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About Buster Hein

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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Apple seeds iOS 8.3 beta 2 to developers

iOS 8.3 is here. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iOS 8.3 is here. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We’re still waiting for the release of iOS 8.2 but Apple just pushed out the second beta build of iOS 8.3 to developers.

The software update was made available this morning in the iOS Dev Center. Along with iOS 8.3 beta 2, Apple released beta build 2 of Xcode 6.3, which includes Swift 1.2. There’s also a new pre-release version of Apple TV beta for the third-generation Apple TV.

The iOS 8.3 beta 2 release notes don’t mention any new features, but we’ll tell you about all the goodies we find as soon as it’s installed on our iPhones. In the meantime, check out our feature on the new additions in iOS 8.3 beta 1, which included a new emoji layout, CarPlay features, two-factor authentication for Google, and Apple Pay support for China. Or use  the direct download links below to jump into iOS 8.3 beta 2:

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Toyota vehicles won’t support CarPlay anytime soon

CarPlay isn't coming to Toyota after all. Photo: Apple

CarPlay isn’t coming to Toyota after all. Photo: Apple

Toyota was one of the first car manufacturers to announce it would support CarPlay, but the company is pulling back on its plans to embrace Apple’s car infotainment system. Despite still being listed among Apple’s CarPlay partners, Toyota says it’s sticking with its own Entune systems.

The company says that while it has talked frequently to both Apple and Google about CarPlay and Android Auto, it has no plans to bring the technologies to its cars in the United States anytime soon. Toyota’s manager of advanced technology communications, John Hanson, told the New York Times, “We may all eventually wind up there, but right now we prefer to use our in-house proprietary platforms for those kinds of functions,” Mr. Hanson said.

While Toyota’s not so hot on CarPlay, other manufacturers like Ford, BMW, Volkswagon, and GM are more bullish on Apple’s car offerings. Here’s a full breakdown of which service auto makers currently support:

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Crystal Baller: The amazing iCar and other electrifying Apple rumors

Photo: Cult of Mac

Photo: Cult of Mac

We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.

This week the Apple Car rumors have revved into fourth gear as a tsunami of reports from various outlets have claimed that not only is the iCar project real, but Apple is trying to get it onto highways by the end of the decade. While everyone’s focusing on the iCar, don’t forget about Apple Watch though. The rumor mill spit out five juicy rumors this week covering everything from pricing to customization.

Take a look at this week’s electrifying Apple rumors see which one’s are destined to come true:

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Secret Apple Watch boutique is under construction at Paris’ fanciest store

Photo: Kaysgeog/Flickr CC

The Galeries Lafayette is getting a special visitor. Photo: Kaysgeog/Flickr CC

Apple Watch isn’t just a techie gadget. It’s a fashion item.

To drill that point into everyone’s heads during launch, it looks like Apple is setting up a special booth at one of the fanciest high-end department stores in Paris: Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.

Construction on a special booth at Galeries Lafayette began a few weeks ago, according to Mac4Ever. There’s no official word that the structure is for the Apple Watch, but the timing, location and large white walls all point to Apple.

Take a look at the site:

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Apple is staffing up employees for Israeli R&D center

Photo: Andy/Flickr CC

Photo: Andy/Flickr CC

Tim Cook is heading out to Israel in a few days to inaugurate what will be Apple’s biggest overseas R&D center in Herzliya, but before the place gets Cook’s official visit, Apple is already looking to expand its staff.

Apple announced that its hiring 49 more positions for the Herzliya headquarters as wells as posts at its Haifa office. The 12,500 square-meter Herzliya offices are scheduled to open this week includes a gourmet restaurant, a fish pond and green surroundings.

Some of the new job posts include the following:

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Celebrate Chinese New Year with these great apps, movies and books

Photo: Cult of Mac

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with your favorite apps. Photo: Cult of Mac

The Year of the Goat is finally upon us and to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year, Apple has curated a special section in iTunes full of apps, movies, books, and music to mark the special occasion.

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IFTTT’s new ‘Do’ apps simplify everything — including its ridiculous name

IFTTT is now a multi-app company. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

IFTTT is now a multi-app company. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

IFTTT is ready to become more than just a standalone service in 2015. Hoping to transition to a company with multiple products, IFTTT revealed today that it has created three entirely new ‘Do’ apps — Do Button, Do Camera, and Do Note — that let you personalize and execute your favorite IFTTT recipes with one tap.

To go along with the new apps that make it simply to automate your most common Internet tasks, IFTTT has rebranded its original app to just IF. The three new apps are kind of a mixture between Yo and Workflow, giving you a new level of control for favorite services and applications.

Here’s a quick look at each new app.

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Spring arrives early in David Hockney’s iPad art exhibition

David Hockney, Yosemite I, © 2013 David Hockney, used with permission de Young Museum.

David Hockney, Yosemite I, © 2013 David Hockney, used with permission de Young Museum.

The eastern U.S. is still getting pelted with snow, but spring is arriving a little early across the pond in Saltaire England thanks to David Hockney’s newest gallery of iPad artwork entitled ‘The Arrival of Spring.’

The famous pop artist’s exhibition of 33 pictures went on display today at the Salt Mill gallery in West Yorkshire. Each of the five-foot high framed pictures were drawn on Hockney’s iPad during the period when he lived in Bridlington and painted the Yorkshire woods for London’s Royal Academy.

Take a closer look at some of the piece below:

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Old flip-phones are the iPhone’s newest rival in Japan

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Are flip-phones making a comeback? Photo: Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz/Flickr CC

The iPhone has been killing it in Japan lately. Apple’s smartphone marketshare in the tech-obsessed country is continuing to dominate year-over-year, even though the company had a hard time giving out iPhones just five years ago.

With the iPhone 6’s bigger screen, the company is making more of an inroads than ever, but according to a report from Reuters, smartphones in Japan are facing stiff from competition from an unlikely suspect: flip-phones.

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Apple reveals new gorgeous West Lake store in China

West Lake Apple Store in Hangzhou. Photo: Foster + Partners

West Lake Apple Store in Hangzhou. Photo: Foster + Partners

Apple’s architectural firm, Foster + Partners, released pictures of the gorgeous new West Lake store in Hangzhou that was recently completed. The new Apple Store was covered by an incredible mural during construction, but the finished all-glass facade is even more stunning.

The firm says West Lake store was made in close collaboration between Apple and Foster + Partners’ engineers to create the perfect environment to view products. The end result is a 15-metre-high glazed box with a design that “combines an understanding of the local context with the philosophy of simplicity, beauty and technical innovation that characterises Apple’s products.”

Check out the store’s floating staircase below:

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