Fitbit users can finally view their data in the Health app thanks to 99 cent sync tool

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A 99 cent app finally allows owners of Fitbit activity trackers to view their data in Apple’s Health app. Sync Solver for Fitbit provides a daily sync of ten different pieces of data to the Health app built into iOS 8 – a feature the company itself said it had no plans to introduce.

The first sync needs to be performed manually, by tapping a button in the app, after which it will sync data automatically every 24 hours …  Read more

Apple Online Store frontpage redesigned ahead of Black Friday, pushing iOS devices, Macs and Beats accessories

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For Black Friday, Apple has refreshed the frontpage of its online store with a rather-drastic redesign. Each product category now dominates the webpage, with full-bleed images of their main product lines. The new iPad updates get the top spot, but interestingly Apple TV and Beats headphones also get prime placement. In fact, the product images for Beats accessories are so large, it only takes four images to dominate the screen.

The strap-line ‘From one gift come many’ headlines the page, which also links up with Apple’s upcoming retail store holiday changes. The same tagline will soon be featured in Apple Store windows around the world, highlighting the wide scope of the iPhone and iPad, as shown below.

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Apple getting serious about iAd as it offers automated purchasing of mobile ads

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When Steve Jobs said something was going to happen, it generally did. One notable exception, though, has been Apple’s mobile advertising platform, iAd. Jobs said back in 2010 that it would grab 50% of the mobile ad market; right now, it’s sitting at just 2.6%. That may be about to change after advertising middleman Rubicon announced that automated purchasing of iAds will soon be supported …  Read more

Free 50-minute video tutorial video shows you how to make an Apple Watch app

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If you want to get quickly up to speed on the basics of creating an Apple Watch app following the release of WatchKit, developer Nick Walter has put a free 50-minute video tutorial online. You can also sign up for a full online course for just $39 on Kickstarter – saving $161 on the likely launch price.

Walter gained a certain amount of fame recently when Forbes reported that he made $66,000 in one month following a similar Kickstarter campaign for a course in making iPhone apps …  Read more

PayPal beats Apple to the punch, launches Pebble smartwatch app for in-store payments

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Apple’s payment-enable smartwatch may still be months off, but PayPal is hoping to beat the Cupertino-based tech giant to the punch with watch-based payments at physical retailers. The payment company today debuted its application for the Pebble smartwatch, which allows users to make purchases at supported locations.

Unlike the Apple Watch and its associated payment system, PayPal’s app doesn’t require a connected smartphone to use. It also doesn’t support NFC-based transactions. Instead, it generates a payment code that can be used to check out and charge an order to a user’s account. In some stores users will also be able to check out simply by checking into the store through the app.

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Apple WatchKit third-party apps require a connected iPhone to function, ‘fully native’ apps coming later in 2015

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Apple has just released a flood of information about how apps on Apple Watch work, through the WatchKit framework. There are three types of integrations currently possible: WatchKit apps, Glances and actionable notifications. Although they sound similar,  the development process for WatchKit apps are actually very different to that of normal iOS apps for iPhone and iPad, as much of the computation is done on the connected iPhone rather than rendered by the watch’s hardware itself.

The interface elements and interaction patterns for WatchKit apps revolve around a core set of user interface components and layouts. Arbitrary views are not supported, which is a big departure from how iOS apps are constructed.

The constraints are in place because although the Watch renders the UI, any other coding logic is actually managed by the connected iPhone through a WatchKit extension, that silently runs on the iPhone. For instance, animations are pre rendered as an image sequence on the phone GPU before being sent OTA to the watch for display. Apple has announced that fully-native Watch apps will debut later in 2015, which will likely loosen these restrictions somewhat.

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Apple releases WatchKit allowing developers to prepare for Apple Watch

Apple Watch press

Apple has officially announced the availability of WatchKit, the software tools that developers will use for creating software for the Apple Watch coming in 2015. The company revealed last month that the SDK, or software development kit, would be released sometime this month. Apple says WatchKit enables developers to “create innovative WatchKit apps, actionable notifications and Glances, for timely information accessible by an easy, quick look at Apple Watch.” Additionally, resources within WatchKit reveal the screen resolutions for both Apple Watch sizes. Read more

Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus & iPad Air 2 lose out to Samsung & Surface in detailed color accuracy analysis

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Following its detailed reports on displays used in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, today DisplayMate published a scientific analysis of color accuracy for the six best mobile displays it’s tested this year. Despite ranking high in some categories in the test, Apple’s new entries, the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2, end up at the bottom of the list overall. Read more

Apple analysts: Know what’s really cool? A trillion dollar market cap

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Analysts attending the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in New York have suggested that Apple could eventually be valued at a trillion dollars.

Gains in shares of Apple Inc could take the world’s largest publicly traded company to a market capitalization of perhaps as high as $1 trillion, some of the country’s biggest investors said on Monday.

AAPL got two-thirds of the way there a few days ago, reaching $663B, since climbing further to $670B, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn suggested last month that the company should already be valued at a trillion dollars …  Read more

Apple ordered to pay $23.6 million after losing lawsuit over wireless messaging

Apple iMessage Messages iOS 8

Bloomberg reports that a federal jury has found Apple guilty of infringing on six patents related to outdated pager technology from the 1990s. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has ordered Apple to pay a $23.6 million settlement for violating six patents owned by plaintiff Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC in the case. Read more

Apple will soon let third-party products use its Lightning port, opening up new possibilities for accessories

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Last week at Apple’s yearly briefing for accessory makers in its Made-for-iPhone/iPad (MFi) licensing program, the company unveiled new Lightning connectors and specs for Lightning receptacles that will soon be available for implementation in MFi accessories. The new Lightning receptacle, scheduled to start shipping next year, will allow accessory makers to build new types of accessories that include a port for Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector previously reserved for its own iOS devices (pictured above). Read more