iPad Pro Artists Share Apple Pencil Drawings

Now that Apple Stores are beginning to receive more reliable Apple Pencil shipments, some early adopters of the iPad Pro have been able to purchase the accessory over the past week and put it to the test.

Many of those iPad Pro users have been sharing their work in the MacRumors discussion forums, and many of the drawings posted have been very creative. Below is a gallery of some of the sketches shared.

Giraffe and Hippo — markol88


Nike Shoes — snugja


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Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: Apple Pencil
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)

Best Buy Now Offering Apple Pencil, Orders Arrive as Early as Next Week

Best Buy has the in-demand Apple Pencil in stock and is accepting orders for the device as of today. Supplies may go quickly, but for the time being, Best Buy's site says orders will arrive as early as Tuesday, November 24 with express shipping, or Thursday, December 3 with standard shipping. Best Buy's stock may already be low as the site sometimes lists the Apple Pencil as unavailable before listing it as purchasable upon refresh.

Best Buy appears to be one of the only stores with actual stock of the Apple Pencil. At Staples, the Apple Pencil is listed as "Coming Soon" with stock arriving on November 25, which is the only other upcoming availability date. MacMall is accepting orders, but shipments won't arrive for three weeks, while B&H Photo is also accepting pre-orders without an estimated shipment timeline. At Adorama and Walmart, the Apple Pencil is listed as out of stock.

On Apple's own site, the Apple Pencil has an estimated shipping date of four to five weeks, with orders placed today arriving between December 23 and December 30 at the earliest. Apple retail stores have been receiving shipments of the Apple Pencil, so the best way to get one immediately may be to check in regularly at a local Apple Store.

Zite Shutting Down December 7, Recommends Flipboard to Users

News aggregator app Zite last night announced that it will no longer be functional past December 7, with the company encouraging fans to migrate their information and preferences over to similar app Flipboard before the deadline (via VentureBeat).

Flipboard acquired Zite in 2014 after a competitive few years together in the social media and news aggregation app sphere, keeping it open but slowly appropriating Zite's features and services into Flipboard. Zite has been hinting at its impending closure for a few months, but kept silent on whether or not it would continue to run in the face of the Flipboard acquisition until now.

zite flipboard apps
"We wanted to ensure that Zite’s key functionality was available in Flipboard before asking users to migrate. Now that we’ve integrated all the major parts of the technology such as the topic engine, collaborative filtering algorithms and thumbs up and down voting, Zite will soon stop being available as its own app. Zite users have a few more weeks to import their preferences into Flipboard. We hope many of them will do this.”
Zite users will recieve a notification within the app, or a personalized email, of the impending closure, along with a step-by-step guide of how to migrate their data to Flipboard. All the app requires is the entry of Flipboard login information into Zite -- a Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ login will work as well -- to begin the migration process.

Similar to the newly launched Apple News, Flipboard provides customers a one-stop shop of all their prioritized daily news services. Flipboard [Direct Link] allows a bit more personalization, however, letting users construct digital magazines of favorite stories, pictures, and breaking news and share them on social media. The app was recently updated to bring full support of the larger screen on the iPad Pro, as well.

Tags: Flipboard, Zite

Adele's New Album Won't Be Available on Apple Music

Following in the footsteps of Taylor Swift, Adele is opting to restrict her upcoming album from streaming music services. "25," Adele's highly anticipated album set to release tomorrow, will not be available on Apple Music, Spotify, or other Internet-based streaming music services, reports The New York Times.

Citing three sources with knowledge of the album release plans, The New York Times says Adele was involved in the decision not to share her album on streaming music services. "25" is Adele's first album in nearly five years and has been preceded by "Hello," a single that's already extremely popular, so the decision to restrict the album from streaming services may make fans unhappy.

Taylor Swift was one of the first major artists to take a stand against streaming music, opting to pull her songs from services like Spotify that offered a free listening tier. According to Swift, she did so because "music should not be free" and artists should value their work. It's likely Adele has similar motives, as restricting Swift's latest album "1989" from music sites did not significantly impact its popularity. "1989" sold upwards of 1.2 million copies during its first week of availability, and its believed Adele's new album could sell 2.5 million copies.

Swift initially refused to share her songs on Apple Music because Apple executives did not intend to pay artists during the Apple Music free trial period, but after the company reversed course, she too changed her mind and allowed Apple Music to stream "1989" and her other albums.

While Adele's new music will not be available on Apple Music, customers interested in obtaining the album will be able to purchase it through iTunes.

Adele had also asked Apple to stock her new album in its retail stores, but Apple declined the offer. It's not likely the refusal impacted Adele's decision not to offer her music on streaming sites, and Adele and Apple have also reportedly discussed a possible $30 million tour sponsorship. The status of that potential deal is not known.

Apple Seeking New Supplier to Help Manufacture Apple Watch 2

Apple is currently searching for an additional supplier of next year's rumored Apple Watch 2, according to a new report from supply chain sources (via DigiTimes). The company is speaking with Inventec, Wistron and Foxconn Electronics to join Quanta Computer in the manufacturing of the next generation of the Apple Watch. The report cites a "weaker than expected" profit return for Quanta in regards to the first generation Apple Watch, which is causing a few of the targeted manufacturers to voice concern about supporting the long-term investment in the future device.

Quanta has invested heavily in equipment for Apple Watch's manufacturing, but its profit return from the device has been weaker than expected. This is a concern for the ODMs that have been approached as a secondary supply partner, the paper added.
Also mentioned in the report is Apple's ordering of 4 million Apple Watch units for the fourth quarter of 2015, slightly down from the original 6 million planned in preparation for the holiday season since demand is "not as strong as expected." Still, the company expects sales for the wearable device to surpass 10 million units by the end of the year, before leading into the rumored launch period of the Apple Watch 2 sometime in the second quarter of 2016.

Today's news comes after Quanta Computer's chairman Barry Lam was reported to have commented on the impending manufacturing process of the Apple Watch 2, giving the device a launch window sometime late in Q2 2016 and higher volume shipments beginning in Q3. Little is known about the second generation Apple Watch, besides a few rumors that pointed to the possibility of a thinner device, integrated FaceTime camera, and a growing independence from the iPhone.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Microsoft Launches Redesigned 'Bing' App With Focus on Quick Interactions and App Discovery

Microsoft today launched an entirely revamped Bing search engine app for iOS, which it is hoping will reimagine search on the iPhone. The Bing app has a new design with a much cleaner interface and a series of quick action buttons that aim to cut down on the amount of typing a user needs to do to get relevant search results.

According to Microsoft, existing mobile search engines are a copycat of PC-based search engines - long lists of links - but the needs on mobile are much different. On a phone, people are looking for faster ways to get what they want while minimizing the number of interactions, an experience Microsoft is planning to deliver with Bing.

The main focal point of the app is a search button that launches a standard search for any topic, using either words, voice, or an image. This search interface includes popular search topics, like "restaurants near me," and it also includes links to search images, videos, or news, in addition to the web.

On the main Bing screen below the search button, there's a series of quick tap buttons that will bring up things people often search for. "Near Me," for example, displays a list of venues that are nearby, and additional buttons like "Dinner" or "Coffee" let users drill down further in the search results without ever having to type a word.

There are also quick links to bring up local restaurants, current movies, images, videos, and maps, while scrolling down will open up a list of breaking news stories. Microsoft has put a lot of thought into the Bing search engine, and its results cover everything a person might be looking for.

As an example, if you tap the Movie quick link on the home screen, it shows movies in theaters, but it also shows new movies that have been added to Netflix and Amazon Prime, along with popular movies on both services. Tapping on one of these movies brings up information like actors and movie reviews, along with a long list of relevant apps. From the search results, a movie like Nightcrawler can be opened in Netflix, purchased on iTunes, rented on Amazon, or opened in VUDU.

Microsoft has made deep linking a major focal point in its new Bing app, and app-based search results that open the relevant app are available for many different types of searches. For example, searching for a popular restaurant nearby and then tapping that result will include all relevant associated apps.

A search for a local Chipotle brings up a map, a phone number, and a list of associated apps. Yelp, Foursquare, and Zomato are offered up as apps where reviews are available, while AllMenu is listed as a way to view the menu and Apple Maps, Uber, Google Maps, and Lyft are provided as options for getting there. For a restaurant with food delivery, Bing might offer up the relevant app, or for a restaurant that takes reservations, Bing will provide something like OpenTable as an option.

A search for a television show might bring up an option to open it up directly in Netflix, while searching for a particular song includes app links to watch it in the YouTube app or buy it in iTunes. In addition to helping people find things faster, Microsoft is hoping its deep linking will aid users in app discovery, helping them find new ways to do things via apps.

The new Bing app also takes advantage of Microsoft's Knowledge and Action Graph, which incorporates 21 billion facts, five billion relationships between entities, and 18 billion actions to give users answers to common questions quickly. That's been coupled with extensive work on indexing apps to build the backbone for the new Bing mobile experience.

Bing can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: Microsoft, Bing

Apple Watch Space Black Link Bracelet Kit Now Available for $49

Apple Watch Link Bracelet Kit Space BlackApple today released a Space Black color Link Bracelet Kit, which contains six additional stainless steel links for wrists that exceed 205mm. The six links extend the 42mm Apple Watch band by up to 40mm, for a maximum size of 245mm.

The new Space Black kit is available on the Apple Online Store for $49, the same price as the Silver Link Bracelet Kit released in August, despite the full Space Black Link Bracelet carrying a $100 premium over the Silver Link Bracelet.

The kit is estimated for delivery as early as Tuesday, November 24 with expedited shipping, or Friday, November 27 with standard shipping, in the United States. The kit is also available in Canada for $69 and the United Kingdom for £39.

Apple also released an official Apple Watch magnetic charging dock for $79 today.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: Link Bracelet, Apple retail
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Apple Promotes iPad in Classroom With New Education Profiles

Apple has shared a new Heart Anatomy education profile and a Philadelphia Performing Arts school profile that promote the iPad in the classroom.

The first profile shows how iPads allow Jodie Deinhammer, a science teacher at Coppell High School in Texas, to better educate her students about the complexity of the human heart using iTunes U, digital textbooks and apps including BioDigital Human, The Human Body Lite and MotiConnect.
“The heart unit is important because kids need to know how to take care of themselves and live a healthy life. Heart disease is a huge problem, and it’s something they don’t know a lot about. […]

With the heart unit, there are lots of great visualizations I could never provide before. Now students can just click on them on iPad, and it makes the learning more concrete, so it sticks with them.”
iBooks textbooks such as Life on Earth provide Deinhammer's students with a closer look at heart anatomy and the complexities of blood flow through the heart muscle, while the iPad and other apps are also used in multiple lab activities for heart rate, histology, dissection and more.
“The iPad has afforded our students the opportunity to learn science at a deeper level. They’re able to make connections that weren’t really possible before the technology came into the classroom.”
The second profile provides a snapshot of how the Philadelphia Performing Arts, a String Theory Charter K-12 school, has used iPads to create custom learning materials and lesson plans for teachers. The school uses the iWork suite, iTunes U and other apps such as Elements 4D and Volcano 360º.
"You’ll never remember a test you took, but you will remember something you created. And you will remember the moment when a teacher says to you, ‘Wow, that’s really awesome.’ And those are the things our students get to take away with them." — Christine DiPaulo, Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology
Apple has shared over a dozen educational profiles on its website to date.

Related Roundup: iPad Air 2
Tag: education
Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Don't Buy)

New 4-Inch iPhone Rumored to Feature A8 Chip, Bluetooth 4.1 and More

Apple has developed a new 4-inch iPhone based on an iPhone 5s with sixth-generation iPod touch features including an A8 chip, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and an improved FaceTime HD camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture, according to often-reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara [Google Translate].

Mac Otakara, citing reliable sources, claims the so-called "iPhone 5s Mark II" has entered production and could be shipped at any time. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the new 4-inch iPhone, which he also believes to be an upgraded iPhone 5s, to launch in the first half of 2016, a launch date corroborated by other recent rumors.

Kuo previously claimed that the next 4-inch iPhone may adopt an A9 processor in order for iOS 9 or iOS 10 smoothly, but his chip-specific prediction appears to be more guesswork rather than information sourced from Apple's supply chain.

Given Mac Otakara's respectable track record, and considering Apple's reported desire to differentiate the new 4-inch iPhone from its flagship iPhone 6s lineup, it is plausible the so-called "iPhone 6c" could be powered by an A8 chip.

Apple will also reportedly withhold 3D Touch from the 4-inch iPhone in order to encourage adoption of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Follow our iPhone 6c roundup to keep track of the latest news about the 4-inch iPhone.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6c (2016)
Tag: macotakara.jp

Pryme Vessyl is a Smart Cup That Monitors Your Water Consumption

Mark One, the company that's currently working on the Vessyl smart cup that can measure the nutritional content of any liquid, today launched an interim product that's designed to track how much water a person drinks in a day.

The Pryme Vessyl is a smart cup that measures all of the water that a person drinks during the day, using the data collected with a proprietary hydration algorithm that lets users know if their hydration needs are being met. It uses decades of research on hydration to determine an optimal or "Pryme" hydration level for every person based on factors like age, weight, sex, and activity level. The data collected by the Pryme Vessyl is compatible with the Jawbone UP and Apple's own Health app.

Many of us still follow the 8 cups per day, one-size-fits-all approach to water consumption, but everyone's hydration needs are unique--fluctuating day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour. Pryme captures a variety of factors such as height, age, weight and sex, as well as changing variables like sleep and exercise, to help you understand your personal hydration needs.
Design wise, Pryme Vessyl is a 16-ounce cup that has a glass interior with a soft-touch white exterior and a nickel-plated bottom. It includes a spill-resistant lid that can be flipped back with a thumb, and the Pryme Vessyl team tells MacRumors that it's both highly durable and reliable.

There are sensors built into the cup to detect each time a person takes a sip. In addition to water, it can hold any hot or cold beverage, so it can be used with other liquids like tea or juice. Though it's safe to use with hot liquids, the electronics inside prevent it from being dishwasher safe.

A blue line on the side of the cup, activated with a tilt, lets users keep an eye on their hydration levels throughout the day to make sure they're getting enough water. Pryme Vessyl uses inductive charging and attaches to an included base, so it's simple to charge. Its built-in battery is able to last for up to five days per charge.

Pryme Vessyl can be purchased from the Vessyl website for $99 and it's also available online at Apple.com and from select Apple retail stores in the United States and Canada.

All customers who previously pre-ordered the Vessyl will receive a Pryme Vessyl for free. The Vessyl remains in development with no prospective launch date as the Mark One team works to transition from prototype to production while maintaining accuracy.

Apple Pay Now Supports Tesco Bank and TSB in U.K., Over 90 New U.S. Issuers

Apple updated its Apple Pay participating issuers list today with 95 additional banks, credit unions and financial institutions supporting the contactless payment service in the United States. Apple Pay now has over 750 participating issuers nationwide, and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future.

Apple Pay now supports Tesco Bank and TSB in the United Kingdom

Apple also added Apple Pay support for two larger financial institutions Tesco Bank and TSB in the United Kingdom. Tesco Bank, which began emailing customers about incoming Apple Pay support earlier this week, currently supports Apple Pay for its MasterCard credit cards, while TSB supports debit cards and MasterCard and AMEX credit cards.

H&R Block, a large tax planning, preparation, and filing company, highlights the complete list of new Apple Pay participating U.S. issuers. As a disclaimer, some smaller banks, credit unions and financial institutions listed may have already had support for the contactless payments service and are only now being reflected on Apple's website.

The full list of new Apple Pay participating issuers in the U.S. is ahead.

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Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: United Kingdom, Tesco Bank, TSB

Japanese Cellular Provider KDDI Now Supports Apple SIM

Apple today added Japanese mobile operator KDDI to its list of carriers that support the Apple SIM for the iPad, expanding Apple SIM availability to Japan for the first time. The Apple SIM can now be purchased in Japanese Apple stores in addition to retail stores in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the United States.

The Apple SIM, introduced in 2014 alongside the iPad Air 2, is designed to allow users to easily switch between different short-term data plans from a number of different carriers. The Apple SIM is particularly useful for traveling abroad, allowing users to switch carriers as needed.

During the early days of availability, the Apple SIM was limited to the United States and the United Kingdom through a partnership with carriers AT&T, EE, Sprint, and T-Mobile, but in June, a partnership with GigSky expanded availability of data plans to more than 90 countries.

The Apple SIM is available for cellular models of the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, and iPad mini 3.

Tags: Apple SIM, KDDI