September General Meeting

Read the minutes of the September General Meeting. Many thanks to MacsWest Secretary Judy Cherry for recording and preparing them.

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This Week @ MacsWest
Teaching, Helping, Learning and Having Fun! 

 • Monday, September 26, 2016
      Nothing Scheduled

 • Tuesday, September 27, 2016
      1:00 PM – Q&A Session: hosted by David Morin, Palo Verde Room, Palm Ridge Rec Center, until about 2:00 PM

 • Wednesday, September 28, 2016
      10:00 AM – Senior Genius Bar: hosted by the usual suspects of MacsWest; Palm Ridge Room C, until 11:30 AM. These one-on-one help sessions are held every Wednesday morning and offer assistance with Apple devices (Macs, iPads, iPhones), the Apple operating systems, and Apple apps. NOTICE: be sure to bring your list of IDs and passwords needed to work with your device.

 • Thursday, September 29, 2016
      Nothing Scheduled

 • Friday, September 30, 2016 
      1:00 PM –  MW Regular Meeting: A review of the new watchOS operating system that Apple recently released. We do not yet know who will be leading this session. It for sure won’t be Wally, cause he’ll be out of town again and, besides, he doesn’t even own an Apple Watch. Does anyone know of a Club officer who regularly wears an Apple Watch? Likes to get things for free?

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MacOS Sierra gets a release date

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Apple kept the focus on its mobile products during its September 2016 product event today, introducing the iPhone 7iPhone 7 Plus and the Apple Watch Series 2Mac computers went unmentioned during the event, but the MacO Sierra page on Apple's site was updated to include a release date for the operating system: September 20.

As with past OS X releases, MacOS Sierra will be a free upgrade made available via the Mac's App Store, but you will need a Mac from late-2009 or later to make the jump. Here is the list of supported Macs for MacOS Sierra:

Apple's New iPhone 7: No Headphone Jack, But Awesome Camera

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Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Wednesday morning at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco with an explanation of how this will work. With the iPhone 7, users get EarPods that connect into the Lightning Port and an adapter to connect analog headphones, but Apple is also launching some new wireless earbuds it’s calling AirPods. 

Apple has created its first wireless chip, dubbed the W1 chipApple didn’t specify many details on what the wireless technology is, but said it would enable a consistent and reliable connection with the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch. Users can access Siri by double tapping the AirPods earbuds. The earbuds have beam-forming microphones to reduce external noise and pick up the user’s voice. Apple claims the AirPods will be able to play music for up to five hours and comes with a charging case with enough juice for 24 hours of listening time. The new wireless headphones will sell for $159 beginning in late October.

Apple has created its first wireless chip, dubbed the W1 chipApple didn’t specify many details on what the wireless technology is, but said it would enable a consistent and reliable connection with the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch. Users can access Siri by double tapping the AirPods earbuds. The earbuds have beam-forming microphones to reduce external noise and pick up the user’s voice. Apple claims the AirPods will be able to play music for up to five hours and comes with a charging case with enough juice for 24 hours of listening time. The new wireless headphones will sell for $159 beginning in late October.

The new phones comes with two speakers now — one on the top and the other on the bottom — to offer stereo sound.

The other big feature announced on Wednesday is that the iPhone 7 Plus will come with two 12-megapixel cameras. One camera is a wide-angle lens and the other is a telephoto lens for zooming. The phone can now zoom up to 10x. Using the image signal processor, Apple said it could scan the environment in real time and separate out the background from in foreground. It blurs the background and puts the forefront into crisp focus.

 

The iPhone 7 houses Apple’s new processor chip, the A10 Fusion. It has four computing cores — two high performance processors and two high efficiency cores. Apple said the new chip is 40 percent faster than the last-gen A9 chip. Apple also has a new six-core graphics processing unit in the phone, which is 50 percent faster than the GPU in the A9 chip.

The design of the phone looks roughly similar to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. Apple has typically updated the design every two years, but is foregoing that redesign this update cycle. Most noticeably, the iPhone 7 has concealed the antenna bands on the back. The iPhone 7 now comes in a glossy jet black finish, along with a softer black, gold, silver and rose gold.

Other features of note include:

  • The new phones boasts so-called IP67 protection for water and dust resistance.
  • A new solid-state (no moving parts) home button that’s sensitive to how hard the user is pressing.
  • Phones will support Japan’s FeliCa payment system.
  • Battery life is expected to be two hours more than iPhone 6s and one hour more than iPhone 6s Plus.

The phones will come in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models, starting at $649 for the iPhone 7 and $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus. You’ll be able to order on September 9th and they will be available in more than 25 countries on September 16th.

It’s uncertain whether these new features will be enough to kickstart demand for a new iPhone. For the past two quarters, Apple has endured year-over-year revenue declines. Many expect the 10th anniversary addition, due out next year, will offer a more substantial overhaul.

Read the complete article here

Apple Watch 2

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Apple has taken the lid off its next-generation wearable, the Apple Watch 2.

Unveiled at the company's highly-anticipated keynote event in San Francisco today, the Apple Watch Series 2 looks very similar to the company's first edition Watch, with a square face.

However, while the first Apple Watch was "splash" proof, the second edition Series 2 is "swim" proof - completely water resistant to a depth of 50 meters, in both swimming pools and open water.


In order to waterproof it, Apple said it had to close up the ports. This meant the firm had to redesign the speaker so that it has a mechanism that pushes out water.

On the inside, the Watch Series two is powered by the new the S2 chip with a dual-core processor that's up to 50% faster, with a new GPU that offers up to twice the graphics performance, meaning more graphically intensive games, such as NightSky, can run on the Watch, with five times to level of detail.


The Watch Series 2 also features a second-generation display that's two times brighter at 1000 nits, which Apple said will make all the difference when wearers are outside in the sun.

To ensure workouts are more accurate and the Watch Series 2 has built-in GPS, which connects to satellites instantly, and even means that a route map will show your varying speeds.

"With built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 records precise distance, pace and speed for outdoor workouts such as walking, running or cycling, without needing to take an iPhone," said Apple.

"Users can begin an outdoor workout immediately as Apple WatchSeries 2 uses Wi-Fi, GPS and locally stored satellite data to quickly identify their location.

"On completion of an outdoor workout, view a route map that shows variations in speed in the Activity app on iPhone. Whether running, going for a swim or walking between meetings, the Activity app on Apple Watch Series 2 counts all daily activity."

Apple Watch Series 2 will come in aluminum, stainless steel, and white ceramic.

It will cost $369 and will go on sale alongside a new and improved original Apple Watch,which will feature the same S2 processor as it's newer sibling and be renamed Apple Watch Series 1, costing a much lower $269.

You will be able to pre-order both these devices on 9 Septmeber, with them going on sale the following week.


Apple will run on Apple's WatchOS 2 operating system, which will feature the new Pokemon GO app, made specially for the wearable.

John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs said on stage. "It's certainly been a hectic summer for us!

"Pokemon GO has been download 500m times since July around the world with users walking 4.6Billion KM while playing the game. Combine Pokemon gameplay while you're on the go, such as doing a run."

When you approach a Pokemon, the watch will notify you. It also notifies you when Pokegyms are near by, so you never miss a Pokestop.

As part of the Watch Series 2 announcement, Apple also unveiled a new partnership with Nike.

"We've worked with Nike for over a decade, and we couldn't be more excited today to announce Apple Watch Nike+," Apple said.

"The Apple Watch Nike+ "isn't just a watch, it's your perfect running partner. We think it delivers the best running experience out there."

The Nike+ will be available to pre-order from 13 September, going on sale the following week.

Apple releases macOS security update to fix flaw one week after iOS patch

A week after patching three serious vulnerabilities in iOS, Apple has released a matching software update to fix the same flaws in its computer operating system macOS.

The urgent security update affects the most recent two versions of macOS, El Capitan and Yosemite, and blocks weaknesses in Safari and the base operating system. It can be downloaded through software update on affected machines.

The vulnerabilities were discovered when an attempt to hack into the iPhone of an Arab activist was discovered by two security consultancies, Lookout Mobile and Citizen Lab. Ahmed Mansour received two suspicious text messages in early august, claiming to offer new information about dissidents being tortured in the UAE. Mansour forwarded the links to the security researchers, who found a hitherto unknown type of spyware: one that could take total control of an iPhone running the latest version of iOS simply by the user opening the link in Safari.

Apple was informed, and the existence of the weaknesses was kept secret until the company was able to put together a patch for its mobile phones. But the underlying architecture of iOS and macOS is similar enough that the flaws also exist in Apple’s computers.

The company has not explained why it took a week after disclosure to fix its desktop operating systems. In theory, the delay left users open to attack, since cybercriminals were alerted to the existence of the vulnerability the day the iOS patch was released. But in practice, there are no reports of macOS malware in the wild that use these vulnerabilities – yet.

Nevertheless, Mac users would be well advised to update their computers sooner rather than later.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 to fix a major iPhone and iPad security flaw

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With less than two weeks to go until the iPhone 7 unveiling, Apple has released another update for iOS 9, and this is one you’re going to want to download as soon as you possibly can. According to The New York Times, Apple discovered that NSO Group, an intelligence gathering firm out of Israel, was taking advantage of multiple vulnerabilities that allowed them to read texts and emails, track calls, record audio, collect passwords and even track a user’s location.


If you want to keep your private information secure, it’s probably best to update immediately. In order to download and install iOS 9.3.5, either head to Settings> General > Software Update on your iOS device, or plug the device into your computer, at which point iTunes will alert you that an update is available.

The 5 best Apple TV controllers

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What are the best Apple TV controllers for gaming? Five of the best wireless Bluetooth controllers for your Apple TV revealed.

Your Apple TV comes with a Siri Remote, which you can use to control pretty much all of the device's functions. It doesn't look much like a games controller, but Apple insists that all games must be able to be played using the Siri Remote.

For lots of games, like Asphalt or Crossy Road, the Siri Remote will be just fine, but there are MFi (Made For iPhone) controllers available to connect to the Apple TV, and if you're a serious gamer we'd strongly recommend you buy one. These MFi controllers look more like video game control pads, with sticks, triggers and multiple buttons.

An MFi remote will make complex games (especially shooters like Modern Combat) easier and more fun to play. Read on to find out which Apple TV controllers we'd recommend. 

 

Click Here for The Full Article.

Learn how to pair Bluetooth headphones, keyboards, controllers, and more with your Apple TV (4th generation).

Learn how to pair Bluetooth headphones, keyboards, controllers, and more with your Apple TV (4th generation).

Apple TV (4th generation)

Choose a device or accessory to pair with your Apple TV

There are many devices and accessories that you can pair with your Apple TV, like Bluetooth headphones, speakers, keyboards, and game controllers.

While there are apps that let you use your iOS device as a controller with your Apple TV, you can't pair your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch to your Apple TV.

Pair your Bluetooth accessory

Use these steps to pair a Bluetooth accessory to your Apple TV (4th generation):

  1. Put your Bluetooth accessory in pairing mode using the instructions that came with it.
  2. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. Your Apple TV will search for nearby Bluetooth accessories.
  3. Choose your Bluetooth accessory. 
  4. If asked, enter a passkey or PIN. On your Apple TV, your accessory should now appear in My Devices. 

Unpair your Bluetooth accessory

On your Apple TV (4th generation), go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. Select your accessory, then select Forget Device.

Use more than one Bluetooth accessory

Your Apple TV (4th generation) can support several Bluetooth controllers simultaneously, up to this many:

  • One Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote*
  • Two MFi (Made for iOS) Bluetooth controllers, or one MFi Bluetooth controller and one Bluetooth audio accessory (like headphones or speakers).

You might be able to pair more accessories, but at some point you might need to unpair others to allow for new ones.  Some apps might let you use an iOS device as an additional controller, which doesn't require Bluetooth. For help using an iOS device as a controller in an app, contact the app developer.

Get help

If a Bluetooth accessory won’t connect to your Apple TV (4th generation) or loses connectivity during use, follow these steps. After each step, see if you still need help:

  1. Make sure that you're in range of your Apple TV and there isn't interference in the area.
  2. Check that your accessory is fully charged and powered on.
  3. Make sure that the software on your Bluetooth accessory and your Apple TV is up to date. For example, if you have Beats wireless headphones, check for firmware updates.
  4. Move your Apple TV to a different location near your television.
  5. Look for your accessory in Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. If you see it but you can’t connect to it, use the steps above to unpair your accessory. Then try to pair it again.
  6. If you need more help connecting or using a Bluetooth accessory with your Apple TV, contact the manufacturer of the accessory.

* Apple TV (4th generation) ships with the same remote everywhere. In countries and regions that support Siri, the remote is called Siri Remote. Elsewhere, it’s called Apple TV Remote. Siri works on either remote as long as your Apple TV (4th generation) is set up with a language and country that supports Siri.

New Apple TV (4th Gen) Unboxing, Setup & Tips - YouTube

New Apple TV features: what's coming in the 2016 tvOS update

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At WWDC 2016 in June, Apple announced a bunch of new updates for tvOS on Apple TV including new Siri capabilities, single sign-on for Apple TV plus other bits and pieces.

The new features are available now as part of the tvOS developer preview (if you’re a registered Apple Developer) but for everybody else the new tvOS software update will be available in the Autumn – probably early September when iPhone 7 and iOS 10 take a bow.

Apple TV Features and Updates

You can download the new Apple TV Remote iOS app with touch navigation, Siri and game play support.

  • Apple Music has a new design. The Library, For You, Browse and Radio tabs have been completely redesigned to provide an even greater sense of place, and a Search tab has been added to make finding music even easier.
  • Photos for Apple TV now supports the new Memories feature, making it easy to rediscover meaningful moments in a user’s photo library and share them on the big screen.
  • While there’s a bright and fresh Apple TV interface, you can select a dark background for Apple TV should you prefer.
  • Universal apps will now automatically download on Apple TV and show up on the Home screen when an app has been added to your iOS device.
  • When a keyboard appears on Apple TV, one will also appear on nearby iOS devices that are logged into the same iCloud account, making entering text even more convenient. We love that!

New Siri Features on Apple TV

Siri can now search over 650,000 TV episodes and movies depending on where you are in the world – it’s available in 12 countries - but this update comes with more.

  • Topic search for movies: You can now ask Siri for a movie by topic or theme, you have even more ways to find the films you really feel like watching, such as “Find documentaries about cars,” or “Find high school comedies from the ‘80s.” 
  • YouTube search: Siri can now search YouTube, so you can say “Search YouTube for cute pug videos.”
  • Live tune-in: You’ll be able to ask Siri to go directly to a live channel inside a supported app, such as “Watch CBS News” or “Watch ESPN.” 
  • Manage HomeKit accessories: Apple TV gives users control of HomeKit-enabled accessories so you can ask Siri to “Turn on the lights” or “Set the temperature to 20 degrees.” Apple TV also enables you to control HomeKit accessories when they are away from home or use it for home automation with the Home app on your iOS device.

Apple TV single sign-on

Starting in the US, you’ll have a simplified way of acessing pay-TV video channels by using single sign-on. You have to sign in once on Apple TV to gain access rather than signing into services separately. Once you are signed into one app, any other app on Apple TV from participating pay-TV providers will automatically log in. Single sign-on will be available on both Apple TV and iOS.

Better Apple TV apps

Since the latest Apple TV box debuted last year, over 6,000 apps have been made available for Apple TV. The new version of tvOS introduces several new tools for developers to include in their apps:

  • ReplayKit to enable developers to record and live broadcast from their apps;
  • PhotoKit to allow third-party app access to photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Shared Stream;
  • HomeKit to create apps to control HomeKit devices from Apple TV;
  • App badging on the Home screen, to make it easier for you to know something new for them is available inside an app; and,
  • Game Center enhancements and support for up to four game controllers at a time.

Everything You Need to Know About Apple's MacOS Sierra

There are plenty of new features to look forward to when Apple releases macOS Sierra this fall. | Source: Apple.com

When Apple announced macOS Sierra at its 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference, one of the headlining features was the integration of Siri, the company’s digital assistant, across the operating system. Plenty of people are excited that Siri is finally making her debut on Mac, and many Mac users are also excited about features in macOS (renamed from OS X) that will make it easier to manage photos, shop online, and multitask. Curious about how things will change when you upgrade to macOS Sierra? Ahead, here’s everything we know about macOS Sierra.

macOS Sierra overview

Apple announced macOS Sierra on June 13 during the keynote at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. As had been rumored before the event, Apple opted to rename OS X to macOS, aligning the branding with its other software platforms (iOS, watchOS, and tvOS). As MacRumors reports, the biggest new feature in macOS Sierra is Siri integration, which brings the digital assistant that users have grown to love (or just to tolerate) on the iPhone and iPad to the Mac for the first time.

Even though Apple changed the name of its Mac operating system from OS X to macOS, it’s continued the tradition of naming major Mac releases after California landmarks. The “Sierra” in the name of this year’s release refers to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the vast majority of which is in California but also spans part of Nevada.

macOS Sierra is already available to developers, and will go through a public beta release in July. (You can sign up for that beta release on Apple’s website.) Finally, the release will be launched to the public in the fall. The operating system will run on a wide variety of Macs. That includes the iMac and MacBook from 2009 or later, plus the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro from 2010 or later.

macOS Sierra features

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

 

Siri: Apple’s choice to integrate Siri into macOS means that many of the capabilities Siri has on iOS will also be available on Mac. (You’ll be able to ask Siri some simple questions, get her to do a web search for you, send messages, and open apps.) Additionally, there are macOS-specific features, like the ability to ask Siri to search for specific files. You can even use follow-up questions to refine the results. You can also ask Siri to find you images to add to a document, or create a map to add to an event invitation, which makes it easier to multitask.

Additionally, Mac users will be able to pin search results that Siri surfaces to the Today section of the Notification Center, and Siri will be able to search Photos, set reminders, and place FaceTime calls. In macOS Sierra, you’ll be able to access Siri through an icon on the menu bar, a dock app, or via a keyboard command that you specify.

Messages: As with iOS 10, macOS Sierra adds some new features to Messages. The app gains rich links for previewing web content and watching videos directly in a conversation. The macOS Sierra version also supports the features coming to the iOS 10 version, including bigger emoji and a Tapback feature for quick replies.

Photos: macOS brings a number of improvements for the Photos app. New computer vision and deep learning algorithms enable the app to recognize the people, objects, and scenes in your photos. The app will be able to group photos into collections, and users will be able to take advantage of powerful search functionality to find the exact photos they want.

Additionally, a new “Memories” tab displays curated collections of photos to resurface those memories, and a Places album shows photos on a map. The Memories feature generates video montages of the photos that you took on a specific trip or in a given location, and the app will automatically add music, titles, and transitions. Once the montage is generated, you can customize it to fit the right mood, or change out the titles and photos included in the video.

Apple Pay on the web in macOS Sierra

 

Apple Pay: In Apple’s next-generation operating system, Apple Pay is supported in the browser, enabling users to pay for purchases they make on the web with Apple Pay. Each payment is authenticated via the Touch ID sensor on a connected iPhone or via an unlocked Apple Watch.

Apple Music: As on iOS 10, the Apple Music app for macOS Sierra features a brand-new design, with a bolder aesthetic, a new focus on album art, and a pared-down interface to make it easier for users to discover new music. (Which should solve some of the frustrations around using Apple Music on the Mac.) The tabs included in the interface now include “Library,” “For You,” “Browse,” and “Radio,” plus a new “Search” tab that makes it quicker to search for specific songs or albums. Additionally, the app gains a new feature to view the lyrics to a song while listening.

Tabs: In macOS Sierra, all Mac apps are able to use multiple tabs. That means that in apps like Pages, you’ll be able to work in multiple tabs instead of dealing with multiple windows when you have more than one document open. A related feature is new Picture-in-Picture multitasking for Mac users, which will make it easier to watch a video or participate in a FaceTime call while completing other tasks.

Continuity: Apple is adding new Continuity features in macOS Sierra, including new Auto Unlock capability for Apple Watch owners. When you sit down at your Mac wearing an authenticated and unlocked Apple Watch, your Mac will automatically unlock without requiring you to enter your password. Another new Continuity feature is the Universal Clipboard, which will span macOS and iOS devices and enable you to copy something on one device and paste it on another. As Brandon Widder reports for Digital Trends, Handoff and Cellular Calls are Continuity’s two biggest features, but the Universal Clipboard may change that.

iCloud Drive in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

 

iCloud integration: Another feature that owners of multiple Apple devices will be able to take advantage of is deeper iCloud integration. All of the files that you store on your desktop or within the documents folder of your Mac will be available on all of your devices, including another Mac, your iPhone, or your iPad. You’ll be able to access them through the iCloud Drive app or on the web via iCloud.com.

New Apple File System (APFS): With macOS Sierra, Apple is introducing a new file system built around SSDs, with native encryption as its headlining feature. On a related note, Apple is also introducing an Optimized Storage feature to automatically free up storage space when your storage is getting tight. The feature stores infrequently-used files (like read ebooks, old screenshots, iTunes U courses, full-resolution photos, unused Mac App Store apps, old presentations and text files, unused fonts, and old Mail attachments) in iCloud and removes them from your Mac’s local storage, and it reminds you to delete used app installers and clear out duplicate downloads and caches.

Safari Extensions and Plug-Ins: In the past, Safari extensions needed to be downloaded from the web. In macOS Sierra, they’ll be accessible via the Mac App Store. Additionally, Safari 10 in macOS Sierra disables common plugins like Adobe Flash, Java, Silverlight, and QuickTime by default in order to focus on HTML5 content and improve the browsing experience. To access content on websites where these plug-ins are required, you’ll have to authorize playback with a click.

Apple unveils a new smaller iPad Pro

Apple just announced the successor to the iPad Air 2 during its press conference in Cupertino. This isn’t a new iPad Air, it’s a smaller iPad Pro. And the company is calling it the iPad Pro.

“We believe that iPad is the perfect expression of the future of computing,” Tim Cook said on stage before Phil Schiller introduced the new iPad.

The iPad Air 2 was released in October 2014 so today’s new iPad is a big upgrade. It still features a 9.7-inch display, but everything else is new.

It features a new display with 40 percent less reflectivity. It’s 25 percent brighter than an iPad Air 2 with a wider color gamut. At 500 nits of light, it’s the brightest iPad ever. The smaller iPad Pro will work great with Night Shift, a new feature in iOS 9.3 that turns the display into a yellow-ish display when the sun goes down. The new iPad Pro also has two new four-channel ambient light sensors to measure the ambient light more accurately and adjust white balance.

Like on the bigger iPad Pro, the new device features 4 speakers with big cavities for louder, better sound. Behind the scene, the iPad Pro features an A9X, supports faster LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The new iPad features the 12-megapixel iPhone 6s camera that can shoot 4k video, out-performing the camera on the big iPad Pro. Unfortunately, it means that the camera isn’t flush.

Apple is also releasing a smaller Smart Keyboard cover, like the one on the big iPad Pro but smaller. Keys are going to be a bit smaller, but the keyboard uses the smart connector so you don’t have to pair or charge it.

The smaller iPad Pro also supports the Apple Pencil. Finally, you can plug lightning accessories to transfer photos with the USB camera adaptor and the SD card reader. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in four colors — silver, black, gold and rose gold. The new iPad Pro is 6.1 mm thick and weighs just under one pound.

The new iPad is also a bit more expensive. Starting at $599, it’s $100 more than the entry-level iPad Air 2. But it also comes with 32GB instead of 16GB. For $749, you get a 128GB of storage, and for $899 you get 256GB for the first time. It’s unclear how much the LTE options are going to cost. The iPad Air 2 is now $399, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro now has a 256GB configuration. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available in early April.

Apple introduces the iPhone SE

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If you’ve been hankering for a new iPhone that has all the power of the latest generations but fits in your hand like the old models, today is a good day for you. 

Apple has just unveiled the long-awaited iPhone SE.

Design

The phone has a 4-inch display and the same general dimensions as the iPhone 5s.In fact, the iPhone SE looks almost identical in design to the iPhone 5s, including the chamfered, sharper edges of the device. The only difference is those edges will be finished in matte, unlike the iPhone 5s. 

The phone will come in space grey, silver, gold and rose gold. 

That said, the iPhone SE has very different innards than the iPhone 5s.

Tech Specs

The new, smaller model will include an NFC chip for Apple Pay, alongside the much-faster A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor. This means that the phone will see speeds similar to the iPhone 6s, and will also be equipped with always-on “Hey Siri” functionality.

Apple also said that it has been able to reach LTE speeds that are 50 percent faster than previous generations. 

Camera

The camera will also see upgrades, with a 12-megapixel sensor and the ability to capture 4K video. This is the same camera you’ve seen on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. 

With that camera comes the ability to capture and view Live Photos, Apple’s GIF-style feature that captures a couple seconds of video before and after the picture is taken to result in a moving, video-like final product.

Rumors suggested that the new iPhone wouldn’t have the front-facing flash capability we’ve seen on the iPhone 6s. That, however, is incorrect. Apple has included that same LED functionality into the SE, meaning you can take selfies in the right lighting conditions with the smaller model. 

No 3D Touch

Sources told 9to5Mac that the reason behind this is that the front-facing flash requires the new display tech we’ve seen on the iPhone 6s, which brings us to 3D touch.

The flagship feature on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which offers deeper interaction with various applications on the iPhone through hard taps and long taps, will not be present on the iPhone SE.

Software

iOS 9.2 comes out today, and will ship with the little iPhone SE. It includes Night Mode, which changes the coloring and brightness of the display to better suit your eyes in the evening/night and early in the morning. It will also include password-protected (TouchID) Notes, app suggestions in Health, and more customized News. 

CarPlay has also gotten integration from many more carmakers. 

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone SE will come in two models, 16GB and 64GB, priced at $399 and $499 respectively. If you’re using the iPhone Upgrade program, pricing starts at $17/month. 

You can pick up the new iPhone starting March 31, and it will hit 100 countries by May.

Apple Pay: A 5-step beginner's guide

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called 2015 “the year of Apple Pay," referring to the company’s highly successful mobile payments system, which was developed across several years.

Step 1: Set up Apple Pay on iPhone

Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and an Apple Watch that’s paired with an iPhone 5 or later series device.

Launch the Passbook app (soon to be called Wallet).

Tap Set up Apple Pay

There are a couple of ways to set up Apple Pay for your card.

Add the credit or debit card you already use for iTunes to Passbook by entering the card security code

Or:

Use your iSight camera to scan your card in order to enter your card information.

Or:

Do it manually. Choose Enter a new Credit or Debit Card

Enter the Name, Card Number, Expiration Date and Security Code from your card. Tap Next.

In some cases, your card will be verified with your bank, which may require you make or receive a call and/or enter a code sent to you via SMS.

Your verified card will appear at the top of Passbook & Apple Pay section of settings.

Step 2: Set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and select Passbook & Apple Pay. Tap ‘Add a Credit or Debit Card."

To add the card you already use with iTunes just enter the security code.

You can also add a card using the iSight camera on your iPhone or type details manually (as above).

Step 3: Using Apple Pay

In theory, Apple Pay works in any store that accepts NFC payments, usually shown by the ‘Contactless’ (tap and pay) symbol on the payment machine. You can already use it internationally if you have an account with a supporting bank.

You can also use Apple Pay to pay with a single touch within apps – just look for the Buy with Apple Pay icon.

To pay with a phone: Just hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID

To pay with Apple Watch: Double-click the side button and hold the face of your Apple Watch up to the contactless reader. A gentle tap and a beep confirm that your payment information has been sent.

If you have multiple cards, you can browse through all available payment cards in Passbook on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Step 4: Update and remove

If you want to remove a card from Apple Pay to go to Settings>Passbook & Apple pay, tap the card that you want to remove and then select Remove Card.

You can change the address email, or phone number you use for paying within apps Settings > Passbook & Apple Pay to update your information.

Step 5: Is it safe?

Apple likes to say its system is safer than existing chip-and-pin system, and may have a point. Whenever you use a card to pay, your card number and identity are visible. Apple Pay uses a a unique Device Account Number to replace your actual credit and debit card numbers, so your real identity and card number details are not shared. And if you lose your iOS device, you can use Find My iPhone to suspend Apple Pay or wipe your device.

You can also remove your cards from Apple Pay on iCloud.com. Just sign in, click Settings, choose your device, and remove your cards in the Apple Pay section.

 

Apple moves to six-digit passcode in iOS 9

Apple plans to require six-digit passcodes to unlock its latest mobile devices that use iOS 9, its forthcoming mobile operating system.

Users already have the option in iOS 8 of setting a much longer passcode than four digits, which is the current minimum requirement. Symbols and letters can also be used.

Increasing the minimum number of digits to six means that there will be 1 million possible combinations rather than 10,000, which "will be a lot tougher to crack," Apple wrote on its website.

The move to longer passcodes is not likely to please U.S. authorities, who have expressed fears that stronger security measures, including encryption, may make it more difficult to obtain information for time-sensitive investigations, such as terrorism.

Apple beefed up the encryption in iOS 8, protecting more sensitive data and employing more protections within hardware to make it harder to access.

Security experts have said that the use of a four-digit passcodes in iOS 8 is likely insufficient to protect data despite the protections Apple put in place. Users are better served by longer, unique passwords, but rarely opt for more complicated ones.

The passcode change will apply to devices that have Touch ID, Apple's fingerprint scanner that is built into the latest versions of its hardware.

Touch ID eliminates the sometimes fiddly process of unlocking a phone using the four-digit code, but Apple does require it to be entered after a device is restarted.

iOS devices have other passcode protection features. For example, if a wrong passcode is entered, an iPhone can lock someone out for a minute and for subsequently longer times if wrong passcodes are repeatedly entered.

A device can also be configured to erase itself after 10 wrong attempts.

The move to six digits could make it a lot harder for law enforcement to randomly guess passcodes on an iOS 9 device if it hasn't been configured to wipe its data.

The best cable modem (for most folks)

 

 

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com.

 

 

After researching 57 different cable modems, the $90 ARRIS / Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 remains the cable modem we recommend for most people. If instead of renting from your ISP, you buy your own cable modem, you can get a better device and recoup the cost in as little as a year—and then start saving anywhere from $6-$10 each month, depending on your ISP's rental fees.  Yes, you can probably find a slightly cheaper cable modem that only works with your ISP. We prefer our pick because its flexibility makes it a better long-term investment if you change service during the lifetime of the device. Unlike the competition, the SurfBoard is compatible with almost all of the fastest Internet plans from seven of the eight biggest cable Internet providers, including Charter, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable. You can move almost wherever you want and be assured that this buy-once, use-for-awhile device will still work. And you get the flexibility to switch providers if there's a better deal in your area.

 

Read The Complete Article Here.

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