Apple Camp 2015 enrollment begins with moviemaking,e-book creation workshops for kids

Jun 30, 2015 - 11:01 AM - by sparkyscott21

For the 2015 summer season, Apple is again inviting children aged 8 through 12 to participate in Apple Camp, a series of three-day retail store workshops designed to teach inquisitive young minds how to create rich digital content on iPad and Mac.

As with last year's event, participants can sign up for "Stories in Motion with iMovie" and "Interactive Storytelling with iBooks" camp workshops that guide students through multimedia content creation on Apple's iOS and Mac platforms.

"Stories in Motion" harnesses the power of the iPad to storyboard ideas, shoot footage and craft a soundtrack in GarageBand for iOS. After building the pieces on iPad, students move over to a Mac to stitch it all together in iMovie. A similar workflow is adopted with "Interactive Storytelling," which has campers paint illustrations on iPad before switching to Mac for sound effects production and multitouch UI generation in iBooks Author.

Apple Camp is offered at Apple Stores in Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the U.S. and the UK from July through August. Program enrollment is free, but space is limited and slots are allotted on a first come, first served basis.

Apple has yet to open registration for Field Trip events in which entire school classes pay a visit to an Apple retail location for hands-on time with iOS and Mac hardware and software.


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Apple loses final e-books antitrust appeal, will pay $450M settlement

Jun 30, 2015 - 10:49 AM - by sparkyscott21

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday confirmed a lower court's finding that Apple colluded with major publishers to raise the price of e-books following the launch of the iBookstore, putting the case to rest and clearing the way for distribution of a $450 million settlement.

"We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise ebook prices, that the conspiracy unreasonably restrained trade in violation of §1 of the Sherman Act, and that the injunction is properly calibrated to protect the public from future anticompetitive harms," the court wrote. "Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is affirmed."

Judge Debra Ann Livingston delivered the opinion, with Judge Raymond J. Lohier concurring. Judge Dennis Jacobs, who has been critical of the case from the beginning, dissented.

Even as Apple has continued to fight the case, it reached terms with the government for a $450 million settlement late last year. If the appeals court had ruled that the case should be reconsidered, that amount would have dropped to just $70 million.

Following Tuesday's ruling, the company can begin disbursing settlement funds. Around $400 million will be refunded to consumers, while $50 million will go toward the case's legal fees.


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iPhone first went on sale 8 years ago today

Jun 29, 2015 - 2:26 PM - by sparkyscott21

The original iPhone first went on sale eight years ago today, on June 29, 2007 – a simpler time when Pixar released the movie Ratatouille, the NFL shut down its European league, Rihanna’s “Umbrella” topped the music charts, and Apple stock sold for a measly $17.43.

If only we knew then what we know today!

There’s little that can be said about the impact of the iPhone that hasn’t been said many times before, but what really amazes me when I look back is the speed at which Apple managed to change the world with the breakthrough device. Representing the world’s first true smartphone, today the technology is virtually ubiquitous around the globe.

Anyone who was following Apple rumors at the time could have predicted an Apple phone had the potential to be great, but few could have imagined that in less than a decade the handsets would become Apple’s main source of revenue – selling upwards of 726 million units to date.

To celebrate the iPhone’s birthday, here’s Jobs’ original iPhone introduction as re-imagined using Adobe Illustrator, After Effects and Premier by marketing agency Easy Explain Video.


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Bloomberg: Apple begins manufacturing next-gen iPhone with Force Touch

Jun 29, 2015 - 7:58 AM - by sparkyscott21

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has started early production of the next-generation iPhone with Force Touch. We initially reported back in May that the next-generation iPhone will include a design similar to the current lineup of devices, but include support for Force Touch.

Force Touch was first unveiled with Apple Watch and in Apple’s Retina MacBook Pros and 12-inch MacBooks. The feature allows users to press harder on a screen or trackpad to reveal more options. Force Touch is heavily integrated with Apple Watch and is important to the navigation process due to the device’s compact design.

The report claims that Apple will ramp up production as early as next month. Timing and production of Force Touch displays could be impacted by the availability of the displays, according to one source speaking to Bloomberg. Overall, however, Apple expects production to go smoothly due to the design similarities between the device and the existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

A separate report from earlier this month claimed that the next-generation iPhone will be approximately 0.15mm longer and 0.2mm thicker to accommodate for Force Touch and the removal of the device’s camera bump. KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has also separately reported that the iPhone 6S will be available in a new Rose Gold color option and include a 12MP camera and overall spec bumps., The iOS 9 code also hinted that the device will include a much higher quality front facing camera.

Finally, as noted of Apple’s enhancements to iOS 9 to prepare for Force Touch support. The company is reportedly already working to let developers integrate the feature into App Store apps. Force Touch will allow for the company to clear up some control space throughout iOS, as well as being used for things like dropping new pins in Maps, and pressure-sensitive scrolling in media apps.


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New iOS 8.4 will enable Apple Music, Beats 1 on Tuesday; Sonos, Android support soon.

Jun 29, 2015 - 7:51 AM - by sparkyscott21

In a blog post (that has since been removed), Apple Music senior director Ian Rogers–the former CEO of Beats Music–noted that Apple will make iOS 8.4 available at 8 AM Pacific Time on Tuesday, two hours earlier than the company's typical release time, in order to allow users to hear the inaugural broadcast of Apple's new Beats 1 radio programming and begin using Apple Music.

The new Beats 1 begin global broadcasting one hour later, beginning 24/7 original live programming starting with former BBC DJ Zane Lowe. A series of celebrity appearances including Elton John, Dr. Dre, Pharrell and Drake will be incorporated into music sets and industry interviews.

Beats 1 will be free to Apple Music users signed in with their Apple ID. The Apple Music app also includes on-demand, streaming access to over 30 million tracks, a service that requires a subscription. Apple is offering a free three month trial to users who sign up, and ongoing subscriptions will be priced at $9.99 per month for a single user or $14.99 for a family of up to six people.

Apple Music also features Connect, a social feed where artists can share notes, photos, videos and other material with their fans.

Apple's iTunes page on Facebook is hosting an event invite that states "Starting June 30th, experience all of Apple Music by updating your phone to the latest iOS. How to: Settings App -> General -> Software Update. We can't wait to share our new product with you, but first things first, update! This is Apple Music. And it's just the beginning. Learn more at"

On that site, Apple notes that Apple Music for iOS will require the new Music app delivered in 8.4, that Apple Watch can be updated from a paired phone, that iTunes on Macs and PCs will be updated, and that Apple Music for Android devices will be "coming this fall."

While Roger's blog post has since been removed, iTunes head Eddy Cue has stated on Twitter that Apple will be releasing a new developer build of iOS 9 to enable Apple Music. Cue also tweeted Apple plans to increase iTunes Match to support a larger scan and match library, starting at the current 25,000 track limit "for launch and working to get to 100k for iOS 9."

Cue also noted that Apple Music has the "same basic features of uploading the tracks in your library" as today's iTunes Match service. Additionally, in response to the Twitter question,"will my Beats subscription playlists transfer to Apple Music?" Cue stated, "yes, there will a Beats app update to migrate to Apple Music."


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iTunes U is bringing teachers and students a major upgrade

Jun 25, 2015 - 1:41 PM - by sparkyscott21

iTunes U, Apple’s giant repository of educational material from university around the globe, is getting a big upgrade today that will make it easier than ever for teachers to incorporate apps with their course materials.

Students and teachers will be able to communicate with each other and handle homework in the iTunes U update, reports Recode whose sources revealed some of the new features included in the upgrade.

“With this latest version of Apple’s educational software, students will be able to turn in homework from their tablets; these documents will carry a timestamp recording when the student submits term papers, book reports and other work,” reports Dawn Chmielewski. “An integrated grade book will alert teachers when a student’s work is complete and ready for review, or if it’s time to send a reminder.”

The report also notes that new discussion features will be added, as well as the ability for teachers to import popular educational apps into the course material, including third-party apps like Stop Motion Studio or Explain Everything.

Apple has made a major push in the education market with the launch of the iPad. There are now over 15 million iPads in schools and over 100,000 educational apps in the App Store. The iTunes U update will be available for free on the App Store later today.


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