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Apple took an hour and 20 minutes this morning to let the press and its fans know the following: iOS8.1 is coming Monday and Apple Pay will launch with it. OS X Yosemite is available today along with a new iWorks Suite. WatchKit for devs is coming in November. The iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 are available for preorders tomorrow, shipping next week. It’s 6.1 mm thin, adds TouchID an A8X processor, M* motion coprocessor, better cameras and silver, space grey and gold colors from $499 to $829. The iPad Mini 3 has TouchID and space grey, silver and gold as well. A new iMac ships today for $2499. It’s 27-inches with a 5120 x 2880 resolution display. And the Mac Mini got a spec bump and a price drop to $499.
One thing not announced in the 82 minutes of one-liners that were the Apple press conference today was a new multi-carrier SIM. TechCrunch notes the Apple website says LTE-equipped models of the iPad Air 2 have an Apple SIM that lets owners use short term plans across a variety of carriers in the US and UK. The list includes AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint in the US, and EE in the UK.
ReCode reports Facebook is adding a check-in feature for use during natural disasters, called Safety Check. The idea is to let friends and family know you are safe. If a diaster happens, Safety Check will send a push notification asking if a user is safe. Then the user can check a list of friends and family to see who else has checked in. The feature is active for all 1.3 billion users worldwide.
The Guardian reports anonymous messaging service Whisper is not as anonymous as they have claimed. The company continues to track location by IP address even if geolocation has been turned off. The Guardian claims all data since the launch of the service is stored, even though Whisper says it will only store data for a brief period. Whisper has shared user data with the US Department of Dense, FBI and MI5 and appears to have a lower legal threshold for doing so according to its terms of service. Whisper told the Guardian it “does not follow or track users.”
TechCrunch reports Osmo, an iPad game device not only raided $12 million in Series A funding but will be made available in 284 Apple stores in the US and Canada. The company was founded by Pramod Sharma, who helped build Google’s book-scanning machine, and Jérôme Scholler, who worked on Chrome for Android. The game includes a reflective cameras that attaches to the iPad, a stand, and game tiles in various shapes and letters. The game can recognize the tiles and incorporate them into the games.
The Verge reports Will. i. am unveiled a wrist device called the Puls. While it tells time it also can connect by 3G on its own to make calls and access online services. It mirrors an existing SIM card so you can use the same phone number as your cell phone. It can also pair with wearable batteries for extended life. It will be available in black, white, pink, blue, solid gold, and solid gold with diamonds. No pricing or release date was announced.
PC World reports Lenovo will create a new subsidiary company in order to attack the fast-growing consumer mobile device market in China. Lenovo didn’t use the word Xiaomi in its statement. Lenovo’s new company will focus on “close customer engagement” and have an “Internet-based business model.” But again. They did not use the word Xiaomi or anything that rhymed with it.
Remember how TwitPic was asked to change its name by Twitter, so it announced it was shutting down and then it said it found a buyer so it wouldn’t shut down? Well that was wrong. It couldn’t find a buyer and it is shutting down October 25th. Unless– I don’t know– You wanna buy it?
News From You:
gadgetvirtuoso and spheridan both submitted reports from Gizmodo and iMore that CBS launched an Internet-only service today called CBS All Access for $6 a month through CBS.com and the CBS mobile apps. Subscribers full seasons of 15 prime time series after they air as well as past seasons of 8 popular series. It also includes access to classic TV shows. Subscribers who are in one of 14 markets where CBS owns the local station can watch live streams. That includes New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. One exception to the live stream is NFL games.
TheLazyOne pointed out a TorrentFreak report on a new study out of Australia that 74% of 12-7 year-olds do not download copyright-infringing materials online. That said, the ones doing the pirating are also spending more money. 69% pay to see movies at the cinema. Among the non-pirates, the figure is just 49%. And 46% of the scofflaws buy movies and TV shows from iTunes compared to 29% of the law-abiding crowd. Teens were the least likely to pirate with piracy rates increasing as Australians aged. Overall piracy rose from 25% of Australisn to 29%. The study was commissioned by the IP Awareness Foundation which counts the MPA, Foxtel and other key industry players among its members.
Pick of the day:
I highly recommend a recent article from Anandtech: An Introduction to Semiconductor Physics, Technology, and Industry by Joshua Ho. It’s a really great primer, not overly simplified, but relatively understandable to someone (like myself) who’s physics and chemistry education finished in high school, but has an interest in how tech works. Anandtech is usually my go-to place for more in-depth technical analysis and reviews, but I thought this really stood out as excellent.
Tomorrow’s guest: Mary-Jo Foley, Microsoft watcher at ZDNet