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Apple Daily: iOS 9 Adoption Rate, First El Capitan Beta Update, New Jobs Trailer

There’s still no watchOS 2 update in sight from Apple on Thursday, but Cupertino certainly isn’t neglecting another upcoming software release. Our Thursday edition of Apple Daily has the details on a new OS X 10.11.1 beta seed now making the rounds to developers ahead of the initial public release on September 30, along with numbers on early iOS 9 adoption and a more detailed look at some of Steve Jobs’ most dramatic moments with Universal’s second full trailer.

iOS 9 Adoption Rate Roughly Matches iOS 8 in First 24 Hours

Although we didn’t have any problems installing iOS 9 on two devices shortly after yesterday’s release, plenty of others apparently did in the first few hours. That doesn’t necessarily mean more people were installing iOS 9 as soon as it was available compared to last year’s release of iOS 8, however.

iOS 9 adoption rate chart

According to MacRumors, early adoption of iOS 9 is running a very familiar curve in the first 24 hours with 12.60 percent of users rushing to update devices as soon as possible. Mixpanel has a live iOS 9 tracking site comparing this year’s adoption versus iOS 8 in 2014, and not surprisingly, it was a similar story 12 months ago.

“This kind of adoption took Android’s latest operating system, Lollipop, in comparison five months to achieve,” the folks at Mixpanel noted. “One huge advantage Apple got right this year over last year was that the update is much smaller than last year (3.5x smaller),” despite the initial crush of downloads causing problem for some upgraders.

OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan Beta Already Available to Developers

We’ve still got almost two weeks to wait until OS X El Capitan rolls onto Macs owned by the public at large, but that isn’t stopping Apple from pushing forward with a beta release of the first update. According to 9to5Mac, Cupertino released the first beta update on Thursday, which “improves the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.”

OS X El Capitan Mission Control

Build number 15B17c closely follows the gold master candidate released to developers only last week, although details are scarce on exactly what fixes or improvements the OS X 10.11.1 update might include, beyond a “new set of emoji characters” carried over from iOS 9.1, including that controversial one-finger salute you’ve been hearing so much about lately.

Second Full Trailer for “Steve Jobs” Amps Up Drama

With only a month to go before the Aaron Sorkin-penned, Danny Boyle-directed Steve Jobs biopic hits theaters, Universal released a second full trailer today that offers a wider view of some of the film’s key thematic moments.

Steve Jobs second trailer

In this followup preview embedded below for your viewing pleasure, audiences are treated to a look at two major conflicts pulled from Jobs’s life — namely his ties to daughter Lisa (a relationship he initially dismissed outright but eventually came to embrace), and his legendary sparring with Apple leadership prior to a decade-long exodus from the company he co-founded. Steve Jobs hits theaters on October 16, with a limited public premiere taking place on October 9.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Apple Daily: Apple Special Event Primer, Glowing ‘Steve Jobs’ Review; Apple and A.I.

If you want to know what to expect at Apple’s “Hey, Siri” media event tomorrow, we’ve already got a broad outline prepared for you. Elsewhere, critics are already in love with Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs film, and Apple itself is preparing to hire more people for its efforts in artificial intelligence. The question, though, is whether it’s ready to give up some of its commitment to privacy to achieve its goals.

What to Expect at Tomorrow’s Apple Event

We’re just a day away from Apple’s “Hey, Siri” media event, and as has been the case for the last couple of years, so many seemingly legitimate rumors have popped up in the last few weeks that it seems safe to say we already know about most of the things we’ll see on stage. (Expect Tim Cook and friends to make yet another joke about how Apple’s “doubling down” on security.) It’s thought to be a product-packed event, with Apple announcing everything from the so-called iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the 12.9-inch “iPad Pro,” the fourth-generation Apple TV, to updates for iOS 9 and WatchOS 2 and new wristbands for the Apple Watch. As always, we’ll be on hand to relay the news as we hear it if you’re unable to watch Apple’s live stream.

As usual for this time of year, we’ll almost certainly see the next-generation iPhones, which (in line with Apple’s tradition for “s” releases) probably won’t look too different from the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. On the inside and in the details, though, they’re thought to feature improved Series 7000 aluminum in order to avoid another “Bendgate,” Apple’s recent pressure-sensitive “Force Touch” technology, a faster A9 chip, and 2GB of RAM. In addition, the new phones are thought to come in a new rose gold color option and to sport a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

Apple is also widely expected to announce the fourth-generation Apple TV at the event, which is thought to come with its own App Store, Siri support, a universal search feature, and HomeKit support. In addition, it will likely come with a motion-sensitive remote control with multi-axis sensors. The remote is also thought to come with both a touchpad and buttons for interactions, a microphone for Siri, and it’s believed to come in black instead of the usual silver. Unfortunately, Apple’s long-awaited “cable-cutting” streaming TV service likely won’t make the show as it’s believed to be bogged down in negotiations.

At last, we’ll probably also see the long-rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” on stage, which is thought to come with a 2732×2048 pixel display at 226PPI, Force Touch support (along with a compatible stylus), an A9 chip with 2GB of RAM, and stereo speakers. There’s also a small chance that it will come with USB-C ports for attaching peripheral devices, but that’s one of the more dubious rumors out there. A new, flatter Apple wireless Bluetooth keyboard is also expected to release alongside the device.

In addition, we’ll probably see Apple announce the iPad mini 4, which is thought to be a smaller version of the iPad Air 2. Along with some (likely minor) updates about iOS 9, Apple is also expected to announce new Apple Watch Sport bands with new colors.


Steve Jobs Film Earns Glowing Early Reviews, Even From Woz

The early reviews and opinion pieces for Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs film are in, and it’s hard to find a negative word among them. The Aaron Sorkin-penned film premiered at Colorado’s Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, where it was presented as a “work in progress” owing to the desire for a few more tweaks, but even in that state, it wowed audience members and, yes, even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak himself.

One of the most notable pieces regarding this weekend’s viewing comes from Deadline, which notes that writer Aaron Sorkin’s work here is “even more effective” than it was in the Oscar-winning The Social Network. Deadline calls it “an action movie driven almost exclusively by words.” It also notes that Michael Fassbender pulled off his role of Jobs almost to perfection — “a spot-on and relentless portrayal of the not-very-likable computer genius.”

But it’s one thing to hear this kind of stuff from journalists; it’s quite another to hear similar praise from Steve Wozniak, who “gives full credit to Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for getting it so right.”

“I saw a rough cut and I felt like I was actually watching Steve Jobs and the others (including Rogen’s dead-on portrayal of Wozniak), not actors playing them,” said Wozniak.

Variety had similar praise for the film, and it noted that even the cinematography bears the mark of genius:

“Besides Guy Hendrix Dyas’ unobtrusively excellent production design, the picture’s major visual coup is the decision to shoot the three acts on three different formats: grainy 16mm film for 1984, lustrous 35mm for 1988, and sleek, high-definition digital for 1998. The distinctions may well be lost on the vast majority of viewers, but it’s just the sort of nicely understated aesthetic flourish that Steve Jobs himself would have surely appreciated.”

We’re still over a month away from the film’s wide release date of October 9, but already Michael Fassbender’s performance is being called Oscar-worthy from several sources, although this weekend’s showings also revealed that he faces tough competition in the Best Actor category from Johnny Depp in Black Mass and Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl. In his statement to Variety, though, Woz said that “of all the actors in the film he thinks [Kate] Winslet might be the most likely to garner awards attention.”


Apple Seeking to Expand Its Artificial Intelligence Team

Apple is apparently eager to improve its expertise in the field of artificial intelligence, and to that end, a new report from Reuters claims that the Cupertino company is trying to hire at least 86 new employees from the field in general and from the field of “machine learning” in particular. Apple, so the report says, wants to challenge Google’s popular Google Now service that anticipates what its smartphone users want to do, and thus the iPhone maker is courting key researchers from Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other companies.

Not surprisingly, Siri reportedly stands at the center of Apple’s artificial intelligence efforts, and the company hopes the new personnel with improve the service’s various functions. The problem, Reuters notes, is that Apple might have to compromise its famed commitment to consumer privacy in order to pull it off.

Consider the case of Apple’s Proactive feature from iOS 9, which performs similar functions to those in Google Now but mainly works with the data that’s already on a user’s iPhone. Since very little information goes into the cloud, Proactive has little access to online machine-learning research banks that can improve the service or, for that matter, machine learning in general. It’s thought, in fact, that Apple’s staunch refusal to let the cloud and researchers handle some of its users’ information might be scaring away some of the very researchers it wants to attract.

There’s a chance, the report notes, that Apple might be changing its stance as it attends more industry conferences and strengthens its ties with academia. In the meantime, Apple is working with what it has, and quite diligently at that: according to one unnamed insider source, the company’s machine learning has tripled or quadrupled in size over the course of the last few years.

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


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: Apple Watch Accessories in Stores; Jobs Biopic Poster; Tim Cook’s Big Reward

At last, Apple has started selling third-party Apple Watch accessories in its stores, although the selection is currently severely limited. In other news, we finally get to see the movie poster for the Steve Jobs biopic that’s been in the news for months, and Apple CEO Tim Cook received an, ahem, agreeable amount of Apple shares for his recent performance as CEO.

Apple Starts Selling Third-Party Apple Watch Accessories in Stores

As a part of Apple’s continuing redesign of its retail experience, the Cupertino company today started selling third-party accessories for the Apple Watch in its stores. As noted by MacRumors, the first product available is ElevationLab’s .95 NightStand, which serves as both a charger and an alarm clock.

ElevationLab originally only offered the NightStand in blue, black, and red, but as a result of its new direct partnership with Apple, it’s now also possible to get the unit in pink, blue, green, black, and white (in Apple stores only) — specifically, the exact colors used for the Apple Watch Sport band. The device is also one of the few third-party devices so far to take advantage of watchOS 2′s upcoming Nightstand Mode, which turns the Apple Watch into an alarm clock while it’s charging.

Source: MacRumors

Sources claim that the device is the only third-party Apple Watch accessory available for purchase in an Apple retail store at the moment, but that might change next month.

As an aside, the report also notes that Apple has indeed removed that iPad “smart signs” that used to provide pricing and information for products like iPads, iPhones, and Macs throughout the store; now, instead, you’ll have to take the slightly more awkward step of opening a dedicated pricing app to find out how much the device you’re handling actually costs.

Movie Poster for Danny Boyle’s Steve Job Biopic Revealed

Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic is rapidly approaching its October wide release date, and now we even have an official poster for the highly anticipated film. The poster is designed with the same minimalist, white-space heavy design Apple products are known for, and it also recalls the cover of the bestselling Walter Isaacson biography the film is based on. As a bonus, it features actor Michael Fassbender looking a little more like Steve Jobs than usual.

The film itself will first be shown as the highlight of the New York Film Festival on Saturday, October 3. Michael Fassbender stars in the title role, but the film also stars Kate Winslet in the role of former Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as former Apple CEO John Sculley.

The film focuses on the action backstage on the eve of three major Apple product launches: the original Macintosh in 1984, the NeXT Computer, and the iMac.


Tim Cook Receives Performance-Based Award of million in Apple Stock

Tim Cook just had a very good Monday, according to a new report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (via AppleInsider). As rewards for his tenure and performance, the Apple CEO received 560,000 vested restricted Apple stock units, which roughly amounts to a value of million based on Apple’s current stock price. Cook didn’t sell any of the vested restricted stock units, and Apple reportedly withheld 290,836 units in order to stay within minimum statutory tax withholding requirements.

According to the filing, Apple’s total shareholder return (TSR) had to fall within the top third of the Standard & Poor 500 in order for Cook to receive the stock. Apple ranked 46th, which was within the 90th percentile. Had Apple only reached the middle third, Cook would have received only 50 percent of the given award. If Apple had ranked in the bottom third, Cook wouldn’t have received any restricted Apple stock units at all.

But, of course, he did well, and that brings his total current stock to approximately 1.17 million AAPL shares, with an additional 4.76 million set to vest in 700,000-unit batches in 2016 and 2021. Also, 1.68 million more will vest in six annual installments beginning in August of 2016.

In line with Cook’s stated desire to make Apple “a force for good,” Cook stated last year that he plans to give his entire fortune away once he pays for the college education of his young nephew.

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


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