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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Dropbox app updated with iPhone 6 optimizations, Touch ID unlocking

Popular file-sharing / file-syncing app Dropbox has updated its iOS app to version 3.5 today, with some nice improvements. The app now takes advantage of all available resolution on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, rather than in a scaled iPhone 5s form. Dropbox doesn’t do anything novel with the additional space, but there is benefits to being able to see more items in a folder list at a time. The quality of file previews are also noticeably improved because of the additional screen size, with photo viewing mostly affected.

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iCloud Photos on the web goes live leading up to iOS 8.1 release

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While iOS 8.1 isn’t officially going to be released to the public until Monday, several reports across the internet are saying that Apple’s Photos app within the web-based iCloud website has now gone live for those using the iOS 8.1 beta. The interface looks a lot like that of the Photos app on iOS, letting you view your library as organized by either Moments or Albums.

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Early Yosemite adoption 67% faster than Mavericks, according to analytics

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The numbers are small as yet, but early indications are that Mac users are keen to get their hands on the new Yosemite features. Social sharing tool AddThis, which collects analytics data from 13 million websites, is reporting that Yosemite adoption is already running at 2%, versus 1.2% for Mavericks in the same timeframe …  Read more

Apple announces 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starting at $2499, 5120×2880 screen resolution

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Apple has just announced a brand-new Retina 27-inch iMac. Apple is spreading Retina displays across the lineup, with the iMac leading that charge. This is the highest resolution screen in the world, according to Apple, with 14.7 million pixels. This is a 5K display — more than seven times the pixels of a HDTV. The screen builds on the technology Apple built on the iPhone and iPad, but to a whole new scale.

The iMac is just 5mm at its thinnest point, maintaining the same thinness as the previous generation, despite the massive leap in pixel density.

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iOS 8.1 will include Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library in public beta, more improvements

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During today’s Apple event, Apple SVP of Software Craig Federighi mentioned iOS 8.1 as well as a few changes coming with the software update to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. With iOS 8.1, Apple will introduce Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The update will also include the public beta of iCloud Photo Library for every user; currently, the feature has been available to limited users since iOS 8’s public launch. Finally, Apple says iOS 8.1 will bring back the Camera Roll for users following customer feedback. Read more

CBS follows HBO in targeting cord-cutters with $5.99/month VOD service via app & web

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Just one day after HBO announced that it would be offering a web-only subscription at some point next year, CBS has played leap-frog by announcing the immediate availability of a $5.99/month web & app subscription offering on-demand access to almost all content.

CBS All Access will offer subscribers thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, as well as the ability to stream local CBS Television stations live in 14 of the largest U.S. markets at launch.

CBS All Access is available beginning today at CBS.com and on mobile devices through the CBS App for iOS and Android.

Cable companies have long shied away from offering access to popular, current programming without demanding that you sign-up to cable access first. But broadcasters now seem to be recognizing that it isn’t just cord-cutting that threatens their existing models, it’s also ‘cord nevers’ – young people who simply aren’t signing up for cable subscriptions in the first place, preferring to get their TV fix online …  Read more

Apple adding ability to track what you do inside retail apps to serve targeted advertising

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Apple is reportedly adding the ability to track what users do inside certain apps in order to present them with targeted in-app ads across iOS devices, reports digital media site Digiday.

Say, for example, a visitor to a retailer’s iPhone app adds a pair of shoes to his cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. In this scenario, the retailer will now be able to retarget that user with an ad for that exact pair — even in another app on his iPad. When tapped, the ad would direct him back to his abandoned checkout page and automatically add the shoes to his online shopping cart.

Ad agencies say that Apple has been pitching the new capability since last month …
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‘iPad Air 2′ and ‘iPad mini 3′ with Touch ID & Burst Mode confirmed, show up early in iTunes

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Apple’s iTunes Store has just made a little bit of a slip-up (and with perfect uncanny timing): screenshots for the iOS 8.1 iPad user guide have just appeared within iBooks and include Apple’s upcoming iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Of course, Apple will be formally debuting these devices tomorrow.

The screenshots confirm that both new tablets will include nearly identical designs to their predecessors and the addition of Touch ID sensors in the Home button. Another new feature confirmed by this leak is a new Burst Mode (first introduced with the iPhone 5s) for the iPad Air 2 (image below).

These images also indicate that the new tablets will be named “iPad Air 2″ and “iPad mini 3,” which means that Apple will bringing the numbering scheme for names back to the iPad lineup. Of course, the presence of this user guide means iOS 8.1 (with Apple Pay) is likely to drop tomorrow, too.

Besides the tweaked designs and Touch ID sensors, a gold color option, and a stronger A8X processor, improved camera optics, and new software can be expected at least on the new Air. Apple will also discuss the Mac line tomorrow, including the new iMac with Retina display and OS X Yosemite.

Boom?

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