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Apple Daily: Pixar Tries Out iPad Pro and Apple Pencil; Apple Outlines Privacy Stance

You know Apple’s got a good thing on its hands when Pixar thinks the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil are great devices, and after a short demo, the animation team apparently can’t wait to use the devices again. Elsewhere, Apple greatly expanded its Privacy page on its website, outlining once and for all what its well-known commitment to privacy actually entails.

Pixar Tries Out iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and Loves Them

If you were wondering how good the iPad Pro really is after Apple’s presentation, take it from no less a source than Pixar — it’s wonderful. Pixar’s main animation team had a chance to try out the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil yesterday, and department head Michael B. Johnson had this to say about them on Twitter: “Can hardly wait to get my own iPad Pro and Pencil to both use it and start writing software for it. Big thumbs up.”

Source: Michael B. Johnson

Of special interest to the famed animation team was the device’s capacity for “palm rejection,” or the device’s ability to keep from getting confused when a person’s palm rests on the screen while the stylus does the actual work. Apple never showed anyone resting their palms on the device during the initial presentation on September 9, and thus there were some concerns that the Cupertino company might have overlooked such a key feature.

But not so, according to Johnson: “The iPad pro has perfect palm rejection as far as we were able to see.” Johnson was also enthusiastic about the device’s speed, as he said in a followup tweet that he believes that it has a “faster CPU/GPU than probably any laptop that shipped 3 yrs ago, and still faster than most today.”


Apple Greatly Expands Privacy Portion of Website

Much has been made about Apple’s unrelenting commitment to its customers’ privacy in recent years, and in that spirit, Apple today significantly updated the Privacy portion of its website to outline in detail what that means for people who buy its products.

“We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us,” Cook said in the section’s new introductory letter. “And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.”

The Cupertino company provides three additional tabs that cover such specifics as “Our Approach to Privacy,” “Government Information Requests,” and how to “Manage Your Privacy.” In each Apple covers topics such as how individual apps such as iMessage and Apple Pay handle your personal data, as well as what the company does when it gets National Security Orders from the U.S. Government.

Above all, Apple takes special care to point out that it “has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a ‘backdoor’ in any of our products or services.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Apple Daily: 13 Million iPhones Sold; Water-Resistant iPhone 6s; Camera Improvements

The sales figures for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are in, and they’re phenomenal — much better than last year’s, in fact. Many people are no doubt picking up the devices because of the quality of the camera (which is shown off below in a gallery comparing photos from all previous iPhones), but they may also be happy to learn that the new phones appear to be much more water resistant than the iPhones that have come before.

Apple Sold 13 Million iPhones Over the Weekend

Some commentators feared that Apple wouldn’t be able to pull off sales as spectacular as those for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in an “S release” year, but last weekend Apple smashed such concerns thoroughly. The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus saw a whopping 13 million sales over the weekend, compared to last year’s 10 million units in the same timeframe. And to think that seemed like a breathtaking figure in itself back then.

“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a company press release. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”

It’s worth putting those numbers in perspective, though. This year Apple released the new iPhones in China on the first day of availability, while it waited a couple of weeks before releasing them in China last year. But today’s numbers also show how Apple’s standing in China is improving, as the company also released the iPhone 5s and 5c in China on the first available weekend, which helped the company net a total of 9 million sales in the same timeframe in 2013.

Unfortunately, Apple so far hasn’t provided any data detailing how many of those orders came from the company’s new iPhone Upgrade Program.

The Cupertino giant plans to release the phones in an additional 40 countries on October 9, and after that, it plans for the phones to be sold in more than 130 countries by the close of the year.


iPhone 6s Noticeably More Water Resistant Than Predecessors

Much as with the Apple Watch, the appears to be an unexpected benefit to owning the new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus: Compared to their predecessors, they appear to be surprisingly water resistant. Just don’t get the impression that you can go swimming while you check out Instagram. While they’re definitely more water resistant, they’re still not waterproof.

This morning MacRumors compiled a list of the best videos on YouTube showing the new phones’ water resistance. The first, from TechSmartt, noted that both the iPhone 6s Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy 6S Edge seemed to keep working even after being in submerged in shallow water for 30 minutes, which reportedly marks a massive step up from the iPhone 6′s survival for a mere minute last year in the same conditions. Yet another video from Zach Straley (below) subjects both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to underwater conditions for a full hour, and both phones performed fine for a couple of days (although Straley noted an aberration on the iPhone 6s’ screen in a followup video).

Straley’s findings prove that the new phones can take a lot of damage, but they’re still not waterproof. Another site called iDeviceHelp shows this tendency the best (below), as they submerged the iPhone 6s Plus four feet down in a swimming pool, where it started to have problems after a mere two minutes. Within two hours, it was dead.

So there are two good things to take away from this. One, Apple is clearly making efforts to make its phones more water resistant. Two, the discoveries lend some credibility to the first real rumor about the iPhone 7 (which MacOtakara noticed on the Chinese social media site Weibo), which claims that Apple’s next big smartphone will, in fact, be waterproof and not have a metallic casing at all. It may be hogwash, but there’s a kernel of truth there, and we have an whole new year of speculation about it ahead of us.


Gallery Shows Camera Improvements from iPhone 1 Through 6s

A lot of people have been raving about how good the camera for the iPhone 6s is, but Lisa Bellamy of Camera+ has compared a gallery of photos taken with all releases of the iPhone to show us just what that means as regards Apple’s legacy so far.

For her project, Bellamy took the same shots with every iPhone from the 2MP 2007 original to this year’s 12MP release, and the resulting photos show that Apple has overcome hurdles in everything from skin tones to pixelation.

Bellamy notes, though, that the iPhone 6s’ camera could still use some improvements — she noticed pixelation problems with the highlights on her cheeks in some photos — but on the whole the images with the new phone are more “vibrant, sharper, and skin tones look more true to life.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Apple Daily: Bendless iPhone 6s Plus, 6s Plus 4K Documentary; Aaron Sorkin Bites Back

At long last, it’s the official launch day for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which means that the rumors for Apple’s next batch of phones should start popping up in, oh, a week. In the meantime, we’ve got some news on how the phone doesn’t bend and shoots great videos (yay) and how you’ll need a subscription to use Microsoft Office on the upcoming iPad Pro (boo). Oh, and Aaron Sorkin really doesn’t like what Apple CEO Tim Cook said about the movie he wrote the screenplay for.

New Video Shows iPhone 6s Plus Strongly Resistant to Bending

All right, let’s get this one out of the way — no, the iPhone 6s Plus doesn’t bend as “easily” as the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple used stronger 7000 series aluminum and strengthened the weaker points of the shell, which means that we likely won’t see another “Bendgate” this year.

The video that started it all last year came from Unbox Therapy, but today’s video comes from FoneFox (also on YouTube), where they subjected the iPhone 6s Plus to the same bend-the-device-over-your-thumbs test from last year.

Not only did the latest phone survive what seems to be the same force, the narrator also shows that the phone actually sprang back in place after enduring the punishment. FoneFox did, in fact, get the iPhone 6s Plus to bend, but only by bringing in a second person. FoneFox readily admitted, though, that the device is unlikely to see this kind of force in your pocket.

Last month Unbox Therapy itself managed to get its hands on one of the shells for the then-unreleased iPhone 6s, but even without the internal components installed, its findings mirrored those of FoneFox.


Filmmakers Shoot Short Documentary Entirely on iPhone 6s Plus

If you’re more interested in what the iPhone 6s Plus’ 4K-capable camera actually does, check out the video below. It’s a short documentary called “The Painter of Jalouzi,” and it was shot entirely on an iPhone 6s Plus. And the results are astounding.

Filmmakers David Darg and Bryn Mooser shot the documentary for Ryot.org, and they had this to say:

“In a relatively short amount of time, we went from terrible pixelated phone photos, to this, which is just as good as cameras that cost tens of thousands of dollars,” Darg said. “When we heard the new iPhone would shoot in 4K, we thought about what we could shoot that would really demonstrate the power of the resolution. Jalouzi is so visually impacting. The mountainside is full of detail and color, so it’s the ultimate test of a camera’s ability. Plus, we’ve been wanting to tell the story for a long time.”


Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin Has Harsh Words for Tim Cook

Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs film has already received numerous accolades ahead of its October 23 wide release date, but Apple CEO Yim Cook lightly criticized the film (and others) as “opportunistic” during his recent interview on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin doesn’t exactly agree with that, to put it lightly.

“Nobody did this movie to get rich,” Sorkin said, afterwards noting that Cook should see the movie before making any judgements. But it gets even more harsh than that.

“Third,” Sorkin said, “if you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour, you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone ‘opportunistic.’”

Yowza. Cook has got to see that as a heavy blow, especially considering all the measures Apple has taken to improve lives at the factories where many of its parts are made (and those of its competitors) since he assumed leadership. Cook, who has made it his mission to make Apple a “force for good,” may have a hard time letting such a comment roll off his back. Still, Sorkin is right about one thing — Cook acknowledged in his Colbert interview that he hadn’t actually seen any of the new films.

On the other hand, Cook has read the Walter Isaacson biography on which Sorkin’s screenplay is based, and in an interview with Fast Company Cook branded it a “tremendous disservice” to Jobs and that “The person I read about there was somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time.”


Microsoft Office for iPad Pro to Require Subscription

Microsoft won a lot of goodwill from the Apple community recently when it announced that Office apps for the iPad and iPhone were now free for both viewing and editing, but as Ars Technica reports, it seems that won’t be the case for the upcoming iPad Pro. The 12.9-inch screen is just too big, claims the Redmond, Washington giant.

The company means that literally. Microsoft has a 10.1-inch screen size limit for access to the free viewing and editing features, which wasn’t a problem for the 9.7-inch iPad Air and the 7.9-inch iPad mini. To enjoy the iPad Pro’s big picture, unfortunately, you’re going to need to purchase an Office 365 subscription.

If you’re still interested after that, Microsoft offers Office 365 Personal for one person for .99 a year or .99 per month, and then there’s its five-person Office 365 Home plan for .99 per year or .99 per month. Both services allow access to Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access for PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Apple Daily: Robot Holds iPhone Buyer’s Place in Line; Nat Geo Photog Uses iPhone 6s Plus

It’s that time of year again — the time when thousands of people worldwide brave the cold or heat and camp outside of Apple Stores for the new iPhones. And this time, someone’s even sent a robot of sorts in her place. Elsewhere, a National Geographic photographer shows what the iPhone 6s Plus can do when he takes it on assignment instead of his usual photography equipment.

People (and Robots) Already Lining Up for Tomorrow’s iPhone Launch

The Apple retail experience has changed a lot in the last few years, but for better or worse, people still camp out in lines by the dozen at various stores in order to be the first to get their hands on the new iPhones. This year, though, the biggest lines appear to be overseas.

So far the most notable sitter can be found at the flagship Apple Store in Sydney, Australia. According to Mashable, media agency executive Lucy Kelly of the Atomic 212 has set up a telepresence robot at the fourth spot in line that takes her place while she’s free to attend to her duties at work. The contraption is essentially an iPad attached to an Segway-type device, and Kelly apparently even hopes that she’ll be able to buy the iPod with the device without any real human interaction.

Source: Mashable

According to Kelly, the other people waiting in line aren’t too bothered by it.

“Everyone thinks it is pretty cool,” Kelly said. “They were happy to let a robot go ahead.”

So far, the biggest lines appear to be in Germany, where the Munich store has installed temporary rows for those waiting to purchase their phones (via Martin Gollwitzer and Lana Lee). In Hamburg (via Daniel Knott) the crowd of waiting customers is so thick that they’re taking up almost the entire sidewalk.

While comparatively tame, things are still getting a little crazy over here in the States. In Little Rock, Arkansas, for instance, a Twitter user named Stephen has set up his Xbox One in front of the local Apple Store, where he’s been playing the game Destiny since Monday (and, oddly, even getting uncut pizza from Domino’s).


National Geographic Photog Uses iPhone 6s Plus Instead of Traditional Equipment

It’s true that good photography ultimately comes from the photographer, not his or her equipment, but it’s hard to argue that good equipment doesn’t help make that vision all the more beautiful. As for National Geographic photographer Mark Leong, he’s finding that the new iPhone 6s Plus is doing a great job of replacing his former heavy, clunky equipment.

Source: National Geographic

Leong’s most recent assignment sent him to Sanjiang in China, where he revisited sites from the 1989 trip that led to his becoming a professional photographer. The difference is that he was only allowed to take an iPhone 6s Plus this time, but with the help of a tripod and Cogitap’s Slow Shutter Cam app, that didn’t prove a problem (particularly with the camera’s new 12 megapixel sensor).

In fact, he found that not having to lug along all that extra equipment “incredibly liberating.” Back in the ’80s, Leong carried eight pounds of Kodak film with him, along with two Nikon cameras and three lenses. You can check out the results from Leong’s impressive journey over at National Geographic.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


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