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Report: Apple to use digital queue system at stores for iPhone 6 launch

Apple is reportedly changing the way it runs its in-store launch system for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Stores will be moving on from the old paper card system in favor of a new digital queue system called Reservation Pass, 9to5Mac reports. The system will sync with inventory information to ensure Apple hands out the proper amount of product reservations — reservation cards will be sent to customers via email or SMS. Notably, receiving a reservation will allow customers to return at any time during the day to make the purchase.

iPhone 6 release delayed in China, pre-orders start 12:01AM PT (Update: Pre-order pickup option)

Apple has informed Chinese mobile providers that it won’t release the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the country on the expected date of Sept. 19, The New York Times reports. The company offered no explanation for the delay, but it’s reported that the phones may have not yet been approved for sale by Chinese regulators. A manager at China Telecom was apparently told by an Apple rep that some details were not ready. “Apple completely let us down without prior notice,” said the manager. As of now, it’s unclear when the new release date in China will be. Apple’s Chinese website only claims the date will be updated.

Following past precedent, Apple also announced today that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will begin on the Apple.com web site at 12:01AM PT Friday. Past online pre-orders have often been marred by problems with Apple’s web site, sometimes attributed to issues with cellular carrier systems, so it will be interesting to see whether the iPhone 6 process has been improved from prior years.

Update: It appears Apple will give pre-order customers the option of picking up the new iPhones in store, instead of having the devices shipped. A representative told 9to5Mac the option will exist for most stores “while supplies last.”

Apple announces App Bundles, Previews, TestFlight

Apple has introduced three new features for iOS Developers allowing them to more easily distribute, test, and promote their apps on the App Store. App Store Bundles will allow developers to bundle up to 10 of their apps into a single-priced bundle that users can purchase together at a reduced price. App Bundles can be purchased with a single tap, and all of the apps will appear individually on the customer’s device. A “Complete My Bundle” feature will also be available that will credit customers for any apps they’ve already purchased, allowing them to purchase the bundle and pay only the price for the remaining apps.

With the introduction of App Previews, developers can now include a video preview to demonstrate the features and user interface of the app that users can watch right on the App Store page. Previews can be between 15 and 30 seconds long and will be displayed as the first image on the product page, followed by the standard app screenshots. Developers will also be able to capture real-time app footage directly from their iOS device using iOS 8 and Yosemite.

Following Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight earlier this year, the company has now incorporated TestFlight Beta Testing into its own tools for iOS developers, and will allow up to 25 internal testers to access beta builds on up to 10 devices each. External beta tester access is said to be coming soon which will allow up to 1,000 users to be invited to beta test an app using only their e-mail addresses.

 

 

Apple now accepting iOS 8 app submissions

Following the release of the iOS 8 GM seed to developers earlier today, Apple has officially announced that developers can now begin submitting apps built with the new iOS 8 SDK to the App Store.

Apple has also posted a set of developer documents covering building apps for the new iPhone models and iOS 8 features, including programming guides for Touch ID, PhotoKit, HealthKit, HomeKit, CloudKit, Handoff, and more.

Apple releases iOS 8 GM seed to developers

Apple has released its Gold Master seed of iOS 8 to registered developers. Listed as build 12A365, the GM build is normally the last to be seeded prior to the software’s official launch, expected on September 17, and as such can be used to submit iOS 8 applications to the App Store for review. It is unclear whether the iOS 8 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 8 GM seed and the accompanying SDK from the iOS Dev Center now.

Apple sets iOS 8 release date

During today’s event, Apple announced the official release date for iOS 8, the next generation of the company’s mobile operating system. Originally unveiled at WWDC in June, iOS 8 adds several significant enhancements such as new Health and Home Automation frameworks, an iCloud-based Photo Library, Family Sharing, and more.

iOS 8 is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, fifth-generation iPod, iPad 2 and later models, and all iPad mini models. It will be available for download as a free update via iTunes and OTA update on September 17th.

Mayo Clinic to play role in today’s Apple event

Renowned Minnesota-based medical group the Mayo Clinic will reportedly be “at (Apple’s) side” during today’s event, according to the Star Tribune. Mayo will demonstrate how Apple’s iOS 8 Health app can mesh with a major health center system. According to the article, Mayo and Apple “have been working together for about two years.” An August report noted Apple has discussed its HealthKit with other providers, including Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins.

Alleged iPhone 6 benchmarks: 1.4 GHz dual-core A8, 1GB RAM, 8MP camera

Following what appeared to be a leak of a fully operational 4.7” iPhone 6 in China, a Weibo user has posted alleged results from a Geekbench 3 test on the device. The tests show a 1.4 GHz dual-core A8 chip that is “almost 20 percent more powerful” than the previous A7 chip. Reportedly, the device will continue to contain 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP camera that is said to feature an improvement in low-light image quality despite remaining at the same megapixel count as its predecessor. It’s also claimed that there will be a 128GB storage option. [via G4Games]

Report: Both iPhone 6 models to launch September 19

Both the 4.7” and 5.5” iPhone 6 models will launch on Friday, September 19, according to iGen.fr. While the base model’s date is expected, considering past Apple timelines, it’s been unclear as to what the larger iPhone’s release date might be amidst reports of manufacturing delays. A June report did note both iPhones might be released at the same time, but numerous claims as to production issues have called a simultaneous release into question. It’s still very possible that the 5.5” iPhone — perhaps named the iPhone 6 Plus — could be released in relatively limited quantities on launch day.

New iPhone names: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus?

A new report claims that Apple will name its new iPhones the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The 4.7” model would get the regular iPhone 6 name, while iPhone 6 Plus would be the 5.5” model, according to Macotakara. It’s also noted that the lineup will feature the same colors as the 5s, with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options — whether there’s an 128GB model is unknown. While the report’s accuracy is unclear, we first suggested the possibility of a larger-sized iPhone being named iPhone Plus back in January 2013, as sources indicated that the “Plus” name was the correct moniker for what had previously been mistranslated as “iPhone Math.”

Latest iPhone 6 roundup: videos, battery, landscape interface details

A number of recent iPhone 6 reports have surfaced in recent days, with little time left before Apple is set to unveil its newest smartphone tomorrow. YouTube user PhoneEvaluation posted a video review of the alleged iPhone 6: in it, a man compares the device to the iPhone 5s, and shows a number of the new phone’s well-documented design features and physical details. More short videos allegedly showing Apple’s latest phone in action have been posted on Miaopai; none is particularly interesting, but most of the virtually identical iOS 8 apps are shown on the device, including a slightly updated Passbook icon with a red credit card stripe to indicate added payment functionality. Bank Innovation has reported that Apple’s mobile payment system in the iPhone 6 and iWatch will use token technology — transactions will feature codes that can only be used once.

Developer Steven Troughton-Smith tweeted (via 9to5Mac) that some 5.5” iPhone 6 apps switch to the iPad layout when the phone is in landscape mode. Separately, another video, posted on Nowhereelse.fr, alleges to show the rumored 2915 mAh battery in the 5.5” iPhone 6. All of the details regarding these devices are expected to be officially discussed tomorrow by Apple.

NYT: iWatch to have flexible screen, wireless charging; iPhone 6 to get one-handed mode

Another new report has surfaced on the verge of Apple’s introduction of the iWatch and iPhone 6, this one from The New York Times. According to the report, Apple’s iWatch will have a flexible display panel covered by sapphire. The device will also utilize wireless charging. On the new iPhones, the Times reports that a one-handed mode will be available. That mode — which can be switched on or off — will make it easier to use the larger devices with one hand. As noted in a number of other reports, the devices will use NFC for mobile payments. Apple has reportedly teamed up with Visa, American Express, and MasterCard for the system.

WSJ: iWatch, iPhone 6 to both have NFC

Both Apple’s upcoming iWatch and iPhone 6 will include near field communication, The Wall Street Journal reports, adding its voice to the chorus of those expecting Apple to use NFC in upcoming devices. NFC is “central” to Apple’s plans for a mobile payment system, the report notes. The report also claims the iWatch will come in two sizes, both featuring a “curved organic” LED screen. While Apple plans on taking preorders for the device before it goes on sale — it’s still believed the watch will hit the market next year — pricing information is still unknown at this time.

China Mobile already accepting iPhone 6 preorders

The world’s largest cellular carrier, China Mobile, has already started accepting preorders for Apple’s still-unannounced iPhone 6. According to China Daily, the program is currently only available in Beijing, and more than 33,000 preorders have already been made. Customers can choose between a 4.7” or 5.5” screen when ordering, as well as 16, 32, and 64GB capacities. No release date is listed, but a source said the iPhone 6 could be delivered to Chinese customers “as early as mid-month.” Considering the timing of Apple’s event, the most likely release date for the iPhone 6 is September 19.

Apple to add 3X Retina Display support to iPhone 6?

Apple may be adding support for a “triple-resolution” Retina Display into iOS 8 according to a new discovery by iOS Developer James Thomson. In a series of tweets this afternoon, Thomson indicated that he had discovered a bug in iOS 8 beta 5 that loads a 3X asset instead of a 2X asset, and further explained that this only happens specifically with 3X assets and not other resolutions like 4X, suggesting this indicates a deliberate decision in the iOS 8 code, rather than a matter of simply selecting the highest-resolution asset available.

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac originally reported in May that Apple was testing a 1704x960 screen resolution for the iPhone 6 that would be achieved by tripling each pixel from a “base resolution” of 568 x 320. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber added his speculation earlier this week suggesting different screen resolutions may be used and that the higher resolution would only apply to the larger 5.5” iPhone 6 in order to maintain a proper Retina Display pixel density. It still remains unclear what hardware Apple may ultimately intend to use this on, since although the iPhone 6 is scheduled for release next month, it is expected that new iPad models will also be appearing during the iOS 8 lifecycle, including a rumoured 12.9” iPad which may also require a higher pixel density for the larger display.

iPhone 6 logic board leak shows NFC, A8 chips

Another new report has surfaced adding more weight to rumors that the upcoming iPhone 6 will include NFC support. Field & Volk has released photos to Sonny Dickson alleged to be of the iPhone 6 logic board, which appear to show NFC chips along an Apple A8 chip, which will reportedly be a 2GHz dual-core CPU. A report from Wired earlier this week indicated that Apple plans to include an NFC-based mobile payment system, which seems to have been further confirmed by this morning’s Financial Times report that Dutch chipmaker NXP will be supplying Apple with the necessary NFC hardware.

Report: Dutch chipmaker NXP to provide iPhone 6 NFC chips

Apple is working with Dutch chipmaker NXP to enable NFC in the iPhone 6, according to the Financial Times. NXP will provide Apple with the NFC chips, enabling the company to use near field communication for its rumored upcoming mobile payment system. A Thursday report also claimed we would see NFC in the new iPhone to be used for mobile payments. As noted before, NFC has been rumored in iPhones for years — but the frequency of these reports, just weeks before the debut of the new devices, strongly suggests NFC is indeed on its way this time around.

Report: iPhone 6 to feature NFC mobile payments

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 will come with its own mobile payment system, and the solution will use NFC, Wired reports. Use of near field communication has been rumored in the iPhone for years — speculation began around the time of the iPhone 4 in 2010, and every iPhone since has been accompanied by an NFC report that never came true. Talk about the use of NFC in the iPhone has heated up again in recent weeks, though considering the device’s history, there have been plenty of reasons to remain skeptical. However, with Apple’s known interest in mobile payments — and the apparent upcoming introduction of such a service — perhaps the time has finally come for iPhone NFC. There’s also been discussion about Apple using its iBeacon platform for mobile payments; it’s possible that iBeacon could still be involved in some way.

iPhone 6 parts leak reveals front panel variation

A new group of alleged iPhone 6 parts have been posted on Chinese parts site ElekWorld, with a heretofore unseen front panel variation included among the pictures. While a picture of a completed front panel assembly for the 4.7” iPhone 6 looks similar to what’s been seen before, a separate picture of the front panel doesn’t match — it shows an extra sensor near the FaceTime camera. If this part is real, it’s possible that small dot could be a security light that notifies a user when the camera is on, as seen on Apple’s Macs. Many of the other pictures in the leak have been seen previously, though the apparent circular True Tone flash for the 5.5” iPhone 6 is also included.

Apple launches iPhone 5 battery replacement program

Apple has launched a new program to replace “a very small percentage” of iPhone 5 units that “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.” Replacements will be made free of charge. The affected devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013, and are only within a limited range of serial numbers. A serial number checker on Apple’s webpage for the program lets users see if their devices are eligible. The replacement process has already started in the U.S. and China, with a launch in other countries on Friday, August 29.

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