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Apple Discontinues iPod classic

Click image to view a full resolution version

Click image to view a full resolution version

The iPod classic is no longer on sale after Apple quietly discontinued the product yesterday. It shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone given that the product hasn't been refreshed since September 2009 - five years ago, but as the direct descendant of the original iPod, it signals the end of an era to a certain degree. The iPod shuffle, nano and touch remain on sale, at least for now.

We've charted the key product milestones of the iPod classic line above (view the full resolution version), with thanks to the thorough Wikipedia entry on it. If you're after a bit more of a visual history of some of the major changes to iPod classic, head over to The Verge.


Apple Introduces More Competitive iCloud Pricing

As noted by 512 Pixels, Apple confirmed new iCloud pricing in the official iOS 8 press release today. These new pricing tiers are a substantial drop from Apple's previous annual storage upgrade pricing model.

The new pricing is as follows:

  • 5GB for free
  • 20GB at $0.99/month
  • 200GB at $3.99/month
  • 500GB at $9.99/month
  • 1TB at $19.99/month

As interesting as these slashed price tags are, Apple is still competing with companies like Dropbox, who are currently giving away a terabyte of space for only $10 a month. Apple's edge in this market is definitely going to be their deep integration with the many upcoming features in iOS 8 that rely so heavily on cloud storage, such as the upcoming iCloud Drive.

You can read more about iCloud's new plans on Apple.com.

For more coverage, check out our September 9 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.



Apple Asks Developers to Start Submitting iOS 8 Apps

Following a media event in Cupertino and an official release date for iOS 8, Apple has now begun notifying registered developers that App Store submissions are open for iOS 8 apps.

Starting today, developers will be able to send their iOS 8-ready apps to Apple for approval; in addition, Apple has also confirmed that developers will be able to start using TestFlight for beta testing (at the moment, only for internal teams), create App Previews, and collect multiple apps in Bundles.

Make sure your apps take advantage of all the great new features in iOS 8, which will soon be available to hundreds of millions of customers around the world.

To prepare your apps for the App Store, download and build with the iOS 8 and Xcode 6 GM seeds from the iOS Dev Center. With these latest seeds, Swift is now final and you can submit your iOS apps written with Swift to the App Store.

iOS 8 adds hundreds of new features such as extensions, custom keyboards, iCloud Photo Library, new group messaging options, and a new Health app. It will be released next week on Wednesday, September 17th.

For more coverage, check out our September 9 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.


iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Our Complete Overview

Today’s Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino was a whirlwind of powerful announcements surrounding the company's line of iPhone products. After walking up on stage, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the brand new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the biggest advancements in iPhone history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The iPhone is the most loved smartphone in the world with the highest customer satisfaction in the industry and we are making it much better in every way. Only Apple can combine the best hardware, software and services at this unprecedented level and we think customers are going to love it.”

Senior Vice President Phil Schiller then took the stage to run through the iPhone 6 enhancements at a swift pace. For the first time, Apple is simultaneously releasing multiple screen sizes – the iPhone will be available in a 4.7” and a 5.5” version. These phones will be technologically similar, varying only in screen resolution and slight camera model differences. They will sport a more powerful A8 64bit processor, larger Retina HD screen, and NFC technology for using the brand new Apple Pay service.
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Apple Announces iOS 8 Launching on September 17

As widely expected, Apple has today confirmed the official release date of iOS 8 at a media event held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. iOS 8 will be released on Wednesday, September 17th, for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Announced at WWDC in June, iOS 8 builds upon last year's redesign of iOS adding major new features such as extensions, custom keyboards, iCloud Photo Library, new group messaging options, and a new Health app. In extending iOS through user customization and developer APIs that let apps reach beyond their sandbox, iOS 8 will focus on offering new powerful functionalities that will create an opportunity for developers to build innovative, more flexible apps.

Apple hasn't announced a Golden Master seed of iOS 8 yet, but it will presumably be released to developers today. Typically the last developer release before a public launch, the GM seed will allow developers to make final preparations to their iOS 8-ready apps and submit them to the App Store.

For more coverage, check out our September 9 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.


Square Enix Announces Game Streaming Service for iOS, Includes Final Fantasy VII and XIII

Square Enix announced their new video game streaming service earlier today, coming next month as an app for iOS and Android. Dive In, slated to launch on October 9th in Japan, will allow iOS users to play Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XIII by streaming them from the company's cloud, for a fee.

Kotaku writes about the games that will be added after the initial rollout:

In November, Final Fantasy VIII and The Last Remnant will be added. December will see Final Fantasy XIII-2, while Lightning Returns Final Fantasy XIII is slated for 2015.

Dive In will let gamers try out the titles in a thirty minute demo, free of charge. Streaming blocks of three days, ten days, thirty days, and 365 days, however, will require a fee—a fee which can vary from game to game.

Prices will vary from around $2 dollars for a three days' worth of streaming to $12 for thirty days. According to the Dive In website, the app will run on both phones and tablets, with a 3Mbps WiFi connection required to stream and play games (6Mbps recommended).

In screenshots posted by Inside Games, Final Fantasy VII and XIII are shown with on-screen controls to make up for the lack of physical input on iOS and Android; at this point, it's not clear whether Dive In will support iOS game controllers or if the app will eventually expand to OS X.

Last month, Square Enix confirmed that they would continue to port older titles in Dragon Quest series to mobile devices. Dive In appears to be part of the company's Project Flare, a technology first announced in November 2013 and set to power several of the company's future initiatives in cloud gaming.


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Our thanks to MailRoute for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Apple Events Channel Now Available on Apple TV to Stream Today’s Special Event Keynote

Apple has just made their 'Apple Events' channel accessible again from any Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation), ahead of today's Special Event keynote. The channel will allow users to stream the WWDC keynote from 10am, San Francisco time, as Apple previously announced. The channel also allows users to stream past Apple events (including WWDC), just in case you have some time to kill whilst you wait for today's event.

For those without an Apple TV, you will also be able to stream today's keynote from Apple's website on a Safari browser on a Mac or iOS device. You can also follow our September 9 Special Event hub for updates, or subscribe through RSS to our dedicated September 9 Special Event feed.

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