10 key takeaways from Apple’s expectation-crushing earnings call

Photo: Apple

Record iPhone sales keep Apple’s money machine humming. Photo: Apple

Apple surpassed analysts’ expectations with $42.1 billion in revenue in the back-to-school season, buoyed by unprecedented iPhone sales and surprisingly strong demand for Macs.

While breaking down the Q4 2014 numbers during today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri offered insights into the company’s Q4 performance in China, the struggling iPad and hints of new product categories coming down the pipeline.

Here are the biggest takeaways.

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Apple rakes in $42.1 billion in revenue in Q4 2014

Apple shareholders are suing Tim Cook for

Apple announced its financial results for Q4 2014 this afternoon and the numbers were big.

Backed by strong iPhone and Mac sales, Apple posted $42.1 billion in quarterly revenue, with $8.5 billion net profits, or $1.42 per diluted share. Both profit and revenue for the quarter bested Apple’s previous record in the year ago quarter.

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Liveblog: Apple’s Q4 2014 earnings extravaganza

Tim Cook takes the stage at Apple's Oct. 16 event. in Cupertino, California. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook takes the stage at the iPhone 6/Apple Pay event in Cupertino, California. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri are getting ready to follow up the launch of Apple Pay by revealing Apple’s Q4 earnings with investors this afternoon. The results are expected to be record breaking, anchored by the unprecedented demand of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple’s earnings call will reveal just how much money the company raked in over the past three months and we’ll be here to liveblog whole thing. AAPL shares are up 1.60% this afternoon, with the earnings expected to arrive shortly after the market closes, so keep this page open for the full scoop on how ridiculously profitable Apple was last quarter.

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Keep OS X Yosemite from sending Spotlight data to Apple

Spotlight is sending your searches back to Apple Photo: Apple

Spotlight is sending your search information back to Apple. Photo: Apple

OS X Yosemite has changed the way your Mac deals with your privacy. On the one hand, Apple has decided to enable hard drive encryption by default, despite the FBI requests not to.

On the other hand, every time you type in Spotlight, your location and local search terms are sent to Apple, and, according to developer Landon Fuller, other third parties like Microsoft.

Fuller’s created a website, Fix Mac OS X Yosemite, where he’s posted up a way to stop Yosemite from sending such private data out. He’s also been contributing to a developer project on GitHub to find out and fix other ways that OS X phones home.

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Toggle Yosemite’s dark mode quicker with this little hack

Yosemite's "dark mode." Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Yosemite’s “dark mode.” Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Yosemite’s new Dark Mode is one of my favorite new features in OS X 10.10, but toggling it on and off can be a pain.

Apple didn’t include a hotkey combo that lets you switch from Light to Dark mode, but with after digging through Yosemite’s code, someone has discovered a single line of code you can paste into Terminal that will allow you to dynamically switch to dark mode without digging through your System Preferences each time.

Here’s how to do it:

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Apple Store app updated with support for Apple Pay

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 1.54.10 PM

Screenshots: Apple

The first iOS app to receive Apple Pay integration is of course one of Apple’s very own. The official Apple Store app has been updated with “easy one-touch checkout with Apple Pay” on Touch ID-equipped iOS devices.

Using Apple Pay requires iOS 8.1 and a credit or debit card on file in Passbook. While NFC in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is required for making Apple Pay transactions at physical stores, online payments only require Touch ID. That means you can use Apple Pay through apps on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3.

Several other apps should be updated with Apple Pay support any minute now, including Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Groupon, Instacart, OpenTable, MLB.com, Panera Bread, Target, and the Disney Store app.

Cult of Mac’s day with Apple Pay

applepay

Apple Pay is finally here and now that retailers are letting use iPhones instead of credit cards, the Cult of Mac team is heading out into the real world to put Apple’s mobile payment solution to the test to see how it works in the real world.

Leander will be shopping around San Francisco. Alex is testing Apple Pay in the backwoods of Kentucky. And I plan to sputter around Phoenix in search of a burrito shop with Apple Pay.

How easy will it be to use? Do retail staff even know what is? We expect there will be some bumps along the way on the first day, but we can’t wait to be able to burn our wallets. Keep an eye on this page throughout the day as we test whether the wallet-less future of buying stuff with your iPhone is truly here.

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New iOS 8.1 features you need to know

iOS81

iOS 8.1 is now available to the public. Along with bringing Apple Pay into the wild, this major update is packed with new features that bring harmony to your iPhone and Mac workflow. Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay connect your iPhone like never before, and there are a few other sweet new features you probably haven’t heard about yet.

Here are the biggest features in iOS 8.1 you need to know:

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Everything you can buy with Apple Pay starting today

Apple Pay starts replacing your wallet on October 20th. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay starts replacing your wallet on October 20th. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay is finally here, and while Eddie Cue says in-app purchases will make up most of the purchases during launch, there are tons of things that you can buy in the real world right now.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners looking to toss their wallets in favor of Apple Pay can go into hundreds of stores today and purchase everything from clothes, toys, gas, or even furniture. Not all stores are supporting Apple’s mobile payments platform, so knowing which retailers accept Apple Pay will be half  the battle toward replacing your wallet. Luckily, we’ve compiled this list of everything you can buy today with Apple Pay.

Here’s what you can buy starting day:

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Get iOS 8.1 now for Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and more

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple just released iOS 8.1, bringing Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and other new features to the mobile operating system.

Available now via Software Update, iOS 8.1 will let you quickly set up Apple Pay on compatible devices. Upgraders running OS X Yosemite will also notice additional Continuity features that let iOS 8 work with the latest version of the Mac operating system.

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