Apple releases first OS X 10.10.3 Public Beta with new Photos app

Apple today released the first Public Beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3. The new release includes the iCloud-based Photos application for the Mac, new Emojis across the system, and simpler login to Google accounts for profiles with two-factor authentication enabled. This beta is labeled as build 14D87, which is the same as the second 10.10.3 beta for developers, which was released a week ago. The Public Beta is available in the Mac App Store Software Update tab for registered beta users. Apple plans to release the first Public Beta of iOS 8.3 in mid-March, according to sources. Thanks, DJ!

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iOS 8 How-to: Set up and Use Find My iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone was first released in June 2010 initially for the iPhone. Now, Find My iPhone allows you to track the location of your device, be it an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, in case it gets lost or stolen. This is a great benefit because when you locate your device using Find My iPhone, the device makes noise until it is found and will show you were it is located using Apple Maps. Recently, the police used Find My iPhone to track and save a woman’s life. However, Find My iPhone did require the device to be turned on and connected to the internet in order for it to work completely. New with iOS 8, you have the option to automatically send the location of the device to Apple when the battery is critically low. In this how-to I will discuss how to set up Find My iPhone, and how to use Find My iPhone.

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Activation Lock has reduced iPhone theft by 25% in NY, 40% in SF, 50% in London

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Officials in three major cities have reported dramatic reductions in iPhone thefts since Apple introduced Activation Lock as part of iOS 7, preventing devices being re-activated without the original owner’s iCloud login. Reuters reports that the number of reported iPhone thefts has fallen year-on-year by 25% in New York, 40% in San Francisco and 50% in London …  Read more

Apple’s new Photos app means big future changes for free photo storage

Photos for Mac

Apple yesterday released a preview of its upcoming all-new Photos app for Mac, which replaces iPhoto and Aperture with a simpler all-in-one photo editor and library manager. Most of the discussion of Photos focused on the huge number of changes from iPhoto and Aperture, burying one very important detail: Apple is changing the way it handles cloud-based photo storage.

Before Photos, Apple offered free storage of photos with limitations in a feature called Photo Stream, which didn’t count against iCloud storage. But the new Photos app uses Apple’s beta iCloud Photo Library feature, which was recently added in iOS 8.1. iCloud Photo Library promises to let you synchronize your entire photo collection including edits and albums across all of your devices… but you have to share your iCloud storage with photos, and album syncing and edits don’t apply to the free 1,000 – 25,000 image storage of Photo Stream.

As most long-time iOS users know, the free 5GB of iCloud storage Apple offers is often not enough to store much more than a single device backup, and for many that will mean no spare room for a photo collection. Consequently, Apple is suggesting that users should buy additional iCloud storage, paying monthly fees to store and sync their photos. As the Photos app is rolling out, Apple is allowing users to stick with the old Photo Stream feature and continue using the new Photos app without turning on the iCloud Photo Library. But it remains to be seen if that will be an option long-term once Photos is released publicly and how users will respond when they find out their free 5GB iCloud storage isn’t cutting it for their photo collection…

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Apple invests $2b in failed GTAT sapphire plant to create global command center

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Following the October surprise bankruptcy filed by GT Advanced Technologies—a key sapphire supplier for the iPhone—Apple today announced plans to invest $2 billion over the next 30 years in the failed plant. The Mesa, Arizona-located plant will become the central command center for its various data centers around the globe.

“We’re proud to continue investing in the U.S. with a new data center in Arizona, which will serve as a command center for our global networks,” Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, wrote in an e-mailed statement on Monday. “This multibillion-dollar project is one of the largest investments we’ve ever made.”

Shortly after the bankruptcy announcement from GT Advanced Technologies, Apple described the decision as surprising while adding that the company would focus on job preservation. Read more

1Password for iOS adds one-time password tool for two factor auth, new login creator, more

The popular secure password management app 1Password is out with a big update today adding new features on both iOS and Mac. Arriving in version 5.2 of 1Password for iOS is a new login creator tool, a one-time password tool for use with two factor auth, new entry fields for pro users, and more. On the Mac side, 1Password version 5.1 was released adding a number of improvements to sync. This includes the ability to sync secondary vaults to iOS over WiFi. More on the major new features below:

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Tim Cook agreed to allow Chinese government to conduct security audits on Apple devices – local media

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Beijing News reports that Tim Cook has agreed to allow China’s State Internet Information Office to carry out security audits of Apple products sold in the country. Cook reportedly made the offer during his meeting with China’s Cyberspace Administration minister Lu Wei in December.

China has long expressed suspicion over the security of Apple products, seemingly resulting from frosty relations with the U.S. Government. A state-run TV station in China described the iPhone as a “national security concern” last July due to its location-tracking capabilities. Apple responded by pointing out that location data is stored on the phone, not on Apple’s servers, and is encrypted …  Read more

Logic Pro X 10.1 arrives w/ tons of new sounds, AirDrop sharing, redesigned plug-ins, & editing improvements

Logic Pro X 10.1

Apple today released a new version of Logic Pro X, its professional audio editing software, bringing the current version to 10.1 and adding a long list of new features. Among the new additions to Logic Pro X in version 10.1 includes 10 new Drummers, the intelligent beat profile feature, focused on hip hop and electronic styles. OS X Yosemite users will appreciate the ability to share projects from Logic Pro X to other users using both Mail Drop, which lets you send large files over email using iCloud storage, and AirDrop, which lets you share files wirelessly between nearby Macs.

In addition to updating Logic Pro X, Apple released version 1.2 of its Logic Remote iPad app with a new plug-in view for remotely controlling parameters and adding or rearranging plug-ins. The new version also allows you to adjust mic and input settings with compatible audio interfaces from the app. Apple’s MainStage 3 Mac app ($29.99) updated to version 3.1 as well. You can read our full review of Logic Pro X here, and see the full change log of new features below:

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Five Apple logins remain unprotected by two-factor authentication when using an unknown device

More than four months after Tim Cook promised emailed login alerts and the reintroduction of two-factor authentication in the wake of the high-profile celebrity iCloud hacks, five Apple logins remain unprotected by the system. Hackers of NY founder Dani Grant used videos to demonstrate each of the vulnerabilities in a blog post.

Grant showed that two-factor authentication isn’t needed when using an unknown Mac to login to iMessage, iTunes, FaceTime, the App Store or Apple’s website. According to Grant, only one of the five services sent an email notification advising that an unknown device was used to log in …  Read more