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iOS 8 Downloads Cause Spike in Web Traffic as Adoption Rate Climbs Slowly

Apple yesterday released iOS 8 to the public, opening the doors for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners to download and install Apple's latest version of iOS on their devices. According to The Guardian, this release caused internet traffic to surge in the UK by as much as 60 percent compared to the same time the previous day as millions of iOS users rushed to update their devices.

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LONAP web traffic data from iOS launch timeframe (blue) vs. previous day (red)

Data from LONAP shows that web traffic surged just as iOS 8 was released at 6:00 PM UK time. Traffic remained strong for several hours, with a peak at 8:00 PM in the UK as more than 70 gigabits per second were being transferred through LONAP's exchange.

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iOS 8 adoption from Mixpanel


iOS 8 may have caused web traffic to briefly increase, but the first-day adoption rate of the mobile operating system is relatively low when compared to previous iOS rollouts. According to analytics firm Mixpanel, only 14 percent of the iOS devices that it tracks are currently running iOS 8. Data from mobile marketing company Fiksu shows a similar slow uptake in iOS 8 with the adoption of Apple's latest iOS version trailing the last that of the last several iOS launches.

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Fiksu iOS 8 Tracker

The slower update rate may be due to a record number of iPhone owners purchasing new devices. Apple sold more than four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units in the first 24 hours that pre-orders were available last week. Customers who are receiving a new phone in the coming weeks may delay upgrading their current device, opting instead to prepare the handset for sale.

Another factor may be the large storage size required for the over-the-air updates. Though the iOS 8 update was just over 1 GB in size, it required 4.6 GB of free storage space on an iPhone and almost 7 GB of free storage on an iPad for installation. That's almost half the free space available on a 16 GB device, forcing many owners to decide whether to delete content from their devices or install the update.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple Working with U2 on New Music Format to Boost Digital Music Sales

Apple and U2 have a long history of working together, producing a special edition U2 iPod in 2008 and more recently releasing the band's latest album, "Songs of Innocence," for free. According to Time, Apple and U2 reportedly now are collaborating on a new music format that will boost digital music sales.

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Details on the music format or the secret project surrounding it were not revealed, but U2's Bono says it will help musicians sell more of their music.
Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks. The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance. “Songwriters aren’t touring people,” says Bono. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”
Digital music sales are declining as consumer interest in online streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora grows. According to Nielsen SoundScan data from the first half of 2014, digital album sales fell 15 percent year over year, while digital track sales fell 13 percent. At the same time, streaming music increased 42 percent.

In the U.S., iTunes currently is the market leader for digital music downloads, but Apple is not blind to the steady decline in these digital music sales. The company launched the Pandora-like iTunes Radio along with iOS 7 and recently purchased Beats Music for $3 billion.

Long Lines Forming for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch in Australia

With Apple's new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus going on sale in the first group of launch countries beginning on Friday, September 19, long lines have already started to form across the world as many anticipate the release of both devices. Apple retail customers in Australia will have the first opportunity to purchase the new handsets at 8 AM on Friday, as some have already begun lining up outside of the company's various retail locations. Currently, it is 7:10 PM on Thursday, September 18 throughout many parts of Australia.

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Image credit: @beth_blanchard

One photo taken by Guardian Australia writer Bethanie Blanchard shows many customers lining up outside the Apple Store Doncaster, as the line is said to have started at 6 AM and stretches around the entire length of the shopping center.

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Image credit: @rodgerrodger

Meanwhile, a photo shared by Twitter user @rodgerodger shows the line surrounding an Apple Store in Brisbane. The image shows numerous customers setting up chairs and laying down supplies in preparation to stay the night ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the morning.

In addition to Australia, Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK starting Friday, with Apple Retail Stores beginning sales at 8 AM. The company is also implementing a reservation pass system at its retail stores for those who line up, which will keep track of the line position of each customer and ensure that those waiting receive a device.

The first batch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will also be delivered starting this Friday, as some devices have already begun shipping to customers. Shipping estimates for new iPhone 6 pre-orders remain at 7 to 10 days, while estimates for iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders are at 3 to 4 weeks. Apple announced this past Monday that it processed more than four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders during the first day of its pre-launch sales on September 12.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple Aims for Greater Transparency With Comprehensive New Privacy Site

Apple today launched a new privacy site that outlines all of the privacy features of Apple's products and services, offers tips on managing privacy, details government information requests, and explicitly states Apple's Privacy Policy.

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The site comes alongside a letter on privacy from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who says that the company respects user privacy and protects it with "strong encryption." Privacy and security are of the utmost importance to Apple, according to Cook, and the company designs all of its hardware, software, and services with privacy in mind.

In the letter, Tim Cook says that Apple is aiming to be more transparent about what happens with personal information, detailing how and why it is used by the company. Cook also states plainly that Apple aims to sell great products, not collect user information.
We're publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don't collect, and why. We're going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn't come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don't "monetize" the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don't read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
The first section of Apple's new privacy site details the privacy built into "the things you use every day." The site gives information on the ways apps and services are protected and the data that Apple can collect. Services detailed include iMessage, FaceTime, iCloud, Safari, Maps, Siri, Mail, Apps and the App Store, Apple Pay, Health, HomeKit, Spotlight Suggestions, and Randomized Wi-Fi addresses.

For example, Apple states that it cannot access content in the Messages app due to the encryption, and it explains how iCloud data is encrypted.

A second Privacy section is clearly the result of a recent hacking incident that saw several celebrity iCloud accounts compromised. In the section, Apple suggests ways users can improve the security of their devices, pointing towards passcodes, Touch ID, and Find My iPhone.

Apple also instructs users how to create a strong password, how to create proper security questions, and it directs them to turn on two-step verification. In addition, it details phishing scams, suggests users change their passwords on a regular basis, and tells them to keep an eye out for emails sent after Apple ID login attempts.

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The final two sections of Apple's privacy site explicitly outline all government data requests that the company has received and offer details on Apple's privacy policy. The site lists examples of the personal information that Apple collects and exactly how that personal information is used. According to Cook, the new site is the result of a "commitment to protecting your privacy." "We know that your trust doesn't come easy," writes the CEO, "That's why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it."

Apple Releases OS X 10.9.5 With Reliability Improvements, Safari 7.0.6

Apple today released OS X 10.9.5, after approximately a month of testing and two months after the release of OS X 10.9.4.

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The update, which is recommended for all Mavericks users, improves the reliability of VPN connections that use USB smart cards for authentication and it improves the reliability of accessing files located on an SMB server. Also included with OS X 10.9.5 is Safari 7.0.6.

OS X 10.9.5 will likely be the final update to Mavericks ahead of the release of OS X Yosemite, which is expected in October. OS X Yosemite brings several improvements to the operating system, including a revamped look and several new features that improve integration with iOS.

Related roundup: OS X Mavericks

List of iOS 8 Apps That Offer Touch ID Integration

iOS 8, released to the public earlier today, included a slew of new APIs for developers. One of those APIs opened up Touch ID to third-party apps, letting developers use the fingerprint scanner for authentication purposes within apps.

Quite a few apps have been updated to take advantage of Touch ID integration, replacing passwords and PIN codes. We've gathered up a comprehensive list of the most popular apps that have integrated Touch ID support below.

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- 1Password (Free) [Direct Link] - Password management app 1Password allows Touch ID to replace a Master Password, providing access to the app.

- LastPass (Free) [Direct Link] - Like 1Password, LastPass uses Touch ID to protect a user's LastPass vault. It replaces the Master Password.

- Amazon App (Free) [Direct Link] - The newly updated Amazon app for iOS 8 allows users to sign into their Amazon accounts using Touch ID instead of a password.

- Discover Mobile (Free) [Direct Link] - Banking app Discover Mobile lets users log into their accounts using Touch ID instead of a password.

- Evernote (Free) [Direct Link] - Evernote allows Evernote premium users who have protected their accounts with a passcode to log in with Touch ID instead of a number.

- Mint (Free) [Direct Link] - Money management app Mint allows users to substitute Touch ID for a passcode when logging into their Mint accounts.

- Scanner Pro ($6.99) [Direct Link] - Scanner Pro's newly updated iOS 8 app lets users protect their scanned information with Touch ID.

- Simple (Free) [Direct Link] - Banking app Simple lets users log into their bank accounts with Touch ID.

- Lowe's (Free) [Direct Link] - The mobile app for home improvement store Lowe's allows users to log into their MyLowe's personal accounts.

- Day One ($4.99) [Direct Link] - Day One allows users to unlock their journals with Touch ID, replacing a passcode.

Other apps with Touch ID integration: Yplan, Memoir, eHarmony

These are just a sampling of the apps that have integrated Touch ID so far. Additional app developers will likely be rolling the feature into their apps in the near future, now that iOS 8 is widely available. Want more iOS 8 info? Make sure to check out our iOS 8 roundup, our iOS 8 Hidden Features roundup, our list of apps with widgets in Notification Center, and our list of third-party keyboards.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

Comprehensive List of iOS 8 Apps with Notification Center Widgets

iOS 8 was released today, which means hundreds of app developers are releasing newly updated apps that take advantage of all the APIs introduced with the operating system upgrade. Those include third-party keyboards, which we covered earlier today, and app extensions, a set of APIs that allows apps to interact in new and innovative ways.

One of the neatest app extension features lets developers create widgets that show up in the Today view of the Notification Center. These widgets let users interact with apps and get information at a glance. Several apps have been updated to take advantage of Notification Center widgets, and we've rounded up a comprehensive list below. Many of these app updates are already available, but some will be coming later today and tomorrow.

Dropbox (Free) [Direct Link] - Dropbox's new Notification Center widget displays all of the files that have been recently uploaded. Tapping on one of the files opens the file in the Dropbox app.

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Duolingo (Free) [Direct Link] - Duolingo displays how close a user is to reaching their daily language learning goals. Tapping on the widget in the Notification Center opens the Duolingo app and lets users continue with their current language lesson.

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Evernote (Free) [Direct Link] - Evernote's Notification Center widget is especially useful, including five different icons that let users create a document, reminder, or list, as well as snap a photo or access photos stored in the app. Tapping one of the icons opens the Evernote app and begins the task immediately.

evernotewidget
Clear ($2.99) [Direct Link] - Clear's Notification Center widget includes a handy list of upcoming reminders. Tapping on one of the reminders will open the Clear app for direct access.

iTranslate (Free) [Direct Link] - iTranslate's Notification Center widget is a nifty tool that will let users one-tap translate whatever happens to be copied to the clipboard to the selected language.

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'Epic Zen Garden' Metal Demo Shown Off at WWDC Now Available for Download

At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled Metal, an API designed to improve game performance on iOS. Epic Games took the stage during the event to show off Epic Zen Garden, a game built using the Unreal 4 Engine and the Metal API.

The game, which was designed to show off the impressive graphic enhancement features possible with Metal, demonstrated an expansive world with a fully interactive environment. Users could touch a tree to send a cascade of leaves and cherry blossoms swirling to the ground or interact with a group of koi fish.

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As of today, Epic Zen Garden is available for download, letting users see some of the things that will be possible in iOS games in the near future. The game supports a resolution of 1440 x 1080 at 30fps, and can display 3,500 butterflies at once. One of the major features of Metal is that it allows for more draw calls, letting a huge number of objects be displayed on the screen.
Epic Zen Garden is a beautiful graphical environment showcasing the power of iOS 8, developed by Epic Games with Unreal Engine 4. Tap to navigate this interactive oasis brimming unmatched detail on mobile. Swipe the Sakura tree to make thousands of cherry blossoms swirl in the air, graze the koi pond to summon leagues of fish, and rake the sand with your finger to create subtle designs. Touch the well to bring throngs of butterflies out of hiding.
More information on how Metal works, Epic Zen Garden and the Unreal Engine 4 can be seen in the video below.


Epic Zen Garden can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

(Thanks, Eli!)

Apple Confirms HealthKit Bug, Promises Fix by End of September

healthkit-logoJust before the public launch of iOS 8 earlier today, we noted that Apple had begun pulling HealthKit-related apps from the App Store, apparently due to a last-minute issue that cropped up in the new operating system. The issue has put a significant dent in the usefulness of the Health app that was to be a key feature of iOS 8, while also subjecting a number of third-party developers to uncertainty about the fate of their apps.

While details on the issue are still unknown, Apple has confirmed to Tim Bradshaw of Financial Times that it has discovered a "bug" in HealthKit that will require a software update to fix. Unfortunately, Apple is not necessarily promising an immediate turnaround on the fix, saying only that the company is aiming to "have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month".

iOS 8 is available now to owners of recent-generation iOS devices, and will be included on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when they officially launch on Friday. Aside from Health, iOS 8 includes a number of other features such as a new QuickType keyboard with word suggestions, support for systemwide third-party keyboards and Touch ID integration, Photos and Messages improvements, and Continuity features to make iOS device and Macs work more smoothly with each other.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

List of Third-Party Keyboards Now Available for iOS 8 Users

iOS 8, released to the public today, includes an API that allows developers to create system-wide third-party keyboards for the first time, which will let users select from a range of different keyboards with unique functions.

We've rounded up a list of the best third-party keyboards currently available to you find the keyboard best suited to you. Some of these keyboards are in the App Store now, while others will begin rolling out today following the launch of iOS 8.

SwiftKey (Free) [Direct Link] - SwiftKey is a gesture-based keyboard that allows users to type by dragging their fingers from key to key. Along with offering predictive suggestions, SwiftKey integrates with SwiftKey Cloud to let a user's preferences be backed up and synced across all devices.



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Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

iOS 8 Hidden Features Video: Battery Usage By App, Hidden Photos, Siri Hands-Free, and More

Apple released iOS 8 to the public today, giving millions of users their first look at the new operating system. Along with all of the major features, like Continuity, Notification improvements, Messages upgrades, and the introduction of third-party keyboard/Touch ID access, there are also dozens of other minor tweaks and changes that have been introduced in iOS 8, both ahead of the OS's initial launch to developers and across the beta testing period.

Outlined in the video below are some of the most interesting and handy tweaks in iOS 8, including automatic credit card scanning, expanded weather options, quick access to contacts, a hands-free mode for Siri, hidden photos, and more.


We've been collecting and cataloguing minor feature changes to iOS 8 since the first beta was released, documenting the development of new features and providing a one-stop location for all the changes that have largely gone under the radar.

A complete list of all of the hidden features in iOS 8 can be found in our dedicated Hidden Features Roundup, which also serves as a way to see the progress iOS 8 made over the course of the beta testing period.

For example, in beta 4, Apple introduced a Tips app that offers iOS 8 users information about all of the new features in the operating system. Beta 5, meanwhile, added location information to photo collections in the Photos app, and beta 4 saw a Control Center redesign.

We've also compiled a walkthrough of all of the major features introduced with iOS 8, which can be found in our iOS 8 Roundup.


iOS 8 can be downloaded immediately for free. It can be installed on the iPhone 4s and later, 5th-generation iPod touch, iPad 2 and later, and the iPad mini.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

Ive on Apple Watch: One of the Most Difficult Projects I've Ever Worked On

In a wide ranging interview with Bloomberg covering culture changes at Apple, Tim Cook's personality, the company's move into Apple Pay, and the development of the Apple Watch, Tim Cook, Jony Ive, and Jeff Williams share some fascinating details on the work that went into creating Apple's new wearable device.

According to Jony Ive, Apple first began developing the Apple Watch three years ago, before wearables caught on in Silicon Valley. The Apple Watch, he says, is "probably one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on." A huge amount of research was conducted for the watch, which was touched on at Apple's introductory keynote event.

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Apple invited several watch historians to speak at Cupertino, with one, French author and antique expert Dominique Fléchon saying that discussion centered around "the philosophy of instruments for measuring time." Ive himself delved into horological history, studying clocks and watches throughout time.
Clocks first popped up on top of towers in the center of towns and over time were gradually miniaturized, appearing on belt buckles, as neck pendants, and inside trouser pockets. They eventually migrated to the wrist, first as a way for ship captains to tell time while keeping their hands firmly locked on the wheel. "What was interesting is that it took centuries to find the wrist and then it didn't go anywhere else," Ive says. "I would argue the wrist is the right place for the technology."
Ive and his team experimented with a variety of interface interactions for the Apple Watch, including pinch-to-zoom, which the company joked about during the keynote as an unsuitable way to use the device because fingers cover the small screen. The team settled on the "digital crown" a physical button that can be used for a variety of tasks, including scrolling through options and accessing the home button. Ive went on to develop high-quality wristbands and unique packaging that "doubles as a charging stand."

A staggering number of employees with various specialties worked on the Apple Watch, under the direction of Apple's VP of operations, Jeff Williams. Hundreds of designers and engineers came together to design the S1 processor in the device, the heart rate sensor, and the special alloys used in casings and bands.

According to Williams, while Apple could have launched a watch in time for the holiday season, it wouldn't have been "at the fit and finish and quality and integration of these products." Apple wanted to make "the best product in the world" and is "willing to wait."

Apple's first wearable device is expected to be available to consumers in early 2015. Pricing details remain largely unknown, with the company stating that pricing will start at $349.

Cook and Ive's complete interview with Bloomberg, which also has several details on how Apple runs under Cook, Cook's personality and values, Jobs' ongoing influence, recent hirings and acquisitions, and Apple's partnership with IBM, is well worth reading to get a glimpse inside the walls of Apple's Cupertino headquarters.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Apple Releases iOS 8 With Continuity, Third Party Access to Keyboards/Touch ID, Family Sharing, and 'Health' App

Apple today released iOS 8 to the public, making the download available to all users who have an iPhone 4s or later, iPad 2 or later, 5th-generation iPod touch, or iPad mini. The update can be downloaded via iTunes or through an over-the-air update accessible by going to the Settings app and tapping General ---> Software Update.

While iOS 8 is currently available for download, it may take a few minutes for the update to propagate to all users due to demand. In past years, Apple's servers have been overwhelmed with traffic.

iOS 8 includes the same general design elements introduced with iOS 7, but introduces several under-the-hood improvements. Improved integration between Apple devices, both mobile and desktop, is a major focal point of iOS 8, with Apple introducing several new "Continuity" features designed to connect the iPhone, iPad, and Mac "like never before." This video walks through the major new features:


The operating system also includes interactive notifications, app widgets in the Notification Center, and Messages improvements that let users manage group conversations for the first time.

Third-party access to both the keyboard and Touch ID has been enabled, and Apple has implemented its own keyboard improvements, in the form of its QuickType predictive keyboard. A new Health app is included with iOS 8, aggregating health and fitness data from a variety of apps and devices, and a new Family Sharing feature lets families of up to six people share apps, music, books, and more.

Our iOS 8 roundup has a complete rundown of all of the major new features introduced in iOS 8, and our separate features roundup showcases all of the smaller changes and additions made to the operating system throughout the beta testing period.

In addition to being released to the public today, iOS 8 will also come pre-installed on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, which will be available beginning on Friday, September 19.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

Apple Apparently Finds Last-Minute HealthKit Problems, Pulls Compatible Third-Party Apps

healthkit-logoApple appears to have discovered a significant last-minute issue with its HealthKit services for iOS 8, a problem that will result in a delay for the launch of new and updated apps that include HealthKit functionality. Apple reportedly has pulled HealthKit-compatible apps from the App Store and is confirming this issue to affected developers. As highlighted by MacStories' Federico Viticci, both CARROT Fit and MyFitnessPal have disappeared from the App Store after being updated with HealthKit support earlier today.


While the exact issue is unclear, it is certainly significant that one of the key features of iOS 8 does not appear to be ready to launch on time and that it is having a significant effect on third-party developers who have prepared their apps to take advantage of the new feature.

Apple introduced HealthKit alongside its new iOS 8 Health app as part of a new initiative into the health and fitness marketplace. The feature taps into data from sensors within the iPhone, as well as from accessories and manual data input. HealthKit will also be key for the launch of the heart rate sensor-enabled Apple Watch early next year.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

Apple Said to Plan October 21 Media Event to Launch New iPads, OS X Yosemite [Update: No]

With its iPhone 6 announcement completed, Apple reportedly is preparing a second announcement event that will will launch new iPad models, claims AppleInsider, citing a trusted insider familiar with the company's pre-launch logistics. The report points to the second half of October for the event, but The Daily Dot has gone a step further and predicted an October 21 event based on its own sources.
A person familiar with the company's pre-launch logistics says Apple has set internal project and marketing deadlines of mid-October, ahead of the planned unveiling of major new products during the second half of the month. That would align with an anticipated media event previously rumored to be held at some point during October. The same source who spoke to AppleInsider has shared reliable information on product introduction and timing in the past.
If true, the schedule would align with Apple's pattern for the last several years, which last year saw the company unveil its new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display in October with an availability date in early November. This year's event may introduce updated iPad models that include a faster A8 processor, anti-reflective display and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, although one report suggests most of the upgrades will be limited to the larger iPad Air model.

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iPad Air 2 mockup

Aside from new iPads, Apple is also expected to use the October event to finalize the details and availability date for OS X Yosemite, which was initially introduced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. According to The Daily Dot, Yosemite will be released immediately following the October event, similar to the release of OS X Mavericks just after the conclusion of last year's October event.

Other Apple devices in need of upgrades include the Mac mini, MacBook Air, iMac, and the Apple TV, but few details suggest updated these models will be updated before the end of 2014, particularly given Intel's delays with its next-generation Broadwell processors. One recent rumor has, however, claimed Apple may release a new ultra-high definition 27-inch monitor with 5120 x 2880 resolution in 2014, but details on this desktop accessory remain sparse.

Update 12:35 PM: Bloomberg is also reporting that Apple plans to introduce new iPads in mid-October.
Apple Inc. will unveil the next generation of iPad tablets around mid-October, a person with knowledge of the plans said, as the company bolsters its product lineup ahead of the holiday shopping season.
The report reiterates earlier claims that new iPad and iPad mini are already in production or soon to be so, while a larger 12.9-inch iPad is scheduled to begin mass production early next year.

Update 12:41 PM: The Loop's Jim Dalrymple says Apple is not planning an October 21 event. He does not, however, address the possibility of new iPads in that general timeframe.

Related roundups: iPad Air, iPad mini, OS X Yosemite

Foxconn Facing Display Shortages as it Struggles to Meet iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Demand

Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus supplies may continue to be constrained as Foxconn reportedly is struggling to keep up with demand for the handsets, reports the Wall Street Journal. Unlike previous years that saw Foxconn handling the launch of one flagship handset, the manufacturer is now tasked with producing two iPhone models that are in high demand.
The Taiwan-based manufacturer, which has more than one million workers in China, is operating about 100 production lines around the clock in Zhengzhou. The challenge is to manufacture two complicated new iPhones on a large scale at the same time because Foxconn is the sole assembler of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. It also makes the majority of the iPhone 6 that comes with a 4.7-inch display, the people said.
Foxconn reportedly has hired more than 200,000 workers at its Zhengzhou site to work on Apple's new iPhone. Even with this large labor force and daily output volumes of 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus units and 400,000 iPhone 6 units, the company is still not able to meet pre-order demand.

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One issue reportedly facing the manufacturer is a shortage of 5.5-inch displays, which are still only at being produced at a 50-60 percent output rate, leading suppliers to reject almost half of the display units that come off the production line.

Apple has faced similar shortages with previous iPhone models and has been able to gradually ramp up supply to meet demand. Apple will begin selling its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus starting Friday, September 19th in a handful of launch countries. A larger global rollout is planned the following week with sales beginning on September 26th.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

First iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Reviews: 'Thin and Sexy', 'Bigger and Better', Impressive Battery Life Up to 2 Days

At its September 9 iPhone event, Apple provided multiple publications with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus review units. The embargo has now lifted on review posts, so we have gathered some of the relevant excerpts from each site in order to highlight general release reactions to Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple's two new devices are essentially identical in design aside from the difference in screen size and the battery life/optical image stabilization in the iPhone 6 Plus, so we've chosen to combine the device reviews into one post.

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Brad Molen, Engadget:
Both iPhones are thinner than their predecessor. Whereas the 5s was 7.6mm thick, the 6 comes in at 6.9mm, with the 6 Plus measuring a hair thicker at 7.1mm. I don't always subscribe to the "thinner is better" mantra, but it's a benefit in this case because larger iPhones wouldn't feel as comfortable if they had the same shape as the 5s. If I had to choose based on in-hand feel alone, I'd pick the 6 over the Plus. I can still wrap my fingers around the 6 just as easily as I could with the 5s (and its curved sides don't cut as sharply as the edges on the 5s), but the large-screened 6 Plus is... well, it's manageable.

Both the 6 and 6 Plus use an IPS Retina HD display, but the Plus is even more high-def than the 6. It has a screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, which means you'll get a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch. On the flipside, the 6 maxes out at 1,334 x 750, which translates into 326 ppi. (That's the same screen density as the 5s.) Both displays are sharp, but I do see some minor differences between the two when I look at them side by side. Specifically, the Plus' text and images are sharper, with no jagged lines whatsoever.
David Pierce/Nilay Patel (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), The Verge:
[iPhone 6 Plus] Huge phones get to have huge batteries, and the iPhone 6 Plus is a huge phone with a huge battery: I consistently got about two days of battery life from the 6 Plus in regular daily use -- slightly more than the day and half we got from the iPhone 6, and basically the same as the Note 3.

[iPhone 6 Plus] That aluminum feels quite nice, but it's also a little slippery, especially when you factor in the size of the phone and its rounded sides. The iPhone 6 Plus is the first iPhone that looks and works better in a case -- I've been using Apple's leather sleeve and it makes the phone easier to hold, evens out that camera bump, and hides the weird lines on the back.

[iPhone 6] There's something perfectly polished about the way it feels to use this screen. I've never felt so much like I was truly moving things around under my finger, manipulating icons and pictures by hand. It's organic and natural in a distinctly Apple way.

Walt Mossberg/Lauren Goode (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), Re/code:
[iPhone 6] And, despite the larger screen, all my apps -- by Apple and third parties -- just worked. None that I tested looked distorted or blurry. Apple says its App Store now offers 1.3 million apps, a new high.

[iPhone 6] In my tests, I found the iPhone 6's Wi-Fi speeds -- both downstream and upstream -- were roughly double those of the 5s, and about 25 percent faster than those of the Samsung Galaxy S5. But I saw little difference in LTE speeds, either on Verizon or AT&T.

[iPhone 6 Plus] Oh, and if, like me, you rarely get a full day out of your current iPhone's battery, this might excite you: In my tests, which involved setting the display brightness to 50 percent and cycling through my regular routine of apps and phone calls, the iPhone 6 Plus would last from early one morning until evening the following day. (Calls sounded great, as well.)
Jim Dalrymple, The Loop:
[iPhone 6] It is tough to reach the far top edge of the screen, but I can do it with a little stretch. It's easier to shimmy my hand up the phone and touch the far edge, if I need to, but to be honest, holding the iPhone in my left hand, there isn't much on the far right side that I ever need to touch.

[iPhone 6 Plus] The 6 Plus was awkward for me to use at first--it was kind of like using a smaller version of the iPad mini, but it was a phone. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of using it on an ongoing basis, but the larger screen eventually won me over.

[iPhone 6 Plus] I still can't imagine walking around with a device as big as the iPhone 6 Plus to my ear, talking on the phone. That would just look silly. I've said it about other devices this size in the past and my opinion on that hasn't changed. Maybe a Bluetooth ear piece would be a nice add-on for the iPhone 6 Plus.
David Pogue, Yahoo:
Inside, Apple has been up to its usual tightening and polishing. There's a new chip inside that Apple says is 25 percent faster. You wouldn't notice it without testing the old and new phones side by side. Apps, for example, pop open about a half-second faster on the new phone.

The Plus model has optical image stabilization -- the lens jiggles in precise motion to counteract the handheld movement of the phone itself -- that works supremely well.

iphone-6-plus-keyboard
Also on the Plus: When you're typing in landscape mode, there's so much extra space that Apple has thrown in some additional on-screen keys. On the left: buttons for Cut, Copy, Paste, Bold, and Undo. On the right: Punctuation keys and actual cursor keys--a first on the iPhone.
Darrell Etherington (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), TechCrunch:
[iPhone 6] New also to this generation is the all-metal back casing, which replaces the glass top and bottom panels with thin connecting seams instead. This makes for a more unified look when you turn the phone around, and something that gets closer to the unbroken single plane of the iPad mini and iPad Air's rear shell. The Space Gray version I tested benefits very much from this unbroken look, and the front of the device is no less impressive.

[iPhone 6 Plus] Touch Assist is the feature Apple created to help users deal with much larger devices, regardless of the size of their hands and digits. The iPhone 6 Plus leans on this especially, as it's impossible for anyone not in the NBA to reach their thumb across to the top opposite corner. I find it difficult to even reach across the other side of the screen, let alone the corner, when one-handing the device.

[iPhone 6 Plus] For most tasks, I find the iPhone 6 Plus to be a two-handed device -- but I also find that I'm absolutely fine with that. The 6 Plus is closer in usage style to an iPad mini, in my experience, albeit one that's pocketable and capable of full cellular voice communications.
Other reviews:

Stuart Miles (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), Pocket-lint
Gareth Beavis (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), TechRadar
Geoffrey Fowler, The Wall Street Journal
Molly Wood, The New York Times
Edward Baig, USA Today
Joshua Topolsky, Bloomberg
Harry McCracken, Fast Company
Lance Ulanoff (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), Mashable
Charles Arthur (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), The Guardian
David Phelan (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), The Independent
Matt Hill (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus), T3
Jason Snell, Macworld
John Gruber, Daring Fireball
Vincent Nguyen, SlashGear

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available to the public beginning on Friday, September 19. Apple is currently accepting pre-orders for the devices in its online store, but shipping estimates for the iPhone 6 are at 7 to 10 days while estimates for the 6 Plus are at 3 to 4 weeks.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

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.

appspecificpasswords
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.

androidswitch
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.

iphone_6_plus_case_brown
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.

iphone_6_plus_case_black
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.

iphone_6_6_plus_cases_hand
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