Apple fixes 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro trackpad/keyboard issues, graphics bug on 15-inch

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 3.06.20 PM

With the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro launch last month, many users have noticed and complained about issues relating to the computer’s keyboard and trackpad becoming unresponsive.

In line with Apple’s promise, a fix has been delivered:

This update is recommended for MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, late 2013) models.    This update addresses an issue where the built-in keyboard and Multi-Touch trackpad may become unresponsive.

The solution comes in the form of the MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update 1.3, and this update is available via Software Update in the Mac App Store. Apple has also released an update for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro to fix issues relating to NVIDIA Graphics chips:

Read more

CableLabs Senior VP with mobile TV experience heads to Apple

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 7.50.28 PM

Jean-Francois Mule, who recently served as a Senior Vice President at CableLabs, has joined Apple, according to his LinkedIn profile. The move was first noted by MultiChannel News. CableLabs is a consortium made up of cable providers that works with these providers in order to bring new TV-related technologies to life. At Apple, Mule will work as an Engineering Director, but it is currently unclear was his precise role will be. Apple has Engineering Directors in many departments across the company, so it is unclear if his role will actually be connected to TV-development.

According to his CrunchBase Profile, Mule worked on the technology side of TV operations at CableLabs:

Read more

New Apple TV software likely coming next week, but don’t expect fresh hardware (yet)

apple-tv-deal

Apple won’t announce a new piece of Apple TV hardware next week (as had been previously rumored), but AllThingsD says that Apple will debut some new software for the existing device. Of course, an Apple TV software update is already expected, but ATD says that there could be some neat new AirPlay-related functionality:

Sources say that one new feature in the works will let people who’ve bought content from Apple play that stuff on other users’ Apple TVs, via Apple’s Airplay system. So if you’ve bought a TV show or movie from Apple’s iTunes store, you could watch it at a friend’s house, by calling it up on your iPhone, and telling your friend’s Apple TV to start streaming it.

The new Apple TV software update will also unlock iTunes Radio, the ability to setup an Apple TV over Bluetooth 4.0, and OS X Mavericks multi-display support.

We’ve heard that Apple has some Apple TV related announcements up its sleeves for the coming months, but major hardware changes aren’t expected until at least next year. Sources say that Apple has been working on ways to control the Apple TV (whether that be a full on display – or just a box) via motion…

Read more

Bob Mansfield reduced role to focus on chips, senior execs given new responsibilities

Executives

Apple executive Bob Mansfield’s unexplained departure from Apple’s leadership team is due to the long-time engineer’s desire to focus on chipset design plus future products and less on executive duties, according to sources with knowledge of the change.

As part of Mansfield’s leave from the executive team and role change to “special projects” under Apple CEO Tim Cook, Mansfield’s former duties as Senior Vice President of Technologies have been split between two Senior VPs: Hardware chief Dan Riccio and Operations head Jeff Williams, according to these sources.

Read more

Corning says sapphire ‘not a major threat’, posts video showing why Gorilla Glass is superior

In case you needed some proof that the rumors of Apple switching from Corning glass to sapphire crystal are unlikely, Corning has posted a video on its website showing how its current Gorilla Glass is superior to sapphire for mobile devices.

Recently, speculation has arisen that manufactured sapphire crystal might become an alternative to Corning’s Gorilla Glass.  “Sapphire’s performance as a cover for high-end watches probably leads to the current speculation.  But those covers are much smaller than a mobile phone and are two to three times thicker than Gorilla Glass.  In one of our commonly accepted strength tests, sapphire breaks more easily than Gorilla Glass after the same simulated use.  Additionally, sapphire’s cost and environmental hit are huge issues,” Steiner said.

There have been a couple rumors floating around that smartphone makers are looking into using sapphire crystal as a replacement for other cover glass solutions. With Apple using the material as a cover for its camera lenses on iPhone 5 and the latest iPod touch, some have speculated it could use sapphire for other parts of its devices, such as the display’s cover glass or home button. However, that’s not likely, according to Corning, Gorilla Glass is “about half the weight”, requires 99 percent less energy in manufacturing, provides brighter displays, and “costs less than a tenth” of sapphire.  Read more

Class action lawsuit claims iPhone 4 has defective power button nearly three years after its launch

iPhone-4-power-button

Nearly three years after the device first launched, GigaOm points us to a recently filed class action lawsuit that claims Apple’s iPhone 4 has a defective power button. The lawsuit claims that a defective flex cable typically causes the on/off switch to fail shortly after the device’s one year warranty has expired. It also claimsApple is aware of the problem, which is costing users around $149 to fix off of warranty.

Apple of course still sells the iPhone 4 through a number of carrier partners as its low end, $0 down iPhone option.

According to the lawsuit, “thousands of iPhone 4 users have suffered” from the issue that Apple allegedly knew existed before manufacturing and selling the device. The problem has never received a lot of mainstream media coverage or a response from Apple, but the lawsuit notes that a support forum on Apple’s website boasts over 800K views since first popping up in January 2011.                                                                                                        
Read more

Job postings suggest Apple to begin chip development in Orlando, Florida, near chip partners AMD and Qualcomm

Several job postings looking for both hardware and software engineers reveal that Apple is looking to begin its own chip development in Orlando, Florida.

Last week we learned that Apple is hiring software engineers to work on fingerprint technology at Authentec in Melbourne, Florida, which is about one hour south of the future site of the company’s development labs.

The job posting are interesting as Samsung, which works with Apple to develop the custom chips used in iPhones and iPads, continues to compete with Apple in the smartphone and tablet space.

Read more

Apple says small number of Apple TVs have WiFi issues, opens replacement program

AppleTVReplacement

Apple has informed its official retail stores, AppleCare employees, and authorized resellers that a small number of third-generation Apple TV units have WiFi issues. These issues surround not being able to locate a WiFi network, unable to join a network, and dropped or intermittent connections.

Apple has determined that a very small number of Apple TV (3rd generation) products might experience one of these Wi-Fi related connectivity issues: Cannot locate network, Unable to join network, Dropped or intermittent connection.

If an Apple technician determines that an applicable Apple TV has these issues, the unit can be replaced as part of a replacement program that Apple has begun because of these WiFi issues. Apple says that replacements can be offered free of charge up to two years after the device’s purchase date.

Here are the serial number pairs that are eligible:

Read more

Square announces POS ‘Business in a Box’ hardware package for iPad starting at $299 [video]

Mobile digital payment company Square announced today on its blog that it will begin selling a “Business in a Box” solution that will act as a full point-of-sale system for iPad-toting business owners. The hardware package starts at $299 and includes two Square Readers, a Heckler Design WindFall iPad Stand, and an APG Vasario 1616 Cash Drawer (as pictured above). For an extra $300, bringing the total price of the package to $599, Square will throw in a Star Micronics TSP143L Receipt Printer. We were able to find all the pieces of the package online (minus the free Square readers) for around $480, although that’s before any taxes or shipping costs.

Neighborhood merchants are increasingly adopting Square Register for its simple interface, smart analytics, continuous updates, and low processing fees. With Business in a Box for Square Register, merchants can now simplify their countertop with an affordable and comprehensive package that includes two Square Readers, an iPad stand, a cash drawer, and an optional receipt printer. All work wirelessly with Square Register.

Business owners can learn more about the “Business in a Box” package here. Video of how Almond Surfboards use Square register above.
Square-Business-In-a-Box

Read more

First round of 27-inch iMacs expected to arrive as soon as Dec.13

Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 12.29.01 PM

Earlier today, a number of customers who ordered the new 27-inch iMac when it went on sale on Nov. 30 started receiving notifications from Apple that their orders have now shipped. Apple quoted estimated delivery dates for these customers ranging from Dec. 18 to the end of the month. However, it appears some might even receive their new iMacs earlier with one 9to5Mac reader receiving an estimated arrival date of Dec. 13.

Apple changed the availability estimates for new 27-inch iMac orders on its website last week from “3-4 weeks” to “January”, indicating some new orders might not be available to ship until the end of next month. Unlike some of the new 21.5-inch iMacs originating from Fremont in the United States, many report orders of the 27-inch models as shipping from Shanghai, China.

Read more

As expected new iMac lineup sees delays, shipping in November and December

Apple just finished unveiling its all-new iMac design that we previously unveiled leading up to the event. We told you at the time that Apple is shipping two refreshed models of its 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs, but we would unfortunately likely see delays on at least some models. Apple decided to take the wraps off its refreshed iMacs today, but as we predicted, the models will not ship right away.

Apple did not confirm during the unveiling, but it has now listed the new iMacs on its website with availability dates listed as November for the 21-inch model and December for the 27-inch model. You will no longer be able to get your hands on the last-generation iMac, except through Apple’s refurbished section. Hopefully Apple can get enough of these out before the holidays, especially the 27-inch model that will not ship until weeks before.

Also of note for the new iMacs is the fact that the 21-inch model comes with no user accessible RAM slots, while the 27-inch model has 4 slots accessible from the back of the machine. The 21-inch model is configurable up to 16GB through Apple, but the 4 slots on the 27-inch can handle up to 32GB:

The 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory and can be configured online with 16GB. On the 27-inchiMac, 8GB of memory comes standard, and you can upgrade to 16GB or 32GB. Configure and buy your iMac at the Apple Online Store and it will arrive with the memory already installed. Or add more memory to the 27-inch model yourself by popping open the easy-to-access memory panel on the back.

You can get full details on the all-new iMacs in our full coverage of the unveiling here.

Read more