Apple expands its social presence with new iTunes Tumblr blog

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In an interesting move, Apple has today launched a Tumblr blog for iTunes. The ‘blog’ runs a highly customized theme that more closely reflects Apple’s own website than a typical Tumblr page. The page features music, movies, TV and books content, with individual posts consisting of images, videos and animated GIFs of artists. Tumblr users can reblog these images on their own feeds, for social sharing. On a related note, iTunes also opened an official Instagram account earlier this month.

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Russian Apple Online Store returns … with iPhone 6 prices now 35% higher compared to a week ago

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After a week of being inactive, the Russian Apple Online Store is now back online with customers freely able to purchase products from the site once again. Apple abruptly stopped trading in the region last week due to significant currency exchange rate fluctuations that meant the company had to readjust prices.

Apple has indeed raised prices significantly. The iPhone 6 now costs 53,990 Rubles for a 16 GB base model. This is a 35% increase in the Russian sales price; the model cost 39 990 Rubles last week. 53,990 Rubles is approximately worth $980 dollars. The 16 GB iPhone 6 lists for $649, excluding taxes.

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Apple increases app prices in Russia in response to changing exchange rates

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Apple has today informed developers that it has changed the pricing of apps and In-App Purchases in the Russian App Store, following changes to exchange rates. The recent ruble-dollar rates have fluctuated so widely in recent weeks that Apple has been forced to take the Russian Apple Online Store down completely, as it reviews pricing for its products. 

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iOS 8.2 brings back blood glucose tracking, explains Health data

In addition to supporting WatchKit and the Apple Watch, the iOS 8.2 software update will re-introduce some previously removed features in Apple’s Health app on iOS 8 as well as provide some feature enhancements. As discovered in the latest iOS 8.2 beta for developers, Apple is reintroducing support for blood glucose tracking through the iOS 8 Health app after an issue with which unit of measurement the app defaulted to presenting problems for international users of the feature. The somewhat intimidating Health app is also getting a little smarter with brief descriptions for the various data points tracked by the app listed under each section. Read more

9to5 Guide: The best iPad stands, docks, and cases with built-in stands

 

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iPads need stands. Whether you’re watching videos, long-form typing, or making FaceTime calls, it’s a chore to hold the iPad upright for extended blocks of time. To address that need, Apple launched the first iPad with regular and keyboard docks, but quickly gave up on them in favor of simpler folding lids called Smart Covers.

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If you’re looking for an iPad stand or dock, you can do better than that. We know because we’ve tested lots of options for Apple’s tablets. Following up on our guide to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus docks, we’re looking today at the very best of what’s out there for every iPad, covering four broad categories: simple portable stands, simple desktop stands, cases with integrated stands, and charging docks. Read more

Accessories with magnets/metal might interfere w/ iPhone 6 Plus optical image stabilization, NFC on new iPhones

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Some users have noticed issues with the iPhone 6 Plus camera and NFC on both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the cause of the problem— interference from magnets and metal components in accessories— isn’t well documented.

The cause of the issue has been noticed by a small number of users online, and Apple does briefly warn users to avoid accessories that use magnets or metal components in a support document quietly updated in the months following the launch of the new iPhones. But it’s not something most users are aware of when purchasing accessories that might end up causing problems for their new iPhone.

Behind the scenes Apple has started telling at least accessory makers in its MFi program to avoid using metal and magnets due to the issue with iPhone 6 Plus optical image stabilization, according to sources familiar with Apple’s MFi licensing program. Read more

Apple airs new ad for the holidays: ‘The Song’

Continuing its ‘From one gift come many’ campaign, Apple has published a new commercial entitled ‘The Song’. The ad depicts a young woman listening to a song on a record player, from her youth. The girl then learns the tune using their guitar, recording the tune on a Mac.

The girl then leaves an iPad preloaded with the same song for an older relation, her grandmother, provoking the same emotions of her childhood and memories. The ad concludes with a Happy Holidays message from the company. Apple describes the ad with the following prelude on its website:

Some gifts create a million more. Watch as one budding musician uses Mac and GarageBand to make a heartfelt song for her grandmother.

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Apple releases iOS 8.2 beta 2 for developers

iOS 8.2 beta 2Apple has just released the second beta of iOS 8.2 to developers, for testing, as an over-the-air update.  The beta can also be downloaded from Apple’s developer site. iOS 8.2 includes WatchKit, so developers can create apps and Glances for Apple Watch. You can read about how such apps work with our previous coverage of the WatchKit APIs. Apple released the first beta of iOS 8.2 a few weeks ago.

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