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Apple Daily: ‘Negative’ Steve Jobs Documentary Out; Star Wars Droid Toy in Apple Stores

Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs documentary hits a few theaters throughout the U.S. today, and it shows a bleak portrait of Steve Jobs that the people who were closest to him aren’t that happy with. In other news, you know that cool spherical droid seen in the trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie? You can now get it in Apple retail stores.

Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs Documentary Hits Theaters Today

It’s a good weekend for moviegoers looking for different perspectives on the kind of man Steve Jobs was (provided, that it, they have plane tickets to Colorado already on hand). Today marks the theater and view-on-demand release of Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine documentary, which caused no small amount of controversy at SXSW earlier this year for its unrelenting focus on Steve Jobs’ bad side.

As we reported yesterday, Danny Boyle’s highly anticipated Steve Jobs biopic will also be publicly shown for the the first time sometime this weekend at Colorado’s Telluride Film Festival. Boyle’s film, while depicting some of Jobs’ harsher qualities, also seems to do a good job of showing what made him great.

Gibney’s documentary has a rather limited release, considering that it’s only being shown in 65 theaters in 50 markets (via Deadline). It apparently isn’t bad as it earned a 75 percent rating on movie review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, but it has also received substantial criticism for only depicting one side of Jobs. Some of the most vocal criticisms come from Apple executives such as Eddie Cue, who walked out of the SXSW theater claiming that it was “an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend” and that it wasn’t a “reflection of the Steve I knew.”

You’ll most likely be able to see it in theaters if you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York, but you can also watch it on view-on-demand through services such as Apple’s own iTunes, Xbox, and the PlayStation Store.


Star Wars Droid BB-8 Now For Sale in Apple Stores

The Apple Store now has the perfect gift for the Apple fan who’s also a Star Wars fan in the form of a new remote-controlled robot based on the droid BB-8 from the upcoming J.J. Abrams film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s also a stellar debut toy for today’s designation as “Force Friday,” the first day when officially licensed merchandise for the film goes on sale.

The BB-8 toy comes from Sphero, which has garnered substantial recognition for manufacturing “robotic balls” in the past. In fact, the company was heavily involved the the creation of the actual BB-8 droid used in the film, which many viewers of the original trailer thought was made from CGI owing to its construction from two seemingly unconnected pieces.

The range of things you can do with the toy are impressive, and it isn’t just limited to manually controlling it. You can, for instance, use your iPhone to put him on a patrol mode where he wanders around on his own, or you can get BB-8 to follow you or follow routes you’ve designed for him ahead of time. Users can also control him through voice commands on their iPhones, and BB-8 reportedly develops and attitude based on how you’ve been interacting with him.

You can buy BB-8 for 9.99 from the Apple Store for from Sphero itself starting today. And you just gotta love their tagline for the toy: “This is the droid you’re looking for.”

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


Apple Daily: 21.5″ 4K iMac, Steve Jobs Movie Screening; Apple Music Needs ‘Homework’

The talk of the town may be all about the next iPhones and Apple TV, but a new report came in today claiming that we’ll get an impressive new iMac in November. Elsewhere, we’ll get to see just how good Danny Boyle’s upcoming Steve Jobs biopic is this weekend, and an Apple executive admits that parts of Apple Music still need some work.

Apple Rumored to Announce 21.5″ 4K iMac in October

Most speculation surrounding Apple’s future product releases is currently focused on the company’s big media event next Wednesday, but sources who spoke with 9to5Mac allegedly know that the Cupertino company also plans to announce a 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K display toward the end of October. If that sounds familiar, it’s because clues regarding the existence of the device were found lurking in the code for OS X El Capitan back in June. The sources claim the unit will go out to stores in November.

As a recap, the discovered code suggests that the device will have a resolution of 4096 x 2304. In addition, it hinted that the new iMac will likely contain a Broadwell processor and the associated Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 chipset and AMD Radeon M380 – M395X graphics.


Steve Jobs Biopic to Show at Film Festival This Weekend

Just a few days ago, it seemed certain that Danny Boyle’s new Steve Jobs biopic would debut at the New York Film Festival on October 3, but today Entertainment Weekly reported that the film will actually have its first public screening at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado this weekend. That’s a whole month ahead of the previously announced screening, which means that Boyle must be really proud of his work here as this gives critics more than enough time to tear the thing apart ahead of the wide release if it’s bad.

Currently, it’s not known when exactly the festival will show the film; right now, we know only that it’ll happen sometime over Labor Day weekend. Director Danny Boyle will also receive a “Silver Medallion Award” from the festival in honor of his “significant contribution to the world of cinema,” and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will even be in town to see how well Seth Rogen depicts him on screen.


Apple Admits It Has ‘Homework’ to Do Regarding Apple Music

Apple is on the verge of bringing Apple Music to Android this fall, according to a new story from The Guardian, but the report is particularly noteworthy for iTunes executive Oliver Schusser’s admission that Apple still has “a bit of homework to be done” with the service. Schusser was specifically speaking about Apple Music Connect, the service’s social network where artists can interact with their fans, but his other statements make it clear that he believes it applies to other aspects of the service as well.

“There’s a lot of work going into making the product better. Our focus is on editorial and playlists, and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that, but we’re also adding features and cleaning up certain things,” Schusser told The Guardian.

Over 11 million people reportedly signed up for the free trial for the service, but it’s not clear at this point how many will stick around once the first free trials end toward the end of this month. Even Jim Dalymple of The Loop, well-known for his insider info regarding the workings of Apple, threw up his hands and announced in a July post that “Apple Music is a nightmare and I’m done with it.” Schusser also took the occasion to point out that iTunes, his own area of the business, is still doing just fine with a download model in the wake of all this streaming music talk:

“If you follow the industry and look at the numbers, the download business has been really, really healthy,” Schusser said. “iTunes is a big part of our business, still, and will continue to be, so we focus just as much time and energy on maintaining that, editorially and working on features.”

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


Apple Daily: Universal Search on Next Apple TV; Apple May Reveal ‘iPad Pro’ Next Week

More specific details about the devices we’ll probably see at Apple’s media event next week continue to roll in from alleged insider sources, which at this point means that Apple CEO Tim Cook could just walk on stage and show that the devices exist and his work would be done. Today’s rumors claim that the next Apple TV will have a universal search feature and come with a black remote, and that we’ll finally get to see the “iPad Pro” after months of rumors.

Next Apple TV Said to Support Universal Search Feature

The latest batch of rumors regarding the Apple TV came in this morning from both Buzzfeed and 9to5Mac. In Buzzfeed’s report, insider sources revealed that the device will start at 9 (in line with previous rumors) and support a universal search feature that will let users search for media through third-party services such as Netflix in addition to iTunes. As for 9to5Mac’s sources, they claim that the device will contain somewhere between 8 and 16 GB of storage, and that the long-rumored touchpad remote will be black instead of the current silver.

Farewell, Silver

According to the “sources familiar with Apple’s plans,” the Cupertino company expects that the universal search feature will be a “cornerstone” of the new set-top box. What’s more, the search feature won’t limit users to titles, but will also allow them to search for media based on directors, actors, or a number of other “targeted searches.” Even better, you’ll be able to do all this through Siri.

All this comes on top of all of the other information we “know” about the device, such as how it’ll come with an A8 processor and its own App Store, which is widely expected to contain games in addition to the core streaming services. Additional rumors claim that the device will support lightweight motion controls that resemble those currently found on iOS devices.


Apple May Reveal ‘iPad Pro’ and New iPad Mini at Next Week’s Event

Apple’s September 9 event is shaping up to be very busy indeed, as new rumors from 9to5Mac claim that it’ll also feature the new iPad mini 4 and the long-awaited 12.9-inch “iPad Pro.”

But don’t get too excited yet. While the huge iPad is expected to make an appearance on stage a week from now, it allegedly won’t land in customers’ hands until sometime in November. It’s currently thought that Apple might choose this later launch date out of a desire to give developers time to create specialized apps for the device. Indeed, there’s always a chance that Apple could reveal the device at a separate autumn event, as the list of products rumored for next week’s show is growing longer by the day and the company has been known to host two fall shows in the past.

Source: MacRumors

As for the iPad mini 4, in line with previous rumors, it’s expected to match the specs of the existing iPad Air 2 (but in a smaller package). If you want a new iPad Air, you’re apparently stuck with what’s on the market as there’s no indication that Apple plans to release a new version of the device before 2016.

Based on previous rumors, the “iPad Pro” will sport a 12.9-inch screen, a Force Touch-compatible stylus, an A9 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and possibly even USB 3.0 ports for users who want to hook up peripheral devices. There’s also some indication that the device will launch with iOS 9.1 installed rather than 9.0, which sits well with the new rumor of a November launch date.

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


Apple Daily: Apple’s Original TV Programming; Offline Movies from Amazon; Next-Gen Stores

Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have all caught the “original television programming” bug, and now Apple apparently wants in on the action, too. In other news, you can now download videos from Amazon Prime Video to your iPhone or iPad for offline viewing, and the first of Apple’s next-generation retail stores is reportedly coming to a Memphis suburb.

Apple Allegedly ‘Flirting’ With Producing Its Own TV Shows

Apple recently bolstered its presence in the music world with the introduction of Apple Music, and according to a new report from Variety, the Cupertino company now wants to get on some of the action that services like Netflix and Amazon are enjoying and start making its own television programming. Apparently, “preliminary conversations” have already started. As with all of Apple’s digital content endeavors, Apple’s Eddy Cue is reportedly heading the project.

It’s currently unknown, however, just how far Apple wants to go with the idea. One source who spoke with the magazine claims that Apple wants to make its own original shows and movies and is prepared to create the necessary production departments. Yet another claims that Apple is merely “flirting” with the idea, although reportedly it did recently make a try to nab Top Gear stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond after their departure from the BBC.

Apple’s current homegrown media offerings are largely limited to the Beats branch of the business, through which Apple hosts the acclaimed Beats 1 radio station and reportedly produces videos for the likes of Drake and Eminem.


Amazon Prime Video Now Allows Offline Viewing for iOS Devices

Speaking of television content services, Amazon just scored a massive victory over Netflix today with its announcement that Amazon Prime Video users can download movies and television shows on their iPhones and iPads for offline viewing. Best of all, there’s no additional charge for the service if you’re an Amazon Prime member. The company expects to have a wider release for the service down the road, but for now the service is limited to Prime customers in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Austria.

The catch is that not all shows are available for offline viewing, although Amazon claims that “thousands” are ready to download. And these aren’t piddly releases, either — current offerings include everything from Downton Abbey to Star Trek: Into Darkness.

“There’s no doubt that the way people watch entertainment is changing — anytime, anywhere viewing is important and we are excited to provide our Prime members with offline viewing capabilities on iOS and Android platforms starting today,” said Amazon digital video chief Michael Paull in the release. “We are proud to be the first and only online subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing — on vacation, in a car, at the beach, on a plane, wherever our Prime members want to watch they can, regardless of internet connection.”

Amazon previously allowed offline viewing through its Kindle Fire tablet, but this marks the first time that the feature has been available outside of the company’s own ecosystem. You can download the relevant app for free here.


Apple’s First ‘Next-Generation’ Store in U.S. Coming to Memphis

Apple is reportedly seeking a building permit to renovate a new storefront at 2031 West St. in Memphis’ Germantown suburb, which isn’t really news in itself. But as the Memphis Daily News reports, Apple representative Rick Millitello claims that the new store will be one of the first next-generation Apple Stores. Rumors about what to expect from Apple’s overhaul of its stores have been circulating ever since The New Yorker‘s profile of Jony Ive mentioned an upcoming “redesign,” and the Germantown plans provide us our first glimpse of what to expect.

Apple’s existing Germantown store. Photo: Daniel McGarry

Some of the changes aren’t too surprising, such as Apple’s plan to replace the building’s existing brick facade with three huge glass panels and to fill the room with natural oak display tables. But hints of what to expect reveal themselves in other details, such as the way the building’s exterior will have matte granite reinforced panels and a changeable display that exhibits artwork, “living plants at times, TV displays,” and other things.

Apple’s existing store in the area is across the street at 7615 W. Farmington Blvd. in the Shops of Saddle Creek North. Once it opens, the new store will be located in the Shops of Saddle Creek South. Millitello also said that multiple overseas locations will also see the redesigned stores this fall.

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


Apple Daily: New Apple TV Rumors; Apple and Cisco; Jailbreakers Attacked by Malware

More “leaked” information about the next Apple TV came in over the weekend, and the latest rumors claim that the device will support Bluetooth gaming controllers. Elsewhere, Apple added Cisco to its growing list of enterprise partners, Apple Pay is now available on an entire university campus, and a quarter of a million iPhone jailbreakers found their iPhones affected by a particularly nasty strain of malware.

Next Apple TV Said to Support Bluetooth Game Controllers

Less than a week ahead of the expected announcement of the next-generation Apple TV, new rumors about the device continue to pour in, and they continue to make the device sound amazing in comparison to its current incarnation. The latest batch comes from insider sources who allegedly spoke with 9to5Mac, and they claim that the next Apple TV will support Bluetooth game controllers that closely resemble those for gaming consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — in other words, they’d be a lot like the MFi controllers currently available for iOS devices. As with those controllers, it’s Ilikely that third-party manufacturers like Logitech will make the actual controllers.

That’s cool and all, but the report also dispels some other exciting rumors, specifically the ones claiming that the next Apple TV would support the kind of motion controls you find on the Nintendo Wii. Instead, the sources claim, it’ll just mimic the same tilting features you already find on the iPhone and iPad.

Other “leaked” information about the device came in from 9to5Mac earlier in the day, claiming that the device will cost somewhere between 9 and 9 and that it’ll be available in October. In addition, the sources claim that Apple’s long-awaited cable-cutting streaming TV service will come to both the third and fourth generations of the device, with the third (and current) generation mainly being regarded as an entry-level device.


Apple and Cisco Announce Enterprise Partnership

Apple first made big headlines in the enterprise market when it announced its surprise partnership with IBM last year, and now the Cupertino company has teamed up with Cisco to create a “fast lane” for iOS business users. The press release announcing the partnership is light on details (as was an appearance by Tim Cook at Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) today), but it notes, for instance, that switching between an iPhone and a desk phone should be seamless with the resulting optimized technology.

Source: Eric J. Bell

“iOS is the world’s best mobile platform, and nearly every Fortune 500 and Global 500 company today has put iOS at the center of their mobile strategy,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the press release. “iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done. Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love.”

As partners, Apple and Cisco will reportedly work together to create “experiences” for “mobile, cloud, and premises-based collaboration tools such as Cisco Spark, Cisco Telepresence, and Cisco WebEx in order to deliver seamless team collaboration and reinvent the meeting experience.”


Over 225,000 Jailbreakers Affected By New Malware Attack

If you’ve ever considered breaking away from Apple’s “walled garden” and jailbreaking your iOS device, consider this: Today Palo Alto Networks and WeipTech revealed that malware known as KeyRaider has affected around 225,000 jailbroken iOS devices. That’s a quarter of a million Apple IDs that the people responsible for KeyRaider have access to, and they’re reportedly already using it to make fraudulent purchases off the App Store. Worse yet, the malware removes the ability to unlock an iPhone from the lock screen, and the culprits are sometimes using that feature to demand ransoms before the phone can be unlocked again.

Source: Palo Alto Networks

The bulk of the damage is in China, where users unassumingly downloaded affected apps through the jailbreaking tool Cydia, although Palo Alto notes that it has also affected some devices in the U.S. and the U.K. In addition to Apple IDs and passwords, KeyRaider also gains access to each affected device’s unique GUID identifying code, its security certificates, its private keys for push notifications, and its App Store purchase history. Indeed, one of the ways jailbroken devices get affected is when the user download two jailbreak features that allow users to download apps from the App Store for free.


Apple Pay Now Available Throughout University of Oklahoma Campus

Apple Pay has been making steady inroads into retail establishments across the U.S. since its debut last year, but as of this week, it’s also available throughout the entire University of Oklahoma campus. That means students can use it at any of the Norman, Oklahoma campus’ 400 point-of-service locations, which include everything from restaurants to bookstores. It’s the first time a university has so fully embraced Apple’s mobile payment technology.

Source: Wikipedia

And it’s apparently just the beginning. Back during Apple’s earnings call for the third quarter last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed that more than 700 colleges and universities would start using the service. The University of Oklahoma was among the universities Cook specifically mentioned at the time, as was the University of Kentucky and Cook’s own alma mater Auburn University.

As for the University of Oklahoma itself, it’s certainly enthusiastic about the service’s potential, as it released a meme-filled list today detailing why “having Apple Pay campus wide is so awesome.”

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


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