Apple to Shut Down Old TestFlight Beta Testing Website in February [iOS Blog]

Apple today began notifying developers about the upcoming closure of the old TestFlight beta testing service accessible through TestFlightApp.com, reports The Next Web. The impending February 26 shutdown of the standalone website arrives nearly one yea…


Point-of-Sale Suppliers See Massive Increase in Retailer Interest Following Apple Pay Launch [iOS Blog]

A new report by The Wall Street Journal looks at the early performance of Apple’s new electronic payments service, Apple Pay, finding strong signs of momentum behind the service. One of the key signs of interest in mobile payments comes from point-of-sales system suppliers seeing drastic increases in retailer interest following the launch of Apple Pay last October.

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Harbortouch has offered free wireless readers to its retailer clients since 2012, and in the month following the Apple Pay launch 68 percent of client orders asked for the readers supporting wireless payments. As of August of 2013, only 22 percent of its clients had installed such readers in their stores.

“It’s like night and day,” said Brendan Lauber, Harbortouch’s chief technology officer. “Now, merchants are actively coming to us and asking how to support this.”

The Wall Street Journal piece also covers the general surge in public acceptance for the service, remarking on recent stories that Apple Pay now supports cards representing about 90 percent of the credit card purchase volume in the United States, and that Apple’s upcoming financial reports for the latest quarter may provide more details.




OS X 10.10.2 Includes Fix for ‘Thunderstrike’ Hardware Exploit Affecting Macs

Apple is readying a fix in OS X 10.10.2 for the so-called “Thunderstrike” hardware exploit targeting Macs equipped with Thunderbolt ports, iMore has learned. According to the report, Apple patched the vulnerability by making code changes in the upcomin…


Rumored ‘iPad Pro’ and Companion Stylus Imagined in New Renderings

Following an influx of rumors surrounding the “iPad Pro” and a possible stylus accessory launching around the same time, well-known 3D modeler and designer Martin Hajek has created a series of concept renderings for each device on his blog. Hajek’s…


Apple’s AuthenTec Acquisition Left Nexus 6 Without a Fingerprint Sensor

The dimple on the back of Motorola’s Nexus 6 would have featured a Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor if Apple had not acquired sensor firm AuthenTec in 2012, according to former Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Woodside states the company had plans to include the finger-sensing feature in the Nexus 6, which was launched late last year, but due to Apple’s poaching of “the best supplier” for the technology and other suppliers not meeting quality expectations, Motorola decided to remove the feature before launch.

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“The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” says Woodside. Nonetheless, he adds, the addition of fingerprint recognition, “wouldn’t have made that big a difference.”

Woodside, now CEO of Dropbox, expresses relief at freedom from these “uncontrollable market forces” in his new position. “We’re not trying to serve ads or sell hardware,” he told The Telegraph.

Apple’s introduction of AuthenTec-based Touch ID on the iPhone 5s sparked much interest in fingerprint-sensing technology, and the company continues to work to improve upon the technology. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus introduced a more sensitive version of the sensor and it is now being used to authenticate purchases made with the company’s new Apple Pay mobile payments service.




Apple Likely Sold More iPhones in China Than in the U.S. Last Quarter [iOS Blog]

A day before the company is set to announce earnings for its first fiscal quarter of 2015, Financial Times highlights a recent report suggesting Apple may report it sold more iPhones in China than in the U.S. for the first time ever.

According to analysts from financial firm UBS, China accounted for 36 percent of iPhone shipments in the most recent quarter, compared to 24 percent for the U.S. The analysts also compared the numbers to 2013, noting that a year before China accounted for only 22 percent of shipments with the U.S. at 29 percent.

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Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin concurs with the UBS report, believing around 2 million more iPhones were sold in China than in the U.S. during the quarter. With the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch, he also believes it’s just the beginning of the country’s fiscal dominance over Apple sales.

“It’s already been a good year, building up to the climax of this quarter,” said Bajarin, referring to Apple’s momentum in the world’s largest smartphone market. “It leads to a lot more optimism for China . . . Their potential headroom in China is higher than it is here [in the US].

They will likely do more in China than US from here on out,” he said. “It certainly shows how important the China market is to Apple’s upside.”

Apple has been emphasizing the importance of China for the company for some time, most recently meeting with the Chinese government to discuss data privacy and security, partnering with popular mobile payment service Alipay, and planning multiple Apple Store openings like the one in Chongqing opening this week.

On the distribution front, 2014 most notably saw a partnership between Apple and the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile. The partnership allowed iPhones to be sold in 3,000 more cities where Apple previously had very little presence, undoubtedly aiding the Cupertino-based company rising Chinese in recent quarters.




Apple China Posts Video Showing Creation of Mural for New Chongqing Store [Mac Blog]

Apple has posted a video on its Chinese retail website showing off an art collaboration between international photographer Navid Baraty and artist Yangyang Pan to design a mural for the company’s upcoming Jiefangbei store in Chongqing. The video shows …


Apple Launches ‘Free on iTunes’ Section With Free TV and Music Downloads [Mac Blog]

Apple today added a new “Free on iTunes” section in the iTunes Store, featuring free downloads of songs and full length TV episodes. The section replaces Apple’s “iTunes Single of the Week”, which previously offered free songs from popular and indie mu…