Google Maps to see significant update, new features, OpenTable and Uber support over next few days

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Date: Thursday, November 6th, 2014, 08:36
Category: iOS, News, Software

Google-Maps-Logo

Over the next few days, Google Maps will receive a significant update and start sporting some neat new features.

Per the company’s blog entry, Google Maps will start displaying the following changes in its user interface:

- Bold colors and textures to match the Material Design style being used in many of Google’s applications.

- A new info layer at the top of the screen showing you photos, reviews, and more.

- OpenTable support in the U.S. to reserve a table at nearby restaurants.

- Uber support, including pickup times, prices and walking and transit directions.

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Swype receives iOS 8 update, support for 20 additional languages, other changes

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Date: Thursday, November 6th, 2014, 06:56
Category: iOS, Software

swypelogo

Nuance Communications announced on Tuesday that its popular Swype keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users with iOS 8 is now available in more than 20 languages. Other new features include new intuitive emoji support, as well as new keyboard layouts. And iPad users can now access all available Swype themes. Swype’s pioneering continuous touch technology has changed the way people input text on smartphones, and was the top paid third-party keyboard within 24 hours of launching on the App Store.

The new version includes the following fixes and changes:

- Expanded Language Support: In addition to English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, Swype is now available in more than 20 languages, including Czech, Danish, Dutch, UK English, Finnish, Greek, Hinglish, Hungarian, Irish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, and Turkish.
Intuitive Emoji Input: Stoked about the upcoming game this weekend? When you message your friends about your excitement, Swype will now automatically suggest the right emoji. Swype will predict emojis based on the words you enter – so if you’re feeling happy, confused, tenacious or satisfied, Swype’s got just the right emoji for you.

- New Keyboard Layouts: Swype now features QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboard layouts for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users running iOS 8, as well as a new layout specifically designed for iPad – making it easier than ever to Swype however you hold it.

- Additionally, iPad users now can enjoy all Swype’s themes – free.

Swype retails for US$0.99 and requires iOS 8.0 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Little Snitch 3.5 nightly build 4226 released, offers SSH fixes

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Date: Thursday, November 6th, 2014, 04:00
Category: News, Software, Uncategorized

littlesnitchicon

Little Snitch, the popular network utility by Objective Development Software Gmbh, has been updated to version 3.5, its nightly build number 4226, a 22.2 megabyte download adding the following fixes and changes:
- Little Snitch menubar item no longer occupies space when disabled.

- Added support for showing iOS App Extension icons.

- Improved handling of via connections:
Connection alerts now show a cancel button if either the parent or the via process is terminated.

Until Quit rules are now valid until both the parent process and via process have terminated.

OS X Yosemite changed how incoming ssh connections are handled. Incoming connections are no longer handled by sshd directly but instead by launchd. On OS X Yosemite, this version of Little Snitch automatically converts existing rules to ensure incoming SSH connections work as expected.

- Minor improvements and bug fixes.

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Security researcher finds unsaved files are automatically saved into iCloud

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Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 17:10
Category: iCloud, News, security

icloudicon

This may not be what Apple intended to have happen with iCloud.

And there may be a patch coming for it posthaste.

According to Slate, security researcher Jeffrey Paul recently noticed that Apple’s default autosave is storing in-progress files—the ones you haven’t explicitly saved yet—in the cloud, not on your hard drive. Unless you decided to hit save before you start typing, or manually changed the default settings, those meeting notes, passwords, and credit card numbers you jotted down in “Untitled 17” are living in iCloud.

Although this issue seems to be a recent phenomenon, it appears that it’s been happening since at least December of 2013, according to Apple’s Knowledge Base, and it doesn’t just affect TextEdit, but also Preview, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Hopefully there wasn’t anything sensitive on those screenshots, spreadsheets, presentations, and documents you haven’t yet saved, or you were using other programs. Luckily, Word for Mac files don’t seem to be affected in this way.

You can turn off this surreptitious feature in Documents & Data —> Apple —> System Preferences —> iCloud —> Documents & Data, or you can save your empty file before you even start typing. But that’s not really the point. The problem is that users intuitively expect their in-progress documents to be saved locally, but these files are being stored on the Cloud instead.

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CurrentC exclusivity contract at MCX merchants to expire in matter of months

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Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 11:34
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, retail

currentc

The conflict between MCX’s CurrentC and Apple Pay may be short lived, as an exclusivity agreement that has caused some merchants involved in the MCX consortium — notably drug store chain CVS — to abruptly pull support for NFC-based payment systems, including Apple Pay and Google Wallet, is set to expire in “months,” according to a new report.

Per Re/code, the consortium, which is made up of a number of major retailers including CVS, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart, instituted the exclusivity contract to provide “breathing room” for the development of the CurrentC ecosystem, said MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson. That contract is set to expire in “months, not years,” Dekkers added.

Confirmation of the exclusivity agreement comes one week after the arrangement was first uncovered, following reports that CVS had disabled NFC terminals in its stores to prevent customers’ use of Apple Pay.
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Rumor: Apple Watch steel model to begin at $500, gold model to retail between $4,000 and $5,000

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Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, 10:00
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Wearables

Apple is far from releasing its price points for its upcoming watch, but the rumors as to the cost are starting to pour in.

Per 9to5Mac, French website iGen.fr, reported on Tuesday that the steel Apple Watch will start at US$500 alongside a gold model that will retail for between US$4,000 and US$5,000. Apple previously claimed at its September event that the Apple Watch would start at US$349, but did not disclose further pricing information.

The report claims that the stainless steel Apple Watch in polished steel or black will cost US$500, while the gold Apple Watch Edition will be the more expensive version at between US$4,000 and US$5,000. That price range would be nearly half the estimated US$10,000 price that some other reports have suggested.

In terms of a launch date, the report claims that the Apple Watch will launch in time for Valentine’s Day, but that was the most specific date given. An internal memo from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was recently published in which she wrote that the Apple Watch will launch in the “Spring” following the Chinese New Year.

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Intel launches Broadwell Core M processor, chip could find its way into rumored 12-inch MacBook Air notebooks

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Date: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, 13:30
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

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Intel’s next generation of processors won’t ship until early 2015, but there’s some interesting news on the processor that could wind up in the 12-inch MacBook Pro notebook.

Per MacRumors, the company began shipping some ultra low-power Broadwell chips known as Core M a couple of months ago. These chips are designed to run at just 4.5 watts and are intended for next-generation fanless PCs and tablets, fitting perfectly with circulating rumors of a thinner, fanless 12-inch MacBook Air, potentially with a Retina display.

The first batch of Core M chips launched in early September consisted of the 5Y10/5Y10a running at a base frequency of 800 MHz with a maximum of 2 GHz turbo, along with the more powerful 5Y70 running at 1.1 GHz with a max turbo of 2.6 GHz. Intel now appears to have quietly added several new processor options to the Core M family. Internal roadmaps had targeted an early 2015 launch for these chips, but Intel’s chip database shows the new chips as having launched this quarter.

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Christian Bale no longer slated to play Steve Jobs in upcoming Aaron Sorkin movie

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Date: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, 10:31
Category: News

Well, it would have been an interesting casting choice.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and The Hollywood Reporter, actor Christian Bale has pulled out of the Aaron Sorkin penned Steve Jobs biopic. The report claims that Bale decided to withdraw from the film because he felt he wasn’t right for the role.

Sources say Bale, after much deliberation and conflicting feelings, came to the conclusion he was not right for the part and decided to withdraw. The script is said to be divided into three acts that detail Jobs preparing for three presentations that came to define his life and the life of the company he co-founded, lost and came back to.

Not even a week ago, Sorkin explained that Bale secured the Jobs role without even so much as an audition.

“He has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined,” Sorkin said. “There isn’t a scene or a frame that he’s not in. So it’s an extremely difficult part and he is gonna crush it.”

OSCARS/
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Rumor: Apple to discontinue iPad mini in favor of larger 12-inch “iPad Pro” model

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Date: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, 10:00
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

It’s just a rumor, but it’s got some decent sources behind it.

Per AppleInsider and Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, a rumor out of East Asia on Monday claims Apple is looking to wind down iPad mini production in favor of a 12-inch tablet, a response to flagging sales and growing consumer interest in larger-screened devices.

Citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, the Economic Daily News reports the company is looking to discontinue iPad mini sales when the tablet lineup is refreshed next year and will instead concentrate on production of a new 12-inch format being called “iPad Pro.”

The shift in tablet strategy is said to be in reply to a shifting smartphone market, which has seen consumers gravitate toward devices with screens larger than 5 inches when measured diagonally. Apple itself has seen unexpectedly high demand for the new 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the company’s first “phablet” handset.

Also cited as a catalyst for change is increasingly aggressive competition in the tablet sector, with competitors like Samsung slowly nibbling away at Apple’s dominant marketshare. For the most recent fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, Apple moved 12.3 million iPads, down 17 percent from 14.1 million year-over-year.

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Starwood Hotels launches SPG Keyless entry system for iPhone

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Date: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, 10:58
Category: iPhone, News, Software

As of now, you can officially open your hotel room in a Starwood Hotel with your iPhone.

And, come the spring, you’ll be able to do it with your Apple Watch.

Per 9to5Mac, Starwood Hotels has officially launched its SPG Keyless service, allowing guests to use their iOS device to open their doors. The boutique hotel group first announced the project back in January.

The process goes as follows:
1. After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel, SPG members are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless and register their phone through the SPG App.

2. Approximately 24 hours before arrival, the guest receives his/her room number and Bluetooth key via the app.

3. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest can completely bypass the front desk (where available) and go directly to his/her room.

4. Then, after ensuring his/her Bluetooth is enabled, the guest simply opens the SPG App, taps the smartphone on the door lock, waits for the green light and enters the room.

The service went live on Tuesday at three Starwood brands: Aloft, Element and The W.

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