Apple giving Facebook and others early access to Apple Watch

By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2015

Apple is giving select companies early access to the Apple Watch, reports Bloomberg. The outlet says that Facebook, airliner United Continental Holdings Inc. and others have “spent weeks” at Apple’s Cupertino campus working hands-on with the smartwatch to test and fine-tune their apps ahead of next month’s launch.

Citing people familiar with the process, Bloomberg says software engineers for the companies are being allowed to work with the Apple Watch in a top secret lab at Apple’s headquarters. All who enter must sign non-disclosure agreements, and must follow a set of extreme guidelines to keep unknown Watch details from leaking. Read More

 

Apple Watch: a mysterious 6-pin port opens up many possibilities

By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2015

There is a mysterious port on the Apple Watch that could be used to connect accessories such as a smart band or battery, reports TechCrunch. The outlet says that multiple sources have confirmed the wearable features a secret 6-dot brass contact used for diagnostics and direct access to the operating system.

Apparently the port is very similar to the Lightning port found on larger iOS devices, and is located inside the groove of the “bottom” strap connector slot. It’s believed that this portal is “absolutely necessary” to install the Watch OS during manufacturing, and thus it will be present on shipping versions of the wearable. Read More

 

WSJ: Apple working on adding mouse and keyboard support, USB connectivity, to the iPad Pro

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 4, 2015

More details about the oft-rumored 12.9 inch iPad Pro are beginning to surface, and they include things like USB 3.0, mouse and keyboard connectivity, and faster charging technology, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal late Wednesday evening. This report, along with an earlier one from Bloomberg, attempts to add definition to the mysterious project.

According to both reports, the iPad Pro’s production start date has been pushed back beyond what Apple had initially hoped. The Bloomberg report states that Apple is looking towards September for the start of production, while the Journal more vaguely states that production will ramp up in second half of this year. Read More

 

Jony Ive and Tesla’s Elon Musk reportedly ‘inseparable’ at Oscars afterparty

By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2015

Apple’s Jony Ive and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were acting pretty chummy at a party following the Academy Awards Sunday night, reports AppleInsider. The publication says that the pair were “basically inseparable” at Madonna’s A-list afterparty, and exited together around 5am.

The conversation is interesting to us given the recent chatter that Apple is building an electric car. While we doubt they talked about automotive design all night, it seems unlikely that two of Silicon Valley’s most influential people spent the entire night discussing the weather. Read More

 

Apple hiring automotive experts for secret project

By Cody Lee on Feb 13, 2015

Apple is recruiting experts in automotive technology and vehicle design to work at a new top-secret research lab, Financial Times reported on Friday. Among the new-hires is former president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Johann Jungwirth.

Citing several insider sources, the outlet says Apple set up the new research lab late last year at a confidential Silicon Valley location. And it’s believed that the facility is being used by a team, led by experienced iPhone managers, to research new automotive products. Read More

 

New report sheds light on Apple’s ambitious music plans

By Cody Lee on Feb 13, 2015

Apple doesn’t just want to compete in the music business, it wants to be the music business, according to a new report from Billboard. Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the outlet has shed some light on the company’s ambitious plans for the record industry.

Beats co-founder and Apple executive Jimmy Iovine has apparently been holding secret meetings with senior executives from many record labels in recent weeks. The discussions are of course protected by non-disclosure agreements, but details are beginning to trickle out. Read More

 

Apple reportedly in talks with programmers over new web TV service

By Cody Lee on Feb 4, 2015

Apple is in talks with TV programmers in search of a deal that would allow it to launch a new web-based TV service, reports Recode. Citing sources familiar with the project, the site says the Cupertino firm wants to put together standalone channel packages and offer them directly to customers—wrapped within its own interface and user experience.

Recode is hearing the talks are still in the very early stages, so things like pricing and launch dates aren’t anywhere close to being settled, but Apple has shown a demo of the service to programmers. It’s said to look similar to Dish Network’s just-launched Sling service, which offers select channels instead of a broad lineup, and bypasses cable providers. Read More

 

Apple’s name attached to mysterious camera-equipped vehicles in Bay Area

By Cody Lee on Feb 3, 2015

A handful of unmarked minivans have been spotted driving around California over the past several days with what appears to be roof-mounted camera equipment. No one seems to know what the vehicles are up to, but CBS’ Bay Area affiliate was able to confirm with the DMV that at least one of the vans is leased to Apple.

More specifically, the minivans feature custom X-shaped frames atop their luggage racks, fitted with what appears to be 12 cameras. It also has a pair of cylindrical antennas, which the news outlet speculates could be LiDAR sensors—a laser-based technology used in self-driving vehicles, as well as high-resolution mapping. Read More

 

Apple still ironing out bugs in iOS 8.1.3, seeds second beta to retail workers

By Cody Lee on Jan 16, 2015

Apple is still hard at work on iOS 8.1.3, issuing a second beta (build 12B466) to retail employees in its testing group yesterday. The firmware was expected to be released to the public this week, but according to a report from MacRumors, engineers are still trying to iron out bugs.

The site notes that it continues to see a steady uptick of visits from devices running iOS 8.1.3, and iDB can confirm we’re seeing similar patterns in our own analytics (above). This again suggests that a public release is imminent, but whether it’ll be this week or next we don’t know. Read More

 

Apple to reportedly expand iOS beta testing to include retail employees

By Timothy Reavis on Jan 7, 2015

Breaking the long-held tradition of restricting iOS beta releases to developers and select Cupertino campus employees, Apple has plans to expand pre-release mobile software testing to select retail employees, according to a report today by Mark Gurman. The program is set to commence soon with a beta version of iOS and comes nearly half a year after Apple’s introduction of public betas for OS X Yosemite, its desktop operating system. Read More

 

Apple Watch set to launch in March, says new report

By Cody Lee on Jan 6, 2015

Apple is planning to launch its Apple Watch within the next month or two, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. The site’s Mark Gurman says that the company is finishing up work on the wearable’s software, and sources familiar with the project say it’s on track to begin shipping in the US by the end of March. Read More

 

Alleged details for Apple’s next-gen 12-inch MacBook Air surface

By Timothy Reavis on Jan 6, 2015

Details of the long-rumored 12-inch MacBook Air surfaced today, as 9to5mac broke specifics surrounding the device’s dimensions, edge-to-edge keyboard, and lack of traditional ports. Although the device’s screen size is larger and of a higher pixel density than that of the 11-inch MacBook Air, its dimensions are narrower than its smaller counterpart by approximately a one-fourth inch. It is, however, slightly taller due to the larger screen size, with an approximate one-fourth inch increase in height.

Bezels have been reduced around the entire screen of the device, as well as surrounding the keyboard, and the keyboard itself has been made narrower by reducing the space between each individual key. The 12-inch MacBook Air’s function keys, as well as arrow keys, have also been tweaked in order to reduce the keyboard’s overall footprint. Read More

 

Supply chain sources say Apple isn’t planning 4-inch iPhone like previously claimed

By Jake Smith on Jan 5, 2015

Chinese news website Feng.com claims Apple has no plans to go back to a smaller, 4-inch iPhone in 2015 as some reports last month suggested. Read More

 

Apple to begin selling SIM-free iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in the US this week

By Cody Lee on Jan 5, 2015

Apple will begin selling fully unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in the United States this week, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. Citing sources familiar with the launch, the site’s Mark Gurman says that the unlocked iPhones will be available starting January 6th via Apple’s online and retail stores. Read More

 

Wait, TSMC to remain Apple’s key supplier for upcoming A9 chip – not Samsung

By Jake Smith on Dec 30, 2014

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will remain the major supplier for Apple’s upcoming 14-nanometre A9 processor, reports Taipei Times, contrary to previous reports.  Read More

 

New report claims Apple is considering return of 4-inch iPhone in 2015

By Cody Lee on Dec 23, 2014

A new report claims Apple is considering the return of the 4-inch iPhone in 2015. In a note to investors (via AppleInsider), analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company said he believes Apple could launch three new versions of its handset next year.

Citing sources in the Asian supply chain, Arcuri calls the 4-inch device the “iPhone 6s mini,” and says it will likely feature specs similar to the iPhone 5s. Additionally, the phone will sport improved internals, and a curved design akin to the iPhone 6. Read More

 

Natalie Portman passes on Jobs biopic, Jeff Daniels being considered for role

By Cody Lee on Dec 9, 2014

Natalie Portman has decided to pass on the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, according to a new report from Variety. Portman was said to be in talks for a lead female role in the movie, either as Jobs’ daughter Lisa or former Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman.

Additionally, The Wrap reports today that Universal Pictures is eyeing Jeff Daniels for the role of former Apple CEO John Sculley. If he signs on to the project, Daniels would join fellow Newsroom alumni in writer Aaron Sorkin and producer Scott Rudin. Read More

 

Bose products could be back in Apple Stores next week

By Sébastien Page on Dec 8, 2014

After removing all Bose products from both its online and physical retail stores mid-October, Apple could apparently put them back on the shelves next week. This information comes from reliable French site iGen, which cites trustworthy sources at Apple: “Bose products could make a come back in Apple Stores as soon as next week. A few stores have received Bose products to build inventory with directions to get ready for their return on shelves next week,” wrote Nicolas Furno for iGen. Read More

 

Apple rumored to be working on new 4-inch iPhone

By Cody Lee on Dec 4, 2014

Apple is working on a new 4-inch iPhone model for next year, according to website G for Games. Citing sources in the Asian supply chain, the site says the Cupertino firm is aiming to release the smaller form factor device in the second half of 2015.

If true, the move would bring one-handed usability back to the iPhone line—a benefit that Apple frequently touted in previous years, but essentially abandoned in September when it introduced the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch 6 Plus. Read More

 

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to star in new reality show ‘The Woz’

By Jake Smith on Dec 2, 2014

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will star in an upcoming reality show called ‘The Woz’, where with former Mythbusters star Kari Byron he’ll show off the latest gadgets and future of technology.  Read More

 
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