Graham Spencer

722 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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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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iOS 8 Family Sharing Explained: Share Purchases Between Family Members & Much More

Over the past few years it has been possible, but never easy, to have a family with iOS devices where everyone could share purchases but keep their own accounts for other purposes. Thankfully, Apple has recognised this pain point and introduced Family Sharing in iOS 8 which not only streamlines the ability to do certain things that were possible before, but also introduces some new features that makes having a family with iOS devices easier to manage.

To summarise the changes, everyone in a family can now have their own Apple ID but if they also enroll in Family Sharing they will be able to share App/iTunes Store purchases, Photos, location (Find My Friends/Find My iPhone), Reminders, and Calendar events between everyone. Most of that was possible pre-iOS 8 with some trickery and effort, but Family Sharing simplifies it significantly. What is new with Family Sharing is the ability for everyone to have their own Apple ID and share existing purchases or request purchases which will be made from one central account.

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Apple: Record 4 Million Pre-Orders of iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Made in 24 Hours

Apple announced this morning that they had seen a record number of first day pre-orders with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with over 4 million pre-ordered in the first 24 hours. Apple notes that the demand well exceeds the initial pre-order supply and many iPhone customers aren't scheduled to receive their iPhone until October. There will be some additional stock at Apple retail stores and mobile carrier stores on Friday.

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.”

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available from this Friday in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.

The two iPhone models will also launch in another 20 countries on the following Friday, September 26, including 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.


Apple TV Update Now Available: New Design, Peer-to-Peer AirPlay & Family Sharing

The Apple TV has today received an update which brings a fresh new design that removes skeuomorphic flourishes, adds more vibrant colors and more closely matches the style of iOS 7/8 and OS X Yosemite. Besides the visual refresh, the update also adds support for peer-to-peer AirPlay and the new Family Sharing features in iOS 8.

Supported Apple TV Models

Today's update is unfortunately only available for the 3rd generation of Apple TVs, which is the 1080p model currently on sale. If you're not sure which model you have, have a look on the bottom of your Apple TV and if it says Model A1427 or A1469, then you have 3rd generation Apple TV which is eligible. Apple TVs with model number A1378 are unfortunately the 2nd generation models with the older A4 processor and aren't eligible for the update.

Apple TV (3rd generation) users should be prompted to update their Apple TV when they next turn it on, but you can also manually update by going to Settings > General > Software Updates > Update Software.

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