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Apple Urging Music Labels to Stop Licensing Free Songs on...

Today, 02:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple has been leveraging its power within the music industry in an attempt to push music labels to stop licensing freemium tiers offered by Spotify and other streaming music services, according to <em><a href="http://www.theverge....-streaming">TheVerge</a></em>. The company has also reportedly offered to pay YouTube's music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stops allowing its songs on the website, a popular destination for music videos. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2014/04/beats-music-app-ios.jpeg" alt="beats-music-app-ios" width="511" height="500" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-409460" /> <br/> The report claims that U.S. Department of Justice officials are looking into Apple's business practices in relation to its upcoming streaming music service, expected to be a <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/03/05/apple-beats-streaming-music-service-wwdc/">rebranded version of Beats Music</a> that will debut at WWDC next month. "DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits," the report claims. <br/> <br/> Apple's much-rumored Beats streaming service would naturally be a more competitive alternative over two of its biggest rivals in Spotify and YouTube if it successfully convinces music labels to force streaming services to ditch their freemium tiers. Apple's service is expected to have lots of exclusive content, and only about one-quarter of Spotify's 60 million customers have paid subscriptions. <br/> <br/> Apple faces a <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/04/02/apple-streaming-music-plans-europe/">similar probe from the European Commission</a> over concerns that it's persuading labels to abandon free, ad-supported services such as Spotify in Europe as well. Apple's own Beats streaming service will reportedly not offer a free tier, requiring customers to pay a recurring fee of around $9.99 per month, similar to Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music. <br/> <br/> <center><iframe width="640" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kPWCJhwhiIU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></center> <br/> Apple's Beats-based streaming music service will reportedly be deeply integrated into iTunes on Mac and the stock Music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android. Last month, the company seeded <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/04/13/apple-seeds-first-ios-8-4-beta-to-developers/">iOS 8.4 beta</a> to developers with a redesigned Music app featuring new MiniPlayer, a redesigned look for "Now Playing," global search capabilities, a streamlined design and more.<img width='1' height='1' src='http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/35070/f/648326/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/mf.gif' border='0'/><br clear='all'/><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/a2.htm"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/a2.img" border="0"/></a><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/224852232357/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/45fc80aa/sc/28/a2t.img" border="0"/><div class="feedflare">
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Apple pulls YouTube from older 2nd-gen Apple TVs after pl...

Today, 01:56 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
<p><img title="Apple pulls YouTube from older 2nd-gen Apple TVs after planned Google API change" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-378053" src="https://9to5mac.file...pg?w=704&h=423"alt="appletvyoutubegone" width="704" height="423" /></p>
<p>Following up on our report from April that <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2...-ios-6/">Googleplanned to end YouTube support for older Apple TVs and iOS 6 and earlier devices</a> due to API changes, Apple has officially removed the YouTube channel from pre-third-generation Apple TVs. YouTube’s main menu icon has disappeared, along with the Settings menu option to hide or show it along with other channels. Current-generation models continue to have YouTube access.</p>
<p>Apple introduced the <a href="http://www.amazon.co...hird-generationApple TV</a> in March 2012, noting that it was capable of operating at up to 1080p resolution, which was at that point the only major difference between the new model and its 720p predecessor. A later update to the Apple TV’s operating system further differentiated the 1080p and 720p models, refreshing the icons and fonts on the 1080p version while leaving the 720p model unchanged. While Apple is no longer updating older Apple TVs with new software, it can add and pull individual channels from them without the need for software updates.</p><br />Filed under: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/category/general/'>General</a> Tagged: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/apple-tv/'>Apple TV</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/youtube/'>YouTube</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378052/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&post=378052&subd=9to5mac&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /><p>Visit <a href="http://9to5mac.com">9to5Mac</a> to find more special coverage of <a href="http://9to5mac.com/tag/apple-tv/">Apple TV</a>, <a href="http://9to5mac.com/tag/youtube/">YouTube</a>, and <a href="http://9to5mac.com/category/general/">General</a>.</p><p>What do you think? <strong><a href="http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/04/apple-pulls-youtube-from-older-2nd-gen-apple-tvs-after-planned-google-api-change/#comments">Discuss "Apple pulls YouTube from older 2nd-gen Apple TVs after planned Google API&nbsp;change" with our community.</a></strong></p><div class="inlinead"><a href="http://rss.buysellads.com/click.php?z=1288305&k=0d0633b70e3c2bda246a715efcc79f88&a=1430748343&c=124588523" target="_blank"><img src="http://rss.buysellads.com/img.php?z=1288305&k=0d0633b70e3c2bda246a715efcc79f88&a=1430748343&c=124588523" border="0" alt="" /></a></div>

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Review: Apple Watch as a design piece

Today, 01:45 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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Precision. That’s the word that immediately came to mind the minute I picked up my Apple Watch for the first time. Something about this device felt different, on an almost subconscious level, from any other Apple product I’ve used before. Perhaps I was just caught up in the moment. After all, the Watch is the first totally new product to come out of Apple since the introduction of the iPad, which feels like so many years ago. On the other hand, I knew from the onset that I planned on buying the Apple Watch mostly for its design. I wasn’t so much interested in all of the software features it could offer me, I just couldn’t imagine not having this shiny little box on my wrist. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Apple Watch strictly as a design piece.

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Case
The watch I purchased is the 42mm stainless steel case with the Milanese Loop. I knew I’d want the bigger of the two watches, and I also felt that the stainless steel finish looked much more premium and timeless than the aluminum finish of the Sport model, which is more in line with the looks of an iPhone. The first thing I discovered about the Apple Watch is that it’s tiny. If you’ve been browsing Apple’s marketing images on the watch’s website, you’ll be in for a shock the first time you get to use the device in person. I was worried that the case would sit too high on my wrist because it looked so thick in photos. In reality, it’s quite a svelte watch. That’s not to say it can’t (or shouldn’t) be thinner, but I’m not at all upset about the device’s dimensions.
Picking up the Apple Watch without a band attached is the best way to appreciate how solid the device really is. It feels incredibly dense without being heavy, and you never get the impression that there’s any wasted space inside. While Apple differentiates each collection by its metal finish, the majority of the watch is covered, in my case, by sapphire crystal and ceramic, which comprise the front and back faces. That’s not to say the stainless steel is minor. It frames the face and provides a stark contrast to the deep blacks of the display.

@DetroitBORG was right! pic.twitter.com/dsUIWtE94z
&mdash; Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) April 25, 2015

Stainless steel doesn’t mean scratch-less steel, however. This watch can (and will) get scratched up, right away. Scratches seem to be especially attracted to the vast expanse of metal on the left side of the watch, right by the speaker and microphone. I was initially annoyed that my $700 watch was scratching on day two, but I can’t say I didn’t expect it to happen. Fear not, these scratches are not permanent. As we’ve already demonstrated, you can remove scratches from your Apple Watch with some cheap polish and a rag.
On the back of the watch is a bulging disc of sensors, covered in ceramic, and flanked by two band release buttons. In some ways, the back of the Apple Watch looks as good as the front. These sensors have a very modern look to them, yet feel like a callback to the backsides of traditional automatic watches, in a way. As soon as I saw this bulge, I began to worry about how the watch would feel. Wouldn’t a curved back like this be uncomfortable pressed up against my wrist? The answer is both yes and no. When I have the band adjusted relatively tight, the sensor disc does dig in to my wrist and make it uncomfortable to wear. Adjusted with a little slack though, I sometimes forget the watch is even on my arm.
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Display
In the same way that a traditional watch is nothing without a good clock face, the Apple Watch would be nothing without a good display. Fortunately, the display is excellent. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it blows the iPhone’s display out of the water. This is primarily due to the fact that the Apple Watch uses OLED technology for its display, meaning that blacks are incredibly deep and blend right into the sapphire bezel, creating a seamless illusion (as long as you’re not in sunlight.) Compare that to the likes of Apple’s last “wearable,” the 6th generation iPod nano:

Black level difference on Apple Watch vs Nano watch pic.twitter.com/FLfg7A9Eov
&mdash; Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) April 26, 2015

If you’re used to the incredibly pixel dense display of the iPhone 6 Plus like I am, you might notice that everything on the Apple Watch feels just a little jagged. The watch’s display is only 290 ppi for the 38mm model and 301 ppi for the 42mm, slightly less than the iPhone 6 at 326 ppi, and significantly less than the iPhone 6 Plus 401 ppi. I was able to notice the less dense display right away, but it’s certainly not awful. If you own an iPhone 6 or below, you probably won’t notice at all, since every other retina iPhone has a display with pixel density similar to that of the Apple Watch.
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Digital Crown
The Digital Crown, to me, is the hallmark feature of the Apple Watch and my primary input method. It’s my favorite part of the design of the device, and I find myself idly spinning it around, even when the watch’s display is off. For being a mechanical component, it feels remarkably sturdy and smooth. You won’t find any sloppiness or play in the crown while spinning or pressing it, and it provides a solid click every time. The side button, located right below the Digital Crown, feels just as stable. Personally, this has been a totally different experience than I’m used to with home buttons on iPhones, which vary widely in quality and have a tendency to feel sloppy when pressed. Spinning the crown is so smooth that if it weren’t for a series of tiny notches engraved into the edge of the button to grip your finger, you’d hardly know it was turning at all. I have my concerns that dust or dirt will get trapped in the crown someday and ruin this feel, but so far it hasn’t been an issue.
Visually, the crown on the stainless steel Apple Watch reminds me of refined knobs from a 1970s era stereo, but this look varies between collections. Apple Watch has a black accent in the center of its crown, while Apple Watch Sport sports an entirely aluminum crown. Apple Watch Edition has either a black, white, or red crown accent, depending on the model.

This photo makes the digital crown look very, very analog pic.twitter.com/ViqeqSDEzp
&mdash; Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) April 24, 2015

Even though the digital crown is so mechanical, something about using it feels leaps and bounds more modern than scrolling on the dead, flat surface of a glass display. I find myself never using the watch’s display to scroll content, and often catch myself trying to use the crown in situations where I’m forced to “fall back” to the display. As silly as it probably sounds (and looks), I’d love to have a Digital Crown on my iPhone. The sensation of actually moving through a list, paired with the haptic feedback of hitting the end of scroll area is highly satisfying.
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Milanese Loop
I made up mind the first day I saw the Apple Watch that I wanted the Milanese Loop band. As pre-order date approached, I experimented with other combinations of watches and bands, trying to save money, but I knew I just wouldn’t be happy with my purchase without that band. In my eyes, the Milanese Loop is the ultimate Apple Watch band. Nothing else comes close in terms of style or classiness. I’ve heard people say they think it’s too “flashy” or “blingy” for them to pull off, but I think flashiness is the point of it. When you step out into the sun, the metal weave of the band glimmers and shines in the sunlight, even brighter than the watch itself.
The Milanese Loop is a band you really need to see in person before dismissing. Apple’s website paints it as a coarse, heavy band, with the appearance of chainmail. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While classic milanese watch bands with a much more coarse weave do exist, Apple’s interpretation gives the illusion of a metal fabric. Brushing your hand across the surface of the band feels like you’re touching snake skin, not metal. This incredibly dense mesh makes the band extremely comfortable to wear. It’s also relatively thin, making it much less bulky than other metal bands.
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At the end of the Milanese Loop is Apple’s other improvement on traditional milanese bands: the magnetic clasp. Magnets mean that this band, in Apple’s own words, is “infinitely adjustable.” I was worried that the magnet wouldn’t be strong enough, and that the watch could slip off over time, but the opposite is true. Sometimes I feel like the magnet is almost too strong, and I have trouble gripping it to remove it from the band. Apple obviously took this into consideration, and has included a small indent on the bottom edge of the magnet to catch your fingernail on, but it’s not always enough to get a secure grip on it. For those wondering, yes, the magnet will also scratch. Apple has remedied this solution on the underside of the clasp with a small rubber gasket to keep the two metal surfaces from touching, but the face of the magnet is free to scrape across your desk or any other surface it might come in contact with. I’m not entirely sure how well these scratches can be polished out without removing the brushed finished on the clasp.
I don’t want to paint this band as perfect. Many of its blessings are also its curses. Having an infinitely adjustable bands means I’m adjusting it an infinite number of times a day- just because I know I can. Like I mentioned, the magnet is very strong, and this can cause annoyances when taking it off or putting it on, as the magnet will sometimes inadvertently stick to the band where you don’t want it to. The tight mesh of the band also means that if you have a hairy arm, you will get pulled arm hair. Perhaps the most unexpected annoyance of the band has to do with the Taptic Engine, an entirely unrelated component. I’ve found that if the band it adjusted to be a little bit looser than optimal, the Taptic Engine will cause the metal on the band to buzz together when you receive a notification, and a small metallic buzzing sound will accompany the otherwise silent taps on your wrist. This is fixed by simply tightening the band, but it’s still an annoyance.
Even with these gripes, I wouldn’t choose any other band. The classiness of the metal mesh and easy to use magnetic clasp overshadow my small complaints.
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Swapping Bands
Apple has designed every Apple Watch and band with a special mechanism to make swapping bands easy and painless. They’re obviously encouraging users to purchase several bands, and wear each one during different occasions. Removing any band from the watch is simple enough, once you understand how it’s done. I struggled the first time I tried to reassemble my watch until I got the hang of it. To remove the band, simply press and hold one of the buttons on the back of the watch while sliding the band itself out of the slot. To reattach the band, slide it back into place.
I wish there was an audible click to signify that you’ve successfully locked your band back into place. Currently, the band just stops moving at a certain point, and you have to assume that it’s locked in place. The process doesn’t instill a lot of confidence. Installing any of the bands which use metal connectors is also a little nerve-racking. I don’t really care for the metal-on-metal feeling of sliding the connector in place.
Taptic Engine
The Taptic Engine is the best feature of the Apple Watch that you’ll never see. No design review would be complete without mentioning it, however. The Taptic Engine is very much a part of the experience of wearing the watch, and significantly critical to its design. It’s quite literally what makes the Apple Watch feel “alive.” Scroll with the Digital Crown to the end of a list, and the Taptic Engine will bump you to indicate that you’re at the end. Force Touch the watch’s display, and the the Taptic Engine taps you back, to indicate the successful completion of the press. This haptic feedback adds another dimension to using the watch, and dramatically alters the feeling of using the display and Digital Crown.
One of the best uses of the Taptic Engine has been for sending and receiving heartbeats with Digital Touch. The sensation of receiving a heartbeat on your arm is unique and much stronger than other haptic feedback offered by the watch. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that the sensation is similar to that of feeling your own pulse after intense physical activity. It’s incredibly realistic.
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Charger
To correspond with each collection of Apple Watch, Apple has developed specific chargers that match the various models. Each charger shares the same foundation: a magnetic, inductive charging surface that clicks to the back of the watch. When I say “clicks” I really mean “weakly attaches to.” The charger is incredibly easy to remove from the back of the watch, to a fault. Similar to MagSafe, the charging solution for MacBook Pros and Airs, if pulled on, the charging cable for the Apple Watch will simply pull away. The problem is, just touching or moving the cable around while attached to the watch can cause it to fall right off the back. The connection seems needlessly weak.
The physical design is where each model of charger differs. The Apple Watch Sport comes with an entirely plastic charging pad, while the regular Apple Watch comes with a plastic and stainless steel hybrid charging pad (pictured above), which is also considerably thinner than the Apple Watch Sport’s charger. Interestingly, the stainless steel finish on the back of the charger is brushed, not polished like the watch itself. And yes, it will also scratch. The Apple Watch Edition uses a unique charging solution, utilizing the box the watch comes in as a charging dock.
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Perception
Ultimately, none of these details matter if the watch is socially unacceptable. If it’s not something you’d feel comfortable wearing in public, it’s a totally irrelevant product. I was admittedly a little nervous that the watch would be seen as “nerdy” or odd to the general public. The response so far has been surprisingly positive. Walking around in public with the Apple Watch, I never once felt like I was wearing a calculator watch, or some other kind of goofy gadget on my wrist. The gleaming stainless steel case and elegant band options really make the Apple Watch feel at home among other high end watches. It’s a legitimate fashion accessory, and in a totally separate league from other smartwatches.
Comments from others have been metered, but always enthusiastic. I wouldn’t call the watch a “conversation piece”, but those who have asked me about it have seemed genuinely interested in its features and design. To my surprise, almost everyone refers to the device as the “iWatch.” I’m not sure if this is a failure on Apple’s part to properly communicate the name of the watch to the general public, or if it’s just a byproduct of the success of the last 17 years of iMarketing.
Over the last week, I’ve often caught myself idly glancing down at my watch. Not to read a notification, not to check the time, but just to admire the craftsmanship and design of the shiny little box on my wrist. Truly, A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Filed under: Apple Watch, Reviews Tagged: accessory, Apple watch, design, digital crown, edition, Fashion, haptic, haptic engine, iWatch, Jony Ive, milanese loop, object, OLED, review, sport, Stainless steel http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378024/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378024/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378024/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378024/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378024/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378024/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378024/ b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos
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Apple accused of stifling streaming music competition as...

Today, 01:15 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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Allegations that Apple is engaging in anti-competitive practices in the run-up to the launch of its rebranded Beats streaming music service are now being investigated by the Department of Justice, according to “multiple sources” cited by The Verge.
The claim is that Apple has been attempting to use its influence to persuade music labels to pull out of deals with free, ad-supported services like Spotify and YouTube in order to reduce competition and increase demand for its own paid service. The European Commission launched an investigation into these same allegations last month …

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One specific claim is that Apple tried to persuade Universal Music Group to stop allowing YouTube to stream its music videos by offering to match the license fee currently paid by YouTube.

DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits […]
“All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,” one music industry source said.

If true, the allegations would suggest that Apple is concerned about the potential size of the market for its streaming music service – which seems likely to cost $9.99/month – while competing with free sources like Spotify and YouTube. The company reportedly failed in a bid to negotiate terms that would have allowed pricing of $5/month, with later reports that labels also refused to support a $7.99/month deal.
Apple is expected to launch its service at WWDC in June. It was recently reported to have hired a number of BBC Radio 1 producers to help with the service.
The company was last year found guilty of anti-competitive practices in the long-running ebook case, eventually settling the case for $450M.
Image credit: TechCrunch
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: AAPL, antitrust, Apple, Beats, Beats Music, Department of Justice, DOJ, European Commission, Inc, Music http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378050/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378050/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378050/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378050/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378050/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378050/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378050/ b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos
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Apple is on the verge of being China’s number one smartph...

Today, 12:45 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple is closing in on becoming the number one smartphone company in China, according to new figures released by Strategy Analytics. Although Apple ripoff Xiaomi remains in the number one position — thanks to its strategy of selling low-cost devices —<span class="ellipsis">…</span><div class="read-more"><a href="http://www.cultofmac...ne-maker/">Readmore ›</a></div><img width='1' height='1' src='http://cultofmac.com.feedsportal.com/c/33797/f/606249/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/mf.gif' border='0'/><br clear='all'/><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/a2.htm"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/a2.img" border="0"/></a><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/224852304444/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/45fc19a7/sc/23/a2t.img" border="0"/>

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'Reserve Strap' Debuts New Design Focusing on App...

Today, 12:35 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Originally announced by third-party developers Lane Musgrave and John Arrow back in early March, one of the biggest concerns of the battery-boosting accessory "Reserve Strap" was its use of the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor as a way to provide power to the wearable. Although it was unconfirmed, there was always a possibility of the Reserve Strap obstructing normal functions of the heart rate sensor, or causing the Watch to not function altogether by interfering with skin contact completely.

Last week, after getting their hands on an Apple Watch, Musgrave and Arrow have gone back to the drawing board on the design of the Reserve Strap, coming up with a new look that acts as more of a traditional Apple-made band without blocking the heart rate sensor at all. The new Reserve Strap aims to use the 6-pin diagnostic port - hidden inside of the band port on the bottom of the Watch - as the main source of providing power to the device, shirking the heart rate sensor's magnetic inductive charging altogether.

reserve-strap-change.jpgThe Original Reserve Strap design (left) vs the new design (right)

Finally getting our hands on the Apple Watch has further confirmed the immense value of the Reserve Strap. Since release day, we've been executing series of tests on the Apple Watch and have some really exciting news to share today.

We've developed and tested a completely rethought design that takes advantage of the 6-pin port underneath the band slide of the Apple Watch. This port hadn't been deciphered by anyone until now but we've been able to make significant enough observations so far to warrant shifting our development focus to this new method. We're looking forward to sharing more design details and technical specification of this new Reserve Strap as soon as we can.

The company claims in its blog posts that its engineers have "been able to independently confirm that the 6-pin diagnostic port underneath the Apple Watch case can be used for charging." They continue by also noting the diagnostic port will allow for not only a higher charge capacity, but faster, more efficient charging times. The blog post also notes that the new method should improve durability of the strap as a whole and eliminate "any interference with Apple Watch functionality including taptic feedback and heartrate sensors."

reserve-strap-port-sketch-800x255.jpgInitial renderings of the new design (left) vs fully realized 3D model (right)
No word was given on the planned Kickstarter for the Reserve Strap, but those interested can still pre-order the device from the company's official website for $249.99. Color options will include white, gray and black, and customers will be able to choose between 38mm and 42mm strap sizes to fit their preferred Apple Watch size.mf.gif


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12.9-Inch 'iPad Pro' Rumored to Feature NFC, Blue...

Today, 12:24 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
The much-rumored 12.9-inch so-called "iPad Pro" will feature a built-in NFC chip, pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, Force Touch and USB-C port, according to AppleInsider. The report, citing a source familiar with Apple's future product plans, also claims that the larger iPad will have a new touchscreen with improved latency and unsurprisingly be powered by Apple's latest A-series processor.

Dimensions-iPad-Pro-Air-Plus-800x655.jpgA purported "iPad Pro" blueprint from December 2014 with possible dimensions
The inclusion of an NFC chip will enable the iPad Pro to be used as an Apple Pay payment terminal, although it is unlikely the tablet itself will have tap-to-pay functionality, according to the report. Apple Pay contactless payments are currently limited to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 5, iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s when paired with an Apple Watch, in the United States.

Meanwhile, the report corroborates well-informed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's claim that the iPad Pro will feature an Apple-built stylus, which AppleInsider says will connect via Bluetooth and allow pressure-sensitive input. The iPad Pro's display will also reportedly feature Force Touch, a technology that distinguishes between a tap and a deep press on the screen.

The report adds that the iPad Pro's USB-C port will either replace or supplement the Lightning connector equipped on other current iPads:

"The source also said that Apple's new, larger iPad will also feature a USB-C input, though they didn't indicate whether it would be a new, second port option, or if USB-C would replace the Lightning connector found on current iPads. Cases based on allegedly leaked "iPad Pro" designs have included spaces for two port openings, leading to speculation that Apple could potentially include both USB-C and Lightning, or offer docking capabilities in two different orientations."

Many of these rumored iPad Pro features have been reported by other sources over the past year, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Kuo.

The report stops short of providing a release timetable for the iPad Pro, although The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Apple is planning to begin mass production of the device in September following some internal setbacks. Apple typically refreshes its iPad lineup in October, and it's possible the iPad Pro could launch around that time if there are no further production delays.mf.gif


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FaceTime audio issues with pre-Bluetooth LE Macs seemingl...

Today, 10:59 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
facetime.png?w=704&h=445
A long-running Apple Support Communities thread with 257 posts complaining of audio issues when using a pre-Bluetooth LE Mac on Yosemite reports that the issue is still present in OS X 10.10.3 and 10.10.4 Beta . The issue reportedly affects a number of machines up to and including late-2011 Macs.

I am experiencing an issue with FaceTime video calls or voice calls (using FaceTime audio or the iPhone handoff feature) where all I can hear is a strange clicking sound, like static. The other person can hear me fine and I can see them fine if on FaceTime video, but I can’t hear them.

Various fixes suggested in the thread seem to work temporarily for some, including a restart and resetting PRAM, but the issue returns.
Some in the thread speculate that OS X 10.10 broke something when Apple attempted to ensure that phone continuity features worked only on Macs with Bluetooth LE. Some have had logic boards replaced by Apple with no change.
Filed under: Mac Tagged: FaceTime, FaceTime Audio, Mac, OS X 10.10, yosemite http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378042/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378042/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378042/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378042/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378042/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378042/ http://feeds.wordpre...ess.com/378042/ b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos
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Parents use Apple Watch to share newborn’s heartbeat with...

Yesterday, 10:53 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
apple-watch-baby-heartbeat.png?w=704&h=4
Some might write off Apple Watch’s ability to share your heartbeat as gimmicky, but these new parents have found a truly heartwarming use for it— to share their newborn’s heartbeat with family that weren’t able to make the occasion in person.

“Our first child was born and we used an Apple Watch Sport to send his heartbeat to our distant family members it was a really awesome experience that we couldn’t have done without the Apple Watch.”

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Accessory makers plan to tap Apple Watch’s hidden port fo...

Yesterday, 10:33 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
<p><a href="http://9to5mac.com/2...reserve-strap/"rel="attachment wp-att-378003"><img title="Accessory makers plan to tap Apple Watch’s hidden port for battery straps, faster charging" class=" size-large wp-image-378003 aligncenter" src="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/reserve-strap.png?w=704&h=320" alt="Reserve-Strap" width="704" height="320" /></a></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">One of the first companies to announce plans to make a battery strap for Apple Watch— allowing you to charge the device while on the go while continuing to wear it— has confirmed plans to tap into Apple Watch’s hidden port to charge the device and offer faster charging. </span><span id="more-378002"></span><div class="inlinead"><a href="http://rss.buysellad...6&c=1160940276"target="_blank"><img src="http://rss.buysellads.com/img.php?z=1288305&k=0d0633b70e3c2bda246a715efcc79f88&a=1430695746&c=1160940276" border="0" alt="" /></a></div></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Apple utilizes a magnetic, inductive charging solution to charge Apple Watch, but a wired connection to the device’s hidden 6 pin port will make designing battery straps much easier, according to maker of the upcoming <a href="http://reservestrap.com/"><spanclass="s2">Reserve Strap accessory</span></a>, and even allow for faster more efficient charging compared to Apple’s own solution.</span></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1"><a href="http://9to5mac.com/2...erve-strap-02/"rel="attachment wp-att-378006"><img title="Accessory makers plan to tap Apple Watch’s hidden port for battery straps, faster charging" class="alignright wp-image-378006" src="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/reserve-strap-02.png?w=393&h=263" alt="Reserve-Strap-02" width="393" height="263" /></a>While the company initially planned on using a magnetic, wireless charging solution like Apple’s, after getting hands on with the Apple Watch confirmed that the hidden port will be a better option:</span></p>
<p class="p1" style="padding-left:30px;"><em><span class="s1">Our engineers have been able to independently confirm that the 6 pin diagnostic port underneath the Apple Watch case can be used for charging. The Reserve Strap will take advantage of this using a simple, retractable connector instead of the previous inductive charging cradle design… By utilizing this port instead of wirelessly charging, we’ve been able to achieve a higher charge capacity and quicker, more efficient charging times while also improving durability and eliminating any interference with Apple Watch functionality including taptic feedback and heartrate sensors.</span></em></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">The port, hidden inside of the slot where one side of the Watch’s strap connects to the device, is covered, but Reserve Strap will provide a tool to access it. Some speculated Apple included the port for diagnostics by retail employees— it didn’t, diagnostics are done through a connected iPhone— but Apple could have included the port for getting software on to Apple Watch at the factory and or for developer use. </span></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">In theory, Reserve Strap’s discovery means other accessory makers could create charging solutions and other smart accessories using the port to offer faster charging and other features that aren’t possible without it. It certainly helped improve the planned design for Reserve Strap in addition to the enhanced charging…</span></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Here’s a look at the Reserve Straps new design (left) compared to its old design that would have relied on Apple’s wireless charging solution (right):</span></p>

<a href='http://9to5mac.com/2...strap-01/'><imgwidth="104" height="130" src="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/reserve-strap-01.png?w=104&h=130" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="Reserve-Strap-01" data-attachment-id="378004" data-orig-file="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/reserve-strap-01.png" data-orig-size="736,922" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Reserve-Strap-01" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/reserve-strap-01.png?w=559" data-large-file="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/reserve-strap-01.png?w=704" /></a>
<a href='http://9to5mac.com/2...atteries/'><imgwidth="114" height="130" src="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/reserve-strap-batteries.jpg?w=114&h=130" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="reserve-strap-batteries" data-attachment-id="368069" data-orig-file="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/reserve-strap-batteries.jpg" data-orig-size="572,650" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="reserve-strap-batteries" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/reserve-strap-batteries.jpg?w=572" data-large-file="https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/reserve-strap-batteries.jpg?w=572" /></a>

<p><a href="http://reservestrap.com/"target="_blank">Reserve Strap</a> is up for preorder for $249, but specific availability info will come later.</p><br />Filed under: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/category/apple-watch-2/'>Apple Watch</a> Tagged: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/apple-watch/'>Apple watch</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/battery/'>battery</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/battery-strap/'>battery strap</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/charging/'>charging</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/port/'>port</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/reserve-strap/'>Reserve Strap</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/straps/'>straps</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/watch/'>Watch</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/378002/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&post=378002&subd=9to5mac&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /><p>For more news on <a href="http://9to5mac.com/tag/apple-watch/">Apple watch</a>, <a href="http://9to5mac.com/category/apple-watch-2/">Apple Watch</a>, and <a href="http://9to5mac.com/tag/watch/">Watch</a> continue reading at <a href="http://9to5mac.com">9to5Mac</a>.</p><p>What do you think? <strong><a href="http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/03/apple-watch-hidden-port-battery-straps-faster-charging/#comments">Discuss "Accessory makers plan to tap Apple Watch’s hidden port for battery straps, faster&nbsp;charging" with our community.</a></strong></p>

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