Rumor: Chipmakers gearing up production of Apple Watch components for possible early 2015 launch

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:59
Category: Hardware, Rumor, wireless

applewatch

Apple may have begun ramping up production of the Apple Watch for release in the relatively near future.

Per 9to5Mac and DigiTimes, while Apple has yet to provide a specific launch date for the Apple Watch, leaving its early 2015 timeframe and internal memo revealing a spring launch after Chinese New Year as the only information to go by in terms of a release date, chipmakers in Apple’s overseas supply chain are reportedly gearing up to begin production of the Apple Watch. The report, citing industry sources, claims that between 30 to 40 million units of the upcoming wearable device have been ordered.

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Rumor: Apple beginning to court enterprise markets via dedicated sales team

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:12
Category: Finance, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Rumor

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Remember how Apple seemed like a second class citizen in the business and enterprise world?

That might be about to change.

According to Reuters, Apple is embarking on its most aggressive expansion yet onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.

Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.

Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.

Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.

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Review: mPact Glass Extreme Screen Protection for the iPhone 6

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 08:19
Category: Accessory, iPhone 6

mPact Glass Extreme Screen Protection for the iPhone 6 - Jason O'Grady

Ever since I can remember I’ve installed a screen film on the front of my iPhone. I’m rough on my electronics and iPhone screens take a lot of abuse.

My iPhone is a tool and I treat it like the utility that it is. While it’s a rather expensive (and fragile) tool, it gets tossed into some of the most treacherous places on the planet (pockets, bags, cup holders) and mine gets handled by one of the most unpredictable forces known to mankind – children.

I’ve always gravitated toward Japanese PET films – made from a PolyEthylene Terephthalate resin – from Zagg, and most recently Power Support, until my colleague Rob Parker (a film and video pro) introduced me to glass screen protectors a few years back. The benefit is that glass screen protection doesn’t affect screen sensitivity nor image quality.

Since that moment I’ve insisted on glass screen protectors and I won’t go back to traditional PET-based films. My new ride is mPact Glass Screen Protection ($59.99), which fits my iPhone 6 perfectly and works like a charm. It doesn’t go all the way to the edge so it won’t interfere with cases and frankly, it can’t because of the iPhone 6′s voluptuous curves.

The mPact glass is 0.4mm thick (about twice as thick as PET films) and is heat and pressure resistant for extreme screen protection. It’s coated with a shatterproof film and is both antibacterial and oleophobic which reduces germs and smudges.

Mine installed easily and has been a great addition to a great iPhone, While it wasn’t inexpensive, neither was the iPhone that it’s protecting.

Oh, and that sweet leather folio case? More on that in another installment.

Analysis of A8X chip shows eight core design, other unique features

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Date: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, 09:33
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, Processors

a8xchip

There may be more to Apple’s A8X processor than was originally thought.

Per 9to5Mac, further analysis of the processor by AnandTech showed that initial guesses as to the GPU specification of the Apple A8X chip, exclusively available in the iPad Air 2, were wrong. In fact, the chip uses a unique 8 cluster design. AnandTech describes the discovery as “even better than I thought”. Although the customizations are limited, this represents a big step for the company as it is now dabbling in both custom CPU and GPU engineering, even if the leap over generally-available components in this instance is small.

Effectively, Apple has engineered a way to stick two Imagination GX6450 PowerVR chips on the same die.

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Apple making progress in forming alliance between Apple Pay and Alibab’s Alipay in Chinese marketplace

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Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 10:58
Category: Finance, News, retail

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While Apple may be spinning its wheels arguing with MCX and getting Apple Pay supported by assorted U.S. retailers stuck in their MCX/CurrentC contracts, it seems to be doing ok opening Apple Pay up in the Asian marketplace.

According to AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, after officials from both Apple and Alibaba publicly expressed interest in forging a possible mobile payment deal, Alibaba confirmed on Tuesday that it is currently in negotiations to bring Apple Pay to China.

A potential deal between Apple Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay would focus exclusively on the Chinese market, where Alibaba is the dominant online retailer, vice chairman Joseph Tsai told The Wall Street Journal. He said that while the company is “positive” about the ongoing talks, details must still be worked out before an agreement can be reached.

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Apple releases second OS X 10.10.1 beta seed to developer community, highlights areas to focus on

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Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 10:07
Category: News, Software

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If you’re wondering what fixes and changes are en route for Yosemite, the answer may lie in what was seeded to the development community yesterday.

Per 9to5 Mac, Apple on Monday seeded the second beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update to registered developers and participants in the AppleSeed program. The update is available for these users in the Software Update tab of the Mac App Store.

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Rumor: Walmart opting for CurrentC system over Apple Pay due to high credit card transaction fees

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Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014, 11:48
Category: retail, Rumor, Software

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This is where things could get a bit sticky.

In the current battle between Apple Pay and MCX’s CurrentC system, retailer Walmart has opted against supporting Apple Pay in its stores. A new report offers a big reason why: high credit card transaction fees.

According to 9to5 Mac and Re/code, a current report reveals that the fees merchants are required to pay banks when a credit card is swiped in their stores is too high. Meanwhile, MCX’s CurrentC has payment options that carry lower fees than credit card purchases.
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Apple quietly releases Deregister iMessage web tool to remove phone numbers from iMessage

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Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014, 10:42
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Apple just included a web-based tool that removes your phone number from the iMessage system and could help the company avoid legal action somewhere down the road.

According to The Verge, Apple has quietly released a new Deregister iMessage tool to make switching between iOS and other smartphones a bit easier. The new web tool lets you instantly deregister your phone number from Apple’s iMessage system. The tool should also help the problem of disappearing text messages.

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WireLurker security paper released, discusses potential next generation of OS X, iOS malware

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Date: Friday, November 7th, 2014, 02:30
Category: iOS, News, security

trojanhorse

Not that you should be entirely paranoid about malware on your OS X and iOS devices, but a little caution couldn’t hurt.

Per Palo Alto Networks, a new paper has been published on WireLurker, a family of malware targeting both Mac OS and iOS systems for the past six months. It’s believed that WireLurker could herald in a new generation of malware on Apple’s desktop and mobile platforms given the following characteristics:
- It is only the second known malware family that attacks iOS devices through OS X via USB.

- It is the first malware to automate generation of malicious iOS applications, through binary file replacement.

- It is the first known malware that can infect installed iOS applications similar to a traditional virus.

- It is the first in-the-wild malware to install third-party applications on non-jailbroken iOS devices through enterprise provisioning.

WireLurker was used to trojanize 467 OS X applications on the Maiyadi App Store, a third-party Mac application store in China. In the past six months, these 467 infected applications were downloaded over 356,104 times and may have impacted hundreds of thousands of users.

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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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