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Appy days: iPhone 6 sales drive App Store downloads to record highs

Photo: Apple

App Store downloads hit a new high in October. Photo: Apple

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are shattering all kinds of sales records, and that knock-on effect is starting to be felt elsewhere: The overwhelming interest in Apple’s next-generation handsets pushed iTunes App Store downloads to new heights last month.

How much of an increase are we talking about? In October, the top 200 free iOS apps hit a collective 7.8 million app downloads per day, according to new research from Fiksu, a Boston-based marketing firm.

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One year after ground broke, Apple Campus 2 is coming along nicely

Apple's "spaceship" campus is clearly taking shape. Photo: Apple

Apple’s “spaceship” campus is clearly taking shape. Photo: Apple

It’s been pretty much a year since ground was broken on the “spaceship” Apple Campus 2, and things are progressing at a rate of knots.

In a new photo provided by Apple, and posted by the city of Cupertino, the company’s $5 billion campus can be seen taking shape. The image is a reminder of just how big the campus is set to be, since it will house a massive 13,000 employees — or the equivalent of 35 fully-filled Boeing 747s. Tim Cook has called the campus Apple’s “home for innovation and creativity for decades to come.”

The city of Cupertino’s website makes note of a schedule for the project, noting that earthwork is set to continue until the middle of next year, while construction on the building itself will be completed by late 2016.

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Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs movie saved by Universal after Sony backs out

When it comes to making Steve Jobs light up the sliver screen, poor Sorkin just can't cut a break.

When it comes to making Steve Jobs light up the sliver screen, poor Sorkin just can’t cut a break.

Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay on Steve Jobs has been in a seemingly perpetual state of flux for months. Multiple A-list actors and directors passed on the project, with Christian Bale most recently bowing out of the leading role after being all but confirmed by Sorkin himself.

Then the studio financing the movie, Sony, put it up for sale—a good sign that a project isn’t going smoothly in Hollywood. Luckily, Universal has swooped in to save the day.

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iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 secretly support 4K video

iPad Air 2 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple snuck 4K video support onto the iPad Air 2. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple packed the biggest display it’s ever made onto the iPhone 6 Plus, and while its 1920×1080 resolution is great for streaming 1080p videos, it turns out that Apple also secretly added 4K video support without telling anyone.

The iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus all support 4K video playback out of the box, thanks to the new A8 processor added this year. Apple doesn’t list 4K video playback as one of the A8 chips features, but the discovery was made by the developers behind WALTR, who posted proof of 4K video playback on the iPhone 6 this weekend.

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Short trailer for Jurassic World teases … another trailer

Chris Pratt seems concerned. Photo: Universal Studios

Chris Pratt seems concerned. Photo: Universal Studios

The fourth movie in the Jurassic Park series is slated to terrorize movie screens a full year from now. In order to drum up some excitement for Jurassic World, then, Universal has created this tiny trailer to advertise yet another trailer for the upcoming blockbuster.

The new trailer for a trailer shows very little, with some dinosaurs, a bubble car, an inquisitive Bryce Dallas Howard, and megastar Chris Pratt looking determined. Check it out.

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For Black Friday, Apple’s iPhone 6 deal shines in sea of meh

Apple wants you to buy an iPhone this Black Friday Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple wants you to buy an iPhone this Black Friday Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Americans are four days away showing how grateful they are for the biggest shopping day of the year, and to draw in more upgrades than ever, Apple is giving away $50 iTunes gift cards with the purchase of every iPhone and iPad.

Continuing its huge (RED) promotion announced yesterday, Apple will dole out (RED) iTunes gift cards in varying amounts to shoppers who pick something up on Black Friday. The deals aren’t much more impressive than last year’s meager offerings, but for the first time ever, Apple is including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the deal.

You can also get an iTunes gift card for buying a Mac, iPod, Apple TV, or Beats product. Here’s how much iTunes cash you’ll get for each:

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Apple Pay is so cool, even hipster rockstars are using it

Live fast, die young, pay for your purchases using Apple Pay. Photo: Chase.

Live fast, die young, pay for your purchases using Apple Pay. Photo: Chase.

NFC payments might be easy, but up until now it’s fairly safe to say that they’ve never been cool in the conventional sense. Hoping to change that perspective is a new TV spot by Chase bank, which shows Apple Pay being used by super-cool indie band Bleachers.

The ad shows the indie band travelling around Los Angeles, buying items with their iPhones. In a sense, it’s a bit similar to Eddy Cue’s recent Apple Pay demo, except instead of being a middle-aged man buying Frozen toys, it’s a rockin’ pop band buying custom guitars, cool haircuts and nachos.

Check out the ad after the jump.

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Apple’s expected to sell a whopping 71.5 million iPhones this Christmas

Photo: Apple

Apple execs are in for a happy holiday if leading analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is to be believed. Photo: Apple

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the most reliable analysts out there as relates to upcoming Apple products. Having called various things correctly in the run-up to the iPhone 6’s release (such as Apple’s sapphire manufacturing issues), he’s now forecasting numbers for the handsets over the holiday season — And they’re big!

In a new report to investors, Kuo predicts that Apple will sell a giant 71.5 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units over the 3-month holiday period. By comparison, one year ago the company sold 51 million iPhones during that same period.

Kuo’s research note also touches on several other topics, including the future of the iPhone 4s and 5c, as well as early speculation about the iPhone 7.

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Here’s what Apple is doing for World AIDS Day

Here’s what Apple is doing for World AIDS Day

In previous years, Apple Stores around the world have turned their logos red to mark World AIDS Day. Photo: Onguito/Iconosquare

Apple has announced plans for its “biggest fundraising push yet” for this year’s World AIDS Day on December 1 — with a dedicated new section of the App Store, and plans to donate a portion of all sales on two of the year’s busiest shopping days.

“Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give,” Tim Cook said in a statement. “For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact.”

“This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well.”

So how can you help?

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Why does Apple strip dictation from third-party keyboards in iOS 8?

Why won't Apple let keyboards (like Fleksy, above) access dictation? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Why won’t Apple let third-party keyboards offer dictation? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’ve installed a third-party keyboard on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8, you might have noticed a strange omission: While you can communicate in animated GIFs or Klingon, you can’t dictate into any keyboard not made by Apple.

Reddit user 11011 sums up the puzzling situation nicely: “I can’t get myself to stick to alternate keyboards because I use dictation way too much and switching keyboards is a hassle.”

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