its All Access service for the Apple TV, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the $6/month All Access subscription service could be coming to Apple TV “in the near future.” The service has just been announced for the Android TV platform, however, a deal could apparently not be worked out with Apple in time for the launch of the new Apple TV. The CBS All Access service provides subscribers with live streaming from local CBS TV stations and on-demand access to a library of 6,500 TV episodes, and is currently available for iOS, Android, and Roku, but remains the one major service missing from the Apple TV platform. In its press release earlier today, CBS did note that support for “additional connected devices” is coming, although no specific platforms were mentioned.
Games made for the new Apple TV must support the device’s included remote, according to the App Programming Guide for tvOS, as pointed out by developer Dustin Westphal in a recent tweet. Although the device will support third-party controllers, those controllers can’t be required to play a game. This represents a change — as recently as last week, Apple allowed developers to require an extended game controller. Apple’s guide also notes “tvOS games that support controllers must support the extended control layout,” and games that support that layout must be playable solely using one standalone controller. All controllers for tvOS games must also have a pause button. [via TouchArcade]
Apple is beginning the process of shifting all of its cloud-based services to the open-source platform Mesos, The Information reports. After migrating Siri to Mesos earlier this year, Apple is combining all its cloud services onto one platform in the hopes of making it easier to deploy and scale new applications. The move will also make integrating all of Apple’s myriad products less cumbersome, but the company could have other motivations as well, with the report noting that Apple’s past secrecy about its code and internal technology has made it difficult to recruit open-source developers whose portfolios rely on being able to share their work publicly. Regardless of the reasons for the switch, implementing the changes is expected to take years to finish, so users won’t see the results of the shift for quite some time. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple is expanding its mapping research operations at a facility in Sweden, according to Swedish site DiGITAL. Citing a report from Rapidus, the site claims that after acquiring Swedish mapping company C3 Technologies in 2011, Apple quietly kept working on C3’s 3D modeling method, based on combinations of images taken by airplanes and cars from different angles. The new story claims Apple has been further developing that technology out of a facility in Lund, Sweden since last November, recently ramping up hiring. Apple has doubled down on improving its maps in recent years, sending its own vans out to collect data and acquiring other companies — like mapping firm Broadmap in 2013 and GPS firm Coherent Navigation this May — in addition to adding its new Transit feature to the Maps app in the upcoming iOS 9 release. [via 9to5Mac]
Luxury fashion house Burberry is the first brand to get its own channel on Apple Music, exclusively spotlighting British acts, Fortune reports. While a clothing and accessories brand may seem a strange fit for Apple Music, the company has been showcasing British music on its Burberry Acoustic site since 2010. Burberry also has deep ties to Apple leadership, with current Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts leaving Burberry’s CEO position to join Apple in 2013, then bringing Burberry’s former social media chief Musa Tariq over to Apple the following year. Burberry’s Apple Music channel includes playlists featuring emerging British talent, songs used on the runway and even a personal playlist from Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey, who said “I am excited about our partnership with Apple on this amazing platform which will enable us to take what we do now with Burberry Acoustic and share it with an even bigger audience.” The launch will include a series of special videos and a concert by Alison Moyet held at Burberry’s womenswear show in London next week.
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.
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.
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]
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 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.
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.
Not much of a surprise but Xcode confirms 2GB of RAM for the 6s (and 6s plus), and 4GB for the iPad Pro pic.twitter.com/X8Ym4DtamS— Hamza Sood (@hamzasood) September 13, 2015
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]