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Apple to Require App-Specific Passwords For Third-Party Apps Accessing iCloud

Apple is now offering app-specific passwords for third-party apps that access iCloud, allowing users to generate unique one-time use passwords to sign into iCloud securely. In a support document, Apple describes app-specific passwords as a feature of two-step verification and states that app-specific passwords will be required to sign into iCloud when using a third-party app beginning on October 1, 2014.

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If you use iCloud with any third party apps, such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or BusyCal, you can generate app-specific passwords that allow you to sign in securely, even if the app you're using doesn't support two-step verification. Using an app-specific password also ensures that your primary Apple ID password isn't collected or stored by any third party apps you might use.
App-specific passwords, which have long been used by other sites like Google, are a function of two-step verification. Typically, two-step verification requires a user to enter a verification code, but oftentimes, the codes will not work properly in third-party apps, so app-specific passwords are substituted instead.

As outlined in the support document, app-specific passwords can be generated by accessing My Apple ID, where the option to generate an app-specific password is listed under Password and Security. According to Apple, users can have up to 25 active app-specific passwords at a time, which are listed in the Password and Security section of My Apple ID.

appspecifichistoryGenerating an app-specific password is limited to accounts with two-factor authentication turned on, and for security reasons, Apple sends an email whenever an app-specific password is generated. App-specific passwords will be revoked whenever a user's primary Apple ID password is changed, requiring new app-specific passwords to be generated.

Apple's new app-specific passwords follow the launch of two-factor verification for accessing iCloud.com and come after a hacking incident that saw the iCloud accounts of several celebrities compromised due to weak passwords.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised to improve iCloud security by increasing awareness about two-factor verification, as well as sending out security emails whenever a device is restored, iCloud is accessed, or a password change is attempted.

Apple Launches Guide for Android Users Switching to iPhone

Ahead of the launch of the large-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple has released a detailed support document that walks Android users through moving data from their Android devices to the iPhone.

The document includes information on moving email accounts to the iPhone, giving Android users instructions on how to add email accounts to the Mail app. It suggests using a third-party app (Copy My Data [Direct Link]) to transfer data like contacts, calendars, and photos.

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Apple suggests Android users can transfer photos, videos, books, and music from Android devices to iPhones using iTunes on a Mac or PC, giving step-by-step instructions. The document also walks users through transferring various documents to iCloud, which can then be opened in Pages, Keynote, and Numbers via iCloud and on iOS devices using the three apps.

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, analysts suggested that the introduction of a larger-screened device could trigger a massive spike in upgrades and lure Android users who were using the Android platform due to the availability of devices with big screens.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook made similar statements, suggesting the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would trigger "the mother of all upgrades" with Android users also looking to switch to the iPhone due to the fact that the phones are "appreciably better in every single way."

On Monday, Apple announced that it had processed more than four million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders on the first day of pre-launch dales, doubling the previous iPhone 5 pre-order record set in 2012. Pre-order supplies of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus dwindled quickly, with iPhone 6 Plus shipping estimates slipping to 3 to 4 weeks early Friday morning and iPhone 6 shipping estimates slipping to 7 to 10 days on Friday evening.

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in stores beginning on Friday, September 19. Early pre-orders will also begin arriving to customers on that date.

Official iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Cases Arriving Ahead of Friday's iPhone Launch

While shipping vendors have been instructed to hold deliveries of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus until Friday's official launch date, there is no such restriction on the official Apple cases designed for the new devices. As a result, several MacRumors readers and others who placed orders for cases when iPhone pre-orders went live last Friday have already begun receiving their case orders.

iLounge has shared some good photos of the brown leather iPhone 6 Plus case. The cases are very similar to the leather iPhone 5s cases with a microfiber interior to protect the iPhone itself, although the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases have an open bottom edge where as the iPhone 5s cases are enclosed with distinct holes for the various physical features.

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At least one MacRumors reader has received his black leather case for the iPhone 6 Plus, while others are receiving iPhone 6 cases as well.

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A Reddit poster has received one of each size of case, allowing for a comparison between the two sizes. The poster has also shared some photos showing how the two cases fit in the hand.

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Apple's leather cases are priced at $45 for the iPhone 6 and $49 for the iPhone 6 Plus, while silicone cases are also available priced at $35 for the iPhone 6 and $39 for the iPhone 6 Plus. The leather cases are currently shipping with delays of a few business days, while silicone cases are listed as shipping in October.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

iCloud.com Now Utilizing Two-Factor Authentication

Apple's two-factor authentication system is now enabled for iCloud.com, with the site asking for a verification code before allowing users with two-factor authentication enabled to access various iCloud.com apps.

Access to iCloud.com apps like Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote is restricted until the verification code is entered on the website, but Find My iPhone remains accessible.

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Users also receive an email when their Apple ID is used to sign into iCloud via the web browser, a feature that was implemented following the recent hacking of celebrity iCloud accounts that led to hundreds of photos being shared on the Internet.

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Following the hacking incident, Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged to improve iCloud security by expanding two-factor authentication to iCloud and sending out security emails when a device is restored, iCloud is accessed, or a password change is attempted. Cook also said that Apple will aim to increase awareness about two-factor verification.

Originally implemented back in March of 2013, two-factor verification is an opt-in system designed to increase Apple ID account security by requiring identity verification before allowing users to make account changes or purchase content on new devices. It replaces standard security questions with a security code delivered to a trusted device.

Apple first tested two-factor authentication for iCloud.com back in June, well ahead of the iCloud breach, but the feature was not implemented until today.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Shown Off in Early Hands-On Videos

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won't be available to consumers until Friday, September 19, but some devices have been trickling out early ahead of the phone's launch. Korean site UNDERkg has managed to get both an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus, sharing hands-on videos and photos.

The first video focuses on the 4.7-inch gold iPhone 6, walking through all of the features including the display, the Touch ID home button, the protruding lens, and the power button, which has been relocated to the right side of the device for easier one-handed access.

In the video, the iPhone 6 is also compared to earlier models of the iPhone, like the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 3G, as well as Samsung devices like the Galaxy S5 and Alpha. The device is shown running iOS 8, with several of the apps demonstrated in the video. Authenticity is of the iPhone 6 in the video is confirmed via a FaceTime call.


UNDERkg's second video shows off the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, again running through all of the newly introduced design features, including the wraparound screen, relocated power button, and redesigned pill-shaped volume buttons.

As with the iPhone 6, the 6 Plus is shown powered on, with the reviewer showing off a few apps on the phone as well as the larger available home screen space. The iPad-style landscape mode is also demonstrated, showing how the device uses its additional real estate.


Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available to consumers beginning on Friday, September 19. The devices will be available in stores on that date, and that is also the date that early pre-orders will begin arriving. Official iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reviews should be available tonight.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus Might Be Limited to 1 GB of RAM

Part leaks have previously suggested that the iPhone 6 has just 1 GB of RAM, much like its predecessor the iPhone 5s, but the memory status of the iPhone 6 Plus has thus far remained a mystery, leading many to hope that the larger device has been upgraded to 2 GB of RAM.

New information suggests that the iPhone 6 Plus may not be getting a memory upgrade, and will continue to offer 1GB of RAM like the iPhone 6. A screenshot allegedly from an iPhone 6 Plus depicting what appears to be iPhone monitoring app System Status has surfaced on a Korean message board (via Phone Arena), showing the device's memory maxing out at close to 1 GB.

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Despite the size difference, the appearance of 1 GB of RAM in the iPhone 6 Plus seems to suggest that the two phones have nearly identical internal specifications, both offering the same A8 chip and memory. The larger iPhone 6 Plus does, however, have a larger battery due to its larger size and it also offers optical image stabilization, while the iPhone 6 is limited to electronic image stabilization features.

While the apparent lack of 2 GB of RAM in the iPhone 6 Plus will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to those who were hoping for a memory increase, Apple has to work carefully to balance performance with battery life. Competing devices from companies like Samsung do offer more RAM, but at the cost of performance. Samsung's Galaxy S5, for example, offers impressive battery life at up to 10 hours of Internet browsing and 12 hours of HD movie watching, but it appears the iPhone 6 Plus may exceed that, based on battery information unveiled during the keynote.

Apple's iPhone 6 Plus is rumored to include a 2,915 mAh battery that offers up to 12 hours of Internet browsing and 14 hours of HD movie watching. Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be arriving in stores and in the hands of customers on Friday, September 19, which will unveil more concrete information about the device's internals.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Foxconn Factory Worker Detained Over iPhone 6 Shell Leaks

A Foxconn worker is being detained after being accused of stealing six iPhone 6 rear shells from the factory line and reselling them to an unidentified party in Shenzhen, China, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing details in Chinese newspaper Taihang Daily. The thefts started in late July and netted the 40-year-old male factory worker a total of 6,000 yuan ($960).

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The suspect, identified only with the surname Qiao, allegedly responded to an advertisement that offered to purchase "parts from Apple Inc. at high prices." Qiao snuck out his first shell on July 24 and shipped the product to an address in Shenzhen.
"On July 24, according to the article, Qiao hid one shell in his pocket and successfully avoided the security check by leaving at the peak of quitting time, when lots of workers swarm out of the factory at the same time. He sent the shell to an address in Shenzhen via a local courier service and received his money couple days later.

Apparently encouraged, he stole another five shells that month and sent them to the same buyer, the article said."
Foxconn reported the thefts to local police in mid-August, who identified Qiao within 20 days through the use of video surveillance, employee records, and courier service logs. Foxconn told CNET in a statement that Foxconn expects its employees to follow the company's strict Code of Conduct.
"As a matter of company policy, Foxconn does not comment on any aspect of our work for any customer," a Foxconn Technology Group spokesperson told CNET in an e-mailed statement. "However, we can say that we have a strict Company Code of Conduct that our company and our employees are expected to follow and we do not hesitate to take the appropriate action, including bringing matters to the attention of the relevant law enforcement authorities, should we determine that this Code has been violated."
Numerous components from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were leaked in the months leading up to Apple's September announcement event. Detailed photos and videos of the shells provided a glimpse into the design of the two handsets, while internal components hinted at NFC and other features that ultimately appeared in the final device.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple Approving iOS 8-Optimized Apps, but Extensions Not Working Properly Yet

ios_8_extensions_iconFollowing last week's iPhone and Apple Watch media event, Apple officially invited developers to begin submitting their iOS 8 apps for App Store review ahead of tomorrow's public release of the new operating system. While a number of developers have been tweaking their apps to work better with iOS 8 over the past few months, the major step forward comes as apps begin to support the new functionalities supported in iOS 8.

Apple has already begun approving some of these iOS 8-optimized apps, but a few high-profile developers are finding that some of their highly anticipated extensions are not working properly in the updated apps being distributed through the App Store. While only a small subset of iOS users are affected due to limited distribution of the iOS 8 golden master released to developers last week, the issue has been a concerning one for developers trying to diagnose it.

One example is OmniFocus 2 for iPhone [Direct Link], which will include an extension to add an OmniFocus list of tasks to the "Today" view in Notification Center. In the iOS 8-optimized version of OmniFocus 2 released over the weekend and a bug fix released yesterday, the Today view is currently not being properly populated with data from OmniFocus itself.

A similar issue is occurring with popular calculator app PCalc [Direct Link], and both issues appear to be related to code signing on Apple's end. PCalc developer James Thomson has been in touch with Apple and received word that the company is indeed working on the problem.

All indications are that this is a problem Apple will thankfully be able to fix without requiring developers to submit new versions of their apps, and presumably the company will have it fixed in time for the public release of iOS 8 tomorrow.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

Apple Restricting Use of NFC Antenna in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Apple Pay

The NFC antenna found on Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will only be used with the company's "Apple Pay" mobile payment solution and will not be available to developers for use in third-party apps, reports Cult of Mac. The confirmation comes by way of an Apple spokeswoman, who also declined to comment on future plans for the technology's use in other instances.

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The move is similar to the Touch ID sensor's debut on the iPhone 5s last year, as Apple restricted its use to iTunes purchases and device unlocking. However, Apple announced at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference that developers would be able to integrate Touch ID into their iOS 8 apps. It is possible that Apple will allow NFC to be used with third-party apps at some point in the future, however it appears that the company is focused on polishing the technology for use with its own services.

Apple Pay will first launch in the United States next month as an update to iOS 8, and will be featured in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as the Apple Watch when it launches next year. The service will be compatible with American Express, Mastercard and Visa credit/debit cards, with 220,000 U.S. retail stores listed as partners. Apple will also be launching an Apple Pay API for developers to integrate the service into their apps.

Tim Cook Speaks on Privacy in New Interview: 'We Try Not to Collect Data'

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with Charlie Rose in a two part-interview, and the second segment of the show is airing tonight. In the second half of the interview, Cook focuses on the driving force behind Apple, his own personal values, and the company's thoughts on privacy.

Cook's first comments are on Apple's privacy views, and he says that the company tries to collect as little data about its users as possible. He believes that people "have a right to privacy."

Our view is that when we design a new service we try not to collect data. So we're not reading your email. We're not reading your iMessage. If the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can't provide it. It's encrypted and we don't have a key.

Our business is based on selling [products]. Our business is not based on having information about you. You are not our product.
As he has stated previously, Cook says that no one has backdoor access to Apple's servers. "We would never allow that to happen," he says, repeating his prior statement on the issue. "They would have to cart us out in a box before we would do that."

On his values, Tim Cook says that he believes in treating all people with dignity, regardless of color, religion sexual orientation, and gender. "Everyone deserves respect." Cook goes on to comment on the driving force behind Apple, which he says is a goal to enrich people's lives and change the world, not to be the largest company.
You know, I was at -- I was at Compaq at a time where the objective was to become a $40 billion company. Well, employees don't get excited about that. This isn't something you wake up and you go, "I'm going to take the hill today to do 40" -- I mean, you know? It's just not that. But changing the world? These are the things that people work for. And this pushes people. And so, this is who we are as people. And it's the values of our company. It's been the values of our company forever. And it's to Steve's credit. He put these values in the company... I know I probably said it too many times, but it's a privilege of a lifetime to be there, because I think there's no place like it on Earth."
The first part of the Charlie Rose interview aired on Friday, with Tim Cook speaking about Steve Jobs' continued influence on Apple Products, the company's thoughts on the Apple TV, and the decision to buy Beats Electronics.

During the first half of the interview, Tim Cook also said that Apple is working on products that "no one knows about" and that "haven't been rumored about yet," noting that some of the products may go on to be released while others will be shelved.

Tim Cook's full commentary on Apple and privacy issues will be available when the complete second part of the interview airs later tonight on PBS.

Apple Watch Already Facing Questions Concerning User Privacy

Though it won't be released until early 2015, Apple's new wearable device is already facing public scrutiny over privacy issues. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking several questions about how the Apple Watch will operate and requesting a meeting with Apple representatives.

In the letter, Jepsen addresses several issues he has with the Apple Watch, and requests that Apple explains what data the device will collect and how the information will be stored, along with its policies on apps that access health information.

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In his letter, the Attorney General noted several areas of concern, including:

-Whether Apple will allow consumers to store personal and health information on Apple Watch itself and/or on its servers, and if so, how information will be safeguarded;

-If and how Apple will review application privacy policies to ensure that users' health information is safeguarded;

-If and how Apple intends to enforce policies that require the rejection of applications that provide diagnoses, treatment advice, or control hardware designed to diagnose or treat medical conditions that do not provide written regulatory approval;

-What information Apple Watch and its applications will collect from users, and how Apple and application developers will obtain consent to collect and share such information from these individuals; and

-How Apple intends to monitor and enforce applications' compliance with its guidelines concerning users' health information.
Many of these questions actually seem to pertain more to Apple's HealthKit APIs, and several of the answers to Jepson's questions are detailed in Apple's Review Guidelines for developers that was updated in June.

In the document, Apple says that HealthKit information will not be stored in iCloud and that apps attempting to store health data in iCloud will be rejected. It also states that apps will not be able to share data with third parties without express user consent and that all apps that provide diagnoses or treatment advice will be rejected.

Introduced on September 9, the Apple Watch is designed to be both fashionable and functional, aiming to encourage its users to be more active. It includes an accelerometer and four lenses designed to monitor heart rate, with the information collected displayed in several accompanying fitness apps. The heart rate and fitness data will also likely integrate with the Health app in iOS 8, which is designed to aggregate health and fitness data from a wide range of devices that have taken advantage of the HealthKit API.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Models Popping Up in China, Vietnam Ahead of September 19 Launch

Though the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are not expected to be delivered to customers and released to stores until Friday, September 19, some devices have already begun showing up in Vietnam and China.

According to Dan Tri [Google Translate] an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were spotted in a Red River restaurant in Vietnam by an AP reporter, who confirmed the legitimacy of the devices.

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The reporter is said to have tested features like Messages and Siri to confirm that the devices seen in Vietnam were real, and Dan Tri snapped several photos of the two phones. The images show off the size difference between the two models and how the devices fit into a pocket.

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Dan Tri also shares some details on the two new devices, suggesting that despite the size increase, the iPhone 6 Plus is comfortable to hold and feels like "a miniature mini iPad." The cameras, though protruding, are not much of a hinderance, and two phones are "fast" and quick to open apps.

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iPhone 6 models have also appeared in China, with users on the MacX.cn forums sharing several photos of the devices.

Apple was unable to keep a tight rein on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus this year, with several parts leaking out ahead of the iPhone announcement. Enough parts leaked, in fact, that Feld & Volk was able to assemble a functional iPhone well ahead of release, and the weekend before Apple unveiled the two devices, a fully functional version of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 was shared by a Chinese user.

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be in retail stores beginning on Friday, September 19. Early pre-orders placed on September 12 will also begin arriving on that date, though a few lucky customers often get their devices delivered early due to shipping errors and the logistics of delivering hundreds of thousands of devices simultaneously.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple Releases Third OS X Yosemite Public Beta, Developer Preview 8

Apple today released the third Yosemite public beta for beta testers, following the release of the second Yosemite public beta on August 21. Developer Preview 8 has also been released for developers, two weeks after the seventh Developer Preview was released.

The software update can be downloaded through the software update function of the Mac App Store, and developers can also download DP 8 from the Mac Developer Center.

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It is possible given the release timing that both versions of Yosemite, DP 8 and the new public beta, are the same. The public beta will also include updates from Developer Preview 7, which included a new look for Dark Mode, several tweaked icons, and the removal of the "Software Update" option from the main Apple menu.

Apple is expected to release OS X Yosemite to the general public later this year, possibly following an October event that may introduce new iPads.

Related roundup: OS X Yosemite

Apple Creates Tool for Users to Delete Unwanted U2 Album

During Apple's keynote announcement, the company announced plans to provide U2's new album, "Songs of Innocence," to all iTunes customers for free. Rather than letting customers choose to download the album on their own, however, Apple pushed it to iTunes accounts, causing some devices to automatically download the album without explicit user permission.

The move upset users who did not want to have U2's album listed on their devices, which has now prompted Apple to create a process for removing the album from user's devices. According to Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr, who gave a statement to Re/code, customers were asking Apple how to delete the album after it was distributed, which has led Apple to create both a tool and a support document that outlines the process for removing the album from iCloud.

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Here's Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr's explanation: "Some customers asked for the ability to delete 'Songs of Innocence' from their library, so we set up http://www.itunes.com/soi-remove to let them easily do so. Any customer that needs additional help should contact AppleCare."
To remove the U2 album, users are directed to Apple's new removal tool that will automatically remove the U2 album from an account after signing in with an Apple ID and password.

Apple warns that once the album has been removed from an iTunes account that it will no longer be available as a previously purchased album. Users have until October 13, 2014 to manually reinstall the album for free.

Retina iMacs and Apple Displays Within Reach as New DisplayPort 1.3 Spec Finalized

imac_27_angleWith Dell having announced its upcoming 5120 x 2880 "5K" display that would be the equivalent of a Retina 27-inch iMac or Apple Thunderbolt Display and Apple rumored to be launching its own such display later this year, connectivity options for such displays have now taken a significant step forward with today's official release of the DisplayPort 1.3 specification by the Video Electronics Standards Association (via 9to5Mac).

The new standard offers a 50 percent increase in bandwidth to 32.4 Gbps, or 25.92 Gbps of uncompressed video data once overhead is accounted for.
The increased bandwidth enables higher resolution monitors, including recently announced 5K monitors (with pixel resolutions of 5120 x 2880) using a single DisplayPort cable, without the use of compression. It will also enable higher resolutions when driving multiple monitors through a single connection using DisplayPort’s Multi-Stream feature, such as the use of two 4K UHD monitors, each with a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2160, when using VESA Coordinated Video Timing.
Apple has been rumored for some time to be working on Retina iMacs and displays, but connectivity bottlenecks have been one of the factors slowing progress in that area.

The previous DisplayPort 1.2a standard offered enough bandwidth to support 4K displays without compression, but pushing resolutions to 5K has presented difficulties for connectivity. With the new DisplayPort 1.3 standard, which will presumably be built into future Thunderbolt implementations, computer manufacturers such as Apple will be able to fully support the new high-resolution displays set to hit the market in the coming months.

Related roundups: iMac, Thunderbolt Display

Photos From Inside a 747 Flying iPhone 6 Units to the U.S.

As retailers prepare to begin sending out iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders to customers, shipping company employees behind the scenes are working hard to transport the phones from China to the United States. One MacRumors reader who works in shipping has posted photos of 195,000 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders that he flew from China to Alaska in a 747, which will then be sent on to Chicago.

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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus orders in cargo plane, courtesy of goforblacksky.
Yep, that's what I do. I fly stuff. Privileged to be a small part of the Apple supply chain. Just landed a 747 full of iPhone 6's in Anchorage. Another crew will take the airplane on to Chicago. It'll be on the ground at O'hare about 9am Sept. 15. I gave it a little extra gas coming over the Pacific, just to get them here a little quicker. You're welcome
According to the poster, goforblacksky, the massive load of phones weighed approximately 256,000 pounds. Though the photo shows the cargo under tarps and concealed, a second shipping photo from China Daily depicts a similar plane loaded with iPhones departing from the Henan province in China bound for Chicago last week.

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Photo of a different plane being loaded with iPhones, courtesy of China Daily

Customers who pre-ordered early from carriers like Verizon have already begun receiving shipping notifications, and customers who placed orders from Apple and were lucky enough to receive a 9/19 shipping date are seeing their phone statuses listed as "Preparing for shipment." Apple orders may begin shipping out later today.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus orders will begin arriving to customers on Friday, 9/19, which is the date that the iPhone will also begin appearing in stores. Apple will have additional iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units available for customers willing to wait in line and purchase in store on that date.

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Photo looking down inside the airplane at iPhone 6 and 6 Plus orders, courtesy of goforblacksky

Currently, all pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have sold out. iPhone 6 orders placed on Apple's online store now have shipping estimates of 7 to 10 days, while iPhone 6 Plus orders have shipping estimates of three to four weeks.

Duke and Stanford Begin Patient Trials With Apple's HealthKit Service

healthkit-logoDuke University, Stanford University Hospital, and medical device manufacturers are working with Apple on patient trials involving Apple's new HealthKit API, reports Reuters. Apple mentioned the trials in its recent September press event, but did not provide any details on the health parameters or patient groups being studied.

Speaking to Reuters, Duke University's Ricky Bloomfield, internal medicine pediatrician and director of mobile strategy, confirmed the research institution will use HealthKit to track vital health parameters such as blood pressure and weight for patients with cancer or heart disease. iOS 8's HealthKit API will gather this health-related information from a variety of sources and compile it so patients and doctors can easily view this information in one place.
"This could eliminate the hassle of getting data from patients, who want to give it to us," said Bloomfield, "HealthKit removes some of the error from patients' manually entering their data."
Stanford Children's Chief Medical Information Officer Christopher Longhurst confirmed that the research hospital will be monitoring Type 1 diabetes patients, who will be sent home with an iPod touch and instructed to enter blood sugar levels in between doctor visits. Two patients already are enrolled in the trial.

Besides doctors, medical device makers are interested in HealthKit, taking advantage of HealthKit's ability to gather medical information from a device and share it with an iOS app. Apple already announced it has electronic health record software vendor Epic Systems as a HealthKit partner. Many other manufacturers, such as glucose monitor company Dexcom, are interested in HealthKit and are in talks with Apple and the FDA about adopting the technology.

Apple has made clear it views HealthKit as an important aspect of iOS 8 and upcoming devices such as the Apple Watch, in line with the company's emphasis on enriching the lives of users through innovation in technology. That vision, however, will take some time to develop as Apple continue its own work and relies on partners to help support the effort going forward.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

T-Mobile's iPhone 'Test Drive' Program Upgrades: iOS 8 Soon, iPhone 6 Units Later

Several months ago, T-Mobile US launched an iPhone "test drive" program allowing users to test an iPhone 5s on the carrier's network for seven days free of charge. The program helps users decide if T-Mobile's coverage is satisfactory in the areas they frequent, and also gives users unfamiliar with the iPhone a free introduction to the platform.

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With Apple ready to release new iPhone hardware and software, T-Mobile has informed Re/code that it will continue offering the program and plans to upgrade the test drive units to iOS 8 within days of its public launch this Wednesday. T-Mobile also has plans to begin offering iPhone 6 units through the testing program, but it will take some time for those to become available as supplies will be tight in the early weeks after release and they will unsurprisingly be prioritized for customer purchases.
“We don’t have a definitive timeline, but we do intend to switch over in future,” a T-Mobile spokesperson said. “There are a variety of factors that affect that timeline, (including) product availability.”
T-Mobile's test drive program is one component of its ongoing "Un-carrier" initiative in which has sought to differentiate itself from the other major U.S. carriers. The latest piece of the program, unveiled last week, includes support for Wi-Fi calling and a partnership with inflight Internet service provider Gogo to allow T-Mobile customers to use text, picture message, and visual voicemail services on Gogo-enabled airplanes free of charge.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple Confirms Record-Breaking Four Million First Day Pre-Orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple today announced that it has processed more than four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders in the first day of pre-launch sales in the select countries that started accepting orders on September 12. This figure doubles Apple's previously announced record of two million pre-order sales for the iPhone 5 in 2012.

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“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.”
First-day demand was strong for the two iPhone 6 handsets with pre-orders pushing out availability of the phones to October. Ship times for the larger iPhone 6 Plus began to slide several hours after pre-ordering started on September 12, while supply of the iPhone 6 remained strong until mid-day.

After announcing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at its September press event, Apple will begin selling the two phones in its retail stores and through third-party retailers and carriers beginning Friday, September 19th in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. The company will roll out the handset to more than 20 additional countries on September 26.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

New Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Commercial Attacks Apple for iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung has introduced a new ad for its upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4, talking about how the company first introduced the Galaxy Note series in 2011 and popularized the "phablet" form factor while calling out Apple for making the similarly sized iPhone 6 Plus three years later.


The ad begins recounting the history of the Galaxy Note before talking about some of the features of the device, like multi-window multitasking and its S-Pen stylus. The ad then shows articles from online publications criticizing Samsung for releasing the original Galaxy Note due to the device's large size before showing articles praising Apple for releasing the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

Finally, the ad shows select tweets from users criticizing Apple for releasing the iPhone 6 Plus three years after Samsung started the Galaxy Note line of devices. The commercial ends with the release date for the new device.

Samsung has continually created advertising going after Apple, its products and its fan base, famously depicting people ogling the Samsung Galaxy S2 while waiting in line outside an Apple Store for the newest iPhone mode. More recently, Samsung published a series of web ads poking fun at Apple's September 9 special events and rolled out a "Wall Huggers" ad campaign that pokes fun at the iPhone's battery life.