See how iOS 8 lets you connect with friends faster than ever.

The upcoming release of iOS 8 brings many new features that will dramatically improve everyday use of iPhones and iPads. While currently contacting your friends can be an annoyingly long process because you must open apps and search through contact after contact, a new feature in iOS 8 eliminates this common hassle.

In today’s video we show how iOS 8’s new quick contacts feature will make contacting your most recent friends much easier. After you update to iOS 8, simply double-click the home button to enjoy this new functionality.

iTunes Festival adds over 20 new artists to concert lineup.

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Apple is stuffing the lineup of its 2014 iTunes Festival concert in London next month with the additions of Jenny Lewis, Lenny Kravitz, SOHN, Jessie Ware, Ryan Adams and 16 other artists and bands.

The new acts will join the likes of Pharrell, Beck, David Guetta and Robert Plant at the Roundhouse in London, with the first acts taking the stage on September 1st followed by 29 more days of music. Tickets are free if you live in the U.K., but if you’re stuck in the U.S., all of the concerts will be streamed live to Apple TV and iTunes.

Here’s the full list of artists that were just added:

Just added:

  • David Gray
  • The Script
  • Gregory Porter
  • Jessie Ware
  • Rudimental
  • Jenny Lewis
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • The Script
  • Clean Bandit
  • Robin Schulz
  • Paolo Nutini
  • Charlie Simpson
  • Luke Sital-Singh
  • SOHN
  • Eric Whitacre
  • Matthew Koma
  • Foxes
  • Jess Glynne
  • First Aid Kit
  • MNEK
  • Elbow
  • Ryan Adams

Also on the lineup:

  • Kasabian
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Kylie Minogue
  • David Guetta
  • Beck
  • Sam Smith
  • Robert Plant
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Calvin Harris
  • Chrissie Hynde

Water isnt always the kiss of death for an iPhone.

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Water and technology don’t mix. If you drop your iPhone in a lake, pond, toilet, or martini, there’s a fantastic chance it will end up being completely destroyed. Many of the little electrical bits inside the device don’t take kindly to be drenched, especially if it leads to a short. However, as Rob Griffiths of Macworld discovered, sometimes all is not lost.

His story on the premature death, rescue, autopsy, and unlikely resurrection of his iPhone 5 is definitelyworth a read in its entirety, but if you’re too pressed for time, at least take this small tidbit of information with you: Complete disassembly and a thorough blasting with compressed air can be the magic touch.

Also, it helps if you drop your phone took a bath in fresh water, as opposed to the ocean. Saltwater is infinitely more deadly for an unprotected smartphone, so keep that in mind.

Apple unsurprisingly working with more healthcare providers ahead of iOS 8’s Health launch.

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Reuters noted  that Apple is working with healthcare professionals at hospitals across the country, including Mount Sinai and John Hopkins, in preparation for the rollout of the HealthKit system in iOS 8. The goal is to ensure that medical personnel are ready to read data from the system when it ships later this year.

This move is hardly surprising, as Apple intends HealthKit to serve as a collection place for all of a user’s health-related data, which can be valuable—even lifesaving—during a medical emergency. In fact, the Mayo Clinic demoed the first HealthKit-enabled application earlier this year during WWDC:

The HealthKit system, which 9to5Mac first exclusively reported on earlier this year, is expected to become publicly available later this year. The software will reportedly work with Apple’s upcoming iWatch to provide extensive health and fitness tracking capabilities. Apple has recently hired an army of health, fitness, and fashion experts to work on the project.

The iWatch will be revealed in October, and will work with software running on the next-generation version of iOS. That software will launch alongside updated iPhone hardware this fall. The software has been available in beta form to developers for several months now and has received several upgrades and features during that time.

Apple TV buyers get a free $25 iTunes gift card through Sept. 30th

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If you’ve been looking for an excuse to treat yourself to a new Apple TV, the folks at Cupertino are making sweeting the deal for the next six weeks by including a free $25 gift card with all Apple TV purchases.

To celebrate its upcoming iTunes Festival in London — which you can watch live on your Apple TV if you don’t get an invite — Apple is revitalizing its promotion from earlier this year that will give you a $25 iTunes gift card with your Apple TV that can be spent on movies, music, books, or apps.

Last time Apple ran the Apple TV gift card promotion rumors quickly shot up that a hardware update must be on the way. Other than a minor UI refresh though, nothing has materialized and the latest rumors point to a 2015 launch for the updated set-top box.

The next Apple TV is rumored to be a huge step forward for Apple in the living room and could feature third-party apps and instant access to cable video content. U.S. cable companies are supposedly the cause of the Apple TV delay with demands that are proving difficult for Apple to meet in order to get the permission it needs to create the new Apple TV service.

Apple Honors Robin Williams With iTunes Store Section Featuring More than 40 Movies, Comedy Routines.

Following the tragic news of the death of Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams, Apple has created a “Remembering Robin Williams” dedicated section of the iTunes Store housing many of the actor’s popular movies and stand up comedy routines.

Along with offering movies organized into categories like “Essentials,” “Comedy,” and “Drama,” the Robin Williams iTunes Store section includes a photo of the actor along with a short paragraph on his decades-long career and his involvement in Comic Relief USA, a charity that’s raised upwards of $50 million for homeless assistance.

robinwilliamsmovies

One of the most beloved and unforgettable performers in the history of show business, Robin Williams brought laughter and inspiration to millions. Throughout a career that spanned five decades, Williams evolved from stand up comedian to international movie star. Among the great masters of improv, he transfixed audiences with a mile-a-minute comic energy. Williams’ Golden Globe-winning turn in Good Morning, Vietnam demonstrated that his versatile acting talents were equally suited to evoking dramatic complexity. Many of Williams’ most iconic performances–in Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and his Oscar-winning triumph Good Will Hunting–were dazzling high-wire acts that left audiences in tears of laughter one minute and tears of poignancy the next.

In the iTunes Store section dedicated to Williams, Apple lists more than 40 of his movies like Dead Poets SocietyMrs. Doubtfire, JumanjiThe BirdcagePatch AdamsGood Morning, Vietnam, and more, along with a handful of his comedy performances.

Robin Williams’ performance in Dead Poets Society is of special importance to Apple as his character, John Keating, delivered the famous “What will your verse be?” speech that inspired its “Your Verse” line of iPad advertisements. Williams also provided the voice over for one of the commercials, which began airing back in January.

Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about Williams’ death, calling him an “incomparable talent and a great human being.” Phil Schiller also expressed his regrets over the tragedy.

Happy birthday, Woz: Apple’s co-founder turns 64 today.

steve-wozniak

Apple’s beloved co-founder Steve Wozniak turns 64 years old today. Steve Jobs may be the most admired figure to come out of Apple, but with his imperious distance from us mere mortals, he was hard to love.

Wozniak, on the other hand, is well and truly beloved by the tech community.

A true Silicon Valley original, he’s the genius who invented the personal computer, got rich, and then spent his fortune having fun rather than taking over the world. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also a practical joker, all-around nerd, and someone who has never been afraid to speak his mind about technology’s power to change the world.

If everyone who met Steve Jobs has some war story about his sharpness they now wear like a badge of honor, it’s tough to find someone with a bad word to say about Woz. Where Jobs was the cool hippie who dreamed of going to find himself in India, Woz was the nerd who just wanted his own personal computer.

When Wozniak’s father told him as a boy that a mainframe computer would cost him as much as a house, Wozniak answered, “That’s okay, I’ll live in an apartment.”

According to legend, when Wozniak’s father told him as a boy that a mainframe computer would cost him as much as a house, Wozniak answered, “That’s okay, I’ll live in an apartment.”

If Jobs’ perfectionism and belief in functional-form became ingrained in the Apple DNA, then Wozniak’s biggest contribution was Apple’s fun-loving and friendly image – something that most certainly didn’t come from Woz’s more prickly co-founder.

A prankster all his life, during his short stint at Berkeley University Woz rigged the university computer so that it churned out endless reams of paper reading GOOD SCRAP PAPER.

Later on at Apple he sneaked into the cubicle of a colleague and deposited a live mouse inside the computer he was working on — then looking on in glee as the employee in question got more and more bemused about his computer’s odd squeaking sound.

Steve Jobs may have realized the value of creating ads that didn’t look like the other computer ads out there, but Wozniak’s humor and good-natured persona created a perceived friendliness to Apple’s machines that was vital at a time when most non-geeks were terrified of having a computer in their home.

He was also a peacemaker inside Apple; someone who would stick up for the little guy in a way that employees who worked with him have never forgotten. When Steve Jobs began barring certain early employees from having stock options for reasons few could understand, Wozniak began the so-called “Woz Plan” by giving away his own Apple shares to employees who otherwise wouldn’t qualify. As a result he took home $100 million less than Jobs when Apple went public in 1980.

Although there’s no denying that Jobs (and, in the early days, other “adult supervision” figures like Apple’s first CEO Michael Scott) was more business-minded than Wozniak, Woz was no slouch in this department.“That’s the way he was,” Randy Wigginton, one of Apple’s earliest employees, told me about Woz’s character when I interviewed him for my book The Apple Revolution. “Always very helpful, very kind. He wasn’t pretentious or anything … I would just ask [him] questions non-stop. That was sort of my education.”

While he’s best remembered for the Apple II, the Disk II was actually one of Wozniak’s crowning achievements at Apple, being the company’s first 5 ½-inch floppy disk.

Created with then-17 year old Randy Wigginton over Christmas 1977 (Wigginton took December 25 off; Wozniak didn’t) the peripheral not only added a whole lot of functionality to Apple’s desktop, it was an early example of the company’s present high margin business model: costing just $140 in components, and selling for upwards of $495.

Ultimately, though, what Wozniak loved was the geeky achievement and camaraderie rather than the monetary gain. “That was so awesome, so much fun,” Wigginton told me, remembering that Christmas. “It wasn’t about money or fame, it was a nerdy accomplishment that we were proud of.”

Today Woz continues to pursue that utopian mission statement: whether it means asking Apple and Google to put aside their differences for the greater technological good, or campaigning the FCC to keep the Internet free — all while managing to somehow balance this with cameos on The Big Bang Theory, becoming a Tetris world champion and, of course, his continued penchance for Segways.

He’s a true one-of-a-kind, and anyone reading this likely owes a large part of their lives to him.

Happy birthday, Woz!