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Wednesday December 17

12:20
Apple Allows 'Drafts' App to Reinstate Notificat...

Earlier this month, Apple asked note-taking app Drafts to remove its Notification Center widget, which offered simple tools for opening up the Drafts app and creating a new note. At the time, the removal request seemed highly questionable, because a multitude of apps with Notification Center widgets, including other note-taking apps like Evernote, provide similar functions. As it has done with several other overly zealous removal requests, Apple has reexamined the Drafts widget and has reversed course once more, allowing the Drafts app to retain its Notification Center widget. In a new 4.0.6 update pointed out by MacStories, Agile Tortoise, the developer behind Drafts, has returned the widget to the app with...

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11:58
Apple Shares Behind the Scenes Look at New Holiday Ad...

Over the weekend, Apple released a touching new holiday ad called "The Song," focusing on a woman who found an old record of her grandmother singing a love song to her grandfather, which she then enhanced with her own vocals and musical accompaniments using Apple's tools. Apple has now released a second video, which offers details on how the spot was created. As explained by the musician who starred the ad, Dana Williams, and vocalist Rhiannon Giddens, a series of recordings were made with a voice-o-graph, a 1940's booth for recording short spurts of audio directly onto a record. The voice-o-graph used in the spot was supplied by Third Man Records, which is Jack White's indie label. Giddens, voicing the grandmother, sang the "Love Is Here to Stay" audio, and it was then transferred into GarageBand for editing by Williams, who says that she uses the app for recording "basically all of her music." "...

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10:22
'Continuity Activation Tool' for Adding Handoff...

A new update to the community-built "Continuity Activation Tool" for OS X Yosemite brings Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle support, allowing users of some older model Macs to enable Handoff and other Bluetooth-related Continuity features on their machines without upgrading internal hardware. The tool does, however, come with some caveats users should be aware of before attempting to activate these features. Apple's introduction of Continuity alongside OS X Yosemite promised a suite of features that interweave Mac and iOS devices without any hassle. Unfortunately for Macs old enough to not include Bluetooth 4.0 (and even a few older models that do include it), several of the features are officially unsupported on their machines and these users haven't been able to experience Continuity in its full form. Addressing this issue, enterprising members of...

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09:31
Apple's Patented Idea of Displays Doubling as a Speak...

This past summer Apple was granted a patent for flexible displays with unique functionality. One of the noted unique properties was that it could allow the display of an iPhone or future TV, for instance, to act as a speaker. Audio would simply go through the display, illuminating the need to build speaker grills on devices. Esthetically speaking, that would be something that Apple's industrial designer Jony Ive would ...

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07:45
Japanese MacBook Part Maker Sues Apple for Patent Infringe...

According to a Japanese report published late yesterday, the Tokyo District Court heard the first arguments in Shimano Manufacturing Co.'s lawsuit against Apple. The Tokyo-based electronics component maker is demanding compensation from Apple to the tune of US$8.5 million over alleged infringements of Shimano’s patent for ...

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06:37
Huawei, with 30,000 Patents in China, is Preparing to Sue...

With Xiaomi experiencing dramatic success within China, they had set their eyes on their next market target: India. Yet that plan was dealt a blow with the Indian High Court banning Xiaomi from selling, importing and advertising smartphones in their country. That single event has now inspired a powerful Xiaomi competitor within China to attack them on that same front.

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06:00
Fleksy Keyboard for iOS Gains New Extensions, Theme Packs

With iOS 8, Apple began allowing third-party keyboards for the first time, and over the last few months, dozens of feature-rich keyboards have hit the market. With an ever-increasing number of keyboard options available, it's becoming increasingly difficult for keyboard developers to stand out Fleksy, a company that has long had an Android-based keyboard and was one of the first to launch a keyboard for iOS, is aiming to get itself back into the public eye with a major 5.0 update. The new version of Fleksy introduces a slew of features, including several customizable extensions and dozens of premium themes. With Extensions, Fleksy is now able to go beyond simple text insertion, offering additional features that extend Fleksy's functionality. iOS extensions being offered include GIFs, one-handed typing (for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus), a Number Row, Cursor Control, and Rainbow Key Pops. The GIF feature allows users to...

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Tuesday December 16

12:52
As Russia's Ruble Derails, Apple Halts Online Sales

Bloomberg's reporter Tim Higgins broke the news that Apple has halted online sales in Russia due to “extreme” ruble fluctuations. Tom Giles reporting on Bloomberg TV tells us that the story is unfolding.

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12:15
LVMH has a Smartwatch Project in the Making to Help Stave...

Earlier this month we posted a report titled "Intel is on a Roll of Late with Wearables and they Just Might be Powering Tag Heuer's First Smartwatch in 2015." In an earlier October report we reported that Jean-Claude Biver, president of LVMH's watch division stated that Apple's forthcoming Apple Watch was "too feminine" and suggested it wouldn't stand the test of time. At LVMH's headquarter today in Switzerland that they started on their smartwatch project four months ago in the hopes of challenging the Apple Watch later in 2015.

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11:21
Apple Stomps on Samsung with North American "App...

Last month a report from market research firm Strategy Analytics noted that Samsung Electronics’ smartphone market share in North America fell from 36.2 percent to 24.8 percent between the second and third quarters of this year, hitting a record low since the third quarter of 2012. Apple, meanwhile, increased its share by six percentage points to 33.9 percent. Now a new report from Chitika is reporting that not only is Apple clobbering Samsung in North America for web traffic, they're also beating them handily in respect to App traffic/usage rates.

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11:07
TAG Heuer Announces Smartwatch Plans as Threat From Apple...

High-end Swiss watchmakers have generally been publicly dismissive of any threat posed by Apple's upcoming smartwatch, but now that the Watch is creeping closer to launch, fashion watch leaders are starting to take notice. According to Reuters, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer has changed course and begun preparing a smartwatch and is willing to forge partnerships and acquire companies in order to produce an original luxury offering to compete with Apple Watch. This endeavor is a marked change for the luxury watch maker, which is the largest brand under LVMH's umbrella. Following Apple's Watch announcement, LVMH watch chief and TAG Heuer interim chief executive Jean-Claude Biver dismissed the smart watch, saying it was "too feminine" and looked like "it was designed by a student in their first trimester." He added...

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10:15
Apple Wins iPod Antitrust Lawsuit, Found Not Guilty of Har...

Jury deliberations for the iPod antitrust lawsuit Apple faced in court last week began on Monday, and it appears the jury has already reached a verdict just a day later. As reported by The Verge, the jury has sided with Apple, finding the company not guilty of harming consumers with anticompetitive practices. In the class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that Apple had deliberately crippled third-party music services by locking iPods and iTunes to its own ecosystem, which in turn artificially raised the price of Apple's products. At issue was a specific iTunes 7.0 update that disabled the DRM workarounds put in place by RealNetworks, a competing music service, allowing its music to be played on the iPod. Apple argued that the iTunes update in question was done mainly to improve the iTunes service rather shut down third-party music services, a point that the jury agreed...

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09:28
Minor iOS 8.1.3 Update in the Works Ahead of Apple Watch a...

While Apple is actively beta testing iOS 8.2 with developers well in advance of its public launch in order to provide tools for building Apple Watch apps, it appears there will be at least one more minor software update before iOS 8.2 launches to the public. Over the past week, MacRumors has seen an increasing number of devices from Apple's networks and in general that are identifying themselves as running iOS 8.1.3, likely another bug fix update. Visitors to MacRumors.com via Apple's networks from devices running iOS 8.1.3 The first sign of iOS 8.1.3 from Apple appeared in our logs December 8, just a day before the company released iOS 8.1.2 to the public to patch a minor issue with disappearing ringtones and deliver other minor bug fixes. A day later, Apple...

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07:49
T-Mobile Unveils New 'Data Stash' Program That A...

As part of its new Un-carrier 8.0 announcement, T-Mobile today unveiled its new "Data Stash" program that allows consumers to roll over their monthly unused data. At the end of the month, consumers will be able to store their unused data without limit for the next 12 months. "Can you imagine your gas station siphoning unused gas from your car each month? The US wireless industry is even worse," said John Legere, president and CEO for T-Mobile. "Americans have been gamed by the carriers into buying huge data plans – all to avoid getting screwed with overage penalties. Only to find out they bought more than they need which is then confiscated by the carrier. For the consumer it’s lose, lose." "That data is rightfully yours," added Legere. "And, we’re putting an end to this appalling industry practice today. With Data Stash, when you buy additional high-speed data, there’s no need to lose what you don’t use." To kick...

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07:35
Samsung Eyeing LoopPay as Partner for Mobile Payment Syste...

Samsung may be developing a mobile payment system to rival Apple Pay, reports Re/code. The Korean handset manufacturer reportedly is negotiating with payments startup LoopPay about the system, which it plans to debut it in 2015. The combined Samsung and LoopPay system would allow customers to wave their Samsung phones at payment terminals instead of swiping credit cards or paying with cash or check. Samsung could leverage NFC in its phones and use that standard to wirelessly process payments. A partnership with LoopPay could expand the service to a variety of new and old payment terminals. The LoopPay technology mimics a card swipe by recording payment information from a card's magnetic strip and transmitting those details to a retail card reader. Since LoopPay does not...

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07:34
Confused Samsung Looking for an Apple Pay Equivalent

In September we reported that copycat Samsung was racing to integrate PayPal into their next Gear smartwatch so that they could match the Apple Watch's use of Apple Pay. Now a new rumor is claiming that Samsung is discussing a possible deal with a payments startup called LoopPay.

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06:53
Apple Granted 46 Patents Today Covering Touch ID, their Fu...

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover we focus on two of the most outstanding granted patents issued today covering Touch ID and Apple's future Lightning based audio connector.

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06:51
Apple Pay Now Supports Cards Representing 90% of U.S. Cred...

With the list of Apple Pay-supported companies growing more every week, Apple has revealed that the new mobile payments service now supports cards representing about 90 percent of the credit card purchase volume in the United States. This is up from the 80 percent figure cited at Apple Pay's launch just two months ago. According to The New York Times, Apple Pay has proven popular with users as the rollout continues. Whole Foods saw more than 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in the first few days after release, and the service accounted for more than 50 percent of McDonald'...

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04:20
Microsoft and 27 Other Tech and Media Companies Including...

Yesterday represented an important milestone in regards to litigation concerning the U.S. Government’s attempt to use a search warrant to compel tech companies such as Microsoft or Apple to obtain and turn over email of a customer stored in Ireland. That’s because 10 groups filed their "friend of the court" briefs in New York yesterday.

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03:40
Apple Reveals New Apple Pay Partners including 10 More Ban...

Recently MasterCard teamed up with Gwen Stefani to widely promote Apple Pay on TV and now Apple is revealing more Apple Pay partners that will be coming on board shortly or that have already joined. The list includes SunTrust, Barclaycard and USAA. Ten more banks, including TD Bank North America ...

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02:47
Apple Wins an Advanced 3D UI Patent Covering the iOS Paral...

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's use of a parallax interface that began with iOS 7. Apple only tapped into a tiny fragment of their 3D user interface invention.

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02:06
iPhone 6 Takes #1 Spot in Top Trending Google Tech Searche...

Google today released its "Year in Search" feature, highlighting popular and trending searches for 2014 in a number of categories. Unsurprisingly, a number of Apple-related search terms ranked highly among the most trending searches in the Consumer Electronics category, with "iPhone 6" taking #1, "Apple Watch" taking #8, and "iPad Air" taking #10. Other popular search terms in the Consumer Electronics category include "Samsung Galaxy S5" which took #2, "Xbox One" which took #7, and "Nokia X" which took #9. Google's top 10 overall trending...

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Monday December 15

16:42
Microsoft's New Presentation App Called Sway is ready...

A month ago we posted a report titled "Microsoft Looks to Sway More Apple Fan Business their Way" that covered Microsoft's upcoming new app called Sway. Word is that while Sway is new, it won't be replacing PowerPoint as many have surmised. It's a way for employees, consumers and students alike to ...

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16:01
Bose May Be Working on Streaming Music Service

Apple's Beats Electronics and Bose already compete in the headphone and speaker markets, but it appears that Bose may be gearing up to compete with Beats in another area -- streaming music. A Bose job listing first noticed by Hypebot (via VentureBeat) seeks a Senior User Experience Designer to work on prototyping Bose's "next generation streaming music platform and ecosystem of products." You will help to develop a holistic view of the customer journey through the Bose ecosystem as it relates to our streaming music experiences. You will work with a cross-functional team to implement meaningful and delightful design...

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15:59
Bankruptcy Court Approves Settlement Between GTAT & Ap...

It's being reported late this afternoon that GT Advanced Technologies Inc. Monday won bankruptcy court approval of a settlement with Apple Inc. that wards off the threat of litigation over a failed effort to produce large quantities of scratch- and shatter-resistant smartphone screen materials.

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