iCloud keychain feature goes missing from iOS 7 golden master, no clear explanation given as to why

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Date: Thursday, September 12th, 2013, 07:06
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

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Ok, this is a little weird.

Per AppleInsider, developers updating their devices to the iOS 7 Golden Master seed have found that iCloud keychain, Apple’s new cloud-based credential storage system, has disappeared.

iCloud Keychain, a new feature of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks that allows users to securely store account names, passwords, and credit card information in iCloud and sync the data between their Macs, iPhones, and iPads, appears to have been removed from the latest iOS 7 pre-release seed.

The feature, revealed at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, previously appeared as a toggle in the iCloud settings menu, but is now missing.

In addition, Apple’s iOS 7 ‘What’s New’ page now lists iCloud Keychain as ‘Coming Soon,’ an indication that there has been a change to the feature’s delivery schedule. It is possible that Cupertino may have opted to delay the release to coincide with the rollout of OS X Mavericks, which is expected in late October.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to release iLife for iOS for free on upcoming iOS devices

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Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 09:10
Category: News, Software

It sort of got lost in the shuffle yesterday, but it spiffy news.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, one of the announcements on Tuesday is that Apple is making its fleet of iWork apps available free for download on new iOS devices. In addition to Pages, Keynote and Numbers, users will also be able to download iMovie and iPhoto free of charge.


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While the aforementioned iOS apps won’t be pre-loaded, they will be available as free downloads on new iOS devices.

During yesterday’s event, Tim Cook explained:

“We think that iWork is a really key advantage for our customers’ productivity, and that iPhoto and iMovie are great for are customers creativity. No other platform has any apps like these. We think that all iOS devices are made even better if they have these apps. And almost all of our customers want these apps.”

So, neat stuff to come…

Apple posts iPhone 5s/5c event keynote online

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 08:19
Category: iPhone, News

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If you missed Apple’s iPhone event yesterday, it’s been posted online.

And it features about three minutes on updated ringtones.

Per AppleInsider, Apple posted the full stream of the event.

The stream of the event is now available via this link on Apple’s official website as well as from within the Apple Events app on your Apple TV. Tuesday’s presentation included Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, marketing chief Phil Schiller, and Software Engineering head Craig Federighi.

Apple used the event to introduce its new flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5s, which features a Touch ID fingerprint scanner and 64-bit A7 processor. It will go on sale next Friday, Sept. 20, and will be available for starting at US$199 with a new service contract.

The company introduced the new iPhone 5c, which has similar specifications to last year’s iPhone 5, but comes in a new polycarbonate plastic case that’s available in five new colors: red, green, yellow, blue and white. The iPhone 5c will run US$99 for a 16-gigabyte model with carrier subsidy, or US$199 for a 32-gigabyte capacity, and will also debut next Friday. Preorders for the iPhone 5c begin this Friday, Sept. 13.

Apple also revealed that iOS 7, its redesigned mobile operating system, will launch for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices next Wednesday, two days before the new iPhones become available. Like the previous incarnations of its iOS operating system, it will be available as a free download.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Apple TV software update expected for September 18th, will provide additional AirPlay features

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Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 08:30
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

There shall be nifty new Apple TV software in the relatively near future…

Per AllThingsD, sources have indicated that come next week, Apple will update its set-top box, the Apple TV, with new software that will offer enhanced AirPlay capabilities with the software update reportedly set to arrive on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

While Apple apparently isn’t planning on updating the Apple TV hardware, the company is set to launch an “internal overhaul” that will “tweak” the current AirPlay feature, which allows users to stream content from their iOS device or Mac to the set-top box.

After the update, users will reportedly be able to stream purchased content from the iTunes Store to another person’s Apple TV, even if it isn’t set up with their Apple ID and password. That media will reportedly be streamed directly from the cloud, rather than requiring a local device.

The tweak gives the Apple TV an ability offered by Google’s new Chromecast, a US$35 media streaming dongle the search giant launched this summer.

Details on Apple’s alleged software updates headed for the Apple TV were first revealed last week, suggesting that the latest version will gain additional channels, content and functionality. Apple has been gradually adding new channels to the device in recent months, with the latest push supplying content from Vevo, Disney, the Weather Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel. Prior to that, in June, Apple added HBO Go, WatchESPN, Sky News, CrunchyRoll, and Qello.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases gold master versions of iOS 7, upcoming version of Xcode to developer community

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Date: Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, 12:50
Category: News, Software

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iOS 7 just went gold master along with the upcoming version of Xcode.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple has released its gold master versions of iOS 7 and Xcode.

The two builds are available to download from Apple’s Developer Center web site. There is no OTA update for iOS 7, so for the time being you must download the IPSW from Apple’s website and do a manual install.

If you’ve had a chance to get your hands on either of these and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple announces iPhone 5s, 5c handsets, sets release date for September 20th

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Date: Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, 12:15
Category: iPhone, News

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The iPhone you’ve been hankering for has arrived.

Per Macworld, Apple on Tuesday unveiled two new iPhones: the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.

During the presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller pointed out that the iPhone’s A7 chip uses desktop-class architecture, with a modern instruction set and over a billion transistors—and it’s the same size as the A6.

“iOS 7 already supports a native 64-bit kernel,” Schiller said. “All the built-in apps from Apple already have been reengineered for 64-bit, and it will be easy for third-party developers to compile their apps for the iPhone 5s as well.”

“The benefits are huge,” Schiller said. The A7 is up to twice as fast at CPU and graphics tasks, he said. The iPhone 5s offers 40 times the performance of the original iPhone—with half of that improvement just coming since the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5s and Touch ID:
The iPhone 5s also comes with a nifty new security feature: A fingerprint scanner built right into the Home button. That sensor can read fingerprints with incredible detail, and even supports multiple fingers. Support for that scanner in iOS 7 means you may never need to tap in your passcode again.

Touch ID uses your fingerprint to gain access to your phone. It does this by reading the fingerprint at an incredibly detailed level using the Touch ID sensor. Touch ID scans sub-epidermal skin layers with 360 degrees of readability—meaning you can hold your finger in any orientation.

“The sensor lives beneath the Home button on the iPhone 5s. That button is still tactile, but includes a stainless steel detection ring and the Touch ID sensor, with a laser-cut sapphire crystal on top. Touch ID is built deep into iOS 7,” Schiller said.

You can simply touch the Home button to unlock your iPhone. You can use the Touch ID to authenticate anywhere you’d otherwise need to provide your Apple ID password, too.

Touch ID also supports multiple fingerprints. So, you can unlock your iPhone with multiple fingers, or theoretically let a family member add their fingerprint to unlock your device, too.

The iPhone 5s camera:
Schiller said that the camera on the iPhone 5s is dramatically improved over its predecessor. He cited what he called “huge advancements”: There’s a new five-element, Apple-designed lens, with a larger 2.2 aperture, and a 15 percent larger active sensor area.

“The pixels on the sensor are 1.5 microns,” Schiller said, and he said that bigger pixels lead to better pictures. The camera also includes a new True Tone Flash.

The iPhone 5s camera also adds automatic image stabilization. It combines multiple photos taken simultaneously in real-time to stabilize and sharpen images. The camera includes a burst mode, too.

There’s a new video camera option, too: a Slo-Mo camera, which shoots 120 frames per second in high definition.

Other features:
There’s another completely new part in the iPhone 5s called M7: a motion co-processor. It continually measures motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass, without waking the A7, which Schiller said would enable new fitness accessories and apps.

In conjunction with a new CoreMotion API, Schiller said that developers could create apps to measure and track fitness in ways that weren’t possible before.

The iPhone 5s’s battery life is equal to or greater than the iPhone 5′s, Schiller said, with 10 hours of 3G talk time or LTE browsing.

The iPhone 5s is available in 16GB for US$199, 32GB for US$299, or 64GB for US$399. Apple is also offering six leather cases for the iPhone 5s at US$39 each. Orders for the iPhone 5s start on September 20. The unlocked prices for the 5s are US$649 for the 16GB model, US$749 for the 32GB model, and US$849 for the 64GB model.

Though the iPhone 5 will be retired, Apple will continue to offer the iPhone 4S in a free 8GB model.

The iPhone 5c:
“The iPhone 5c is made with all the incredible technology customers have loved with the iPhone 5,” Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said.

The iPhone 5C is available in a variety of colors: blue, green, white, pink, and yellow. The fronts of the phones are black, while all the rest of the body uses the new color, including the buttons and switches.


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When you turn on the iPhone 5c, the default wallpaper is color-matched to the phone’s body. There’s also a new line of custom cases, made of a soft-feel silicon rubber with microfiber internals, and cutout patterns of circles on the bottom two-thirds of the case. “You get this amazing combination of color between the iPhone 5c and its case.”

The iPhone 5c is made of a hard-coated polycarbonate, with a steel-reinforced structure for added rigidity — doing double duty as an antenna. The phone uses the iPhone 5′s 4-inch Retina display. It’s powered by an A6 chip, and offers higher-capacity battery performance, with a larger battery than the original iPhone 5. It also offers an 8MP iSight camera.

On the front, the iPhone 5c sports a new FaceTime HD camera that Schiller said is improved from prior iterations. And the phone supports more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world, Schiller said.

The iPhone 5c costs US$99 for the 16GB model, or US$199 for the 32GB model, with a two-year contract. The cases are also available in the same six colors; they’re available for US$29 each. You may pre-order the iPhone 5c starting on September 13. The unlocked prices for this model are US$549 for the 16GB version and US$649 for the 32GB version.

Please let us know what you make of the new iPhones in the comments and stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Microsoft launches Xbox Music streaming service for iOS, Android devices

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 9th, 2013, 09:05
Category: iOS, News, Software

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If you’re hankering for additional streaming music on your iOS device, Microsoft has its own offerings prior to Apple’s release of its iTunes Radio streaming service.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Microsoft has released Xbox Music app for iPhone. Xbox Music was first unveiled last October and allows users to listen to ad-supported or ad-free music (depending on whether they have a paying subscription or not) on their Microsoft devices, such as Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Windows PCs.

With today’s launch on iOS and Android devices, Microsoft appears to acknowledge that it thinks Apple’s iTunes Radio could become a big player on the streaming-music front — something it hopes to stave off with the expansion of Xbox Music.

Today’s release of the app offers users the following:
- Stream ad-free music from a catalog of tens of millions of songs.

- Add songs, albums and playlists to your Xbox Music collection and access them from other devices.

- Create playlists that sync across your phone, Xbox 360, PC, tablet and the web.

- Listen to music while using your iPhone.

- Listen to artist-based radio stations.

- Enjoy a rich visual experience for searching, viewing and playing back music.

- The company also says it will be releasing an update soon that will allow users to download music for offline listening.

Though Xbox Music is a free download, mobile users will be required to have an Xbox Music Pass to listen to the service on their iPhone. Xbox Music Passes are available for a free 30-day trial, but retail for US$9.99 a month after that.

Xbox Music requires iOS 6.0 or later to install and run.

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

Cocktail updated to 6.7.1

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 5th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.7.1 of CocktailCocktail (Mountain Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:
- Improvements on the “Clear CrashReporter logs” and the “Clear Apple System logs and diagnostic messages” procedures.

- Crash reports are created by OS X when either an application or the operating system encounters an error and must close. In addition to the local reports iTunes will also synchronise logs from Apple’s iOS devices in case they have crashed. Crash reports are used to debug problems and improve the overall stability of the system and are stored in both the user’s and system’s directories. Choosing to clear the logs with the everyone option includes the current user’s log files.

- In addition to this Cocktail can also clear the Apple System logs which contains general and diagnostic system messages produced by OS X. These files can occasionally contain useful information for debugging problems with the operating system, however a new log file is created daily so the system logs can take up considerable disk space if they are not cleared regularly.

Log files locations:
CrashReporter logs (.asl, .crash, .diag, .hang, .log, .panic, .ping, .shutdownStall, .spin files).
/Library/Logs/CrashReporter
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter

Apple mobile devices CrashReporter logs (.crash, .log, .submitted files).
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Baseband
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Retired
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Baseband
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Retired

Apple System logs and diagnostic messages (.asl, .crash, .diag, .hang, .log, .panic, .ping, .shutdownStall, .spin files).
/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
/private/var/log/asl
/private/var/log/DiagnosticMessages
/private/var/log/performance

- Improvements on the “Rotate log files” procedure. Install, System, and Wi-Fi logs are now archived using bz2 compression.

- Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 6.7.1 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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

Apple confirms September 10th media event, hints at next-gen iPhone handsets

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 4th, 2013, 06:12
Category: Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News, security, Software

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It went official yesterday.

On Tuesday, Apple sent out invitations for a media event next Tuesday, Sept. 10, at which the company is expected to show off its next-generation iPhone models that will come in a new range of colors.

Per The Loop, the event will kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, according to The Loop. It will be held at Apple’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Though the invitation itself makes no mention of the iPhone, it does say that the announcement “should brighten everyone’s day” — a likely reference to the fact that Apple is expected to offer its next iPhones in an array of new colors. Specifically, leaked parts have suggested “iPhone 5S” will be available in a new “champagne” shade, while a low-cost plastic “iPhone 5C” will potentially be available in white, green, red, blue, pink, and possibly more.


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Colors featured in the invitation include yellow, green, orange, white, red, pink, and shades of dark and light blue. Apple’s forthcoming iOS 7 update is also a more vibrant and colorful update to the company’s mobile operating system.

The company may have some surprises in store for fans and observers when Chief Executive Tim Cook presumably takes the stage next Tuesday, but the event is widely expected to center on the company’s largest revenue generator: the iPhone. It will likely see the unveiling of the successor to the iPhone 5, currently thought to be named the “iPhone 5S.”

The company’s next-generation premium smartphone is expected to include a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button. Last year, Apple purchased AuthenTec, a biometric security firm, potentially setting the stage for the defining feature of this year’s iPhone.

Integrating a fingerprint sensor — a move that would largely negate the need for passwords and lock-screen codes — could give Apple an edge that its competition could not likely soon address.

Apple’s “S” series iPhones have typically been refinements of the models immediately preceding them, and most of the rumors surrounding the “5S” have been in that vein. Leaked cases for the device have shown that it will retain the same form factor as the iPhone 5, though it may be available in a “champagne” color option, as well as the existing black and white models.

Analysts expect a 31 percent faster “A7″ chip that could be 20 percent more power efficient than the A6 seen in the iPhone 5. It may also feature a dedicated motion-tracking chip to enable a new range of user interactions.

Apple is also rumored to offer a model of the device with 128 gigabytes of storage, while the camera is expected to be upgraded with a dual-LED flash component for better low-light pictures. It’s likely that the camera itself will also see improvements.

Perhaps the most widely leaked device, though, has been the expected lower-cost plastic iPhone. That model is believed to be called the “iPhone 5C,” and recent leaks of an apparent user manual seem to confirm that name.

Observers believe that Apple will largely repackage the internals of the existing iPhone 5 into a polycarbonate shell to lower manufacturing costs. To differentiate the device, the “5C” would be available in a range of colors.

The move back to polycarbonate for the chassis would allow Apple to offer the “iPhone 5C” at a much lower price point than the premium-built iPhone 5 or anticipated “iPhone 5S.” That lower price could give Apple a better chance of picking up mid-range smartphone customers, who often choose Android phones when upgrading from feature phones simply due to price.

Most importantly, though, a lower-cost iPhone would give Apple a much better chance of competing in the world’s largest smartphone market: China. Investment firm UBS opined in August that an affordable iPhone would move more than 11 million units on China Mobile alone.

The Sept. 10 event will also mark the announcement of a release date for Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 7. The new platform, revealed at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, features an almost complete visual overhaul, with many of the features of previous iOS versions giving way to a “flatter” aesthetic spun out of the leadership of Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief.

Aside from the new look, iOS 7 will also feature iTunes Radio, a new music streaming service that will take on Pandora, Spotify, and other services. It will also come with improvements to Siri, allowing Apple’s digital assistant to display more information and control phone settings, and tweaks to the Camera app, giving users access to more editing options.

The media event is likely to offer final – and long-anticipated – release dates for the next-gen iPhone handsets as well as iOS 7.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Leaked internal memo shows Apple blocking AppleCare employees’ vacation time between Sept. 15 – 28, next-gen iPhone, iOS 7 launches cited

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013, 06:18
Category: iPhone, News, retail

When a company blacks out employee vacation days, they’re up to something.

Per AppleInsider, AppleCare employees have been restricted from taking time off for a two-week period, from Sept. 15 through 28 — a span during which Apple is expected to launch its new iPhone lineup, as well as the revamped iOS 7 mobile operating system.

An internal company document purportedly shows time off available for AppleCare employees for the latter half of September. As can be seen in the calendar, available time off drops off significantly starting Sunday, Sept. 15, and continues through Saturday, Sept. 28.

The image provided shows the calendar being accessed via virtual private network from an internal Apple employee domain. Potentially identifying portions of the picture have been cropped out.

Apple is generally expected to make its new iPhone models available for sale on Friday, Sept. 20, just over a week after the company is gearing up to hold a media event to introduce the new devices. Based on prior years’ release schedules, it’s likely that iOS 7 a few days prior, perhaps on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Between the debut of new iPhones and the launch of a different-looking operating system in iOS 7, AppleCare telephone support will likely have their hands full. As such, Apple has restricted employee time off for a two-week span covering not only the expected launch, but a full week after.

Developers have had their hands on iOS 7 since the new platform was unveiled at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The platform has a cleaner and more colorful look than its predecessor, with simpler icons and graphics, but it also packs in new features and functionality, such as a revamped Notification Center and quick-access Control Center.

Built-in apps and functions such as Photos, Camera, Weather, Safari, multitasking and Siri also sport new designs that may initially confuse new users once they are prompted to update to iOS 7.

As for hardware, Apple is set to hold an event on Sept. 10 that will focus on the company’s new iPhones. Specifically, Apple is expected to introduce a new high-end “iPhone 5S” with an integrated fingerprint sensor under the home button, as well as a more affordable “iPhone 5C” with a plastic back available in a range of colors.

The iPhone is Apple’s most popular product, and 2013 is expected to be the first time the company launches two new models at the same time, which sets the stage for the company’s biggest product debut ever.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.