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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.

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Apple Daily: Multiple 12.9-Inch ‘iPad Pro’ Rumors Surface; iPod Demoted to ‘Accessories’

Judging from the new batch of reports that rolled in throughout the day, the 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” is, in fact, real and it’s apparently already being tested out in the wild. Alas, it looks as though we may not see it for a few months. In other news, one of Apple’s most famous products gets demoted from the Apple Store’s display tables.

‘iPad Pro’ Appears to Start Showing Up in Analytics Data

After months of rumors, the 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” finally appears to be showing up in data from app analytics firms. AppSee reported this morning that they’d seen a new device in their reports listed as the “iPad6,8″ that supported a resolution of 2,732×2,048, and it seems almost certain that this is, in fact, the gargantuan tablet of Apple legend. And somewhere out there, someone is using it.

iPad Pro concept by Martin Hajek. Via MacRumors

MacRumors notes that the resolution is perfectly in line with the 2,732×2,048 resolution that Taiwanese iOS app developer Hiraku Wang reported seeing hints of in the beta code for iOS 9 in June (with Apple’s 2x high-resolution modifier figured in). The same resolution also showed up in another report from DisplaySearch back in January based on sources from the Apple supply chain.

The thing is, we may have to wait a while to see it. MacRumors contacted AppSee and discovered that the devices in question were actually running iOS 9.1 instead of 9.0, which suggests that the device might release after Apple’s likely reveal of the so-called iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sometime in early September.

 

Analyst: iPad Pro Will Likely Have Force-Touch Stylus

Additional indications of a later launch for the iPad Pro came in this morning from well-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities (via MacRumors), who claims the device won’t even enter mass production until September or October — the very time when the rumored iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are supposed to be on shelves. Kuo’s analysis is just as noteworthy, though, for its claim that the gigantic iPad will support a Force Touch-enabled stylus.

Kuo reportedly notes that Force Touch doesn’t appear to have been a massive draw for either the new Macs or the Apple Watch, but that it seems likely that Apple would include the feature in the tablet owing to its tendency to strive for consistency in its productions. Kuo has been insisting that the device would have a stylus since way back in January, and now he’s so sure that he has gone so far as to name Taiwan’s Cheng Uei as the manufacturer.

 

Apple to Demote iPods to ‘Accessory’ Shelves

Just a few weeks after Apple injected some new life into its moribund iPod line with some updated units, a new report from 9to5Mac notes that Apple is demoting the once generation-defining music device from the display tables in Apple retail stores to the “Accessory” walls along the sides.

The iPod in the spotlight in 2008. Photo: Mike Dong

The move comes as a part of Apple’s desire to “simplify the [Apple Store] experience,” as reported by “several Apple Retail managers.” Gone, too, are the iPad 2 “Smart Signs” that used to educate viewers about Apple products, as customers would apparently get confused by them, believing they were fully functional iPad 2 units when, in fact, they were merely meant to provide information about products in the vicinity.

The changes are in effect today, following an overnight transition. the shift appears to be a part of a larger trend of simplification at Apple, as the company recently merged its website and online store into a single site.

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

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Apple Daily: No Apple TV Service This Year; iPad as Work Tool; Apple Music Fixes

Once again the rumor mill is claiming that we won’t see Apple’s streaming TV service next month, and this time it appears final. Elsewhere, Apple is trying to make the iPad more appealing to business customers, and there’s a new patch out addressing some of the bigger problems with iOS 8′s Apple Music app.

No Apple TV Service in September; New Apple TV Likely a Go

Apple’s negotiations for its long-rumored streaming TV service continue to run into complications, and thus a new report from Bloomberg claims that we won’t see the service at Apple’s expected September 9 event. For that, we’ll probably have to wait until 2016. On the bright side, the report claims that we will, in fact, see the long-awaited refresh for Apple TV at the event.

Rumors of the sort have been floating around for a while, but considering Bloomberg’s credibility on such matters, this is the closest we’ve come to an official confirmation. The report notes that talks with major networks such as CBS and 21st Century Fox are progressing (although at a glacial pace).

A bit surprisingly, some of the hesitation comes from Apple itself, as the report claims the Cupertino company isn’t sure if it currently has the network capacity needed to deliver a quality viewing experience. As Bloomberg says, “Such a network requires storing popular shows close to viewers, so each time a customer in New York for example wants to see local baseball game or the evening news, the shows don’t have to be streamed all the way from one of Apple’s four data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oregon.”

In addition, the Cupertino company is also struggling with the right mix of channels to complement the rumored monthly charge. That’s a small problem, of course, compared to the business of convincing the networks that they’ll make as much money or more with the service as they do with the traditional cable companies.

 

Apple Working to Improve iPad’s Business Appeal

The iPad may no longer be the force it once was, but Apple isn’t letting its tablet go down without a fight. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the Cupertino company is working with more than 40 tech companies in order to make the device more desirable to business professionals.

It’s possible to get an idea of the direction Apple has in mind from some of the names involved in the project. Accounting giant Xero is working with Apple, for instance, and so is Revel Systems, best known for their digital cash registers. Above all, Apple wants to make sure all of the business apps involved are compatible with each other — a notion that recalls Apple’s work with IBM to create a wide range of enterprise-related apps.

The Journal touched on Apple’s participation in the process: “Apple reviews the partners’ apps and offers detailed suggestions, down to which words should be shaded in gray.” Apple is reportedly calling the initative the “mobility partner program (MPP)” within its own ranks, but it’s also discouraging its roughly 40 partners from using the same term. Already is seems as though the program might impact the company’s future far beyond the need to sell a few more iPads.

“Thanks to the partnership, an Apple ally got the company on the phone with an iPad business customer that had never heard from an Apple representative,” the report days. “And Apple has played match maker by encouraging makers of complementary programs such as employee scheduling software and digital cash register systems to create interconnected apps.”

 

Apple Music-Focused Patch Released for iOS 8

If you’ve been frustrated with some aspects of the new Apple Music app for iOS, you’ll be happy to know that the Cupertino company released an update today in the form of iOS 8.4.1 that addresses some of the bigger issues. Most notably, it fixes a particularly annoying issue that was keeping some users from seeing their iCloud music libraries.

Other fixes abound. Now, for instance, you’ll no longer have to worry about music added from Apple Music not showing up because the device was set to show offline music only. You can also add songs to a new playlist if there isn’t an existing playlist to choose from, and you apparently won’t have to worry about the wrong artwork showing up for certain albums.

Rounding off the update is a fix for the issue that was keeping some artists from posting to Connect, and a fix for a bug that was keeping users from being able to click on the “Love” option while listening to Beats 1.

If you want to get the patch, simply head to Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device.

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

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Apple Daily: Apple to Hold iPhone, iPad Event Next Month; Tim Cook’s Security Costs How Much!?

Excited about all the updated Apple products we’ve been hearing about in the Apple rumor pipeline? It seems as though the Cupertino company is set to reveal almost all of them in one fell swoop next month. In other news, Apple pays a pretty penny to keep its CEO safe.

Apple Said to Hold iPhone, iPad Event on September 9

Good news, everyone! If you’re sick of attempting to separate the facts from the fiction in this year’s crop of Apple-related rumors, you’ll only have to wait until September 9 for the real story, according to a new report from BuzzFeed. What’s more, it looks as though it’s going to be quite the event. Not only is Apple expected to showcase iOS 9, a new and updated Apple TV, and the so-called “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone 6s Plus” at the event, it’s also expected to reveal new iPads as well. The long-rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro,” though, will reportedly remain a “wild card.”

That’s quite a handful. Such an extensive lineup is even more noteworthy since Apple chose to hold a separate event in October for its iPad announcements last year. It’s currently thought that Apple’s signature tablet is being included here because Apple wants the iPad to share in the same excitement that the new iPhones will undoubtedly enjoy in an effort to boost their consistently flagging sales.

As for the iPhones themselves, they’re not expected to look considerably different from the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (as befits an “S” release), but they’ll likely boast internal improvements such as Force Touch support, a better camera, and quicker wireless speeds.

 

Apple Reportedly Spends 0K on Tim Cook’s Security

Apple has a lot of money on its hands these days, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that it spends a lot of money on keeping the man who makes the decisions responsible for all that cash out of harm’s way. Indeed, according to the Schedule 14A document that Apple recently filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (via Patently Apple), the Cupertino company spends just under 0,000 per year to keep Apple CEO Tim Cook safe.

Specifically, in addition to “(i) the Company’s contributions to Mr. Cook’s account under its 401(k) plan in the amount of ,600; (ii) Company-paid term life insurance premiums in the amount of ,520; (iii) vacation cash-out in the amount of ,923,” Apple also pays “security expenses in the amount of 9,133.”

Photo: Reuters/Business Insider

For us little people, that might sound a little excessive, but it’s actually fairly humble by the standards of other world-class companies. According to a Fortune report on the matter from January (via Business Insider), Amazon spent .6 million on security for CEO Jeff Bezos alone last year, and Oracle spent .5 million protecting CEO Larry Ellison’s home.

It’s also important to note that the figure only seems to cover the specific security used to protect Mr. Cook himself. When extended to security for Apple’s events and its headquarters at One Infinite Loop, the numbers are undoubtedly much, much higher.

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

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Apple Daily: Apple Visitor’s Center; iPad Sales Fall Again; Third El Capitan Public Beta

Want a better look at Apple’s “spaceship” campus once it’s finished without having to work for Apple? It looks like you’ll be able to, thanks to a new visitor’s center that’s said to be going up on the site. In addition, iPad sales continue to fall (but there’s hope they’ll jump up again later this year), and Apple released the third public beta for Mac OS El Capitan.

Concept Art, Blueprints Emerge for Planned Apple Visitor’s Center

Apple has been much more open to the public in recent years, and in that spirit, the company is reportedly ready to build a new visitor’s center at the upcoming “spaceship campus” that will have a cafe and an observation deck for a better view of the campus itself (via the San Jose Business Journal).

Visually, the building will be “a super-modern glass-walled structure topped by a carbon-fiber roof with extended eaves, punctuated by large skylights,” and it will have a 10,114 square-foot Apple Store as well. The project has apparently been in the works for some time, as the Journal found documents pertaining to the visitor’s center that were filed with the city of Cupertino in April.

There will be 684 parking spaces “below grade” to accomodate the visitor’s center, and elevators will take the visitors up to the center itself. The report also notes that Apple’s neighbors in a single-family home community won’t have to worry about being bothered by all this, as there’s a “screen” blocking the view.

Apple is currently planning to finish construction of the campus as a whole by late 2016.

 

Report: iPad Sales Continues to Fall

Apple may remain the king of the tablets, but its market dominance is on the wane. The numbers for IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker came out today, and they show that the company “only” sold 10.9 million iPads during Q2 of 2015 compared to 13.3 million from the year before. Not bad, but it means that Apple’s market share went down from 27.7 to 24.5 percent in year-over-year.

But the numbers also show that the tablet market as a whole is declining, and the chief competition is coming from low-cost alternatives from complanies like Lenovo, Huawei, and LG, all of whom saw growth in the last quarter. (There’s also a nebulous “other” category, which accounts for a massive 45.6 percent of the market.) Longtime Apple rival Samsung even saw its share slip to 17 percent after it sold only 7.6 million tablets.

Recent rumors have suggested that Apple could break this trend if its fall lineup manages to impress. This year, Apple is expected to release its long-rumored (and highly anticipated) 12.9-inch “iPad Pro,” in addition to a new iPad Air and an updated iPad Mini with the same specs as the iPad Air 2.

 

Apple Releases Third Public Beta for Mac OS X El Capitan

Apple continues to plunk out of the public betas for Mac OS X El Capitan. Just three weeks after the original public beta for the upcoming operating system went live, the third public beta is already here.

This public beta comes just days after Apple seeded the fifth developer beta, and it’s currently thought that it contains relatively few surprises — for the most part, it just tidies up previous problems and squashes a few bugs.

Still, that might mean it’s a good time to jump in and try El Capitan, which includes better window control, improved Photos and Notes apps, and improved Spotlight searches. If you’ve never tried out Apple’s beta testing program, you can sign up for it here.

The operating system itself is expected to launch sometime in the fall.

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

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