Apple ‘actively investigating’ alleged iCloud hacking that caused celebrity nude photo leak

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Re/code has received a statement from Apple about the alleged hacking incidents. Natalie Kerris says:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.

As is the norm with Apple’s public facing commentary, the company has not said much about the situation. Somehow, compromising personal pictures of several celebrities have leaked online and many are blaming iCloud as the root cause. The events are muddled by the fact that some of the reported claims have transpired to be fake Photoshopped images, although some — like the images of Jennifer Lawrence — have been confirmed to be legitimate.

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Plácido Domingo to close iTunes Festival on September 30, show kicking off today with deadmau5

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Placido Domingo has been announced as the final closing act for Apple’s iTunes Festival London. Apple has also added a few more acts than what had been previously announced, to round out the lineup. This includes The Mirror Trap, Friend Within and the London Electronic Orchestra.

The month-long festival starts today at 9 PM UK time (1 PM PST), with ‘Deadmau5′ headlining Monday’s show. A full schedule can be found online at http://itunesfestival.com.

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Apple highlighting top ten reasons apps get rejected on new developer page

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As noticed by Apfelpage, Apple has published a new page to be more open about why it rejects apps. A chart at the bottom of the page shows the top ten reasons for app rejection in the last seven days; such as lack of information, crashes or bugs encountered, complicated user interfaces. Around 60% of rejections come from violation of just ten guidelines of the App Store rules. Some of these, like the existence of placeholder text in applications, seem rather trivial issues and it’s interesting that it arises so frequently as a cause of rejection.

The page goes into more detail on some of these points. In one instance, Apple highlights what it deems to be a ‘substandard user interface’, which apparently is responsible for 6% of all rejections. In the example, Apple advises use of a tableview to cleanly lay out information.

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Support for 3x image assets found in latest iOS 8 beta ahead of larger display iPhone 6

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Developer James Thompson has found an interesting behavior in the latest iOS 8 beta, giving even more weight to the reports that indicate the iPhone 6 will feature a new resolution, featuring a new ‘pixel-tripling’ scaling factor of 3. In May, 9to5Mac first broke news of Apple testing a new screen resolution for an upcoming iPhone, which used a 3x screen scale for content.

The behavior is inconsistent, as iOS 8 beta 5 does not always load these 3x assets. However, it reliably chooses the 3x image on 2x devices using the ‘initWithContentsOfFile’ method. After seeing Thompson’s discovery, 9to5Mac has independently confirmed that this is indeed the case.

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Someone assembled their own iPhone 6 using leaked parts (Video)

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Following photos that surfaced this morning showing much more subtle antenna breaks on the back of a supposed production model iPhone 6, a video of a device based on the upcoming flagship has surfaced thanks to Feld & Volk, an association of designers and engineers who create luxury custom versions of Apple’s most popular handsets. But what’s interesting about this device is that it seems to actually be built from working parts, and can be seen booting and asking the user to connect to iTunes.

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Apple updates iOS 8 terms, disallows developers from selling data acquired through HealthKit

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Apple has updated its iOS 8 terms of use, according to The Guardian, to note that developers are not allowed to resell any information gained through the upcoming HealthKit framework. The HealthKit software was announced as part of a larger event earlier this year, but it was only with the most recent beta that Apple made note of this restriction.

The move is not unexpected, as it would be very much against Apple’s modus operandi to allow developers access to such crucial data without some restrictions on its use in place as a protection for users. Similar restrictions exist for the Touch ID API, which doesn’t allow developers to access user fingerprint data at all, let alone store it.

There is one exception to this rule, however…

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Apple announces special event for September 9th: ‘Wish we could say more’

Apple has just sent out press invites for its latest event, via The Loop, where the company is expected to announce the iPhone 6. The event is scheduled for 10 AM Pacific Time on September 9th. Atypically, Apple is holding the event at a new venue, the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino. This is the same venue that Apple introduced the original Mac, over 30 years ago. Apple has constructed a ‘three-story structure’ at the site, which may be used as the hands-on area after the presentation is over. Usually, Apple’s demo areas are only the size of a large room and do not span multiple floors.

Yesterday, Recode reported that Apple will also show off its new wrist wearable device (‘iWatch’) at the September 9th event. Unsurprisingly, the invite does not reveal specifics about what Apple will announce, bearing a rather bland image of the Apple logo coupled with the slogan ‘Wish we could say more’. Feel free to speculate what you think will be announced in the comments. A full screenshot of the email is after the break. Read more

Android keyboard maker Minuum previews variable-height keyboard for iOS 8

e228a480-e440-4062-950a-c74a672d2526Minuum, which has existed on Android for a while now, has announced that it is bringing its custom keyboard  to the iPhone with iOS 8. Minuum is trying to stand out from the crowd with a particularly novel gimmick — you can change the height of the keyboard to save space or expand it to return to a familiar QWERTY layout.

In the mini-mode, keys bunch into groups of three. An autocorrection system then picks what word you meant to chose out of the possible options, similar to the word prediction systems of Fleksy and other custom keyboards.

How well applications will respond to the dynamically changing height is yet to be seen, as many apps in the store have been coded assuming fixed screen sizes. Over time, though, as developers update their apps, these issues should go away.

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More iPhone 6 component photos ‘confirm’ silver, gray and gold colors, depict larger internal speaker and new vibrator design

In the latest round of iPhone 6 images, NowhereElse.fr has a new set of photos showing a selection of SIM trays, home buttons, speakers and vibrator motors. The SIM trays are once again show in the same three colors as the iPhone 5s, silver, gray and gold. It seems like the gray is of a slightly lighter shade than the Space Gray of the iPhone 5s, but the quality of the pictures makes it difficult to tell for sure. What is very noticeable is the curved edge to the SIM tray, which will make a seamless line with the iPhone 6’s curved edges, seen countless times before. The images also depict some changes to the speaker and vibrator motor of the device …

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Thinner MacBook to launch later this year or early 2015, according to report

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Digitimes is claiming Apple will launch a new model of MacBook soon, potentially by the end of 2014. According to the report, component production has already begun in small quantities. The current MacBook Air tapers from 0.3 cm to 1.7cm, so it is unclear in what form the new product will be thinner. Although the report is not specific, the report could be referencing the long-rumored 12 inch Retina MacBook Air.

Digitimes’ report lacks any specifics aside from the release window. KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo first mentioned the idea of a brand new Retina Air in 2013, predicting a launch in Q3 2014. The Air is expected to feature a radical new design, high-resolution display and a buttonless trackpad.

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Apple rolls out new iAd formats, launches network in Russia and Switzerland

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Apple announced two changes to its iAd platform today, expanding the reach and available formats of the ad network in an attempt to reel in more advertisers. The first of these changes is support for brand new iAd styles, including those pre-roll videos we’ve all come to know and love on YouTube. Full-screeninterstitial have also been added to the selection, with both new formats detailed in an updated implementation guide.

The company also announced that it starting today the iAd network is available in two new countries: Russia and Switzerland.  iAd creators can use the iAd Workbench to update their target audiences to cover these new demographics.

Next-generation M7 coprocessor, codenamed ‘Phosphorus’, reportedly shown in iPhone schematics (U: Likely expected barometer/air pressure sensor)

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Update: Rather than being the next-generation M7 chip, the ‘Phosphorus’ chip shown in the schematics is likely the barometer/air pressure sensor 9to5Mac reported in June. A MacRumors forum member noted the likeliness. Original story below:

Following on from their previous reports, GeekBar is today highlighting a new set of schematics for a chip codenamed ‘Phosphorus’. The site claims the chip will serve similar roles to the M7 in the current iPhone 5s, but with additional functionality. It is very unlikely that Phosphorus will be used in official Apple marketing as it seems to be an internal codename for the chip.

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