February 12

AAPL: 93.99

0.29
Stock Chart

Apple has launched a replacement program for the USB-C cable that came bundled with 2015 Retina MacBook units, finding that some cables were faulty. Bad cables would result in the MacBook not charging, or charging unreliably when connected to a power adapter.

From Apple’s help site, affected customers can order a free replacement USB-C cable. Retina MacBook owners who provided a mailing address at product registration will be shipped a new cable automatically by the end of February … If you did not provide this information when buying the MacBook, visit Apple’s site to order a replacement cable instead …

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When Apple bought Beats back in 2014, it got a headphone/speaker line and the foundation for what became Apple Music. Now it appears that Beats co-founder and rap legend Dr Dre is going to be playing an even bigger role in the company. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple is currently producing an original series called Vital Signs with Dr Dre as the show’s star. It’s a new move for Apple, creating original video content, and one that is expected to be used to promote Apple Music.

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John Gruber surprised podcast listeners today by getting Apple’s own Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi on The Talk Show to discuss a variety of topics behind Apple. Since Tim Cook took leadership at Apple, it hasn’t been unheard of for Apple execs to appear on Gruber’s show. The first occurrence was last June when Phil Schiller met John Gruber on stage during WWDC to discuss Apple’s recent announcements and decisions over the past few years. This marks the second time that Federighi has been on the The Talk Show, and Cue’s first.

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9to5toys 

February 11

AAPL: 93.70

-0.57
Stock Chart

Earlier this month, Apple acknowledged an issue referred to as “Error 53” that causes iPhone 6 units with home buttons repaired by a third-party to potentially be bricked with software updates. Shortly after Apple acknowledged the issue, a Seattle-based law firm announce that it was considering filing a class action lawsuit against Apple for forcing people to use the company’s own repair outlet, which is often more expensive. Now, the law firm PCVA has officially filed the case with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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Earlier this year at CES, I got the chance to stop by Bluelounge’s booth and discovered a product announced late last year that I hadn’t seen before, the Kosta Apple Watch Charging Coaster. What caught my attention is that it’s designed similarly to Apple’s Magnetic Charging Dock, but comes in three non-white colors including dark grey and costs $15 instead of $80. There are a few key differences to consider with Kosta compared to other Apple Watch docks …

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Apple’s streaming web TV service has been rumored for nearly a year now, with reports originating last March claiming that Apple was planning to announce a service at $30-$40 per month. The service was said to feature upwards of 25 channels and be available on the fourth-gen Apple TV. Recently, however, reports have claimed that Apple’s talks with major networks have stalled. Now, speaking to CNN, CBS CEO Les Moonves has confirmed that talks between Apple and CBS have stopped recently.

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9to5google 

Vevo has today announced a native tvOS app for Apple TV, with a Spotlight section auto-playing a stream of music videos based on your own tastes.

Vevo brings the smooth experience of the new mobile app and customizes it for the best lean-back experience. The Spotlight section autoplays so that a user can put down the remote and instantly enjoy a stream of music videos curated to their individual tastes. 

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For anyone looking to get better tracking and a bird’s eye view of your sleep habits, be sure to check out Sleep++ 2.0 available today. This latest version brings in a major sleep analysis algorithm overhaul to help users get a better understanding of nightly sleep patterns.

For users who frequently forget to stop their sleep tracking, the app’s update also introduces the ability to trim time off any extra hours accidentally accrued.

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electrek 

iPhones could in future automatically sound louder or quieter notification alerts depending on the level of background noise. A patent application published today describes how both an iPhone and Apple Watch could periodically measure ambient sound levels, adjusting notification volumes to an appropriate level.

The patent notes that while users can manually adjust the volume of alerts, many don’t do so because they forget or because it’s too much hassle. The patent suggests that the primary sound reading would be taken from the Apple Watch (aka ‘a wearable device’) …

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February 10

AAPL: 94.27

-0.72
Stock Chart

Apple’s history when it comes to social networks is not the brightest. The company launched the infamous Ping social networking tool back in 2010, only to shut it down two years later. This year, alongside the announcement of the highly anticipated Apple Music streaming service, the company launched Connect, a different take on a social network based entirely around music. Connect is much different from traditional social networks like Twitter and Facebook, though.

To unveil Connect, Apple brought out popular hip-hop artists Drake, who gave the service a ringing endorsement, as well as Trent Reznor. Drake touted that the service would provide a revolutionary way for artists to interact with their fans, but 8 months after the launch of Connect, it has yet to catch on with artists and listeners alike. Likewise, the feature hasn’t really received any updates or improvements from Apple in that time period either and there are certainly things that could be improved. Read on to find out some ways in which Apple Music could be enhanced…

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In this episode, Zac and Benjamin are discussing Error 53, some special updates to Apple TV, and some 4-inch iPhone theories. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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One of the best parts about Apple Stores is the ability to try out Apple products out of the box in an environment superior to big box retail stores. While that’s mostly true of almost all Apple products including Apple Watches, there’s one really compelling Apple product that I haven’t seen on demo at any Apple Stores: CarPlay.

If you want to try out CarPlay for yourself right now before spending some serious money, the easiest way is to find a car dealer with a CarPlay model available and go for a test drive. But there are a few ways Apple could bring most of the experience to customers in its retail stores …

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9to5toys 

Apple has released the third OS X 10.11.4 public beta for non-developer testers. Public beta testers running the El Capitan pre-release can find the new software update through the Mac App Store. The latest public beta update follows the third developer beta of the same update earlier this week. Apple has also released a second OS X 10.11.4 beta 3 build (15E39c to 15E39d) for developers as well.

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Apple has released the third iOS 9.3 public beta to non-developer testers today. iOS 9.3 public beta 3 follows this week’s third developer iOS 9.3 beta release as well. The latest beta cleans up issues introduced in the last version while adding some new features as well.

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According to the latest U.S. smartphone market share numbers from Parks Associates, Apple is still well in the lead compared to competing manufacturers, holding a beefy 40% of the smartphone market. But the latest figures also show that Android OEMs are gaining ground on the dominant Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker. Now, Samsung holds around 31% of the market and LG is next in line with 10%…

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9to5google 

Attempts by states like California and New York to ban the sale of encrypted phones could be overruled by federal law. The Verge reports that a cross-party bill is being introduced today in Congress by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX).

The ENCRYPT Act of 2016, or by its longer name, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights of Your Private Telecommunications Act, would preempt state and local government encryption laws. The two men said today they are “deeply concerned” that varying bills surrounding encryption would endanger the country as well as the competitiveness of American companies. The argument is that it wouldn’t be easy or even feasible to tailor phone encryption capabilities for specific states.

New York last month kicked off the attempt to ban the sale of encrypted phones in the state unless the manufacturer built in a back door, with a virtually identical bill proposed in California later the same month. The moves – which would effectively outlaw the sale of current iPhones in both states – followed similar proposals in the UK last year …

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electrek 

February 9

AAPL: 94.99

-0.02
Stock Chart

After launching in public beta last December, Sonos has revealed that it will officially add support for Apple Music to its connected speaker lineup tomorrow, February 10th. We had an opportunity to go hands-on with Sonos support for Apple Music when the beta was announced last year and noted that in some cases, using Apple Music through the Sonos Controller app is better than Apple’s own app.

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