Apple retakes #1 slot as world’s most valuable brand based on perceptions of 3M consumers

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Millward Brown has published its 10th annual brand equity ranking, with Apple shown has having regained its #1 ranking from Google. The company bases its rankings on the perceptions of more than 3M consumers across 50 countries.

With a 67 percent rise in Brand Value to $247 billion, Apple returned to number one in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking. Success of the iPhone 6 and the related excitement surrounding the Apple brand drove the increase. Apple also led in the rate of brand value growth over 10 years – 1,446 percent.

The company noted that Apple’s remarkable growth in long-term brand equity was evident in the fact that it didn’t even make the top 100 brands when Millward Brown began its BrandZ measurements ten years ago …  Read more

Snapchat CEO says that holding down Snaps to View might go away

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Speaking at the Code Conference south of Los Angeles this evening, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel revealed that the key Snapchat feature of needing to hold down the display to view a photo or a video will go away in the future. Asked by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg about needing to hold down on the display to view content, Spiegel said that the feature was originally designed to circumvent the lack of a Screenshot API on the iPhone…

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Apple drops discoveryd in latest OS X beta following months of network issues

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After many complaints from the developer community about poor networking performance on Yosemite, the latest beta of OS X 10.10.4 has dropped discoveryd in favor of the old process used by previous versions of the Mac operating system. This should address many of the network stability issues introduced with Yosemite and its new networking stack.

The discoveryd process has been subject to much criticism in recent months as it causes users to regularly drop WiFi access and causes network shares to list many times over, due to bugs. Many developers, such as Craig Hockenberry, have complained about the buggy software and workarounds have been found to include substituting the older system (called mDNSResponder) back into Yosemite.

discoveryd would cause random crashes, duplicate names on the network and many other WiFi-relate bugs. In the latest beta, Apple appears to have applied the same fix as the enthusiasts by axing discoveryd completely.

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Opinion: Here’s how Apple can solve its 3 big, persistent pre-order problems

Apple Store Down

If you’re reading this article, you already know Apple’s pre-order drill for major new releases: Apple announces a new product, says advance online orders will start at 12:01am on a specific day, and then — when most of its customers are either exhausted or groggy — re-opens its online store to a pent-up frenzy of reservations. Virtually every time, Apple’s most dedicated customers deal with delays and web site loading problems. Sometimes, even if their orders were placed in the first hour or two of sales, they may also face uncertainty over adequate supplies for launch day deliveries.

Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s suggestion that the Apple Watch rollout could not be going better, his customers have widely deemed it a disaster: some unlucky people who pre-ordered Apple Watches in the first 10 minutes still haven’t received anything a full month later. Meanwhile, a group of “luckier” people — notably including scalpers — have found ways to skip Apple’s pre-order lines, walking into boutiques such as Maxfield in Los Angeles, and buying bunches of the same Watches pre-orderers are still waiting for.

Sure, overwhelming demand for new products can be hard to manage, and business gurus tend to write this off as a “good problem” for any company to have. But at some point, that good problem becomes chronic, frequently dissatisfying customers, which is when it has officially become a “bad problem.” Whether he admits it or not, that’s the situation Tim Cook faces today. The good news is that he’s well-known as a supply chain genius, so if anyone’s capable of fixing the three key problems within Apple’s screwy pre-order system, it’s him. My hope is that discussing these issues — as well as solutions — will inspire the improvements Apple’s customers have been wanting for a long time…

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iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China

Maps Transit

While Apple plans to debut its own mass transit directions service for Maps in iOS 9 as soon as June, the rollout will not be as ambitious as some users may have hoped. In its first iteration, Apple’s Transit service will only support approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, in addition to China, according to sources…

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Large fire breaks out at Apple’s Mesa Arizona facility


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Update: It appears that the fire has been put out. No injuries. Reports are that the fire was isolated to the Solar panels on the roof.

Local Media reports indicate that Apple’s Mesa Arizona facility is on fire.

Mesa fire said the fire is located near Elliot and Signal Butte Roads in east Mesa. The fire appears to be on the roof of the building over a loading dock. The fire does not appear to burning inside the building itself, officials said. No other information is known.

Apple has planned on using the building as a data processing plant after it was picked up in the GTAdvanced bankruptcy.  Read more

iPhone rumor roundup: Asian sources claim we’ll see thinner phones, more powerful chips & bigger cameras

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A trio of new rumors from a handful of Asian sources have popped up over the holiday and today, each predicting a different facet of the upcoming ‘iPhone 6S‘. While these are still just very unverified whispers at the moment, odds are that at least one of these will end up coming at least partially true.

Here’s a roundup of the latest iPhone rumors, in no particular order:

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Apple releases new OS X 10.10.4 betas to developers and AppleSeed participants

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Apple has just released a new beta seed of the upcoming OS X 10.10.4 update. Users who are part of the company’s AppleSeed beta program and registered Mac developers can download the operating system from the Updates tab of the App Store or the Mac Developer Center.

This is the fourth developer seed that has been released. It comes with a build number of 14E26a. The previous build was released on May 11th with a build number of 14E17e.

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iOS 9 supports ‘iPhone 6S’ Force Touch, may enhance iMessage, Keyboard & Apple Pay

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Some of iOS 9‘s more important planned enhancements include split-screen apps on iPads, a new Home app for controlling HomeKit accessories, a new system-wide UI font, a mass transit directions service for the Maps app, and major quality, performance, and security enhancements. However, multiple sources note that there will also be some smaller, but still important, tweaks to the operating system. We spotlight some of these expected changes below…

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Siri will have competition this year as Microsoft confirms Cortana coming to iOS (and Android)

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Reuters reported back in March that Microsoft planned to bring its Siri competitor Cortana to iOS, and Microsoft has now officially confirmed this in a blog post.

Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go […]

The Cortana companion will be available for Android phones at the end of June and for iPhones later this year.

While Microsoft is pitching the app as a companion to a Windows PC, it appears that most of the functionality will work in the iPhone app without the need for a Windows device, Microsoft saying that you can “make the same queries, ask the same questions” in the standalone app …  Read more