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The Week’s 10 Hottest Apple News Stories, March 28


Apple Daily: Apple Watch Specialty Stores; Tim Cook Opposes Indiana’s New Law; Apple Hasn’t Talked with NBC

In today’s Apple Daily, Apple CEO Tim Cook expresses his opposition to Indiana’s controversial new law. In other news, NBCUniversal’s absence from the “known” roster of channels for Apple’s rumored online streaming TV service has nothing to do with negotiations gone wrong. Apparently there haven’t been any negotiations to begin with. Also, Apple has officially announced when the three dedicated Apple Watch stores-within-stores will open.

Apple Announces Dedicated Apple Watch Store Openings for April 10

Apple Watch isn’t just coming to Apple retail stores; depending on where you are, you can also find it in Apple specialty shops that focus exclusively on the device at high-end department store locations around the world. Apple has announced that the first three of these shops will open on April 10, just in time for the Cupertino company’s official hands-on previews ahead of the device’s official launch on April 24.


Specifically, the locations in questions are at Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyo. (Noticeably, an American location is absent from the list.) If customers wish to purchase another Apple product in addition to an Apple Watch, they’ll have to get it from elsewhere.

While the design of these shops still largely remains a mystery, they’ll almost certainly have dedicating viewing and presentation areas for buyers interested in the gold Apple Watch Edition, which is priced between ,000 and ,000.

Tim Cook Expresses Opposition to Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a bill into law yesterday that will allow Indiana businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian customers for reasons of “religious freedom.” Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced his opposition to the law in a series of tweets. The law itself will take effect on July 1.

“Apple is open for everyone,” Cook said in a tweet this afternoon. “We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar #HB1228.”

In another tweet, Apple noted that “Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same — regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love.”

Cook, who came out as gay last October, has long been a vocal support of equal rights. In 2013 alone, for instance, he publicly expressed Apple’s support for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and a delivered a lecture on the subject to his alma mater Auburn University in Alabama.

Report: Apple Hasn’t Even Contacted NBC About Rumored TV Service

When news of Apple’s online TV streaming service first dropped, commentators assumed that NBCUniversal wasn’t included in the initial channel lineup owing to complications surrounding Apple’s long feud with Comcast. But according to a letter Comcast sent to the Federal Communications Commission (via Re/code), NBC Universal’s currently not part of the deal because Apple hasn’t contacted them. As in, at all.

The letter in question concerns another letter from “Stop Mega Comcast,” which (as its name implies), is opposed to the merger of Comcast and Time-Warner that’s been in talks for some time now. In response, Comcast attorney Francis Buono told the FCC: “Not only has NBCUniversal not ‘withheld’ programming from Apple’s new venture, Apple has not even approached NBCUniversal with such a request.”

According to Re/code, a clause in the contract for the merger of Comcast and NBC may allow Apple to force NBC to license content to Apple if Apple manages to get multiple contracts with the company’s competitors. If that’s true, Apple might just be biding its time before approaching NBC.


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


Apple Daily: Three iPhones Rumored for Fall; Tim Cook “World’s Greatest Leader”

In today’s Apple Daily, we learn that Apple might be planning to release three new iPhones this September. In other news, Fortune magazine has called Apple CEO Tim Cook the “world’s greatest leader,” and Apple Watch apps are already starting to appear on the App Store in preparation for the device’s April 24 release.

Apple Rumored to Have Three iPhone Launches Planned for September

At last, after all that excitement about how great the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are doing, some rumors are starting to trickle in regarding the new phones Apple has planned for launch later this year. According to a new report from DigiTimes, a new 4-inch “iPhone 6c” will join what commentators and rumormongers are calling the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

The main difference between the three will apparently be the processors used, as the report claims that the two larger rumored models will feature Apple’s new A9 chip while the 4-inch phone will feature the now-cheaper A8 chip. Still, all three models will reportedly feature Gorilla Glass in addition to Apple Pay and Touch ID functionality. The so-called iPhone 6c will supposedly cost around 0-0, claims DigiTimes in a separate announcement, making it a more cost-conscious purchase compared to the flagship models than was the case with the iPhone 5c compared to the 5s.


Fortune Names Tim Cook ‘World’s Greatest Leader’ in New Profile

The spotlight may currently be on Steve Jobs again in the wake of the Apple-approved biography Becoming Steve Jobs, but Fortune helped current Apple CEO Tim Cook steal some of the show with a new profile that calls him the “world’s greatest leader.” Heavy praise, indeed, but the article does much to demonstrate that the Alabama native knows what he’s doing, after all, despite the cynical rumblings of shareholders who criticized his performance during his first year on the job.

It’s also helpful for gaining insight into his philosophy toward his leadership of the company. For one thing, Apple executive Eddy Cue is quick to point out that Cook isn’t trying to be Steve Jobs, who was involved in Apple’s workings “at the pixel level.” Cook, on the other hand, “has been very good at letting us do our thing.” Indeed, the profile shows that’s he’s trying to shine the spotlight more broadly over the other noteworthy minds at the company.

“My objective is to raise the public profile of several of the folks on the executive team, and others as well,” he says.

Cook is a work addict, the profile reports, and it notes that after 12 hours on the job, Cook’s Apple Watch reported that he’d finished 50 minutes of exercise and “traveled 8,139 steps, or about four miles.”

He also plans to donate all of his money to charity upon his death, save for a comparatively small amount set aside to pay for his 10-year-old nephew’s college tuition.


Apple Watch Apps Start Showing Up in App Store

The Apple Watch itself won’t be out until April 24, but apps for the device are already starting to show up on the iOS App Store. Owing to the Apple Watch’s current reliance on the iPhone for power, the first run of apps are bundled into their iPhone counterparts. Current notable offerings include Evernote, Target, Dark Sky, and Things.

The patch notes give some idea of what we can expect from the apps. With Evernote, for instance, you can use the Apple Watch to dictate notes to the popular note-organizing app, which will then sync with Evernote on your iPhone. As for the popular weather app Dark Sky, the developers have designed a completely new interface to accommodate the device’s smaller screen.

For more information, MacRumors has an excellent rundown of the known compatible apps and their functions.

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


Apple Daily: 2015 MacBook Air and 4K Monitors, CNNGo on Apple TV

Apple may want us to believe that the upcoming MacBook Air won’t be able to handle external 4K monitors, but it seems it’s actually selling itself short. Oh, Apple — don’t be so humble! In other news, there’s already another channel available for Apple TV, and gold Apple Watch buyers can expect 30-minute appointments come April 10.

Despite Apple’s Contrary Claims, the new MacBook Air Can Handle 4K Monitors

Apple isn’t being entirely honest about the capabilities of the newly updated 2015 MacBook Air. If the laptop’s specs page is to be believed, the device can only support an external monitor with a maximum display of 2560×1600.

But that’s just not true, according to a new report from Ars Technica. Not only did the site discover that the 2015 MacBook Air is capable of supporting external 4K resolution displays, but it can also run them with a 60Hz refresh rate.

In their words, “The Mac detected the display, noticed that it was 4K, and without any extra cajoling began displaying in HiDPI mode. You get the same usable screen space as a standard 1080p display, just with sharper images and text. The BlurBusters refresh rate test verified that we were looking at 60Hz output.”

So why the shortselling? According to Ars Technica, it’s because you can’t run the 4K display and the MacBook Air’s native display at the same time. If you try it, performance is always going to take a hit, even that hit apparently “isn’t too bad.”


Apple Adds CNNGo to Apple TV

Just yesterday we reported that the channels TED, Tastemade, and Young Hollywood are now available for the Apple TV, and now Apple has added CNN Go to the device’s growing lineup.

As you might expect, CNNGo focuses on news, particularly for viewers who want access to live coverage and the ability to view segments from the previous 24 hours on demand. It’s not the service’s first appearance on Apple’s devices, though, as a version of the service has been available for the iPad for some time.

And now for the bad news. As with so many other channels on the Apple TV, you’ll need to enter authentication information from your cable provider in order to access the majority of the content. Fortunately, you’ll see be able to watch a few segments without a subscription.


Gold Apple Watch Potential Buyers to Get 30-Minute Appointments

So let’s say that, wealthy person that you are, you’re almost ready to slap down more than ,000 for a gold Apple Watch Edition, and you’re ready to get an appointment to handle one on April 10. How far does that kind of commitment go with Apple? According to the International Business Times, who spoke with employees at two Apple Stores in Manhattan, that kind of cash will get you a 30-minute appointment with an Apple employee beginning April 10 instead of the usual 15.

But there may be more to it than that. Previous information claimed that customers looking to buy a gold Apple Watch would work with veteran employees who’d undertaken specialized training. So while that extra 15 minutes may seem like a small gesture, the truth is that the presentation experience may be vastly different for Edition buyers, particularly if Apple really is taking cues from art and fashion companies.

In-store previews and preorders for the Apple Watch begin on April 10, but the device itself won’t be available until April 24.

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


Apple Daily: Three New Channels Added to Apple TV; Apple Sending Out Apple Pay Decals

In today’s Apple Daily, Apple adds three new channels to the already impressive lineup for Apple TV. In other news, Apple’s shipping out free decals to place on your windows and cash registers if you use Apple Pay at your business.

Apple Adds Three New Channels to Apple TV

Rumors abound that Apple is planning to introduce an updated Apple TV at this year’s WWDC, but in the meantime, the Cupertino company is still hard at work improving the existing device. As of this morning, Apple TV owners can now enjoy the channels TED Talks, Young Hollywood, and Tastemade on the system.

Photo: 9to5Mac

TED Talks is a channel for the intellectuals out there, who find talks on a dizzying variety of subjects ranging from science and education to religion. Tastemade is all about catering to the foodies, and Young Hollywood dishes out the latest in celebrity gossip and associated interviews. Apple’s last update to the channel lineup occurred back in December, when it added UFC, The Scene, Fusion, and Daily Motion to the roster.

Indeed, Apple TV now has so many channels that complaints about keeping them organized aren’t terribly uncommon, but that should change after the rumored update, which is thought to come with an interface overhaul as well. All in all, 2015 looks to be a good year for Apple TV. In addition to the hardware update, Apple is expected to introduce an “online TV” streaming service later this year that will reportedly boast up to 25 channels at launch and require a – monthly subscription.

Apple Sending Window Decals to Businesses Supporting Apple Pay

Now that the Apple Pay rush has calmed down a tad for large companies like Whole Foods, Apple is taking steps to help smaller businesses get in on the contactless payment action as well. As of yesterday, business owners who visit the official Apple Pay site can now find a place to order window and register decals featuring the Apple Pay logo to advertise their use of the service.

Even better, the decal kits apparently don’t cost a thing if you merely order five. (Any more than that, and you’ll have to give Apple a call.) Simply fill out values for your company’s name, your name, and your e-mail and shipping addresses, and the Cupertino company will send the kits off.

Business owners who aren’t quite ready to order decals but nevertheless express interest in the service should also check out Apple’s handy support page.

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


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