Graham Spencer

716 posts on MacStories since January 2011

Graham is a regular contributor to MacStories, a law and economics student at university and connoisseur of great TV shows. With a particular passion for telling stories with the aid of data and visualizations, there is a high likelihood that he wrote a story if you see a graph on MacStories.

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Taking a Tour of OS X Yosemite’s Revamped Spotlight

Spotlight in OS X Yosemite is improved not only in its appearance, but also utility. The biggest and most obvious change is that Spotlight no longer resides in the right corner of your menu bar. Triggered by the usual CMD+Space keyboard shortcut, it now appears as a floating bar in the center of your screen. As you start typing, the bar will expand downward to display your results on the left and a Quick Look-esque panel on the right.

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Apple: iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Arrive in 36 More Countries and Territories This Month

Apple today issued a press release, noting that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will launch in another 36 countries this month. That will make the iPhone available in 69 countries by the end of the month, with 115 countries expected to get the new iPhones by the end of the year. According to Apple this will be the fastest iPhone rollout ever.

The countries getting the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this month are as follows:

  • Friday, October 17: China, India and Monaco
  • Thursday, October 23: Israel
  • Friday, October 24: Czech Republic, French West Indies, Greenland, Malta, Poland, Reunion Island and South Africa
  • Thursday, October 30: Bahrain and Kuwait
  • Friday, October 31: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, South Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Thailand

As you can see from the below chart, the claim that this is the "fastest iPhone rollout ever" depends on which point you judge it. As of today (day 34) it is not the fastest rollout, but by the end of this month (day 52) and end of this year, it is.

Diagonal lines indicate that exact launch rollouts are not known, but the general projection is known (ie. 115 countries by the end of the year)

Diagonal lines indicate that exact launch rollouts are not known, but the general projection is known (ie. 115 countries by the end of the year)


Adobe’s Mobile App Canvas Adds New Apps

As part of its opening keynote for its developer and creative conference, Adobe will be announcing a more integrated desktop and mobile strategy, which centres around several new iPhone and iPad applications and some rebranded old favourites.

At Adobe Max it will reveal how each app fits into a category where it works with equivalent Adobe desktop software, with some split into groups and others working across most of its creative software. It calls the new line up its "mobile canvas" and what's more, you don't even have to wait until after the keynote to download them.

Rik Henderson of Pocket-lint provides a good overview of all of Adobe's key mobile apps following their announcements yesterday at the Adobe MAX conference. Many of the apps launched earlier this year, but a few, including Premiere Clip, Color and Shape are new.

Above all, it is impressive to see how seriously Adobe is taking mobile, and in particular, how rapidly they are rolling out new apps and updates to their existing ones. As always, these apps are free but require a subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud service. If you want to learn more, Adobe's mobile app page has got details on all of these new and existing apps for the iPhone and iPad.

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Firmware Update Brings CarPlay to Selected Pioneer Products

Pioneer has today issued firmware updates for several of their aftermarket in-dash receivers that brings direct support for Apple's CarPlay software. The firmware update is available for users of Pioneer's AVIC-F60DAB, AVIC-F960DAB, AVIC-F960BT, AVIC-F860BT and the AVH-X8600BT dashboard systems, as well as the new SPH-DA120 model.

“CarPlay enriches the iPhone experience in the vehicle by providing a safer way to access the iPhone features they want to use most while driving,” said Philippe Weyers, marketing communication manager at Pioneer Europe. “With Pioneer’s implementation, CarPlay can now be integrated into millions of vehicles already on the road."

Spotify has also updated its app today, bringing support for CarPlay. It joins other apps such as Podcasts, Beats Music, iHeartRadio, MLB At Bat, Stitcher and CBS News in supporting CarPlay.

Apple has partnered with dozens of car manufacturers, as well as Pioneer and Alpine, to bring an improved experience for iPhone users in cars. By leveraging the power of Siri, CarPlay focuses on making it easier and safer to accomplish basic tasks while driving. You can learn more about CarPlay here. 


Apple Asks Developers to Start Submitting OS X Yosemite Apps

Apple today notified registered developers that Mac App Store submissions are now open for OS X Yosemite apps. Apple repeated its previous statement that Yosemite will be made available to customers "later this fall", but it may arrive as early as next week. By comparison, Apple notified developers to submit their OS X Mavericks apps last year on October 15, with Mavericks becoming available to customers a week later on October 22.

Add powerful new functionality throughout OS X Yosemite with app extensions, explore the innovative new Swift programming language, and take advantage of advances in game technologies, Safari, iCloud, and more. To prepare your apps for the Mac App Store, download and build with the OS X Yosemite GM candidate and Xcode 6.1 GM seed from the Mac Dev Center. With these latest releases, Swift is now final and you can submit your Mac apps written with Swift to the Mac App Store.



iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Launching in China on October 17

Apple issued a press release today noting that the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will launch in China on Friday, October 17. Preorders will begin a week earlier on October 10 and they will be available on all three of China's major mobile networks; China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

“We are thrilled to bring iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to our customers in China on all three carriers at launch,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. “With support for TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers will have access to high-speed mobile networks from China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom for an incredible experience.”

Prices for the iPhone 6 will start at 5,288 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 6,088 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 6,888 (RMB) for the 128GB model. The iPhone 6 Plus will start at 6,088 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 6,888 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 7,788 (RMB) for the 128GB model.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus first went on sale on September 19 in the US and nine other countries where 10 million units were sold in the opening weekend. The second launch round took place last Friday when it went on sale in 20 countries.


As Opening Weekend iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Sales Top 10 Million, We Look Back at Previous iPhone Launches

This morning, Apple issued a press release announcing that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have sold more than 10 million units in their first three days of sales after launching last Friday in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.

“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”

10 million units sold over the opening weekend is a new record for iPhone sales. Last year with the iPhone 5s and 5c Apple sold 9 million units and in 2012 Apple sold 5 million units of the iPhone 5. In fact, Apple has consistently beaten their opening weekend iPhone sales every single year.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will also launch in another 20 countries this Friday, September 26. Those countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

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New Page on Apple’s Website Details Their Commitment to Privacy

Apple today published a new page on their website dedicated to explaining Apple's commitment to preserving the privacy of their customers. The webpage includes a fairly lengthy letter from CEO Tim Cook which aims to reassure customers about their privacy when using Apple products, why Apple is dedicated to preserving privacy and how their business model differs to others (a not so subtle swipe at Google). In the letter Tim Cook promises updates to the page at least every year or whenever there are significant changes to their policies.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.

The page also includes sections on how Apple's various products have "privacy built in", how users can manage their privacy settings to alter how much they share with other people and companies, and finally a section relating to government information requests.

Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.

There's no doubt that this website is in part a response to the recent celebrity iCloud privacy breaches, and whilst it is reassuring to see Apple publicly reaffirm their stance of protecting privacy, a more important measure will be how Apple continues to improve the security mechanisms of their products so that what happened a few weeks ago doesn't happen again. In this respect, it should be noted that Apple did enable two-factor authentication for iCloud yesterday.


iOS 8: Tips, Tricks, and Details

iOS 8 is, by any measure, a big update. A lot of it is refinement to last year's drastic design overhaul, but there are also a lot of notable new features. Sitting amongst those refinements and big new features are little nuggets of delight in which Apple has designed or implemented something (whether it be a feature, design flourish or a shortcut) that you might not notice until one day you stumble upon it accidentally.

Just like we have in the past few years, we like to find those little gems that come with every brand new version of iOS. So in this post, you'll find dozens and dozens of tips, tricks, and details of iOS 8 that we've collected throughout the summer since the first beta release of iOS 8.

For more iOS 8 coverage, check out our news hub.

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