Posts in news

Apple Publishes Updated Employee Diversity Data

Apple yesterday published updated data on the diversity of their employees, for the second year in a row. Some of the news is good (Apple hired 65% more women in the last 12 months than they did in the previous year) but the picture is still bleak in other respects (only 22% of "tech" employees are female). Apple's updated Diversity webpage includes a letter from Tim Cook, in which he says:

Last year we reported the demographics of our employees for the first time externally, although we have long prioritized diversity. We promised to improve those numbers and we’re happy to report that we have made progress. In the past year we hired over 11,000 women globally, which is 65 percent more than in the previous year. In the United States, we hired more than 2,200 Black employees — a 50 percent increase over last year — and 2,700 Hispanic employees, a 66 percent increase. In total, this represents the largest group of employees we’ve ever hired from underrepresented groups in a single year. Additionally, in the first 6 months of this year, nearly 50 percent of the people we’ve hired in the United States are women, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.

You can view all the numbers on Apple's Diversity page, including some interactive statistics, the full letter from Tim Cook and information on what Apple is doing today to improve diversity at Apple, and steps they are taking to improve the numbers in the future.

Some people will read this page and see our progress. Others will recognize how much farther we have to go. We see both. And more important than these statistics, we see tens of thousands of Apple employees all over the world, speaking dozens of languages, working together. We celebrate their differences and the many benefits we and our customers enjoy as a result.

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Igloo: An Intranet You’ll Actually Like [Sponsor]

Igloo is an intranet you’ll actually like.

It’s a cloud platform that can help you do your best work – share files, blog updates, coordinate calendars, and manage projects. It’s easy-to-use and easy to configure – even for the most non-technical of users. And it’s built using responsive design, which means that everything you can do at your desk, you can now do on the go, on your phone or tablet. The responsive design is meant to look great on all of your devices.

Whether you’re a large enterprise stuck using SharePoint or a fast-growing business overwhelmed by apps, create an intranet that matches your brand’s look and feel, simplifies how you work, and is accessible on your phone.

Sign up now and try it for free at igloosoftware.com/macstories, and invite up to ten of your favorite co-workers to try it with you.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Posts New ‘Photos & Videos’ iPhone Ad

Apple aired a new commercial as part of their "If it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone" campaign, this time focusing on the device's camera for photos and videos.

The entire ad showcases full-screen photos and videos taken on the iPhone 6, noting that "every day, millions of amazing photos" are shot with iPhone. Unlike other ads in the campaign, there's no mention of third-party apps – just the iPhone's camera and animations generated by photos and videos. Previously, Apple had featured iPhone photography with the "Shot on iPhone 6" initiative, which was later expanded to ads, films, and billboards across the world.

You can watch Apple's latest iPhone commercial below.

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Microsoft Outlook App Now Available on the Apple Watch

As noted by The Verge, Microsoft Outlook is now available for the Apple Watch after Microsoft updated the Outlook iPhone app today. The Outlook Watch app enables users to reply to emails directly on the Watch through various quick reply options or via dictation.

Besides replying to emails on the Watch, there's an Outlook glance which enables users to review their inbox or see what's next on their calendar. Finally, Outlook's custom notifications on the Apple Watch add support for archiving and scheduling emails as they arrive.

Tom Warren from The Verge tried the new Outlook Apple Watch app wrote:

By default, Outlook notifications on the Apple Watch now show a lot more of the email body instead of cutting it short after a couple of sentences. While you still can't reply instantly from a notification, you can now tap on the Outlook icon in the notification to launch a dedicated Outlook Apple Watch app that lets you see an overview of email and reply to any messages using quick replies or dictation.

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Apple Updates TestFlight with Support for iOS 9 and watchOS 2 Betas, App Thinning

Apple has updated its official TestFlight app for iOS today, bringing support for iOS 9 and watchOS 2 betas, plus a new App Thinning feature that will allow developers to deliver slimmer apps in iOS 9.

Version 1.2 of TestFlight supports, according to Apple, "upcoming iOS 9 features". The first beta of iOS 9 was first released in June, and, following the launch of the fourth developer beta, several members of the developer community were wondering when Apple would start allowing developers to distribute iOS 9 app betas to external testers. The release notes of the update don't mention external testers, so it's still fair to wonder when Apple will actually let developers expand their beta pools beyond internal testers.

Update: As confirmed in an email by Apple, TestFlight's iOS 9 features are currently limited to watchOS 2 apps and App Thinning for internal testers only.

In addition to iOS 9 and watchOS 2 support, the TestFlight app has been updated with new notification settings. You can now turn off email and notification updates on a per-app basis – a welcome addition for those testing dozens of different apps.

TestFlight 1.2 is available on the App Store.



Listen to Full Beats 1 Shows Again with Beats 1 Replays

I'm not sure when Apple rolled out this change, exactly (though it appears to have gone live over the past three days), but you can now listen to several Beats 1 shows (including those by Zane, Julie, and Ebro) in full through Beats 1 Replays.

Previously, unless you listened to a show live or during its rerun twelve hours later, you were out of luck. Some of the shows on Beats 1 offered the ability to follow them on Connect and listen to the playlists of songs played during the show, but that didn't include the complete show with DJ and guests.

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Apple Pay Now Available for UK HSBC and First Direct Customers

HSBC and First Direct customers in the UK can now use Apple Pay, two weeks after Apple Pay launched in the UK. Both banks had been expected to support Apple Pay when it launched in the UK (HSBC even accidentally leaked the launch date), and both were listed as a participating bank right up until the Apple Pay launch date, when HSBC revealed that it had to delay Apple Pay support due to "some issues".

HSBC and First Direct join several other financial institutions including Royal Bank of Scotland, American Express, Nationwide, Natwest, Santander, and Ulster Bank in supporting Apple Pay in the UK. Out of the four big banks in the UK, two now support Apple Pay (HSBC & Royal Bank of Scotland), with the other two (Lloyds Bank and Barclays) committed to support it in the future.

Apple Pay support from HSBC seems to be limited at launch to those who have a personal bank account with a Visa Debit Card. For more information on setting up and using Apple Pay, see this Apple Support article.


‘Apps at a Tap': Apple Posts Three New Apple Watch Ads Focusing on Travel, Fitness and Music Apps

Apple tonight debuted three new ads for the Apple Watch, each featuring the new tagline of 'Apps at a tap'. Unlike Apple's most recent Apple Watch ads from earlier this month which showed the Apple Watch in use by people in real world situations, today's ads (which are brief 15 second clips) simply feature quick demos of various Apple Watch apps.

The three ads each have a different theme, with one focused on travel apps, another on fitness apps and a third on music apps. Some of the apps featured include Uber, Expedia, WaterMinder, Shazam and StubHub.

You can view the new ads below the break or on YouTube: Travel Apps, Fitness Apps, Music Apps.

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VideoBlocks: Royalty-Free Stock Footage Downloads [Sponsor]

VideoBlocks is an affordable, subscription-based stock media site that gives you unlimited access to premium stock footage.

One of the main benefits of VideoBlocks is its unlimited download model: with a library of over 100,000 HD video clips, plus After Effects templates and motion backgrounds (for a total of 250,000 graphics), VideoBlocks subscribers pay on average less than a dollar per download over the course of a year. VideoBlocks offers the same content you would find on more expensive stock sites with a great variety of time lapse, aerials, US and international locations, nature shots, and more.

VideoBlocks is continuously adding new content to their library so it stays fresh all the time. Everything on VideoBlocks is 100% royalty-free, with unrestricted usage rights for personal or commercial projects: keep what you download and maintain usage rights forever.

Want to know more? Visit videoblocks.com/promo/macstories and start your subscription today.

Our thanks to VideoBlocks for sponsoring MacStories this week.