Apple Store visuals revamped with inspiration from recent TV campaigns

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IFO Apple Store reports that Apple is revamping its back-lit in-store photo panels, replacing its signature white-background product shots with visuals inspired by its recent advertising. Out are clean, sterile close-ups of the products, and in are colorful visuals showing what people are doing with the products.

The new graphics were photographed like magazine ads, showing the iPad/iPhone being used in actual situations, complete with their surrounding people and places. Their colors, tone and brightness is much richer and darker than the previous graphics …

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Apple’s annual Back to School promotion to start tomorrow

As we reported two weeks ago, Apple’s annual Back to School promotion will begin tomorrow, according to sources. The program will be similar to last year’s offering, which provided $100 Mac App Store gift cards alongside Mac purchases and $50 cards with iPhone and iPad purchases. Apple will be re-decorating its stores overnight with a new education theme to go along with the new promotion. Earlier today, Apple unveiled upcoming iTunes U updates for the iPad, and the timing seems like anything but a coincidence.

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Apple releases new cheaper iMac with low-end processor, priced at $1099

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As rumored last week, Apple has today released a new model of iMac. These machines are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, priced at $1099. Previously, the cheapest iMac SKU was priced at $1299 (which is now the mid-range model).

The cheaper iMac features a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, which represents a significant worsening in performance over the previous base model of iMac, which featured a processor clocked at 2.7 GHz.  The CPU does Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz however, which does make up some of the difference.

Aside from the CPU, the hard drive has also been cut to 500 GB. The new model also features a lower-end integrated graphics chip. All other iMac models continue to use either Iris Pro integrated graphics or dedicated Nvidia cards. Otherwise, the internals of the new machine are unchanged.

Apple’s Press release below…

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Apple seeds update to OS X Yosemite Developer Preview

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Alongside the second beta of iOS 8, Apple has provided an update to the OS X Yosemite Developer Preview. Yosemite brings many new features to the Mac, including a new design, Continuity features, and enhanced applications. We’ll update this post with new discoveries in the new preview as they are found. You can let us know what you find at tips@9to5mac.com. 

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Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill accessory pack for iPhone, iPad, & Mac ahead of Father’s Day ($600 value)

Update: Our winners have been chosen at random and contacted. As thanks for everyone participating, Pad & Quill is generously offering 15% off any order for a limited time to our readers using the coupon code DAD14 at checkout. 6/12/14

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, our friends over at Pad & Quill are teaming up with us to give away some cool bags and cases for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more. Pad & Quill makes super well-crafted accessories that look and feel very rich and thought out. We’ve had the chance to cover and review several of their products in the past.

We’ll be picking one grand prize winner to receive Pad & Quill’s Field Bag, Aria for iPad Air case, Bell Fino for iPhone 5s case, and any choice of Pad & Quill MacBook case for free (over a $600 value). In addition to the grand prize winner, two additional winners will be selected each to receive their own choice of any Pad & Quill iPhone or iPad case. Find out how to enter after the break… Read more

Review: TwelveSouth HoverBar 3 positions your iPad right where you want it

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There are times when an iPad can act as a handy sidekick to your Mac, but with a typical iPad stand you end up looking a little like a nodding dog as you look up at your monitor and down at your iPad. The TwelveSouth HoverBar 3 is designed to solve that, positioning your iPad display right next to your iMac or Apple Thunderbolt/Cinema Display.

The HoverBar can also be used on its own to position an iPad more comfortably, especially when using it to watch movies …  Read more

Apple improving cross-platform integration between iOS and OS X, cross-platform AirDrop, Handoff, instant hotspot and more

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Apple wants users to be able to smoothly move between their Macs and iOS devices. AirDrop now interoperates between Mac and iOS devices. However, it goes further. Handoff allows you to send a document from your Mac to your iOS device, just by being in close proximity to each other.

The Mac also notices when an iOS device is nearby for Personal Hotspot. The phone appears in the WiFi menu, shown above, and with one-click the phone connects to the Mac and the devices start tethering.

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Apple seeds first beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 to developers

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Just a couple of weeks after releasing OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to users, Apple has seeded the first beta of the upcoming OS X 10.9.4 to developers. We first reported that Apple was nearing a release of OS X 10.9.4 in beta to developers. It’s unclear what changes are in store with the new system, but hopefully it fixes the many headaches that Mac Pro users have been facing since 10.9.3’s release earlier this month. No word on when 10.9.4 will go public, but it is interesting that this Mavericks release will be in beta in tandem with OS X 10.10‘s beta release next week at WWDC. Thanks, D!

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Slipping shipping times may support analyst prediction of new, cheaper iMacs launching at WWDC

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Slipping shipping times for iMacs on Apple’s site may support a timeline released last month by KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicating that new, lower-cost iMacs could be launched this quarter.

Apple usually quotes 24 hours for delivery of standard-configuration iMacs, but is currently showing 3-5 business days across the range. Increased shipping times are sometimes an indication of lower or sporadic stocks, which tend to precede the launch of new models. With WWDC just one week away, that would be a logical time to announce them …  Read more