Apple announces OS X 10.10, iOS 8 at WWDC

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Date: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014, 10:37
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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Even if Apple didn’t announce any new hardware yesterday, you can’t say Tim Cook’s keynote speech was uneventful.

The company announced OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the next incarnation of its OS X operating system, which will feature subtle window translucency for windows and the Dock, plus OS 7-style flat-looking icons. According to The Mac Observer, Apple added a Dark Mode to the operating system for developers and designers, and carried the theme’s look into applications, too. The company gave a little hat tip to coders and designers with a new Dark Mode view that changes many bright interface elements to darker colors, and improved font readability and consistency across apps and the OS.

OS X will be getting a more iPad-like Notification Center with a today view for easily checking your schedule and tasks. Notification Center also gained support for add-on widgets that let users customize exactly what information they see.

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Is Apple doing anything about iCloud breach?!

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 08:16
Category: Apple, Hack, iCloud, iOS, iPhone, security

icloud-iconUnfortunately, Apple has not acknowledged the supposed hack into the iCloud systems, and rarely comments publicly on such matters, so we’ll just have to hope they are working towards protecting users’ accounts. The incursion was claimed by two hackers going by the handles AquaXetine and MerrukTechnolog, who form Team DoulCi (derived by spelling “iCloud” backwards-ish). The hack exploits an iCloud security flaw that allows someone to bypass Apple’s Activation Lock system to unlock a lost or stolen iPhone. By utilizing the DoulCi web site, and making a simple change to a file on your computer, the iPhone can be fooled into thinking DoulCi’s site is actually Apple’s iCloud servers.

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Apple comments on iMessage text bug issue, says fix is en route

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Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 12:18
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software, Windows

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There’s a fix en route for Apple’s current iMessage bug.

That’s the good news.

Per The Mac Observer and Re/code, a long-standing iMessage bug that failed to deliver some text messages to users who switched to Android or Windows smartphones from the iPhone will be fixed.

The problem can crop up when someone who currently uses an iPhone sends a text message to someone who switched from an iPhone to an alternate smartphone platform, but keeps the same phone number. Apple’s iMessage system sees the number as still attached to an iCloud account, and fails to send messages as regular SMS to the new phone. The sender sees the messages as delivered even though they never made it to the recipient.

Removing your phone number from iMessages before switching to an Android or Windows smartphone should prevent that from happening, but that hasn’t proven to be a reliable method for moving back to standard SMS texting.

Apple has now acknowledged the problem, and promised a fix is on the way. “We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update,” the company offered in a recent statement.

The announcement came on the heels of potential legal action against Apple over the issue. The case implies that Apple is in some way blocking text messages sent from iPhones to other smartphones and is penalizing switchers by not disclosing the issue.

Apple has yet to offer any form of comment on the possibility of litigation in this case.

Online version of iWork gets some improvements

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 08:56
Category: Apple, Apps, Features, iCloud, Software

 

iWork iCloud app icons

It looks like Apple has been giving the iWork apps on iCloud some new features. The entire list, including those made to iWork for the Mac, and the iOS apps can be found here. Many of the updates apply to all three apps, rather than specific functionality change to each.  Document handling, text formatting, and collaboration seem to be areas of focus. A few examples are;

  • Add passwords and share password-protected documents
  • Export documents to ePUB format
  • Print your documents directly from the Tools menu
  • Collaborate with up to 100 people at the same time
  • See cursors and selections for everyone in a document
  • Watch images and shapes animate as your collaborators move them around
  • Almost 200 new fonts
  • More color options in the format panel
  • Folders
  • Edit documents up to 1 GB in size
  • Support for Retina display

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Google is creeping onto your desktop

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Date: Tuesday, May 13th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Apps, Features, Google, Software

Chrome canary logoThis isn’t the first time Google has invaded the desktop space of other operating systems. Who remembers the train-wreck that was Google Desktop? However, this time Google might have it right…or at least close. Some of you may be aware of Chromium, the open-source project behind Google Chrome, which has nightly builds of the app which may squash bugs, introduce new ones, or add new “cutting-edge” features, which may not be ready for the general public. When a particular stable version gets the ok, Google cleans it up and releases it as an update to Google Chrome.

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Apple celebrates Earth Day with modified logo

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Date: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014, 09:40
Category: Apple, Environment, Retail Store

apple_chrome_logo_leafApril 22nd is Earth Day, and for the first time in eight years, Apple is acknowledging it by modifying its logo for the day. Some stores, such as the Nanjing East store in Shanghai, have updated the store’s traditional logo to one with a green leaf, which we can see thanks to Instagram user Znnina who posted a photo of the store’s updated logo. As part of the celebration, select stores will be giving employees special Earth Day shirts to wear. Apple has also posted a new “Better” video highlighting its environmental initiatives. It was just in the news recently that Apple has purchased a hydroelectric plant to help power its North Carolina data center.

In addition, Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, posted an open letter about Apple’s efforts to, “…continue to put nature at the center of our business and design principles.”.

 

 

Apple’s data centers to be powered by water? [update]

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014, 09:44
Category: Apple, Business, Environment, News, The Apple Core

green-energy-plugI don’t think Greenpeace can say that Apple isn’t trying. Apple’s huge data center in North Carolina, which powers iCloud, uses huge amounts of power, and until recently has been utilizing available sources of energy which are primarily coal-burning sources such as those supplied by companies such as North Carolina’s Duke Energy. This is something about which Apple has been catching flak from environmentalists, but late last year, Apple took control of a project built by Earth By Design (EBD), a Oregon-based developer of green energy, that uses small Kaplan turbines built adjacent to a local irrigation canal. According to WIRED;

“[...] a regulatory filing [says that] the project will generate 5 megawatts of power, enough electricity to power a small town, but a fraction of what Apple’s Prineville, Oregon, data center will ultimately require. As users increasingly store their data and photos in the iCloud, Apple has been forced to rapidly ramp up the number of servers it runs in the iCloud. In the past few years, the company has developed new data centers in Prineville, Maiden, North Carolina, and Reno, Nevada.”

Greenpeace has lauded this as a groundbreaking move by Apple. According to Greenpeace analyst Gary Cook, “This is certainly the first time I’ve seen this being this done by a private company and not a utility.”. Meanwhile, other companies have turned to solar and wind to power their data centers which is just as important in the move towards more responsible power usage by major technology companies.

 

Update:

If you’d like a more in-depth look at the 45-Mile Hydroelectric Project and how it works, check out Jason O’Grady’s post on ZDNet.

 

 

Apple TV finally gets some respect

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, 03:06
Category: Accessory, Apple, Apple TV, Rumor, Television, wireless

appletv_2ndgenDidn’t I just call Apple out on this? Congratulations Apple TV, you’ve hung in there and now made it to the big times! Early Tuesday, Apple’s online store went offline for some updates and when it came back, the Apple TV finally had its own section to call home. Rather than being relegated to the Accessories section of the Apple Store, now it’s listed alongside the sections for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod and even has its own accessory section that lists some products for the Apple TV that I had never seen before. It appears that the Airport Extreme and Airport Express have found a home here as well. In addition, you now have the option to buy refurbished Apple TVs at $25 less than standard retail.

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Will the next NSA satellite have an Apple logo?

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Date: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, iOS, iPhone, Legal, Mobile, Mobile Phone, News, privacy, security, Services, Software

geoeye-1-satellite-apple-460Well, perhaps that is a stretch, but Apple’s possible connection with the NSA was revealed in a report dating back to 2008. Reuters explains that the report outlined a system that the NSA was developing, called DROPOUTJEEP, which would be software implanted into an iPhone that allows infiltrators to push and pull and retrieve data from iPhones such as contact lists. The report didn’t actually specify any involvement by or with Apple, although the iPhone is referenced in the report.

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12 Days: Day 6 gift

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Date: Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 09:17
Category: App Store, Apple, Holiday, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, music

Day6ApplegiveawayThe watch for free gifts from Apple continues. For day six of its 12 Days promotion, Apple is offering one song and one video from Avicii’s New Years Eve Mix. With less than 24 hours to go until New Years, this seems like an appropriate choice. Keep watching the PowerPage as we run-down each giveaway until the last on January 6th. Maybe I’ll listen to it while I’m working NYE.