Pioneer finally brings CarPlay equipment to mass market, Spotify app update adds CarPlay support

Pioneer, CarPlay

The CarPlay situation has been murky. Since being announced in the spring, most manufacturers have been quiet on when CarPlay equipment will actually be available to purchase. Pioneer is the first company to deliver on its promise, adding CarPlay as an update to its aftermarket dashboard panels (unless you count Ferrari’s integration into its high-end Ferrari California T).

Existing Pioneer device owners may not need to purchase any extras, as the CarPlay update is free for supported devices. Aforementioned units include the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and the AVH-4000NEX with prices ranging from $700 to $1400.

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Apple now allows users to see whether a device has Activation Lock enabled from the web

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Apple has unveiled a new tool for users to help determine whether an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is configured to use Activation Lock. The page works much like the tools used by carriers such as AT&T to determine whether a potential trade-in device was protected with the feature. You enter the IMEI or serial number of the device, fill in a CAPTCHA, and press “Continue” to get your results (via iDownloadblog).

If the device is protected, you’ll find instructions for disabling the security measure before selling it. You’ll also find help for removing a used device from another user’s account, in the event that you were sold a phone and the original owner had not disabled it (of course, all of those options involve contacting the previous owner and having them do it, for security purposes).

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The iPhone 5c was the best selling phone in UK, before iPhone 6 debut

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The iPhone 5c is often criticised in light of its beefy powerful cousins, acting as a bit of a laughing stock for the technology industry. However, it is often reported as one of the top phones by sales volume in many countries (usually beating out Samsung’s offerings).

In fact, for August the iPhone 5c was the best selling smartphone in the UK, even outselling the iPhone 5s, according to Kantar World Panel.

The iPhone 5c was the best selling phone in Britain in August with 8.9% share, outselling the flagship iPhone 5s with 7.6% and the Samsung Galaxy S5 with 6.0%.

Normally, Apple phone sales drop in the runup to the next-generation devices, as customers hold off on iPhone purchases until the new versions are announced. However, Kantar says that the success of the iPhone 5c meant that Apple’s decline was much lower than in previous years.

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Bloomberg corroborates reports of gold iPad coming with next hardware revision

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In line with previous claims, Bloomberg is now reporting that Apple is planning to introduce a gold model to its iPad lineup with the release of the next-generation iPad Air. Interestingly, the report is specific to note that the full-size model will get the color while the mini line goes without mention.

Per the report:

New versions of the company’s 9.7-inch iPads, anticipated to be unveiled this month, will include gold as a choice of color for the rear metal cover, adding to the silver and gray available for the lighter iPad Air, the people said, asking not to be identified ahead of an announcement. That brings the color palette into line with the iPhone 5s, which come with silver or gold backs for models with a white faceplate, and space gray for those with a black front.

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Apple to announce fiscal Q4 earnings on October 20th, will include initial iPhone 6 sales

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Apple has announced it is holding its earnings call for company results in fiscal Q4 (covering July, August and September) on October 20th. Following tradition, Apple will announce earnings in a press release about half an hour before the earnings call at 2PM PST. Apple’s earnings for fiscal Q4 will include the first wave of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales, as it went on sale towards the end of the period. However, Apple is unlikely to breakdown the split between new and old iPhone sales, as it only reports total sales numbers for Mac, iPhone and iPad.

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Apple Watch to be managed by a dedicated iPhone app, Watch apps are installed from the phone

Apple Pay iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus Apple Watch

As part of an extensive hands-on by Ariel Adams, the piece shines some light on how the Apple Watch is controlled and managed. At the media event, Apple showed a wide variety of watch apps … but did not mention how they get onto the watch itself.

Adams’ post says that users download Apple Watch apps through a central hub app on the iPhone. Rather than having an App Store UI on a tiny watch screen, users install content on the device from their phone. This is similar to how iPods are managed via the iTunes app on a Mac or PC.

Apple Watch users will install an Apple Watch app on their iPhone, which will be used to download apps onto the watch as well as likely manage Apple Watch settings. A user’s iPhone is also used to help with computational demands. Apple cleverly pushes a lot of processor needs to the phone in order to preserve Apple Watch battery life.

Apparently, the phone will also dedicate some of its processing power to handle complicated or computationally-intensive tasks. This means that the Apple Watch battery can be drained as little as possible. For instance, the iPhone may do the deep analysis of incoming health data sending only the results to the Watch, for display. Apple has vaguely suggested that the Apple Watch will have about one day of battery life.

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Europe’s best-selling computer magazine Bild gets Apple PR accreditation revoked after #bendgate video

Computer Bild, Europe’s best-selling computer magazine, has had its PR accreditation pulled after posting a video of one of its journalists bending an iPhone 6 Plus.

The german PR department of the company reacts in a disturbing way: Instead of answering the questions about why the iPhone 6 Plus is so sensitive, a manager called Computer Bild and told us, that Computer Bild will not get any testing devices and no invites to official events any more …

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Apple and Colette show Apple Watch (behind glass) at one-off event, Jony Ive and Marc Newson present

Update: We have received this unconfirmed message from a reader who attended the event, seemingly indicating a January launch for the Apple Watch — the earliest of Apple’s quoted ‘early 2015′ timeline.

At Colette, when we entered inside there was a guy from Apple who took our name, email and said to choose an apple watch model we’re interested in. After that he said that we’re gonna receive an email from them 2 weeks before the launch. Later he said that we’ll be receiving it in late December. So… the  Watch in early January

The mysterious invitation was indeed for the Apple Watch. Apple has already confirmed it will not be revealing any more information (via Engadget) about the product at this demo area, such as pricing or availability. The device is also — unsurprisingly — locked behind glass running the same UI video loop that was shown at Apple’s media event on September 9th.

For the public, the Apple Watch demo units are all shielded by their glass cases. Select members of press attending the ‘show’ can try on the Watch, albeit the screen is still just playing a mocked-up video of the user interface. Apple execs and celebrities are in attendance, such as Jony Ive and Marc Newson and members of the fashion industry like Sarah Andelman, Colette’s CEO and Vogue’s editor Anna Wintour.

A 9to5Mac reader caught a brief video of one of the display units, showing the Apple Watch Home Screen, embedded below.

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iPhone 6 finally approved for sale in China following regulatory hangups (U: Pre-orders start Oct. 10, available Oct. 17)

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Earlier this month it was discovered that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would be delayed in China due to regulatory hold ups when Chinese authorities decided that they were not pleased with the current state of security on iOS. According to Bloomberg, Apple has cleared the last hurdle and received the licenses necessary to run the device on Chinese cellular networks.

Apple reportedly agreed to make undisclosed changes to the privacy settings on the device to appease the regulators. Yesterday we reported that Apple was apparently preparing for a Chinese launch on October 10th, but that date has not yet been confirmed. Update: Apple has announced through a press release that the phones will be available for sale in China on October 17th with pre-orders starting on the 10th.

Apple also released a beta version of iOS 8.1 today, which may or may not include the updated privacy settings necessary to get approval from the Chinese government.

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Apple developing iOS 8.1, 8.2, & 8.3 in shift for 2015 launches

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Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has released a major new iOS version each fall and a notable follow-up update early in the following year. For example, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was updated to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was updated to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface improvements in March 2014. But starting with the recently released iOS 8, it appears that Apple has a different development schedule for 2015 and perhaps beyond. According to sources, Apple is already hard at work on three major follow-up versions to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.

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We’ve confirmed that these major new versions are in development via two means. First, a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application has shared with us their analytics, and this data indicates that all three versions are in testing by Apple employees in or around Cupertino, California. Second, and much closer to home, our own Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com show that iOS users are visiting our website via iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 devices. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com started appearing even months before iOS 8.0 launched, but 8.2 and 8.3 visits only started picking up following iOS 8’s release in mid-September.

8.3 9to5iOS 8.3 visits to 9to5Mac

While Apple works on several iOS features and enhancements over the course of several years, it typically only begins wholly testing major new releases close to the ship dates of the preceding release. Apple working on three significant follow-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the usual development cycle, one which would normally indicate Apple to be working on just iOS 8.1 as well as iOS 9.0. It’s possible that iOS 9 is also in the works, and of course Apple is always working on nominal bug fix (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, but the fact that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous development raises some interesting possibilities:

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Apple and French fashion retailer Colette teasing one day in-store ‘experience’ on September 30th

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On its website, French fashions retailer Colette is teasing a ‘one day only experience’, taking place at its stores on September 30th. The event runs from store open to 7 pm local time (via MacGeneration). Other details are unknown.

The invite image sort of resembles the Apple Watch home screen, so maybe this is some sort of special demonstration of the upcoming product. There is a possibility that Colette will sell the device in its store when the Watch is released ‘early next year’. Although this would make sense due to the connection with fashion, it would still be weird for the company to demo the product in public when it is still many months off release.

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Consumer Reports puts ‘bendgate’ to bed, finds iPhone 6 easier to bend than Plus model

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Consumer Reports released a new video today taking on claims of overly-flexible iPhones that have appeared online recently. Apple noted that only a handful of complaints have come in and gave journalists a look at its testing procedures. Regardless of Cupertino’s claims, Consumer Reports kept its promise to conduct testing that was a bit more scientific in nature than previous YouTube videos.

To address these claims, several different phones were tested under up to 150 pounds of pressure to see when each model would stop “snapping back” to its original shape. The devices tested were the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and LG G3.

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