Zac Hall

@apollozac

Zac also contributes to 9to5Google.

Email / AIM: zac@9to5mac.com

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July 30

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Apple has released an updated build of iOS 8.4.1 for registered developers to test on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 8.4.1 beta 2 features build number 12H318 and comes just over two weeks after the initial beta version.

While the initial beta of iOS 8.4.1 didn’t feature any noticeable changes, the X.X.1 label suggests it is primarily an under-the-hood update to iOS 8.4 without feature or visual changes. iOS 8.4 launched in late June and introduced Apple Music with Beats 1 to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. expand full story

Photo Credit: Todd Johnson/San Francisco Business Times

Apple may hold its annual developers conference and many press events in San Francisco, but the company’s campus is located about an hour southeast of the city in Cupertino. Despite naming its new custom font used on MacBook keyboards, watchOS, iOS 9, and OS X El Capitan after San Francisco, Apple is remaining in Cupertino for its larger Campus 2 currently being developed. But Apple has reportedly picked up some sizable office space in the city’s South Market neighborhood… expand full story

We know the developer behind the popular RSS client Reeder has been working on a version 3.0 update for OS X 10.10 Yosemite as we last saw a teaser in April. Today users get the first chance to try out the redesigned RSS service reader as the first public beta for Reeder 3 has gone live. The updated version sports a user interface designed for Yosemite and beyond, more themes for making reading comfortable, and even a few OS X El Capitan features. Reeder says the new version will be available as a free update to current Reeder 2 customers when it’s completed. expand full story

July 29

Apple today released OS X 10.11 Public Beta 3 to non-developer testers trying El Capitan ahead of its public release later this fall. The latest public beta version follows the off-cycle release of OS X 10.11 developer beta 5 seeded out on Monday. expand full story

Apple has published a behind-the-scenes look at Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 studio where Apple Music’s streaming radio station is broadcasted … on Snapchat of all places. Apple snatched up the ‘applemusic’ username on Snapchat earlier this summer, and now the company is using the account to promote its subscription music service and Zane Lowe’s radio show with short videos of the DJ broadcasting. expand full story

Following Fantastical’s recent debut on the Apple Watch, which includes the full iCloud Reminders experience and more, Flexibits is delivering a neat new drafts feature to the intelligent calendar app and newly added support for another language. expand full story

Apple’s iPad continues to lead the tablet market, according to new data from IDC, but its marketshare has dropped a few points year-over-year, and the overall market for tablets saw negative growth, based on units shipped globally. That’s according to second quarter 2015 unit shipments and marketshare over the same quarter a year ago, as Apple shipped 10.9 million units versus 13.3 million units during the second quarter of 2014. While the iPad continues to lead in the tablet space, IDC’s data shows Apple’s market share dropping nearly 3 points from 27.7% to 24.5% … expand full story

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Intel’s upcoming processor refresh with Skylake appears to be promising for Mac users awaiting a significant performance upgrade. Internal Intel slides leaked by the website FanlessTech describe the year-over-year advancements and performance improvements from Broadwell to Skylake chips. As Apple is expected to include Skylake processors from Intel in refreshed hardware later this year or early next year, these specs give us a preview of what is likely coming to the Mac’s performance.

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It’s been almost a month since Apple Music first launched, and reception seems to be largely critical despite the music streaming service being completely free to use for the first three months after signing up.

Parts of the service suffered the far-too-common multi-hour outage earlier this week while professional Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple condemned the “nightmare” service after losing purchased music and experiencing complicated UI/UX issues. 9to5Mac’s Jeremy Horwitz wrote a day after the launch that Apple Music’s execution shows the opportunity for Apple to focus on creating intuitive experiences again, and Apple Music listeners haven’t avoided the technical hiccups during the few weeks of use.

With Apple Maps-level horror stories materializing after spending some time with Apple Music, should Apple have simply labeled the service as a beta until the initial three-month trial expired and the service hopefully shapes up? expand full story

July 23

Apple is officially putting its weight behind new LGBT anti-discrimination legislature currently being proposed in Congress. The company said in a statement to the Human Rights Campaign that it actively supports the Equality Act.

At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.

Apple’s support for the bill that would expand federal protections in the workplace to LGBT Americans in all states follows several years of Apple CEO Tim Cook calling on Congress to pass such legislation, and Apple’s backing is in line with its own company policies. expand full story

With Apple Pay now up and running in the UK, Apple is continuing to roll out additional banks and credit unions in waves across the US for its iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch-based mobile payment service. The latest round includes 34 more institutions now supporting Apple Pay. Here are the latest to join in the US as well as the full list to date: expand full story

July 22

Apple is once again coming under fire for business practices and deals around Apple Music, the subscription music and video streaming service it launched last month. Consumer Watchdog, a prominent consumer advocacy group, issued a letter to the United States Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice today, asking the government to put restrictions on Apple’s “plans to dominate the subscription music sector” while citing “serious antitrust concerns” based on information it received. expand full story

Following this week’s fourth developer preview of OS X 10.11, Apple has released the second El Capitan public beta to testers. The OS X public beta allows Mac users to test the new features included in the operating system update and submit feedback ahead of its public release later this fall. Participation in Apple’s public beta program does not require a paid developer member account. OS X 10.11 public beta 2 includes the same changes as yesterday’s OS X 10.11 beta 4 release. expand full story

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