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Adobe Renaming 'Flash Professional' to ‘Animate’, Shifts Focus to HTML5

As part of its round of November Creative Cloud updates, Adobe announced plans to rebrand its Flash Professional CC software as Animate CC to acknowledge a growing shift away from Flash.

In a blog post on its website, Adobe explains that more than a third of content created in Flash Pro CC uses HTML5, leading the company to rename the software to "accurately represent its position as the premier animation tool for the web and beyond."

Along with changing the name of Flash Professional CC, Adobe is working on major feature updates for the software, including improved drawing, illustration, and authoring support and integration with Adobe Stock and Creative Cloud Libraries.

While Adobe is rebranding to better focus on HTML5, it says the new Animate CC will continue to support Flash (SWF) and Air formats as "first-class citizens," with work already underway on Flash Player 12.

The new Adobe Animate CC app will be available starting in January. Previous versions of Flash Professional will continue to be available.

Flash has been on its way out for several years now. Apple's refusal to support flash on its iOS devices was a major blow to Adobe and declining use led Adobe to eliminate its Flash player for mobile devices in 2011. Major websites have largely transitioned from Flash due to never ending security vulnerabilities, with Amazon no longer accepting Flash ads and Facebook's lead security engineer calling for the death of Flash.

Popular Design App 'Sketch' Leaves Mac App Store Due to Poor Customer Experience

Bohemian Coding has announced that its popular design app Sketch is no longer available in the Mac App Store because, after a lengthy decision making process, the developers felt that directly licensing the software outside of Apple's storefront will provide customers with a better experience.

In a blog post on its website, the Sketch team highlighted some of the Mac App Store's limitations, including a lengthy app review process, sandboxing and no upgrade pricing. Sketch stresses this was not a knee-jerk reaction to the Mac App Store's recent expired certificate problem, but that issue did compound the situation.

Sketch said the Mac App Store's customer experience has not progressed like its iOS counterpart:
We’ve been considering our options for some time. Over the last year, as we’ve made great progress with Sketch, the customer experience on the Mac App Store hasn’t evolved like its iOS counterpart. We want to continue to be a responsive, approachable, and easily-reached company, and selling Sketch directly allows us to give you a better experience.

There are a number of reasons for Sketch leaving the Mac App Store—many of which in isolation wouldn’t cause us huge concern. However as with all gripes, when compounded they make it hard to justify staying: App Review continues to take at least a week, there are technical limitations imposed by the Mac App Store guidelines (sandboxing and so on) that limit some of the features we want to bring to Sketch, and upgrade pricing remains unavailable.
Sketch is among a growing number of apps that are no longer sold in the Mac App Store, including professional HTML and text editor BBEdit and web development tool Coda. By selling their apps directly, developers not only get around the Mac App Store's technical limitations, but also do not have to split 30% of sales revenue with Apple.

Bohemian Coding has provided instructions for Mac App Store users to migrate to the directly licensed version of the app in a FAQ on its website, which is required for future software updates. The development team does not rule out a possible return to the Mac App Store "in the longer term" if the necessary changes have been made.
Moving to a direct version of Sketch does not require a re-purchase. Simply download the latest copy of Sketch here, replace the old version in your Applications folder, and we will issue you a license for Sketch absolutely free of charge. Just follow the steps in-app to complete the transfer. We will also migrate your presets and templates across, so you won’t lose any data in the process. We’ve made it as simple and painless as we possibly can.
Sketch is a professional design app for Mac for creating user interfaces, websites, icons and more. The software received an Apple Design Award in 2012 and was consistently a top ranked app on the Mac App Store. Sketch continues to sell for its regular price of $99 with a free trial available.

Apple Honors World AIDS Day for the Fifth Year With Red Store Logos

Continuing a tradition begun four years ago, Apple today has joined in recognizing World AIDS Day by coloring Apple logos on its retail stores around the world bright red. The worldwide event was established to represent the global fight in preventing HIV and AIDS, as well as promoting healthy education of the diseases, a cause Apple has helped forward with its line of (PRODUCT)RED accessories.

Apple AIDS Decoration
World AIDS Day decoration at Apple's Brussels, Belgium store from Twitter user WJPM

As in years past, the company has taken to promoting the World AIDS Day events not only in retail locations but on its online storefront, as well. The home page of today encourages visitors to shop the company's (PRODUCT)RED line of Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple Watch, and Beats accessories to help promote and fund AIDS defense and awareness.

Apple Stores known to be participating in the event include the Bondi Junction location near Sydney, Australia, the Brussels, Belgium store, and Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue spot in New York City. The company quietly launched a (PRODUCT)RED leather case for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus yesterday in time for the December 1 event, and teamed up with iOS developer Supercell in an exclusive promotional event that will let players purchase rare in-game items with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

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.

Apple Expands Personal Pickup to Six More European Countries

Apple today expanded its Personal Pickup in-store pickup service to France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The launch of Personal Pickup in Germany was first noted by Macerkopf, and MacRumors subsequently confirmed the wider European expansion of the service.

Personal Pickup allows customers to place an order on the Apple Online Store or Apple Store app and pick it up at a nearby Apple Retail Store, generally within an hour. The service is offered for several Apple products, including Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and the Apple Watch.

Apple notifies customers via email or text message when an order is available for in-store pickup with a valid photo ID.

Personal Pickup launched in the U.S. in 2011, but was unavailable elsewhere until last month. The service first expanded to Australia and Canada on November 17 before going live in the United Kingdom three days later.

Personal Pickup has yet to launch in other countries and regions with an Apple retail store presence, including Belgium, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

MacRumors broke the news in early November that Apple was planning an international expansion of Personal Pickup in Australia, France, United Kingdom and other countries, and the service is now live in all of those countries.

(Thanks, Andre!)

AT&T to Raise Price of Grandfathered Unlimited Plans From $30 to $35

AT&T will raise the price of its grandfathered unlimited data plans from $30 to $35 in February of 2016, reports CNBC. The upcoming rate change is detailed on a page on AT&T's website and is the first price hike the unlimited plan has seen in seven years.

Though AT&T no longer offers unlimited data plans to customers, a small number of customers continue to hold unlimited data plans that were purchased before AT&T discontinued them in 2010. AT&T's current $30 unlimited data plan allows customers to use an unlimited amount of data, but AT&T does throttle with excessive data usage.

As of February 16, the $30 price tag, which is in addition to voice costs, will rise to $35. The price hike comes just a couple of months after AT&T announced changes to its throttling practices. AT&T previously throttled customers on congested networks after 5GB of LTE data usage, but that cap was increased to 22GB in September, making unlimited plans more valuable.

AT&T plans to notify customers who will be impacted by the price increase. Customers who wish to cancel their wireless service because of the pricing increase will have early termination fees waived for affected lines. Price changes will take effect during each customer's February billing period.

Tag: AT&T

Apple Music Available on Sonos Devices Starting December 15

As of December 15, Apple Music will be available on Sonos, allowing those who own Sonos speakers to use them with the Apple Music service for the first time since it launched in June. Sonos and Apple today announced a new Sonos Apple Music public beta that will go live to all Sonos users in approximately two weeks.

Sonos users will be able to access Apple Music on their Sonos speakers, streaming songs from For You, New, Radio, and My Music. The beta will allow users to access the Apple Music features through their dedicated Sonos apps on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC, with full support set to roll out in 2016.
"Many of our members love Sonos and want to enjoy our service throughout their homes," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We're thrilled to be working with Sonos to provide the Apple Music experience in even more places fans enjoy music."
Since Apple Music launched, Sonos has been working on support for the service, with a promise to have the feature ready to roll out by the end of the year. Beats Music, which did work with Sonos, is shutting down as of today. Sonos has recommended its users move their Beats Music accounts to Apple Music to save their playlists ahead of the rollout of the Apple Music for Sonos beta.

JCPenney Testing Apple Pay Support for Store Cards, Nationwide Rollout Coming in Spring 2016

JCPenney has started testing its store credit cards with Apple's Apple Pay payments service, allowing customers at one location in Texas to add their JCPenney charge cards to Apple Pay. Customers in the Dallas–Fort Worth area visiting the JCPenney store at The Village at Fairview are able to participate in the Apple Pay pilot program, which is set to roll out to stores nationwide in the spring of 2016.

Customers with a JCPenney charge card receive a notice about the Texas pilot program when attempting to add a JCPenney card to Apple Pay using the Wallet app. The notification also includes details about the full launch of the JCPenney Apple Pay service.

Apple Pay support for store credit cards is a new feature, introduced alongside iOS 9 but announced at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Thus far, Kohl's is the only major retailer that currently allows its store cards to be added to Apple Pay, but both Kohl's and JCPenney have been touted as the two major partners for the feature.

iOS 9 also brought Apple Pay support for in-store loyalty cards, allowing customers to add their rewards cards to the Wallet app to further cut down on the number of physical cards that must be carried. Walgreens is the first retailer to support the Apple Pay rewards program.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: JCPenney

Apple Seeds Fifth OS X 10.11.2 El Capitan Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.2 El Capitan update to developers and public beta testers, two weeks after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing OS X 10.11.1, the first OS X El Capitan update, to the public.

The fifth beta, build 15C48a, is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center. Public beta testers can download the beta through the Mac App Store.

OS X 10.11.2 appears to be an under-the-hood update as the four previous betas have not included any apparent outward-facing changes. OS X 10.11.2 is likely to include bug fixes, security enhancements, and performance improvements to address problems that have popped up since the release of OS X 10.11.1.

Apple's release notes for OS X 10.11.2 have asked developers to focus on Networking, Graphics, Mail, Wi-Fi, Calendar, USB, Notes, Photos, and Spotlight.

Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan
Tag: OS X 10.11.2

Apple Teams Up With Supercell for 2015 World AIDS Day Campaign

Apple is gearing up for its annual World Aids Day campaign and has partnered with popular iOS app developer Supercell for a (SUPERCELL)RED promotion that will see the developer offering a special in-game decorative item for purchase, with 100 percent of proceeds going towards the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Supercell is the developer behind some of the most profitable apps in the App Store, with Clash of Clans currently ranked as the number three most profitable app and Boom Beach ranked as number 10. From now until December 4 at 8:00 a.m., players who purchase a (Pile of Gems)RED pack in Clash of Clans, a (Pile of Diamonds)RED in Boom Beach, or a (Bag of Diamonds)RED in Hay Day can contribute to the fight against AIDS.

Apple has a long history of working with (PRODUCT)RED to fund AIDS research and charity work, and the company has run a World AIDS Day campaign for the last several years. Each year, Apple highlights World AIDS day on its website and decorates its retail stores with red Apple logos. With World AIDS day taking place tomorrow, December 1, Apple retail stores are expected to see decorations going up this afternoon and this evening.

Apple has also released an official (PRODUCT)RED leather case for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, which joins the (PRODUCT)RED silicone case that was released alongside the new iPhones in September.

Cyber Monday Sales Now Live for Macs, iPads, Accessories and More

For those that missed out on Black Friday deals, or remain on the lookout for a few more gift ideas, Cyber Monday offers several online and in-store discounts on a wide range of Apple-related products and accessories. Most deals will remain available through the end of day on Monday, November 30.

Best Buy

Best Buy is offering deals on select Apple products and other electronics online and in stores on Cyber Monday, with free shipping on all orders.

- iPhone 6 (16GB) for $1 with activation and Verizon two-year contract
- Up to $150 off select MacBook Air and Retina MacBook models
- Up to $249 off various original iPad Air models
- $70 off Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth speakers in various colors
- $40 off urBeats earphones and $100 off Beats Studio over-ear headphones
- $100 off iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models with activation and two-year contract


Target is offering 15% off site-wide, with some limitations, using promo code CYBER15 at checkout. The offer is valid on most Apple products, including the Apple Watch, iPad, iPod, Beats headphones, Apple TV and more.


apple_product_red_gift_cardStaples is offering 20% off iTunes gift cards in the U.S. for $25, $50 and $100 amounts.

- $25 iTunes gift card - $20
- $50 iTunes gift card - $40
- $100 iTunes gift card - $80

The deal expires Saturday, December 5 and includes free shipping to U.S. addresses.


retina_macbook_elcap_roundup_headerFor those that missed MacMall's 60-hour Black Friday sale, the authorized reseller continues to offer Cyber Monday discounts on a huge selection of Macs and iPads.

- Retina MacBook is available for up to $100 off
- Retina MacBook Pro is available for up to $259 off
- MacBook Air is available for up to $100 off
- 21.5-inch iMac is available for up to $100 off
- 27-inch iMac is available for up to $200 off
- Mac mini is available for up to $70 off
- iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi only models are between $21 and $40 off

Twelve South

Twelve South is offering 50% off multiple Mac and iPad accessories with promo code MACMONDAY2015 at checkout, plus a $5 discount on its HiRise for iPhone/Apple Watch Bundle. The offers are valid until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 30 while supplies last.

- MagicWand - $14.99 (regular $29.99)
- BookArc möd for MacBook - $29.99 (regular $59.99)
- HoverBar for iPad - $29.99 (regular $59.99)
- HiRise for iMac - $39.99 (regular $79.99)
- HiRise for iPhone / Apple Watch Bundle - $79.99 (regular $84.99)

Lots more Cyber Monday deals ahead…

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Apple Releases (PRODUCT)RED Leather Cases for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

An official (PRODUCT)RED version of Apple's leather case for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has been spotted in at least one Apple retail store today, as reported by French tech site iGeneration [Google Translate]. When the new line of iPhones debuted in September, only the silicone case was offered in a (PRODUCT)RED option.

product red 6s
The (PRODUCT)RED leather case for the iPhone 6s hasn't appeared yet on Apple's online store, but will most likely soon follow if the company keeps slowly rolling out the case to its retail locations around the country. When it does, it'll no doubt come in at the same price of the other leather cases sold by Apple, costing $45 for the iPhone 6s version and $49 for the iPhone 6s Plus version.

product red 6s 2
A portion of sales from Apple’s entire (PRODUCT)RED lineup goes to the Global Fund to help fund AIDS programs in Africa. Most recently, the company introduced (PRODUCT)RED accessories for the Apple Watch, debuting a new collection and band in the bright red color option during its September "Hey Siri" media event.

Update: The (PRODUCT)RED leather cases for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are now available to purchase on Apple's online store.

A9X Die Photo From iPad Pro Reveals 12-Cluster Graphics, No L3 Cache

Financial news website The Motley Fool has shared details of the A9X die featured in the new Apple iPad Pro, thanks to analysis from electronics teardown firm Chipworks. The photo reveals the A9X's dual-core CPU and a 12-cluster GPU to drive the device's massive display.

While the CPU core count observed in the A9X matches that of the A9 from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the 12-cluster GPU is twice as powerful as the six-cluster GPU found in the A9 design. Otherwise, the core and cluster designs appear to be identical to those found in the A9 die shots.

Dual-core CPU boxed in green, six dual-cluster GPU regions boxed in blue

Chipworks confirms that the die shown in the photo is fabricated by TSMC, and it does indeed show similarities with the existing A9 TSMC die already pictured by Chipworks.

The Motley Fool also points out that the 8 MB third level cache featured on the A9 to help manage data flow to and from memory is not present on the A9X die, suggesting that the absence of this cache is due to the increased memory bandwidth that the A9X enjoys by having a memory interface twice the width of the A9 die. Indeed, in the included die shot, an expansive DRAM memory interface can be observed across three sides of the die.

It is also worth mentioning that while the display resolution is much greater than on other iPads, the iPad Pro does not feature the 12-megapixel camera of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that would place additional demands on the memory hierarchy for real-time image processing.

The presence of only two CPU cores is also interesting, given that the A8X featured in the iPad Air 2 had three CPU cores. The iPad Pro can make up any resultant performance deficiencies through a combination of higher efficiency, thanks to the new architecture, as well as the large clock speed boost compared to the A8 designs.

Even with the absence of L3 cache and only two CPU cores, the A9X measures 147 square millimeters. This is just 18 square millimeters shy of Apple's largest chip design ever, the A5X featured in the first iPad with retina display. Unsurprisingly, the A5X was quickly phased out and replaced by the smaller A6X seen in the fourth-generation iPad. The A9X's 147 mm^2 die is also larger than the latest quad-core Skylake design from Intel, which comes in at 122 mm^2 on its 14nm FinFET process.

While it may simply be a perfect mixture of die space saving and adequate memory bandwidth for the A9X design, the lack of the third level SRAM cache may tip future design decisions should memory bandwidth improve substantially. 3D IC packaging designs are rapidly approaching mainstream consumer electronics, and they boast a variety of memory configurations, which stand to significantly improve memory bandwidth while also providing lower power dissipation. As we covered recently, packaging technologies enabling these high bandwidth memories may arrive as soon as Apple's A10 SoC for devices next year.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: Chipworks, A9X
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)