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Apple premiered two new TV ads for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus tonight featuring the duo of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The first of the two, “Reservations,” shows off iOS 8’s new Continuity features that allow users to place phone calls from any iCloud-connected device.
In the ad, Timberlake uses a Mac and iPad to call Fallon’s iPhone, while Fallon answers the calls in a phony French accent.
In the second ad, “Gamers,” (below), the pair plays of iPhone-based MOBO Vainglory and engage is some lingo-filled trash talk. Vainglory that was originally demonstrated during Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement and appeared on the App Store earlier this week.
Apple is hinting at its interest in developing apps for virtual reality and augmented reality experiences and hiring engineers to assist. The evidence comes from a new job listing that Apple posted over the weekend seeking app engineers experienced with 3D graphics, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
More specifically, Apple is looking for app developers to build user interfaces and “high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping and user testing.”
The job listing doesn’t provide many other details in terms of what exactly Apple is working on, but it sure sounds a lot like the company is interested in developing virtual reality and or augmented reality experiences of some kind. As for what “virtual reality systems” Apple is referring to, it’s unclear if Apple has plans to integrate software with third-party hardware— like the growing number of iPhone accessories for VR experiences— or perhaps its own virtual reality hardware of sorts.
Even more interesting is the fact that an Apple patent popped up last year showing what looks a lot like an Oculus Rift-style headset:
Apple described the headset as a “goggle system for providing a personal media viewing experience,” but didn’t make mentions of virtual reality applications. It was awarded the patent back in September of this year.
While much of the focus in the VR space has surrounded the company behind the Oculus Rift headset acquired by Facebook earlier this year, several other companies small and large have announced products that are either just hitting the market or coming soon. Some products are standalone experiences and direct competitors to the hardcore gaming-focused Oculus Rift, while others, like Google’s recently launched Cardboard experiment and Samsung’s Gear VR for its Note 4, utilize an existing mobile device to offer a less expensive, lighter weight solution. Most headsets are pushing gaming as the killer app for VR, but one company I sat down with last week is creating a $99 iPhone case that doubles as a VR experience for more casual app experiences like retail.
All solutions will require app developers to support the platform and build experiences that make the hardware appealing to consumers, but many products like Oculus and Sony’s competitor are still in a beta mode with only development units available.
Apple announced its 2014 World AIDS Day campaign that will see the company donate a portion of its holiday retail sales, as well as proceeds from a special section of the App Store called "Apps for (RED)," to the (RED) foundation's Global Fund to fight AIDS.
It appears today's (GarageBand)RED update was the first of many, as Apple later unveiled Apps for (RED), a collaboration with top developers to offer exclusive in-app purchases in recognition of World AIDS Day.
Every time a for-pay Apps for (RED) title is purchased — or when an in-app purchase is conducted through participating apps — from Monday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 7, all proceeds will go to (RED)'s fund.
The campaign is scheduled to coincide with World AIDS Day, which falls on Monday, Dec. 1.
"Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact. This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple's retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well."
In addition to apps, Apple plans to donate to the Global Fund to fight AIDS a portion of retail and online store sales generated over the two biggest shopping days of the year. For Black Friday, coming up on Nov. 28, Apple is handing out special (PRODUCT)RED iTunes Gift Cards with select purchases made in the U.S. Each card represents an additional donation to the fund. The following Monday, coined Cyber Monday for sales offered by e-commerce websites, Apple will donate a portion of all brick-and-mortar and online Apple Store sales to (RED).
"Apple isn't just in the fight to end AIDS. They are setting a new bar for business, giving $75 million and counting to the Global Fund as part of their partnership with (RED)," said (RED) cofounder Bono. "I couldn't be prouder to work with them."
Full list of apps participating in Apple's Apps for (RED) campaign, all of which feature red icons to commemorate the event:
Angry Birds players can perfect their bird-flinging with (RED)'s Mighty Feathers and challenge themselves to a bonus golden egg level.
Bubble Witch 2 Saga offers new (PRODUCT)RED levels across all 17 episodes of the game. Gold bar currency purchases will be donated to (RED).
CSR Racing delivers new in-game thrills with the highly anticipated Mercedes Benz-AMG GT.
Clash of Clans warriors can prepare for battle with special edition (PRODUCT)RED gems and display a (RED) badge of honor on the village's town hall.
Clear's users can perfect their organizational skills with a new (PRODUCT)RED theme which appears automatically with all new downloads.
Cut the Rope 2 unveils a wide selection of (PRODUCT)RED items including a new red hat, red touch print, red balloons and a red ginger cookie.
Despicable Me: Minion... [Read More]
Shoppers that purchase some of Apple's most popular products on Friday will also receive a Product (RED) gift card that can be used on the U.S. iTunes Store, Mac App Store, App Store, or iBooks Store.
Purchasing any of Apple's iPhone lineup — including the iPhone 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus — will net a $50 gift card, though they are limited to two gift cards per household. iPad buyers will receive the same with the same restriction, while consumers bringing home an iPod nano or iPod touch will have a $25 gift card added.
For the first time, Beats products will be included in the sale and will come with a $25 gift card, as will the Apple TV.
Macs will garner a $100 gift card. Notably, the Mac Pro is not included in Apple's list of qualifying products, so purchases of Apple's desktop workhorse will not come with any extra incentive.
Apple will make a donation to The Global Fund with each purchase, though it is not immediately clear what percentage of each transaction will be contributed.
The latest update to OS X Yosemite, 10.10.1, appears to be causing some users to be unable to play YouTube videos in Safari. According to threads on the Apple Support forums and Google's Product forums, some users that attempt to play YouTube videos are seeing only black screens with audio clipping or are experiencing problems loading videos.
Other users are able to play videos, but are seeing a brief error message before a video begins to play, and still other users are getting complete browser crashes when attempting to watch a video. For some users, the problems just started a few hours ago, suggesting the issue may be on YouTube's end.
I installed Yosemite on my iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007) when it was first released and I had no issues whatsoever.
Last night I updated Yosemite to 10.10.1 and now all of a sudden Safari Version 8.0 (10600.1.25.1) won't play any YouTube videos. All I get is a black screen with a little audio clipping.
When using Firefox (v32.1.1) or Chrome (v38.0.2125.122) everything works ok.
MacRumors has confirmed the problem and has also had some trouble loading certain YouTube videos in Safari. Users on the support forums have tried various methods to fix the issue, including resetting PRAM, clearing cookies and caches, but nothing appears to work to fix the problem. One user discovered a temporary fix, going to Develop --> User Agent --> and checking Google Chrome - Mac, but the fix resets when the browser is closed.
YouTube videos appear to be playing fine in both Chrome and Firefox, so a workaround until a fix is available is to watch videos in an alternate browser.
Released to the public on Monday after two weeks of testing, OS X 10.10.1 bundled in reliability improvements to Wi-Fi, Microsoft Exchange, Mail, and Back to My Mac. Apple has already seeded a second Yosemite update, 10.10.2, to developers, but that beta has its own issues, including problems with Chrome, and user reports suggest the Safari error is present on 10.10.2 as well.
Update: Users on OS X 10.10.0 are also reporting the issue, suggesting it is indeed a YouTube problem.
Update: It appears that OS X 10.10.2 is causing the latest version of Google's Chrome browser to crash. Retina iMac owners are also seeing display issues with the beta.
Update : The Chrome/10.10.2 issue is related to the trackpad, and the crashing can be circumvented by using an external mouse and disabling the trackpad while the mouse is plugged in.