Apple releases OS X 10.10.4 with networking fix, Mail and Photos improvements, more.

yosemite

In addition to iOS 8.4, Apple has now publicly released OS X 10.10.4 to all users. The point update focuses on security and stability improvements with a fix for notable networking issues with OS X Yosemite as well as fixes for Mail, improvements to Photos migration from iPhoto and Aperture, and more. Apple first began testing the update to the Mac with developers in late April.

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The new OS X version is available through the Mac App Store. Developers and public beta testers running preview releases of OS X 10.10.4 can find the update through the Updates tab as well.

iOS 8.4 jailbreak already completed, planned for release later today.

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With the release of iOS 8.4 today, many users found themselves faced with the decision to upgrade now or wait until a jailbreak is available so they can continue using their tweaks. That choice just got a lot easier, as the Taig development team has announced that the exploits used in their 8.3 jailbreak are all still available in the new update.

According to a post on the Taig team’s Weibo page, an 8.4-compatible version of the jailbreaking tool will be made available within the next hour or so. The message, when translated to English, reads:

At present, after the official release iOS8.4 only one hour, PP jailbreak jailbreak assistant copied the loophole used by Tai Chi, imitation iOS8.4 jailbreak tool. We strongly condemn the violation assistant PP jailbreak hacker spirit of plagiarism infringement and will take legal action! Taiji jailbreak iOS8.4 jailbreak tool is orderly conduct internal testing. After rigorous testing tool after, we will be officially released in 1 hour!

The first part of the post refers to a tool released by a competing development team that stole the exploits used in the previous version of Taig to quickly release “their own” 8.4 jailbreak. The same company has previously released shady software that installed a piracy-focused App Store clone on jailbroken devices.

You’ll be able to download the new Taig release from the team’s website later today. [Update: it’s out now]

Apple Music First Impressions: Convenient All-in-One Experience With Overwhelming Design.

As Apple Music gears up to launch in the next few hours this morning — 9 AM Pacific to be exact, following iOS 8.4 at around 8 AM Pacific — a few publications have posted some detailed first impressions of the the music streaming service. Getting to mess around with the app for the first time, MashableRe/codeThe Loop and Rolling Stone came away with largely positive reactions to Apple’s first foray into the music streaming game, although the large consensus hanging over it all was a tentative negativity regarding the app’s overwhelming amount of content and the somewhat confusing UI that is used to navigate it all.

First off, Mashable noted the big positive of the Apple Music service: for those baked into the Apple ecosystem it offers one library, combining purchases from iTunes with the songs users will listen to in Apple Music for one uniform experience. The site was also one of the few to enjoy Apple Music’s UI, calling it, “more polished and finished than the old music app.” Its biggest takeaway, however, was the “For You” section.

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It’s hard for me to over-stress how much I like For You. From the very beginning, the recommendations in playlists and albums that the app showed me were dead-on accurate, reflecting my various musical interests.

The idea behind “For You” is to help make it easy to find good music to listen to. Tapping on an album or playlist will play it instantly. You can then either add it to your library, keep it playing in the background, add a track to another playlist or just cycle through. The DNA of this experience really is what we saw with Beats Music last year, but now it’s more refined and feels more fully realized.

Re/code mentioned three big positives for the new streaming service: the slick combination of old iTunes songs with new Apple Music songs, surprisingly accurate and enjoyable song curation, and the $15 per month family plan. The biggest issue however tied into one of the app’s positives, with the wealth of content and exploration somewhat kneecapped by an overly “confusing” user interface experience, especially within the “New” tab, which “could be a streaming app all by itself.”

I set out to gather some initial impressions of how it feels to use the product. And to answer the question: Would I pay $10 a month — $120 a year — to use it? My answer is a tentative yes, with some caveats. Apple has built a handsome, robust app and service that goes well beyond just offering a huge catalog of music by providing many ways to discover and group music for a very wide range of tastes and moods.

But it’s also uncharacteristically complicated by Apple standards, with everything from a global terrestrial radio station to numerous suggested playlists for different purposes in different places. And the company offers very little guidance on how to navigate its many features. It will take time to learn it. And that’s not something you’re going to want to do if all you’re looking for is to lean back and listen.

Similar to Re/code and MashableRolling Stone was impressed by the “Netflix-style hyper customization” of the “For You” tab that will greet every user when entering Apple Music for the first time. Although Beats 1 Radio had not yet launched when the site had hands-on with the service, they got to preview a few artist-focused shows, including St. Vincent’s “Mixtape Delivery Service,” which saw the alternative musician reading notes from fans and spending the hour dedicating personalized songs to each one.

Rolling Stone also detailed Apple Music’s “Connect” platform a bit more than the others, noting that even though a few artists had Connect available to them in the pre-launch demo phase, the Twitter-like service “looked pretty quiet.” The biggest issue, however, was the possibility of fan interaction amongst one another within Connect, and the fact that the only designated place for it to occur was within the comments of each individual post.

Moreover, the only place where fans can interact is the comments section of each post, cutting out a major part of what Apple hopes will be a new music ecosystem: fandom. While it’s possible fans would share music individually – with Apple Music’s many options to post to text, email, Twitter and Facebook – the absence of fans’ voices on “Connect” makes it more like a supplement to a social network than an exciting music-discovery platform. But only time will tell if it catches on. This is one place where Spotify, with its ability to follow and make playlists your friends, has a leg up.

With its vast selection of music and smartly curated playlists and radio, Apple Music is robust enough to compete with, and possibly supplant, Spotify and Pandora as the go-to service for music fans. At the same time, users will need to play around with it a bit and dig to move past some of the less immediately intuitive facets (i.e., just how deep the “New” tab goes) for it to hook them.

The Loop went into detail regarding the “My Music” section of Apple Music, noting that between the tab’s two sections — Library and Playlists — all of a user’s old iTunes music downloaded or in the cloud can be found there. Users will be able to add certain playlists to My Music so it can appear front-and-center in the tab without having to go through multiple pages, and entire playlists will be able to be made to listen to offline. Besides a finicky rating system for Beats 1, The Loop largely enjoyed Apple Music in the end.

I’m damned impressed. Apple Music is a quality service, with the right mix of human curation and algorithms to help users figure out exactly what they want to hear. I can only imagine that the service will only get better from here. The more I use it, like/dislike songs, the better it will know me.

I was interacting with Apple Music the entire time I was writing this and the radio station I started listening to improved quite a bit in those hours. I’m not skipping songs, instead I have a steady diet of Slash, Godsmack, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica. It’s hard to beat that.

Everyone will be able to test out Apple Music for themselves soon enough, with the official launch of the updated music app in just a few hours at 9 AM Pacific. Those interested should remember to first download the new iOS 8.4 update an hour before in preparation for the streaming music service’s debut.

Giant iPhone 3G repurposed as an insanely cool Mac monitor.

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Back in 2008, when Apple was selling roughly a tenth of the number of iPhones it sells today, the company produced a limited number of giant-sized display iPhones with built-in 30-inch Cinema Displays to show off its new line of smartphones.

Most of them were destroyed after the promotion was finished, but thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, we can see that at least one made it out alive — and has now been converted by Reddit user 92JMFL into possibly the world’s sweetest Mac display.

Check out more photos below.

“[It weighs] somewhere around 30KG, really heavy for a screen,” 92JMFL writes, adding that the iPhone’s dimensions are approximately 36-inches x 20-inches x 4-inches — meaning that it towers over even today’s larger iPhone 6 Plus device.

Unfortunately, he also notes it’s too heavy to wall-mount, but that he’s considering trying to build a novelty coffee table out of it.

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Move your playlists from Spotify, Rdio, and more to Apple Music.

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With the launch of Apple Music just around the corner, music lovers currently subscribed to competing services like Spotify and Rdio may be looking to jump ship and give Apple’s offering a try. Apple first confirmed in a Beats Music FAQ that there will be a Beats Music update that allows users to import their libraries to the newer service, but users with music collections elsewhere seem to be out of luck without any official migration tool.

Thankfully, there’s an unofficial route to import all of your playlists from multiple services to Apple Music, but you’ll need to act before the 30th if you don’t already have a Beats Music account as Apple could turn off new subscriptions (and trials) at any moment.

Since Apple will officially support migration from Beats Music, you can currently use that service as a bridge between Spotify, Rdio, and several other sources. In order to do this, you’ll need a Beats Music account (the two-week free trial will do just fine).

[Update: As seen in the tweet above, it seems the sudden influx of traffic has caused Beats to rate limit the importer, causing it to become unavailable at the moment.]

Once you’re set up on Beats Music, head over to the unofficial Beats Importer and use the button at the top of the page to login to your Beats Music account. This site uses the Beats API to connect to your account, so you don’t need to worry about it doing anything shady with your login credentials.

From here you’ll have a variety of sources to chose from. You can connect to Spotify or a public Rdio account, pull in a playlist file from iTunes or Windows Media Player, or import a CSV/XML file from other apps and services.

The Beats Importer will automatically find the music in these playlists on Beats and create a matching list on your account. When Apple Music launches tomorrow morning, a Beats app update will allow you to import those newly created playlists into Apple Music, and you’ll be able to take advantage of your curated playlists right from the begining rather than spending hours recreating all of your previous work.

As noted above, Apple could shut off new sign-ups for Beats Music at any time leading up to tomorrow’s Apple Music launch as the new service replaces the service Apple acquired (although existing customers won’t immediately lose their account as Apple develops the Android version of Apple Music being released this fall), so you’re going to want to sign up quickly if you don’t already have an account but want to take advantage of the Beats Importer to move from Spotify, Rdio, or other services.

Wallpapers of the Week: Ocean.

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The popular Wallpapers of the Week section strives to remain relevant throughout the year. Whether posting Apple Event wallpapers as the invitations are released seasonal favorites, we try to maintain chronological relevance, ensuring you have the latest and up to date images on your background.

Summer is in full session for the northern hemisphere and we are celebrating. After the summer solstice, the days start becoming shorter, but it marks the hottest time of the year. Try cooling off with a beautiful ocean wallpaper on your favorite iOS devices.

Ocean wallpapers

Keagan Fowler Ocean Splash

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gold-sea-wave-water wallpaper splash

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Jailbreak your iPhone or iPad with TaiG before its too late – iOS Hacker.

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TaiG jailbreak for iOS 8.3 has already been released. The jailbreak supports all devices running iOS 8.1.3 up to iOS 8.3 and after the release of the updated Cydia Substrate, works flawlessly. Many users who were taken aback by the initial drama that followed the release of TaiG 2.0 decided not to jailbreak their device until the dust settles and a stable version of the tool is available. If you are part of that group then now is the best time to finally jailbreak your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

There’s another reason why you should jailbreak your iOS device right now. TaiG tool was released just a week before the expected release date of iOS 8.4. This new software update that is going to bring new Music app to all devices will be released on or before July 30th, which is the official launch date of Apple’s music streaming service. TaiG in its current form cannot jailbreak iOS 8.4 and no one is sure whether the tool will be capable of jailbreaking final version of iOS 8.4 at all.

If that’s the case, then TaiG team will need to do a lot of work in order to add support for iOS 8.4, which means iOS 8.4 jailbreak can take weeks or even months before it is ready to be used by public.

Once Apple has released the software update it will stop signing older versions of iOS. If you are stuck on an older version of the operating system or trying out iOS 9 beta, then you will no longer be able to install iOS 8.3 on your device and jailbreak it using TaiG.