Apple seeds OS X El Capitan beta 5 to developers

Screenshot 2015-07-27 16.09.34

Less than a week following the previous beta, Apple has released OS X 10.11 El Capitan beta 5 to developers. The update is available via Software Update in the Mac App Store. The previous beta did not add any noticeable new features, but it instead focused on bug fixes. It is likely that this new beta has a similar focus, and we’ll update this post with enhancements as they are discovered.

Read more

Chinese factory that produced 41,000 counterfeit iPhones shut down after some made it to the U.S.

fake-iphone6

Beijing police have raided and closed down a factory which employed hundreds of workers on six production lines to make more than 41,000 counterfeit iPhones – some of which made it to the United States, reports Reuters. The total value of the fake phones was estimated at 120M Yuan ($19M). While the raid took place in May, Chinese authorities only shared details yesterday.

Police arrested nine people, including a married couple who led the operation, after a raid in May on the factory, run under the guise of a gadget maintenance shop on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital.

The investigation was prompted by a tip-off from U.S. authorities after some of the fake phones made it to the USA …  Read more

First trailer for former Gawker COO’s ‘Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine’ documentary released

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 4.59.08 PM

Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films today debuted the first trailer for the upcoming biographical film centered around Steve Jobs. “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” was originally premiered earlier this year at SXSW and is spearheaded by director Alex Gibney and executive producer Gaby Darbyshire, who is the former Chief Operating Officer of Gawker Media.

Darbyshire headed up Gawker legal when the media company’s subsidiary Gizmodo bought the iPhone 4 that was “left at the bar” and would have been at the center of the controversy that surrounded the subsequent firestorm with Apple and then CEO Steve Jobs.

Read more

Apple stops selling Nest’s smart thermostat following launch of HomeKit-compatible Ecobee 3

Ecobee3 iPhone 6

Apple has removed Google’s Nest smart thermostat from both its online store and physical retail locations following the launch of some of the first HomeKit devices. As reported by Mashable, Google’s smart thermostat is not available from Apple and searching for the product on Apple’s online store now reveals HomeKit-compatible smart devices instead.

Read more

Apple backing LGBT anti-discrimination Equality Act

Apple Pride

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. Read more

IDC: Apple snatches 3% of smartphone users from Samsung

Worldwide Smartphone Market Posts 11.6% Year-Over-Year Growth in Q2 2015, the Second Highest Shipment Total for a Single Quarter, According to IDC - prUS25804315 2015-07-23 11-00-04

IDC has just released its smartphone market share data for Q2 2015, and at least one thing is clear: Samsung is still struggling, and Apple is still doing really well. The Korean company’s smartphone market share dropped from 24.8% to 21.7% year-over-year, a 3.1 percentage point drop. Conveniently, while other manufacturers made gains as well, Apple’s numbers are up about the same number — 2.4 percentage points year-over-year to 14.1%… Read more

How-To: Screen record in full 4K/5K resolution at 60fps on Mac w/ the new Screenium 3 app (+ giveaway)

Screenium-3-4K-screen-recording

4K and 5K displays are relatively new, but with more and more users upgrading, there is some catching up to do with apps to support the higher resolution screens. That’s why we were pleased when Screenium, one of our favorite screen recording suites, updated earlier this month with some pretty notable new features for Retina, 4K and 5K display users, as well as everyone looking for a solid screen capture solution.

After months of trying different screen casting software and running into issues on 4K and Retina displays, Screenium 3 has finally delivered what we’ve been waiting for. The company has been hard at work on a custom video codec that makes continuous screen recording at 60fps on Retina, 4K, and 5K displays possible, which competitors have thus far failed to match. So if you’ve been asking yourself how to go about screen recording in full resolution at 60fps, here’s how to do it: Read more

Gameplay recording platform Kamcord brings live game streams to mobile apps

Kamcord, a popular platform that lets game developers add gameplay recording features to their mobile apps, is today taking its first step into live streaming. The move is a notable one as competitors such as live game streaming service Twitch, now owned by Amazon, move into the mobile space and live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat begin to gain traction among users. Read more

Apple’s 2015 Back to School deal: free Beats Solo2 headphones with Mac purchase

solo2-family-shot2

Apple is today launching its Back to School promotion for 2015. This year, it will give away a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones with the purchase of an eligible Mac.  Customers must either purchase an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Pro with education pricing to qualify, including build-to-order configurations. The Mac mini does not participate in the deal.

Alternatively, customers can upgrade for an additional $100 to a pair of wireless Beats Solo2 headphones, rather than the usual $299 price. The announcement is not yet being advertised on Apple.com apart from a small mention on its rebates page. It is surprising that there appears to be no Back to School promotion for iPads this year, despite Apple pushing the tablet into education markets.

Read more

Apple increasing R&D spending by $1.5B as it cuts capital expenditure

aapl

An SEC filing by Apple shows that the company plans to increase this year’s spend on product development by $1.5B, reaching a total of $5.9B by the end of September, reports Business Insider. At the same time, Apple is cutting its forecast capital expenditure by $1B, which the company told the WSJ was due to efficiency savings.

A company spokeswoman said Apple lowered the forecast because it was able to spend more efficiently for tooling equipment and facilities. “There are no changes in our product plans,” she said.

Apple explores a great many potential new product ideas, and the increased spend on product development could conceivably indicate that the company is choosing to invest more heavily in one of these, BI speculating that it may be the long-rumored Apple car …  Read more

Apple’s tough security requirements for Bluetooth LE are delaying HomeKit roll-out, say manufacturers

homekit-security

If you were wondering why manufacturers seemed to be rather slow in launching HomeKit-compatible devices, it may all be down to Apple’s stringent security requirements. Forbes reports that manufacturers are finding it hard to incorporate the extremely secure encryption standards demanded by Apple in order to achieve MFi certification for their products.

Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.

While mains-powered WiFi kit is coping, the processing workload in battery-powered Bluetooth LE devices is leading to extremely slow response times, say manufacturers …  Read more