Manual photo uploads now available to all Apple users

Nov 21, 2014 - 3:00 PM - by sparkyscott21

After spending a few weeks in developer-only beta testing, the new photo uploading feature is now available on the Web to all Apple users with iCloud accounts.

As of Friday, the upload feature on iCloud Photos is now accessible to all users. The new "Upload" option appears next to "Select Photos" in the iCloud Photos section of

Clicking the "Upload" button allows users to add .JPG images to their iCloud Photo cache for browsing on iOS and Mac devices. The button brings up a Finder window from which users can select single images or batches of photos to send to iCloud.

Once the pictures have been uploaded, they are then pushed down to iPhones, iPads and Mac signed in to the associated iCloud account. They can also be made available to users granted access to images via iCloud Photo Sharing.

iCloud Photos, known as iCloud Photo Library on iOS 8, lets users automatically upload photos and video from their Camera Roll for storage and cross-device syncing and download. The feature is similar to Photo Stream in iOS 7, but with support for full-resolution content and edit syncing.

iCloud Photos remains labeled as a beta. As of Friday's launch, it only supports .JPG videos, and will not accept images in other formats. It also cannot be used to upload video files.



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Apple pushes Flash Player update to address security issues

Nov 21, 2014 - 1:54 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple has issued a new update for Adobe’s Flash Player browser plugin. The update fixes “a recently-identified Adobe Flash Player web plug-in vulnerability,” according to Apple’s website. Users will be automatically prompted to install the update when visiting a page that uses Flash Player.

The prompt in Safari will take users to the Flash Player download page on Adobe’s website. Users who haven’t yet seen the prompt can also go there to download the update now.



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Clear Geographic Split Shows iPhone 6 Plus Especially Popular With Asian Customers

Nov 20, 2014 - 4:02 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple's iPhone 6 continues to outsell the iPhone 6 Plus around the world, but the larger-sized phone is proving to be a significant hit in some markets, reports AppLovin in its latest November 2014 report.

According to AppLovin's analytics data, the iPhone 6 outsold the 6 Plus in an 80/20 ratio overall in the first 45 days of availability. While Europe, North America and Australia roughly follow this global sales distribution or lean slightly more heavily toward the iPhone 6, the trend changes in Asia, where the iPhone 6 Plus typically accounts for 35 percent or more of iPhone sales.

South Korea, home to rivals Samsung and LG, is the only Asian country studied with an iPhone 6 Plus adoption rate below 35 percent. The country has a lower 71/29 split, perhaps related to competition from Samsung's Galaxy Series and LG's G3 phone in the large-screen market or simply due to customer preference for other reasons.

The split between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may still be artificially constrained due to continuing shortages of the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but AppLovin's data offers an interesting glimpse of screen size preferences around the world. The ratio also varies significantly by data source, with a recent survey putting the U.S. ratio at 3:1 in favor of the iPhone 6 over the first four weeks of availability while AppLovin's data points to a 4:1 split.

As discussed by Apple's iPhone marketing chief Greg Joswiak at the Code Conference last month, the true ratio of demand won't be known until supply shortages are alleviated, but he did acknowledge that the ratio varies from country to country with Asian customers typically proving more likely to prefer larger screens, an observation supported by AppLovin's data.



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Apple reportedly opens new development office in Lund, Sweden

Nov 20, 2014 - 1:12 PM - by sparkyscott21

Following news of a few new office openings outside of Cupertino lately, Apple has reportedly moved into office space in Lund, Sweden recently as well. The report comes from news agency Rapidus, which confirmed with the building’s owner that Apple is indeed moving in.

“Anna Stenkil, from the property owner Vasakronan, confirms that Apple has moved in.

− It’s true that they are working here. I cannot tell you anything else, she says to Rapidus.”

The report claims a “development unit” from Apple moved in a few weeks ago and that currently the company has space for around 10 employees at the location.

While it’s unclear exactly what Apple will use the new space for, Rapidus notes that Swedish face recognition company Polar Rose and image analysis firm AlgoTrim are both based nearby. Apple acquired AlgoTrim in August 2013 and Polar Rose back in 2010, so it’s a possibility the new office will be housing talent from those acquisitions based in Sweden. Rapidus previously reported accurate news related to Apple including being the original source of the AlgoTrim acquisition last year.

The news follows Apple opening a new engineering office in Seattle alongside the acquisition of Union Bay Networks. Another report from earlier this month claimed Apple was opening a new office in Cambridge in order to tap academic research expertise, while Apple also has a research center in Israel that was opened following its purchase of Anobit in 2011.

Apple has traditionally kept most of its engineering teams at its home base in Cupertino where it’s currently building its new campus that will house around 12,000 employees by the end of 2016. It does, however, appear to be open to more of a satellite model for offices as it continues to grow and acquire more talent from around the globe.



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Apple patents smoke detectors in iDevices that can call 911, activate sprinklers more

Nov 20, 2014 - 1:10 PM - by sparkyscott21

The Nest smoke detector may look decidedly old-fashioned if one Apple patent ever makes it into production. Apple has patented the idea of embedding smoke detectors into “electronic devices” and using those devices to provide a comprehensive response to a fire.

In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities. Alerts may contain maps and graphical representations of buildings in which smoke has been detected. Motion detectors and other sensors and circuitry may be used in determining whether electronic devices are being used by users and may be used in determining where the electronic devices are located. Alerts may contain information on the location of detected smoke and building occupants.

In other words, your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac could detect smoke, alert you, alert other devices within range, activate sprinklers, call emergency services and use the fact that an iDevice is moving or in use to tell fire crews where in the building you and your family members are …

The patent drawings show a laptop, tablet, phone and watch, suggesting that Apple is exploring the idea of embedding the smoke detectors into its full product range.

Illustrations of alerts sent to emergency responders show both text alerts and visual images which would display the location of both smoke and known building occupants.

As ever, Apple’s policy of saying ‘no’ a thousand times for every ‘yes’ means that most of the things it patents never see the light of day, but this is one concept we’re hoping is sitting on Tim Cook’s desk right now.



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Foxconn investing $2.6B into new display factory that will exclusively supply Apple

Nov 20, 2014 - 1:05 PM - by sparkyscott21

Foxconn's Innolux will build a new $2.6 billion sixth-generation plant in Southern Taiwan to supply displays exclusively to Apple, after the iPhone maker made an "urgent" request, it was announced on Thursday.

The new plant from Foxconn-owned Innolux Corp. will begin mass production of panels exclusively for Apple by the end of 2015, according to a representative for the company who spoke with Bloomberg. Equipment installation is reportedly set to begin next month after Innolux received "an urgent request for exclusive capacity," the report said.

Foxconn Technology Group expects to spend $2.6 billion over the next two years on the factory, which will employ some 2,300 people at the Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan.

Little else about the arrangement, including display types or even what devices Foxconn might be building screens for, is known. But in recent years, reports have claimed that Innolux Corp. has been gradually squeezing out longtime LCD supplier Samsung from Apple's supply chain.

Earlier this year, it was said that Apple tapped Innolux to supply the 4.7-inch Retina displays used in Apple's current iPhone 6. Other rumored LCD suppliers are LG Display and Japan Display.

Innolux is Taiwan's largest maker of LCD screens, and Apple uses LCD technology on most of its products, including the iPhone, iPad, its MacBooks and the iMac.

In a new direction, the company will use power sipping AMOLED technology for its upcoming Apple Watch, but those tiny wrist-worn displays are expected to cost considerably more per pixel than the LCD screens used on other Apple devices.



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