Android Wear Devices won’t be iOS or Mac compatible this year

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Google invited us to check out their new line of Nexus products running Lollipop earlier today.   The Motorola Nexus 6 is about the size of the iPhone 6 Plus with a slightly bigger screen and thicker/heavier profile. On the other hand, the HTC Nexus 9 is smaller than the iPad Air with a 9-inch display and stereo speakers. Both run Android 5.0 Lollipop which has a new Material Design. The new products will go up against Apple’s iOS devices for global electronics consumers’ holiday shopping money.

However, one set of devices won’t be competing for Apple users’ shopping dollars. An Android Wear project manager told me that there were no current plans to make Android Wear compatible with iOS but that they were continuing to evaluate other platforms because they wanted to get Wear devices into as many hands as they could. When I pressed and said something to the effect of “if ever there was a time to sell these to Apple users, it was the holiday season before the Apple Watch is released”, the product manager said something akin to  “Our Christmas lineup of announcements is set and over”.

On one hand, it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard. After all, Google eventually got Google Glass to work on iOS devices.

Microsoft, on the other hand, just announced its new Fitness Band which will work with Android, iOS and of course Windows Phones.

Macworld today suggested that you take a $99 Pebble for a spin to see if it could act as a smartphone gateway drug until users get their Apple Watch fix next year.  Read more

‘WatchSpring’ tweak brings functional Apple Watch-style layout to jailbroken iOS devices

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Last week 9to5Mac‘s own Michael Steeber wrote about his idea for an Apple Watch-inspired home screen interface for the iPhone. Within a few days a developer had created a standalone app that simulated the interface, but due to Apple’s restrictions on iOS, there was no way to make it work as a true home screen replacement.

Now, a new jailbreak tweak called WatchSpring has actually brought this functionality to the iPhone. The modification replaces the current iPhone home screen with a fluid grid of circular icons that can be zoomed in or out to show as many apps as you’d like. It can also open apps natively (no need for URL schemes or anything like that), though it doesn’t seem to support folders just yet…

Video and more below…

Phone 2 Go app brings Time Warner Cable home phone service to mobile devices for no additional cost

Time Warner Cable today announced a new smartphone app that will let its customers use their home phone service on mobile devices for no additional fees. That means that users with a Time Warner Cable home phone service, which starts at $10/month, can now text and call through the new Phone 2 Go app on smartphones and tablets. The service requires a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection and will also work for international calling and texting: Read more

Apple in talks to expand NFC in iPhone 6 beyond Apple Pay, replace building keycards and transit tickets

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The Information is reporting that Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.

The Information says that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.

The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.

In fact, Apple has already announced a similar partnership with Starwood Hotels, where Apple users can replace hotel keycards with their Apple Watch, although this uses Bluetooth rather than NFC technology.

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Preorders for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus top 100,000 in South Korea, ‘outpacing’ Galaxy Note 4 on Samsung’s home turf

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The WSJ is reporting that Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus went on preorder in South Korea on Friday, following their official launch this Friday, October 31st, as part of the next wave of iPhone rollouts. Analyst estimates show that presales for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus topped 100,000 units. By comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 recorded a third of that number (around 30,000) in preorders in a similar timeframe when it launched in September.

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Apple shortens iBooks review times, allows more promo codes for authors

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Apple today emailed out registered authors for iBooks to announce some interesting changes and enhancements to the program. Some notable enhancements, via Apple’s email:

  • To help you get your book to readers quickly, we review 95 percent of all book submissions within one business day. Note that you do not need an ISBN to deliver a book to iBooks.
  • You can now request up to 250 promo codes per book. Promo codes allow you to provide free copies of your book to reviewers, bloggers, or others to build momentum for your book.
  • Screenshots can now be delivered or updated after a book is available for sale on iBooks.

The email to authors also tells developers about recent updates to both the iTunes Connect app on iOS and the iBooks Author application on the Mac. Like it usually does for App Store app developers, Apple tells authors how to prepare for the upcoming break for book reviewers. “To account for an anticipated increase in book deliveries during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday week, books scheduled to go live between November 24, 2014 and December 1, 2014, should be delivered by Friday, November 14, 2014,” the notice reads.

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Apple dropping support for SSL 3.0 on push notification servers, requiring TLS by October 29th

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Apple has announced to developers that it will be dropping support for SSL 3.0 on its push notification service on October 29th in order to mitigate a vulnerability discovered in the software recently.

Developers who currently support both TLS and SSL 3.0 on their push servers will not be impacted by the change, but those using SSL 3.0 exclusively will need to switch to TLS before next Wednesday to ensure there is no disruption in their service. Apple has provided a way for developers to test compatibility with the updated system:

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Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

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Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform (Think Paper for Facebook?). Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

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Modernizing the home screen: How iOS could take cues from the design of the Apple Watch

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At Apple’s special press event this past September, we witnessed the introduction of several new user interface paradigms, in the form of Apple Watch. Perhaps one of the most interesting was Apple Watch’s entirely new home screen. This is the first departure from the same basic concept of the home screen that Apple demoed in January of 2007 when it debuted the iPhone OS.

Apple clearly thinks that Apple Watch is the future of the company, but is the Apple Watch home screen the future of the iOS home screen? Let’s take a look at how we arrived at where we are today.

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AAPL out-performs most bullish analyst predictions with its record numbers

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Apple not only announced record profits for Q4 results and smashed through its own revenue guidance, but out-performed even the most bullish of analyst estimates with earnings of $42.123B. The highest analyst estimate in yesterday’s Fortune roundup was for $41.8B.

The consensus analyst expectation for earnings per share was $1.32, against the actual 20% climb to $1.42, aided by Apple’s stock buyback program, which now totals $68B of the $90B target announced by Apple …  Read more

Apple to require iOS apps and updates to use iOS 8 SDK and include 64-bit support from February 2015

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Apple has today notified developers about some upcoming rules regarding App Store submission, via its developer news portal. From 1st February 2015, newly-submitted apps and updates must be built against Apple’s iOS 8 SDK. This is not particularly surprising: Apple required similar adoption of the iOS 7 SDK last year.

In addition however, Apple will also require that all apps and updates include 64-bit support from that date too. Currently, developers can choose whether to submit only 32-bit apps or universal binaries. This will no longer be an option from February. Moving all apps to 64-bit will bring big performance and memory gains for newer devices (which include A7 or A8 SoC’s) as running the 32-bit apps necessitates loading a lot of additional resources into system memory.

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Chinese government apparently phishing iCloud account info with man-in-the-middle attack (Update: Apple confirms)

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Update: Apple is aware of the attack, via CNBC. As expected, Apple’s own servers were not compromised.

Although unconfirmed, GreatFire is reporting that Apple is now the subject of Chinese government hacking attempts. According to the report, the government is using the institutional firewall to redirect traffic directed at iCloud.com to a fake page that resembles the iCloud.com interface almost perfectly.

Like other phishing attacks, this page is pretending to be Apple’s portal but instead intercepts entered usernames and passwords for other means. Although some browsers in China are set up to warn users about these kind of man-in-the-middle attacks, many don’t and (assumedly) many citizens disregard the warnings as the site appears quite genuine otherwise.

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