Tim Cook reiterates commitment to user privacy and security in letter on Apple website, launches new security page

 

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As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook has published a letter (below) on the company’s website expressing his commitment to the privacy and security of iOS and Mac users. Cook says that he will now issue annual updates on how user data is being handled, and the company will become even more transparent how its data collection tactics.

The executive also reiterated previous claims that neither he nor any part of the company has collaborated with governments to provide access to user information, noting again that Apple does not read users’ email, iMessages, and other communications. He also pointed out that there is no “profile” being created about user browsing habits or other data points that often interest advertisers.

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IDG shutters Macworld Magazine, much of the editorial staff let go

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International Data Group (IDG) is shutting down Macworld Magazine, the long time Apple periodical according to tweets by staff and conversations I’ve had with personnel.  Dan Miller, Editor, Macworld tweeted the following:
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The Macworld.com website will remain open [although as a shell of its former self -ed] with a reduced staff according to Miller, who himself is leaving in a month.

As a former contributor and fan of Macworld.com it is sad to see the publication go. Ironically, the transition from print to digital hastened by Apple’s own iPad and other online tools made the publication one of the last remaining Apple publications in print.

There’s no word yet on the fate of the annual trade show of the same name that has also taken a hit since Apple stopped attending. We’ll update as we hear more.

Update: Dan Miller wrote in to clarify that he never implied that the magazine “would be a shell of its former self”  (even though most of the names and faces that were the backbone of the magazine have been let go). Read more

Apple releases OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 7

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Apple today released the seventh developer preview of OS X Yosemite bringing the latest build to 14A343f. The previous developer preview (build 14A329f) was released two weeks ago. Xcode 6 beta 7 was also released alongside new builds for OS X Server 4.0 Developer Preview and Apple Configurator 1.6 beta 5. If you find something new, you can let us know at tips@9to5mac.com. The release version of Yosemite is currently scheduled for the later half of October, and it will ship separately from iOS 8. Here’s what’s new: Read more

Apple releases OS X Yosemite Public Beta 2 & fresh iTunes 12 beta

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Apple today released the second version of the OS X Yosemite Public Beta. The update is available via Software Update on the Mac App Store for those running the initial beta release; the first beta was released at the end of July. It appears Public Beta 2 is nearly the same build as the Developer Preview 6 (build r, up from f) released to Yosemite developers earlier this week. Apple has also released an updated version of the redesigned iTunes 12:

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Apple activates screen sharing over iMessage accounts in latest Yosemite beta

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In June, we noted that Apple is adding a handy new feature to the upcoming OS X Yosemite: the ability for iMessage/Apple ID users to screen share via the Messages app. Screen sharing was a hallmark of early versions of Apple’s Mac “iChat” application, but it has always required an Aol Instant Messenger (AIM), Gmail, Jabber, or Yahoo account. With Yosemite, users can have the same screen sharing experience with just an iMessage/FaceTime/or Apple ID account. Apple activated the feature in this week’s beta release, and it brings some new tricks not found in earlier implementations:

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Apple releases OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 6 with new wallpapers & icons

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Right on schedule, Apple has released the sixth preview of the upcoming OS X Yosemite to developers today. This new seed comes two weeks following the previous release, and it likely continues to bring performance enhancements, interface tweaks, and bug fixes. We’ll be updating this post with the changes in Preview 6 as they are discovered. If you find something new, you can let us know at tips@9to5mac.com. The release version of Yosemite is currently scheduled for the later half of October, and it will ship separately from iOS 8, which is not seeing a new beta today. Here’s what’s new:

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Apple bolstering ‘Report A Problem’ Maps options in iOS 8

Apple has shown a renewed focus on Maps with iOS 8. Although headline features like transit did not show at WWDC, recent iOS 8 betas are bringing improvements to the ‘Report A Problem’ features. The frequency at which these updates are passed through has also improved dramatically in the past couple of months.

Apple has added a new explicit ‘follow-up by email’ option at the end of the Report A Problem form. This means Apple is now actively looking to get additional information about map queries from customers via email.

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Mac users can now develop apps for Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset

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Mac users who want to start developing software for the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset platform can now do so. Oculus today released an update to their software SDK that opens up support for users on OS X:

Notably, the Oculus SDK is now available for Mac OSX, along with a version of the Oculus Runtime and Unity Tuscany Demo for Mac. There’s no word on when Linux support will be ready.

Mac display drivers are unavailable, so users will need to use Extended Display mode on the Mac. To make full use of the software platform, eager developers will need to gain access to the Oculus Hardware Development Kit, which is a $350 online pre-order item.

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On OS X Leopard? Don’t worry, Skype says Mac version for legacy users returning soon

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Earlier this week, concerns emerged on Skype official message boards about the Skype Mac app no longer functioning on OS X 10.5.8 Leopard (an operating system that launched the same year as the original iPhone), and a Skype representative on the forums apparently confirmed that Skype will no longer be supported on Macs running operating systems below OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

While Skype has not been downloadable nor functional for Leopard users the past few days, a Skype spokesperson tells us this morning that this will soon change: “We have a Skype version for Mac OS X 10.5 users which will soon be available for download.” No additional timing details are available as of yet, but it’s good to know that Leopard users will soon be able to go back to making Skype calls and sending messages as normal.

We’re also told that this new download will be for Leopard users only, so anyone on OS X 10.4 Tiger or below will need to upgrade to Leopard or something newer (like Mavericks) in order to keep on using the Microsoft-owned communications tool.

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Apple seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 build 13F12 to developers

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Apple today has provided developers with the second beta of the upcoming OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 release. The new build number is 13F12 and it is available on the Mac Developer Center and in Software Update in the Mac App Store for those running the earlier build. Apple asks developers to focus testing on USB, USB Smart Cards, Safari, Graphics, and Thunderbolt.

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