Apple begins incorporating “Download Later” for larger purchases in iTunes 11

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Date: Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013, 07:37
Category: iTunes, News, Software

This could be useful.

Per Macworld, Apple added a welcome tweak to large media purchases initiated either via the mobile iTunes Store or iTunes 11. Users attempting to download large media files such as movies or music box sets are presented a prompt enabling them to commence the download immediately or save it for a time when they presumably have better bandwidth.

When purchasing any of the above items using iTunes 11 on a Mac or Windows PC, or an iOS device running iOS 6 or later, you’re now presented with “Later” and “Download” (or “Download All”) buttons. Tap “Later” and the purchased items will be added to your iTunes account and accessible to stream or download in the future via Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud feature.

The option to “download later” is exclusively applicable to TV seasons, Season Passes, movie bundles, music box sets, individual movies and TV episodes.

Apple outlines the specifics of the new software tweak in the following updated support document. Lastly, note that the prompt will only appear for users in countries where Apple provides iTunes in the Cloud support.

If you’ve seen this change on your end and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Foxconn begins gearing up for iPhone 5S mass production

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Date: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, 07:38
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

Don’t worry…your next-gen iPhone is en route.

Or at least being constructed.

Per iMore and the Wall Street Journal, Apple has been targeting an August time frame for the next-generation iPhone 5S, and while that may or may not include more recently rumored software scheduling issues, it does sound like the general time frame is still accurate enough for Foxconn to start ramping up for production. Lorraine Luk of the Wall Street Journal writes:

[Foxconn] said Monday it has added about 10,000 assembly-line workers per week in Zhengzhou, its major production facility for iPhones, since the last week of March.

“We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon,” said a Zhengzhou-based executive who has direct knowledge of production plans.

If Apple sticks to its 2009 and 2011 pattern of keeping the same casing two years in a row and releasing an S-class update, then presumably it’ll be an easier ramp up than last year where the manufacturing technology needed to produce the insanely redesigned iPhone 5 led to the usual transitional hiccups and supply constraints.

If that’s the case, then software and services, namely iOS 7, and iCloud could be the major factors in determining the final release window for Apple next iPhone.

To date, every new iPhone has shipped with a new version of iOS, and the iPhone 4S shipped with iCloud. That coupling makes for greater product impact, but also greater dependency.

Hopefully, if hardware is ramping up, that’s a sign everything else is also starting to line back up.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

After a decade in beta, Quicksilver 1.0.0 out the door

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Date: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013, 07:56
Category: News, Software

quicksilvericon

10 years is a long time to be in beta.

For those of you who know it and love it, Quicksilver, the epic app-launching tool by Patrick Robertson, hit version 1.0.0 today. The new version, a 6.8 megabyte download, offers the following (extensive) list of fixes and changes:

What’s New:
- Preliminary support for retina displays (#1044, #1378).

- Many internal images have been upscaled.

- Icons and images are no longer downscaled in the interface.

- Assign the same trigger to different actions in different applications (#1201).

- Add files and folders to the catalog using the Add To Catalog action (#1276).

- AppleScript Action enhancements – http://qsapp.com/wiki/AppleScript_Actions (#1023, #1048).

- Assign an alternate name to something by creating a synonym (#1325).

- Plugin documentation is now accessible from the plugin’s preferences (#999, #1364).

- Plugin documentation is accessible directly from the list of plugins via a button in the bottom-right (#1364, #1384).

- Trigger type can be specified in the third pane for the Add Trigger action (#1345).

- Clipboard history will omit “transient” data (#1213).

- New localizations for Korean, Catalan, Chinese (Hant, China) and Spanish (Mexico).

Fixed:
- Names and labels for files should be determined faster and more accurately (#1263, #1288).

- Catalog entry names won’t override file names (#730, #1240).

- Docking window controls behave correctly (#1247).

- Recent Commands and the Last Command proxy are working (#722, #1207).

- Fixed the missing default application for the Open With… action (#1360, #1361).

- The Find With action (for web searches) works with Current Selection (#1311).

- Fixed the Add Trigger action (#515, #1345, #1390).

- Prevent changes to the catalog before it finishes loading (#1216).

- Fixed the “Delay” settings for triggers (#583, #914, #1201).

- Fixed the generic “Computer” icon (#1298).

- Avoid redrawing icons for files unnecessarily (#1297).

- Prevent catalog entries from disappearing in the preferences (#893, #1313).

- Prevent lock ups when scanning the catalog on startup (#1339).

- Correctly switch to text mode in the third pane when spacebar behavior is “Jump to Argument Field” (#1357).

- Text items in the third pane no longer show up as empty with details underneath (#1346).

- The count at the bottom of the results list is updated correctly (#1346).

- Only show folders when saving a command to a file (#1357).

- Change “plug-in” to “plugin” in the Setup Assistant (#1357).

- Only show catalog related actions with a single item selected (#1276).

- Internal improvements to the Assign Abbreviation… action (#1374).

- Set a default string ranker to prevent meaningless notifications (#1380).

- Prevent a crash when changing row height immediately after choosing a new interface (#1383).

- Fixed an exception when right-arrowing into applications with iCloud documents (#1396, #1398).

- Changed the process for displaying the Dock icon (#1152, #1414).

- More reliable file type detection (#1427, #1428, #1430).

- Internal optimizations, stability improvements, and fixes (#1335, #1346, #1385, #1390, #1401, #1371, #1403, #1388, #1410).

Changed:
- Simplify Services and set the “Command Window with Selection” trigger to use ⌘⎋ by default (#409, #1295, #1416, #1418).

- The Current Selection proxy object appears quicker (#1295).

- Better auto-detection of URLs in text entry mode (#1312, #1346, #1376).

- If files are omitted from the catalog, they will still be available when browsing the filesystem (#1195, #1322).

- Handlers preferences are grouped with other preferences for the core application (#1182, #1253).

- Disable settings for predefined catalog entries (#1341).

- Improved localization for Advanced Preferences (#1338).

- Release Notes have some style (#1228).

- Updated localizations.

Development:
- Developers don’t need to understand and track the relationship between name and label (#1263).

- Passing options to string rankers is more efficient (#1212).

- Support bundle version requirements for plug-ins (#1261).

- Allow actions to specify whether they want to see proxy objects, or only the resolved object (#1342, #1343).

- Removed some unused code related to Event Triggers (#1300).

- Better logging of exceptions in Debug mode (#1201, 1357).

Quicksilver is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried version 1.0.0 and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple adds two-step verification, other new features to iCloud security

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Date: Friday, March 22nd, 2013, 06:44
Category: News, security, Software

When in doubt, beef up the ol’ security system a bit…

On Thursday, Apple has rolled out a new two-step verification service for iCloud and Apple ID users. This functionality greatly enhances the security of Apple accounts because it requires users to use a trusted device and an extra security code.

Per 9to5Mac, the security code can be sent via SMS or via the Find my iPhone iOS app (if it is installed). Users can now setup two-step authentication on their devices via the Apple ID web site. Users need to access the security tab on this website to conduct the setup process.

During the setup process for two-step verification, users can choose which of their iOS devices they want to be “trusted.” This new service will allow only you to be able to reset your password.

Full details can be located at the Apple ID web site.

Evasi0n hack arrives, allows jailbreaking of iOS 6.1 devices

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Date: Tuesday, February 5th, 2013, 07:09
Category: Hack, iOS, News, Software

The perpetual arms race between Apple and the hacker community continues.

Per AppleInsider, hackers on Monday released a long-awaited untethered software “jailbreak” of Apple’s iOS 6.

For the first time ever, iPhone 5 and iPad mini owners can jailbreak their device with the release of Evasi0n, the new jailbreak for Apple’s iOS 6 mobile operating system. The software hack is available to implement via OS X, Windows, and Linux.

The new jailbreak is untethered, which means users will not have to reconnect their device to a computer to restart it. The hack is compatible with all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models running iOS 6.0 through iOS 6.1.

Users are advised to backup their device through iTunes or iCloud before beginning the jailbreak process. It’s also recommended to disable any passcode locks on an iOS device, as they can cause issues.

Jailbreaking is a legal but a warranty-voiding process that utilizes exploits in the iOS software to allow users to run unauthorized code. By jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad, users can add features and software not allowed by Apple, such as custom themes or user interface tweaks.

Apple advises against jailbreaking iOS devices, as the unauthorized modification could lead to system instability, compromised security, shortened battery life, and other potential issues.

If you’ve tried the Evasi0n hack and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iOS 6.1 update

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Date: Tuesday, January 29th, 2013, 07:20
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

You’ve been hankering after it for a while and it’s finally here.

On Thursday, Apple released its iOS 6.1 update. The new operating system, a several hundred megabyte update available through iTunes, adds the following fixes and changes:
- LTE support for more carriers (complete list of supported carriers).

- Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only).

- iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud.

- New button to reset the Advertising Identifier.

iOS 6.1 requires an iPhone 3GS or newer, or a third-generation iPod touch or second, third or fourth-gen iPad or iPad mini to install and run.

As always, please let us know how iOS 6.1 works for you in the comments, no matter what the feedback may be.

Apple seeds fifth iOS 6.1 beta to developer community, adds new features

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Date: Monday, January 28th, 2013, 07:22
Category: iOS, News, Software

The iOS 6.1 seeds, they just keep coming.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Saturday released a fifth iOS 6.1 beta to developers, continuing the testing phase of the company’s mobile OS that will bring users a number of features, including enhanced mapping options and Siri-integration, when it launches later this year.

While rumors claimed Apple would soon rollout an iOS 6.1 Golden Master, the beta supplied to developers today is not the finalized version that traditionally heralds an imminent public release.

Apple made the first iOS 6.1 betas available to developers in November of 2012, two months after iDevice users were given access to iOS 6. The version change came with a number of all-new features like the Apple-designed maligned Maps app, built-in Facebook integration, Photo Stream and Passbook, among others.

Past beta iterations revealed that iOS 6.1 will offer an enhanced Map Kit framework that will allow users to search for map-based place names and points of interest with natural language strings. In an example given by a developer with access to the beta, a search for “coffee” returned the location and corresponding information of nearby coffee shops.

Additionally, iOS 6.1 will offer Fandango movie ticket purchases through Siri and refined iCloud security steps when setting up a new device.

The latest release comes over a month after the fourth iOS 6.1 beta arrived in mid-December alongside fresh developer versions of Apple TV software and Xcode.

Developers can access the fifth iOS 6.1 beta from Apple’s developer website.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the fifth beta and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Apple to release all-Retina iPad, MacBook Pro lineups in 2013

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Date: Wednesday, January 16th, 2013, 08:09
Category: Apple TV, Hardware, iPad, iPad mini, MacBook Pro, Rumor

Even though it’s a rumor, there’s got to be a nugget of truth in there somewhere.

Per AppleInsider, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has made his Apple hardware predictions for the upcoming year, and expects a bevy of new iOS and Mac product releases will help the iPhone maker address a wider swath of the market

Kuo, who has seen previous success in predicting future Apple products, says the company will introduce a number of new iOS devices in 2013, including an inexpensive iPhone 5, upgraded iPhone 5S, Retina display-toting second-gen iPad mini and a redesigned fifth-generation iPad, among others. He goes on to say that Apple will retire the non-Retina MacBook Pro line and replace it with an all-Retina lineup at a lower price.

Kuo is quick to note that none of the product forecasts are expected in the first quarter of 2013 and says “many” will be introduced in the second half of the year.

According to the analyst, Apple will release both an iPhone 5S with updated internals as well as an inexpensive version of the current iPhone 5 design with a thicker plastic chassis available in six colors. The iPhone 5S, which Kuo believes will launch sometime in June or July, will have largely the same aesthetic as the existing model, but will boast a built-in fingerprint sensor, improved camera and more powerful A7 SoC. A slightly revamped “new design” iPhone 5 is expected to go on sale as a less-expensive alternative to Apple’s flagship handset at around the same time, with the affordable price tag attributed to a plastic exterior that will be available in multiple colorways.

Kuo believes a new fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad will launch with lighter frame and a more refined look, borrowing the narrow bezels seen on the iPad mini. In turn, the smaller tablet will move to generation two and get a Retina display that sports the same 2,048-by-1,536 pixel screen resolution as the existing full-size iPad. By using an identical resolution, app makers won’t have to make software changes to fit a new native format. The same thinking was used when the iPad mini was released with a resolution identical to the iPad 2.

As for Apple’s MacBook, the analyst sees an end of life for non-Retina MacBook Pros, which will be replaced by an all-Retina lineup that eschews optical drives. Pricing should be reduced to help move units. The MacBook Air will see little change besides a bump in internal specs as sizing down the high-resolution Retina display is seen as too steep a challenge at this time. Because the Air will not see a significant design change, the tweaked models are expected to arrive earlier in the year, with the all-Retina MacBook Pro line coming in quarter three.

In respect to the iPod product line, Kuo isn’t expecting much in the way of revolutionary changes. With the fifth-gen iPod touch released, Apple will likely introduce a cheaper variant of the current design without a camera and less built-in memory to reach a target price of US$199.

Finally, 2013 is expected to be the last year in which the Apple TV is considered a “hobby,” but Kuo doesn’t believe the company will introduce a full-fledged television set in the next 12 months. The existing media streamer is likely to morph into a serious business — possibly a full-fledged HDTV — in 2014, as Apple already has the infrastructure to support such a device with iTunes, the App Store and iCloud services. What the company lacks, however, is experience in the industry, especially concerning the establishment of a reliable supply chain. Kuo looks to the much-rumored “iTV” as a source of growth in the coming years.

Rumor: Apple prepping iOS 6.1 beta, build expected to go Golden Master

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Date: Monday, January 14th, 2013, 07:51
Category: iOS, News, Software

Just the term, “golden master”, it pretty much sounds awesome.

Per German web site iFun, Apple is said to be internally testing a new beta of iOS 6.1 that is expected to be the golden master build, suggesting the software is nearly ready to be released to the public.

Citing a “reliable source,” the web site reported Friday that the fifth beta of iOS 6.1 is about to be released to developers. The software is said to have gone through “extensive internal testing,” and if all goes well it will be the golden master of the software.

The software is expected to be released to developers either on Friday or potentially on Monday.

Apple began supplying beta builds of iOS 6.1 to its development community in early November. To date, there have been four betas seeded, the most recent arriving in mid-December.

Changes in iOS 6.1 are mostly minor, with the most significant user-facing additions including the ability to purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri, and a new prompt that asks users to enter security questions for iCloud when setting up their device for the first time.

For developers, iOS 6.1 includes an enhanced Map Kit framework that will allow third-party applications to search for map-based addresses based on points of interest. For example, a user could search the term “coffee” and the new framework would return the location of local coffee bars along with information about each one.

iOS 6.1 builds released to date have been compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS; fourth-, third-, and second-generation iPad; iPad mini; and fifth-and fourth-generation iPod touch.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iTunes 11.0.1 update

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Date: Friday, December 14th, 2012, 07:38
Category: iTunes, News, Software

Late Thursday, Apple released version 11.0.1 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 191.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Addresses an issue where new purchases in iCloud may not appear in your library if iTunes Match is turned on.

- Makes iTunes more responsive when searching a large library.

- Fixes a problem where the AirPlay button may not appear as expected.

- Adds the ability to display duplicate items within your library.

iTunes 11.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

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