While iOS and Mac OS X have traditionally followed different release schedules, Apple’s recently announced Continuity features suggested it was possible for Apple’s two operating systems to debut at the same time. However, Apple is planning to stagger the releases of both iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite, reports 9to5Mac, citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans.
iOS 8 is expected to launch in September alongside the iPhone 6 while OS X Yosemite will not launch until October. Apple used the same release schedule last year, launching iOS 7 alongside the iPhone 5s in September and OS X Mavericks one month later in October.
Continuity allows users to work seamlessly between iPhone, iPad and Mac, with the ability to start emails on one device and easily finish it on another, or using Macs and iPads to answer phone calls and “green bubble” text messages. Because iOS and OS X have never been designed to work better together than with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, many saw a dual release as a good opportunity for Apple to cross-promote both its iOS devices and Macs with a stand-out new feature like Continuity.
Apple is planning on using engineering and user interface design members from the iOS team to help complete OS X Yosemite in time for a fall release, with a public beta planned as early as later this month.
Earlier this week, forensic expert Jonathan Zdziarski attracted attention for his disclosures of what appeared to be “backdoors” in iOS that could allow for covert data collection of users’ information from their devices. While Apple issued a statement denying that anything nefarious was involved, the company has now posted a new support document (via Cabel Sasser) offering a limited description of the three services highlighted in Zdziarski’s talk.
Each of these diagnostic capabilities requires the user to have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer. Any data transmitted between the iOS device and trusted computer is encrypted with keys not shared with Apple. For users who have enabled iTunes Wi-Fi Sync on a trusted computer, these services may also be accessed wirelessly by that computer.
The three processes include:
– com.apple.mobile.pcapd: Diagnostic packet capture to a trusted computer, used for diagnosing app issues and enterprise VPN connection problems.
– com.apple.mobile.file_relay: Used on internal devices and can be accessed (with user permission) by AppleCare for diagnostic purposes on the user’s device.
– com.apple.mobile.house_arrest: Used by iTunes for document transfer and by Xcode during app development and testing.
Security experts will undoubtedly have additional questions about just how these services work and whether there are better and more secure ways of accomplishing the tasks they handle. At the very least, however, today’s disclosure demonstrates a willingness by Apple to share information about the legitimate need for these services and should help quell unsupported speculation that Apple has worked with security agencies to implement these tools to allow for covert surveillance.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Today, we take a look at NVIDIA’s new Shield Tablet, investigate Atari’s future with the LGBT community, ponder an Apple smartwatch patent and learn about a potential HIV breakthrough. Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours.
Yep, it’s time for more Apple smartwatch speculation. This latest patent application details an ‘iTime’ device with interchangeable, sensor-equipped bands.
Atari, once a giant of the gaming industry, stands on the precipice of irrelevance. But now, the company’s betting its future on on the LGBT community with its upcoming game called Pridefest.
NIVIDIA’s second generation Shield claims to be the “ultimate tablet for gamers.” But is this 8-inch, Android-powered slate all it’s cracked up to be?
Thanks to the bright minds at Temple University, a cure for HIV is that much closer to a reality. By injecting patients with a man-made strand of RNA, the virus can be excised from infected cells, leaving them intact and HIV free.
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AT&T and Apple have begun sending out payments to consumers in the United States who purchased an original iPad 3G, following the culmination of a long-running class action lawsuit over unlimited data.
Originally settled in September of 2013, the lawsuit covered a $29.99 no-contract unlimited data plan that Apple and AT&T offered with the original iPad — a deal that Steve Jobs advertised on stage when the tablet was revealed in January of 2010.
In June of 2010, AT&T stopped offering the plan and replaced it with a 2GB for $25/month plan. AT&T did grandfather in users who had an unlimited plan prior to June 2010, but the company also began throttling unlimited users in October of 2011.
The class action lawsuit accused Apple and AT&T of using bait-and-switch tactics, selling iPads that advertised unlimited data without actually providing unlimited data. The lawsuits also suggested that without the prospect of an unlimited data plan, consumers had overpaid for their tablets. Apple and AT&T’s settlement, which called for the companies to send out $40 checks to all affected customers, was finalized in February. As noted by 9to5Mac, checks are now arriving to customers.
Enclosed is a check in the amount of $40.00 representing your settlement in the award of Apple & AT&T iPad Unlimited Data Plan Litigation. The amount of your settlement award has been calculated pursuant to the terms of the Settlement that was approved by the court. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, the enclosed check must be cashed by October 16, 2014; after that date, the check will be void and will not be reissued. If you have any questions, you can contact the Settlement Administrator at 1–800–248–1504.
Under the terms of the settlement, AT&T is also required to offer customers a $20 discount on the $50/month 5GB data plan, but the deal is only available to customers who do not have another data plan with AT&T due to no-class action provisions in their contracts.
Apple is facing a class action lawsuit in California over a number of alleged Labor Code violations, with the company being accused of not providing timely meal breaks, timely rest breaks, and timely final paychecks, reports TechCrunch.
Plaintiffs bring this Class Action against Defendants to recover for, among other things, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to furnish accurate itemized wage statements, and failure to pay timely wages on the end of employment, interest, attorneys’ fees, penalties, costs, and expenses on behalf of themselves, the Plaintiff Class, and the Plaintiff Subclasses.
Originally filed in December of 2011 by four former Apple retail and corporate employees in San Diego, the lawsuit was certified as class action yesterday and could affect up to 20,000 current and former Apple employees in the state of California.
According to the filing, which demands a jury trial, employee complaints cover a wide range of possible labor code violations. One complaint, for example, cites employees having to work for five hours straight without a meal break, while another complaint suggests that Apple took several weeks to send out a final check to multiple employees.
The lawsuit asks for compensatory damages and restitution of all monies due to affected employees from unlawful business practices, along with interest, but it does not specify a damages amount.
Along with this new class action lawsuit, Apple is embroiled in a class action lawsuit with Apple retail employees who allege that Apple’s bag checking policies have resulted in lost wages, a suit that also accuses Apple of violating state labor laws.
During today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared new information on the state of the iPad, including details on overall sales since the product launched a little over four years ago, recent growth in different markets, and hints at future plans. It was revealed earlier that sales of the iPad were down for the second straight quarter in a row, as the company sold a total of 13.3 million iPads, down from 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
Cook said that iPad sales have totaled to 225 million units since 2010, as the current iPad Air and iPad mini have hit 98% and 100% customer satisfaction, respectively. According to recent market studies, 63% of customers planning to buy a tablet are planning to buy an iPad, while half of all iPad buyers were planning to buy their first iPad.
Additionally, Apple noted that 2.5 iPads are being sold for every Mac, as the tablet now holds an 85% share of the U.S. education market. Internationally, the iPad also experienced a 50% growth in China and 60% growth in the Middle East year-over-year.
In reaction to iPad sales being down, Cook noted “significant innovation can be brought to the iPad”, stating “[Apple] plans on doing that” and that the tablet category as a whole is still “in its infancy.” Recent reports have pointed to Apple launching updated models of the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini later this year, with each likely to come with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a faster A8 processor.
The company is also rumored to be preparing a larger “iPad Pro” which is said to feature a 12.9-inch ultra high-definition display. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the iPad Pro in 2015, but a recent report noted that Apple’s plans may be on hold for the foreseeable feature.
Apple’s EFI Firmware 2.9 Update for 2011 MacBook Airs Appears Bugged, Some Users Unable to Install [Mac Blog]
Released on July 15 to fix sleep/wake issues and a bug that caused fans to run at full speed after waking from sleep, the EFI update has caused some MacBook Air machines to shut down completely for several hours and on other machines, the update is still listed in the App Store after being installed.
Multiple users have said their machines turned off and did not reboot for several hours after attempting to install the update, while others have been unable to install the update at all. Some users have also reported completely bricked machines even after several hours.
One user attempted to install the update multiple times with no luck, while another user took his machine to the Apple Store where employees were also unable to get the update to install.
I had the same issue. The machine simply shuts off and doesn’t restart so the firmware update is never applied. The power button stopped working and the machine would not turn on at all. So I took it the the Apple Store and they cracked it open to do a physical SMC reset.
It booted up fine after that. We tried the install again and no dice. Same thing happened. This time the guy at the Genius Bar did some kind of “soft” SMC reset. He pressed SHIFT+FN+CONTROL+POWER at the same time (the first 3 keys are in the lower left corner) … held it for a few seconds and let them go. When he pressed the Power button after that the machine booted up fine. Still didn’t apply the firmware update though. The guy at the Genius Bar said he would report this issue to Engineering to alert them to the problem with the update.
It is not clear if the issue is widespread or limited to just a 2011 MacBook Air users, but as none of the affected users in the thread have discovered a solution, those who have not yet attempted to install the 2.9 update might wait to wait for an official fix from Apple.
Apple Reports Q3 2014 Results: $7.7 Billion Profit on June Quarter Record $37.4 Billion in Revenue [Live Blog]
Apple today announced financial results for the second calendar quarter and third fiscal quarter of 2014. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $37.4 billion and net quarterly profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $35.3 billion and net quarterly profit of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter.
Gross margin for the quarter was 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 59 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an upcoming dividend payment of $0.47 per share, payable on August 14 to shareholders of record as of August 11. The company currently holds $164.5 billion in cash and marketable securities.
Quarterly iPhone unit sales reached 35.2 million, up from 31.2 million in the year-ago quarter, and the company sold 13.3 million iPads, down from 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 4.4 million Macs, up from 3.8 million in the year-ago period.
“Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce.”
Apple’s guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 includes expected revenue of $37-40 billion and gross margin between 37 and 38 percent.
Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q3 2014 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.
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The Apple TV may gain a new FXNOW channel that includes Simpsons World content, according to TV writer Jason Lynch who tweeted the news yesterday (via iLounge). Lynch said the FXNOW channel will come to the Apple TV, Roku, and other devices within the next 12 months.
FXNOW is the on-demand portion of the FX, FXX, and FXM television channels, all of which are owned by the Fox Entertainment Group. The FXNOW Apple TV channel will reportedly include content from The Simpsons, branded Simpsons World, which offers all 552 episodes of The Simpsons along with additional content. Simpsons World, debuting in October, will allow fans to search for and watch any episode or clip of The Simpsons on demand on FXNOW.
According to reports, Simpsons World will also allow users to create playlists of episodes and share favorite scenes, features that will likely make their way to the Apple TV version of the channel. FXNOW with Simpsons World currently requires cable authentication and is limited to FXX subscribers, and the Apple TV version will require a cable subscription as well.
Currently, supported cable providers for the existing FXNOW channel include AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, and Time-Warner. Simpsons World access will also be available through the FXNOW app for the iPad.
During today’s third quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has purchased a total of 29 companies since fiscal 2013, including five new companies after the end of the March quarter. Of the 29 companies purchased, some are known but many remain unknown.
Only three of Apple’s newest acquisitions have been revealed, including LuxVue Technology in early May, Beats Electronics in late May, and Spotsetter in June, leaving two unknown acquisitions. The acquisition of Beats marked Apple’s most expensive purchase to date at $3 billion. Apple CFO Luca Maestri says the deal is expected to close this quarter.
Including BroadMap, Embark, HopStop, Locationary, and WiFiSlam, along with other notable additions like 3D company PrimeSense and Novauris, a speech recognition company.
The technology from Apple’s acquisitions will undoubtedly make its way into future products and updates. For example, significant mapping updates are expected sometime after the launch of iOS 8, adding transit directions and improved indoor mapping techniques.
During the company’s April earnings call, Tim Cook said Apple was “on the prowl” for additional companies to acquire.