Apple's Watch is designed to be both fashionable and functional.
Developers from Facebook, BMW, Starwood Hotels and others have been making multiple trips to Cupertino, with each visit requiring confidentiality.
Apple, which will share more details about the gadget at a March 9 event, uses extreme measures to keep the work secret. Internet access is blocked inside the rooms, and no outside materials can be brought in to the labs with the test watches, a person who attended said. The companies, sometimes sharing a room, must bring in source code for their apps on a computer hard drive that can't leave Apple's headquarters. To prevent information from leaking out, Apple is storing the code and sending it to the companies closer to the watch's introduction date, the person said.The unreleased Apple Watch is also available for the developers to test out their apps, allowing them to check for glitches and optimize user experience for the Digital Crown and Force Touch, two of the watch's unique interface options.
One of the challenges for both Apple and its developers has been to balance the apps so that they are useful but not annoying. Apple has recommended that developers be "judicious" about interrupting users with alerts that would constantly buzz or drain the battery. Instead, they suggest that apps should be used for no longer than 10 seconds at a time.
Another challenge for developers has been working on an unreleased product, as developers have noticed problems that still need to be worked through. One developer tells Bloomberg that the Bluetooth connection between the iPhone and Apple Watch caused lag with some applications. Additionally, some developers like Starwood have had to use computer simulations and cardboard cutouts to explain to the designers who weren't invited to Cupertino how its app would work.
Apple is expected to show off the Apple Watch apps developers have been working on, as well as more information about the new device, at its "Spring Forward" event on Monday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Apple plans to provide live coverage for the event on its website and through a channel on Apple TV, and MacRumors will also be covering the event with both a live blog on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
The unwelcome Ask extension shows up as part of the installer if a Mac user downloads Java 8 Update 40 for the Mac. In my tests on a Mac running that latest release of OS X, the installer added an app to the current browser, Chrome version 41. (In a separate test, I installed Java using the latest version of Safari, where it behaved in a similar fashion.)The Java installer selects the option to install the Ask extension by default, which means that users casually clicking through the dialogue boxes would find the extension installed and enabled on their browser of choice. Oracle has also updated its installation instructions for Mac to account for the change.
As noted by ZDNet, Ask.com typically provides low-quality search results and numerous ads with little distinction between ads and organic results. Ask.com parent company IAC pays a commission to Oracle and other companies that bundle the Ask extension with its products.
Users who want to remove the Ask toolbar can do so from the Help menu for the Ask toolbar on Chrome. Alternatively, users can go to the Chrome menu bar, then Preferences, then the settings page, then Manage Search Engines to remove Ask, followed by removing the extension from the Extension tab. Safari users can do so by going to Extensions in the Safari preferences and turning it off.
The port has a 6-dot brass contact array inside the groove for the ‘bottom’ strap connector slot. Several sources have confirmed its existence and placement to me. It is very similar to the connector for the Lightning connector in iPhones, as that connector currently only uses 6 of its 8 available pins. Apple recently began opening up the Lightning port for use by third parties. A source says that this port is currently for diagnostic purposes only — but that there is nothing preventing it from being a connection port for future accessories.TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino is careful to state that he has no knowledge of any plans by Apple to launch such smart band accessories, but the idea remains an intriguing one. Possibilities for such bands include additional sensors, external batteries integrated into a band, and more.
Apple revealed a number of high-level details about the Apple Watch at the device's unveiling last September, but even now with a launch set for next month there is still much that remains unknown, including pricing details beyond the $349 starting price. Apple will undoubtedly address many of the details at Monday's events, but some of the technical details will likely need to wait until the device launches and users and technical experts can get a closer look at the device.
Update 2:13 PM: The diagnostic port will not be included on the Apple Watch that ships to consumers, according to 9to5Mac.
"Apple currently plans to launch the new music service as part of an iOS 8.4 upgrade for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch following WWDC, but a final decision has not yet been made. It’s possible that the service will be bundled into iOS 9 this fall, which is expected to have a significant focus on bug fixes and stability improvements."As detailed last month, the purported streaming music service is expected to cost up to $7.99 per month, a few dollars cheaper than Apple-owned Beats Music and competitors such as Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music. The service will be deeply integrated into iTunes on Mac and the stock Music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android.
Apple is developing its first in-house Android application for the upcoming streaming music service, one of the rarer times that the iPhone maker offers cross-platform support for its products and services. Nevertheless, as the release of iTunes for Windows in the early 2000s helped drive sales of the iPod, expanding beyond the iPhone, iPad and Mac will provide Apple with a much larger pool of potential subscribers in the competitive streaming music market.
Apple is also reportedly wrapping up development of its next-generation Apple TV set-top box that could ship with an improved, tactile remote control and all-new operating system bundled with an App Store. Apple allegedly planned to release a new Apple TV as soon as this month, but the release may be delayed until later this year or beyond until Apple reaches agreements with more content providers like HBO Now.
"When Photos for OS X launches this spring, Aperture will no longer be available for purchase from the Mac App Store. You can continue to use Aperture on OS X Yosemite, but you will not be able to buy additional copies of the app.Aperture users will be able to continue using the software on OS X Yosemite following its discontinuation, although the app will no longer be available for purchase on the Mac App Store and new feature updates are not planned. Aperture users can migrate their photo libraries to Photos for OS X, including photos, adjustments, albums and keywords.
You can migrate your Aperture library to Photos for OS X, including your photos, adjustments, albums, and keywords. After migrating, your Aperture library remains intact. However, Aperture and Photos do not share a unified library, so any changes made after the migration will not be shared between the apps."
Photos for OS X will be available this spring for OS X Yosemite.
Office 2016 for Mac, which is free to all Mac users running OS X Yosemite during the preview period, is the next step in Microsoft's plan to make its Office products available anywhere, anytime, on any device, and as such, it's been designed to work with Office 365 and OneDrive. Users will get the best experience when signed into Office 365 because that allows them to access all of their documents on all of their devices, but an Office 365 account is not required to use the software.
Office 2016 for Mac has adopted many elements previously found in both the Windows version of Office and in the mobile Office apps, released last year. There's a new Ribbon that reorganizes tools and formatting options, a task pane interface for greater graphics customization within all three apps (which can be manipulated and repositioned within each app), new themes and styles, and there's a Yosemite-style look that takes advantage of features like full-screen support.
Office 2016 for Mac is powered by the cloud so you can access your documents anytime, anywhere, and on any device. It’s unmistakably Office – but thoughtfully designed to take advantage of the unique features of the Mac. The new apps offer full retina display support with thousands of retina-optimized graphics, full screen view for native immersive experiences, and even little Mac affordances like scroll bounce.Microsoft believes that cloud connectivity is a key feature that people have come to expect from their software, so that's become a focal point for the company. With cloud support, Office 2016 for Mac lets users access a list of files created on any device, keep files up to date on all of their devices, and collaborate with other users. Each of Microsoft's new Office apps have received several new cloud-based features and other updates, as outlined below.
Word 2016 focuses heavily on collaboration. It's designed to improve the multi-author experience, with a consistent sharing interface at the top right of the app. Through this menu, users can invite coworkers to work on a document, send out links, and see who a document has been shared with.
Threaded comments have been added to the Mac for the first time and in Word's new Styles pane, users can make detailed edits on styles within the app as they can on Office for Windows.
Excel 2016 has deeper data analysis functionality with advanced statistical functions. There are also Slicers in PivotTables, a popular Windows feature that should make it easier for users to analyze large chunks of data to find patterns. With Office 2011, many users were frustrated that the Mac shortcut keys were not the same as the Office for Windows shortcut keys, so Microsoft has made all Windows shortcuts available on the Mac. Users already used to existing Mac shortcuts can continue to use them.
PowerPoint 2016 has a revamped presenter view, which is similar to the presenter view in the PowerPoint for iOS app. In the top left, the presenter sees exactly what the audience sees, including animations in real time. There's also a visual preview of the next slide, access to notes, a timer, and thumbnails for the entire slide deck.
As with the other two apps, there are deeper editing tools available through the right-side pane, which allows for functions like customized animations or shapes, with results that can be seen in real-time.
Along with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac preview also includes Outlook for Mac, which was released in October, and Microsoft OneNote for Mac, released last March. Outlook for Mac has been limited to Office 365 users since its release, but as of today, it's available for anyone to use.
The Office 2016 for Mac preview has a built-in feedback mechanism, which Microsoft is hoping its customers will use to report bugs and share what they like and don't like about the software. Customer feedback will be an important tool that helps Microsoft decide on the next features to add to its software. According to Microsoft, the company is "data obsessed" and reads all of the feedback it receives.
Though it's been years since Microsoft last delivered a software update, the company plans to introduce bug fixes and feature updates quickly in the future, as such updates are possible now that the Microsoft Office experience is unified as a service across a range of devices.
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac preview is available today at no cost for all Mac users. It is officially supported on machines running OS X Yosemite. Microsoft has plans to launch the software in the summer following this beta testing period.
While the initial report was incorrect, this new timeframe appears more plausible given Apple's upcoming "Spring Forward" media event for the Apple Watch on March 9. Apple also promised that a fix would be prepared by next week for the recently discovered "FREAK" security vulnerability affecting devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The security flaw was disclosed to Apple well in advance of the public.
The release notes for iOS 8.2 outline several improvements to Apple's stock Health app, including the ability to select units of measurement for body temperature, weight, height, distance and blood glucose. The software update also delivers stability enhancements for Mail, Flyover in Maps, Music, VoiceOver and Made for iPhone hearing aids.
Health App improvementsA number of bug fixes have been made in iOS 8.2, including a long-awaited fix for the so-called "GMT bug" causing calendar syncing issues for several iPhone and iPad users. Google quietly fixed the GMT bug on their backend early last month, but Microsoft Exchange calendar users have still been experiencing syncing issues. Other bug fixes are outlined in the full release notes shared in the MacRumors discussion forums.
Adds the ability to select the unit of measurement for body temperature, weight, height, distance, and blood glucose
Improves stability when dealing with large amounts of data
Includes the ability to add and visualise workout sessions from 3rd-party apps
Addresses an issue that may have prevented users from adding a photo in Medical ID
Fixes units for vitamins and minerals
Fixes an issue where Health data wouldn’t refresh after changes data source order
Fixes an issue where some graphics showed no data values
Adds a privacy setting that enables turning off tracking of steps, distance, and flights climbed
iOS 8.2 will also include support for the Apple Watch ahead of its launch in April.
"Market rumors over the last six months have stated that Apple would aim to release the device in the first half of the year, with mass production occurring in the first quarter. The company, however, has been assessing different panel technologies ranging from a-Si, TFT LCD and Oxide LCD in terms of cost versus performance, and has only recently decided to move forward with Oxide technology."The report adds that Sharp, LG Display and Samsung Display have been sending Apple display samples as they compete to secure component orders for the iPad Pro. Sharp is expected to be the main supplier due to its advantages in Oxide LCD display production, with LG also in the running to be a secondary vendor. The panel suppliers will reportedly produce limited supply in May and begin mass production in July and August.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, also forecasted in November that the iPad Pro would be equipped with an oxide panel for "high resolution, quick response, and high color saturation," with manufacturing difficulties pushing mass production of the tablet into the second quarter of 2015.
Oxide LCD technologies, one of the most popular being "IGZO," have been used since the original iPad Air and allow for thinner and more power efficient displays. Expected to have a large 12.9-inch screen, it would make sense for the iPad Pro to have an Oxide LCD display to ensure that the extra screen real estate is not a drain on battery life.
Bloomberg Business reported late Wednesday that Apple missed the mark on second quarter production of the iPad Pro and that manufacturing of the tablet is now slated to begin around September. The larger-screened tablet, rumored to potentially have USB 3.0 ports for faster data transfer, could help Apple reverse four quarters of declining iPad sales as overall tablet market growth has slowed.
"The BMW spokesman said: 'We are in regular talks with companies from the IT and telecommunications sector, including Apple, concerning topics like connected vehicles. Developing or building a car is not a topic of these discussions.'"
The German report claimed that the electric car could be manufactured by BMW and sold at Apple Stores, with Apple developing a full-fledged operating system for the vehicle that integrates with the car's fuel consumption and driving data. It is plausible that Apple is working to expand its CarPlay efforts on the dashboard, but it remains to be seen how closely integrated the platform will be with future vehicles.
Multiple reports claim that Apple is working on an electric car that is possibly self-driving and could enter production in 2020. Some other reports, however, downplay the rumors by suggesting that Apple is working on expanding its presence in vehicles through CarPlay. Any electric car project at Apple is likely in the early stages of research and development at this time.
While suppliers are gearing up to ship the new 12-inch MacBook Air in large quantities in the second quarter, Apple's launch schedule remains unclear, the people said.A Q2 2015 shipment date for the 12-inch MacBook Air suggests Apple could be planning to launch the notebook around June, possibly at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple has launched products during WWDC before, introducing the Mac Pro in 2013 and the Retina MacBook Pro in 2012.
Aside from a potential launch date for the notebook, there's one other significant point of interest in The Wall Street Journal's report -- a clear distinction between the 12-inch MacBook Air and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Some users have speculated that due to the similarity in screen size and the iPad-like features rumored for the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air, the two products are actually one, but this new report makes it very clear that Apple is developing two separate product lines.
Separately, Apple also plans to broaden its product offering with a new 12-inch MacBook Air, people familiar with the matter said.There is some convergence between the two products, despite the fact that one is an iPad and one is a MacBook. The 12-inch MacBook Air is rumored to have iPad-like colors, fewer ports, and no Magsafe charger, while tonight's WSJ report points towards an iPad with USB ports, but it's likely the two products will continue to be separated by operating system.
Earlier this year, Apple's suppliers started mass production of a 12-inch MacBook Air, featuring a higher resolution display, they said.
Though Apple may not plan to launch the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air during its March 9 event, there's still a good chance the company may refresh its existing 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air lineup, which are overdue for an update. Screenshots said to be from a 13-inch MacBook Air with a Broadwell processor and integrated Intel HD 6000 graphics were shared this afternoon, suggesting a refresh is imminent.
Beyond timing, the report also claims Apple is still tweaking plans for the iPad Pro's design and feature set, with the company considering including USB 3.0 ports to accommodate data transfer and peripherals connectivity.
“Apple has continued to rework some of the features of the larger iPad. It is now considering the faster technology for data synchronization between the larger iPad and other computing devices,” said the person. [..]Apple is reportedly also looking into ways to speed up charging time for the iPad Pro, as the device will almost certainly come with an even higher-capacity battery than the iPad Air family.
The company has also been considering adding ports to connect to a keyboard and mouse, the people said.
Finally, The Wall Street Journal's sources indicate the iPad Pro's display does indeed measure 12.9 inches diagonally, marking a substantial increase over the iPad Air family's 9.7-inch display. Rumors have been split between 12.9 inches and 12.2 inches for the iPad Pro's display.
Production of the 12.9-inch-screen iPad is now scheduled to start around September because of delays involving the supply of display panels, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren't public. Apple had initially planned to begin making the larger version this quarter, people familiar those plans had said.This isn't the first time that rumors have hinted at delays for the iPad Pro. Apple was said to be targeting an early 2015 release date for the tablet last year, but those plans were reportedly put on hold. Back in October, The Wall Street Journal said that Apple had opted to delay mass production on the iPad in order to focus on iPhone 6 Plus production, and in November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said production could be delayed until Q2 2015 because of difficulties related to the production of display components. With production delayed until September, the tablet could see a release in late 2015.
Apple is planning to use the "iPad Pro," as the media calls it, to boost its flagging iPad sales. The tablet is expected to measure in somewhere between 12.2 and 12.9 inches, dwarfing both the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 3.
It may be targeted at the enterprise market, and rumors have suggested it could sport an "ultra" high-resolution display and stereo speakers at the top and bottom edges of the device for an improved audio experience. It may also ship with an optional stylus accessory.