Skylake Core M Heading for Apple MacBook

Last year, Apple surprised the world with their new MacBook, their thinnest laptop yet. In a first, the slim device only had one USB Type-C port and featured a fanless Intel Broadwell Core M CPU with a Retina display. Today, Apple has updated their MacBook as they’ve previously announced. The new laptop features upgraded internals throughout, with the headline being the new Skylake Core-M CPUs.

The new Skylake Core m3-6Y30, the Core m5-6Y54 and the Core m7-6Y75 all keep the same base clock as their Broadwell counterparts but the m3 sees a 100Mhz drop in boost, the m5 100Mhz increase and the m7 200Mhz increase. Combined with the architecture improvements, CPU performance should improve but not by much. The iGPU get upgraded to an HD 515 which uses the new Gen9 architecture and a 50Mhz boost for the m7. This should lead to a nice boost to graphics performance.

Other changes are the use of LPDDR3 1866 up from 1600. The battery also gets a bump up by 1.7 Wh to 41.4 Wh, gaining an extra hour of battery life. Storage also reported is improved with a new PCIe SSD but no word yet on specifics. Finally, we get a new Rose Gold, aka Pink, colour option for those that want it. Pricing remains the same as the current lineup.

Apple to Replace Faulty USB Type-C Cables

USB type-C seems great in theory, being more easily usable and set to be as universal as micro USB in future. Unfortunately, once again, problems have been found with the cables, this time, ones sold by Apple who has announced a replacement program for cables distributed between April and June 8th, 2015. This includes both the cables that shipped with the 12-inch Retina Macbook and those sold separately in Apple Stores.

According to Apple, the affected cables “may fail due to a design issue.” The result of this design issue is that “your MacBook may not charge or only charge intermittently when it’s connected to a power adapter with an affected cable.” Due to the limited set of cables that are to be replaced, it would seem that Apple has been selling revised cables for months, which makes you wonder why it took them so long to replace the faulty ones. Those customers who provided Apple with their address during either product registration or via the Apple online store are expected to be receiving replacement cables by the end of the month, with a replacement process set up for others affected. Users can visit the Genius Bar at an Apple Store, an authorized Apple service provider or contact Apple customer support, in all cases providing their MacBook’s serial number to prove eligibility for the program. For those who already purchased a replacement cable themselves, a refund may be available through Apple support. You can check whether your cable is one of those affected by the design issue using the image below.

This new design of USB cable is really running into a lot of teething trouble, as it seems like many manufacturers have failed to get them right first time, now including the mighty Apple, typically known for the reliability of their products. Maybe one day picking up a charging cable for your new phone or another device won’t seem like such a gamble, until then, many devices are still using the venerable micro USB.

Four Men Charged Over $1m MacBook Air Heist

It just goes to show the strength of Apple’s brand or pricing structure when criminals decide to plan to conspire in a robbery of expensive computers. Four men have been charged over the theft of approximately 1200 MacBook Air computers which have an estimated value of $1 million dollars (£660,000) and were thought to be in the process of being delivered to two high schools in New Jersey.

According to federal prosecutors, an individual by the name of Anton Saljanin was hired to transport the computers from a technology compound in Massachusetts to New Jersey on the 16 January 2014. Mr Saljanin reported to police that said delivery van had been stolen from a car park near his home where he parked it overnight. Sounds plausible, but for a few key details, firstly the gentleman in question claimed to have spotted the truck when driving along a highway by chance 27 miles away in Connecticut when out looking for the stolen vehicle. Police investigated this and ran tests before concluding that the truck “would not have been visible in the (Connecticut) Parking Lot to a driver passing by on Interstate 84”.

Further investigation by the FBI into Mr Saljanin phone records indicated that he in fact did not take the route in question when he claimed to have been searching for the truck; he was subsequently arrested along with his three alleged accomplices and charged with participating in a scheme to steal, transport, and sell the shipment of computers. It is also claimed that the four individuals sold at least a dozen MacBook Airs between January 2014 and April 2014 for between $500 – $800 dollars each, this is far below the retail price of around $1000 dollars per machine. Each person paid in cash and were handed the computer in brown cardboard packaging, this is certainly different to the well designed authentic Apple packaging.

What is evident is high-end tech products are a target for criminals with a propensity for theft albeit allegedly at this stage. It would have been ironic if Mr Saljanin had used an iPhone when police analysed it for phone data records.

Thank you ibtimes for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of the-anecdotes

Team Group Introduced the Team MiDRIVE for MacBooks

One of the downsides on MacBooks is the limited internal storage and no way to really upgrade it on the fly. Team Group has now created the Team MiDrive for just that and it plugs neatly into the side of your MacBook.

The Team MiDrive makes use of a UHS-1 high-speed memory card and comes as either 64GB or 128GB versions out of the box. With the expandable design and through the help of the high-speed memory card, MiDRIVE is able to take a step further to improve the storage capacity and the file management efficiency. Continuing Mac’s exquisite minimalist design and also satisfying users’ needs for both practical and personal style, the exterior features an ultra slim and short design with classic black and white pattern.

The included Team UHS-1 memory card can read with up to 60MB/s and write with up to 20MB/s. That’s no groundbreaking speed, but it’s not that bad either. It surely isn’t a replacement for USB 3.0 drives and their speed, but it has the benefit of sliding into the laptop instead of sticking out like a flash drive does.

Team Group did not reveal any pricing or availability in their announcement, but the new Team MiDrive with 64GB and 128GB should be available shortly.

Apple May Ditch the Home Button in Next-Gen iPhones

Apple introduced a revolutionary smartphone design when it first came out. Back then, phones had an abundance of buttons, but the company wanted to make it more simplistic. Thus, they came up with the Home Button.

Apple’s Home Button is used on both iPhone and iPad devices to minimize applications, bring up the multitasking menu, activate Siri and other user specific actions. But now, Apple is rumoured to ditch the Home Button too.

According to a report from Digitimes, the Cupertino giant is integrating the Home Button functions in its display by developing a touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chip. This means that the Home Button will now be displayed on the screen, rather than having it as a physical button.

We’ve seen the company make the same move with the trackpad on its latest MacBook series, so it’s highly likely that we will see the same approach on its mobile devices too. However, we are fairly certain that the latest iPhone models being released this fall will not bear the TDDI technology.

In addition, the company is working to integrate the fingerprint sensor directly on the display too. This means that your smartphone’s display will be able to read and interpret your fingerprints as well.

As always, Apple is not going to officially confirm rumours outside of their annual conference, so we might see the company announce the new tech next year. Until then, we might even see other manufacturers taking the same ‘all-display’ approach. As far as I know, the old Nokia N9 is a good example of such a ‘buttonless’ smartphone (except for the volume physical buttons of course).

Thank you Digitimes for providing us with this information

Thunderbolt 3 Speed Is Capped on Apple’s 12-Inch MacBook

Apple wanted to bring revolutionary technology with its new super slim 12-inch MacBook and it did with the USB Type-C port. Unfortunately, those of you wanting to reach top speeds with Thunderbolt 3 will have to wait a bit longer, according to Intel.

Intel announced that its Thunderbolt 3 can transfer up to 40 Gbps, an enormous amount of data, but we won’t see that speed just yet. Though the company did make a smart move to merge the connectors with the USB Type-C protocol, we will only see it work at USB 3.0 speeds for now. This means only 5 Gbps transfer rates will apply when using Thunderbolt 3 on a USB Type-C connector, which is pretty disappointing.

However, this roadblock will not sit around forever. The Thunderbolt 3 speeds will be capped until manufacturers upgrade their controllers to support the enormous 40 Gbps transfer rates, so current MacBooks and even Google’s Pixel will just have to do with 5 Gbps speeds for now. In order to achieve top speeds, Thunderbolt 3 ports are still the best way and can be distinguished from normal USB Type-C connections by their proprietary Thunderbolt logo.

On the other hand, once proper controllers will be added to future MacBooks and other laptops, Thunderbolt 3 will make a huge difference. For example, Thunderbolt 3 is currently able to connect two 4K monitors simultaneously to a computer and is able to transfer a 4K movie in just 30 seconds. In addition, the Thunderbolt 3 is able to output up to 100 watts and is also able to handle 8K video with ease, so there’s a lot of potential in the tech.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Apple Stopping Support for Some Ageing Products

Companies need to find ways to save time and we all know that time is money. This can be in such ways like moving some services to online, or getting automated call services to take some of the load from employees. Well, Apple are renowned for completely stopping support for older products.

This time around, a source has leaked the next line up of products that Apple are planning on discontinuing service to. This will affect instore fixes and will come into effect on June 9th:

  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3G (China)
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 3GS (China)
  • Original iPhone
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid-2009)
  • iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007)
  • iMac (24-inch, Mid 2007)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.4/2.2GHZ)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, 2.4GHZ)
  • AirPort Express Base Station
  • Xserve (Late 2006)
  • Xserve RAID (SFP, Late 2004)

To be fair to Apple, most of the products on that line-up are around 7 years old, but none the less if you happen to have one of these products and you need assistance; book yourself in ASAP. Although Apple will still be offering support to AppleCare customers over the phone.

I can see Apple receiving a few complaints over this matter, but for once; I’m completely agreeing with Apple. Do you have one of the listed devices? How do you feel about losing instore customer service? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to BGR for providing us with this information.

Transcend Announces 256GB JetDrive Lite Expansion Cards

Transcend has a very long list of peripherals and parts designed for the different MacBook series, allowing you to seamlessly expand your storage and at times don’t even see that you did. The JetDrive Lite series of Expansions cards is now available up to 256GB to instantly expands the storage capacity of your MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air series.

Transcend’s new JetDrive Lite cards are tailor-made to have a flush profile with each specific Mac notebook model and are optimized for the compatibility as well. The low-profile JetDrive Lite will not stick out like an SD card and can be left in place for on-the-go storage. A 256GB model could for example store over 120,000 high-resolution photos or 64,000 MP3 files.

The Transcend JetDrive Lite expansion cards are made with top-tier MLC NAND and can deliver a transfer speed of up to 95MB/s reading and 60MB/s writing. This might not be world-record speeds, but it sure beats the Class10 SD cards that you can plug into most notebooks. Built-in error correction code helps to keep your files safe and the cards also feature sophisticated wear-leveling algorithm for a long lifetime. The cards themselves are also built to be completely resistant to both dust and water.

The JetDrive Lite 130/350/360 expansion cards are available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB while JetDrive Lite 330 cards are offered in 64GB and 128GB capacities. All Transcend memory cards come backed with a limited lifetime warranty.

Patriot Memory Develops Type-C USB Flash Drive

Patriot Memory already has some great flash drives in their line-up, and the SuperSonic USB 3.0 drives is just one example on that. Now they’re almost ready with their newest flash drive and this time it’s a USB 3.1 enabled drive. The new drive doesn’t have a name yet besides ‘Type-C USB Flash Drive for MacBook users’, so that will be a surprise for later.

The new Apple MacBook is using the Type-C connector, but it’s not alone on that front. Google’s Chromebook Pixel and other Type-C equipped notebooks are on their way and I hope this standard will pick up faster than the USB 3.0 did after its release.

“As many MacBook users rely heavily on external storage options, we wanted to be at the forefront with a product that will cater to these consumers,” said Meng J. Choo, Patriot’s Product Manager. “As a leading manufacturer of USB and flash memory, we want to offer solutions for our customers that are easy-to-use and provide seamless experiences across all their devices.”

Having a flash drive that just fits new systems wouldn’t be practical, so Patriot Memory made it a dual drive that also comes with a normal Type-A USB 3.0 connector. No compatibility issues here, you can use the drive in any USB-enabled system from version 1.0 to 3.1.

The new flash drive is expected to be available to consumers starting in June in both a 32GB and a 64GB version.

Apple’s New Macbook Is Almost Impossible to Fix Yourself

It’s pretty obvious to most people that Apple devices are not designed with DIY repairs in mind. The new MacBook design takes the difficulty to a new height.

The crew over at the popular tech tear down and repair website, iFixit have gotten their hands on the new MacBook and in true fashion, taken it apart. From reading through their article we can see that Apple has removed a lot of repair options and gateways to be able to cram every little bit of tech into the tiny metal case. Most components are glued or soldered together to keep them as compact as possible.

Apple have made the innards of the new Mac an absolute nightmare for a day to day tinkerer looking for a cheap fix. If you break your Mac you’ll most likely have to send it off to Apple to be repaired. The battery is inserted into the case in several segments too. Meaning if you overcharge your battery it’ll be crazily expensive to repair.

On the flip side we can see why Apple have done this, there are a lot less things to break in the new Mac compared to previous models and other models of laptop. It’s a smart design choice made by their team that means less repairs will need to be carried out over the years of manufacture; making them will be a lot cheaper too!

 

What are your thoughts on the new MacBook design? let us know in the comment section below.

Thank you to iFixit for the information.

Images courtesy of iFixit.

ADATA Launches HD710A Durable USB 3.0 External HDD for Mac

ADATA just announced the launch of the HD710A waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant USB 3.0 external hard drive for Apple users on the go and with a rugged lifestyle. This new ultra-durable external hard drive is designed especially for MacBooks, but there shouldn’t be anything preventing you from using it on other systems. It comes with storage capacities of 1TB or 2TB, enough to store all your precious moments in the most secure way possible. The white design will let it match your Apple equipment and the drive fully supports Time Machine for backups, but also comes with ADATA’s on-the-go Mac software to enhance the functionality.

The triple-layer construction incorporates exceptionally elastic silicone material to provide great shock absorption from all angles. It has passed the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 military-grade shock-resistant test as well as the stringent IP68 test against water and dust. The drive can survive for up to 60 minutes in up to 1.5 meter of water; it should take a lot to kill this drive.

The USB 3.0 cable easily wraps around the drive itself when not in use, practical for storage on the road as you won’t have to search your bags for the cable. It’s always where the drive is. The low weight of just 220g further enhances the portability and the drive is backed by a three-year warranty.

No word on pricing or direct availability yet, but the black PC version goes for $69.99 and $126.48 on Amazon.

Thanks to ADATA for providing us with this information

Next Gen Apple TV Much Improved

According to sources close with BuzzFeed, the next-gen Apple TV will be a much-improved version. Apple plans on announcing the new Apple TV at the World Wide Developers Conference they hold in June. During the conference, they also plan on introducing the SDK dedicated to the Apple TV, and its own App Store, much like was done with the Apple Watch recently.

The recent price cut of the current Apple TV, from $99 to $69 during Apple’s live event, and announcing the partnership to make HBO GO an exclusive digital partner, Apple has been busy recently. In addition to the Apple Watch announcement recently, we also are getting a new MacBook, claiming to be the lightest computer ever. With the April 24th release of the Apple Watch coming, Apple updated iOS with support for the Watch.

With so much time since Apple last did much for the Apple TV, if they plan to continue support, this pending update will be much-needed. Especially since there are so many more competing devices, such as Roku, Fire TV, and the Chrome Stick, and their very competitive costs, Apple’s hand is almost forced if they want to stay relevant.

Source: news.com.au

Apple’s Latest Macbook Is Being Downplayed by PC Makers on Twitter

Apple’s competitors really like to mock its products (a lot). Dell, Asus and Lenovo are one of them, and through some tweets, the PC manufacturers attempt to prove that Apple’s products are not the only ‘thin’ products with high-res display available on the market.

According to Lenovo, its Yoga 3 Pro is not only slimmer, but also has more ports and a higher resolution touch display. However, the only small inconvenience is that the Yoga 3 Pro weighs in 0.62 lbs more than Apple’s own MacBook.

Dell took a similar approach by tweeting that its XPS 13 features a display with 2 million pixels more than MacBook’s counterpart. Dell also did not forget to mention that the XPS 13 features a lot of USB ports, mini-DisplayPort and SD card reader.

Lastly, we have Asus’ ultra-slim ZenBook. The laptop has a thickness of just 12.3 mm compared to the MacBook’s 13.1 mm and also comes with the usual connectivity such as USB, mini HDMI and even costs half of what Apple’s asking for the MacBook.

Given the fact that pre-orders for the new MacBook begin on the 10th of April, there is still time for competitors to downplay Apple’s product even more.

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information

Apple’s New Macbook Trackpad Does Not ‘Click’

Everyone knows that the MacBook’s left and right bottom corner, just like on any other laptop trackpad, are physical buttons which the user can press and get the desired click. However, they seem to be missing from Apple’s latest MacBook.

The new MacBook seems to have a unique trackpad which does not ‘move’ at all. When a user ‘clicks’ it, the click is not actually a physical click, but it does generate a click sound and feels just like a normal click. A force feedback, also known as haptic, feature is providing the user with an effect similar to a normal physical click.

It is said that the tech relies on late force fields (LFF), which can cause humans to experience vibrations as haptic ‘textures’ that gives you the impression of a clickable surface and depth. The Force Touch feature of the new trackpad is said to increase its effect based on the depth of a users press.

There are no known differences between the traditional and this more modern type of ‘click’. However, people with carpal tunnel syndrome can benefit from the LFF technology. Apple is said to be looking into integrating the LFF into future iPhones as well.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Apple Increases Prices of Its Products in Non-US Countries

While Apple has discounted the price of its Apple TV in North America to $69, the company seems to be doing the exact opposite to a lot of its products around the world. This comes as a result of the US Dollar gaining some ground and becoming stronger in the market.

Apple products which suffered an increase in pricing include the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Thunderbolt Display, and are now more expensive in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and other countries to reflect currency adjustments.

For example, the Canadian Apple Store shows an increase in unlocked iPhone 6 from between $749-$969 to $839-$1,099, Thunderbolt Displays from $999 to $1,199, and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros from between $2,099-$2,699 to $2,449-$3,049. Apple also upped the price on its 15-inch MacBook Pro in France, with the base model now starting at €2,249 up from €1,999, and the higher-spec model up to €2,799 from €2,499.

Apple is said to continue to make the adjustments in order to ensure that its products and services are as consistently priced as possible throughout the world. However, in some cases, international prices will remain higher than North America prices as a ‘safety’ against currency fluctuations.

Thank you MacRumors for providing us with this information

Apple Spring Event: Medical Research Kit and Macbook Presented

After having been introduced to the changes for the Apple TV, the focus shifts to health care after a little bragging about ApplePay and CarPlay. There are over 900 apps out there to manage and track your fitness, but that isn’t enough for Apple. They have created the Research Kit that turns the iPhone “into a powerful diagnostic tool”. It will allow for study of diseases, chronic conditions and more and there are already a half-a-dozen apps for it.

The fact that this medical kit is categorized as Research all the way through probably helps Apple to get around regulation for medical devices, and of course it will never replace them or be as accurate. It can still be a great tool to have at your disposal. Apple also stressed that they won’t see your data and that it’s safe. The Research Kit will be released next month and the first five apps are available today. A thing that got a lot of applause was that the fact that it will be created as open source, something very unusual for Apple.

“We’re incredibly confident that Research Kit is going to transform the way research is performed.” Tim Cook

Now we’re getting to the more interesting part for most of use, the presentation of the new Macbook. Apple has “reinvented” the notebook and the new version surely is impressive. It weighs just 2lbs and is just 13.1 mm thin, impressive. The next thing we notice is the colour of the Macbook, it is Gold.

The new Macbook has a 12-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440 pixels. The display panel itself is only 0.88mm thin, that is thin! It packs an Intel Core M 1.3GHz CPU with a Turbo speed up to 2.9GHz and 8GB RAM. It has 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a single USB-C connector for USB connectors, power, and HDMI. The new keyboard features a butterfly mechanism and is 40% thinner than traditional keys. The new keys are much more precise and accurate, even if you strike them from the side.

The trackpad also got an upgrade and is using “Force Touch”. It isn’t hinged like a traditional trackpad but uses force sensors to measure pressure. They also added something called “a force click” to enable different features in applications, guess that is what the rest of us know as right-click. Inside it features an unibody architecture and has no vents or fans.

The parts not filled with PCB are covered with batteries and the new Macbook promises up to 9 hours wireless browsing and 10 hours of iTunes video. It will be available on April 10th for $1299.

Thanks to Mashable for providing us with this information

Apple Press Event Rumoured For Late February – Watch, Ultra Thin MacBook Air

A new rumour has surfaced that says Apple will be having a late February event. French site iGen says that the company will be introducing one of its most talked about unannounced products and one of its most talked about announced products – the 12 inch MacBook Air and of course the Apple Watch.

They say that the focus of the event will be a redesigned MacBook Air – specifically a 12-inch model, that will supposedly be thinner, even lighter and, according to some suggestions, feature only one port. That single port will take the role of the device’s I/O and power input, in a similar way to the iPad’s Lightening port.

They also say that the event will also feature new details about the Apple Watch, with the company expected to reveal new details about the device before its launch in February.

While iGen’s sources are quite often reliable, Apple rumour mill behemoth, 9to5Mac says that this is not the case. Their sources have said that no such event is planned. So that of course brings these claims into doubt – however both are still unofficial so either could be wrong.

‘Thunderstrike’ Fixed in OS X 10.10.2

‘Thunderstrike’, a vulnerability for Macs with a Thunderbolt port, will be patched in the next version of OS X Yosemite. The vulnerability allowed an attacker to swap a Mac’s boot firmware with software of their own via the Thunderbolt port. The new update, released to developers last week, fixes this issue.

The flaw was deemed to be quite significant, with potential for an attacker to pretty much take whatever they wanted from a target machine. However, there have been no examples of this exploit being implemented in the wild – most probably due to the fact it would require an attacker to have physical access to the machine.

The exploit is notable as one of the first of its kind to effect Macs, with many speculating whether the Mac platform and OS X would now be subject to more vulnerabilities like this thanks to their increased popularity.

The update, which includes the fix, should be rolled out to end users in the coming weeks, although that may be sooner considering the urgency required to fix this flaw.

Source: iMore

Apple Announces Annual Lucky Bag Sale in Japan

Apple has announced that its annual Lucky Bag Sale in Japan will begin on January 2nd.

The lucky bag sales are a New Year tradition in Japan, where customers are offered a bag of mystery items at a set price. The bag could equal or exceed its value, with the potential to make massive savings on some expensive items.

According to MacRumors, last year Apple offered bags for 36,000 yen ($345) and often included “iPods, headphones and t-shirts”. Some lucky customers found themselves with iPads, iPhones and MacBooks all for that extremely low price.

The sale is obviously only confined to Japan, but wouldn’t it be fantastic to have this everywhere else? The sale has become extremely popular in Japan every year now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple try it in some other countries.

Source: MacRumors

 

Apple Releases First Ever Auto-Update for Mac

For the first time ever, Apple has released an automatic security update for iMacs and Macbooks. The update is designed to patch the recently-discovered security vulnerability CVE-2014-9295, which affects OS X and other Linux and Unix distributions.

Apple spokesperson Bill Evans told Reuters that the update is “seamless” and doesn’t require a system restart.

The security vulnerability was revealed last week by the US Department of Homeland Security and the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. The bug means hackers could exploit a fault in a system’s Network Time Protocol (NTP) for gain access to a computer remotely.

“Apple’s proactive steps to automatically remediate this particular vulnerability shows the need to quickly patch remotely exploitable vulnerabilities,” according to Tripwire security analyst Ken Westin. “However, the use of Apple’s automatic deployment tool is not without risks, as even the simplest update can cause problems for some systems. In this case the update may have been so minor the risk of affecting other applications and processes was minimal.”

Westin advises anyone worried about the auto-update that “If you have a Mac system where an automatic update might introduce a problem — or you are the paranoid type — it can be disabled by going to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > App Store and unchecking Install system data files and security updates.”

Source: CNET

Rumoured Ultra-Slim MacBook Air to Enter Production in Early 2015

A new rumour from Digitimes suggests that alongside the Apple Watch, Apple’s latest upgrade to the MacBook Air is due to enter production in early 2015.

The report says that component production is well underway, with the intention of the product entering production in the next few months. The notebook is to be produced by Quanta Computer and will feature Intel’s Broadwell processors. Those processors are supposedly key to its design too – the new machine will apparently be even thinner than the current MacBook Air and will go without a fan as part of its fan-less cooling system.

The laptop is projected to be released in mid-2015, with limited supply at first due to yield issues. Apparently it will come in Space Grey, Silver and Gold, making them the first MacBooks with alternative colour options in years. The MacBook Air has been an incredibly popular product for Apple, becoming their most successful computer. Its design spawned Intel’s Ultrabook initiative, leading to a number of Windows-based notebooks following the same ultra-thin, SSD-based design.

Source: Digitimes Via: MacRumors

‘Duet’ – App That Allows You to Use an iPad as an External Display Released

Duet, an app that allows you to use your iPad as an external display for your Mac, has just been released. The app was teased a few days ago, but now users have finally been able to try it out for themselves.

The app uses Apple’s standard Lightening cable to link your Mac with your iPad (or iPhone) and quite simply turns your iOS device into an external display. It can display in either a standard definition mode or in a ‘Retina’ mode, using the full resolution of your iPad or iPhone’s display.

I tested the app myself and it works pretty well. It streams the image to the iPad very smoothly in standard mode, while lag with the Retina mode can be encountered on some older Macs (I used a 2012 MacBook Air, iPad 3rd Generation and an iPhone 6 Plus ).

Duet is available now on the App Store for $9.99 for a very limited time, it will be $14.99 after that.

Source: MacRumors

Apple Releases Annual Christmas Ad

Apple has released its annual Christmas ad – and you guessed it, it’s a pull on your heartstrings, soppy, seasonal, family-fest.

Apple seems to have made a habit of releasing big Christmas ads in the last few years, starting with its Siri Santa ad in 2011. This new ad, ‘The Song’, focuses on a young girl that just so happens to come across a recording from her grandmother when she was younger. The record was presumably for her husband who couldn’t make it for Christmas.

The girl then goes and edits her own version of the recording, mixing in her grandmother’s voice with her own, along with an instrumental accompaniment. All of this is obviously produced on her MacBook Air and is left as a surprise to her grandmother on an iPad.

It’s a warm and fuzzy ad that should make even the most cynical of Christmas scrooges feel somewhat more seasonal.

Source: The Verge

China Bans Government Purchases of Apple Products

After the Chinese government published a software procurement list last week that excluded foreign anti-virus vendors like Kaspersky Lab and Symantec Corp, which had previously sold software to Chinese agencies, they’ve now also prohibited the purchase of Apple hardware.

China has prohibited government agencies from purchasing Apple Inc hardware products due to security concerns. Ten Apple products including versions of the iPad tablet and MacBook laptop have been omitted from a government procurement-list, distributed by China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance. The ban would apply to all central and local agencies in China, Bloomberg News said.

Officials at the NDRC and finance ministry could not be reached and Apple did not respond to the request for a comment made by Reuters.

China, citing security concerns, has increasingly sought to limit the use of U.S. technology over the past year following revelations by Edward Snowden of widespread U.S. government spying.

State-run China Central Television said in a report in June that location-tracking software on Apple’s iPhone could potentially lead to the disclosure of state secrets. Apple said in response that, it has never allowed and will never allow governments access to its servers.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Apple

Rumor: Apple and Intelligent Energy Team Up to Bring Fuel Cells for Mobile Devices

Fuel cells have been the topic of discussion for many researchers in the past, working on theoretical inventions and all sorts of contraptions to figure out how to change the common battery and prolong the power output in order to keep mobile devices running for extended periods of time. Up until now, there have been only a handful of successful solutions, such as the sugar-powered battery, having most of them fail the practical tests.

Now it seems that fuel cell company, Intelligent Energy, has teaming up with ‘a major international electronics company’ to add fuel cell technology to the company’s mobile devices. Intelligent Energy is said to have revealed that it purchased patents for mobile fuel cell technology from Eveready, in association with the major electronics company in question which allegedly could not be identified in any finding.

“Intelligent Energy revealed upon floating that it bought a bundle of patents in tandem with a major ‘international electronics company’. It has kept the identity of its partner a closely guarded secret. But a source, who has knowledge of the partnership, confirmed that Apple is the big name working with the Loughborough-based firm.”

Though the partner company is not yet confirmed, the Daily Mail apparently received word from its sources, which points to Apple as being the secret company. This makes sense, since more and more mobile manufacturers out there are gaining ground on improved battery performance technology for their devices, the kind that is currently a threat to the ‘everlasting’ Apple devices. A partnership between the two companies might bring Apple a boost in battery life for both the MacBooks and iPhones/iPads, while also patenting (as always) the integrated technology for their own franchise.

Other links that point to Apple as being the mystery partner company is the fact that Intelligent Energy already has ties with Apple, having hired former Apple executive Joe O’Sullivan as its Chief Operating Officer in 2011. Other facts that strengthen the rumor can be found in Apple’s patents filed in 2010 and 2011, having the company describing the use of fuel cell technology in portable computing devices, as well as having its own corporate headquarters and data center from Maiden, North Carolina, running on large-scale fuel cells.

Thank you MacRumors for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of MacRumors

New Rumors Surface For The Upcoming iPhone 6, Solar Charging Capabilities?

More rumors are rolling out for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6. But they are not about to disclose any rumors regarding their product, of course, until they release the handset this fall. It is expected for Apple to strap in a faster processor, better camera, and other items that are generally refreshed each year. A major change might be on the cards though, like the iPhone 5s brought Touch ID fingerprint scanner, a new rumor hints towards iPhone 6 solar charging capability.

Seeking Alpha analyst, Matt Margolis, states to have found evidence that the sapphire glass panels which Apple is going to use in iPhone 6 will incorporate solar panels, allowing the users’ handset to harness the sun’s energy to charge their smartphone’s battery.

He also believes that Apple will use the same display technology in the 2014 iPod touch as well, though it remains to be seen if that product comes out since Apple’s quarterly earnings set them with 50 percent decline in the iPod lineup. Apple already has a large number of patents related to the use of solar power for charging batteries, having recently seen a patent being awarded to the company for solar-powered MacBooks.

There has been another rumor that Foxconn had already produced 100 prototype units of the next generation iPhone covered with sapphire glass instead of the usual Gorilla Glass. The information feedback is hinting towards a solar-powered iPhone, which is normal given the recent changes. It is certainly too soon to say that solar charging capability will make its way into the next iPhone.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information