WWDC Keynote Unveils Some Big Improvements to Messaging in iOS 8

At today's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote presentation in San Francisco, Apple Senior VP of Software and Engineering, Craig Federighi, unveiled new features of the Messages app that most people are going to like. The improvements, which include changes to group messaging and a "tap to talk" feature, will debut with iOS 8 in the fall.

iOS 8 Messages app improvements

There are several big improvements to group messaging in iOS 8. You will be able to add and remove people from ongoing threads, rather than starting a new thread without someone, as you currently have to do. If you want to remain on a thread, but don't wish to be disturbed (and who hasn't been in this situation), there is now a

Apple Announces New 'Family Sharing' Option in iOS 8

Apple has given parents more control over the App Store and iTunes by adding a "Family Sharing" option to iOS 8. The new feature allows up to six users to share App Store purchases such as songs, apps and games when using the same credit card. Families can also share photo streams, calendars and reminders without sharing their individual Apple IDs or passwords.

Family Sharing

Family Sharing gives moms and dads more parental control over purchases thanks to its "Ask Permission" feature. The credit card holder will receive a notification every time a member of the household attempts to purchase a new app or song on their iPhone or iPad. Parents will then have the choice to deny the purchase or review the media and approve the transaction. The new "Ask Permission" feature and the ability to disable in-app purchases are just two ways Apple is helping parents protect themselves from unwanted App Store and iTunes purchases showing up on their credit card bill.

AAPL Weekly Financial News Roundup: Beats Acquisition, Stock Split and More

Aside from the WWDC kickoff, the big news on everyone's mind today (at least shareholders' minds) is the 7-to-1 stock split that will affect all shareholders of record at market closing time. Everyone holding one share of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) at that point will be holding seven after the market closes this Friday, June 6. Shares will begin trading on a split-adjusted price beginning Monday, June 9. This prompts a question: What happens to shares bought between today and Friday? The split will still take place, it will just take a bit longer for your brokerage account to be credited with the additional shares.

Beats by Dr. Dre

The big news of last week was Apple's agreement to purchase Beats Music. The acquisition of the subscription streaming music service, as well as Beats Electronics, which produces high end audio equipment like the "b" headphones, will finalize in

Weekly News Roundup: WWDC Anticipation, Beats Acquisition and More

The news this week was mostly dominated by Apple's agreement to purchase Beats Music and by speculation about next week's WWDC 2014, but there were some other items of interest.

WWDC banners 2014

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is scheduled to kick off with a keynote presentation this Monday morning, June 2, at 10:00 AM PST. The banners are up and everything is set to go. Tim Cook's keynote presentation will likely center on iOS 8 and its features. Another hot topic that ties in with the new iOS

iOS 8 Reveal at WWDC Confirmed, Healthbook Trademarked

The keynote presentation at this year's WWDC is only hours away, but this hasn't stopped ongoing speculation surrounding the event. New banners have gone up at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, all but confirming that iOS 8 will be the star of the show. The banner shows the number 8 in the same typeface used for iOS 7.

Apple iPhone 6 WWDC

Yet another banner has Mac fans buzzing about the next release of OS X. Scenery from Yosemite National Park has sparked rumors that the next release will be named after the park. This fits the California-themed naming system Apple kicked off with Mavericks at last year's WWDC.

RadioShack Drops iPhone 5s Pricing to $79.99

RadioShack has dropped in-store pricing on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c to its lowest offer yet. With a two-year contract, the iPhone 5s can be purchased starting at $79.99, and the iPhone 5c at $29.99. The deal comes hot on the heels of its April iPhone 5s promotion offering $100 off.

Apple iPhone 5s discount RadioShack 2

Customers can take advantage of these promotional prices on 16 GB iPhone models with service on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon networks. Trade in a working iPhone 4S and RadioShack will hand over a brand new iPhone 5s for free. Participants in the company's Trade & Save program can also get the iPhone 5c for no charge.

iPhone 6 may have Illuminated Apple Logo

In recent weeks there has been no shortage of mockups and "leaked" photos purporting to show iPhone 6 hardware and cases. The latest one comes from Australian site Macfixit, and it shows something that suggests the new iPhone could have an illuminated Apple logo on its back panel.

iPhone 6 rear casing

The photo shows an aluminum rear casing panel with what appears to be a cut out Apple logo. All of the iPhone models thus far have incorporated an Apple logo on the back panel, but they have been etched and polished rather than cut out, as you can see in this iPad Pro prototype. So, if this photo is trusted, it seems that Apple

iOS App of the Week: Battleheart Legacy

Only released a few days ago, Mika Mobile's follow-up to the popular Battleheart RPG for iOS devices is already receiving positive reviews from both fans and critics. Battleheart Legacy is a 3D retweak of its predecessor that adds a lot more depth to the original concept. The game now allows players to use experience points to build multifaceted characters by learning a variety of skills instead of just following one skill tree. The game also features multiple dialog options which gives it a choose your own adventure feel and allows for players to discover more quests or items depending on their choices.

Battleheart Legacy

Battleheart Legacy is also being praised for its new 3D graphics that stay true to the cartoonish look of the original game, its fast load times and redesigned battle system. The game has been called one of the best games of the year by Touch Arcade, and it has been compared to both The Legend of Zelda and Skyrim. Other improvements include better iCloud support, over 150 unique skills to learn, 12 classes of heroes, over 200 unique pieces of equipment and Game Center support.

Real Racing 3 Adds Night Racing, Le Mans Prototypes

The updates just keep coming for Real Racing 3, the top free app in over 90 countries. EA and Firemonkeys are constantly working to make this Best of 2013 mobile game even better. This time version 2.3.0 allows iOS drivers to race on the world’s foremost endurance racing circuit, the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans.

hight racing Real Racing 3 iOS

When the sun sets it's time for the headlights to come on. Besides the stunning new ambiance, players can race next generation Le Mans prototype vehicles, including the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, Porsche 919 Hybrid and the Toyota TS040 Hybrid. In addition to a Le Mans Campaign, split-screen multiplayer makes it possible to race with up to 4 people using Bluetooth controllers.

Apple Finally Agrees to Buy Beats Music for $3B

Several weeks of rumor, anticipation and speculation finally came to a close today when Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) formally announced in a press release that it will indeed acquire Beats Electronics, along with the Beats Music subscription service, for $3 billion.

Beats by Dr. Dre

As part of the deal, Beats co-founders, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine will join the team in Cupertino in as yet undisclosed roles. According to Iovine, "I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple... The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is

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