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Create a more secure iPhone passcode with special characters

Today, 12:00 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Sure, you’ve got Touch ID set up on your iPhone 6, but you’ll still need a passcode to keep your iPhone secure. If you have an older iPhone without Touch ID, or your fingerprint isn’t recognized for any reason, you’llmf.gif


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App Store, iTunes, Apple TV and more experiencing service...

Yesterday, 11:32 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Update: Apple says all services are restored.

Following an outage of many Apple services earlier this week, several of Apple’s iTunes and App Store services are again today experiencing disruptions, according to Apple’s system status page.

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Apple is currently listing outages for the App Store, Apple TV, iBooks Store, iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match, iTunes Radio, iTunes Store, iTunes U, Mac App Store, and OS X Software Update.

The company says that only some users are affected and currently “unable to access multiple services and stores or make purchases.”

Following the outage earlier this week, which also hit some of Apple’s own stores, Apple blamed the outage on “an internal DNS error at Apple,” and apologized to customers for the inconvenience.

We’ll keep you updated as Apple works to fix the problems.


Filed under: Apps, iOS 371719 371719 371719 371719 371719 371719 371719 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Woz: Apple wasn’t built to sell $17,000 watches

Yesterday, 11:30 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Steve Wozniak seems to have a complex relationship with both modern-day Apple and, particularly, the Apple Watch. In an interview at the Automate/Promat Show in Chicago yesterday, Apple’s co-founder said Apple’s foray into high-end wearables marks a very different turn for themf.gif


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iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experien...

Yesterday, 11:14 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
According to Apple's System Status page, several of its services are experiencing downtime. Some users may be unable to access the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, and iBooks Store.

The page also suggests some users may be experiencing issues with the Apple TV, iTunes Match, iTunes Radio, iTunes U, and OS X Software Updates.

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The downtime appears to have started just after 3pm and is ongoing. We have received several emails and tweets from users who are unable to access the App Store or can only access certain parts of the App Store.

App Store Top Charts, for example, have been unavailable since the downtime originally began, and while some app categories were also blank, those seem to be reappearing, suggesting the outage may be short.

Today's App Store outage is the second Apple has seen this week.mf.gif


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Dashcams reveal horrors of teens texting and driving

Yesterday, 10:01 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
We all know that teens are crazy drivers. But when you put phones in their hands, things get really bad. AAA conducted video analysis of teenagers on the road and discovered that “distraction was a factor in nearly six outmf.gif


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First wave of Apple Watch apps lands on iTunes

Yesterday, 08:38 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple Stores won’t have the Apple Watch on display for a few weeks, but anyone eager to see what the world of wrist apps will offer can already download them to their iPhone. The first wave of Apple Watch-supported apps startedmf.gif


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10 reasons why Apple is to blame for the decline of iPad...

Yesterday, 07:47 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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It has been a tough slough for Apple’s iPad since the height of its popularity in 2013. Facing its second straight year of negative growth, there isn’t a consensus on why iPad sales have declined. I believe the slump is attributable to a combination of factors.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called the declining iPad sales a “speed bump” last year before the launch of the 2014 models, but we haven’t seen what Apple plans to do to rejuvenate the product. From my point of view, Apple itself has done more to hurt iPad sales than any external factor, such as Microsoft or Google.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here’s a full explanation of my theory…

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1. Apple’s bigger iPhone 6 Plus phablet has made the once popular iPad mini all but pointless. That’s not entirely true – there are significant cost differences and over 2 inches of additional diagonal screen real estate – but having a huge iPhone makes having a small tablet a lot less desirable. Combine that with the fact that most people buy their phones subsidized, and a much faster, sleeker iPhone 6 Plus costs about the same as an iPad mini up front.

Below the cannibalization of the iPad is shown in a chart from Credit Suisse. Characterizing phablets as “4+ inches” seems a little out of date, but the point is clear, phablets like the iPhone 6 are eating into tablet share across the board.
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2. This year’s iPad hardware updates weren’t terribly magical. The iPad mini got Touch ID (at a $100 price premium). The Air 2 got both faster and lighter, which is always great. And both became available in gold. But for people like me who are very content with the iPad Air – discussed in point 10 below – adding Touch ID or a golden housing wasn’t a big enough incentive to upgrade. Would sales have taken off if Apple offered more storage on the lower end, more laptop-like features, or lower costs?

3. New tiny 12-inch MacBook sales will impact professional/luxury iPad users. The 2-lb light weight and super portability will bring over folks who can spend a lot to get the latest technology. In fact, lowering the prices on the very popular MacBook Air to near cost parity per GB basis also makes a MacBook Air seem like the better deal (128GB MacBook Air: $899 retail, but often lower, versus 128GB iPad w/cellular: $829).

When I go to bed at night and have my iPad Air for consumption, there is often something important that I can only do well on my Mac (like adding something important to this post). This has happened so many times that the iPad doesn’t get picked up at bedtime much anymore. If I lost my iPad Air this week, I’d probably replace it with a MacBook.

4. Split screen iPad support and other laptop-like functionality is late in coming. If those features come out this year, and I think they will, a lot of professionals will jump on board. Currently functionality that makes an iPad a better solution to a problem than a laptop is often lacking.

5. Microsoft and its ecosystem have been making inroads into the professional ranks. You have to admit some of the hardware the Windows folks are putting out isn’t bad, especially when a hybrid computer can go from a MacBook Air form factor into a tablet form factor with a swinging hinge. Yes, I know Apple’s philosophy is not to marry toasters and refrigerators, but tablets and laptops aren’t that different anymore.

Even if they aren’t right, many folks will choose a convertible laptop-tablet PC over an iPad or a MacBook for that matter.

5. 16GB is not enough space on the low end. Apple can afford to pop in 32GB of storage on the entry-level iPads and I think they will go up to this amount this year. 16GB isn’t enough for even a base model iPhone in my opinion, and with the bigger display, iPad apps need bigger files.

6imgres.jpg?w=704. Chromebooks in education. Google Chromebooks have been eating Apple’s lunch in education and ironically the iconic appeal of the iPad is partially responsible. A sysadmin for a large school district tells me that the iPad trials went something like this: 100 iPads were given out to 4th graders. Within a month, over 50% of them went missing, and a few of them broke, while 10% of them were jailbroken or hacked. At the same time, with a similar Chromebook rollout, only 10% went missing, a few of them broke, and none of them were hacked (though it is certainly hackable). Give kids free iPads and they’ll have a tendency to disappear or get subverted for personal gain.

Apple has done some work in getting its iPads in schools with some noted success and other spectacular failures.  A new initiative may really help but the fact that most schools either have Microsoft or Google email/apps on the backend means it is going to be tough.

7.  Pricing. Apple could sell iPads at lower price points if it really wanted to. In fact, we’ve seen major retailers cutting as much as $130 off the price of new iPad Air 2s, and up to $200 on the high-end models. Subsidies are another option. Apple was able to stave off any encroachment from the Amazon Fire Phone because it offers iPhones at low price points (including “free” with plan). Apple, however, has no protection for its iPad line when Amazon comes in at $100 or less for a new Fire tablet. Fire tablets continue to be popular though Amazon won’t let you know any numbers.  Spotting a Fire Phone is harder than finding a Sasquatch.

8. Killer App? You need a smartphone for certain things. You need a computing device for other things. There are very few apps that need an iPad, especially when you have a big iPhone in your pocket and a 2 lb. Mac next to your bed.

9. Marketing and the Apple Watch. iPad hasn’t been getting the marketing spend it got in its first years for a variety of reasons. Last year Apple had the big iPhones to explain to the public. Before that it was iOS 7’s new look and feel. This year it seems Apple is focusing its attention and every extra marketing dollar on the Apple Watch.

But Apple Watch isn’t just hurting the iPad from a marketing standpoint. Those of us who have a yearly Apple discretionary fund of $500 or so bucks aren’t likely going to put it towards the iPad this year. And Apple announced the Watch right before the holiday shopping season. Sure, that was mostly to dissuade people from buying other watches, but some folks also probably held off on Apple purchases.

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On a higher level, it also makes me wonder if Apple’s got a new paradigm. Instead of iPhone|iPad|Mac, is Apple now promoting: Watch+CarPlay+Apple TV+Accessories|iPhone|Mac in its “3 screens” paradigm? Where does iPad fit?

10. Perhaps this is unintuitive, but Apple’s incredible build quality coupled with genuine efforts to update old iPads to the latest version of iOS has made the decision to purchase a new iPad a difficult one. My old iPads still look, feel and work great. My son can still use our original iPad and a lot of the apps he likes. I bought an iPad Air last year, and it is hard to justify the purchase of a new one (even though retailers are discounting the heck out of them). My wife uses an iPad 3, and for what she does on it, there is no reason to update.

The good news here is that much of the iPad’s sales decline can be fixed by Apple, because it’s responsible for most of the issues above. An iPad Pro, price drops, a better iPad iOS version with split-screen support, and better integration with keyboards are all ways Apple could stop the decline in iPad sales and get the platform growing again. More and more engaging marketing wouldn’t hurt, either.

Perhaps Apple can fit iPad in between the Apple Watch launch and the launch of the new Apple TV?


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices, Opinion Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple watch, decline, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Market share, Microsoft, Revenue 370800 370800 370800 370800 370800 370800 370800 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple Watch Apps Begin Showing Up in the App Store Ahead...

Yesterday, 07:17 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Ahead of the Apple Watch's upcoming April 24 launch, apps that include Apple Watch support are beginning to be released in the App Store. As of today, several popular iOS apps have been updated with built-in Apple Watch apps, including Evernote, Dark Sky, Things, and Target.

Additional apps with Apple Watch support will be rolling out over the course of the day, giving us a first look at how many of the apps on the device will function. We'll be updating this post with a list of Apple Watch apps that are available as they come out in the App Store.

According to Evernote's app description, for example, users will be able to dictate notes into the Apple Watch, which will be transcribed and synced to Evernote. Users will also be able to see recently created, updated, and viewed notes, and get reminders about items that are due. Dark Sky's weather information will be brought to the wrist, and according to the app release notes, it's been designed from scratch to fit on the smaller screen of the Apple Watch.

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As we've mentioned before, Apple Watch apps are bundled into existing iPhone apps because the iPhone powers the app while a UI is extended to the Apple Watch. This helps to preserve battery and it controls the amount of access developers have to the watch. Apps that run fully on the Apple Watch are coming in the future, but are not available yet.

The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order and try-on sessions at Apple retail stores beginning on April 10. Third-party Apple Watch apps have likely started popping up today to allow Apple Store employees to install content on demo Apple Watches that will be shown off to customers.mf.gif


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Apple begins releasing the first set of third-party Apple...

Yesterday, 07:03 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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The Apple Watch is still almost a month away from shipping and 15 days away from being available to preview in Apple Stores, but a select few apps selected by Apple to be available for the Apple Watch have started hitting the App Store today. These app updates that add Apple Watch support include Twitter, Things, Target, Dark Sky, and Sky Guide, and many more apps are continuing to roll out with support.

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While most developers working on Apple Watch apps ahead of the device’s release next month still cannot submit their Watch-specific updates, Apple has clearly flipped the switch on the select apps being promoted alongside the Apple Watch.

The apps are likely being released publicly now to allow the inevitable Apple Watch reviewers to access third-party Apple Watch apps. These apps will likely also be included with the Apple Store Apple Watches to show customers how familiar third-party apps from their iPhone can work with the new device.

Apple Watch support has been added to a number of existing App Store iPhone apps including:

More apps are continuing to roll out now. You can update to or download these versions of each iPhone app now, although obviously the Apple Watch functionality won’t work until your iPhone is paired with the new device.

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Closer to the Apple Watch’s actual debut, the now included Apple Watch app on iOS 8.2 for iPhone will feature a dedicated App Store for Apple Watch apps. Earlier this month we showed you the dozens of App Store apps which will support the Apple Watch. Apple also has a microsite dedicated to upcoming Apple Watch apps, many of which are shipping now.


Filed under: Apple Watch, Apps Tagged: App Store, Apple watch, Apple Watch App Store, Apple Watch apps, Apps 371658 371658 371658 371658 371658 371658 371658 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac [Mac Blog]

Yesterday, 07:01 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
When you receive a PDF document by email that you must sign, the process of printing out the file, signing on the dotted line with a pen, scanning the signed document and sending it back can be a rather tedious task. Fortunately, Apple introduced the ability to digitally sign a PDF document using Preview, a program that comes preinstalled on every Mac, on OS X Lion or later.

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The steps involved to digitally sign a PDF using Preview on Mac are quite simple and will save you valuable time, especially if you have multiple documents, contracts, forms or other paperwork to sign. If you are worried that your digital signature will look bad, rest assured that you can create your signature by using the trackpad or holding up your signature on paper to a Mac's built-in iSight camera.

Steps to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Trackpad
  1. Open the PDF file you need to sign in Preview.

  2. Click on the briefcase icon (Screen-Shot-2015-03-26-at-1.28.36-PM.png) and then the signature (Screen-Shot-2015-03-26-at-1.28.51-PM1.pn) icon.

  3. Click on Create Signature > Click Here to Begin. Draw your signature on the trackpad. Click any key when finished. Click Done.

  4. Click on the signature created to insert it into the PDF document. The signature can be moved or resized like a regular image.

Steps to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Camera
  1. Open the PDF file you need to sign in Preview.

  2. Click on the briefcase icon (Screen-Shot-2015-03-26-at-1.28.36-PM.png) and then the signature (Screen-Shot-2015-03-26-at-1.28.51-PM1.pn) icon.

  3. Click on Create Signature > Camera. Sign your name on white paper and hold it to be visible to the camera. Preview will draw a digital signature. Click Done.

  4. Click on the signature created to insert it into the PDF document. The signature can be moved or resized like a regular image.

Tips
If you are using the trackpad to create your digital signature, it is recommended that you look at Preview and go slow and steady with your finger to achieve the best result. For an even more precise signature, you can use an iPhone or iPad stylus, preferably one with a fine-tipped ending, to draw your signature on the trackpad. Signing a piece of white paper and holding it up to the camera is the easiest way of creating a digital signature in Preview, although this method does not always yield the best results. The signature will appear inverted when you hold it up to your Mac's camera, but Preview will automatically ensure that it reads properly from left to right. You can create a digital signature in Preview by following steps above even if you do not have a PDF document opened. By default, all digital signatures that you create are automatically stored in a list on Preview so that you can insert them into future PDFs documents and other files without needing to repeat these steps. Preview can store multiple signatures at once. Apple also provides a markup tool in the Mail app on OS X Yosemite to create digital signatures that can be directly inserted into emails.

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