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Company claims to offer beta version of Apple Music for Android

Some Betabound users have received emails inviting them to take part in a beta test for Apple Music on Android devices, Tech Aeris reports. While Apple Music’s landing page has said all along that support would be coming for Android this fall, Betabound’s email is the first evidence of the company’s efforts to make that possible. Betabound’s email simply states, “We’re excited to invite you to come test Apple Music for Android. If you’re a current Android user that would like to join the beta for the new music streaming service, you won’t want to miss this opportunity. To learn more and apply, click the link below. Best of luck! The Betabound team.” The application page lists two requirements — that the user own an Android smartphone and regularly listen to music on a smartphone — and makes applicants sign up for a Betabound account before posing a set of music-related questions. [via 9to5Mac]

India’s prime minister wants Apple’s manufacturing business

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to lure Apple to set up a manufacturing facility in his country, The Times of India reports. Vikas Swarup, a spokesman for India’s ministry of external affairs, told reporters that Apple CEO Tim Cook responded positively to the request, noting that Foxconn, one of Apple’s largest manufacturing partners, has decided to set up a manufacturing base in India. Cook stopped short of saying Apple would be moving manufacturing to India, but discussed bring Apple Pay to the country, expressed a desire to be a partner in the prime minister’s Digital India initiative, and hinted at an expanded role for India in the company’s future, saying, “We are fortunate to have many passionate customers along with a fast-growing developer community, and we’re investing to expand our operations throughout the country.” If opening Apple retail stores in India is part of that expansion, Apple will have an even greater incentive to move at least some of its manufacturing to the country, since 9to5Mac reports India’s trading laws prohibit manufacturer-owner retail stores unless a certain percentage of the products sold there are made within the country.

Apple breaks weekend record with 13 million iPhones sold

Including pre-orders, Apple sold more than 13 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units last weekend, setting a new three-day sales record for the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook touted the new phones in a statement, saying “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.” Apple will begin selling the new iPhones in 40 additional countries starting Oct. 9 with plans to expand that number to 130 countries by the end of the year. Despite initial concerns over supply, no shortages were reported and the new iPhones are currently available for walk-in purchase in the U.S. at Apple retail locations, through cellular carriers and at select Apple Authorized Resellers including Best Buy, Target and Walmart.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus: Unboxing + comparison gallery

We’ve received the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and have posted unboxing photos of Apple’s newest iPhones. We’ve also included a few shots comparing the new phones to their predecessors, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Look for our full, independent, comprehensive iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus reviews on Monday.

iFixit posts teardowns of iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

As expected, iFixit has posted its complete teardown of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Plus, confirming some specs while revealing a few new insights. As expected, both devices have the same general outward appearance, although the 6s is a hair larger than the 6, but only by a millimeter or two in each dimension. The iPhone 6s is stamped with a new model number, A1688, while the 6s Plus gets A1687. The new 7000 series aluminum alloy is a noticeable change on both devices, and the report notes that early analysis of the alloy suggests that it’s comprised of around 91.17 percent aluminum, 0.08 percent iron, 7.64 percent zinc, and 0.106 percent tungsten. The 6s is also heaver than its predecessor, coming in at 143 grams, versus 129 grams on the earlier model. The weight increase appears to be primarily due to Apple’s new 3D Touch technology, which increases the weight of the display assembly in both models by about 20g.

Google launches Google Keep for iOS

Google has released an official Google Keep iOS app for its Google Keep note-taking service. Although Google launched Google Keep for Android more than two years ago, it was one of the few Google services that didn’t seem to be making it onto the iOS platform. Although Keep was available through a web browser, and some third-party apps appeared attempting to provide web wrappers, none of them provides the same seamless experience that Android users enjoyed.

Apple releases iOS 9.0.1 to public, iOS 9.1 beta 2 to developers (Update: public beta also)

Apple has released iOS 9.0.1, a minor maintenance update that fixes issues with the setup assistant, alarms and timers sometimes failing to play, video problems in Safari and Photos, and custom APN setups via external profiles. The iOS 9.0.1 update is available over the air under General, Software Updates in the iOS Settings app.

The second beta of iOS 9.1 has also been released for registered iOS developers, continuing the development of the next iOS update to add developer-level enhancements for the upcoming iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models. Registered iOS developers can download the iOS 9.1 beta from Apple’s Developer site.

Update (Sept. 24): Apple has now also released the same iOS 9.1 beta 2 as a public beta.

Apple posts XcodeGhost Q&A, lists affected apps

Apple has posted a Q&A on XcodeGhost, the counterfeit software development kit that was used to create malicious apps that were able to be released on the App Store. As expected, the Q&A emphasizes that the problem was created by developers downloading iOS software development tools from third-party sites, rather than Apple’s, but also interestingly notes that OS X protections that Apple has put in place — such as Gatekeeper — had to be “deliberately disabled by the developer for something like XcodeGhost to successfully install.” The Q&A also notes that Apple has no reason to believe that the code was ever actually used to do anything malicious, or that any personally identifiable information could have been transmitted, and that it “did not have the ability to request customer credentials to gain iCloud and other service passwords” as some other reports had suggested.

Apple releases tvOS beta 2 to developers

Apple has released the second beta of its tvOS for the new Apple TV to registered developers, allowing those who have already received a development kit for the new Apple TV to continue getting a head start on Apple TV App Development prior to the public release of the new set-top box. The release notes for the second beta indicate fixes in areas including app launching, Bluetooth, Game Center, home screen, keyboards, media playback, screen savers, and more. The tvOS beta can be downloaded by registered developers from Apple’s Developer Site; a new Apple TV is required to run the tvOS beta.

Apple patents thinner headphone plug

Apple has patented a new “D-shaped connector” plug to replace existing 3.5mm headphone jacks. The plug still has the standard contacts for transmitting left audio, right audio and microphone signals, but is flat on one side, meaning it will only fit into the jack one way and would make standard headphones unusable with devices adhering to the new standard. Multiple outlets have speculated that the slightly slimmer headphone jack hints at thinner iPhones to come, since phones can only be as slim as their largest internal components will allow, notably evidenced by protruding cameras on the iPhone 6. Apple applied for the patent in May 2011, but hasn’t publicly discussed changing over the headphone jacks on any of its devices.

iPad Pro users will have to pay to use Microsoft Office

If iPad Pro users want to use Microsoft’s Office suite, they’re going to have to pay for an Office 365 subscription. In a March blog post, Microsoft VP Kirk Koenigsbauer said the company uses screen size to “delineate between professional and personal use,” allowing devices with screens smaller than 10.1 inches to use a limited version of its productivity software for free. Last November Microsoft made Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps capable of basic editing available for free on iOS devices, but the iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch display makes it the first iOS device to fall outside of the bounds Microsoft sets for free use. The distinction applies to Android and Windows tablets as well, with Microsoft referring to devices with bigger displays as “a ‘pro’ category tablet that is used for design or presentations.” [via MacWorld]

Apple censors ‘Ferguson Firsthand’ app

An app exploring the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has been rejected by Apple, according to a blog post by creator Dan Archer. Archer is a graphic journalist and founder of Empathetic Media, a media agency that produces virtual and augmented reality stories. The “Ferguson Firsthand” app was listed as an educational app and takes users on a 3D tour through the apartment complex where Brown was shot, but Archer said an Apple representative told him the app’s subject matter ran afoul of the company’s policies, calling it too narrow in scope. The representative allegedly told Archer he should develop an app around “a new topic” that would be “topical in general terms,” leading Archer and other Internet commentators to condemn Apple’s app review policy as journalistic censorship.

New York City, Philadelphia customers may see iPhone delivery delays

Apple has sent an email to some customers in New York City and Philadelphia warning them their new iPhones may not be delivered by the Sept. 25 launch date. Citing “traffic restrictions expected for that day in New York City” — alluding to Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. — the company said deliveries could be delayed, but assured customers that they’ll be making Saturday deliveries in an effort to compensate, and apologized for the inconvenience. New York City and Philadelphia seem to be the only affected areas so far, and at least one San Francisco customer got her iPhone early on Monday.

Apple posts note to developers about validating Xcode (Updated)

In an e-mail to developers and a post on its website, Apple has laid out the proper process for downloading Xcode after hundreds of apps were found to be using a malware-laden version of the IDE. Apple states that Xcode should always be downloaded from the Mac App Store or the Apple Developer website and validated by Gatekeeper to ensure the downloaded software hasn’t been contaminated. For those wanting to test a version of Xcode they’ve already downloaded, Apple’s post provides the proper command to run on a Gatekeeper-enabled computer to verify the version came from a legitimate source.

Update: In an interview with Chinese website Sina, Apple’s chief marketing executive Phil Schiller said the company is also making Xcode available for domestic download to Chinese developers to eliminate the need for third-party downloads. Schiller added that the company has found no known instances of apps affected by the malware transmiting customer data, but Apple still plans to warn users of the tainted apps to delete or update them. [via Reuters]

Apple giving automatic refunds for Peace ad blocker app

In a rare move, Apple is providing automatic refunds for users who bought the Peace ad blocker for iOS 9, according to developer Marco Arment. The app was pulled from the app store by Arment shortly after its launch, prompting more than 13,000 users to request refunds through the manual process. Arment said Apple contacted him to say the company was going to issue proactive refunds to everyone who bought the app, which he said “effectively never happens. When I decided to pull the app, I asked some Apple friends if this was even possible, and we all thought the same thing: iTunes billing works the way it works, period, and no special cases can be made.” In this instance, Apple seems to have made an exception, and users who purchased the app should see a refund notification from Apple within a few days. [via iMore]

Customer’s iPhone 6s delivered ahead of release date

Twitter user @MoonshineDesign received her rose gold iPhone 6s a little early, sharing pictures of the new phone and its capabilities in a series of tweets. She ordered the phone through AT&T, and in a tweet of its own, the company congratulated the new owner and didn’t seem to mind they had delivered her new phone earlier than expected. The user posted several 4K videos and Geekbench test results proving the new phone has 2GB of RAM and is markedly faster than current iPad mini and iPad Air models. So far, no other users have reported getting their phones early, but 9to5Mac said some customers are claiming their tracking numbers show delivery dates as early as today, still well ahead of the new phone’s official release on Friday, Sept. 25.

Apple plans to ship its first electric car in 2019

Apple is setting 2019 as the target for shipping its first vehicle, an electric car, The Wall Street Journal reports. Project leaders “have been given permission to triple the 600 person team,” sources said. Though much talk has surrounded the company’s plans to create a self-driving car, this new report claims an electric car is the first step, with a self-driving car being part of a larger, long-term plan. It’s also noted that Apple’s ship date may not mean wide consumer release; to Apple, “it can also mean the date that engineers sign off on the product’s main features.” There is reportedly skepticism from some sources regarding this aggressive timeline. Apple declined comment.

Apple releases watchOS 2

Apple has released watchOS 2, the first major software update for its Apple Watch. The 515MB update was delayed last week, missing its launch date last Wednesday due to a bug. The list of new features and capabilities within the update is lengthy. Users can update to watchOS 2 from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone paired to Apple Watch. To download and install the update, the watch must be in range of a Wi-Fi connected iPhone and connected to its charger, and Apple Watch must be charged to at least 50 percent of its battery life.

New Apple TV supports Bluetooth headphones, speakers

The new Apple TV supports the use of Bluetooth headphones and speakers, 9to5Mac reports in a hands-on look at the device. While the new model’s Bluetooth capability has already been mentioned in regards to game controllers, the ability to link wireless headphones and speakers will appeal to a broad group of users who want to listen to music or view movies without using their TV’s speakers. Apple has yet to announce a firm release date for the new Apple TV, which the company says will be coming in late October — Apple’s website still just lists the device as “coming soon.”

Apple confirms walk-in availability for iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus starting Friday

Apple confirmed that iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units will be available at 8 a.m. local time Friday in Apple retail stores, but recommends getting there early to secure one. Apple notes that those living in tax-free U.S. states will have to make a reservation for their phone, as will residents of China, Hong Kong and Japan. Other U.S. customers can line up and take their chances Friday morning or make an online reservation for in-store pick up starting Saturday. Both models will also be available from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, other cellular carriers and some Apple Authorized Resellers, but customers buying the new phone at an Apple retail store will be offered free personal setup.

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