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  • FaceTime Audio included in OS X 10.9.2 beta release

    by 
    Yoni Heisler
    Yoni Heisler
    12.20.2013

    Just a few days after releasing OS X 10.9.1, 9to5Mac relays that Apple yesterday seeded OS X 10.9.2 to developers. One of the more welcome additions to the impending update is the inclusion of FaceTime Audio functionality. Apple first introduced FaceTime Audio with the release of iOS 7, and now it appears that it's just a matter of time before Mac users will be able to get in on the fun and make high-quality VoIP calls to other Mac and iOS users. As it stands now, Mac users interested in making high-quality audio calls via an internet connection have to rely on third-party applications like Skype.

  • Trent Reznor uses iPhone to FaceTime friend during concert

    by 
    Yoni Heisler
    Yoni Heisler
    11.21.2013

    AppleInsider directs us to a great video of a Nine Inch Nails concert where NIN frontman Trent Reznor takes a break in the action to FaceTime with photojournalist Andrew Youssef. According to a report by music site Consequence of Sound, Youssef was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in 2011, and has spent his time since documenting his efforts to continue his photography while battling the disease in "Last Shot," a regular column for OC Weekly. His last column appeared October 3, where he described an assignment photographing Depeche Mode, writing, "my strength is definitely not where it should be, but with the help of my brother who drove and helped carried my camera bag, I successfully accomplished my mission." While on stage during a November 16 concert, Reznor dedicated the song "In This Twilight" to Youssef, one of Youssef's favorites and the title of a particularly moving article Youssef wrote this past September about his deteriorating health. Youssef had previously seen NIN on November 8, but was not well enough to attend the November 16 concert as well. Hence, the heartwarming gesture from Reznor. In a tweet that went up after the FaceTime call, Youssef was beyond thrilled. @trent_reznor Completely humbled. I can't thank you and @nineinchnails enough. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for you. - Amateur Chemist (@Amateurchemist) November 16, 2013 If you're interested in learning more about Youssef and his connection with Reznor, Stereogum has a great write-up on it that's well worth checking out. Incidentally, Reznor himself has long been an Apple enthusiast. Following the 2009 rejection of a NIN app from the App Store, Reznor posted the following on the official Nine Inch Nails message board. Everyone – let me be clear. I love Apple products and as goofy and out-of-touch as their app approval process / policy is, I will still use them because they work 1000X better than the competition. This is not a debate, it's a fact. The iPhone is THE most elegant, modern smartphone at this point in time and it's perfect for what we want to do with the NIN app – except for the ludicrous approval process, and that's what I want to draw attention to... For the record, the NIN app was approved a few days later.

  • Apple fixes FaceTime issues with iOS 7.0.4 rollout

    by 
    Mike Wehner
    Mike Wehner
    11.14.2013

    The updates have been coming pretty regularly since the debut of iOS 7 and today sees the rollout of 7.0.4. The update is rather small and, according to the notes from Apple, addresses an issue with FaceTime that was giving some users a headache. The file weighs in at just under 38 MB and should be available via an over-the-air update on your iOS 7 device now.

  • iOS 7 video tip: Making FaceTime audio calls

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    10.02.2013

    One of the relatively unsung features of iOS 7 is the addition of audio-only calling to FaceTime. Why would you want to use FaceTime to make audio-only calls instead of using the full video/audio capability? Well, maybe you just woke up and look like something the cat dragged in, and you don't want the person on the receiving end of the call to die of fright. Or perhaps you're using a weak Wi-Fi connection with your non-GSM iPad mini or iPod touch in an internet café overseas and don't want to risk not being able to make a FaceTime call at all. Either way, audio-only FaceTime calling is easy to do, and today's video tip will show you how.

  • Chitika's look at Apple OS adoption on the eve of a product launch

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    09.09.2013

    It's very likely that along with the announcement of some new products tomorrow, we'll get a better idea of when Apple's newest operating systems -- iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks -- will actually ship. iOS 7 is widely expected to ship with the new iPhone(s) that should be announced tomorrow, while OS X Mavericks may be slated for an October release. Online advertising firm Chitika looks at millions of ad impressions generated by their network to scout out trends, and its most recent numbers (from August 15 to August 21, 2013) show that a whopping 92 percent of all iPhone users and 82 percent of iPad users are currently running iOS 6. Why are fewer iPad users on the most recent version of iOS? Chitika noted analyst Chetan Sharma as pointing out that 90 percent of tablet users use WiFi only (even if they are WiFi + cellular devices). iOS 6 has some mobile-focused features like turn-by-turn GPS and FaceTime over mobile networks that made the upgrade to iOS 6 more attractive to iPhone users than those who own iPads. Chitika believes that "based on past adoption rates of new iOS versions, it's likely that users of both device categories will adopt iOS 7 at high rates." So what about Apple's desktop / laptop operating system, OS X? Chitika's numbers show that 34 percent of all Mac owners in North America currently use OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), while 23 percent are still using Lion (10.7). What's quite surprising is the number of users who are somewhat stuck in the past with OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) and Leopard (10.5), a surprising 32 and 10 percent, respectively. For those who are running newer hardware capable meeting the requirements for the upcoming release of OS X Mavericks (10.9), the upgrade to the new version should be a no-brainer. Older Macs, however, will most likely continue to run the older operating systems until such time as the hardware is beyond repair.

  • Apple FaceTime fix may not be working out for some unhappy users

    by 
    Mel Martin
    Mel Martin
    09.02.2013

    It seemed minor at the time, but last year's loss by Apple of a patent suit from VirnetX may have cascaded into some serious problems for the FaceTime service. Apple could have faced continuing royalty payments in the millions of dollars per month to license the VirnetX patents. In a workaround, Apple has reportedly made some changes to FaceTime that are driving many users crazy. Ars Technica reports that Apple may have completely redesigned its backend architecture -- although the source for the story is an investor in VirnetX, so his accounting may be suspect. But, if the workaround is in fact in place, it's impacting users in negative ways. Apple support boards are filled with unhappy comments from FaceTime users. The changes Apple made means that point-to-point communication is lost, and calls are now going through relay servers. It's not as reliable, and people are reporting everytihng from inability to connect to poor quality. Others are reporting FaceTime is working just fine. VirnetX last month filed new papers with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking to add allegations that Apple, already a defendant in its currently pending patent-infringement lawsuit (VirnetX Inc. et al v. Apple Inc.), infringes a just-granted patent for secure communications. The accused products in this lawsuit include the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini and the latest Macintosh computers.

  • GoToMeeting issues with MacBook Air camera persist

    by 
    John-Michael Bond
    John-Michael Bond
    08.23.2013

    Since the launch of the latest MacBook Air, Citrix GoToMeeting users on the new machines have not been able to use their onboard webcams. The latest edition of the MacBook Air was released on June 10, 2013. On June 11, Apple put up a support page addressing an issue with the FaceTime HD camera not working with some applications. This issue has been around for quite some time. Much to the chagrin of many GoToMeeting users, other video chat programs -- Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts -- have released updates or already worked with the new MacBook Air. But those services don't offer the same security and features that GoToMeeting offers. It's a good program for video conferencing, which is why some users are getting frustrated about the lack of any clear timeframe as to when the issue will be fixed. The only public information available about the issue is a thread on the GoToMeeting community page, which was started on June 25. On June 28, a GoToMeeting Community Leader made a post blaming a change in the MacBook Air's video driver and said there was no timeframe available for fixing the issue as it would require an update to the GoToMeeting endpoint. On July 16, a community member received an email response about the issue from Citrix. Hello Robert, Thank you for contacting Citrix Global Customer Support. At this time there has not been an announced ETA on when an updated version of GoToMeeting is to be released to address this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience with this. Your comments are valuable and have been forwarded on to our Development Team to be considered for a future enhancement. We encourage you to continue providing us information about your experiences using GoToMeeting as we are constantly seeking ways to enhance and improve our product. Thanks again for taking the time to write to us with your suggestion. Thank you, Adrian Iglesias | Coordinator, Global Customer Support Citrix | Online Services Division http://www.citrixonline.com On July 18, August 5 and August 22 the same Community Leader as before responded, each time with the same basic message. At this time, no ETA is available and developers are aware of the issue. We've reached out to Citrix for a comment as to the status of an update. In the meantime, you can follow the community thread about this issue here.

  • Three times as many Samsung users switch to iPhone than the other way around

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    08.19.2013

    Though Samsung's snarky ads like to make jest of iPhone users, while Apple's just show how well various functions -- the camera, the music player and FaceTime -- work, new information from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) suggests those Samsung ads aren't too effective. As reported by Fortune, the CIRP report reveals that three times more people switch from Samsung handsets to iPhone than the other way around. The CIRP numbers also show that iPhone users tend to skew younger (about 69 percent are younger than 35 years old, compared to about 64 percent for Samsung), have more income (only 32 percent of Apple buyers have less than a US$50,000 income, while almost 45 percent of Samsung buyers are in that range) and are more educated (about 48 percent with a college degree or greater, compared to only about 32 percent for Samsung buyers). The Fortune post by Philip Elmer-DeWitt has some other gems that show just where the two companies get most of their customers. It's some of the best demographic information that we've seen so far detailing the customer base for the two largest smartphone manufacturers. [via 9to5Mac]

  • Apple airs new 'FaceTime Every Day' ad

    by 
    Michael Grothaus
    Michael Grothaus
    08.06.2013

    Apple has aired its latest television ad titled, "FaceTime Every Day." As you would expect from the title, the ad shows people in everyday life connecting via FaceTime on the iPhone. The ad follows in the footsteps of previous spots that spotlighted Camera and Music app use. The "FaceTime Every Day" ad ends with the line, "Every day more people connect face-to-face on the iPhone than any other phone." Check it out below:

  • Apple files trademark for newly designed FaceTime logo

    by 
    Yoni Heisler
    Yoni Heisler
    07.01.2013

    Patently Apple is reporting that Apple last week filed for a new trademark covering their newly designed FaceTime logo. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark filing for their redesigned "FaceTime" logo. Apple originally filed for the new design earlier in the week. Due to Apple's redesigned iOS 7 UI going flat, many icons will have to be updated with the US Patent and Trademark Office in the coming months. Apple's newly designed icons in iOS 7 have come under a lot of fire, though critics of the new design were given a glimmer of hope when a report from The Next Web relayed that the icon designs in iOS 7 remain works in progress. Of the various aspects of iOS 7, the design of its icons and other visual cues are the most in flux at the moment. There are still refinements and conversations going on around them. I don't know, but would expect there to be a lot of fixes for the inconsistency we're seeing in things like gradients and design language on the home screen. The new FaceTime icon isn't the worst offender of the bunch (that might go to the new Notes app), but folks who aren't feeling the new FaceTime icon will have to get used to it. The trademark application for the icon make specific mention of the colors light green, dark green and white. Hopefully similar trademark applications for icons like the Settings and Camera app don't appear anytime soon, otherwise we might be stuck with them. While I understand that many people do in fact love the new icon designs in iOS 7, and while I also understand the "flatness" theme that underlies Apple's new design aesthetic, there's something to be said about really cool and creative icon designs that embrace a 3D perspective. As a quick example, here's an icon for Pages which, according to Patently Apple, was recently registered as a trademark. I'm not sure if I'm in the minority, but I still can't fathom how the icons below are even in the same ballpark as the Pages icon above.

  • Apple trademarks new FaceTime logo, settles on green

    by 
    Myriam Joire
    Myriam Joire
    06.30.2013

    There's certainly been a lot of brouhaha surrounding the new design language Apple introduced for iOS 7 at WWDC. Some (ourselves included) feel it's modern and fresh while others loathe the brighter palette and simpler, flatter icons. A lot can change between now and the launch of iOS 7 this fall, but if Apple's recent trademark filing is any indication, FaceTime's new logo / icon -- which consists of a stylized white video camera inside a rounded-off green square -- fits squarely (ahem) within the aesthetic we saw on stage in San Francisco. Of course, companies often trademark logos, so we can't really say this comes as much of a surprise, either. If you're curious where Jony Ive might have found his inspiration for the pastel colors and thin lines showcased in iOS 7's iconography, check out Otl Aicher's design work for the 1972 Olympics in the "more coverage" link after the break.

  • AT&T begins FaceTime over cellular rollout

    by 
    Michael Grothaus
    Michael Grothaus
    06.18.2013

    As noted by AppleInsider, AT&T has begun its FaceTime over cellular rollout to users. Back in May, AT&T stated that, by the end of 2013, all users would be able to use FaceTime over cellular. It appears that transition has begun. According to AppleInsider: So far, activation of the service has been verified in parts of New York, Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana, California and Hawaii. Voice and video quality is nearly on a par with the WiFi implementation of the service, suggesting AT&T is not throttling those subscribers who choose to use the feature while on the go. In January AT&T began rolling out FaceTime over cellular to users of its tiered data plans. By the time this current rollout is complete, all AT&T users will be able to use FaceTime over cellular, including those on grandfathered-in unlimited data plans. [Editor's Note: A couple of weeks ago I noticed FaceTime over cellular was enabled for me, and I'm in Tennessee -- others confirm similar activations in the state. - VA]

  • Some other cool (and relatively unmentioned) iOS 7 features

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    06.10.2013

    Craig Federighi simply didn't have the time to go through all of the features in iOS 7, so I decided to scrape some of those features from a slide. View PDF annotation -- in iOS, it's been impossible to view annotations that someone has added to a PDF. It appears that feature is finally coming to iOS 7, and that will bring even more PDF power to our apps. Enterprise single sign-on -- Not sure how this is going to be implemented, but providing a way for enterprise users to use one sign on for all of the sites that they need to work with on a daily basis is huge. This resolves the issue of needing to log into multiple apps on an enterprise network. Turn-by-turn walking directions -- Finally, what we have in Google Maps, available for iOS Maps. Do Not Track option in Safari -- I believe this is similar to Chrome's "incognito windows. A feature brought over from the desktop version of Safari that blocks websites, ad companies, analytic services and social networks from tracking you online. A version of it was present in iOS 6 as Private Browsing, but was not officially announced. Improved Mail search -- I currently find searching iOS mail to be frustrating, and when I really need to look up an old email, I resort to OS X. I can only hope that iOS Mail search is improved to that level. Night mode for Maps -- No more glaring screen when using Maps at night. WiFi HotSpot 2.0 -- Not sure what the improvements are going to be, but it's interesting to see that "Personal Hotspot" is getting an update. Hotspot 2.0 is a public access WiFi standard that allows devices to connect automatically to a compatible WiFi service when a user enters a coverage area. It'll let users walk around their city and connect to WiFi hotspots on the fly without any interaction with their phone. FaceTime Audio -- the ability to do FaceTime using only audio -- this could be helpful for doing podcasts. App Store Volume Purchase -- This may be a way for developers or Apple to offer volume purchase rates to schools, perhaps with "promo codes" that work for a large number of users. Scan to acquire Passbook passes -- At a store? Want to get a Passbook pass for a discount coupon? Just scan a code to have it automatically loaded into Passbook. Inclinometer == built-in level. We'll continue Zaprudering the slides as time goes by here today. There's a lot of information to digest!

  • AT&T to enable FaceTime over cellular for all customers by end of 2013

    by 
    Yoni Heisler
    Yoni Heisler
    05.20.2013

    In a statement provided to The Verge, AT&T has indicated that all iPhone subscribers will be able to use FaceTime via a cellular connection by the end of 2013. For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we'll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers. Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end. Today, all of our customers can use any mobile video chat app that they download from the internet, such as Skype. AT&T, if you recall, was initially reluctant to enable FaceTime over cellular connection due to bandwidth concerns. Slowly but surely, however, Ma Bell has started to come around. This past January, AT&T announced that it was enabling FaceTime over cellular to subscribers of its tiered data plans. Now, with its most recent announcement, iPhone users on AT&T who have grandfathered-in unlimited data plans will also be able to FaceTime to their hearts content. 9to5Mac adds thats FaceTime over cellular has already been turned on for some iPhone users.

  • Some users experience FaceTime, iMessage outages for the second time in one week

    by 
    John-Michael Bond
    John-Michael Bond
    04.12.2013

    Apple's FaceTime and iMessage services experienced some downtime Friday morning, the second such outage this week. Today's outage only lasted from 10:45 AM to 12:07 PM, but the outage on Tuesday lasted for five hours and affected the same programs. Other Apple services were not affected, and the App store remained open. The status of Apple's online services can be tracked via the company's System Status page. Normally, short outages aren't considered news, but when it's the second such disruption in the span of a week it's worth mentioning.

  • Daily Update for April 5, 2013

    by 
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    Megan Lavey-Heaton
    04.05.2013

    It's the TUAW Daily Update, your source for Apple news in a convenient audio format. You'll get all the top Apple stories of the day in three to five minutes for a quick review of what's happening in the Apple world. You can listen to today's Apple stories by clicking the inline player (requires Flash) or the non-Flash link below. To subscribe to the podcast for daily listening through iTunes, click here. No Flash? Click here to listen. Subscribe via RSS

  • Apple forced to change VPN On Demand for iOS due to lawsuit from VirnetX

    by 
    John-Michael Bond
    John-Michael Bond
    04.05.2013

    Apple has announced changes to their VPN on Demand service for iOS devices following a lawsuit by VirnetX. The changes will only effect devices using iOS 6.1 or later. The move come on the heels of a US$368 million ruling against Apple, where a federal jury found the company had violated VirnetX patents. The lawsuit stems from Apple's FaceTime software, arguably among their most popular features. The same day the $368 million decision was passed, VirnetX filed another lawsuit against Apple, this time aiming for a judgment that includes products that were not released when the original case was filed. Apple has released the following explanation of the changes via their support network. Devices using iOS 6.1 and later with VPN On Demand configured to "Always" will behave as if they were configured with the "Establish if needed" option. The device will establish a VPN On Demand connection only if it is unable to resolve the DNS name of the host it is trying to reach. This change will be distributed in an update later this month. If the name of a host can be resolved without a VPN connection, you may see one of the following behaviors: If the host is a web server that presents different content to internal and external users, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established and you will see the external content. If the host is a web or mail server that has a name that can be resolved externally but cannot be contacted externally, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established and you will not be able to connect to the server. If you are using a public DNS service that provides an alternative IP address for hosts that it cannot resolve, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established and you will not be able to connect to the server. If you are using a VPN configuration that includes wildcard entries (such as *.com) that match top-level domains that are publicly accessible, the VPN On Demand connection will not be established when you contact hosts in those domains.

  • Free Press launches petition site against AT&T in the name of Net Neutrality

    by 
    Mike Wehner
    Mike Wehner
    01.18.2013

    In the face of mounting pressure from Net Neutrality groups and threats of FCC complaints, AT&T recently unblocked use of Apple's FaceTime for some of its user base. Unfortunately, customers on unlimited data plans are still unable to use the popular chat feature over AT&T's cellular network. In response, Free Press has launched an initiative to allow customers to speak out against the practice. The site, which carries a banner boldly declaring "AT&T: Your World. Blocked," allows users to submit their name, email address and zip code to the growing list of disgruntled web denizens. At the time of this writing, the site already has more than 6,600 comments in the name of Net Neutrality.

  • All tiered AT&T data plans now get FaceTime over cellular

    by 
    Michael Grothaus
    Michael Grothaus
    01.16.2013

    AT&T announced today that it is expanding FaceTime over cellular to all tiered data plans. The news came via a posting on AT&T's Customer Blog: When FaceTime over cellular launched in September 2012, we explained that we wanted to roll it out gradually to ensure the service had minimal impact on the mobile experience for all of our customers. As a result of ongoing testing, we're announcing AT&T will enable FaceTime over cellular at no extra charge for customers with any tiered data plan using a compatible iOS device. This means iPhone 4S customers with tiered plans will be able to make FaceTime calls over the AT&T cellular network. AT&T previously made FaceTime over cellular available to customers with a Mobile Share plan and those with an LTE device on tiered plans. The additional support for FaceTime over cellular isn't happening today, however. AT&T states that it will begin the update in the next few weeks and gradually roll out the feature to users over the next few months. There is nothing AT&T customers need to do on their end to take advantage of FaceTime over cellular. Once the rollout is complete, the only AT&T customers without FaceTime over cellular support will be those on grandfathered unlimited data plans.

  • AT&T now offering FaceTime over Cellular on all tiered data plans

    by 
    Brad Molen
    Brad Molen
    01.16.2013

    It's been a slow process, but AT&T is gradually making FaceTime over Cellular (Apple's video chat service) available to more people. The feature was introduced with iOS 6, but it was up to carriers on how they wanted to implement the service -- if at all. AT&T chose to offer it to only shared data customers at first, to ensure that the carrier's network could handle the additional load. Finally, the top GSM operator in the US has announced that it will now allow the feature on all tiered data plans and extend the service to 4S users, and it should be rolling out to customers over the course of the next two weeks. There's still no word on grandfathered unlimited plans, but don't get your hopes up on that happening any time soon. To get the full explanation, head to the source link below.