OS X Yosemite planned for late Oct. as Apple preps 4K desktop & 12-inch Retina MacBook

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While iOS 8 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is set for a September launch, Apple is planning to bring its next-generation Mac software, OS X Yosemite, into the wild a month later, in October, according to several sources. Apple plans to continue releasing OS X Yosemite Developer Previews every two to three weeks until a final Developer Preview is seeded on September 29th, according to the people. Apple is then expected to finish up work on Yosemite in early October and release a golden master build around October 10th, the sources said. Apple is also finishing up preparations to release a version of OS X Yosemite beta tomorrow to the first one million people who signed up for the public beta.

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Apple releasing OS X Yosemite public preview tomorrow for free Beta Program members

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As we reported earlier this week, Apple has shared that it will open the public beta version of OS X Yosemite tomorrow, July 24th, for users wanting to preview the upcoming version of the Mac operating system ahead of its release targeted for this fall. Users can sign up to be an OS X Beta Program member on Apple’s Beta Program site.

Apple says the OS X Yosemite beta will be updated less frequently for the OS X Beta Program than the version via the OS X Developer Program, but users running the public beta of OS X Yosemite will be able to install the final release of OS X Yosemite over the beta version when it’s readied for release in the fall. The beta version available to OS X Beta Program members will also allow users to easily submit feedback for issues with the Mac operating system ahead of its official public debut. Read more

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for apps coming soon to 16 new countries

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Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion and now list the following countries as coming soon to the program: Read more

Support for .Mac and .Me AIM logins ends for OS X 10.7.1 or earlier, newer versions unaffected

AIM-iChatAs Apple previously announced in April, today marks the end of support for AIM in iChat using a me.com or mac.com ID for Macs running OS X Lion 10.7.1 or earlier. While some reports are claiming the change also appears to be affecting users on newer versions of OS X, we’ve confirmed with sources with knowledge of the situation that users running 10.7.2 or higher, including Yosemite, will continue to have support for AIM. Read more

OS X’s Aperture/iPhoto replacement ‘Photos’ appears to focus on iOS 8′s editing features, not pro tools

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During the 2014 WWDC keynote, Apple demoed a very early build of its upcoming Photos application for Mac. The app will be available next year for OS X Yosemite, but for now all we really know is that its arrival will bring about the end of both iPhoto and Aperture. That news drew the attention of everyone who uses either of those applications, with many saying Apple no longer cared about pro-level users.

In an attempt to quell the outrage, Apple released a statement to ArsTechnica saying that Photos for Mac would still support pro features, but what exactly constituties a “pro-level” feature in Apple’s eyes? According to the statement, Photos will feature support for third-party plugins, library search, and advanced editing. If that sounds a little vague to you, it’s probably because Apple doesn’t really want to answer the question.

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Apple launches 2014 Back to School promotion: $100 Apple Store gift cards with Macs, $50 with iPad/iPhone

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As we reported two weeks ago and again yesterday, Apple has today launched its Back to School promotion for this school season. Like previous years, qualifying student customers will get a free gift card alongside any purchase of a Mac, iPad or iPhone. While last year Apple gave out Mac App Store/iTunes cards, this year’s cards are for Apple Retail Stores.

Buying any Mac makes the buyer eligible for a $100 Apple Store gift card and $50 cards will be distributed alongside iPads and iPhones.

Interested students can buy any Mac (except for the Mac Mini), or any iPad or iPhone currently on sale at the Apple Store, to be eligible for the promotion. Students can also receive education discount pricing where applicable, alongside the gift card giveaway.

Back to School runs from today until September 9th and available in many regions, including the United States, Canada, the UK and many other countries in Europe. Read more