Apple’s iTunes U gets 1-to-1 discussions, importing from other apps, PDF annotations, grade book, more

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Apple’s iTunes U service, a resource for teachers to create and manage educational content for students on iPad, is today receiving a big update that brings a long list of highly requested features. Starting today, teachers and students using the platform will get access to new additions including 1-to-1 discussions, homework hand-in & grade book features, PDF annotations, and more. Read more

Trade-in services begin accepting Apple Watch, but don’t expect to profit

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While Apple Watch models were selling for a premium on eBay and elsewhere for quite a while after launch, now that the device is in Apple stores and stock of most models almost caught up to demand, trade-in services have officially started accepting the device. One of the first bigger companies to announce support for Apple Watch is NextWorth, which as of today will buy your Apple Watch, but without the eBay premiums. The company is capping Apple Watch trade-in payouts at $500, and you’ll be getting much less than that for the cheaper models that start at around $350 from Apple. Read more

Apple quietly pulls original iPad mini from web site and Apple Store

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Last week, above. Today, below.

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The original iPad mini has quietly disappeared from Apple’s web site, and is no longer available to purchase new from the Apple Store. Introduced in October 2012, the first iPad mini established the industrial design that was subsequently used in the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, as well as the larger but otherwise nearly identical iPad Air and iPad Air 2. Apple notably continued to sell the 16GB iPad mini as an entry-level model alongside two of its sequels, dropping its price to $299 in October 2013, then $249 in October 2014. In recent months, falling street prices for other models made the classic mini a tougher sell.

Apple’s discontinuation of the iPad mini leaves the remaining iPads as a completely 64-bit family, all using either A7 or A8X processors rather than the iPad mini’s aging A5. It also means that all remaining iPads have Retina displays and unified Wi-Fi + Cellular models. Refurbished iPad minis continue to be available from the Apple Store, and start at $209; new iPad minis will continue to be available at third-party resellers such as Amazon until they run out of stock.

Per 9to5Toys, Groupon currently has original iPads for $180 ‘New’ and Walmart offers them at a $50 discount over yesterday’s price. Meanwhile Best Buy’s CowBoom has used models for $115.

Thanks Michiel! Read more

Apple Watch 2: Apple plans FaceTime camera, iPhone-free Wi-Fi, $1000+ models, similar battery

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Two months after the initial launch of the Apple Watch, and only a day following the device’s debut at Apple Stores, sources have revealed Apple’s considerations for the 2016 release of a second-generation model. According to multiple sources familiar with Apple’s plans, the Apple Watch 2 is planned to gain a video camera, a new wireless system for greater iPhone independence, and new premium-priced models. Interestingly, it will also feature similar battery life to its predecessor…

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Happy Hour Podcast 019 | iPad Pro wish list

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It looks like a few lines of iOS 9 code have provided a couple of key details regarding the upcoming iPad Pro. The resolution of this mysterious large device has been discovered, along with a new keyboard layout. In this episode we discuss our iPad Pro wish list and what we’d like to see if this device becomes a reality later this year. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

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Xcode 7 allows anyone to download, build and ‘sideload’ iOS apps for free

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Apple has changed its policy regarding permissions required to build and run apps on devices. Until now, Apple required users to pay $99/year to become a member of Apple’s Developer Program in order to run code on physical iPhone and iPads. As part of the new Developer Program, this is no longer required. Apps can be tested on devices, no purchase necessary.

However, this technically means that developers will be able to release apps outside of the App Store as long as they are open-sourced. Interested users could then open the code in Xcode, compile and run it on their own devices — avoiding the App Store completely.

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Beware authentication popups in iOS Mail: bug allows convincing-looking phishing attacks

Update: Apple confirmed it’s aware of the issue and working on a fix:

“We are not aware of any customers affected by this proof of concept, but are working on a fix for an upcoming software update.”

If you are reading mail on your iPhone and iPad and a popup appears asking you to re-login to iCloud (or anything else), beware. Security researcher Jan Soucek discovered a bug in the iOS Mail app that allowed an attacker to run remote HTML code when an email is opened. That code could easily imitate an iCloud login prompt, fooling users into giving away their Apple ID credentials …  Read more

Opinion: These were the 10 game-changing WWDC 2015 announcements

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There were so many announcements during the WWDC keynote yesterday that even people who follow Apple for a living (and expected most of the details) were overwhelmed. New versions of iOS, OS X, and watchOS were only three of the biggies, alongside the official debut of Apple Music and a lot of small but interesting new details.

Since the keynote ended, I’ve been sorting through all of the stories, as well as all three new operating systems. What follows are my picks for the ten most game-changing WWDC 2015 announcements, some of them requiring more explanation than others. They’re not in rank order, but there’s definitely one that I thought was the biggest of the bunch. Share your picks in the comments section below…

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The three iOS 9 features that let you keep more of your storage capacity

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Apple gave a small mention in yesterday’s keynote to something that may make a big difference to those iPhone and iPad owners who find themselves running short of storage space: App Thinning. The idea is that your iOS 9 device only downloads the code it actually needs, making apps significantly smaller than they are today.

What Apple listed as one feature is actually three separate mechanisms, each playing its own part in reducing app size, and ArsTechnica has provided an interesting look at how it all works …  Read more