Tim Cook agreed to allow Chinese government to conduct security audits on Apple devices – local media

iphone-6-plus-ifixit-teardown-1

Beijing News reports that Tim Cook has agreed to allow China’s State Internet Information Office to carry out security audits of Apple products sold in the country. Cook reportedly made the offer during his meeting with China’s Cyberspace Administration minister Lu Wei in December.

China has long expressed suspicion over the security of Apple products, seemingly resulting from frosty relations with the U.S. Government. A state-run TV station in China described the iPhone as a “national security concern” last July due to its location-tracking capabilities. Apple responded by pointing out that location data is stored on the phone, not on Apple’s servers, and is encrypted …  Read more

Alleged photos of 12-inch MacBook Air lid and display appear online

IMG_124133

Photos of what is claimed to be the lid and display for the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air have been published by iFanr9to5Mac exclusively reported earlier this month that Apple was planning to launch a mid-size variant of its notebook computer lineup, and these photos seem to provide even further evidence of that being that the case.

The legitimacy of the photos has not been determined, but you can see several additional photos below, including shots comparing it to current Apple devices such as the iPad and existing MacBooks.

Read more

Amazon releases Kindle Textbook Creator for Mac, a cross-platform iBooks Author competitor

Kindle Textbook Creator Beta Mac

Apple first released its iBooks Author Mac app for creating interactive textbooks for the iBooks Store back in 2012, and now Amazon is delivering its own textbook composing Mac app for publishing to the Kindle Store. Kindle Textbook Creator, announced today, is available in beta for both Mac and PC with the competitive benefit of publishing to the cross-platform Kindle Store, which is available on iOS, Mac, Android, and more. Read more

Review: CalDigit’s Mac hub Thunderbolt Station 2 competes on pricing, size, and build quality

caldigit-1

Despite USB 3.0’s growing popularity with consumers, Thunderbolt remains a viable alternative for professional users, particularly video makers willing to pay a premium for guaranteed high speeds. Over the past year, several Thunderbolt 2 hubs have come to market — boxes with one Thunderbolt 2 connection to a computer, one for a Thunderbolt accessory, and multiple ports to connect USB, audio, video, and Ethernet accessories. The idea: keep all of your gear hooked up to the hub, then use a single cable to connect it all to your Mac.

Known for large, heavy, professional-grade Mac accessories, CalDigit has just released Thunderbolt Station 2 ($199), which squeezes the same functionality offered by Belkin’s $300 Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD and Elgato’s $230 Thunderbolt 2 Dock (review) into a smaller, denser-feeling enclosure, at a lower MSRP — sort of. In reality, Thunderbolt Station 2 has some very specific benefits and one limitation that place it on par with its competitors, making the choice between them a more personal decision…

Read more

Apple pushes pre-release OS X 10.10.2 (14C106a) preview to testers

OS X 10.10.2 beta

After several preview releases to testers, Apple has pushed yet another OS X 10.10.2 build to pre-release Yosemite testers through the Updates section of the Mac App Store. Previous builds of the Mac operating system focused on improving bugs with WiFi, Mail, and VoiceOver, and this pre-release seed is no exception. We’ll update our coverage with what we find in the latest pre-release seed. Read more

Intel CEO says relationship with Apple strong amid rumors of Apple-designed Mac processors

Apple Intel

As we reported earlier this week, often reliable KGI is predicting that Apple will bring its in-house designed A-series processor to an entry-level Mac sometime in 2016 with TSMC and Samsung expected to fab the potential A9X and A10X chips, respectively. As the move to put non-Intel chips in the Mac lineup would be a departure for the company, CNBC asked Intel CEO Brian Krzanich about the chip-maker’s business plans with Apple… Read more

Review: Duet, the app that turns your iPad into a Lightning-connected Mac monitor

duet

I’m a big-screen fan. It’s the reason my primary Mac is still a 17-inch MacBook Pro, and why I have that hooked up to a 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display when I’m in my home office. When travelling, though, I have fewer pixels to play with. Sure, I could get a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, but I favor physical screen space over smaller screen elements.

There are existing apps out there, like Air Display, that let you use an iPad as a second monitor for a Mac, but they work via WiFi, which poses two problems. First, they often don’t work on WiFi hotspots, which you’re likely to be using when away from home. Second, even when they do work, there is an annoying amount of lag.

Which is where Duet comes in. Instead of using WiFi, it feeds the video signal from your Mac to iPad using a standard Lightning or 30-pin cable. Built by ex-Apple engineers, I figured it ought to be work well, so put it to the test …  Read more

Apple adds refurbished Retina 5K iMac to online store, prices start at $2,119

apple-imac-5k-retina

Apple has recently added the 27-inch iMac with Retina display, originally released in October 2014, to the refurbished section of its online store. Currently, the baseline 5K iMac with a 3.5 GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB Fusion Drive, and an AMD Radeon R9 graphics processor will cost you $2,119 refurbished from Apple. That’s $380 – or 15%- off the price of a new model.

Read more

Touching the dial: How iTunes Radio could be tuned for a better user experience

itunesradio_hero

iTunes Radio, Apple’s first real foray into streaming music, made its public debut back in June 2013, where it was announced alongside iOS 7. Over a year since its release, the service hasn’t exactly taken over the world, quite literally. It’s still only available in the United States and Australia. If you compared iTunes Radio today with iTunes Radio as it existed the day it was first available to use, you’ll notice that not much has really changed.

Of course, just last May, Apple announced its acquisition of Beats Electronics, which brought along with it Beats Music, a robust and almost entirely different approach to streaming music. While Apple may seek to integrate Beats Music more tightly with iTunes in the future, at this time it hasn’t.

So in the meantime, what could Apple do to make iTunes Radio more appealing to customers? Some might say the music selection is limited, or that streaming doesn’t always work correctly. However, focusing on the service strictly from a feature standpoint, there are many small changes and additions Apple could implement that would have a huge impact on the usefulness and utility of iTunes Radio. Let’s take a look.

Read more

Apple seeds new OS X 10.10.2 beta with build number 14C99d to developers

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 7.17.39 PM

Apple has released a new beta version of OS X 10.10.2 to developers through the App Store’s software update mechanism and the Mac Developer Center. The update, which has a build number of 14C99d (compared to 14C94b in the previous release) is not yet available to AppleSeed users.

The 10.10.2 update will include fixes for common Wi-Fi problems, issues with the built-in Mail app, VoiceOver, and more. With only one week passing between pre-release builds, it seems the patch is getting closer to completion, and could be expected for public release soon.