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Apple seeds second OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite beta to developers with minor changes


Apple on Thursday released a second beta build of its upcoming OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite update to developers for testing, including what appears to be only minor tweaks and bug fixes.

The latest beta, build 14F19a, comes a little over two weeks after the first beta version was pushed out to developers and users signed up for Apple’s public beta program.

Like the first beta, today’s build brings minor tweaks and bug fixes aimed at improving system stability, app compatibility and security.

Apple most recently updated its Mac operating system in June with the release of OS X 10.10.4, which brought a variety of fixes for problems with Photos, Mail and the infamous “discoveryd”service. That release also introduced TRIM support for third-party SSDs.

Developers can download OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite beta 2 via Software Update in the Mac App Store or through Apple’s developer Web portal.

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Suppliers expect widespread adoption of USB Type-C in laptops, smartphones thanks to Apple


Taiwan-based integrated circuit manufacturers are said to be betting big on the new reversible USB Type-C connector, thanks in part to Apple’s early embrace of the port in its forward thinking 12-inch MacBook with Retina display.

Apple turned heads when it released its all-new 12-inch MacBook in April, featuring an ultra-thin design with just one USB Type-C port for both data input and charging. Its launch made Apple the first major computer manufacturer to embrace the smaller and reversible USB port.

Apple’s aggressive early adoption of USB Type-C has allegedly emboldened integrated circuit makers in Taiwan, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwanese publication claims that ASMedia Technology, Etron Technology and VIA Labs are all planning to offer USB Type-C products, as the companies expect “widespread adoption” of the new port in both notebooks and smartphones.

But Apple’s 12-inch MacBook features first-generation USB 3.1 technology in its Type-A port, which runs at a slower 5Gbps speed — the same as USB 3.0. The forthcoming second-generation USB 3.1 port will double that to 10Gbps, and support will be in Intel’s forthcoming Skylake processors.

For that reason, most Taiwanese manufacturers are expected to supply second-generation USB 3.1 Type-C ports at a faster 10Gbps data rate than Apple’s current MacBook provides. It’s expected that new notebooks with Intel Skylake processors and faster second-generation USB 3.1 speeds will help drive demand to the new, smaller USB Type-C form factor, helping to phase out the legacy, ubiquitous USB Type-A port.

For now, the 12-inch MacBook remains Apple’s only device with a USB Type-C port, though the company is rumored to be working on a 12.9-inch tablet that could also feature the new connector. AppleInsider’s own source said in May that the so-called “iPad Pro” will feature USB Type-C input, as well as support for a new Bluetooth stylus accessory and Force Touch input.

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Apple inks deal for first major office space in San Francisco


Apple has reportedly signed a deal to lease 76,000 square feet of office space in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, marking its first real push into the city’s office market.

The deal is actually a sublease of two floors in a South of Market building occupied mostly by CBS Interactive, real estate sources told the San Francisco Business Times. The space is believed to be big enough for around 400 to 500 workers, but very expensive, since rents in the area are typically about $66 per square foot.

For Apple, though, the space may be a better way of accommodating and taking advantage of its San Francisco workforce. In 2013 the company said that about 14 percent of its employees lived in the city, but these people have either had to commute or ride Apple buses to outlying offices.

Earlier in July, the company leased 300,000 square feet in San Jose, where about a quarter of its workforce calls home. Apple headquarters is located in Cupertino — a small Bay Area city with a population close to 60,000.

Apple’s plans for the San Francisco space are unknown, although several years ago Beats Music, bought by Apple in 2014, signed a lease for 26,000 square feet in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. That lease is due to expire in 2017, and Apple could be aiming to expand office space dedicated to Apple Music, Beats Music’s successor.

Alternately though Apple could simply want an office for San Francisco residents to work out of when needed, or to allocate the space for an unannounced project. The company is for instance believed to be working on an electric car, though those efforts may currently be centered in Sunnyvale.

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iOS 9 tips: Disconnect from a Bluetooth accessory without making your iPhone forget it


Starting with iOS 9, Apple has made it possible to disconnect an iPhone from a Bluetooth device without the need to “forget” the wireless accessory, making it easier to reconnect without going through the pairing process again.

In previous versions of iOS, accessing the Bluetooth settings for most accessories simply displayed the option “Forget This Device.” Selecting it would not only disconnect from the Bluetooth accessory, but also prevent automatic pairing in the future.

Starting with iOS 9, Apple has added a new option for Bluetooth devices: Open Settings, select Bluetooth, then tap the “i” circle button to the right of the accessory. From there, you can see the new “Disconnect” option, alongside the legacy “Forget This Device” choice.

By selecting Disconnect, users can keep a Bluetooth accessory among their list of stored wireless devices.

This new option will make it easier for users to switch control to another iPhone or iPad or another device, especially with legacy Bluetooth accessories that do not support connections from multiple devices. It also negates the need to once again go through the pairing process to “re-learn” a Bluetooth accessory and use it.

iOS 9 also includes a new battery widget in Notification Center that will allow users to quickly view the current battery level of any connected Bluetooth accessory. This includes headphones, speakers, and even the Apple Watch.

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Apple supplies second beta of iOS 8.4.1 to developers


The second pre-release beta of iOS 8.4.1, a forthcoming maintenance and security update for Apple’s mobile operating system, was provided to developers on Thursday.

Identified as build 12H318, the new update can be accessed through Apple’s developer portal, or as an over-the-air update on registered devices.

The second beta arrives more than two weeks after the first build was provided to testers. It is expected to be a minor update intended to improve stability, compatibility and security.

New features aren’t expected to be a part of iOS 8.4.1, with iOS 9 on track to launch in September. iOS 9 is also currently available in beta to developers as well as public testers.

The last major update to iOS, version 8.4, launched on June 30, bringing with it a redesigned Music app with support for Apple Music and Beats 1 radio.

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New ‘iPhone 6s’ leak shows parts such as unified flex cables, camera and home button rings


A series of parts for Apple’s alleged “iPhone 6s,” leaked on Thursday, appear to back claims that Apple is optimizing the internal design of its next iPhone while leaving the outside relatively unchanged.

One of these is a unified flex cable connecting internal components like the rear camera, LED flash, and power and volume controls to the logic board, according to French site Nowhereelse. In the iPhone 6, Apple depends on two separate cables to achieve the same connections.

Other parts indicate that the new phone’s rear camera will once again have a protruding exterior ring. That element has been a minor point of criticism with the iPhone 6, since it breaks with the flush design of past iPhones and prevents the device from laying perfectly flat.

Apple also appears to be sticking with an identical home/Touch ID button design. A leaked part is coated in the same “champagne” gold option available to current iPhone shoppers, and matches the tone of a supposed shell for the iPhone 6s Plus.

Both the 6s and 6s Plus are expected to be announced this fall, likely in September, and sport better specifications like A9 processors and 2 gigabytes of RAM. The phones’ front and rear cameras should jump to 5 and 12 megapixels, respectively.

Some rumors have suggested that Apple will switch to tougher 7000-series aluminum, and add a “rose gold” color option, taking cues from the Apple Watch. To date, though, only a little evidence has surfaced to support either claim.

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