Apple Retail SVP Ahrendts tackles Apple Watch/MacBook launch questions in 5-minute employee video

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The video accompanying the memo Ahrendts sent to staff last week has been published by Mac4Ever. Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts clarified some of the details of the Apple Watch and MacBook rollouts that are starting this week. The executive confirmed that for the time being, watch orders will only be available online due to extremely limited supply.

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Apple updates Keynote for iOS with support for Watch-based remote app, pushes fixes for other apps

Image via Karan Pandya

Image via Karan Pandya

Apple today released an update to its mobile presentation software that enables support for an Apple Watch-based remote application. The Keynote Remote app, which will allow users to control their slides from their wrists, was first mentioned during Apple’s October 2014 event.

The Cupertino company also pushed out updates to several of its other mobile apps, fixing bugs and improving stability. The updated apps include Pages, Numbers, Remote, and Beats Music. The Mac iWork apps were also updated with bug fixes.

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Apple offering developers expedited Apple Watch deliveries by random selection

 

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Apple is sending out invites to random registered developers, giving them the chance to buy an Apple Watch with guaranteed delivery by the end of the month. Developer get the opportunity to buy a 42 mm Apple Watch Sport with shipment by the 28th of April. Apple is emailing selected developers, who are offered to apply here.

The process is by application only. Developers find out whether they are eligible to actually go through with the purchase on the 23rd of April, this Thursday.

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Apple Pay adds more than 30 new banks & credit unions, over 200 institutions now active

Apple Pay Apple Watch

Two weeks after the last wave of new banks and three days before the Apple Watch launches, Apple Pay support has gone live from 31 more banks and credit unions from around the United States. The total number of institutions now exceeds 200 banks and credit unions with active support, and some 2,000 banks have signed on to support the mobile payment system for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in the future. Below you can find the latest additions to the list of active banks as well as the full list so far. Read more

Apple to require more secure, stringent return process for Apple Watch Edition

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Beyond a unique sales process and exclusivity to select stores, even returning the Apple Watch Edition will have its own special process. Bringing the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition back to an Apple Store for a refund will require the device to be scrutinized under micro-inspection by Apple Store staff, according to sources. While the return process itself is unique, the return timeframe will be the standard 14 days like most of Apple’s other products…

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Adobe debuts Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, standalone and cloud alternatives to Aperture

Following months of rumors, Adobe is today announcing Photoshop Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, the latest versions of its popular photo editing and organization software. Sharing the same code, design, and much of the same functionality, the two Lightroom releases are separated into purchasable (Lightroom 6) or subscription (Lightroom CC) versions, only the latter of which can sync with Adobe’s mobile applications. Apple notably recommended Lightroom as a replacement for its recently-discontinued Aperture professional photo application, and worked with Adobe to build an Aperture library importing tool to aid users during the transition.

Lightroom manages large photo libraries, while offering photographers powerful tools for RAW and JPEG image adjustment. Now solely a 64-bit application, Lightroom 6/CC promises huge speed improvements when applying prior effects to images, as well as newly added tools and brushes. As shown in the embedded video, facial recognition has been added, enabling functionality similar to Apple’s Faces feature from Aperture and iPhoto. A new HDR (high dynamic range) tool uses two images to create a composite photo with more vivid colors and detail, while brushes such as radial and graduated filters have been added. The app has also gained new slideshow options, automatic panorama stitching, video slide shows, and many other features.

Photoshop Lightroom CC can be downloaded now as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography subscription service for $9.99 per month; a prepaid year of CC Photography access is normally $119.88, and currently on sale at B&H Photo Video for $99.88. Photoshop Lightroom 6 can be ordered for $149 as a standalone download. Adobe has also released version 1.4 updates to its mobile apps Lightroom for iPad and Lightroom for iPhone with support for Lightroom CC, improved cropping, and TIFF file support. Both iOS apps are now available for free from the App Store, but require Creative Cloud subscriptions.

Google ending YouTube support on older Apple TVs, iPhones, iPads, & iPod touches

Google announced yesterday that it will be ending support for its YouTube Data API v2 used by older devices. For Apple users, this means the YouTube app will no longer work on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches running iOS 6 or earlier; users instead will have to rely on the mobile web version of YouTube at m.youtube.com going forward.

The change also affects some Apple TV users, as only the current 3rd-generation 1080p Apple TV supports YouTube’s overhauled channel; prior-generation models will entirely lose access to YouTube… Read more

What’s the best approach to delivering news to your Apple Watch? (Poll)

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Re/code has an interesting look at the three different approaches major news organizations are taking to their Apple Watch apps.

The New York Times will dispatch one-sentence stories that answer the question, “Hey, did you hear?” in a conversational tone. The Washington Post will pick one story — say, an article about the end of tipping — and storyboard it like a movie or TV show, using a combination of graphics, images and text to adapt it for the 38 mm (or 42 mm) screen. CNN will let people personalize their news feeds by picking from among a dozen topics and choosing how they’d like to be notified (a tap on the wrist or no?).

News organizations weren’t particularly quick to adapt to the Internet, trying to stick to their existing business models in the face of rapidly-changing consumer behaviour, but this time the major players believe they are ready …

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One Drop for iPhone & Apple Watch is a dashboard & community for managing diabetes

The iPhone has become a mature platform for health and fitness software in recent years, especially since iOS 8 introduced HealthKit and the dedicated Health app followed by ResearchKit and a new set of medical apps. Today a new app called One Drop is launching with an ambitious goal: to help people with diabetes live a happier and healthier life. Read more

OS X 10.10.3 update failed to fix Rootpipe vulnerability, says former NSA staffer

A former NSA staffer says that the OS X 10.10.3 update which Apple claims fixed a significant security vulnerability has failed to do so, reports Forbes. Patrick Wardle, who now heads up research at security firm Synack, demonstrated the vulnerability in a video (without revealing exactly how it was done) to allow Apple time to issue a further fix.

The Rootpipe vulnerability allows an attacker with local access to a Mac to escalate their privileges to root – allowing them full control of the machine – without further authentication. A second security researcher confirmed the flaw …  Read more

Apple granted patents on three Apple Watch bands, just days before the first ones are due to ship

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Apple has been granted patents on three Apple Watch bands, just a few days before pre-order customers are due to start receiving their watches, reports Patently Apple. The three patents cover the Sport Band, Classic Buckle and Link Bracelet, and are simply listed as “the ornamental design for a band, as shown and described” …  Read more