Apple seeds iOS 8 beta 4 to developers with redesigned Control Center, Health improvements, more

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 9.56.02 AM

Apple today released iOS 8 beta 4 to developers. It is now available via Software Update in Settings for those running earlier betas of iOS 8 on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new update likely brings further design enhancements and bug fixes. iOS 8 comes out this fall and adds new features like health tracking, improved messaging, more efficient email management, and bolstered photo editing. We’ll be updating this post (below) as we discover new changes, and you can send us what you find to tips@9to5mac.com.

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Apple brings iTunes Extras to Apple TV, HD Extras to Macs today & iOS 8 in fall

Apple-TV-Extras

Apple today released iTunes version 11.3 and with it is making its iTunes Extras feature available for HD movies on Macs.  Apple also announced today that the feature is now available for Apple TV with update 6.2 and will arrive on iOS 8 this fall.

While we’ll have to wait for iTunes Extras to arrive on iOS with the release of iOS 8 this fall, the Apple TV OS 6.2 update rolled out late last month to users alongside iOS 7.1.2.

iTunes Extras offers an interactive experience for some video content on iTunes that often includes behind-the-scenes videos, image galleries, commentary from the creators, cast interviews, exclusive clips, short films, and more. Content creators decide whether or not to offer the iTunes Extras feature and create the experience using templates provided by Apple. Apple also notes that “new iTunes Extras will be automatically added to your previously purchased HD movies as they become available- at no additional charge.”

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Apple’s annual Back to School promotion likely kicking off at end of June

Retro Apple Store Back to School display

Retro Apple Store Back to School display

Apple could be planning to launch its annual Back to School sales promotion within the next two weeks. Apple Stores, according to several employees, will be changing the front of store glass window displays overnight on June 30th. This is the usual timeframe in which Apple launches a promotion to boost Mac, iPad, and iPhone sales in anticipation of the new school year in the fall.

Last year, the Back to School promotion consisted of $100 App Store gift cards for Mac purchases and $50 cards for iPad and iPhone purchases by students with their Student IDs. Of course, this June 30th window change could be connected to another promotion or a new product, but based on the timing, the Back to School program being in the wings seems most likely.

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Rovio announces new ‘Angry Birds Stella’ game coming this fall

AB Stella_poster_landscape

After a couple of teases that a new Angry Birds title was incoming, Rovio today announced that a new game called “Angry Birds Stella” is coming soon. The game features a female lead character unlike the majority of Rovio’s other games, but there aren’t many details about how else it might differ from other Angry Birds titles.

Angry Birds Stella will open a door to a part of the Angry Birds universe you’ve never seen before! There will be plenty of fun and adventure, but the bunch of passionate pals will also have to deal with some serious issues in order to protect their friendship and the environment they live in. Luckily, Stella and her friends are good at finding creative solutions!

No word on an official release date, but Rovio says the game will ship sometime in the fall.

An in-depth look at fingerprint sensor technology amid ‘iPhone 5S’ rumors

Motorola Atrix Fingerprint Sensor (via DigitalTrends)

Motorola Atrix Fingerprint Sensor (via DigitalTrends)

As this fall approaches, both rumors and actual evidence have pointed to the next iPhone’s marquee feature being a fingerprint sensor for authentication purposes. We previously provided iOS 7-based evidence and information regarding Apple’s work on implementing a fingerprint sensor in future products.

While we reported that Apple is actively developing fingerprint solutions that sit within a display for products a few years into the future, it seems that this year’s iPhone fingerprint sensor could be integrated into the iconic home button.

In light of these rumors, Geppy Parziale, a biometric authentication expert from InvasiveCode, has compiled in-depth look at the technology that powers miniature fingerprint sensors:

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Three years later, DigiTimes still insists Apple will ditch Samsung for TSMC

tsmc-560x369-560x300A report out of DigiTimes this morning claims that TSMC has reached a deal with Apple to supply 20nm, 16nm and 10nm chips for future Apple devices. However, as is often the case with DigiTimes, there are a few causes for concern surrounding the report. Leaving the site’s track record on other rumors aside, we must point out that rumors of TSMC supplying chips for Apple’s device are nothing new. In fact, DigiTimes itself reported back in 2011 that Apple would tap the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in a move away from its long-time supplier and biggest rival Samsung. Needless to say, it hasn’t happened yet, and there’s no proof as of yet to back up follow up reports from last year claiming Apple entered an agreement with the company. DigiTimes isn’t even the first to report it this year: Read more

Modbook Pro: Pen-based OS X tablet returns as a converted 13-inch MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion

Almost three years before Apple launched the original iPad in 2010, a company by the name of Axiotron unveiled the first “Mac tablet” with the launch of the Modbook—a stylus-based tablet running OS X that is made from a converted MacBook Pro. Today, the Modbook is officially returning thanks to one of its original developers and designers. Former co-founder of the now-defunct Axiotron, Andreas Haas, and his new company LA-based Modbook Inc., today announced the new Modbook Pro- “the world’s most powerful and largest-screen tablet computer.”

Like past generations of the Modbook, the Modbook Pro uses the guts of one of Apple’s new MacBook Pros. The company will offer two configurations, both with a 13.3-inch, 1,280-by-800 flush-mounted display, based off the specs for the recently refreshed non-Retina MBPs running Mountain Lion:

The Modbook Pro’s configurable base system includes a 2.5GHz dual core Intel® Core™ i5 processor or 2.9GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, a 2.5–inch SATA drive (up to 1TB HDD or up to 960GB SSD), an 8X SuperDrive® DVD burner, an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity capability

The company is promising seven hours on a full charge from a built-in 63.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (Modbook will also utilize a 60W MagSafe adapter). As for the digitizer and included stylus, Modbook will once again use Wacom tech:

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Report: iPhone 5 to launch second week of September, iPad 3 later this fall

According to a report (via MR) from The China Times, the iPhone 5 will launch the second week of September (6-15), and the iPad 3 launch will be delayed until Thanksgiving due to component issues. This iPhone 5 report lines up nicely with reports from Reuters regarding a September launch and an earlier report saying right after Labor day (Sept 5th).

If a September launch were to be the case, we assume the iPhone 5 would be announced at Apple’s annual music event in September. Obviously, iOS 5 would accompany it. The China Times’ report regarding a fall launch for the iPad 3 trails behind with what we’ve already heard.

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