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Google Maps developers yesterday introduced some visual changes and subtle navigation aids for both desktop and iOS that aim to make it easier for users to explore the world around them. The most immediately obvious visual changes include the removal of road outlines to make traffic and transit routes easier to delineate, as well as clearer typography for street names, points of interest, transit stations, and so on, making them more distinguishable. Another, less obvious but significant change is the way Google Maps represents high density areas of interest – restaurants, bars, shops, and so on – which now appear as orange shaded hotspots on the map. As the video above demonstrates, zooming into an orange area brings more details into focus, allowing users to tap them for more information. The new Maps also gains a more subtle and balanced color scheme to help users differentiate between man-made and natural topographic features, as well as identify places like hospitals, schools and highways more easily. Google Maps is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link] Discuss this article in our forums
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You might unlock your iPhone with your eye instead of your finger in the future.

http://www.macrumors.com/2016/07/25/iphone-iris-scanning-rumors-2018/
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DVD rental company Redbox has started to test a new movie streaming and download service with some of its customers, according to Variety. Known for its DVD rental kiosks, Redbox has dubbed its latest online service "Redbox Digital", which comes two years after the company shut down Redbox Instant, the ill-fated joint venture with Verizon that officially launched in early 2013. The subscription-based service was patently unable to compete with the likes of Netflix, and Redbox has reportedly learned from the experience: it's staying away from subscriptions in order to concentrate on transactional video on demand, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. An app for the service similar in appearance to Netflix showed up on the App Store last week, allowing trial users to stream or download content from the company's digital catalog. A company spokesmen contacted Variety via email to confirm the news: We are testing a potential new transactional digital VOD and EST offering, with a small subset of our customers, designed to complement our core kiosk rental business. As we test and learn from our customers, we will make evaluations that determine any future course of action.The Redbox Digital catalog is said to be dependent on the company's deals with movie studios, meaning some movies could be available at kiosks when they're not available for streaming. However, the digital catalog will have a much larger offering than kiosks, which usually only hold a few hundred titles. No word was given on pricing, but typical one-off streaming costs are likely work out more expensive than the $1.50 Redbox customers currently pay for physical disc rentals. Tag: Redbox Discuss this article in our forums
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Nintendo shares took a beating on Monday after the company released a statement saying Pokémon Go would have limited impact on its quarterly earnings since it only owns 32 percent of the Pokémon Company, which has the licensing rights to the game. The announcement by Nintendo appeared to take investors by surprise and had an immediate impact on its share price, with stock dropping 17 percent at one point, wiping around $6.4 billion off their value – their biggest decline since October 1990. The news poured cold water on hopes of a stunning revival for the Kyoto-based game company, which said its earnings outlook would not be revised. Nintendo is due to reveal its Q1 report later this week. Some observers remained optimistic however, noting that shares were still up some 60 percent compared with levels prior to the game's July 6 launch, adding nearly $12 billion in market value. They argued upward revisions of the company's profit targets so early after the game's release were beyond reasonable expectations. "The market has overreacted to the Nintendo statement," said David Gibson, a senior analyst at Macquarie Securities Group who spoke to Reuters. Gibson noted the game in Japan had broken records with 10 million downloads in one day. "I believe that Pokémon Go will be material in the company's earnings given the current trends for the game." Global rollout of the game continued over the weekend, with Pokémon Go launching in App Stores in France and Hong Kong – the first Asian location outside Japan to gain access to the wildly successful title by U.S.-based developers Niantic. CEO of Niantic John Hanke took to the stage Sunday at Comic-Con, where he revealed the new features coming to the game in the coming years, including new pokémon and a trading feature that will allow players to trade captured characters. Niantic also revealed team leaders for Team Mystic, Team Valor, and Team Instinct, with each trainer set to communicate with players within the game world and offer them advice. Hanke promised fans the leaders would be making their way to the game soon. Tag: Pokémon GO Discuss this article in our forums
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Well-known mobile phone leaker Evan Blass has this morning predicted which week of September that Apple will announce the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Blass, who has accurately leaked images and details about unreleased smartphones on Twitter (@evleaks) in the past, tweeted today simply "iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th." Blass is better known for leaking Android-based smartphone details ahead of their official confirmation, but his prediction for the iPhone 7's release falls in line with Apple's typical September iPhone announcements – the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launched on September 9th, 2015 – making it a pretty safe bet. iPhone 2016 release: week of September 12th.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016 Blass's prediction follows a tweet by the blogger four days earlier in which he claimed the internal codenames for Apple's upcoming iPhones are "Sonora" and "Dos Palos", without specifying which is which (although the latter is a small city in California; the former is a Mexican state). Apple's codenames for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were "N71" and "N66", respectively. This year's iterations of Apple's flagship smartphones are widely expected not to feature major design changes aside from the removal of the headphone jack, as the company is said to be deviating from its standard tick-tock upgrade cycle in order to introduce major new features in next year's 10th anniversary "iPhone 8" which take time to develop. This year the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 is expected to get an improved camera and optical image stabilization, while the larger 5.5-inch model is thought to be gaining a dual-lens camera and 3GB of RAM. Other rumored features of this year's iPhones include a faster TSMC-made Apple A10 processor, repositioned antenna bands, faster LTE and Wi-Fi, a slightly larger battery, and a minimum 32GB of base storage. A larger 256GB model may also be available. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Evan Blass Discuss this article in our forums
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Six people from New York have been charged with allegedly attempting fraudulent transactions at the Deer Park Apple Store near Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. Lake County authorities tell the paper that the scheme is an "organized criminal enterprise." Last week, authorities learned that the scheme was being attempted at various Apple Stores in the Chicago area. The suspects were using stolen identities and credit card numbers throughout the country to make purchases, according to police. Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, told the Chicago Tribune that the suspects would fly into O'Hare International Airport, rent a car, and immediately head to local Apple Stores to attempt the enterprise. Authorities began increasing patrols and surveillance around the Deer Park store after another store in Schaumburg was targeted. Between Wednesday and Sunday, six people attempted the scheme at the store. Police recovered $10,000 worth of stolen Apple products from the alleged suspects. Covelli said the traveling scheme is not common with out-of-state individuals. Tags: Apple retail, Apple Stores Discuss this article in our forums
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Apple is still hard at work improving Apple Maps. Transit information is now available in San Diego, California, and several cities in British Columbia, Canada.

http://www.macrumors.com/2016/07/25/apple-maps-transit-san-diego-british-columbia/
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Earlier this year, Apple announced plans to build an iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, India, for the purpose of supporting engineering talent within the Apple ecosystem and giving developers tools to "create innovative apps for customers around the world," according to CEO Tim Cook. A few new details about the development center have emerged today, including news that Apple has leased more than 40,000 square feet of space for the Bengaluru offices. According to sources speaking with The Economic Times, the new Apple center will cover two floors at Galleria, located in North Bengaluru. The office space Apple is interested in is owned by Standard Brick Tile Company, and includes other companies like Atkins and Comviva as tenants within the building. Tens of thousands of developers in India make apps for iOS, the mobile operating system that is the foundation for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company said Apple's team would work to inspire and instruct developers on best practices, help them hone their skills and transform the design, quality and performance of their apps on the iOS platform Apple's current plan is to open the new iOS App Design and Development Accelerator sometime in early 2017. The space in Bengaluru will be the second biggest of Apple's facilities in India, following the company's proposed 250,000 square foot campus in Hyderabad. That location will be the focus of developments in Apple Maps, with up to 4,000 employees expected to be hired at the site, which will cost the company $25 million to build. Tag: India Discuss this article in our forums
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Amidst the recent flurry of videos and images of iPhone 7 mockups coming out of China, one picture that emerged over the weekend claims to offer evidence of Apple's successor to the first iteration 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Sent in to AppleInsider and said to originate from a Chinese supplier, the combined image below shows a device identified with model number MH1C2CD/F, which has yet to be assigned to an iPad by Apple so far. While the identifier proves little, the nomenclature is in line with Apple's existing numbering convention for its iPad Pro range, and Apple is due to refresh its largest tablet this fall. AppleInsider notes that the device's screen shows a 12GB capacity, which is just enough for installing an OS and apps for internal testing and debugging, suggesting the device could be a pre-production model or prototype. Based on previous updates to the company's tablet range, customers can expect a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro to feature a faster A10X processor and a better camera, with a good chance it will inherit the True Tone display seen in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. 3D Touch is also a possibility, although Apple would need to have overcome the challenges involved in porting the technology to a larger screen. Apple is also expected to launch thinner and lighter MacBook Pro models this fall, with some rumors suggesting a dynamic OLED touch panel could feature as part of a planned redesign. Related Roundup: iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums
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Apple became a target of anti-U.S. protest in China this week, following an international ruling against the country's controversial territorial claims. Reuters reports that a "handful" of unofficial Apple stores were picketed and social media users encouraged each other to destroy their Apple products, as the company became a symbol of perceived injustice in its biggest overseas market. Earlier this month, The Hague declared that China has no legal basis for its claim to most of the South China Sea, prompting state media to call the international court a "puppet" of external forces, and accuse the U.S. of turning the Philippines (which filed the case) against China. About a week later, on Tuesday, over 100 protestors picketed four unofficial Apple dealers in the eastern province of Jiangsu, urging customers not to buy the genuine Apple goods on sale. "They chanted, 'boycott American products and kick iPhones out of China,'" store owner Zhu Yawei told Reuters. "But nothing really happened: no fights, no smashing." Meanwhile, anti-Apple sentiment flooded Chinese social media as people took to microblogging site Weibo to upload pictures of what they described as their smashed iPhones. Not all Apple users shared the same view, however, and state media called for restraint following the limited protests. "It's cheap nationalism and outright stupidity," said Shan Mimi, a 23-year-old assistant at a Shanghai law firm. "But if you were to offer me an (upcoming) iPhone 7, then I would gladly smash my iPhone 6!" "I didn't smash my iPhone," one Weibo user told Reuters. "All I did was find a photo (of a smashed handset) on the internet and let off some steam. Boycotting Apple would only make Chinese people lose their jobs - many work for Apple." Though the protests were small, some observers expressed concern about the impact they could have on Apple in the longer term, citing protests over the country's territorial dispute with Japan in 2012 that turned violent. Japanese automakers suffered plummeting sales in China as a result of the unrest and cut manufacturing in the country by half. "There's not much Apple or any other foreign firm can do to prevent such patriotic protests," Canalys research analyst Nicole Peng told Reuters. "These incidents happen every few years." Apple has faced a number of setbacks in China in recent months, including patent disputes, online rights infringement cases, product security reviews, and iTunes store closures. The company has also seen it lose market share due to increased competition from domestic rivals such as Huawei, Vivo and Oppo. Despite the challenges, Apple continues to expand its retail presence in the country and strategically invest in the market to better understand its wider potential. Tag: China Discuss this article in our forums
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Best Buy is offering $125 off most 9.7-inch iPad Pros, marking the lowest iPad Pro prices we've seen yet. Check out our Deals Roundup for details and for other great discounts on a range of Apple products and accessories.

http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/best-apple-deals/#ipad_pro
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MacRumors provides the latest news and rumors about Apple, Mac and iOS.