Foxconn is planning to build iPhones in India for the first time

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According to government officials, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is planning to open operations including 10-12 factories and data centers by 2020 in India for the first time. Foxconn producing iPhones and iPads in India could result in lower prices on Apple’s hardware in the country where Apple’s hardware is sold at a price higher than many of its competitors.  Read more

Xcode 7 allows anyone to download, build and ‘sideload’ iOS apps for free

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Apple has changed its policy regarding permissions required to build and run apps on devices. Until now, Apple required users to pay $99/year to become a member of Apple’s Developer Program in order to run code on physical iPhone and iPads. As part of the new Developer Program, this is no longer required. Apps can be tested on devices, no purchase necessary.

However, this technically means that developers will be able to release apps outside of the App Store as long as they are open-sourced. Interested users could then open the code in Xcode, compile and run it on their own devices — avoiding the App Store completely.

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iOS 9 follows OS X in dropping discoveryd for mDNSResponder to improve network stability

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Xcode listing running processes on an iOS 9 iPhone.

When OS X 10.10.4 betas dropped discoveryd a couple of weeks ago before iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 were announced, there was some speculation about whether it was just a temporary intermediate fix until Apple reworks discoveryd for the next generation operating systems. Using Xcode’s Instruments developer tools for iOS and Activity Monitor on the Mac, we can confirm that Apple has also dropped discoveryd on iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

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Tim Cook interview on diversity suggests women speakers to present at WWDC keynote

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Mashable has conducted an interesting interview with Tim Cook on the eve of WWDC, one of Apple’s largest events of the year. Although WWDC is known for its product announcements, Apple will announce the next versions of iOS and OS X as well as a streaming music service, the interview revolved around Apple’s efforts on company employee diversity.

Asked about the lack of women at keynotes, Cook says “you’ll see a change tomorrow”. This suggests that women will indeed feature more prominently at Apple’s presentation. In the last ten years, the number of women at Apple’s events comes in at the low single digits, most recently Christy Turlington Burns. Apple’s developer sessions have better gender diversity in their speakers but these are viewable only by registered developers, not the general public.

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Simple geometric banners depicting iOS, OS X and ‘watchOS’ spotted at WWDC

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MacStories’ Federico Viticci has posted an interesting image of WWDC banners from the second-floor of Moscone West, the WWDC event venue.

These images show Apple highlighting its three platforms: iOS, OS X and watchOS. These banners do not follow the same pattern as previous years with dramatic photography in rectangular banners. These are more like full-height wall posters with simpler geometric logos. Each image has the name of Apple’s OS written in a light font-face (the image is not clear enough to see whether this is Sans Francisco) on a simple background of multicoloured translucent shapes.

What’s particularly striking about this photo is that it confirms a rebranding of Apple’s smartwatch operating system. On Apple’s current public marketing, the Apple Watch is described as running ‘Watch OS’. By these banners, it can be seen that the new name for this platform is actually ‘watchOS’. Read more

Apple reportedly looking to reduce 30% revenue cut for music, video and news apps with subscriptions

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A new report by the Financial Times suggests that Apple is looking to change the 70/30 revenue share for certain types of App Store apps. The report claims that Apple wants to change the way revenue is distributed between developers and Apple for music, video and news apps.

The report is a bit circumspect as the timing of the change does not seem to be related to any particular incident, although potentially Apple is forced into cutting the share due to potential anticompetitive complaints with Apple Music, to be announced next week.

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Apple ranks in at number 5 on latest Fortune 500 list

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Apple ranks in at number 5 on the latest Fortune 500, the annual list that ranks US companies by revenue, this time for fiscal year 2014. The company maintains its same position as last year behind Berkshire Hathaway (no. 4), Chevron (no. 3), Exxon Mobil (no. 2), and Wal-Mart Stores (no. 1).

While Apple comes in at fifth place for revenue, Fortune notes that it “boasts both the biggest profits of any company on the list ($39.5 billion) and the highest market value (more than $700 billion).” Read more

Tidal announces desktop app betas, $4.99 student pricing, Ticketmaster integration ahead of Apple Music debut

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Jay-Z’s recently launched Tidal music streaming service, a competitor to Apple’s own services in more ways than one, is today getting a big update right before the debut of the new Apple Music streaming service next week at WWDC. A desktop app beta for both Mac and Windows, $4.99 student pricing, and ticketing features through Ticketmaster integration, all help set a high bar for Apple to impress us with its own announcements next week.

The new desktop app (pictured above) is arriving in beta and brings a few features that weren’t previously possible with the mobile and web apps. The announcement today also includes a refreshed design for the mobile apps: Read more

Pixelmator for the iPhone launching tomorrow, we go hands on (update: now available!)

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Update: Pixelmator for iPhone is now available. Download it here.

Pixelmator is releasing an update to its iOS app tomorrow, making the app available on the iPhone for the first time ($4.99). The universal app means you can buy once and download Pixelmator on both iPad and iPhone. Existing iOS users of the app naturally get the iPhone version for free as an update. The new version also brings the Distort tools, like warp brushes, to the iOS app for the first time.

Pixelmator for iPhone works very similarly to the iPad version but scaled down for the smaller canvas. You can read our full review of the iPad app from last year. Rather than popover panels, selecting an action opens full-width menus encapsulating options. This is a necessary concession for the size of the display.

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