Apple releases Yosemite Developer Preview 4 with redesigned iTunes 12

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As expected, Apple has released OS X 10.10 Yosemite Developer Preview 4. It is available via the Mac App Store Software Update tab for developers running earlier versions of Yosemite. Apple has also released a revamped iTunes 12 to developers (full gallery here). Previous updates previously brought various design tweaks and feature enhancements, and Preview 4 is likely to do the same thing. Yosemite launches this fall with updated Mail, Messages, and Calendar apps, in addition to a system-wide redesign and improved integration with iOS Devices. We’ll be updating this post as new changes are discovered, and you can let us know what you find at tips@9to5mac.com.

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EU accuses Apple of dragging its feet on protections for ‘misleading’ IAP-driven free apps

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The European Commission has complained that Apple is taking too long to implement protections for freemium games in the App Store, reports BBC News. The Commission has decreed that both Apple and Google, the two biggest app store vendors, must make the “true cost of apps” clear before purchase. However, officials are upset that Apple has not yet committed to any such measures.

“Regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorisation,” the Commission said in a statement.

“Apple has proposed to address those concerns. However, no firm commitment and no timing have been provided for the implementation of such possible future changes.

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Review: Hours, the world’s simplest time-tracking app from former Apple Design Award winner Tapity

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Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to have to use a corporate hours-tracking/billing system will know that they typically give every impression of being designed by an enraged gorilla working to a spec provided by a sadistic accountant.

Tapity, which won an Apple Design Award back in 2011 for “the ultimate app for students” Grade, has today launched Hours, a simple color-coded app it says aims to take the pain out of time-tracking. I’ve been using a pre-release version for the past week so that I could let you know my thoughts on the day it launched …

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Apple ID two-step verification feature rolls out to dozens of new countries

Apple this week has greatly expanded the availability of its Apple ID two-step verification, bringing the feature from 11 countries to 59 countries. Two-step verification for Apple IDs uses either iOS’s Find my iPhone application or SMS to provide login verification in addition to a password. The feature first rolled out for both Apple ID and iCloud IDs in early 2013 and it expanded to a few more countries later that year. Here are all the countries that support two-step verification (both the original countries and the new ones):

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New iTunes Pass credit refill service now available in United States and several other countries

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Yesterday Apple rolled out its new iTunes Pass service to Japan, allowing users to use a Passbook card to add credit to an iTunes account from an Apple Retail Store. Starting today, the offer is also available in the United States and Australia. Users in Canada, Germany, and the UK are also reporting seeing the feature, though it’s not officially listed on Apple’s website for those countries just yet.

To take advantage of this new program, you need to use the iTunes Store app on an iOS device to obtain an iTunes Pass. You can get one of these by tapping the “Redeem” button at the bottom of the home page within the app. To use the card, you can visit an Apple Retail Store and ask a specialist to help you add credit to your account. The specialist can then scan the barcode on the Passbook card to immediately add credit to your account.

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Opinion: Seven reasons why the IBM partnership could be a pretty big deal for Apple

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Wall Street seemed pretty unmoved by Apple’s announcement of its partnership with IBM, the pre-market share price barely twitching, and analysts pointing to the high level of existing iOS usage in the enterprise sector, suggesting that only trivial gains would result.

Part of the reason for that impression is the hype Apple has given to the penetration level of  iOS devices in enterprise. Back in January, Tim Cook described the numbers as “unbelieveable,” stating that the iPhone is used in 97 percent and of Fortune 500 companies and the iPad in 98 percent.

It doesn’t sound from these impressive figures that there’s much room for growth. But I think the reality is somewhat different …  Read more