Court approves European trademark on Apple Store design as 38th UK store set to open

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You’d probably recognize that you’d walked into an Apple Store even if both logo and products were covered: the signature wooden tables, glass frontage and glass staircase would give it away. Apple successfully trademarked its store designs in the U.S. last year, and a European Union court has today approved a similar trademark application in Europe …  Read more

The sketchy iPhone 6 rumors keep coming – haptic feedback & 68M orders

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GforGames is citing Chinese site Laoyaoba and Taiwanese site Business Weekly for a couple of sketchy iPhone 6 rumors.

First, that the new iPhone will use haptic feedback – using a more sophisticated vibration motor to provide simulated tactile feedback on the display. This report is extremely light on detail, stating only that the motors are made by AAC (an existing Apple supplier) and Jinlong Electrical, and that they cost around two to three times the 60 cent cost of the vibration motor used in the iPhone 5s and 5c …  Read more

Apple TV loses ground to Roku and Chromecast, drops to 3rd most popular set-top box in U.S.

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A new report compiled by Parker Associates and discovered by Gigaom revealed that the Apple TV has lost some U.S. market share to competitors like the Roku and Chromecast last year, causing it to become only the third most popular device in the category.

According to the report, Google’s Chromecast and the Roku streaming device each sold around 3.8 million units in 2013—though the figure is more impressive in the case of the Chromecast, which was only introduced in the second half of the year. Apple, on the other hand, reportedly moved 2 million devices, putting it just below the others.

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Apple issues 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report, highlights its significant advances in clean energy usage

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Apple updated its Environmental Initiatives website and has issued its 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report today. Today’s update fulfills a promise from Earth Day in which Apple said that it would more frequently update consumers on its environmental progress. Apple has always been focused on the environment, but it has pushed its attention to new levels with the hire of former EPA head Lisa Jackson last year.

Today’s report has several updates. First, Apple says that it will now be providing carbon emissions data to the Carbon Disclosure Project at the request of shareholders. Apple says that it has made this data public for the past 6 years, but today’s change is the planned submissions to the aforementioned CDP. Apple also announced that it has re-calculated its 2012 emissions data and has found that its carbon footprint actually shrank (for the first time) 3% between 2012 and 2013:

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Tim Cook says Apple will begin releasing diversity data, gives no timetable

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Apple’s executive team

At this week’s Sun Valley conference in Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg reporters that Apple will release diversity data on its workforce. Cook did not specify when this data release would come, but this is the first confirmation from Apple that the company is planning to release such data. A CNN report from March detailed Apple as one of the several technology giants that have objected to releasing the information.

“We’ll release the information at some point,” Cook said at the annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, without giving a timetable for a disclosure. “We are more focused on actions.”

Diversity reports, such as the one that Facebook released on its workforce a couple of weeks ago, typically detail demographics in terms of ethnicity and gender. Apple has been criticized for having both a mostly male executive team and board of directors, but Cook has added Angela Ahrendts to the executive team and has been seeking new board members in recent months. Apple has also hired Lisa Jackson to run Environmental Initiatives and recently appointed Denise Young Smith as the new head of Human Resources.

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Tim Cook and Eddy Cue once again appear at Sun Valley media conference (Photos)

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As expected due to their appearances on the guest list, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue are in attendance at this week’s Sun Valley media conference in Idaho. The WSJ’s Doug MacMillan shared the above photo of Cook walking around the Sun Valley resort. The Information’s Jessica Lessin spotted Cue, and the executive provided a witty response to Lessin’s question about TV deals:

Cue and Cook both attended the conference last year, and Cook attended as the sole Apple representative the previous year. Several Apple partners, including board member and Disney CEO Bob Iger, are also attending the event. Cook and Cue’s attendance comes in the months following the Cupertino-company’s blockbuster deal to acquire Beats, and perhaps the duo have plans to create new deals at this conference.

More photos of Cook at the conference below:

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Supposed iPhone 6 back casing shown off in new video, including new dark black color

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In what will only continue the endless stream of iPhone 6 leaks, MacRumors brings attention to a couple of new photos and videos of the supposed iPhone 6 back. Interestingly, a new dark black piece has been seen for the first time, featuring a shade much darker than the current Space Gray iPhone 5s. Until today, only gray pieces have been spotted, which does make the legitimacy of the part somewhat questionable.

The post also highlights some new images and videos from Fed & Volk, who ostensibly possess mid-production units of the iPhone 6 rear. This case is the standard light gray variant, however, and matches the component leaks we have been seeing from other sources for many months now. See a video of the part after the break …

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Vimeo announces redesigned Apple TV app w/ improved content discovery features

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Vimeo announced today that it’s launching an updated Apple TV app that introduces a redesigned user interface that cuts down on “the number of clicks it takes to watch a video and improves video discovery overall.” That mostly includes a redesigned menu that will give you quick access to the most popular videos as well as your Watch Later queue and your own content. 

“As the Vimeo On Demand collection continues to build (currently 10K titles and growing daily), it’s more important than ever to provide our viewers with a seamless living room experience,” said Nick Alt, VP of Mobile and TV, Vimeo. “Our ‘Watch Later’ feature makes videos found on Vimeo immediately accessible across all connected devices, and with this latest AppleTV update we’re making content even more discoverable.”

Features you’ll find in the new app include a redesigned Featured Home page that shows off highlights user channels and albums in addition to 20 curated channels chosen by Vimeo. Also new is a revamped Video Detail page that includes “background images, additional clip metadata such as audience ratings, reviews, extra features, and more content from creators.” Vimeo tells us that the new Apple TV app will also feature a VOD Trailers section that offers previews of upcoming feature films and series:  Read more

Apple’s top lawyer reported Google to FTC over in-app purchases by kids

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Apple seemingly wasn’t too happy that it was singled out for an FTC investigation into making it too easy for children to make in-app purchases: following its own settlement back in January, the company’s general counsel Bruce Sewell promptly reported Google for the same thing, reports Politico.

“I thought this article might be of some interest, particularly if you have not already seen it,” Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell wrote to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Democratic Commissioner Julie Brill, pointing to a report that criticized Google’s app store over the same issue of unauthorized purchases …

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Manything video security app gets IFTTT support, can automate control of Nest, Hue, WeMo and more

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While you’ve probably heard of Dropcam (which we like), you may not have heard of Manything – the cloud video service that allows you to use iOS devices as the smart cameras. You might want to check it out now, though, as the app has just added IFTTT support – giving access to a whole new world of automation.

Previously, Manything could use motion-detection to alert you to something moving inside or outside your home and send you an alert plus live video stream, enabling you to check it out remotely. Adding IF This Then That support makes it much more powerful – examples below …  Read more

From fashion to fitness part II: Apple hires a pair of key Nike FuelBand engineers

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This is an update to a February post in which we rounded up all recent Apple hires pertinent to the development of the upcoming iWatch. This post includes the addition of several new hires and experts, including a pair of key Nike FuelBand hardware engineers, and the new hires are labeled with italics.

Apple has been developing a sensor-laden, fitness- and medical-focused wearable computer as indicated by several notable recent hires and information we have received from sources. The device will have a focus on both fashion and exercise as Apple has been testing the device with key professional athletes. We’re expecting the product to be announced in October of this year and ship by the holiday season. As the  launch of the “iWatch” approaches, we have compiled an up-to-date list (into categories of leadership, fashion, fitness, and health) of all known and pertinent recent Apple hires to provide a clearer picture of what Apple’s future wearable technologies could offer to consumers…

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