Apple launches new service allowing local businesses to get listed on Apple Maps, solicits indoor mapping partners

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Apple has launched a new web service called Maps Connect that allows small business owners to manage their listings on Apple Maps along with a tool for setting up indoor positioning in select areas. Companies can enter their own listings and verify via a phone call or email address.

The iBeacon-powered indoor mapping tool allows businesses to setup interior views of their businesses on Apple Maps to help guide users through their venues. This tool is currently limited only to locations that meet specific criteria, such as Wi-Fi throughout the building and at least 1 million visitors per year.

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First iPad Air 2 deliveries begin in Australia

The iPad Air 2 only recently started shipping with delivery dates of October 22nd and 23rd, and it appears the first devices have been delivered to Australian owners over the past few hours, as several 9to5Mac readers have tipped us. At least one device in the wild was tested on Geekbench recently, revealing some interesting undisclosed facts about Apple’s A8X processor.

iPad Air 2 buyers in the United States and other launch countries should expect to start seeing deliveries tomorrow. If you haven’t already ordered yours, you can get it on Apple.com today.

Thanks, tipsters!

More photos below…

iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6 compared: is Google’s bigger display really that much of an advantage?

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TechCrunch

TechCrunch went hands-on with Google’s newest smartphone, the Nexus 6, and took some time to compare it to the iPhone 6 Plus. In the photo above, you’ll see that the two phones share near identical dimensions, though the Nexus still manages to pack a larger 6.22-inch display space into the same body.

The Nexus is actually a bit bigger than it looks in the photo, though the perspective makes it a little hard to tell. When compared spec-for-spec, the Nexus comes in at 6mm taller, 5mm wider, and 3mm thicker than the iPhone. It’s not a huge difference, but the Nexus display is still noticeably bigger than the iPhone 5.5-inch screen. How?

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Triple-core iPad Air 2 pegged as 55% faster than any other iOS device, Retina 5K iMac top score beats low-end Pro

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Geekbench results for the iMac with Retina 5K Display have hit the web and show that when it comes to 64-bit processing, the 4.0 GHz model of the new all-in-one comes out ahead of the lowest-end (3.7 GHz) Mac Pro. Of course, the rest of the Mac Pro family handily beats the iMac in the same category.

The extra power is almost certainly dedicating to keeping things running smoothly on the impressive new 5K display.

Meanwhile, on the mobile, new benchmarks for the iPad Air 2 have revealed…

GT Advanced reaches deal to part ways w/ Apple, will sell sapphire furnaces to pay debt

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Following a report last week that Apple was seeking to keep its involvement in its sapphire supplier GT Advanced’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing secret, today Bloomberg reports that GT Advanced and Apple have reached an agreement that will allow the two companies to part ways. Lawyers for GT Advanced said the deal “will save millions of dollars and solve most issues” and be an “amicable parting of ways,” according to the report.  Read more

Apple responds to iCloud network attacks with guide on verifying browser security

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Following the recent attack by Chinese institutions on iCloud.com to attempt to steal account information, Apple has posted a new how-to article about verifying the page you visit when you type iCloud.com into your web browser is the genuine Apple site.

The page doesn’t offer a fix per se, but walks through how to check the certificates of the page in Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

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Certain card types through some banks (and all corporate cards) are not yet supported on Apple Pay

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With Apple’s launch of its new Apple Pay payments service in the US yesterday, it has now published a support document detailing supported card types from each of its initial banking partners. We already knew that MasterCard, Visa, and American Express cards would be supported initially through a growing list of banking partners, but the support document shows certain types of cards, like business and corporate cards, aren’t yet supported through some banks. Read more

Apple Pay already works abroad on supported NFC terminals w/ US-based cards

Following yesterday’s launch of Apple Pay through participating card issuers, banks and retailers in the US, some users have discovered that the payment service is also already being accepted through some retailers abroad. 9to5Mac readers report using Apple Pay loaded with a US-based credit card at retailers in Australia and Canada… Read more

Mac mini teardowns are underway, with good news and bad news

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iFixit and MacminiVault have both completed their teardowns of the new Mac mini, with Macminicolo planning theirs soon.

We already knew the main bad news: soldered RAM means you can’t upgrade the memory later, so you have to decide how much you want and pay Apple’s pricing for it. Both iFixit and MacminiVault described replacing the RAM as “impossible.”

Getting access to the inside of the new Mac mini is more difficult than it used to be …  Read more

“iPad has a great future,” said Cook: long-term more important than “90-day clicks”

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While yesterday’s iPad numbers don’t look great – down 12.5% year-on-year, the third successive quarter in which sales have fallen – Tim Cook remains upbeat about the product, stating that it “has a great future” and that its long-term prospects are more important than “individual 90-day clicks.”

Quartz‘s Dan Frommer pulled together some of the things Cook has to say about the device, and while you’d clearly expect Apple’s CEO to put the best possible spin on things, he makes some reasonable arguments …  Read more