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About Alex Heath

Alex Heath Alex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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Bankrupt sapphire supplier seeks to cut ties with ‘oppressive’ Apple

The iPhone 6's Touch ID sensor is greatly improved over the 5s &mdash for me, anyway. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With GTAT gone, who will supply the sapphire for Apple components like Touch ID? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We’ve witnessed a quick unraveling of GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT), Apple’s main sapphire supplier, since the company suddenly filed for bankruptcy earlier this week.

New court filings indicate that GTAT wants to take legal action against Apple for its “oppressive and burdensome” terms. The sapphire maker also plans to shut down its Arizona plant by December 31st, which leaves Apple’s sapphire production in limbo. The Arizona plant shuttering will also result in the loss of 890 jobs.

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Jony Ive accuses Xiaomi and others of idea ‘theft’ at Vanity Fair Summit

While some may see Xiaomi, Samsung, and other players in the smartphone race as iPhone copycats, Jony Ive sees it as downright “theft.” That was the clear takeaway from Ive’s interview at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit today.

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Apple Watch gets cover treatment on next month’s Vogue China

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Photo: Vogue China

Apple has made it obvious that it’s making a big fashion play with the Apple Watch.

After inviting the fashion industry press to the product’s unveiling and staging a one-day showing during Paris Fashion Week, the Apple Watch is getting its own Vogue cover. Well, Vogue China, to be specific.

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Apple seeds third OS Yosemite GM to devs

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Today Apple seeded the third golden master of OS X Yosemite to registered developers. The update is available in the Mac App Store for those already on the Yosemite GM and through the Dev Center.

It’s been only two days since the second Yosemite GM, which is curious given that Apple has typically saved the GM label for OS versions that are ready for public release. That wasn’t the case for last year’s Mavericks release, however, as it also underwent multiple GM updates.

Apple is expected to announce the public availability of Yosemite at next week’s media event, and these GM updates indicate that the company has needed to make last minute changes to the OS.

USAA confirms Apple Pay availability by November 7th

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

We’ve known that Apple Pay is coming sometime in October, but now more details have to come to light about when banks will start supporting the service.

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Finally, an emoji keyboard that’s better than Apple’s

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Screenshot: Alex Heath/ Cult of Mac

It’s not that Apple’s emoji keyboard is necessarily bad, but it could be better. If you’re a hardcore emoji user, you know that it’s a pain to scroll through and find the perfect emoji in the moment.

Maybe you’re looking for the perfect funny face or food item for the conversation. To take your emoji game to the next level, you need a third-party keyboard called Emoji++.

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Apple TV-HomeKit integration will create hub for smart home

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple TV could finally become the digital hub your home’s been awaiting. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Will the Apple TV become a hub for controlling your smart home in the near future? Signs are pointing to yes.

Apple is quietly testing HomeKit support for its TV set-top box with developers. The functionality can turn an Apple TV into an always-conntected bridge device for communicating between hardware peripherals that support Apple’s HomeKit framework.

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Square Cash can now beam your friends money over Bluetooth

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In the ultra-competitive world of mobile payments, Square Cash continues to set itself apart as the quickest and easiest way to send and receive money.

Now money transfers are easier than ever. Thanks to a new feature called Nearby Payments, you can use the app to send and receive cash over Bluetooth.

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iOS 8 growth slows to an embarrassing crawl

The Retina HD display has spectacular viewing angles. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Hardly anyone is updating to iOS 8, and there are plenty of reasons why. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple loves to tout how quickly people update to its newest software, but with iOS 8, many are choosing to hold back. The company’s own numbers show that only 1% of the iOS user base has upgraded to iOS 8 in the last two weeks.

Only 47% of users are on iOS 8 vs. 46% the week of September 21st. Adoption rates usually slow down as time wears on, but these unusually low numbers indicate that many are choosing to not upgrade to iOS 8. Unfortunately, Apple has given a few reasons why that’s the case.

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1Password cements itself as a staple iOS 8 app with new update

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1Password has been hovering near the top of the App Store’s charts since it went freemium alongside the launch of iOS 8. Developed by Canadian company AgileBits, the popular password manager has been on the forefront of app development for Apple’s latest OS since WWDC in June.

After releasing an iOS 8-compatible version with iCloud Drive sync, Touch ID integration, and an adaptive layout, 1Password 5.1 is out today with more refinements.

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