iTunes Store, App Store and Other Apple Services Experiencing Outage [Update: Fixed]

According to Apple's System Status page, several of its services are experiencing downtime. Some users may be unable to access the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, and iBooks Store.

The page also suggests some users may be experiencing issues with the Apple TV, iTunes Match, iTunes Radio, iTunes U, and OS X Software Updates.

applesystemstatus
The downtime appears to have started just after 3pm and is ongoing. We have received several emails and tweets from users who are unable to access the App Store or can only access certain parts of the App Store.

iOS App Store Top Charts, for example, have been unavailable since the downtime originally began, and while some app categories were also blank, those seem to be reappearing, suggesting the outage may be short.

Today's App Store outage is the second Apple has seen this week.

Update: Apple's System Status page is back to normal, suggesting all issues have been fixed.

How to Digitally Sign a PDF Using Preview on Mac

When you receive a PDF document by email that you must sign, the process of printing out the file, signing on the dotted line with a pen, scanning the signed document and sending it back can be a rather tedious task. Fortunately, Apple introduced the ability to digitally sign a PDF document using Preview, a program that comes preinstalled on every Mac, on OS X Lion or later.

MacRumors PDF Signature
The steps involved to digitally sign a PDF using Preview on Mac are quite simple and will save you valuable time, especially if you have multiple documents, contracts, forms or other paperwork to sign. If you are worried that your digital signature will look bad, rest assured that you can create your signature by using the trackpad or holding up your signature on paper to a Mac's built-in iSight camera.

Click here to read more...

Apple Hiring for Retail Store in São Paulo as Construction Nears Completion

Apple has posted several job listings in recent weeks to fill retail positions at an under-construction Apple Store in São Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil. The company is seeking to hire Creatives, Specialists, Geniuses, Managers and a number of other positions for the store, which appears to be nearing completion based on new photos published by Brazilian website Blog do iPhone.

Apple Store Sao Paulo
Apple has placed its traditional large wooden tables throughout the store, while the lighting fixtures and interior panels have also been installed. This new location will be the second Apple Store in Brazil, alongside the Village Mall store in Rio de Janeiro that opened in February 2014. Apple now has over 450 retail stores in 16 countries, with aggressive plans to continue opening new stores in China and other emerging markets.

Apple Secretly Acquired Data Analytics Firm Acunu

Just a day after Apple acquired database company FoundationDB, Bloomberg reveals Apple had previously acquired U.K.-based data analytics company Acunu. The acquisition appeared to have happened in late 2013.

acunu
The purchase of the Vienna, Virginia-based software maker follows a deal for closely held Acunu Ltd., a U.K.-based data analysis company, Apple said.
Acunu creates technology that provides analytics on databases, and its technology can be used in conjunction with other tools, improving their performance. Bloomberg notes the company's tools work well with free Cassandra databases, which Apple runs on several thousand computers.

It's likely that the Acunu acquisition will be used for iCloud and its various services, like iTunes Radio, the upcoming reimagined Beats Music streaming service and Apple's over-the-air TV service. Acunu Chief Technology Officer Tim Moreton began working in Apple's iCloud division in December 2013, and other Acunu employees made the jump to the Cupertino company in early 2014.

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Fantastical' Bundle That Includes New Mac App, iOS and iPad Apps

Flexibits launched Fantastical 2 for the Mac this morning, the long-awaited update to its popular calendar app for the Mac. To celebrate the launch, Flexibits has teamed up with us to offer 25 MacRumors readers a chance to win a Fantastical bundle that includes a copy of the new Fantastical 2 for Mac app, a copy of Fantastical 2 for iPad, and a copy of Fantastical 2 for iPhone.

If you're not familiar with Flexibits' line of Fantastical apps, they're some of the most popular calendar apps in the Mac and iOS App Stores, due to cross-platform availability and the use of natural language parsing for scheduling events. It's possible, for example, to write something as simple as "Meeting with Eric at 4 p.m. tomorrow" and have the event properly scheduled in the app.

The apps also integrate with Reminders to allow users to schedule to-dos that are time and location-based, putting event details and reminder lists in one easily accessible spot, plus they includes customizable event alerts, geofencing, built-in maps, and more.


The Fantastical 2 app for Mac launching today includes a Yosemite-style redesign, a full calendar window, Handoff and extension support, a Notification Center widget, and a new feature called Calendar Sets, for quickly switching between groups of calendars.

To enter to win one of the 25 Fantastical bundles, use the Rafflecopter widget below. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting our Facebook page. Due to the intricacies of international law regarding giveaways, this giveaway is open only to U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run from today March 25 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through March 27 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The winners will be chosen randomly on March 27 and will be contacted through email. A response to our email is required within 48 hours or the winner will forfeit the prize and we will pick a new winner.

If you want to buy Fantastical 2 for Mac and iOS, the apps are available through the following links:

- Fantastical 2 for iPhone, $2.99 [Direct Link]
- Fantastical 2 for iPad, $6.99 [Direct Link]
- Fantastical 2 for Mac, $39.99 [Direct Link]

Buyer's Guide: Deals on iMac, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, Apple Accessories and More

As we head into April, deals are starting to pick up. Some iMacs are at the lowest prices we've seen, and Best Buy is offering steep discounts on a few select iPad Air 2 models. Best Buy is also discounting its entire stock of iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 tablets, and there are some solid deals to be had on older MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models.

We've also got discounts on a range of Apple accessories like Mophie battery cases, Beats headphones, and the Pebble Steel smart watch, plus we've found some of the best app sales of the week.

iPad Air 2


Best Buy is offering the lowest prices we've seen on a few select iPad Air 2 models. The 16GB Cellular iPad Air 2 is available for $499.99, $130 off its regular price. The 128GB Cellular iPad Air 2 is priced at $699.99, also a $130 discount.

ipadair2c
B&H Photo is offering a discount on all of its iPad Air 2 models, dropping prices by $30 to $50. With the discount, the 16GB WiFi only iPad Air 2 is priced at $459 and the 64GB model is priced at $569.

iPad Air


Best Buy is also discounting cellular versions of its iPad Air stock, dropping the price on the 16GB Verizon Space Gray model to $379.99 and the price of the 32GB Verizon Space Gray model to $429.99, two of the lowest prices we've seen on those tablets.

Both Best Buy and B&H Photo have deep discounts on their remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad Air models, as listed below.

- iPad Air Wi-Fi Space Gray 128GB - $529
- iPad Air Wi-Fi Silver 128GB - $529

- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) - $549.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) - $549.99
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) - $532.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) - $566.99
- iPad Air Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) - $599
- iPad Air Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) - $599

iPad mini


Best Buy has a sale on its original iPad mini stock, discounting the 16GB tablet by $50, which drops the price to $199.99. It's available in Silver and Space Gray.

iPad mini 2


Best Buy is discounting its stock of iPad mini 2 tablets by $50, dropping the prices on the 16GB WiFi only model to $249.99 and the price of the WiFi only 32GB model to $299.99.

retina_ipad_mini_colors_front_back
Best Buy and Amazon also have remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models, which are a good deal if you're looking for an iPad mini. Compared to the iPad mini 3, the iPad mini 2 only lacks Touch ID.

- iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (AT&T) - $479.99
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (AT&T) - $479.99
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (AT&T) - $444.16
- iPad mini Cellular Silver 128GB (Verizon) - $479
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 128GB (Verizon) - $534.99
- iPad mini Cellular Silver 64GB (Verizon) - $396.99
- iPad mini Cellular Space Gray 64GB (Verizon) - $421

iPad mini 3


Best Buy is discounting all of its iPad mini 3 stock by $50, dropping the price of the 16GB WiFi only model to $349.99 and the 64GB WiFi only model to $449.

Apple TV


In case you missed it, Apple dropped the price on the Apple TV from $99 to $69 last week. It's available from Apple.com and from Best Buy at that price point.

apple tv
Adorama is offering a $10 mail-in rebate on an Apple TV purchase from the site, which can be found here. With the rebate, the price drops to $59.

iMac


- 21.5-inch 2.7GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,189, $110 off
- 21.5-inch 2.9GHz/8GB/1TB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) - $1,329, $170 off
- 27-inch 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,689, $110 off
- 27-inch 3.4GHz/8GB/1TB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $1,794, $205 off
- 27-inch 3.5Ghz/8GB/1TB Retina iMac (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $2,349, $150 off

retina-imac-27

Mac mini


- 1.4GHz/4GB/500GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $464.99, $34 off
- 2.6GHz/8GB/1TB (Best Buy) - $649.99, $49 off
- 2.8GHz/8GB/1TB (MacMall) - $934.99, $64 off

MacBook Air


- 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB - (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) (MacMall)$789, $109 off
- 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) - $919, $180 off
- 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB (Amazon) (Adorama) (B&H Photo) - $819, $180 off
- 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB (Amazon) (B&H Photo) - $1029, $179 off

Retina MacBook Pro


- 2014 15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB (Best Buy) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,799, $200 off
- 2014 15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (B&H Photo) -$2,249, $250 off
- 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/128GB (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,098, $201 off
- 2014 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB (B&H Photo) - $1,249, $239 off
- 2014 13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB (Adorama) (B&H Photo) (MacMall) - $1,588.99, $210 off

Apps


There are quite a few apps that are on sale at discounted prices or available for free for a limited time. We'll highlight a few here, but make sure to check out our sister site AppShopper for a complete list.

Talking cat app Tom Loves Angela for iPhone and iPad is available for free, as is C.H.A.O.S Combat Copters. Modern Combat 5: Blackout is free this week. Geekbench 3 is also available at no cost, down from $0.99.

Dark Echo was named Apple's app of the week this week, and it will be available to download for free for the next six days.

Apple Accessories


DailySteals has Beats urBeats in-ear headphones for $45 until midnight on 3/20, down from $99.95. The Lifeproof nuud Case for iPad 2/3/4 is available from Groupon for $34.99, down from $129.99. Groupon is also selling the 3.3ft Apple Lightning to USB cable for $9.99, $10 off its regular price.

beatsheadphones
Woot is selling the Distil Union Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 5/52/5c/6 for $14.99 to $21.99, down from $39.99 to $49.99. Woot is also selling the Mophie Helium battery cases for the iPhone 5/5s for $29.99, down from $79.95.

walletcase
Groupon has the Beats by Dre Pill speaker for $159.99, down from $199.95. LivingSocial has Apple EarPods for $13.99, down from $29.99. Best Buy is discounting the Pebble Steel smart watch by $30, dropping the price to $169.

pebblesteel
Automatic is offering a coupon code to MacRumors readers that will take 20% off all orders through their site. Use this link to have the code applied automatically or enter code MACRUMORS at checkout.

SkinIt, a site that makes custom skins for a wide range of devices from the iPhone to the MacBook, is offering a special buy one get one 50 percent off deal for MacRumors readers. With the code MACRUMORS, you can get 50% off a second skin after purchasing one skin.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.

New iMovie for Mac Update Provides Look at Potential of Force Touch Trackpad

imoviemacWhile Apple updated iMovie for Mac on March 9 with Photos integration and noted it in the "What's New" section, Apple did not mention it also gained additional support for the new Force Touch Trackpad. The new feature was first found by freelance film editor Alex Gollner (via Wired) and is described in an Apple support document.
When dragging a video clip to its maximum length, you’ll get feedback letting you know you’ve hit the end of the clip. Add a title and you’ll get feedback as the title snaps into position at the beginning or end of a clip. Subtle feedback is also provided with the alignment guides that appear in the Viewer when cropping clips.
Gollner notes that the new feature allowed him to "feel" his way around iMovie's user interface, which means that he could do certain tasks without looking at the screen. He goes on to say that the new feature feels like a sign of the future for Apple devices, with users being able to feel their way through UI elements that he calls "bumpy pixels".

iMovie for Mac [Direct Link] comes free with every new Mac, and this new version of the software is available as a free update for existing owners of the app. iMovie for Mac is otherwise available in the Mac App Store for $14.99.

Tag: iMovie

Apple Releases New Security Update for OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Users

Apple today released Security Update 2015–003 1.0 for users who are running the current publicly available version of Yosemite, OS X 10.10.2. The update includes fixes for iCloud Keychain and an issue that could allow malicious applications to execute code.

securityupdate003
- Security Update 2015-003 Yosemite
- Security Update 2015-003 Yosemite (Early 2015 Mac)

Apple recommends that all users download the update, which can be acquired through the Software Update tool in the Mac App Store, or through the links below. According to Apple, the update "improves the security of OS X." There are two different versions available, one for early 2015 Macs and one for earlier Macs.
iCloud Keychain
Available for: OS X Yosemite v10.10.2
Impact: An attacker with a privileged network position may be able
to execute arbitrary code
Description: Multiple buffer overflows existed in the handling of
data during iCloud Keychain recovery. These issues were addressed
through improved bounds checking.
CVE-ID
CVE-2015-1065 : Andrey Belenko of NowSecure

IOSurface
Available for: OS X Yosemite v10.10.2
Impact: A malicious application may be able to execute arbitrary
code with system privileges
Description: A type confusion issue existed in IOSurface's handling
of serialized objects. The issue was addressed through additional
type checking.
CVE-ID
CVE-2015-1061 : Ian Beer of Google Project Zero
Today's security update comes 10 days after Apple issued Security Update 2015–002 designed to fix the “FREAK” security flaw that left many devices vulnerable to hacking attempts.

Apple Updates iPhoto for Mac to Prepare for Upcoming Transition to New Photos App

iphotoApple today released a minor update for the iPhoto app for Mac to prepare for the upcoming transition to the OS X Photos app. According to the release notes, today's update improves compatibility when migrating iPhoto libraries to the new Photos app available in OS X 10.10.3.
What's new

-Improves compatibility when migrating iPhoto libraries to the new Photos app in the OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (available this spring)
-Fixes an issue that caused iPhoto to display only the first 25 images in a Facebook album
-Fixes an issue that could cause iPhoto to become unresponsive when printing an image
As we have known for months, the upcoming Photos for OS X app for the Mac is designed to be a replacement for iPhoto and Aperture, both of which Apple ceased developing last year.


Photos for OS X is an all new photo management app that's been designed to integrate deeply with Photos for iOS. It introduces a Yosemite-style design that emphasizes flatness and translucency, and it works alongside iCloud Photo Library, streamlining photo availability across all of a user's devices.

Reviews of the Photos for OS X app have suggested that it's a vast improvement over iPhoto, with better photo editing tools and faster speeds, but it has been criticized for lacking many of the professional editing tools that were found within Aperture.

It is not clear when OS X 10.10.3 with the Photos app might see a public release, but thus far, the software is available to both developers and public beta testers. Developers have received four OS X 10.10.3 betas, and public beta testers have had access to two updates.

Apple Seeds New 7.1.5 and 6.2.5 Safari Betas to Developers for Mavericks, Mountain Lion

safariicon.jpgFollowing yesterday's public release of Safari 8.0.4 for OS X Yosemite, Safari 7.1.4 for OS X Mavericks, and Safari 6.2.4 for OS X Mountain Lion, Apple has seeded Safari 7.1.5 and Safari 6.2.5 to developers for testing purposes. Safari 7.1.5 is for Mavericks users, while Safari 6.2.5 is for Mountain Lion users.

The Yosemite equivalent, Safari 8.0.5, is already available to developers and public beta testers as it is built in to OS X 10.10.3.

In the beta notes, Apple asks developers to focus on general website compatibility, extension compatibility, debugging using the Web Inspector, typing in the Smart Search Field using multiple displays, viewing videos on sites like Netflix and YouTube, Address and Password AutoFill, and more.

Tag: Safari

Flexibits Teases 'Fantastical 2 for Mac,' App Coming on March 25

Flexibits, the developers behind the popular line of Fantastical calendar apps for iOS and Mac, today posted a teaser revealing the launch date of Fantastical 2 for Mac, which is going to be released on March 25.

Fantastical 2 for the iPhone and the iPad have been available since 2013, but Fantastical for Mac, first released in 2011, has yet to receive a major 2.0 update. Flexibits has not shared information on the release aside from a launch date, but the logo shared on the website points towards a Yosemite-style redesign.

fantasticalformac
On May 17, 2011, we reinvented calendaring. On March 25, 2015, we'll reinvent Fantastical itself.
Fantastical is one of the more popular calendar options, due to its cross-platform availability and its incorporation of natural language for scheduling events. It's possible, for example, to write something as simple as "Meeting with Eric at 4 p.m. tomorrow" and have the event properly scheduled within the app.

Fantastical integrates with both the iOS Calendar app and the iOS Reminders app, putting event details and to-do lists in one easily accessible spot. It also works with iCal, BusyCal, Outlook, and Entourage, and it includes CalDAV support for use with Google Calendar and Yahoo Calendar. Other features include geofencing, built-in maps, and reminders.

Users can sign up to be notified when Fantastical 2 for Mac launches by entering their email addresses on the Flexibits website.

Twelve South Launches Portable 'BaseLift' Support Stand for Mac Notebooks

Twelve South today revealed the BaseLift for MacBook, a "super-thin, microfiber-layered pad" that attaches to the bottom of any MacBook and can instantly fold up, similar to an iPad Smart Cover, to provide an elevated screen and angled keyboard to users on either a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Once attached, BaseLift for MacBook stays connected to the MacBook, and is thin enough to fit into "most bags and laptop cases" along with a user's computer.

BaseLift
"If you have a MacBook, get a BaseLift," said Andrew Green, Creative Director of Twelve South. "Without a doubt, it's one of the best MacBook accessories we've ever invented. It is so simple and adds so much comfort for just $39, that everyone with a MacBook should have one. When I'm on a MacBook without a BaseLift now, I miss it terribly -- and that's the true test of a great accessory."
BaseLift aims to be more than a MacBook stand, with Twelve South claiming that the device acts as a buffer between the initial chilliness of a MacBook and even the heat given off when heavily using the device.

The BaseLift fits any current model of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the default BaseLift Pad aimed at the 11" MacBook Air and a few optional "Fit Strip" accessories included for users on 13" and 15" models. The company promises that the adhesive SurfaceGrip technology used to attach the accessory to a MacBook won't leave a sticky residue if a user ever chooses to remove the BaseLift Pad from the device.


The BaseLift for MacBook can be purchased right now from Twelve South's official website for $39.99, and is available in a red-black option. Although the new MacBook is not directly mentioned, the dimensions of the BaseLift suggest the product could be used on Apple's just-announced ultra-thin MacBook.

Related roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro , Tags: Twelve South, BaseLift