Launcher returning to the App Store after controversial Today widget rejection last year

Launcher is coming back to the App Store, after a fracas with Apple late last year over the rules regarding widgets in the Today view of Notification Center. According to the developer, Greg Gardner, Apple has changed its mind on how widgets in Notification can function—something we’ve seen before. Launcher will be back in the App Store tomorrow.

It’s worth noting that the app was originally pulled because Apple said apps were not allowed to have widgets that launched other applications. Apple has seemingly had a change of heart, because the application is returning with the exact same features as six months ago. Read on for the full rundown on what happened.

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China Unicom & China Telecom will sell iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 cellular models for first time

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China Unicom and China Telecom announced today that they will start selling the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 to customers starting March 27. This is the first time the carriers, two of the top three largest in the country, will offer customers in China the Wi-Fi + Cellular models of Apple’s latest generation tablets.  Read more

Apple Pay continues its PGA Tour with MasterCard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf event

MasterCard Shows Latest Payment Technology At Arnold Palmer Invitational

Apple Pay partner MasterCard used the PGA Tour kickoff in Phoenix earlier this year to promote Apple’s mobile payment service, and today MasterCard announced that Apple Pay will be accepted at the upcoming Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. MasterCard says that almost all vendors at the golf event will accept Apple Pay and other contactless payment options for paying for merchandise and concessions. Read more

iOS 8 adoption gradually climbs to 77% ahead of Apple Watch launch next month

iOS 8 adoption 77%

Apple now says that 77% of active iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches are now running some version of iOS 8. The remainder of active devices running older software than what was released last September include one out of five devices still running iOS 7, and a small 3% running iOS 6 or earlier. The data comes from Apple’s App Store Distribution dashboard, which captured the adoption rate earlier this week.

While the information does show the steady climb of active devices upgrading to iOS 8 at a steady, gradual rate, it does not reveal how many users are running the very latest version, iOS 8.2, which is required for iPhone users to pair with the upcoming Apple Watch, which will be released on April 24th… Read more

FastCo interview: Tim Cook talks Apple philosophy/legacy, Apple watch skepticism, new Campus & more

tim-cook-on-steve-jobs

Fast Company has an extensive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, focusing on what has changed and what has stayed the same since he took over from Steve Jobs. The interview comes a day after FastCo published a sizeable excerpt from the book Becoming Steve Jobs, in which Cook criticized the portrayal of Jobs in Isaacson’s biography.

Cook said that while much has changed, the culture–the fundamental goal of the company–remained the same.

Steve felt that if Apple could do that—make great products and great tools for people—they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.

The company has never tried to be first to market, he said, but rather to “have the patience to get it right” …  Read more

WSJ: Apple in talks to add Discovery and Viacom to rumored Web TV service

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Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and the Discovery Channel are among the channels that could be making their way to Apple’s reported new web TV service, as the WSJ reports that Apple is in talks with Discovery and Viacom. The paper had earlier said that Apple’s online TV service would be announced in June and launched in September with 25+ channels.

Discovery, owner of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, and Viacom, owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, are in talks to be on the Apple service, people familiar with the matter said.

We first heard about the plans in early February. ABC, CBS and Fox are already believed to be on board for the service, which is expected to cost somewhere in the $25-40/month range …  Read more

Apple Pay adds over 30 banks and credit unions, total approaching 150 institutions

Apple Pay iPhone 6

Apple has added dozens of new banks and credit unions to its list of institutions that support its Apple Pay mobile payment service. The new banks include several credit unions from around the United States as well as Charles Schwab Bank, RBC Bank, and other notable additions. The more than 30 banks added today are rolling out ahead of next month’s Apple Watch launch which will support making Apple Pay payments in stores. Below is the list of newly added banks as well as the full list of banks and credit unions where Apple Pay is currently supported: Read more

Apple made new Apple Watch charging bracelets and try-on cases for its retail stores

Apple-Watch-table-display-retail-01

Apple has its own magnetic charging bracelet for Apple Watch, but it will likely be limited to retail displays to keep devices on retail store floors charged for extended periods of time. In addition, the company has developed a special case capable of storing and charging 10 Apple Watches at once, allowing retail employees to help customers wanting to try the Apple Watch on in-store.  Read more

Apple releases Safari security updates for Yosemite, Mavericks and Mountain Lion

Image (1) safari512px.png for post 17613

Apple today released a trio of OS X security updates for the Safari web browser, labeled 8.0.4, 7.1.4, and 6.2.4 for OS X Yosemite, Mavericks, and Mountain Lion, respectively. The updates revolve around fixes for WebKit:

Impact:  Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an
unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
Description:  Multiple memory corruption issues existed in WebKit.
These issues were addressed through improved memory handling.

Impact:  Inconsistent user interface may prevent users from
discerning a phishing attack
Description:  A user interface inconsistency existed in Safari that
allowed an attacker to misrepresent the URL. This issue was addressed
through improved user interface consistency checks.

The updates are available from the Mac App Store’s Software Update tab. An update is not yet available for OS X 10.10.3, which includes Safari version 8.0.5.

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Opinion: My cable subscription woes and the appeal of an ‘Apple Cable’ service

Apple TV HBO Now

My cable provider is pretty terrible. I don’t need to name any names because this likely applies to your cable provider as well. They are all horrible. I often experience drops on popular channels, get bonus filler channels that no one wants, and see indiscriminate additional subscription fees and charges without any real reason. This Onion article, though it is satire, doesn’t stray too far from the truth.

For a very casual TV watcher, it’s not a great experience – to put it mildly.

So the prospect of an Apple web TV service with a price tag of around $40, as the WSJ and others reported last night, is highly appealing to me if it means I can catch the few shows I watch now without the hassle of my cable subscription. I’ll still be tied to the monopolies for Internet service which isn’t terrific, but the theoretical ‘Apple Cable’ service has the potential to fix a number of problems for me.

Apple started off its March event with the announcement that HBO Now, the premium network’s new $15/month web service, will be available with 3-month exclusivity on the App Store and Apple TV at launch next month. While we’ve heard for quite some time that Apple is developing a web TV service, and the upcoming HBO Now channel seems to be the best taste of what that could offer. I’m hopeful that the potential ‘Apple Cable’ can solve my cable subscription woes. Here’s how:

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