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  1. Technically Incorrect: In an entertaining exposé, three former Apple store workers explain what customers fail to mention about their malfunctioning iPhones. Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives. Enlarge Image Sometimes, Apple store employees must wonder if their customers have come over all Pinocchio. Josh Miller/CNET Complaints, complaints, complaints. That's all we often hear about famous brands and their customer service, or lack of it. Sometimes, though, we forget that customers aren't exactly the most trustworthy, glorious beings they claim to be. They can be irascible. They can be tiresome. And, be honest now, they can be outright mendacious. Three former Apple store employees (all under assumed names, naturally) revealed to Thrillistsome of the entertaining lies that customers have tried to get away with. It might provide a certain balance to the tales of Apple store geniuses who aren't and customer service staff who might be haughty or even indifferent. One former employee told Thrillist that it's unwise to try to hoodwink store employees. They know more about the products than you do. Still, here's one explanation allegedly offered by an Apple customer for his malfunctioning phone: "I had a guy try to convince me that the liquid damage was some kind of E.T. fluid from when he was abducted [by aliens]." Personally, I think there's definitely some E.T. fluid around in our water these days. There must be some explanation for all the madness. There's also something almost courageous about a customer trying to get away with an otherworldly story. Another of the former employees offered a tale of man who brought in an iPhone that was barely recognizable. "He told us it wasn't working right," said the former employee. "So he took it out behind his house and shot it with a rifle because he was so fed up with the thing." Ah. But still he expected Apple to replace it? It appears so. The former store employee said he declined to do so. The last tale was of a man who also brought in a malfunctioning, mutilated iPhone. "He explained that he had been talking on it," the former Apple store man told Thrillist, "when suddenly the phone got very hot and started to burn his hand, so he threw it on the counter and it erupted into flames." Such things do happen. In this case, however, when the phone was taken back to the Genius Bar, it was apparently clear that it had received liquid. The ex-Apple store employee came back to the customer. "He responds with, 'Well yeah, it caught on fire, so I threw it in the sink and ran water over it," he said. Apple store employees have to work out what really might have happened. In this case: "I am quite certain that he dropped his phone in water and thought that the best idea was to dry it in the microwave." Sometimes, the truth of such stories can lie somewhere in between. Sometimes, though, customers simply act impulsively and then expect Apple to pick up the pieces -- and the cost. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. These former employees admitted it was hard after a couple of years having to listen to customers talking about the same things over and over again. They did, though, offer other amusing revelations about working in Apple stores. But the most important is surely that Apple is not a cult. What a relief. http://www.cnet.com/news/ex-apple-store-employees-reveal-how-customers-try-to-fool-them/
  2. Tablet sales are in massive decline, and, when compared to smartphone sales, the smartphone’s larger brother isn’t fairing well. This is expected in the economy, when one considers that most tablets are unsubsidized with carriers worldwide and that many individuals desire a competitive $199 price tag out of pocket for the latest tablets – something that is not common nowadays in most places. By the time tablet prices drop to prices that consumers deem reasonable, tablets are often two years old and simply too old to buy at that point. Apple finds itself in the same position with its iPad Mini and iPad Air lineup currently, but Apple isn’t done with the iPad. The company that started both the smartphone and tablet revolutions with the iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010) isn’t finished with its revolutionary tablet. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple looks to revolutionize and grow iPad sales once more with some new products down the pipeline. Tim Cook hasn’t said anything about new iPads, but the company’s current commitment to the iPad Mini and iPad Air indicates that we’ll see new iPads with each passing year. Apple owns 28% market share in the mobile tablet arena, followed by Samsung at 18% – and other Android competitors register in the single digits when it comes to tablet market share. Both Samsung and Apple dominate in smartphones as well, with Samsung and Apple taking near 100% of smartphone sales in 2013. Apple and Samsung struck a truce recently that halts all worldwide lawsuits the American tech company had against the Korean manufacturer. Samsung is also a display maker for Apple, and despite Apple’s efforts to “wean†itself from Samsung dependence, the American tech giant finds itself relying on Samsung for iPhone part production once more. We shouldn’t forget about the iPad, but we know that Apple’s iPhone sales are the company’s greatest asset. The iPhone 6, due for arrival next month, looks to bring a 13MP camera to the iPhone 6 experience, in addition to two display sizes (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays) and iOS 8, the company’s imminent upgrade to what Apple calls the world’s most advanced operating system. iOS 8 will also appear on both the iPad Mini and iPad Air, both Apple’s larger and smaller tablets that now feature Retina displays. Evidence from within Apple logs show that the company will increase its screen resolution on its new iPhone 6 models, but there’s been no word on whether or not Apple will increase the screen resolution of the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2.
  3. The latest in Apple's line of tablets have been officially announced. iPad Air 2As expected, Apple today revealed the latest in its line of iPads at an event in California. Following the expected update on things like iPhone, which Apple said had its biggest launch ever (cue applause), CEO Tim Cook showed off the iPad Air 2, emphasizing just how thin it is. At 6.1 mm, it's 18% thinner than the original iPad Air, and two of them stacked are thinner than the very first iPad. The screen has an anti-reflective coating, and the device is equipped with a new A8X processor which helps to provide "console-level graphics," according to senior VP Phil Schiller. This 64-bit chip is an enhanced version of what's seen in the iPhone 6, and battery life clocks in at 10 hours. The Home button include Touch ID, allowing your fingerprint to unlock the device and authorize purchases on the App Store. The 8MP iSight camera is capable of recording 1080p video and taking 43MP panoramic photos, though the device unfortunately does nothing to make you look less goofy for taking photos with a tablet. The iPad Air 2 comes in silver, space gray, and gold colors. It's available in in three sizes: 16GB for $499, 64GB for $599, and 128GB for $699 for the Wi-Fi-only models. If you want cellular data, you'll pay $130 more for each of those--16GB for $629, 64GB for $729, and 128GB for $829. Preorders begin tomorrow, October 17, and will ship by the end of next week. iPad Mini 3Schiller then quickly announced the availability of the newest iPad Mini, the iPad Mini 3, curiously spending almost no time on it. It's equipped with a 5MP iSight camera, Touch ID, and a 7.9-inch screen. Like the iPad Air 2, it also comes in three colors (silver, space gray, and gold) and three sizes, with a $130 bump for cellular data over the Wi-Fi-only models. The 16GB system costs $399/$529, 64GB $499/$629, and 128GB $599/$729. Both the existing iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 will remain on sale, but for $100 less than their existing prices. Also during the event, Cook announced that Apple Pay, the company's mobile payment platform, launches this coming Monday, October 20. Just yesterday, Apple leaked the existence of the new devices through an App Store listing for its official iPad user guide. It indirectly acknowledged the leak during a portion of today's presentation featuring Stephen Colbert (or at least his voice). Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  4. Apple's official guide to iOS updated early with details on its two new iPad models. The original iPad Air It's customary for details on Apple's new products to be leaked prior to their official announcement, but that typically comes in the form of a report citing anonymous sources or including pictures from a factory worker. This time, it's Apple itself that's responsible for leaking details on its new iPads. As discovered by 9to5Mac, the App Store listing for the official iPad user guide has been updated prior to the release of iOS 8.1--apparently earlier than intended. Screenshots of the guide show off two brand-new devices: the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. They include images of both, complete with a rundown on some of their new features. Aside from confirming their names, the images show that both new iPads feature the Touch ID sensor seen in recent iPhone models. Also confirmed is support for burst camera shots on the iPad Air 2. Presumably there will be other enhancements, like faster hardware. But as this is a simple guide to iOS 8, those kinds of things weren't detailed. Luckily, we don't have long to wait before we get the full details, as Apple has an event scheduled for tomorrow where it was widely believed the company would show off its new iPads. Now we know exactly what to expect. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  5. Bono has finally said sorry on behalf of U2 for the blanket delivery of their new album 'Songs of Innocence' to people's iTunes without permission. U2 and Apple gave away an unprecedented 500 million downloads on the U2 album with 25 million people installing the album on their devices. However so people just found already of their device depending on their settings regardless of whether they were fans of U2 or not. 'Oops. I'm sorry about that. Umm, I had this beautiful idea, we might have got carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing,' Bono said in a Facebook video Q&A. It said it came about from 'a drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self promotion, and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn't be heard. There's a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.' The 'touch of generosity' led to a backlash from people all around the world complaining that the unsolicited U2 dump amounted to spam. This was the first time U2 have apologized for the stunt. The band copped an abusive rant from Tyler The Creator for the download but also gave Conan O'Brien some great ideas for a comedy sketch. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  6. [Apple Apps] Brokenstones.me | BRKS | Apple Apps | September 2014 Exclusive Review Tracker Name : Brokenstones.me (BRKS) Tracker Genre : Apple Apps Tracker Type : Ratio Based Bonus System : Yes (Token) Seed Difficulity : Easy Tracker Signup Link : Closed/Invite Only Tracker URL : http://brokenstones.me Tracker IRC : irc.p2p-network.net IRC Bonus : N/A Tracker Description Brokenstones.me is the best around tracker for apple/mac content,you cant find everythink of here related to apple/mac.If you care in the begin its not hard to keep a good ratio. Tracker ScreenShots Home Categories Browse Torrents Top 10 Torrents Requests Browse Collages User Classes and Promotions Upload Forums Rules - Faq Wiki IRC Donate Stats My Ratings Pretimes : 8/10 Speed : 9/10 Content : 10/10 Community : 9/10 My Overall Experience : 9,5/10
  7. Exec explains how iPhone games can expand onto Apple's new smart watch; Talks up potential of wearables. Two internal research and development teams at Electronic Arts are examining the possibility of creating games for the newly announced Apple Watch. Frank Gibeau, an executive who oversees EA's mobile content, suggested that certain Apple Watch applications could accompany iPhone games. Apple has not suggested its Apple Watch could function as a games platform, but it hasn't ruled out the possibility either. One app developer is already working on an arm-wrestling game for the device, but it isn't clear if the smartwatch has the potential to support other game ideas. "We have two teams prototyping wearable experiences that are not only standalone, but also some ideas where you can actually use the fitness component in the watch that can unlock capabilities in the game that might be on your iPhone," Gibeau told CNET. "Or you could do crafting or some other auction trading on your watch that goes back into your tablet game that you might check out later when you get home. So, we're pretty excited about it. We think it's very early days. But for EA, the emergence of another gaming platform is compelling for us." Following years of speculation, the Apple Watch was officially unveiled on Tuesday. It will require a iPhone to work, is set for release in 2015 and starts at $349 in North America. Gibeau also spoke generally about wearables as a platform, with Google Glass and Oculus Rift cited as candidates for testing game ideas. "One of the things we're intrigued with in the mobile division is seeing wearables emerge as a gaming platform," he said. "We think we're in the early stages of that, if you look at Oculus and its relationship with Facebook, and Google Glass. Now with Apple's big announcement with the watch, there's a trend here where wearables are going to increase in performance, capability and unique functions over time that we believe will enable gaming experiences." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. Two different iPhone models have been announced today. As expected, Apple today revealed the latest entries in its iPhone line of smartphones: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Each offers a different display size and resolution: the iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen (1334x750 resolution) and the 6 Plus a 5.5-inch screen (1920x1080). Both offer the newest version of Apple's Retina Display technology, called Retina HD, and a wider viewing angle. The iPhone 6 will be available in 16GB ($199), 64GB ($299), and 128GB ($399) sizes. The 6 Plus will be available in the same storage sizes, but at a $100 premium: $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB, and $499 for 128GB. (Note: these prices reflect those available with a two-year contract.) Both devices ship on September 19, with preorders beginning on September 12. The iPhone 5S will drop in price to $99 and the 8GB 5C model will be made available for free. Due to its larger size, the 6 Plus offers some UI changes, particularly when using the device in landscape mode. Apps will work on both models even if they haven't been updated for them, with iOS simply scaling them up to the proper resolution. A new 64-bit chip is being introduced with these new phones in the Apple A8. It'll offer an improvement in performance that will allow for, among other things, better-looking games. To demonstrate this, Super Evil Megacorp debuted a new game called Vain Glory, which looks to be a new MOBA with some very nice graphics for a mobile device. In addition, a number of companies have committed to bringing more games to iOS, including EA, Epic Games, Square Enix, CD Projekt Red, and Rebellion. Despite being larger than the 5S, both the 6 and 6 Plus will be thinner than the previous model. The 5S was 7.6 mm thick, compared to the 6's 6.9 mm and the 6 Plus' 7.1 mm. The devices' power buttons are now located on the side. As shown in the graphic below, battery life is allegedly much-improved over the 5S; 3G talk time is 24 hours on the 6 Plus and 14 hours on the 6, compared with 10 on the 5S. Other features of note include support for Wi-Fi calling, 802.11ac wireless, and an 8MP iSight camera that features a new sensor and allows for 1080p video to be taken at 30 or 60 frames per second. Today's news comes almost a year to day after the iPhone 5S was announced. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  9. Company's first wearable device launches in early 2015, and it requires an iPhone. Today during a special press event, Apple not only revealed new iPhones, but also a smartwatch product line. The Apple Watch is the most personal device Apple has ever created, CEO Tim Cook said, as reported by GameSpot sister site CNET. You can follow along with CNET's liveblog for up-to-the-second details about the device. "Because you wear it, we invented new intimate ways to connect and communicate directly from your wrist," Cook said, labeling the Apple Watch a "breakthrough" product. The Apple Watch represents the company's first wearable device. Other major personal electronics makers, including Sony, Motorola, Samsung, and LG, already have smartwatches available on the market. The Apple Watch line will include three main models: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. A variety of bands--six in all--will be available, including stainless steel and leather straps. These are interchangeable (using a proprietary strap design), meaning you're not locked into one style or another. The device has a built-in heart rate sensor and gyroscope, as well as haptic feedback. The Apple Watch can also determine the difference between a tap and a press, and features wireless, inductive charging. In terms of software, Siri makes the jump to the Apple Watch, and there are also maps and photo apps. Apple Watches will start at $349 when the product line launches in early 2015. In addition, Apple Watches require an iPhone because the two devices have been designed to work together. You won't need to buy a new iPhone 6 to use the watch, however, as Apple Watches are also compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5c models. Wall Street is responding positively to today's Apple news, as the company's stock is up around 3 percent today to $101.34. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  10. Invites from the Cupertino, Calif., electronics giant give almost no hints, saying "wish we could say more." But the general consensus is that Apple will unveil its next smartphone. Apple's invitation to a press event Sept. 9 offers few clues.Shara Tibken/CNET Apple on Thursday sent out invites for a press event on Sept. 9 in its hometown of Cupertino, Calif. The company provided few hints about what will be announced beyond saying "Wish we could say more." That could indicate something related to Siri, Apple's digital voice assistant. Generally, Apple is expected to introduce its newest iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 6. The company also could show off awearable at the event.The event will come a year after Apple introduced the iPhone 5S and 5C and a week after arch rival Samsung is set to unveil its Galaxy Note 4 phone-tablet hybrid, or phablet. Apple has added a new iPhone every year since former CEO Steve Jobs introduced the smartphone line in 2007, and new iPhones have been unveiled in the fall since 2011. Many market watchers expect Apple to introduce two newiPhone 6 models with display sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, though some recent reports speculate one device could be released at a later date. Analysts expect the iPhone 6 to be one of the largest product launches in Apple's history -- both in terms of device screen size and total sales. The companyreportedly has asked manufacturing partners to produce about 30 percent to 40 percent more iPhones by the end of this year than it ordered for its initial run of last year's iPhone 5S and 5C. For Apple, having a successful iPhone 6 launch is vital. Apple hosts only one phone event a year, and it generates more than half its revenue from its smartphone line. The iPhone serves as the linchpin to Apple's overall growth, particularly as the market awaits the widely speculated iWatch and as the iPad struggles against lower-cost rivals and larger phones. Thursday's invite came earlier than many market watchers expected. Typically, Apple sends out invites to the event a week before the launch. This time around, it gave reporters more notice, possibly because the invites would go out right after Labor Day if following the typical schedule. But the invite also came the morning after rivals Samsung and LG unveiled new smartwatches, which likely caused Apple to overshadow the Korean companies' news. Apple is building a new structure on the De Anza College campus for its event Sept. 9. The venue on the De Anza College campus also is a change for Apple. It has tended to hold most device launches at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco or on Apple's campus in Cupertino. But Apple also has some history with the Flint Center. Steve Jobs unveiled the first Mac there in 1984, and he also showed off iMacs at the location in 1998 and 1999. The Flint Center can accommodate a larger crowd than the recent venues Apple has used, indicating the event's importance to the company. Apple already has started making the Flint Center its own. The company has been building a large structure on the college campus, which was earlier spotted by MacRumors. We've contacted Apple and will update the report when we have more information. http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-iphone-6-event-officially-set-for-sept-9/
  11. It has often been assumed that the iPhone experience is together in many ways that Android is not, say iPhone fans. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has been accused of being slow and laggy, and many an iPhone performance test claims that iPhones best Android smartphones each year in terms of their performance on a number of levels. Well, Apple’s latest announcement seems to point to the contrary. The Cupertino has announced an iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program due to some defective units (a very small percentage, it’s been said) that have batteries that drain faster. Apple says that the defective units are those that were sold between September 2012 (the month of the iPhone 5 launch) and January 2013, and those who purchased an iPhone 5 during that time can bring their device(s) to local Apple retail stores starting on August 29th. It’s times like these that show how universally similar smartphones can be across all operating systems. No matter how great the smartphone, how much better you think it is than all others, smartphones are made imperfect because humans are – and even the most premium smartphone brands are subject to the same defective issues as non-premium smartphones are. Please refer all Apple fanboys to articles such as this to make them aware that, if Android smartphones have their share of criticism, so do iPhones.
  12. The iPhone 6 will be a bit safer to use than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 – and every other iPhone Apple’s made since 2007. That’s because iPhone maker Apple, Inc. has decided to ban the use of n-hexane and benzene in most of its production factories due to these chemicals placing workers and users at risk for cancer, reproductive issues, and nerve damage. N-hexane is used to wipe smudges from iPhone screens before they are packaged and shipped so that the iPhone you get out of the box looks brand new. Benzene is a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) that provides a protective coating for iPhone components. After the environmental group Green America warned about these chemicals used to manufacture iPhone parts as well as the fact that factory workers weren’t given protective gear to limit exposure to these chemicals, Apple conducted its own investigation. While the company’s decided in lieu of the carcinogenic nature of these chemicals to ban them from the majority of its factories (if safer alternatives can be found), Apple can still use them in some factories. According to regulations, the company can use benzene if a smaller amount than 0.1ppm is located in breathing zones or areas of exposure. N-hexane must be limited to 28ppm. While the use of both benzene and n-hexane are unwelcome, at least safety standards are tightening on these chemicals. Perhaps these findings explain why Apple products have yet to make China’s environmentally-friendly product list.
  13. iPhone 6 photos leaked in recent weeks have shown the back of the iPhone. We’ve rarely seen the front display of the iPhone. Now, we get to see the iPhone 6 that is in beta testing mode at the moment. The new phone shows us the Apple boot logo that appears when starting up the iPhone, but we don’t get to see the display of the phone just yet. Bummer – we wanted to see if the iOS 8 rumors and leaked icons were the real deal here. Oh well, we’ll have to wait for another day. We get to see the iPhone 6 box, however, but it provides few clues as to what to expect from the new iOS 8 icons. We don’t see anything but iOS 7 icons on the box (no Health or Healthkit appear, just Passbook and the usuals), but we do get to see the white background that resembles the iPhone hardware color itself. The bottom icon row on the iPhone 6 box is a little troubling. We don’t know what made Apple believe that the gray row background would look good with the rest of the icon row backgrounds being white. It looks a bit tacky, if you ask us. Even if this is a pre-production box, we hope Apple doesn’t continue the gray and white color conflict that it’s got on the front of the iPhone 6 box when the phone arrives this Fall. There isn’t much to see beyond the iPhone 6 box and the front of the phone – but, as an iPhone, it is something new to encounter. As for what we know, the iPhone 6 still looks to appear with two size models (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch) this September, featuring a new sapphire crystal display for higher-end models and Gorilla Glass 3 or 4 for lower-end models along with an iTime wearable. While we’ve seen countless photos of the iPhone 6, the look of iOS 8 is what’s got us interested at the moment – that, and whether or not we’ll see a 13MP back camera on the iPhone 6. In recent YouTube torture tests, the sapphire crystal display remained durable despite key scratching, knife hits, and even shoe presses. KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that he seems a little concerned about how sapphire crystal will hold up in torture tests after the phone is released. Sapphire crystal seems tough at times and fragile at others. The date for the unveil has been set for September 9, with an iPhone 6 release around Sept. 19 or 20.
  14. The move is at odds with decisions by some other tech companies, most notably Google, to keep data out of China due to censorship and privacy concerns. Apple has started to store some Chinese users' personal data on servers in China owned by China Telecom, Reuters reported on Friday. Apple told Reuters in a statement that China Telecom, the country's third-largest wireless carrier, has been added to the company's "list of data center providers." Apple said the decision was made to improve its iCloud service, which lets users store and access photos, music, and other data from multiple devices. With data stored closer to the iCloud users, it can be delivered more quickly and reliably, Apple told Reuters. CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information. Apple's decision to store data in China is at odds with some other tech companies', most notably Google, refusals to store data in China over censorship and privacy concerns. Google had a public spat with China in 2010 over censoring search results that eventually led to the Internet giant moving its servers to Hong Kong. China continues to be an epicenter of controversy over user data. China has been charged with hacking foreign governments and corporate servers to steal information. The country is also notorious for wanting user data stored in its borders. The Chinese government claims it's part of its rules and regulations, but critics have said it gives China easy access to people's personal information. For its part, Apple has thrown cold water on any indication that storing data on China Telecom's servers will invade the privacy of its users. Apple said the data is heavily encrypted and not accessible by China Telecom or any other party, according to Reuters. An unidentified source told Reuters that Apple has stored the encryption keys for that data offshore. It's also worth noting the physical location where data is stored doesn't necessarily protect it from prying governments. For example, a US federal judge last month ordered Microsoft to hand over a customer's email-account data being stored in Dublin, Ireland. So, while Apple has started storing data in China, it may not mean user data is more accessible. http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-storing-icloud-data-in-china-report-says/
  15. The comedian, who passed away on Monday, earns a special and rare memorial on Apple's website. Apple Apple has posted a Web page dedicated to the memory of Robin Williams. Williams died on Monday at the age of 63 after a long, hard battle with depression. A stand-up comic by trade and instinct, he first gained national fame on TV starring on the sitcom "Mork and Mindy" and then went on to act in several motion picture comedies, including "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Mrs. Doubtfire." He also proved his chops as a serious actor by appearing in such films as "Awakenings," "Dead Poets Society," and "Good Will Hunting." In a page simply called "Remembering Robin Williams," Apple offered the following short but moving tribute: Robin Williams 1951 - 2014 We are deeply saddened by the passing of Robin Williams. He inspired us through his passion, his generosity, and the gift of laughter. He will be greatly missed. But the Web page isn't Apple's only tribute to Williams. The comedian and actor is being remembered through a dedicated iTunes page that showcases several of his most popular and celebrated films, all available for purchase and some for rental. The iTunes page also honors Williams with the following passage reflecting on his career and other contributions: No one made us laugh like Robin Williams. His mile-a-minute comic energy -- a dizzying stream of jokes, impressions, and hyper-physicality -- left us exhausted from the fun of it, but always wanting more. Williams could make the most dramatic moments somehow hilarious, and the silliest moments deeply meaningful. His characters embodied his talent, from T.S. Garp in "The World According to Garp" to a father masquerading as a dubious English nanny to stay near his children in "Mrs. Doubtfire" to a psychotherapist cutting through a troubled young janitor's defenses in "Good Will Hunting." An Oscar, an Emmy, and a Grammy winner, Williams was also a generous philanthropist who performed with the USO for troops stationed overseas, and worked passionately with a variety of organizations such as Comic Relief and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Apple CEO Tim Cook offered his own tribute to Williams on Monday with the following tweet: "Heartbroken by the news of Robin Williams' passing. He was an incomparable talent and a great human being. Rest in peace." http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-honors-robin-williams-with-tribute-webpage/
  16. Ever since the inception of the App Store, Apple has notoriously banned all BitTorrent related apps. However, this week a native BitTorrent client managed to get approval, albeit not without sacrifice. Hoping to prevent trouble, the developer only allows users to download from a small selection of known legal sources. Over the past years dozens of apps have been rejected from the App Store because they mention the word BitTorrent. Apple defended this policy and told developers that their apps were not allowed “because this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third-party rights.†This BitTorrent aversion is also one of the main reasons why popular BitTorrent clients such as uTorrent, Vuze and Transmission don’t have an Apple-approved presence on the iPhone and iPad. This week the BitTorrent client “Blue Downloader†was approved by Apple and added to the App store. The application allows users to control and add torrent downloads through a built-in browser. The torrents can then be directly downloaded to the device. The application handles torrent downloads without any problems, but there is one rather big restriction. The developer has decided to only allow downloads from a few trusted sources. Trying to add files from The Pirate Bay or KickassTorrents wont work, but white-listed sites such as Archive.org, Linuxtracker and Bitlove are freely accessible. Talking to TorrentFreak, Blue Downloader developer Harrison Tyler says that he implemented these restrictions to improve his odds of getting the app approved by Apple. “Apple is very restrictive about torrent downloading, so I thought I would take the same precautions. If Apple were to see a completely unrestricted torrent downloader, they would not take it as well as what I have now,†Tyler tells us. “I am not for restrictions normally, but as I am bending the accessibility of the app based on Apple’s will,†he adds. This strategy appears to have worked, for now, as the torrent client is still available in the App store. There is a chance that it may not be around for long though. Blue Downloader carefully avoided the B-word and Apple may still ban the app if they spot the connection. The self-censoring developer believes that BitTorrent is unfairly stigmatized. Pirated files can be found all over the Internet, and Apple has no restrictions for apps that download from direct sources. “There is an unfortunate stigma associated with torrent downloading. Even though there is almost an equal amount of illegal files on the Internet to regularly download, people still crack down on the evils of BitTorrent,†Tyler says. For those interested in giving the rather limited Blue Downloader a try, it’s availablein the App Store for $2.99. http://torrentfreak.com/apple-approves-self-censoring-bittorrent-app-140810/
  17. The Moto 360. We’ve heard about how awesome of a smartwatch it’s going to be when it arrives, and we’ve even seen pictures of the fabled smartwatch that Moto 360 fans are becoming restless about. Motorola, it’s time to hand over that smartwatch. The longer you wait, the lower the sales. Apple blogger John Gruber decided to poke some fun at the Moto 360 recently with a comment about the watch: “It looks like Motorola’s designers tried to draw as much attention as they could to the 360’s stupid flat-tire display shape. The only way this could get funnier would be if it doesn’t even ship until after Apple announces their wrist wearable thing next month.†There are a few things we can take away from Gruber’s comment. First, Gruber notes that Apple has a “wrist wearable thing,†though he doesn’t say it’s a smartwatch. What could this mean? It could mean that Apple’s wrist wearable may be similar to a fitness band or bracelet than an actual watch. Though, we’ve heard much about the 1.6-inch and 1.8-inch OLED displays that Apple looks to place into the new iDevice. With that said, Apple could be after producing more of a Samsung Gear Fit competitor than anything else. We simply don’t know the answer at this point, but Gruber’s comment is interesting. He could simply mean that we don’t know exactly what Apple’s doing because we’ve not seen one photo of the fabled iWatch. And, keep in mind, too that he doesn’t call it the “iWatch.†We don’t know how the name caught on in the tech press, but Apple’s never said anything remotely resembling the fabled name that’s become the common name associated with it. We think that, should Apple name it “iWatch,†the company should give kudos to the person who first came up with the name that’s spread like wildfire for the last two years or so. Next, Gruber points to “next month†as the date of the iDevice unveiling, but this is nothing new; we expect Apple to announce its iDevices next month, and we couldn’t imagine Apple waiting until October to reveal the iWatch along with its iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. Since the iWatch will pair via Bluetooth with the iPhone 6, September looks to be the ideal time to announce the iWatch. While providing these little juicy tidbits of detail, Gruber also makes fun of Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch. If we’re honest, we’d have to agree with Gruber. Much hype has been published across the Web regarding the Moto 360: “it’s gorgeous,†they say, “it’s the best Android Wear smartwatch out there,†others have said. Well, that’s not exactly the case. It turns out that we, like Gruber, believe that the “flat-tire display shape†is nothing more than a rounded smartwatch, and some will like the design while others won’t. Some of us here at Inferse prize Samsung’s Gear smartwatches, and happen to prefer a square smartwatch over a rounded one. We don’t all like the idea of having a smartwatch resemble the nerdy calculator smartwatches that became such a big deal in the ‘90s. Some of us believe that a contemporary watch deserves a contemporary design. Some will appreciate what Motorola brings to the game, but the Moto 360’s been hyped so much that Motorola should really be ashamed that it’s waited so long to bring the smartwatch to the market. After all, competitors Samsung (Gear Live) and LG (G Watch) will more than gobble up whatever sales Motorola could’ve gained, had the company prized a quick release a little better. “They’re waiting to get it, right,†many have said – but how long does it take to get a smartwatch right? How many months of hype will customers tolerate before, tired in their wait, they decide to settle on something that, in many ways, may actually be better than the Moto 360 they’ve been waiting for? At this point, Motorola’s drained whatever surprise its smartwatch could’ve made in the market. Releasing the Moto 360 now is far too late to the game, considering that the iWatch and iPhone 6, as well as the Gear 3 and the Galaxy Note 4, will all arrive next month. And finally, Android Wear is in its infancy. Sure, it may have about 25-30 apps available for use, but why would any user want to rely on Google Now to type its text messages accurately when Google could’ve provided an in-built, on-screen keyboard to do the job? Android Wear may be a powerful platform in days to come, but it’s got a long way to go before it gains the respect it wants. With that said, we happen to believe that Gruber’s laugh at the Moto 360 packs more of a punch than the actual Moto 360 will – if and when it finally arrives. In the meantime, keep in mind that Apple will announce the iPhone 6 and the new iWrist wearable on September 9th, with a release of the devices to occur around September 19th.
  18. t was said earlier this week that the Chinese government blacklisted Apple products (iPhone, iPad, MacBook) because of security concerns surrounding iDevices and the supposed US Government’s spying activities. Bloomberg News reported on the Apple product blacklisting last week, saying that the Apple products were banned “because of security concerns,†but Chinese officials say that the procurement list putout had nothing to do with blacklisted products (or security concerns), but instead, energy-saving products that adhere to Chinese energy regulations. “They didn’t say once that it had anything to do with national security,†said a Beijing supplier employee. Bloomberg itself noted at the time that there was another list that permitted Apple products, and Chinese officials this week affirmed the same thing. Chinese officials said today that Apple has never been on the list that circulated earlier this week because, although Apple products are energy-efficient, Apple’s never applied to have its products placed on China’s energy-efficient list. We could chalk the miscommunication up to bad communication in general, and, seeing that Apple products can still be purchased, it’s not hard to see that maybe the Chinese government is telling the truth. At the same time, it makes us wonder who told Bloomberg, and whether or not Bloomberg got the news right. It’s also the case that, with security concerns about the iPhone that surfaced within the last few weeks as well as Apple’s defense that it hasn’t conspired with the NSA, whether or not Chinese officials want to discuss the matter publicly. For now, though, Chinese officials can still purchase Apple products – despite the security concerns.
  19. The iPhone 6 looks to be one of the hottest smartphones of the year, but we now have what could be the official date for the iPhone 6 announcement. Re/code, has pinned Tuesday, September 9 as the date of the official iPhone 6 announcement. What we’ve seen so far is that both a Chinese Weibo account showed an iPhone 6 poster with the date “9 19,†indicating September 19 as a possible announcement date. Amazon Japan suggested that the iPhone 6 would be available on September 30th, with an educated guess for the iPhone 6 announcement coming at the beginning of the month. It seems as though Apple will unveil both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models at its September event though we don’t have any official information on whether or not Apple’s patched up its production issues with sapphire crystal glass. As we’ve said time and time again, Apple’s purchased a sapphire crystal glass production facility out in Arizona to start making its own sapphire glass in-house, leading Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning Inc. to continue arguing that its Gorilla Glass is more durable than sapphire crystal. At the same time, however, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that he and other analysts have something of a reserved nature about whether or not sapphire crystal glass will arrive on the iPhone 6. Apple’s been concerned about drop tests once the iPhone 6 arrives. That, and the problem Apple’s had with manufacturers regarding the implementation of a smaller battery into what will be a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 body than usual, have been the majority of Apple’s production woes. Sources say that Apple’s solved the battery problem and found a manufacturer who’ll keep the iPhone 6 battery thin and light while still giving a bit more juice for the larger screen (at around 2,500mAh), but we’ll have to wait and see. If Apple’s production woes show anything, it’s that Corning may be right. This won’t stop Apple from getting sapphire crystal onto the iPhone 6 this Fall, seeing that sapphire crystal does protect against key strokes, knife cuts, and even shoe impact. Sapphire crystal bends when placed under shoes – giving it a flexibility that current displays don’t possess.
  20. Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer that’s not really heard of much outside of China, took the Chinese market in smartphone sales in Q2 2014. According to the Canalys report, Xiaomi tripled its smartphone sales in Q2 2014 as opposed to the same quarter last year. In contrast, Samsung sold 13.2 million smartphones in Q2, but this is down from the over 16 million smartphones Samsung sold in Q2 2013. While Xiaomi also beat out Lenovo, Lenovo fared well in Q2 2014, shipping more smartphones than it did a year earlier. Huawei and Yulong did well too, surpassing the number of shipments from a year ago. Only Samsung was hardest hit in the new results. Xiaomi’s success in China has made the manufacturer the fifth-largest in the world, but there’re a few reasons behind Xiaomi’s success that lie outside of selling smartphones. For one, the company’s got former Google employee Hugo Barra working on its side, and Barra’s made quite a few work relationships in the tech industry that’ll help the company as it tries to expand its reach into Indonesia, India, Turkey, Brazil, The Philippines, Malaysia, and up to an additional 10 markets within the next year. Next, Xiaomi provides its own user interface (MIUI) that users can help customize by providing feedback to the company on what works, what doesn’t, and what the company can do to make it better. Users feel as though their say matters, something that certainly shows customer appreciation. Xiaomi also sells their phones right at cost but tend to make up in pricing by selling apps and other features to Xiaomi users. Whereas some companies may charge up to $800 or more for a smartphone, Xiaomi’s charged $400-$500 but allows you to spend the additional $300 or $400 on games instead of losing all your money to a smartphone. Xiaomi’s become a success in China, but having such international success in other parts of the world is a different story.
  21. We’ve spent a lot of time here at Inferse leaking details about the iPhone 6, as well as early photos of Apple’s next-generation iPhone. Well, as usual, the Chinese clones are out and about – and this iPhone 6 clone is rather close to the original. It’s hard to distinguish if you place it up against the iPhone 6 photos in circulation across the Web. Someone decided to create an iPhone 6 clone that matches the rumors we’ve heard about the device. As for the specs, the iPhone 6 clone (or the “liePhone 6,†as some are calling it) features a 2.4MP front-facing camera, a 12.6MP back camera, 2GB of RAM, and a 4.7-inch display. But after the metal body, display size, RAM, and cameras, the rest of the liePhone experience is a disappointment: there’s a 960 x 540 screen resolution, which is woefully below the supposed 1700 x 960 resolution that Apple’s looking to bring to the iPhone 6 experience. To add more salt to the wound, the iPhone 6 clone isn’t running iOS 8 (or even iOS 7 for that matter), but Android 4.4.2 KitKat – which is a modern version of Google’s OS, but not the most recent update to Android (which is actually Android 4.4.4 KitKat).
  22. Hashtags are becoming a popular way to search for subjects and expressions, as well as a way to give a shoutout on social media when sending a message. Unfortunately, there’re some hashtags (perhaps #ROFL or #SMH, for example) that users simply don’t understand when they’re used. There’re those who aren’t up-to-date on the latest hashtag lingo and don’t know the meanings to hashtags because they don’t use them on a regular basis. If you’re in that camp, Twitter’s got a “Twitter hashtag for dummies†feature that’s now available via the Twitter for iPhone app. Now, when you want to use a hashtag, type the hashtag symbol (#) followed by the three, four, or five letters that you want to use or inquire about. When you do so, Twitter will now explain what the acronymic expression means when you search for it.
  23. Companies are known for suing one another, but the latest lawsuit involves an interesting pair: Microsoft and Samsung. Microsoft, having massive control over Windows Phone and Window OS, now that Redmond’s bought Nokia’s mobile division, also makes money from patents. The company’s owned a patent regarding multiple web browser windows for some years, and, with private licensing agreements, allows companies to make royalty payments with a set timetable for quarterly or annual pay schedule. Microsoft and Samsung struck a deal back in 2011 regarding web browser windows. Recently, the company says that Samsung failed to make its payment on time, at which point interest was attached to the late payment. Now, Samsung refuses to pay interest – despite the fact that it failed to make the royalty payment on time. “After becoming the leading player in the world-wide smartphone market, Samsung decided late last year to stop complying with its agreement with Microsoft,†said Microsoft general counsel deputy David Howard last week.
  24. It’s been said time and time again that Tim Cook’s not an innovator like Steve Jobs. As of last summer, some tech analysts were calling for Tim Cook’s resignation as CEO because he didn’t possess the engineering nature of Apple’s former late CEO. At the same time, however, Tim Cook is Steve Job’s handpicked successor for the Apple throne – and, whatever the reason, Steve Jobs chose him. One reason Cook was Jobs’s choice may have something to do with his skill in retail operations. Cook’s been on the hunt to bring Apple customers back to Apple retail stores across the United States, particularly because US customers have a tendency to shop for new iPhones at their local retail stores. Most contract-minded individuals looking for a new iPhone rely on their carrier (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint), while off-contract customers who desire a T-Mobile or AT&T prepaid agreement buy their devices from either T-Mobile or AT&T retail stores. Some buy their devices from local Apple retail stores so that they can also pick up an accessory or two – but the majority of customers buy from wireless carriers. Tim Cook wants to change this wireless carrier mindset of American iPhone customers who think of the Apple Store as the last place they’d turn to for their iPhone purchase. With this goal in mind, one new rumor churning out of the mill suggests that Apple may offer early upgrade plans to its customers sometime soon (perhaps this Fall with the arrival of the iPhone 6). Now, T-Mobile iPhones can be purchased at Apple stores for off-contract agreements, but T-Mobile customers must pay full price for an unlocked iPhone 5s (for example), which comes in at around $692, or get on a two-year agreement with carriers AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. The new early upgrade plans would take the original T-Mobile price at an Apple Store (full price for an iPhone 6) and allow T-Mobile customers, with a credit check, to purchase the device for a certain amount down with a certain amount added to the customer’s T-Mobile bill each month. As with Verizon’s EDGE plans and AT&T’s Next plans, Apple Store customers would get to sign agreements with Apple stores but get the new iPhone 6 for $0 down with a certain amount due each month. After paying off about 50% of the iPhone 6 price with 6 months of the agreement completed, iPhone 6 users would be eligible to upgrade from a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 to the 5.5-inch iPhone 6. Apple only has one iPhone announcement each year, so six-month upgrades will leave iPhone customers with nowhere to go. Of course, if an iPhone user wants to upgrade from a 16GB to a 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB model, however, the customer can make that decision as well. With Apple’s decision to bring iPhone 6 early upgrade plans to its American retail stores, the company’s sending the message that it really wants to win its customers back in retail. Apple’s first move to win back numbers in retail stores involved granting T-Mobile customers access to iPhones that were specifically intended for T-Mobile’s network (AWS-enabled iPhones, as opposed to typical unlocked iPhones that were once incompatible with T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network and only ran on 3G wireless).
  25. Apple confirmed yesterday that it’s now purchased BookLamp, a company that makes recommendations to readers based on unique algorithms that integrate search titles. Apple purchased the company for somewhere in the ballpark of $10 million-$15 million, though an exact figure is unknown. It’s likely that the new Apple acquisition could allow Cupertino to improve its iBooks service and help readers find more book titles that suit their interests. As always, the goal of improving book services (or app services in general) is to encourage higher consumer spending and increase developer spotlight and publicity.