Jony Ive officially moves to Chief Design Officer as Dye & Howarth are promoted to VPs

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After announcing the change in a company-wide memo last month, Apple today has officially updated Jony Ive’s executive bio on Apple.com to reflect his new role as Chief Design Officer. Ive was promoted from Senior Vice President of Design earlier this year. Ive’s bio notes that he reports directly to Tim Cook and is responsible for all design at Apple, including retail, Apple Campus 2, software, and hardware.

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Coming at WWDC 2015: New Apple Watch SDK, Quality-focused/refreshed iOS 9 & OS X 10.11, Apple Music

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is about to kick off. On Monday, June 8th, company executives will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to provide their annual roadmap for Apple’s software, services, and devices.

Traditionally, Apple has used the conference to introduce major upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system iOS, as well as the Mac operating system OS X, along with new services. Of course, 2015 will be no different. Apple has been preparing a new version of iOS 9 codenamed “Monarch,” a release of OS X 10.11 codenamed “Gala,” a new streaming Apple Music service based on Beats Music, and updates for the Apple Watch.

Over the last several years, we have provided advance reports on the lion’s share of announcements that will be made at WWDC, as well as a comprehensive roundup ahead of the event. Read on for our roundup of what’s coming, along with fresh new details not found in our earlier reports.

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Apple launches official ‘Made for Apple Watch’ third-party bands program

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In line with our report from a couple of weeks ago, Apple has just debuted an official program for third-party accessory developers to design and launch bands for the Apple Watch. Like the MFi program for iPhone, iPads, and iPod accessories, this new program is called “Made for Apple Watch.” One of the device’s marquee features is its ability to connect to different straps by way of a standard connector on either side of the Watch, and now, much like with iPhones and iPads, accessory makers will be able to make good use of the product…

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Review: Apple Watch as a design piece

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Precision. That’s the word that immediately came to mind the minute I picked up my Apple Watch for the first time. Something about this device felt different, on an almost subconscious level, from any other Apple product I’ve used before. Perhaps I was just caught up in the moment. After all, the Watch is the first totally new product to come out of Apple since the introduction of the iPad, which feels like so many years ago. On the other hand, I knew from the onset that I planned on buying the Apple Watch mostly for its design. I wasn’t so much interested in all of the software features it could offer me, I just couldn’t imagine not having this shiny little box on my wrist. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Apple Watch strictly as a design piece.

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Adobe Slate lets you publish magazine-like stories from your iPad without design expertise

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Adobe is out today with its latest app for content creators on the iPad. The new Adobe Slate app is available for free and joins the similar Voice app Adobe launched last May. Where Adobe Voice focused on using the iPad and later the iPhone for story telling with the spokenword backed by visual elements, the new Adobe Slate app pairs text with fluid and customizable attractive layouts that look great whether you’re a designer or not. Read more

Adobe releases Comp CC layout-design iPad app

Adobe today released a new iPad app dubbed Comp CC that offers “rapid creation of layout concepts for mobile, Web and print projects” that can later be used in Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC. Adobe first previewed the new app last year when it was still an early prototype, but today the app is arriving on the App Store for all. Read more

Apple will fight iOS bugs with first-ever iOS Public Betas: 8.3 in March, 9 in summer

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In an effort to eliminate bugs from upcoming iOS versions ahead of their general releases, Apple plans to launch the first-ever public beta program for the iOS operating system, according to multiple people briefed on the plans. Following the successful launch of the OS X Public Beta program with OS X Yosemite last year, Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources. This release will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers, which is planned for release the same week. Apple then expects to debut iOS 9 at its June Worldwide Developer Conference, with a public beta release during the summer, and final release in the fall…

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Motorola president responds to Ive criticism in New Yorker profile, says Apple charging ‘outrageous prices’

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In an amusing retaliation to Jony Ive’s opinion of Motorola’s Moto Maker, Motorola president described their company as a ‘different philosophy’ as well as directly attacking Apple’s product lineup, describing iPhone prices as ‘outrageous’ in a conversation with the BBC. Read more

The New Yorker profiles Jony Ive: details meeting Jobs, iPhone 6, Apple Watch, cars and more

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The New Yorker has published an extensive profile on Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design. Many newspapers have written up articles on Ive in recent years, but this latest account by Ian Parker is by far the most detailed and (arguably) the most interesting, revealing new anecdotes and tidbits on Apple’s latest products in the process.

The story tracks how Jony arrived at Apple back in the late 90’s, how his relationship with Jobs developed over that period, and how he is adapting to ‘leading’ design in post-Jobs Apple. The piece includes some new details about how the Watch project and the newest iPhones formed, as well as incorporating quotes from Tim Cook, Bob Mansfield, and others.

Read on for some select excerpts from The New Yorker’s story.

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Apple threatens to ban iPhone, iPad accessory makers that design based on leaks

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Apple is working to step up the secrecy surrounding future iPhone and iPad models by targeting a frequent source of leaks: third-party accessory makers. 9to5Mac has learned that in fall 2014, just before the iPhone 6 launched, Apple demanded that a number of leading accessory makers sign agreements barring them from seeking out information about future Apple devices, according to four sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter.

On one hand, the agreement dangled the loss of “future business opportunities that Apple and/or its affiliates may present to you” as a potential consequence of violating or not signing the agreement. On the other hand, signing and following it could lead to months-long delays in making accessories like cases available, during the time of year when those cases were most needed and demanded by customers. Read more

Touching the dial: How iTunes Radio could be tuned for a better user experience

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iTunes Radio, Apple’s first real foray into streaming music, made its public debut back in June 2013, where it was announced alongside iOS 7. Over a year since its release, the service hasn’t exactly taken over the world, quite literally. It’s still only available in the United States and Australia. If you compared iTunes Radio today with iTunes Radio as it existed the day it was first available to use, you’ll notice that not much has really changed.

Of course, just last May, Apple announced its acquisition of Beats Electronics, which brought along with it Beats Music, a robust and almost entirely different approach to streaming music. While Apple may seek to integrate Beats Music more tightly with iTunes in the future, at this time it hasn’t.

So in the meantime, what could Apple do to make iTunes Radio more appealing to customers? Some might say the music selection is limited, or that streaming doesn’t always work correctly. However, focusing on the service strictly from a feature standpoint, there are many small changes and additions Apple could implement that would have a huge impact on the usefulness and utility of iTunes Radio. Let’s take a look.

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Chinese smartphone maker claims Apple copied iPhone 6 design

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Chinese smartphone maker Digione is claiming Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus copy the design of its own smartphone line.

Macworld reports that the company published a letter online yesterday that was originally sent to Apple back in September in order to make them aware that the latest iPhones might infringe on a patent it was granted in July by China’s State Intellectual Property Office. Read more