Monday, March 10, 2014, 07:02 pm PT (10:02 pm ET)
Apple recently made a change to its loyalty program for organizations that spend upwards of $5,000 per year on its products, offering better discounts on Macs, iPads, accessories and, for the first time, unlocked iPhones and Apple TVs.
According to a report from TechCrunch, Apple last week improved discounts on Macs, iPads, accessories and more by one to three percent. In addition, the iPhone is now part of the loyalty program, the first time Apple has brought its hot-selling handset into the fold.
Apple’s program is broken into three tiers depending on how much money users or organizations spend per year. The first “red” tier starts at $5,000, followed by the $35,000 “green” tier, topped by the $200,000-and-up “blue” tier.
The company metes out discounts depending on the tier in which an institution falls and the recent program changes have brought enhanced savings to nearly all product categories. For example, the publication notes Mac discounts for red tier customers have been bumped from 5 percent to 6 percent, while higher tiers net savings of around 8 percent.
The iPad is seeing discounts between 2 percent and 4 percent based on model and quantity purchased, while savings on third-party accessories have jumped from 5 percent to 10 percent for the lowest red tier.
Of special interest to educational institutions, Apple is now applying discounts to the Apple TV. With Apple’s iPad in Education initiative, schools have been using the set-top device to stream class materials to larger screens via AirPlay.
Apple’s loyalty program changes come on the heels of substantial changes to iOS mass deployment and management services. Along with changes at the system level now active in iOS 7.1 that allow for granular security and device settings management, Apple rolled out a new “Deployment Programs” webpage to streamline verification and enrollment processes for IT teams.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/38057475/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C0A30C10A0Capple0Equietly0Eimproves0Eloyalty0Epricing0Efor0Eit0Eeducation/story01.htm
Monday, March 10, 2014, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)
Apple on Monday released iOS 7.1, the most significant update to its mobile platform in six months, featuring tweaks to the user interface introduced in iOS 7, fixes for lingering bugs, and new features such as support for the new CarPlay infotainment center.
The newly released iOS 7.1 is identified as build 11D167. As first revealed by AppleInsider last month, the update is said to improve Touch ID fingerprint recognition for iPhone 5s users.
iOS 7.1 also includes a new manual setting for Siri, allowing users to hold the home button on their device to have the system listen, and let go when they are done speaking, as opposed to having Siri automatically detect when a user has finished speaking. The update also allows users to subscribe to iTunes Match directly from their device, allowing for ad-free listening to iTunes Radio.
Owners of the iPhone 4 should also see improved performance with iOS 7.1, while those who buy a compatible vehicle will be able to take advantage of CarPlay. Events can also be displayed in month view, iPhone 5s users can have the camera automatically enable HDR photos, and FaceTime call notifications are now synced across devices through iCloud.
Pre-release versions of iOS 7 have been supplied to developers for testing since last November, making it a particularly lengthy beta period. A mid-March release for iOS 7.1 has been expected for some time.
Release notes accompanying the update state that it includes “improvements and bug fixes.” According to Apple, those are:
- iOS experience designed for the car
- Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay enabled vehicle
- Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and 3rd-party audio apps
- Control with Siri and the car’s touchscreen, knobs, and buttons
- Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done as an alternative to letting Siri automatically notice when you stop talking
- New, more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese
- iTunes Radio
- Search field above Featured Stations to easily create stations based on your favorite artist or song
- Buy albums with the tap of a button from Now Playing
- Subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free
- Option to display events in month view
Country specific holidays automatically added for many countries
- Option to display events in month view
- Bold font option now includes the keyboard, calculator, and many icon glyphs
- Reduce Motion option now includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations
- New options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce white point
- New Camera setting to automatically enable HDR for iPhone 5s
- iCloud Keychain support in additional countries
- FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device
- Fixes a bug that could occasionally cause a home screen crash
- Improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition
- Improved performance for iPhone 4
- Fixes display of Mail unread badge for numbers greater than 10,000
- Continued user interface refinements
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3801d914/sc/5/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C0A30C10A0Capple0Ereleases0Eios0E710Ewith0Ebug0Efixes0Ecarplay0Esupport/story01.htm
Monday, March 10, 2014, 11:50 am PT (02:50 pm ET)
Monday’s iOS 7.1 update brought a slew of documented changes and two surprise additions — update bundles customized for iPad models that are not known to have been publicly released.
In addition to updates for the company’s latest iPhones and iPads, Apple’s download server plays host to iOS 7.1 bundles targeted at iPads with model identifiers iPad4,3 and iPad4,6. As first noted by iClarified, those identifiers have not been seen before in the wild.
The Wi-Fi model of the iPad mini with Retina display is known as iPad4,4, while its cellular data-equipped counterpart bears the designation iPad4,5. iPad Air models are identified as iPad4,1 for Wi-Fi only and iPad4,2 when a cellular radio is added.
The intermediate nature of the iPad4,3 moniker suggests that these new models could simply be evolutionary hardware updates rather than totally new devices. They may be reserved, for instance, for tablets destined for China Mobile’s unique TD-LTE network which have not yet received certification.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/38032ed6/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C0A30C10A0Capple0Eadds0Esupport0Efor0Enew0Epreviously0Eunknown0Eipad0Emodels0Ein0Eios0E71/story01.htm
Monday, March 10, 2014, 12:24 pm PT (03:24 pm ET)
A new Apple TV software update was issued on Monday, giving users the ability to reduce the plethora of channels on the device’s home screen if they so choose.
Users could previously hide channels from the Apple TV home screen through the device’s Settings application. But Apple TV Version 6.1 now allows this to be accomplished in a simpler fashion, direct from the home screen.
After updating, users can hide icons by holding the select button, causing icons on the screen to jiggle. Once activated, users can press the play/pause button on their remote to bring up a menu that allows users to hide the icon.
After a channel has been hidden, users can reactivate it through the Settings application.
The new Apple TV update arrives alongside the new iOS 7.1 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. That update added CarPlay support, various bug fixes, and improved Touch ID responsiveness with the iPhone 5s.
Apple has been steadily adding new channels to the Apple TV set-top box over the last year, giving users a number of new ways to view streaming content on their television. Recent additions include the WWE Network, TV4, and Red Bull TV.
Apple recently revealed that its streaming set-top box, which the company has famously referred to as a “hobby,” topped $1 billion in sales last year, making it the company’s fastest growing hardware. Total sales are estimated to have grown by 80 percent in 2013, reaching around 10 million units for the calendar year.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/38033a19/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C0A30C10A0Capple0Etv0E610Eupdate0Emakes0Eit0Eeasier0Eto0Ehide0Eunwanted0Echannels/story01.htm
Monday, March 10, 2014, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)
Remote version 4.2 allows users to control iTunes Radio on their Apple TV. It also lets users browse purchased movies and TV shows in the app and play them on their Apple TV.
The 20.3-megabyte download also packs in additional bug fixes and stability improvements. Remote is a free application that requires iOS 7.0 or later.
The remaining updates supplied by Apple on Monday were all relatively minor:
- Logic Remote version 1.0.4 is also available, and fixes an issue that prevented Scale Modes and Chord Strips from updating to the current project key.
- Podcasts version 2.0.2 resolves an issue where the 15-second skip buttons may not appear on the lock screen when used with iOS 7.1.
- GarageBand version 2.0.1 is also available on the App Store, improving stability and addressing bugs that Apple characterized as minor.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3803dc5e/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C0A30C10A0Capple0Eissues0Eupdates0Efor0Eios0Eremote0Egarageband0Elogic0Eremote0Epodcasts/story01.htm
Monday, March 10, 2014, 02:09 pm PT (05:09 pm ET)
New features like CarPlay and long-awaited enhancements to Siri and Touch ID headlined Monday’s iOS 7.1 update, but Apple also made several aesthetic changes as designers continue to refine the mobile operating system’s user interface.
Perhaps fittingly, the iPhone’s “Phone” app received the most attention. Every button that was previously rectangular is now circular, and many have been given new icons in the makeover.
When using the dial pad to make a call manually, the “place call” button now swivels and smoothly morphs into the “end call” button. In addition, call waiting controls have been reformatted and moved to the bottom of the display.
Physics, Motion, and Accessibility
Apple also made a significant number of tweaks to iOS 7′s physics and motion settings. Zooming in and out of folders and apps is now much faster, and many of the in-app transitions are sped up.
Notification Center and Control Center now sport much more pronounced “bounces” when being opened, a jarring change from the easing present in iOS 7.0.x. Apple has expanded the array of accessibility options — enabling the “Reduce Motion” option has a more noticeable impact than in previous revisions, and a new “Button Shapes” option adds shaded outlines around tappable areas.
The “Calendar” app now sports a dedicated list view button, which will take users directly to their full appointment list when looking at a specific day. Pressing the same button in month view provides an updated split-screen view with the calendar on top and appointment list below.
The lock screen’s “slide to unlock” text is much more prominent, and the keyboard displayed when using an alphanumeric pass code has been tweaked. Additionally, the system keyboard itself has slightly redesigned shift and caps lock keys.
Using the Touch ID sensor to identify an already-enrolled finger now causes the finger’s entry to be continuously highlighted, rather than flashing as it did before. Siri, meanwhile, sports a new hold to talk mode that allows users to hold down the home button while speaking and release it to signal Siri to stop listening, useful in loud or busy surroundings.
Finally, the “Camera” app now has an intelligent “Auto HDR” feature. When enabled, the camera will analyze the scene and automatically shoot in HDR if it feels conditions warrant it.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/3803d962/sc/15/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C140C0A30C10A0Capples0Eios0E710Ebrings0Eanimation0Eupdates0Eui0Etweaks0Efor0Ephone0Ecalendar0Eand0Emore/story01.htm