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Saturday, February 06, 2016

This week on AI: Glimpses at Apple's plans for new iPhones, iPads, VR & more

This week on AI: Glimpses at Apple's plans for new iPhones, iPads, VR & more

This week saw teases about the plans for next-gen iPhones and iPads, as well as Apple Pay, cross-platform services, and even virtual reality. Apple was also hit with a massive penalty in the VirnetX patent case however, and saw Alphabet overtake it as the world's most valuable company — at least temporarily.

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Apple adds server-to-server web service requests to CloudKit

Apple adds server-to-server web service requests to CloudKit

Apple's CloudKit framework for automating apps' storage and retrieval of user data "in the cloud" has learned a new trick. Developers can now read and write data in their app's public database from a server-side process or script.

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TSMC, other Apple suppliers in Taiwan largely unaffected by deadly 6.4 earthquake

TSMC, other Apple suppliers in Taiwan largely unaffected by deadly 6.4 earthquake

A tragic earthquake has hit the city of Tainan in southern Taiwan, injuring 144, killing at least 5 people and causing the collapse of several large buildings. So far however, it appears that Apple's suppliers in the region have survived the quake without sustaining significant damage.

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Apple Inc. shares reach ex-dividend as it gears up to distribute $2.9 billion to shareholders

Apple Inc. shares reach ex-dividend as it gears up to distribute $2.9 billion to shareholders

On February 11, Apple will pay shareholders of record a quarterly dividend of $0.52 per share, but investors must have had settled ownership of the company's stock by Monday February 8 in order to qualify. Apple will pay out $2.898 billion in dividends on its outstanding shares for the quarter.

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Apple's rumored 4" iPhone to launch with hot pink color option, report says

Apple's rumored 4

Apple is working on three different color options for the launch of its much-rumored 4-inch iPhone, including a version closer in hue to a hot pink iPod than rose gold, a report said Friday.

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LeapFrog toy tablets out-jumped by Apple's iPad

LeapFrog toy tablets out-jumped by Apple's iPad

Northern California's educational toy tablet maker LeapFrog is selling itself to its Hong Kong-based competitor VTech for just $72 million, after years of declining sales. Apple leapfrogged the company with its more general purpose, albeit more expensive, iPad—which LeapFrog now develops apps for.

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Apple, Inc has filed for mistrial in $625M VirnetX lawsuit

Apple, Inc has filed for mistrial in $625M VirnetX lawsuit

After objecting to the closing arguments made by Caldwell, Cassady & Curry attorneys representing VirnetX, Apple has now filed a motion for mistrial in the case that awarded a $625 million verdict after just a week of testimony and deliberation.

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Apple acknowledges 'Error 53' glitch, says it's part of Touch ID security [u]

Apple acknowledges 'Error 53' glitch, says it's part of Touch ID security [u]

Apple on Friday publicly acknowledged an unusual "Error 53" message, triggered by updating an iPhone 6 to iOS 9 or later after having the phone's Touch ID sensor fixed by an unofficial technician. [Updated]

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Sharp takeover deal should be finalized by end of February, Foxconn CEO says

Sharp takeover deal should be finalized by end of February, Foxconn CEO says

The Foxconn bid to take over Sharp is now only awaiting finalized details between the two parties, Foxconn's CEO Terry Gou told reporters on Friday, indicating that Innovation Network Corp. has indeed been cut out of the loop.

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Apple Pay hits 1,000 US card issuers ahead of planned retail expansions

Apple Pay hits 1,000 US card issuers ahead of planned retail expansions

On Friday Apple reached the 1,000 mark for the number of U.S. card issuers supporting Apple Pay, a figure continuing to outpace the number of retail chains supporting the platform.

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AppleInsider podcast talks March event expectations, '3D Touch ID,' VirnetX, more

AppleInsider podcast talks March event expectations, '3D Touch ID,' VirnetX, more

On this week's episode of the AppleInsider podcast, Neil and Mikey riff on Apple's rumored March event, what a new patent filing could mean for Touch ID, a substantial legal win for patent troll VirnetX and much more. Bonus GoPro rant courtesy of Neil.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Japan Apple Stores roll out iPhone screen protector installation service

Japan Apple Stores roll out iPhone screen protector installation service

Apple Stores in Japan are now offering screen protector installations using dedicated TrueClear Pro machines made by Belkin, with prices ranging from 2,180 yen to 4,280 yen (about $19 to $37) depending on material and size.

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Apple updates Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and Motion with new features

Apple updates Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and Motion with new features

Apple on Thursday rolled out a trio of updates for its pro-level video editing suite, bumping versions of Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and Motion with feature additions and numerous bug fixes.

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Apple to allow broken screens on trade-in iPhones, offer optional screen protector installations

Apple to allow broken screens on trade-in iPhones, offer optional screen protector installations

Apple Stores will soon reportedly adopt two new measures related to the problem of cracked iPhone screens, including allowing some broken iPhones into its Reuse and Recycle trade-in program, and offering installation of purchased screen protectors.

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Apple again rumored to bid on NFL streaming partnership

Apple again rumored to bid on NFL streaming partnership

Apple, Google, Amazon and Verizon might soon be locked in a bidding war for rights to stream NFL's "Thursday Night Football," as a report on Thursday says each company is seeking favor as the league's Internet content partner.

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Apple integrates Fox Now, FX Now and Nat Geo TV into Apple TV universal search [u]

Apple integrates Fox Now, FX Now and Nat Geo TV into Apple TV universal search [u]

After integrating PBS and PBS Kids into tvOS universal search last month, Apple on Thursday expanded the deep linking feature to include content sources Fox Now, FX Now and Nat Geo TV.

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Apple CEO hints at more cross-platform services, says iPad revenue will rebound by year's end

Apple CEO hints at more cross-platform services, says iPad revenue will rebound by year's end

Speaking at a recent internal "town hall" event, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that services beyond Apple Music might soon make the leap to additional platforms, like Android.

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Microsoft's Bing & Cortana apps for iPhone add 3D Touch, other new features

Microsoft's Bing & Cortana apps for iPhone add 3D Touch, other new features

Microsoft on Thursday updated two of its iPhone apps — Cortana and Bing Search — with support for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, along with a number of other new upgrades.

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Apple Deals: $100 off 13" MacBook Airs with 8GB RAM; $400 off 15" MacBook Pros with AppleCare

Apple Deals: $100 off 13

AI readers this week can save $370-$440 on Apple's most popular 15" MacBook Pros with 3 years of AppleCare included, plus a free AIO AirPrint photo printer, free shipping, and no tax in 48 states. Also, $100 off select 13" MacBook Airs, or $100+ off all 13" MacBook Airs with AppleCare plus a free Apple Super Drive.

iTunes, App Store, & Apple TV services hit by new outage [u]

iTunes, App Store, & Apple TV services hit by new outage [u]

The iTunes Store, the iOS and Mac App Stores, and even the Apple TV were among services affected by a midday outage on Thursday, leaving some people unable to reach them or make purchases. [Updated]

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Sharp leaning towards Foxconn takeover, but with no exclusive negotiations, CEO says

Sharp leaning towards Foxconn takeover, but with no exclusive negotiations, CEO says

Sharp is indeed leaning towards a takeover by Apple's main manufactuing partner, Foxconn, but no exclusive negotiating rights have been offered, the company's CEO announced at a Thursday press conference.

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GoPro works to stem losses with 'connected and convenient' Hero5

GoPro works to stem losses with 'connected and convenient' Hero5

Facing increasingly fierce competition in the industry it helped create, GoPro this week announced plans to simplify its product line and innovate on usability, with what CEO Nick Woodman called "the most connected and convenient GoPro we have ever made."

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Apple discourages Supreme Court from hearing Samsung patent petition, calls case 'legally unexceptional'

Apple discourages Supreme Court from hearing Samsung patent petition, calls case 'legally unexceptional'

Apple this week attempted to dissuade the U.S. Supreme Court from hearing Samsung's request for review in their ongoing patent infringement dispute, with Apple telling the highest court in America that the $548 million settlement does not deserve review.

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Apple invention hints at force-sensitive Touch ID button

Apple invention hints at force-sensitive Touch ID button

An Apple patent filing published on Thursday suggests future iPhones and iPads might sport force-sensing Touch ID home buttons that rely on technology similar to iPhone 6s' 3D Touch system.

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Apple Pay accepted at more than 2M locations, coming to Chick-fil-A, other stores soon

Apple Pay accepted at more than 2M locations, coming to Chick-fil-A, other stores soon

As of Thursday, iPhone and Apple Watch owners can use their devices to complete Apple Pay transactions at more than two million retail locations, Apple says, with chains like Chick-fil-A expected to add compatibility soon.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Sharp, Foxconn to enter talks over $5.5B takeover bid, report says

Sharp, Foxconn to enter talks over $5.5B takeover bid, report says

Sharp reportedly plans to enter talks with Foxconn over a takeover bid that could be worth some $5.5 billion, suggesting an end is near for Foxconn's bidding war with Innovation Network Corporation of Japan.

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Apple adds 20 Flyover cities, new Traffic and Nearby data to Maps

Apple adds 20 Flyover cities, new Traffic and Nearby data to Maps

As part of Apple's continued Maps buildout effort, the company on Wednesday added 3D Flyover, traffic and point of interest data to its in-house mapping solution, including popular locales like the Virgin Islands and Taiwan.

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Apple Music update lets Android users save songs to SD cards

Apple Music update lets Android users save songs to SD cards

Apple in an update to the Android version of Apple Music on Wednesday added the ability to save downloaded songs to an SD card, greatly increasing the offline listening library capacities for phones running Google mobile operating system.

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Apple ordered to pay $625M in revived VirnetX patent trial

Apple ordered to pay $625M in revived VirnetX patent trial

A federal jury on Wednesday found Apple guilty of willfully infringing on four VirnetX patents, awarding the non-practicing entity $625.6 million in damages and ongoing royalties from a previous court finding.

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Sony says dual-lens camera tech launching with 'major smartphone players' in next year

Sony says dual-lens camera tech launching with 'major smartphone players' in next year

Apple's image sensor supplier, Sony, is expecting its dual-lens camera technology to be launched by "major smartphone players" within the next year, according to comments by the company's CFO.

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Square's Apple Pay-ready NFC reader goes on sale at US Apple Stores

Square's Apple Pay-ready NFC reader goes on sale at US Apple Stores

The Square Contactless and Chip Reader — compatible with Apple Pay — arrived at U.S. Apple Stores on Wednesday, and should soon be available through Apple's online storefront.

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Apple Back to School promo returns to Australia & New Zealand, offers Beats or iPad discounts

Apple Back to School promo returns to Australia & New Zealand, offers Beats or iPad discounts

Apple on Wednesday launched the Australian and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School sale, offering either Beats headphones or iPad discounts to qualifying shoppers buying a new Mac.

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Yahoo prepares for split, will lay off 15% of workforce in restructuring

Yahoo prepares for split, will lay off 15% of workforce in restructuring

Internet search, content pioneer and Apple partner Yahoo is readying for either a reverse spinoff or outright sale that would see the well-known web businesses separated from the parent company and more than 1,000 employees laid off.

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Supply chain suggests iPhone orders will rebound this summer ahead of 'iPhone 7' launch

Supply chain suggests iPhone orders will rebound this summer ahead of 'iPhone 7' launch

Forecast trends in the demand for flexible PCB (printed circuit board) parts for iPhones indicate that while iPhone production may be down in the first half of the year, it will likely rebound in the second half as work begins on Apple's next-generation models.

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PSA: If you don't want to fry your new MacBook, pay attention to the quality of your USB cables

PSA: If you don't want to fry your new MacBook, pay attention to the quality of your USB cables

Apple's decision to include a single, all-new USB-C port on the reinvented MacBook has sent buyers of the ultraportable scrambling for adapters and conversion cables to connect legacy devices — but be mindful of what you plug in.

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Nintendo's 'Miitomo' coming to iOS in March, pre-registration starts Feb. 17

Nintendo's 'Miitomo' coming to iOS in March, pre-registration starts Feb. 17

Nintendo's first smartphone-only app, Miitomo, will launch sometime next month for iOS and Android, with a pre-registration process beginning on Feb. 17, the Japanese game maker announced on Wednesday.

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Fitbit's latest wearable is Alta, a low-profile activity tracker with swappable bands

Fitbit's latest wearable is Alta, a low-profile activity tracker with swappable bands

Fitbit on Wednesday announced the latest addition to its iOS-connected wearable devices lineup, the $130 Alta, featuring a slim touchscreen OLED and five days of usage on a single charge.

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New York Landmarks Conservancy to recognize Apple for preserving historic NYC buildings

New York Landmarks Conservancy to recognize Apple for preserving historic NYC buildings

The New York City Landmarks Conservancy announced on Wednesday that the recipient of its 2016 Chairman's Award will be Apple, in recognition of the company's preservation and restoration of notable historic structures in New York City.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Apple hires firmware security experts who worked on Thunderstrike 2 exploit

Apple hires firmware security experts who worked on Thunderstrike 2 exploit

Apple recently added a pair of firmware security experts to its ranks when it hired the team behind "deep system security" startup LegbaCore in November, an apparent effort to bolster platforms like iOS and OS X.

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