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Thursday January 28

08:28
Apple predicted to sell another 20 million Macs this...

Apple's Mac shipments are expected to remain at a level similar to that of 2015 at around 20 million units in 2016, while new MacBook and iMacs are expected to boost the company's overall product ASPs [average selling prices], reports DigiTimes, quoting unnamed “sources from the supply chain.”

Twenty million is the most Macs ever sold in a year. The previous record was 18.91 million in 2014.

These sources say that makers in the supply chain will start producing new 12- and 13.3-inch MacBooks at the end of the first quarter or in early second quarter, and 15-inch models in the third quarter. The article doesn’t clarify if that means laptops based on the 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display, MacBook Airs, or MacBook Pros, but I’m guessing it means all three.

Apple shipped 5.312 million laptops in the fourth quarter of 2015. That’s down...

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08:24
Apple recalls international AC wall plug adapters...

Apple just announced a voluntary recall of AC wall plug adapters for Macs and iPads sold between 2003 and 2015 in Europe, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and South Korea, due to risk of electrical shock. But even Americans could be at risk if they use the affected adapters sold in the $29 World Travel Adapter Kit.

Apple is exchanging affected adapters with redesigned versions for free. How to tell if you have a recalled adapter: It looks like one of the two-pronged wall plugs below, and the inside slot of the adapter has either four characters, five, or none at all. The redesigned versions have a 3-letter regional code in that slot.

Apple

The wall plug adapters that are subject to the voluntary recall.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click...

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08:15
News: Apple issues voluntary recall for certain AC...

Apple has issued a voluntary recall covering some of its AC wall plug adapters and world travel kits. The recall affects AC wall plug adapters designed for use in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Continental Europe, New Zealand and South Korea, noting that in very rare cases, the affected two-prong adapters may break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched. The adapters shipped with Mac and some iOS devices between 2003 and 2015 and were also…

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08:11
Voluntary Apple AC Wall Adapter Exchange program...

This is why recall programs exist in the first place.

Apple on Thursday announced a voluntary recall and exchange program for a select number of AC wall plug adapters used in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Continental Europe, New Zealand and South Korea. America is not included in the recall. Apple says that in “very rare cases” the two-pronged Apple wall adapters could break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched.

The company stated that the affected wall adapters shipped between 2003 and 2015 with Mac and certain iOS devices, the adapters were included in the Apple World Travel Kit and that the company says that it is aware 12 issues worldwide.

The recall does not affect any of Apple’s USB power adapters or customers...

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08:00
iPad Pro gains a Mac-like capability in iOS 9.3 beta...

Although the staff here at Apple World Today has varying opinions about the ability of the iPad Pro to serve as a "MacBook replacement", we agree on one thing -- the device can perform a lot of the same functions of a Mac. Now 9to5Mac is reporting that German developer Stefan Wolfrum discovered a new Mac-like capability for the iPad Pro -- being able to update the firmware of devices attached to the Smart Connector.

Wolfrum tweeted that iOS 9.3 beta 2 updated his Logitech Create iPad Pro keyboard with new firmware: 

WHOA! iOS 9.3 beta 2 apparently just updated my @Logitech Create #iPadPro keyboard's firmware!! /cc @settern pic.twitter.com/N2uRxVWBiL

— Stefan Wolfrum...

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07:58
Here’s how the iPhone is performing in global...

We learned this week that Apple shipped 74.8 million iPhones globally during the recent holiday quarter, which is just slightly up from the 74.4 million shipped during the same quarter the year prior and just under the 75 million that analysts expected.

Today Strategy Analytics has released new data showing how Apple’s last two years of shipments compare to competitors like Samsung and Huawei. The data also breaks down how Apple’s global smartphone marketshare stacks up to those same competitors.

As we already knew, Apple shipped 231.5 million iPhones globally in 2015 compared to 192.7 million globally the year prior, which maintains the company’s second place rank between Samsung and Huawei. Global iPhone shipments trailed...

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07:55
Bug or conscious change? Apple Pencil for iPad Pro...

The first two beta releases of iOS 9.3 have severely limited the navigation capabilities of the Apple Pencil on iPad Pro. Whether this was an intentional readjustment of the accessory's functionality to make it less stylus-like, or simply a bug in pre-release software, remains to be seen.

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07:30
Apple recalling some AC adapters

Apple has announced the AC Wall Plug Adapter Exchange Program. The company says it’s determined that, “in very rare cases,” the two prong Apple AC wall plug adapters designed for use in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Argentina and Brazil may break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched. 

These wall plug adapters shipped from 2003 to 2015 with Mac and certain iOS devices, and were also included in the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit. Apple says it has voluntarily decided to exchange affected wall plug adapters with a new, redesigned adapter, free of charge. The company encourages customers to exchange any affected parts. Other wall plug adapters, including those designed for Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States and Apple USB power adapters are not affected by this program.

Compare your adapter to the images in this...

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07:25
Tim Cook: What's Good For the US Dollar Is Bad...

theodp writes: For years," Charles Erwin Wilson famously said back in the day, "I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa." That was then. This is now. The Washington Post reports that a strong U.S. dollar is the biggest threat to Apple's business around the world. "The dollar has shot up about 22 percent against a trade-weighted basket of other currencies since the middle of 2014," explains Matt O'Brien. "And in Apple's case, that's meant what would have been $100 of foreign sales in September 2014 was just $85 by the end of 2015. That's not good when you get two-thirds of your revenue overseas." Apple blamed the strength of the dollar compared to other currencies for costing it $5 billion in revenue, "For perspective, that difference is the size of an average Fortune 500 company," quipped CEO Tim Cook.

...

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07:21
Feature Request: Require Touch ID/passcode to power-...

Anyone who has ever accidentally left behind their iPhone or iPad in a public place like a coffee shop will know the sinking feeling in your stomach the moment you realize you’ve done it. Even if you rush back just one or two minutes later, you know there’s a high chance that the device will be gone.

If the worst happens, and you have another device with you, Find My iPhone lets you track the stolen device – except thieves tend to know this, and all they have to do to prevent it is to power-down their ill-gotten gains. This can be done while the device is locked, with no Touch ID or passcode access needed …

What I’d like to see is a simple iOS change that replaces the current ‘slide to power off’ dialog with a ‘Use Touch ID or enter passcode to...

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07:14
Apple recalls some AC adapters, world travel kits in...

Apple on Thursday issued a recall for two-pronged AC wall plug adapters designed for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Continental Europe, New Zealand and South Korea over a potential risk for electric shock.

| Read more »
07:13
Apple issues Mac & iOS device AC Wall Plug...

Apple today has announced a voluntary recall and exchange program for a select number of AC wall plug adapters used in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Continental Europe, New Zealand and South Korea. America is not included in the recall. Apple says that in “very rare cases” the two-pronged Apple wall adapters could break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched.

Apple said that the affected wall adapters shipped between 2003 and 2015 with Mac and certain iOS devices. Apple also says the adapters were included in the Apple World Travel Kit. The company says that it is aware 12 issues worldwide.

The recall does not affect any of Apple’s USB power adapters or customers in Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United...

| Read more »
06:59
Despite what you may have heard, the iPhone is still...

As previously noted, Apple hit a new high in iPhone sales over the holiday quarter with 74.8 million units shipped, albeit just 0.3 million more than the same quarter one year ago. 

Continued demand for Apple's iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, particularly in China and the U.S., elevated Apple in 2015 to 231.5 million units shipped in the year, according to new data from IDC. This represents 20.2% growth from the 192.7 million units shipped in 2014. The combination of new innovative features such as Apple Pay and Force Touch, combined with a new Rose Gold color, better performance, and increased speed, helped drive upgrades and attracted Android switchers in record numbers, according to the research group.

Although the Cupertino-based vendor witnessed minimal growth year over year, its 2015 total market share climbed to 16.2%, up from 14.8% in 2014. Growth in key markets such as China were up 18%, in which 50% were first-time iPhone owners....

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06:44
Yahoo iOS app updated w/ revamped news discovery...

Yahoo today announced that it’s revamping the way it aggregates news content and in the process launching redesigned commenting, news discovery, and notification features to users on Android, iOS, and through its Yahoo homepage on the web.

Not only will the experience be consistent across platforms now, the entire experience has been given a fresh coat of paint and new features with Yahoo noting that it’s “made it easier to discover and create conversations with a community around engaging content and follow the latest developing stories in a nearly infinite news stream.”

Here’s what’s new for news discovery:

With this...

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06:34
Questionable rumor claims 'iPad Air 3'...

Apple's next 9.7-inch iPad -- commonly referred to as the "iPad Air 3" -- could sport features like a 4K display and 4 gigabytes of RAM while simultaneously offering better battery life, supply chain sources claimed on Thursday.

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06:33
San Francisco Chronicle finds treasure trove of...

This is a set of 43 photos from The Last Waltz concert from 1976. Brilliant find.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:22
Guess how many iPhones Apple sold in 2015
06:17
The complete, easy guide to backing up your Mac

Macworld’s Christopher Phin walks you through the options. If nothing else, click through to the article and read each section headline, just to get a sense of all the options covered. Good stuff.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:08
On pricing an iOS app

Tough to know the right apps to develop and to find the right pricing sweet spot at which to sell them.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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06:04
A smartphone was shipped for 1 of every 5 people...

Manufacturers shipped nearly 1.5 billion smartphones to the world's 7.4 billion inhabitants in 2015 as consumers opted to replace older devices with newer LTE-equipped models or those with larger displays.

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06:00
Fluance's latest Bluetooth speaker sports a...

The $500 Fi70 includes 8-inch woofers, 5-inch midranges, and 1-inch tweeters and is powered by a 280-watt amp.

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05:47
Twitter vs Facebook

John Gruber captures perfectly the problem with comparing Twitter to Facebook

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:37
iPad Pro gets standalone capability normally...

The ability to fully support your satellite devices (like updating the Logitech keyboard’s firmware) is critical if the iPad Pro is going to serve as your full time computer.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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05:02
Apple increases standalone capabilities of iPad Pro...

The iPad Pro quietly gained a new capability in iOS 9.3 beta 2: German developer Stefan Wolfrum tweeted that the device can now update the firmware in devices attached to the Smart Connector. He was offered, and able to complete, a firmware update to his Logitech Create keyboard.

Firmware updates of accessories usually need you to connect them to a Mac, but as the Smart Connector is unique to the iPad Pro, it’s likely this fact that prompted the new capability …

...

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05:00
FDA Guidelines Target IoT Medical Device Security


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week took a step toward addressing the threat the Internet of Things poses to patients and their data by releasing some proposed guidelines for managing cybersecurity in medical devices. "A growing number of medical devices are designed to be networked to facilitate patient care. Networked medical devices, like other networked computer systems, incorporate software that may be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats," the FDA says in its proposal.

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05:00
Mount up that Apple TV with TotalMount Pro

The fourth gen Apple TV is a very cool upgrade of the set-top box. However, people with wall-mounted televisions often wonder where to put their new Apple TV (or a second or third generation model).

No problem thanks to a TV mount dubbed TotalMount Pro. It attaches the Apple set-top box to the back of your television.

Wall-mounted TV owners previously struggled with tunneling an HDMI cable from a television through a wall to an Apple TV. Running an HDMI cable through a wall is too destructive and time-consuming for many people. The $30 TotalMount Pro makes Apple TV installation simple by attaching the Apple TV to the back of the television.  

This installation method positions the Apple set-top box for easy access to the HDMI port on the back of the television. Of course, a power cord is still necessary, but most wall-mounted...

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04:58
VMWare abruptly fires Fusion dev team, outsources to...

This appears to have been sudden, but I can’t imagine this was an overnight decision. That’s rough.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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04:32
Outlook for iOS gets a calendar widget as Sunrise...

Microsoft quietly updated Outlook for iOS on Wednesday, with support for a calendar widget that makes it easy to see your schedule at a glance.  

Using the widget, users can pull down on their iPhone or iPad’s Notification Center, and get a quick look at the remaining events in their calendar for a given day, in the order they’ll occur. The widget looks nearly identical to the one in the Sunrise calendar app, which Microsoft acquired last year as part of a string of deals aimed at improving Outlook. It will eventually shut that app down.

Events will have their locations listed, along with headshots of attendees, assuming that information is available. As an event draws near, the widget highlights how much time remains before it starts.

...

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04:31
Verizon is building for the Super Bowl and staying...

Mobile use is growing so fast that cells added for a big event like the Super Bowl are now worth keeping just for daily life.

Verizon Wireless is installing nearly 100 cells to make sure its network can handle the crush of a million or more fans around this year’s big game in the San Francisco Bay Area. Almost all will stay up after the game’s over.

The volume of phone calls, selfies, social media posts and videos spikes around an event like the Super Bowl. Verizon expects its traffic to double next week in downtown San Francisco, where several city blocks will be closed to cars for a fan gathering area called Super Bowl City. 

Keeping up with that kind of demand forces carriers to plan ahead and get creative finding sites for their radios all over the urban landscape. Verizon started scoping out its US$70 million Super Bowl strategy two years ago and began installations last year. Along the way, it was thinking all the way ahead to 5G, the next generation of...

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04:26
Oracle's killing a favorite security hole for...

Oracle will retire the Java browser plug-in, frequently the target of Web-based exploits, about a year from now. Remnants, however, will likely linger long after that.

“Oracle plans to deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9,” the Java Platform Group said in a blog post Wednesday. “This technology will be removed from the Oracle JDK and JRE in a future Java SE release.”

The Java Development Kit (JDK) 9, the reference implementation for the next version of Java SE, is expected to reach general availability in March 2017. By then, however, most modern browsers will no longer accept the Java browser plug-in anyway.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment...

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04:03
Mingis on Tech: Retailers buy into IT (and is tech...

In Computerworld's latest video podcast, Executive News Editor Ken Mingis shops for details about why retailers are embracing tech and asks about a report that technology will cost the global economy 7 million jobs by 2020....

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04:01
Supply-chain report claims March iPad Air 3 may have...

After our report yesterday, the not overly reliable Digitimes is claiming that the iPad Air 3 will come equipped with a 4K screen, as well as 4GB RAM and improved battery life. As usual, it cites unnamed supply chain sources for the claims.

Aside from the source of the latest rumor, a 4K display would give the iPad Air 3 a higher-resolution screen than the iPad Pro, which would seem unlikely. It’s also more Apple-like to opt for a slimmer device matching the battery life of existing iPads rather than increase the already great battery life. Perhaps the extra battery that they are seeing on...

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03:00
Why cord cutters shouldn’t live in fear of broadband...

An optimistic outlook on Internet data limits, overage charges, and the potential threat to streaming video.

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Wednesday January 27

23:52
Angela Ahrendts treats Apple Store employees like...

Apple Stores saw employee retention rates of 81 percent coming out of 2015, the highest ever recorded according to retail chief Angela Ahrendts, who attributes the statistic to a feeling of connectedness unique to Apple.

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21:00
Apple retail chief Ahrendts says she treats retail...

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts has recently sat down with Fast Company for a brief interview in which she discusses what her first two years at Apple have been like. Ahrendts previously was the CEO of high-end fashion retailer Burberry. Ahrendts notes of the strategies she’s employed to improve Apple’s retail chain, including her strategy of treating them just as she would treat an executive.

Ahrendts first notes that during her first six months on the job at Apple, she was able to travel to 40 different markets and spend time with retail leaders in each. She...

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21:00
Why the Surface Pro 4 beats the iPad Pro in the...

CIO.com's Sarah White pits the Surface Pro 4 vs. the iPad Pro to see which device offers the functionality business users need.

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20:57
Twitter close to hiring former Apple PR executive...

Twitter is on the verge of hiring Natalie Kerris -- once a major communications executive with Apple -- to take charge of its own communications unit, according to a report.

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20:22
Opinion: Now is the time for Apple to enter the VR...

Apple has long been rumored to have an interest in the virtual reality market, but the company itself has always remained quiet on the technology. That’s not an unusual strategy for Apple, though, as it often only makes very general, or even negative, comments about a technology until it is ready to announce its own foray into a market. During the company’s earnings call for the first quarter of 2016, however, CEO Tim Cook was asked about his opinions on virtual reality.

Speaking on the call, Cook said that he thinks virtual reality has some interesting applications and noted that he doesn’t think it is a niche market, a comment often used against the technology by its naysayers. “I don’t think VR is a niche,” Cook said. “It’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”

This begs the question as to what exactly Apple has planned for virtual reality. There are a variety of possibilities, some of which companies like Google have already capitalized on. As we’ve...

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20:05
Facebook open to payments partnerships with Apple...

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday name dropped Apple Pay in a discussion about his company's willingness to partner with payments providers as a route to ad monetization, calling the fledgling service a segment innovator.

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15:39
Apple enables lower App Store price tiers in Canada...

Apple on Wednesday announced two new App Store price tiers for iOS developers selling wares in Canada and New Zealand, enabling lower digital content costs for consumers and flexibility for app makers.

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15:38
Apple announces lower App Store price tiers for...

Apple today announced on its Developer Portal that its making two new lower price tiers available for developers in Canada and New Zealand. Developers in those countries can now offer paid apps and in-app purchases at $0.99 CAD and $0.99 NZD. These new options will allow for developers to offer more affordable apps and in-app purchases to users in these countries.

Apple wrote the following on its Developer Portal regarding the changes:

Lower price tiers, Alternate Tier A and Alternate Tier B, now let you offer paid apps and In-App Purchases at $0.99 (CAD) and $0.99 (NZD). Existing apps that already use these price tiers have been automatically updated. Get details on App Store pricing in the Pricing and Availability section of My Apps on ...

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15:25
Suggestion Glitch Crashes Safari Browser


Apple's Safari browser has been crashing on Macs and iOS devices when users launch a search through its address bar, according to reports that surfaced Wednesday. OS X and iOS users worldwide have been affected, according to The Verge, which confirmed the problem on several iOS devices and at least one OS X machine. One of the first mentions of the glitch was a tweet by app developer Phillip Caudell, who asked if anyone else's Safari browser on the Mac mysteriously stopped working.

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15:17
As video surges, Facebook considers a dedicated...

Facebook is considering a dedicated service or page where users will be able watch videos and not be bothered by other content.

The social network continues to see surging interest in video. During one day last quarter, its users watched a combined 100 million hours of video. Roughly 500 million users watch at least some video each day.

That's a lot of video and a lot of viewers, and Facebook wants to capitalize on it.

"We are exploring a dedicated place on Facebook for when they just want to watch videos," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday during a conference call to discuss Facebook's quarterly financial results.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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15:00
Apple R&D, property investments reach all-time...

In detailed earnings results for the first fiscal quarter of 2016, Apple said it spent more than $2.4 billion on research and development operations, while gross property and related expenditures grew to $51.3 billion.

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14:51
Notable apps and app updates for Jan. 27, 2016

On a regular basis, Apple World Today posts a list of notable new apps or app updates that have been released. They may not necessarily be new, but they're popular and deserve mention. Here are today's picks for Mac OS X and iOS.

Mac OS X Apps/Updates

Bare Bones Software has released BBEdit 11.5, an update to its professional strength HTML and text editor.

BBEdit 11.5 offers a variety of performance improvements and changes to streamline workflow in specific areas, such as Find Differences. In all, this new version includes more than 160 new features, changes to existing features, and fixes for specific reported issues. Version 11.5requires Mac OS X 10.9.5 or later, and is fully compatible with OS X El Capitan.

BBEdit 11.5 is a recommended update which is free of charge to all BBEdit 11 customers. For new users, the suggested retail...

| Read more »
14:30
Apple CFO says 'fair' outcome in Irish tax...

On Wednesday Apple CFO Luca Maestri attacked an ongoing European Commission investigation into the company's tax deals with Ireland, claiming that a "fair" decision would find the iPhone maker owing nothing.

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14:16
Opinion: 6 years after its introduction, iPad...

Six years ago today Steve Jobs introduced the iPad on stage in what was arguably one of the best product demos from Apple or any other tech company for that matter. The hype was tremendous but the demo was low key.

Jobs plainly explained why the iPad needed to exist and where Apple believed it fit between iPhones and Macs, then offered an almost hypnotizing demonstration of what using an iPad was like. Highlighting the intimacy of the tablet, Jobs demoed the iPad on stage while comfortably seated for a full 12 minutes. If you’ve never watched the demo or haven’t seen it lately, queue it up and see for yourself how much it stands out from nearly every other product introduction.

Six years in, the iPad has matured from a single product to a whole product line with multiple screen sizes, price points, and even accessories specific to the tablet. iPad sales peaked two years ago, though, and that peak’s clearly not temporary like...

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13:55
Tip of the Day: Managing iOS device backups in iTunes

While iCloud backups provide a certain degree of convenience, many users will quickly go beyond the free 5GB of storage that Apple provides. Unless you’re already paying for more iCloud storage, or willing to shell out for a larger plan just for backups, you’ll be happy to know that iTunes still provides a handy alternative to keep your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch backed up to your Mac or PC, and in fact even has a key advantage over iCloud…

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13:45
AWT News Update: January 27, 2016

Moves, updates, upgrades, and statistics. That's what we have for you on the Apple World Today News Update today!

  • A long-time Apple PR/Communications staffer may be moving to Twitter
  • Google Docs, Sheets and Slides get collaborative commenting as part of today's update
  • Intel releases specs and pricing on its new Skylake-based mobile CPUs, fueling speculation of an upgrade of the 15-inch MacBook Pro soon
  • Over 3/4 of all iOS devices are now running iOS 9
  • There's a lot of room for future sales of larger iPhones
  • Why the tablet market is shrinking

The text version of the podcast is below, or you can watch video (with a long dialogue about Starry at the beginning) right here...

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13:37
CrashSafari.com site spreads, points out bug in...

You’re going to want to avoid this.

A recent link to CrashSafari.com has been circulating around Twitter and other web sites, the site itself doing what you thought it would do and crashing Apple’s Safari mobile web browser on your iOS device.

If you tap on the link on your iOS device, your iPhone will start rebooting right away. On a Mac, you’ll see the spinning wheel of death, but not a complete crash. Some links will point you to CrashChrome.com instead of CrashSafari, which will cause Chrome to crash on any device you use, including Android, but it won’t cause a reboot.

The prank went viral on Twitter on Monday morning, and many users panicked that their iPhones were vulnerable to attack after rebooting. The problem was noticed and explained by security...

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13:22
Gear: Lynktec Reeljuice Power Bank

Initially announced in late 2014, Lynktec’s Reeljuice Power Bank ($100-$120) is now available for purchase. The battery pack most notably includes a built-in 4-foot retractable charging cable. It comes in two capacities — 5300 mAh for $100, or a larger 8000 mAh version for $120. Reeljuice supports pass-through charging at speeds up to 2.1A, allowing for full-speed charging of newer iPads. Though a micro-USB connector is attached to the built-in…

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13:20
Apple updates Snow Leopard so you can continue to...

(credit: Apple)

Snow Leopard is fondly remembered by many longtime Mac users, both because it was a remarkably refined release and because it was the last version produced before Apple really started porting iOS features over to the Mac. Five new versions of OS X have been released since then, but NetApplications data says that some five percent of the total Mac userbase continues to soldier on with version 10.6.

Some of those people will be using Macs that aren't compatible with newer versions of OS X, and others will be sticking around because of their personal preferences (or spite, or stubbornness). Either way, if you're still running 10.6, fire up your software updaters for the first time in...

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13:13
Apple CFO says tax investigation is between EU...

A report earlier this month from Bloomberg claimed that Apple could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes if the European Commission rules that its Ireland setup is illegal. Speaking to the Financial Times today, Apple CFO Luca Maestri commented on the ongoing European investigation and said that he estimates Apple will have to pay $0 in back taxes, assuming the investigation outcome is “fair.”

Maestri had the following to say regarding the European Commission’s investigation into Apple’s tax practices:

“This is a case between the European Commission and Ireland and frankly there is no way to estimate the impact right now, we need...

| Read more »
12:46
Apple likely to debut iPad Air 3 at March event; new...

Apple is planning to introduce new iPad hardware at an event in mid-March, according to sources, with the most likely device being a new iPad Air. This new iPad with a 9.7-inch screen, presumably to be called the “iPad Air 3,” will be launched alongside the a new 4-inch iPhone known as the “iPhone 5se” and a series of new Apple Watch models. Apple is currently planning to hold its keynote during the week of March 14th, but the final date is still in flux, according to sources.

...

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12:46
Twitter close to hiring Natalie Kerris

Kerris is well known in Silicon Valley for her job as one of the top public relations and communications staffers at Apple. She was in the running for the top job at the tech giant, which went to Steve Dowling, after the departure of Katie Cotton.

Kerris retired from Apple, but she would be a great addition to Twitter if they can get her.

∞ Read this on The Loop

| Read more »
12:32
Report: iPhone 7 will sport DSLR-quality camera, 3D...

If the iPhone 5se rumors this week didn’t get you riled up for a new iPhone, then maybe this tidbit about the iPhone 7 will jumpstart your excitement.

Apple is rumored to incorporate a dual-camera system in the new iPhone 7, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, reported by 9to5Mac. The dual-camera would make it possible for the iPhone 7 to take DSLR-quality photos by incorporating the LinX camera technology that Apple acquired last year.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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12:13
Microsoft announces new partnerships and cloud...

Early last year, Microsoft unveiled the Cloud Storage Partner Program enabling various cloud storage providers to integerate their tools into Office Online and Office for iOS. Microsoft’s latest announcement takes that a step further for partners in the CSPP by giving them access to real-time collaboration, and Office for iOS integration for all partners.

Focusing on this announcement for iOS, starting today all CSPP partners can integrate their cloud services into the Office for iOS platform, thus enabling multiple cloud services to be integerated as “Places” within the Office for iOS suite. This is perfect for individuals who use Office for iOS on their personal devices, but also need to connect to various cloud services for their work. Users will no longer have to launch that individual cloud service provider’s...

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12:08
Podcast 492: How to travel like an international...

Susie's back from some last-minute travel, just in time to talk travel with Glenn and Rich Mogull, a security researcher, Macworld contributor, and world traveler who knows all about how to keep your data safe and secure even when moving around in countries that are actively trying to snoop on you.

For instance, we've all heard of "burner" devices—something cheap that holds no more of your personal data than necessary, that you use temporarily and then trash or donate when you're done. Well, that doesn't help us Apple fans much, does it? While it's true you probably won't want to buy a new iPad just to throw it away after a trip to China or Russia, it turns out iOS is generally secure enough that you can back up and wipe a device before you leave, use it during your trip, and then erase it again when you get home, ready to restore to your previous backup. Rich has other great tips too, from VPNs to knowing the special rules at border crossings.

...

| Read more »
12:00
San Jose city council signs off on huge Apple campus...

Image via Silicon Valley Business Journal

Yesterday (January 26, 2016), San Jose, CA city council members approved a development plan that will provide Apple with a campus in the city that will be close to 86 acres (34.8 hectares) in size. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo saw the move as potentially reducing traffic congestion, saying "We're thrilled to have thousands of your employees in San Jose, hopefully shortening the commute for many."

The council unanimously approved an agreement that allows Apple to build up to 4.15 million square feet (385,548 square meters) of occupied space, spread between industrial, R&D and office zoning. The company has up to 15 years to complete the buildout. 

Apple's...

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11:36
Intel details new Skylake chips hinting at Apple...

Intel has posted a new processor price list, including some Skylake-based units that could potentially make their way into a revamped 15-inch MacBook Pro from Apple.

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11:30
The Week in iOS Accessories: Wood, wonderful wood

Wonderful wood

This week’s roundup includes several devices that are just about as natural as can be. Read on!

Oree

The $190 Oree Board 2 is a Bluetooth keyboard made of a single piece of premium wood—it’s compatible with all iPads and Macs, and it’s efficient: It’ll run for five months on a pair of AA batteries.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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11:24
Flash’s days are coming to an end (the video codec,...

The Global Media Format Report 2016 from Encoding.com predicts that the Flash video codec -- which the late Steve Jobs despised -- will pretty much vanish within 24 months. While Flash is still being used for specific uses and edge cases such as banner ads and legacy browsers, it’s days are numbered, according to the cloud media processing service.

Flash outputs decreased from 21% to 6% in 2015. However, H.264 grew slightly this year, “reflecting dominance as the go- to format for every device imaginable, fueled by the continued adoption of adaptive packaging formats,” says Encoding. Apple continues its use of this technology, and Google’s using it in Android 5.0 Lollipop and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Fueled by the demand for securing HTML5 video content in the browser, WebM grew by roughly a third...

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11:20
Box, Dropbox users can now edit Office documents...

Business users who rely on cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Box now have some improved tools in their collaboration arsenal, thanks to a set of integrations that Microsoft announced Wednesday

Starting Wednesday, Office Online users can work in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations shared inside Box, Dropbox, Citrix ShareFile and Egnyte. That means those folks who don't use Microsoft's systems to store their files will still be able to use the Office web apps to work together on the same file all at once. 

The real-time, co-authoring feature was already available for people who used Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint.

To read this article in full or to leave...

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11:12
Flash video is 'on life support,' but big...

As a video format, Adobe Flash is almost gone for good.

According to a report by Encoding.com, Flash accounted for just 6 percent of video output last year, down 15 percent from 2014. Today, it’s mainly used for legacy browsers, banner ads, and some specific edge cases. “We expect to see the Flash video codec disappear completely from our report with 24 months,” the report says.

That sounds like great news for people who’ve dropped Flash from their web browsers due to security concerns and performance drawbacks. But for Encoding.com’s bold prediction to pan out, several major streaming sites will have to change their ways.

...

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11:05
News: Apple releases second iOS 9.3 public beta

Apple has released the second public beta of iOS 9.3 through its Apple Software Beta Program. Released to developers earlier this week, the second beta makes a number of minor changes to Night Shift mode and CarPlay enhancements to Apple Music and Maps, along with adding a new button for Night Shift mode in Control Center. Be sure to check out our updated peek at what’s new in both the latest iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 betas. Users who have already…

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11:00
A Starry future for broadband internet

Starry Beam

Like most Americans, I have a love/hate relationship with my Internet service provider -- mostly hate. I dislike the fact that I have no real choice for broadband service except one company, and that they charge me a ridiculous amount for service. Today a new home broadband service called Starry was unveiled at an event in New York, and it might be the first opportunity for many of us disenchanted broadband customers to get away from the cable or phone company.

Starry is the brainchild of Chet Kanojia and a team of veterans from Aereo, a failed startup that wanted to disrupt cable companies by provide streaming TV service. What Starry will do is install a number of distribution points called "Starry Beams" around major cities, then sell a $349.99 "Starry Station" router to consumers. There's an antenna that you'll install outside a window (called Starry Point) that will connect to your Starry Station to give...

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10:54
San Jose signs off on massive new Apple development...

The San Jose city council has reportedly approved a development agreement allowing Apple to build up to 4.15 million square feet of space in the north of the city, even though the company itself hasn't yet decided what its interests are.

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10:53
No need to fret, Apple is doing fine

The New York Times:

Let’s get this out of the way first: Despite what you may have heard, the iPhone is not dying. Neither, by extension, is Apple.

It’s true that in an earnings report on Tuesday, after weeks of speculation by Wall Street that iPhone sales would finally hit a peak, Apple confirmed the news: IPhone sales grew at their lowest-ever rate in the last quarter. And the company projected total sales of as much as $53 billion in the current quarter that ends in March, which would be a decline of 8.6 percent from last year and Apple’s first revenue drop in more than a decade.

But if Apple is now hitting a plateau, it’s important to remember that it’s one of the loftiest plateaus in the history of business. The $18.4 billion profit that Apple reported on Tuesday is the most ever earned by any company in a single quarter.

It’s necessary to start with these caveats because people have a tendency to react strongly, almost apoplectically, to any...

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10:40
Second public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4 now...

As expected after the Monday release of the second developer betas of the latest versions of OS X, iOS, watchOS and tvOS, Apple today released public betas of OS X and iOS.

The new iOS 9.3 beta 2 includes updated Night Shift settings and a way to control the new mode from Control Center (see image above). Night Shift changes the color temperature to a warmer hue during evening hours to make the display on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch easier on the eyes and hopefully make it easier for you to fall asleep.

OS X 10.11.4 beta 2 brings secure and password-protected Notes that sync with iOS 9.3, and support for viewing and sharing Live Photos with the Messages app. Apple notes that there are also changes to the iBooks and Photos apps.

If you're signed up for the public betas, the updates are available in Settings > General > Software Update on iOS devices or in the Mac App Store > Updates on Macs.

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10:37
GoPro Shooters Can Send Live Streams Up Periscope


GoPro on Monday announced an integration with Twitter's Periscope app that allows live streaming from a GoPro Hero4 camera. Periscope users can switch between broadcasting from their iPhone's camera to their GoPro directly from the phone screen with the touch of a button, GoPro said. The feature allows GoPro shooters to use the Periscope interface like a production switchboard, GoPro said. They can toggle between their iPhone and GoPro cameras on the fly, adding variety to video of a live event.

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10:16
Review: Urban Armor Gear Trooper for iPhone 6/6s

Urban Armor Gear has ventured into the wallet case category with its new Trooper ($40). Looking much like a typical UAG case, Trooper has a door on the back which opens to reveal a wallet area; the case can hold up to four cards. The door snaps shut securely, to ensure that you won't find your credit cards flying out at some point. Despite the wallet addition, the case feels mostly like a normal iPhone case, with proper button coverage for the sleep/wake button and volume controls. The rubber-and-plastic Trooper comes in black, white, or UAG's orange "rust" color.{/exp:char_limit}

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10:11
Public beta testers get Apple's second build of...

The second pre-release beta of OS X 10.11.4, a forthcoming minor update for the El Capitan Mac operating system, is now available to test for members of Apple's public beta program.

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10:00
iOS 9.3 beta 2 now available to Apple's public...

Members of Apple's public beta tester program can now download and sample the second beta release of iOS 9.3, with a new Control Center switch for Night Shift.

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09:58
Apple releases iOS 9.3 beta 2 to public beta testers

Apple has released the second iOS 9.3 beta for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to public beta testers. Today’s release follows the developer version earlier this week, which included tweaks and changes from the initial iOS 9.3 beta. These include updated Night Shift settings as well as a new toggle in Control Center and several other changes.

iOS 9.3 includes several new features like Night Shift mode, which changes the color temperature of the display, improvements to the Health and Activity app, Touch ID and secure passwords for Notes, and much more.

Check out our hands-on video below to see iOS 9.3 in action:

Filed under:...

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09:37
9to5Toys Lunch Break: iPhone 6/s/Plus cases from $1...

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

ULAK iPhone 6/s/Plus, iPad mini 4 and Android cases from $1 shipped (Orig. up to $30)
Protect your iPhone 6 Plus w/ a tempered glass screen protector...

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09:35
Chrome for iOS gets an update with better speed and...

While most iPhone and iPad users stick with good old Safari for their browsing, Google Chrome is an attractive alternate web browser. Today, Google made Chrome for iOS even more attractive with an update that improves both speed and stability.

First, and probably most important, Chrome crashes less often on "misbehaving webpages". How much less? Google's testing shows that the crash rate is down 70 percent with the new version. 

Chrome also now uses Apple's latest rendering engine -- WKWebView -- for better speed, and JavaScript execution has been sped up "significantly". Other improvements include redesigned icons on the New Tab page for easier access to frequently-visited sites, and Spotlight integration so users can search for Chrome bookmarks from the Home screen.

Chrome for iOS version 48.0.2564.87 is a free download, available now. 

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09:18
New quarterly data ranks iPhone high in China &...

iPhone loyalty is at its strongest point in the U.S. since 2012, and despite numerous obstacles in China, Apple has managed to reclaim a position as the bestselling smartphone brand in that region, according to a new December-quarter research report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

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09:08
Deliveries app ships a massive update w/ 3D Touch,...

Delveries by Junecloud has received major updates today for both their iOS and Mac applications. For the unitiated, Deliveries is an all-in-one package tracker for both iOS and Mac. Allowing the user to track multiple packages from various couriers, the app is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to have to jump between different delivery company sites.

One of the best features that Junecloud brings to the Deliveries app is making sure both versions of the app have feature parity. Today...

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08:35
Despite past failures, case makers place early bet...

Being among the first to offer cases for a new iPhone is a multi-million dollar business opportunity that leaves manufacturers racing to prepare updated models based on rumors and hearsay -- a move that can easily backfire.

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08:08
Designers’ favorite typefaces

Nice to scroll through these one word treatments. See if any of these typefaces grab you.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:05
Wall Street adjusts Apple expectations after Tim...

Though Apple had a respectable December quarter, the company's outlook for the following three months calls for iPhone sales to decline for the first time ever. Analysts on Wall Street responded by trimming their price targets, though most still believe investors should buy in.

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08:04
Inside the hidden world that handles your holiday...

“You don’t know where the product went after it left your store, so you can’t put it back on your shelf.” There’s a shadow world out there that resells your returned goods.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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08:04
Deals: Apple Pencil in stock; $280 off iMac 5K (3....

Apple Pencils are in stock, grab one while you can. Meanwhile, AI readers get free AppleCare, a free AIO AirPrint printer, and $110 off a Late 2015 27" iMac 5K configuration extremely popular with photographers. Or save $220 on a fully-loaded Space Gray 12" MacBook with no tax in 49 states.

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08:03
Rumor: Apple to incorporate dual lens system in next...

The next-gen iPhone could feature a dual lens camera system.

This is according to a research note published by noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that predicts that two 5.5-inch versions of the “iPhone 7 Plus” are in development, one with a single iSight rear-facing camera and another boasting a dual-camera design.

The rumored iPhone 7 Plus model with a dual-lens camera system would take advantage of imaging algorithms that Apple acquired through its purchase of Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging last year.

The purchase of LinX offered several improvements the iPhone 7 Plus could benefit from, including multiple sensors for a smaller size, possibly eliminating the need for a protruding camera lens. The lenses would also have better...

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08:00
New Chrome for iOS is finally as fast and stable as...

Enlarge / Chrome for iOS running on an iPhone 6S. Expect big speed boosts after today's update. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Google Chrome 48, which is being released to the browser’s stable channel today, is just another incremental update for most of the browser’s users. For Chrome users on iOS, however, it’s a big one—possibly the biggest single update since the iOS version was first released back in 2012—and it’s all because of an under-the-hood switch.

The short version is that Chrome 48 on iOS will be as fast as Safari on iOS for the first time ever thanks to a switch from iOS’ UIWebView rendering engine to the...

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07:59
Amazon’s customer service backdoor
07:58
The best rechargeable AA batteries

The Wirecutter with an up-to-date survey of AA rechargeables. Good info.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:48
FCC’s proposed television rule changes could benefit...

Federal regulators are expected to propose overhauling rules for television set-top boxes, a move aimed at lowering bills for cable viewers and providing more access to Internet-based programming, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The proposal by Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, likely would involve giving cable and satellite customers more choice in whether to use their service provider’s set-top box and cable app, or use their own unit (as long as it met industry specs).

As noted by AppleInsider, such changes could benefit Apple, which has run into problems both in attempts to work with cable companies and go around them directly to content owners. 

What do we know about Apple's rumored TV service, which I call Apple Web TV? T...

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07:47
Microsoft Windows Phone VP tweets from his iPhone,...

Joe Belfiore tweeted from his iPhone. Odd choice.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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07:22
FCC to move on set-top box regulations, could open...

The Federal Communications Commission will reportedly float a new initiative that would force cable and satellite providers to broaden support for third-party set-top boxes, paving the way for companies like Apple to build new experiences on top of traditional cable services.

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07:18
Apple is the second most Influential Brand in Canada

iPhone in Canada reports that the Institute of Communication Agencies, the not-for-profit association for Canadian communication agencies, and the Ipsos research firm, have released the results of their Most Influential Brands Study for Canada for 2015 at day two of FFWD: Advertising & Marketing Week 2016 in Toronto. 

The top brand this year was Google, followed by Apple, then Microsoft in third spot. Rounding out the top 10 are Facebook, YouTube, Visa, Walmart, Tim Hortons, Amazon, and Samsung.

Google has maintained its number one ranking for the fourth year in a row. Apple took second place, up to spots from last year, and continues to be the most leading edge brand in terms of customer perception and innovation, notes iPhone in Canada.

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07:12
Apple gives Fed food for thought

All eyes will be back on the Federal Reserve today as they make their first interest rate decision and monetary policy statement of the year but there are no economic projections or press conferences this time round, which come at the next meeting in March. Today's Fed meeting as a result is likely to see a more dovish tone to it, especially since the market consensus is that we will see fewer rate hikes this year than the Fed is currently pencilling in, says Simon Smith, chief economist, FXPro, an online broker.

“Even though we saw a higher than expected rise in US consumer confidence yesterday a big warning shot has come from one of the world's largest companies Apple which saw its first fall in revenue since 2003,” he says. “The fact that Apple's shares have declined some 20% in the last 6 months shows how the current equity bear market really did start in the middle of 2015 and it comes...

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07:01
∞ Tim continues Apple’s investment strategy

Pouring money into R&D and releasing products during such a downturn is both brave and smart. Apple has long done this and Tim is keeping that strategy in place.

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06:48
News: Report: iPhone 7 Plus to sport dual-camera...

A new report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities is suggesting that the iPhone 7 Plus will include a dual-camera system that would incorporate two distinct lenses to create higher quality photos. The new system would reportedly incorporate the Linx camera technology that Apple acquired last year, allowing Apple to use smaller camera sensors to get the same or better results as the cameras in current iPhone models. Kuo’s report…

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06:45
Voice recognition is more popular among iPhone users...

New mobile research from Parks Associates finds that 39% of smartphone owners use some sort of voice recognition software such as Siri or Google Now, although the Apple platform is outpacing Android. The research group says that one-half of iPhone owners use voice recognition, as opposed to less than one-third of Android phone owners.

"Smartphone penetration has reached 86% of U.S. broadband households, so it is a mature market, with users, particularly younger consumers and iOS users, exploring more intelligent features and interfaces, including voice control," says Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. “

Among smartphone users ages 18-24, 48% use voice recognition software, and use of Siri, Apple’s “...

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06:37
Analyst: iPhone performance is strong, but faces ‘...

Its latest financial results show, yet again, that Apple is the most successful smartphone company in the world, but there are “headwinds” in the maturing smartphone market that are finally impacting Apple, according to Ian Fogg, head of Mobile Analysis, IHS Technology.

Significantly, Apple raised the average selling price (ASP) of the iPhone to $691 while also increasing iPhone unit shipment volumes year-on-year. Only the strongest companies can raise ASP and shipment volumes at the same time, Fogg says. 

“These high average selling prices and excellent margins provide Apple with strategic flexibility in how it chooses to operate its business in 2016,” he adds.

Apple has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to buck wider economic conditions and persuade consumers to spend more on their smartphone. China has had a widely...

| Read more »
06:27
Analyst: an iPhone 7 Plus will incorporate LinX...

In a note to clients — as noted by MacRumors — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says he thinks that Apple is working on two 5.5-inch versions of an "iPhone 7 Plus”: one with a single iSight rear-facing camera and another with a dual-camera design. 

A smartphone with a dual-lens camera system could take advantage of imaging algorithms Apple acquired when it bought LinX, an Israeli camera tech company, for about US$20 million in 2015.

In 2014, LinX said it had "successfully developed" miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices. The camera modules are nearly half the height of a standard mobile camera and are capable of "creating stunning color images and high accuracy depth maps," the company claims.

The LinX cameras are purportedly artifact-free, even when objects appear at very short range. During the registration process between the images, the...

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06:21
Mac, iOS versions of Safari crashing due to search...

A number of Mac and iOS users reported Safari crashing on Wednesday, in what appears to be a glitch related to the browser's search suggestions feature.

| Read more »
06:04
Search Suggestions Causing Apple's Safari...

An anonymous reader writes: According to the Verge (and my wife) Apple Safari browsers are crashing left, right, and center due to Safari's search suggestions feature. "Simply disabling this feature will stop Safari crashing, or using the private mode option in the browser as a temporary workaround. Not everyone is affected, and this could be because some have the search suggestions cached locally or they're still able to reach Apple's servers thanks to a DNS cache."


...

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06:00
News: Daily Deal: LithiumCard Wallet Battery

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can get the LithiumCard Wallet Battery for only $20 — that’s 66% off the regular price. This sleek, fast and powerful portable battery comes with a built-in Lightning connector so you don’t have to worry about carrying a cable, and you’ll get tons of power packed into a package the width of 5 credit cards, in a beautiful billet aluminum housing. LithiumCard can charge your devices at up to 1%…

| Read more »
 

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The iPad Pro is a device unlike any other, and with Apple Pencil, it’s the ideal portable sketchpad: all that’s missing is the modern easel and portfolio to go. TwelveSouth’s BookBook for iPad Pro... Read more
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Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
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Watch Super Bowl 50 Live On Your iPad For Fre...
Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for iPad and Apple TV. Get the app and then tune in Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET to catch every moment of the big game. The CBS Sports app is... Read more
Two-thirds Of All Smart Watches Shipped In 20...
Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments according to Canalys market research analysts’ estimates. Samsung returned to... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H Photo has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $180 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1499 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.2GHz Silver... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more

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