Apple to donate portion of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to Global Fund to Fight AIDS

Apple World AIDS Day 2014

Apple has just announced a significant campaign to support World AIDS Day 2014 as part of its long-running (RED) program. The company will donate to the Global Fund to fight AIDS based on proceeds from its new Apps for (RED) section on the App Store, as well as a portion of online and retail sales made on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read more

KGI: Apple to sell over 71M iPhones in holiday quarter, followed by sub-50M to start 2015

KGI-iphone-2014

KGI Research’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the few analyst/firms with a respectable record on Apple forecasts, updated its iPhone sales expectation numbers this weekend for the holiday quarter and Q1 of 2015.

Strong iPhone shipments in 4Q14. We forecast overall iPhone shipments will surge 82% QoQ to 71.5mn units in 4Q14, given robust demand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus supply shortage implies not only robust demand, but also confirms our concerns regarding constraints within the supply chain. We believe 4Q14 iPhone shipments will be stronger if supply chain constraints are eased.

Kuo notes that the iPhone 5c and 4s which are still sold in emerging markets [like Virgin Mobile in the US?!] will be discontinued in 2015 after promotions that ironically will improve low end sales numbers in Q1 2015. Subsequently, average price per device sold will also drop significantly for Apple in Quarter 1… Read more

HandBrake Open Source video transcoder v0.10 released with hundreds of new features including H.265 and VP8 encoding

handbrakeThe developers of Handbrake just announced the 0.10 update to their extremely popular and useful Open Source video transcoding product. Originally focused on ripping DVDs, the product now can be used for transcribing many different types of files/codecs to almost any other. Today’s headliner updates include H.265 and VP8 encoding.

  • The LibAV AAC encoder is now the default as FAAC has been removed.
    • This encoder is adequate for most, but until it improves a bit further, we have enabled support for the FDK-AAC encoder also.
      • This FDK option is a temporary measure until the LibAV encoder improves.
      • Note that FDK-AAC is much slower and will likely bottleneck the encode process, but will produce better quality audio.
  • H.265 encoder
    • Using x265 v1.4
    • This encoder is still early in it’s development, so is missing many H.265 features and optimisations.
  • Added VP8 Encoder (using libvpx)
    • Available in MKV files only.

Hit the download button in Handbrake or download here. Full change list below:

Read more

This week’s Apple Pay arrivals: Sephora, tickets.com, Disney Store app, Square coming in 2015

apple-pay

Apple is steadily rolling out more support for banking and card issuer partners since first launching its new Apple Pay payments service last month. The other part of the equation is retailers and app developers supporting the service and this week saw the rollout of additional support including announcements from Sephora, venues that utilize tickets.com, and the Disney Store iOS app. In addition, Square is today confirming that its previously announced under development bitcoin and NFC capable register will arrive with Apple Pay support sometime in 2015. Read more

Apple granted final approval for $450 million ebooks settlement despite judge’s concerns

iBooks Mac iPad iPod

Following preliminary approval it received in August, Apple has been granted the final court approval it needed in its $450 million ebook settlement, according to a Reuters report.

During a hearing in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. It calls for Apple to pay $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers if the company’s appeal of a ruling finding it liable for antitrust violations is unsuccessful.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote previously expressed concern over the proposed settlement citing a clause in the agreement that she called “most troubling”, but today called the settlement agreement “within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable.” Read more

Apple officially announces iAd expansion into programmatic channels including AdRoll, now available in 102 countries

iAd

Earlier this week news leaked that Apple would begin offering automated purchasing of mobile ads by advertising agencies through its iAd program when one partner ad company accidentally published a press release early, and today Apple has officially shared the full announcement regarding iAd’s “move into programmatic channels.” In addition to Rubicon Project, Apple shared that it is partnering with various “demand-side platforms (DSPs) and ad tech companies” which include Accordant Media, Adelphic, AdRoll, GET IT Mobile, MediaMath, and The Trade Desk.

Read more

iWork for iCloud updated with eight new languages, easier document renaming and more

icloud

Apple has updated its iWork for iCloud web-based productivity suite with eight new languages, the ability to rename documents in the editor and a few minor additional enhancements.

Pages gets all eight new languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish – including bidirectional support for Arabic and Hebrew. Numbers and Keynote get all but Arabic and Hebrew …  Read more

Apple seeds first beta of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 with build number 14C68k

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.27.32 PM

Apple has pushed the first beta build of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 out to AppleSeed users and developers. The update has a build number of 14C68k and weighs in at 422 MB. Last week the company released version 10.10.1 to the general public.

Apple hasn’t provided any indications of what’s new in this beta and has not listed any particular focus areas, though it’s possible this could be a hotfix update to address any lingering Wi-Fi glitches that didn’t get fixed in the most recent patch.

Read more

America First Credit Union announces Apple Pay support for its Visa card

America-First-Apple-Pay

Adding to the growing list of banks and card issuers adding support for Apple Pay in recent weeks, America First Credit Union today announced it’s rolling out Apple Pay support for its Visa card.

“Security and privacy is our upmost priority when it comes to offering our members the latest in technology and mobile advancements,” said Rich Syme, executive vice president at America First Credit Union. “Apple Pay will bring a new level of efficiency for members, allowing them to pay with their mobile devices in a fast, easy and secure way.”

Apple has been adding several new banks since first launching Apple Pay last month and now lists a total of 17 card issuers (not including America First Credit Union) on its support document last updated earlier this week. There is, however, a long list of banks that have already announced support will arrive soon. The list also includes information for supported card types available through the banking partners. A growing list of retailers have also added support for the service at retail locations recently.

We have a running list of banks that plan to support Apple Pay in the coming weeks and months here. We also have a running list of the latest stores and apps that accept Apple Pay here. Read more

Billboard 200 chart will include streaming listens from Beats, Spotify, Google Play, & others in album sales

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

Billboard is about to add data from music streaming services to its weekly Billboard 200 charts for the first time as services like Spotify and Apple’s Beats Music become increasingly popular. The New York Times reports that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan plan to start incorporating both streams and downloads from music streaming services, in addition to the music sales the chart already covered, in order to more accurately reflect popular albums based on what users are listening to. The first chart including streaming services will include data for next week and arrive online Dec. 4: Read more

Apple patents smoke detectors in iDevices that can call 911, activate sprinklers and locate building occupants

apple-smoke-detector

The Nest smoke detector may look decidedly old-fashioned if one Apple patent ever makes it into production. Apple has patented the idea of embedding smoke detectors into “electronic devices” and using those devices to provide a comprehensive response to a fire.

In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities. Alerts may contain maps and graphical representations of buildings in which smoke has been detected. Motion detectors and other sensors and circuitry may be used in determining whether electronic devices are being used by users and may be used in determining where the electronic devices are located. Alerts may contain information on the location of detected smoke and building occupants.

In other words, your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac could detect smoke, alert you, alert other devices within range, activate sprinklers, call emergency services and use the fact that an iDevice is moving or in use to tell fire crews where in the building you and your family members are …  Read more