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Apple Launches 'Why There's Nothing Quite Like iPhone' Web Campaign

Building on a series of recent ads centered around the "If it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone" tagline, Apple today rolled out a new web campaign for the iPhone under the theme of "Why there’s nothing quite like iPhone."

The new campaign is highlighted on Apple's main home page as well as its iPhone pages, and it includes a scrolling feature page drawing attention to a number of aspects of Apple and the iPhone that make the device stand out from its competitors.
Every iPhone we've made — and we mean every single one — was built on the same belief. That a phone should be more than a collection of features. That, above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful, and magical to use.
The page proceeds to highlight the iPhone's integration of hardware and software, camera capabilities, breadth of available apps, resistance to malware, and Apple's commitment to privacy and security with Touch ID and Apple Pay.

The campaign also highlights how Apple includes a variety of built-in apps and tools to make text, audio, and video messaging free and easy, track fitness and activity, and control devices around the home, all with accessibility features to make the iPhone's features available to as many people as possible. Finally, Apple points to its support network, from its retail stores to AppleCare phone and chat support.

First Trailer for 'Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine' Documentary Released

Magnolia Pictures has shared the first trailer and movie poster for Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine with Mashable, just over four months after the film premiered at SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas. The upcoming documentary, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, portrays Jobs as both a tech visionary and unapologetic leader throughout his career at Apple.


Apple senior executive Eddy Cue expressed disappointment in the documentary following its debut, describing the film on Twitter as "an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend" and "not a reflection of the Steve I knew." Cue added that the best portrayal of Jobs is in the book Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, which he describes as "well done and first to get it right."
Universal previously released the full-length trailer for its aptly named Steve Jobs movie, starring Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, earlier this month. The trailer mainly consists of a single shot of Fassbender as Jobs, with cast voiceovers providing snippets and teases of conversations regarding Jobs' true legacy at Apple, which he co-founded with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1974.

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine opens in select theaters on September

Apple Pay Rival CurrentC Launching in Limited Trial Next Month as Exclusivity Expires

The Merchant Customer Exchange's contactless payment system, CurrentC, is gearing up for a limited trial run next month in the stores of the companies that began backing MCX in 2012, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, according to unnamed sources speaking with Bloomberg.

The service is backed by a large roster of retailers, from Sears to Wendy's, who support the platform as a way to avoid losing integral shopping data to an increasingly competitive market thanks to the likes of Apple and Google.

CurrentC is different from Apple Pay however, using barcodes and RFID scanners in place of NFC terminals Apple took advantage of with Apple Pay. As Bloomberg points out, it also has a major hurdle regarding the signing of deals with major credit card companies, something it has yet to do.
While MCX is getting closer to releasing its app, there are plenty of hurdles. It hasn’t signed deals with major credit-card companies like Visa to use bank-issued card accounts within the app. That means a shopper wouldn’t be able to use, say, a Visa debit card from JPMorgan Chase & Co. This can be done with competing products like Apple Pay. Instead, users of MCX’s app will be limited to private-label store cards, like Target’s REDcard, or they’ll have to give MCX their checking-account details.
Also worrisome for MCX is the three-year exclusivity contract each retailer signed when the company began talks of the CurrentC system back in 2012. Those contracts -- which prohibited partnering with other mobile payment services -- begin to end next month, alongside CurrentC's soft launch

Intel Skylake Processors: Up to 20% Performance Boost, 41% Faster Graphics and 30% Longer Battery Life

Less than two weeks before Intel announces new desktop Skylake processors, likely to be used in future Macs, at the Gamescom trade show in Germany on August 5, FanlessTech has leaked an Intel slide deck that offers a closer look at some of the performance enhancements the next-generation processors will deliver for both desktop computers and notebooks.

The leaked slides reveal that Skylake processors will provide a 10%-20% CPU performance boost in single and multi-threaded applications, with lower power consumption, and 30% faster Intel HD integrated graphics performance on average compared to current-generation Broadwell processors. The improved energy efficiency will also result in up to 30% longer battery life.

The specific performance improvements to the four main Skylake families are outlined below based on preliminary data, with the MacBook model appropriate for each chip listed in parentheses:

- Y-Series (MacBook): Up to 17% faster CPU, up to 41% faster Intel HD graphics, up to 1.4 hours longer battery life
- U-Series (MacBook Air): Up to 10% faster CPU, up to 34% faster Intel HD graphics, up to 1.4 hours longer battery life
- H-Series (MacBook Pro): Up to 11% faster CPU, up to 16% faster Intel HD graphics, up to 80% lower silicon power
- S-Series (iMac): Up to 11% faster CPU, up to 28% faster Intel HD graphics, 22% lower TDP (thermal design power)

Apple refreshed the MacBook Air and 13" Retina MacBook Pro with the latest Broadwell processors in March, but the refreshed 15" Retina MacBook Pro released in May remains powered by two-year-old Haswell

Apple Ceases Selling Nest Products Online and In Stores

Apple has stopped selling the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Smoke Alarm in its stores and has confirmed to Mashable that it will no longer be carrying Nest products. The Nest thermostat was still available online earlier this month, but a search for the Nest thermostat or smoke alarm now redirects customers to other HomeKit products.

Apple's decision to stop offering Google's Nest products in its retail stores and online comes just over a month after the first HomeKit-compatible products became available for purchase. In early June, Lutron, iHome, Elgato, Ecobee, and Insteon began offering a range of smart lights, plugs, thermostats, room monitors, and more, all of which work with HomeKit.

The HomeKit-compatible Ecobee3 smart thermostat is a direct competitor of the Nest, so it's no surprise Apple has opted to stop offering Google's products in order to highlight accessories that are compatible with its own smart home platform.

This isn't the first time Apple has stopped offering products that directly compete with its own product offerings. Last year, the company stopped selling Fitbit activity tracking devices ahead of the launch of the Apple Watch and also culled several other activity trackers from its store earlier this year.

Apple's decision to stop selling the Nest thermostat comes as the company is working to revamp accessory lineups in its retail stores, cutting back on the number of accessories offered and packaging many of them in boxes that match its own design aesthetic.

Honda Introduces 2016 Accord With CarPlay and Android Auto Support

Honda today at its high-tech research facility in Mountain View introduced its new 2016 Accord with support for both CarPlay and Android Auto, reports Re/code. The ninth-generation sedan will be the first Honda vehicle to support CarPlay as the Japanese car maker aims to expand the iPhone-based dashboard system across its vehicle lineup throughout 2016 and beyond.

Honda's new 2016 Accord supports CarPlay (Image: Mercury News/Dai Sugano)
CarPlay will come standard on 2016 Accord EX, EX-L and Touring models. Honda opted to announce the mid-sized vehicle in Mountain View, as opposed to traditional auto hotbeds such as Detroit and Los Angeles, because of Silicon Valley's growing importance to the auto industry, particularly as vehicles become more connected with CarPlay and other modern technologies.

Apple has listed Honda as a CarPlay partner on its website for several months, but the car maker has not been entirely clear about its launch plans until today. GM is also committed to supporting CarPlay in 2016 across its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicle brands, while Kenwood recently began shipping its lineup of aftermarket CarPlay and Android Auto systems.

'iPhone 6s' Front Panel Depicted in New Photos, Said to Be in Production

An image said to depict the front panel of the upcoming "iPhone 6s" has been shared by French site Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] this afternoon, giving us our first glimpse at the screen for the device.

According to the site, the front panel images were shared by an informant who also said that the iPhone parts are currently in production and ready to be shipped to iPhone 6s assembly lines for use in the Silver and Gold iPhone 6s.

As an "S" upgrade, the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus are not expected to feature physical design changes, so as is expected, the front panels said to be for the iPhone 6s look identical to front panels for the iPhone 6. Previous iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus part leaks have also confirmed that the casings for the device carry the same design as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but there may be small design improvements and material changes to bolster strength and durability.

Nowhereelse.fr mentions that its source could not confirm if the panel included sapphire crystal or hints of Force Touch support. While the addition of Force Touch has been widely rumored for Apple's next-generation iPhones, sapphire crystal displays are not expected and the devices are likely to continue using Gorilla Glass. While there were a few rumors hinting at the possibility of sapphire for the next-generation iPhones, rumors about such a feature have not picked up and no new sapphire deals have become apparent.

Along with Force Touch, the next-generation iPhones are rumored to include an improved 12-megapixel camera, an A9 processor, better Touch ID

Apple Backs Federal Non-Discrimination LGBT Equality Act of 2015

Apple today declared its support for the Equality Act of 2015, introduced by members of congress this afternoon. The Equality Act would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the legislation that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin.

In a statement to the Human Rights Campaign, Apple echoed sentiments on equality that it has shared several times before:
At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.
The Equality Act will ensure full federal equality for all LGBT Americans, including those who live in the 31 states that do not currently have non-discrimination legislation, protecting LBGT citizens from discrimination when seeking jobs, housing, public accommodations, education, and more.


During Apple CEO Tim Cook's tenure, Apple has taken a strong position on inclusion and equality. Earlier this year, Apple joined 378 other companies urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality, and the company has participated in the San Francisco Pride Parade for several years running.

Cook himself has made several impassioned speeches on non-discrimination and equality and has publicly opposed harmful religious freedom legislation. Last fall, Cook became the first Fortune 500 CEO to publicly come out as gay, an announcement he made in an effort to "bring comfort to anyone who feels alone" and to

Apple and Samsung Combined for Over One-Third of Smartphone Sales in Second Quarter

The latest numbers from research firm IDC reveal that the premium smartphone market continues to be a largely two-horse race between Samsung and Apple, which accounted for 21.7% and 14.1% market share in the second quarter respectively. The rival tech companies combined for 35.8% quarterly market share, finishing well ahead of emerging Chinese competitors Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo during the three-month period ending June 30.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that smartphone vendors shipped a total of 337.2 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter, an 11.6% increase from the 302.1 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. The growth was driven by not only premium devices sold by Apple and Samsung, but also the growing number of affordable handsets available in emerging countries such as China and India.

Apple increased 2.4 percentage points to 14.1% during the second quarter compared to its 11.7% market share in the year-ago quarter, while market leader Samsung experienced a year-over-year decline as its market share slipped from 24.8% to 21.7%. Apple closed the gap on the continued strength of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with the company announcing it sold 47.5 million iPhones in the third quarter of the fiscal year earlier this week.

Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone operating system race, trailed by Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo with 8.9%, 5.3% and 4.8% market share in the second quarter respectively. All other smartphone makers accounted for a combined 45.2% quarterly market share. Overall mobile phone

Apple Launches 2015 Back to School Promotion, Offers Free Beats Solo2 Headphones With Mac Purchase

Apple today launched its annual Back to School promotion, offering a free pair of Beats Solo2 On-Ear headphones to qualifying students, parents of students and educators that purchase an eligible Mac, including the iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Pro. As usual, the Mac mini and refurbished Macs are excluded from the deal. iPhones and iPads are also absent from this year's promotion.

Apple will apply an instant credit in the amount of $199.95 to cover the full cost of the Beats Solo 2 On-Ear headphones in gloss black, white, red, blue, gray or pink. Apple is also offering the option to upgrade to Beats Solo2 Wireless On-Ear Headphones in space gray, silver or gold for $100 extra, which is the remaining balance after the $199.95 credit is applied.

Apple's Back to School promotion offered up to a $100 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of a qualifying Mac, iPhone or iPad in past years, including the 2014 and 2013 promotions, but the iPhone and iPad are not included in this year's deal. Apple has outlined the full eligibility requirements for the program in its terms and conditions for the United States [PDF] and Canada [PDF] on its website.

Apple has traditionally launched its Back to School program during June or early July, with the second Tuesday of July being the target date for several years in a row, but this year's launch has come later in the month than expected. Apple has also moved away from offering free Apple Store or iTunes gift cards for the first time since offering a free iPod touch with a qualifying Mac in 2010 and prior.

Apple Expanding Made for Apple Watch Program to Include Stands With Integrated Chargers

While the release of the Apple Watch has seen a boom in third-party docks and stands for the device, those accessories have needed the stock charger that Apple supplies to charge the Apple Watch. However, Apple will soon allow manufacturers to make official third-party Apple Watch docks and stands with integrated chargers, according to 9to5Mac.

Mophie's Watch Dock with non-integrated Apple Watch charger
The change is coming for manufacturers in Apple's Made for Apple Watch program, which is similar to the Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad program, known more simply as the MFi program. This will allow manufacturers to obtain the charging pad at the end of the Apple Watch charging cable so that they can install them in their dock and stand accessories. Previously, users had to insert their own charging cables into third-party stands and docks, making those products a little complicated to set up.

However, the charging components are currently only available in "sample quantities" and official plans for accessories with integrated chargers cannot be submitted for approval. It's unknown when the first Apple Watch docks and stands with integrated chargers will be available.

Apple Releases Second iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan Public Betas

Apple today seeded second betas of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan to public beta testers, nearly two weeks after beta testers received access to the first public betas. Today's iOS 9 public beta offering has a build number of 13A4305g, which means content-wise, it's the same as the fourth iOS 9 beta that was seeded to developers yesterday. The version of OS X El Capitan public beta testers are receiving is also identical to El Capitan beta 4.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program and already have the first public betas installed can update over-the-air for iOS 9 or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store for OS X.

The iOS 9 beta includes the return of Home Sharing for music, which was removed in iOS 8.4, and it's the first beta that supports Apple's new iPod touch. Other changes include a new look for Handoff in the app switcher and a bug fix that once again allows the volume buttons on an iOS device to serve as a shutter for the camera. A full list of changes in the beta can be found in our iOS 9 beta 4 tidbits list.

OS X El Capitan beta 4 focused more on performance improvements and bug fixes with few outward changes to the operating system.

Both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan 10.11 are expected to be released in the fall.