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Report: iOS 8 adoption rate estimated at 30%

Several research and analytics firms have reported that iOS 8 adoption has reached 30% following the first weekend of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales, based on in-app analytics reported by Fiksu, Mixpanel, Appsee, and Chitika. While this number is up from the estimated 15% adoption following the initial iOS 8 public release last week, it still falls short of the almost 50% of users that had updated to iOS 7 by this time last year. The higher adoption rates of course include the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which come with iOS 8 preinstalled, which would account for at least some of the increase. Stats from Appsee also notably indicate that 2% of users are still on iOS 6.0. Apple has not yet released any official numbers for iOS 8 adoption. [via 9to5Mac]

 

 

Video First Look: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Check out our new Video First Look focusing on Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. See both devices side by side as we dig into the differences between the two new, bigger iPhones. While you’re at it, take a look at our First Look article, and our unboxing gallery showing off both iPhones, as well. Our official comprehensive review of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will also be coming soon.

iPhone 6, 6 Plus support 2.1A charging, ship with 1A adapters

Our preliminary testing of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has revealed that both devices are capable of using 2.1-Amp power under certain circumstances, despite shipping with lower-powered 1-Amp USB Power Adapters shown here.

When connected to a Mac running OS X Yosemite, both models reported drawing 1600 mA of extra power, in addition to the base 500 mA used by the USB standard, suggesting that the new models can be charged more rapidly when using a higher-current power adapter or newer Mac. With 2.1-Amp power, the iPhone 6 Plus appears to be capable of recharging to 90% in around two hours, a number that will be markedly longer with the slower included 1-Amp adapter.

 

iPhone 6, 6 Plus unboxing and comparison gallery posted

iLounge has posted an unboxing gallery for Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. In a full photo gallery, we take a closer look at both devices, along with comparison photos.

The photos illustrate the comparative size differences between the two models, as well as a better look at the less-often seen rear casing, including the slightly protruding camera section at the top.

More pictures will be added as the day progresses, and be sure to check back for our full review of both new models coming soon.

 

iFixit posts teardowns of iPhone 6, 6 Plus

As expected, iFixit has posted its complete teardown of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, confirming some specs while revealing a few new insights. The iPhone 6 has the anticipated prominently visible 0.6mm bump along the top of the device, a compromise required by the improved optics in the new model. Both models include virtually identical camera hardware—an 8 MP ƒ/2.2 aperture rear-facing camera, with the only difference being the optical image stabilization in the 6 Plus, where the lens element is contained in a tiny metal cage with electromagnetic coils surrounding the sensor on the right. The iPhone 6 battery was identified as an 1810 mAh, 3.82 V Lithium-ion Polymer battery with a 6.91 Wh rating, although the rating on the flip side of the battery is listed as 7.01 Wh; the battery weighs in at 28 grams. By comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus packs an 11.1 Wh, 2915 MAh battery.

In terms of chip sets, both models are basically identical, containing an Apple A8 CPU with 1 GB RAM, and a collection of radio and controller chips from Qualcomm, Broadcom, RF Micro Devices, SkyWorks, NXP, and Texas Instruments. Notably, both models contain NXP 65V10 NFC chips, as reported prior to the launch, as well as an AMS chip for the NFC front-end. The iPhone 6 Plus also appears to include an extra EDGE power amplifier module, perhaps due to the need to improve reception with the larger design; two plastic antenna stripes are also featured on the outer case to help with wireless reception. The audio codec in both devices is a Cirrus Logic 338S1201, and notably the headphone jack and Lightning connector now share a single assembly, requiring the entire part to be replaced should a problem develop with one or the other. The teardown noted on the upside, however, that the connector for the Touch ID sensor is now a longer cable that has been rerouted, making it easier to disassemble the new models without breaking the link to the sensor.

Apple HealthKit not ready for prime time? (Update: Yes)

Some iOS developers have reported that Apple has been removing HealthKit compatible apps from the App Store following their rollout earlier today ahead of the public iOS 8 release due to issues with the HealthKit framework. Affected apps include titles such as Carrot Fit, MyFitnessPal, and WebMD, all of which disappeared shortly after releasing updates for the new Health features in iOS 8.

 

 

Another large health-releated app developer has also apparently delayed launching HealthKit integration in its apps due to delays from Apple. It is not known what the specific problem is or when these apps will reappear on the App Store. Apple also had a problem with iOS 8 extension support in apps released over the past few days, resulting in some updates needing to be re-issued earlier today, although it is unclear if the two issues are in any way related. [via 9to5Mac]

Update: Tim Bradshaw of Financial Times just tweeted a “full statement” received from Apple via e-mail, which states: “We discovered a bug that prevents us from making HealthKit apps available on iOS 8 today. We’re working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month.”

Apple releases iOS 8

As expected, Apple has released its latest operating system for iOS devices, iOS 8. The update is now available in Settings, General, Software Update. Apple describes it as “the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, with hundreds of new features.” We published our review of iOS 8 on Tuesday. Our iOS 8 Instant Expert feature is already up, as well, filling you in on everything you need to know about iOS 8.

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]

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 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.”

 

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.

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.

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.

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