The great global iPhone 6 sit-in begins!

Photo: Dan Benton

Getting kind of chilly out there. Photo: Dan Benton

It’s a mere 24 hours and change before Apple retail stores open their reservation system and doors to allow the hordes of adoring Apple faithful to pony up a bunch of cash for the privilege of walking out with an opening day iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

The lines are already forming, though, with hardy line sitters getting ready for the big event. This is a global phenomenon, as you can see from the images above, gleaned from Instagram and Twitter.

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Samsung phone thefts spike after Apple adds kill switch

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s fabulous iPhone used to be the number one reason crime was on the rise in New York City, but now that Apple’s added Activation Lock to iOS 7, thieves have given up their iLust and are targeting Samsung phones like never before.

Just look at the sudden change in thefts in the chart below:

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How to switch to iOS 8’s iCloud Photo Library right now

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[UPDATE: Lots of readers report that the new option to activate iCloud Photo Library isn't showing up on their devices. I'm looking into it. So far I know that the GM version -- the one I used to write this guide --  and the final version are identical, build number 12A365. My guess is that Apple turned off the beta already]

iCloud Photo Library is rad. The idea is that all your full-res photos (including RAW photos) reside on Apple’s servers, and you access them from all your devices.

That’s a change from Photo Stream as it is now, which stores only the last 1,000 photos you took, not your whole collection. Apple has also introduced new tiers of iCloud storage pricing to cope with all your photos (and videos). This is now live, and I signed up for the 200GB option ($4 per month) to test it out.

Let’s take a look.

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iOS 8 early adoption is significantly slower than iOS 7 and even iOS 6

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iOS 8 was released just 24 hours ago in what Apple is calling the biggest iOS release ever, but if early adoption numbers are any indication, customers might not feel the same way.

Users are upgrading to iOS 8 at a much slower rate than iOS 7, according to Tapjoy’s data from its app network of 200 million unique iOS users. Not only is iOS 8 lagging behind iOS 7, it’s being adopted even slower than iOS 6 was.

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U2 hopes Apple’s new music format will reignite album sales

Screen grab from iTunes/Apple

Screen grab from iTunes/Apple

Following on from its recent Songs of Innocence album giveaway, U2 is apparently working with Apple on a secret new project, according to a TIME article.

While the story doesn’t give too many specifics, it does note that the project relates to “a new digital music format [the band hopes] will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music –whole albums as well as individual tracks.”

Although this sounds the kind of counterintuitive move that utterly goes against Apple’s most recent promotional music stunt (where it paid U2 and its record label a reported $100 million to put out its album for free), U2 notes that it’s thinking about more than just itself:

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Get 1 year of secure cloud backup service for one low price with IDrive [Deals]

CoM_IDrive

If you are like most, you use a home computer, a work computer, a tablet and a smartphone, plus other electronic devices. And, like most, your data – files, emails, and contacts – are spread out over each one. What happens to your data if one of your devices is lost forever?

Stop take chances with your information with a 1-year subscription to IDrive, available for only $19 at Cult of Mac Deals.

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Genius! The Apple Watch retail box, designed as an iPhone dock

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For a certain subset of Apple fans, the only thing more exciting than Cupertino unleashing a new device upon the world is the box they choose to unleash it in. Apple is famous for its sexy, minimalist packaging design, and when the Apple Watch hits the market in 2015, we are expecting it to come in a box worthy of its luxury watch status.

Of course, what that box will actually look like is anyone’s guess. But Evelio Mattos of Design Packaging has released a stunning Apple Watch concept that isn’t just sexy, but has a killer hidden feature: the box doubles as an iPhone dock!

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6 awesome sci-fi blockbusters to watch on your new iPhone

Apple needs one more ‘critical license’ to launch iPhone 6 in China

Chinese customers are having to wait a bit longer than everyone else to get their hands on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

Chinese customers are having to wait a bit longer than everyone else to get their hands on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

Apple may be halfway there when it comes to receiving the necessary regulatory approval for the iPhone 6 to go on sale in China.

As per China’s official Xinhua news agency, Apple has now received regulatory approval for the iPhone 6’s use on domestic frequencies, although it requires one other “critical license” before it is able to go on sale.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple’s delayed entry into China with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is the result of a disagreement with the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which tests all new phones before they may enter national telecom networks.

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iOS 8 privacy upgrade means Apple can’t unlock your phone for cops

iOS 8 is Apple's most privacy-conscious mobile OS yet.

iOS 8 is Apple’s most privacy-conscious mobile OS yet.

Updated security measures in iOS 8 make it impossible for Apple to give your data to the cops — even if the company wanted to.

Previously Apple could access a significant amount of data on any iOS device, which it would do if law enforcement approached the company with a seized device and a valid search warrant. Apple’s stronger encryption and updated privacy policy now mean it can no longer pull data from devices that have the latest version of the mobile OS installed.

“On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode,” Apple notes on its website. “Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

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