Apple Weekly News Roundup: iPhone 6 Event Announced, More Security for iCloud, iWatch Details and More
Much of the news over the past week was about Apple's big event this coming Tuesday, September 9th. Apple announced on Thursday that the event would be streamed live on Apple.com. Official invitations were sent out the previous Thursday. The iPhone 6 will definitely be unveiled, and it is almost certain at this point that the company's wearable device (popularly, but unofficially, dubbed "iWatch") will make its debut as well. The event will take place at the Flint Center for Performing Arts, which has about four times the capacity of Apple's traditional venue, the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
In addition to the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and iWatch, many analysts believe the next generation iPad Air will be announced as well. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes it will debut next week and will feature an A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor and an improved camera. You also may be able to get it with a gold chassis.
It was a big week for Rovio Entertainment who released Angry Birds Stella to the App Store on Thursday. The gaming studio also got the internet buzzing with its retro 80's trailer for Angry Birds Transformers. The Angry Birds / Transformers crossover will be available for mobile devices on October 15, 2014.
In non-Rovio news, Team Meat released more details about Super Meat Boy Forever, and Sony announced that Run SackBoy! Run!, a LittleBigPlanet endless runner, is coming to PS Vita and mobile devices later this year.
After announcing that an iCloud security breach was not to blame for hackers posting nude photos of celebrities to the internet, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with The Wall Street Journal for his first interview since the leak. Cook claims that the hackers either correctly guessed security questions to gain access to celebrity accounts, or that the celebrities themselves fell for a phishing scam.
Apple plans to give iCloud users a better sense of security by sending a notification every time someone attempts to access an iCloud account for the first time on a new device or alter any information like passwords. The new notifications will begin rolling out in two weeks when iOS 8 is expected to be released to the public.
Apple has added a new live page and countdown clock to apple.com. The page reads: "Live video from our special event will be right here. And so will a whole lot more. Join us at Apple.com on September 9 at 10 a.m. PDT to follow every moment."
Apple sent out invites for the event on Thursday, August 28th. The keynote is being held at Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, instead of the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco where Apple normally makes its new product announcements.
It has never been a question of if, but rather when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) would embrace mobile payments and develop its own digital wallet. Since the iPhone 6 was first announced, many industry analysts have speculated that the new handset would incorporate an NFC chip to facilitate mobile payments; now the Wall Street Journal agrees, not only for the iPhone, but for the iWatch as well.
In Thursday's report, WSJ writers Greg Bensinger, Lorraine Luk and Daisuke Wakabayashi wrote that both as yet unannounced devices would incorporate near field communications (NFC) technology. According to sources close to Apple, "NFC wireless is central to Apple's plans to incorporate so-called tap-to-pay into its mobile devices, allowing users to pay for goods and services using credit cards stored with iTunes."
Apple today published a press release addressing the massive celebrity photo leak that broke the internet over Labor Day weekend. In case you've been living under a rock, an unidentified person published private photos of several high profile celebrities, like Jennifer Lawrence, to an infamous image board that we will not name. Several reports suggested that the hacker may have acquired the images through a security flaw found in Apple's iCloud or Find My iPhone services, but today Apple confirmed that there was no breach in any of its systems. Instead Apple said the celebrities were victim of a " targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions."
"We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."
AAPL Weekly Financial News Roundup: Shares Reach Record High Again, iWatch to be Announced Sept. 9 and More
With iPhone 6 and iWatch excitement at a feverish level, Apple shares (NASDAQ: AAPL) once again closed the week at an all time high of $102.50. The buzz continued over the weekend as after hours trading led to a $103.06 opening price on Tuesday morning. At the time of this writing shares have been as high as $103.74.
The excitement stemmed from Apple's official announcement of a September 9th event in which the company will debut its flagship iPhone 6, as well as the iWatch (which, by the way, is not officially called the "iWatch" at this point). The event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, which is a departure from the company's normal venue, the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It will start at 1 PM Eastern, 10 AM, Pacific.
AMA interviews on Reddit have become a popular way for artists, scientists, politicians and even normal people to interact with the Reddit community, promote upcoming projects and address social issues. Some may even argue that the Ask Me Anything threads are the only thing worth reading on the social news website. Maybe this is why Reddit has decided to launch an app solely dedicated to AMA interviews.
The new app from Reddit gives users an easy way to sort and access all the latest and past popular AMA threads posted to reddit.com. Users can search various categories like Entertainment or Science/Tech, or use the Hot tab to find the latest trending topics. The app also marks active threads and it allows users to up vote the best questions and content from their mobile devices.
Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino has seen two historic Apple events, and now a third is scheduled for September 9th at 10am Pacific Time. The original Mac was launched at this venue in 1984, and the iMac was revealed in 1998. Speculation is rampant that Apple has something big up their sleeve for 2014.
Invitations have been delivered to selected members of the media, confirming the date, time and venue but not much else. With a tag line stating "We wish we could say more," the fact that Apple is not using its preferred spot at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco this time around speaks volumes. While many agree a wearable device such as the iWatch is on its way, analysts are all over the map when it comes to predicting a timeline for release.
Older devices are no stranger to battery issues. As iPhones are charged and discharged, the battery will naturally lose some capacity over time. Apple has recognized that a range of iPhone 5 units with specific serial numbers can suddenly loose their charge.
For those experiencing the problem with their iPhone 5, Apple has offered to replace the battery free of charge. Since a specific range of serial numbers is affected, the company has set up a web page that makes it possible to check your device for eligibility under the replacement program.