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Apple Acquires Podcast Search Startup 'Pop Up Archive'

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:19
Apple has acquired podcast search startup Pop Up Archive, according to Harvard University's Nieman Lab via AppleInsider.

Apple more or less confirmed the report by issuing its standard statement about acquisitions: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Pop Up Archive was an Oakland-based online platform focused on building tools to transcribe, organize, and search audio files, including a podcast search engine, according to the report.Pop Up Archive was founded in 2012, and has since grown off an extended series of seed investments and grants from sources like Bloomberg Beta, 500 Startups, and the Knight Foundation, among others. The company also has a close relationship with PRX; in 2012, the two organizations partnered up to build PRX’s original web-based archive system.Both the Pop Up Archive and websites state that operations shut down on November 28, 2017, presumably around the time Apple acquired the startup. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

While no other details about the acquisition were shared, it can be assumed that Pop Up Archive's search tools could be used to improve podcast search and discovery in Apple's official Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad.

Tag: Podcasts
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Apple Devices Could Have Reversible Emoji Next Year

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 14:20
The Unicode Consortium has proposed new guidelines that would allow for reversible emoji. In other words, emojis such as a car or train that currently face to the left or right only would be able to face either direction.

Reversible emoji mockup via Emojipedia
Apple and other vendors would be able to choose which emoji can be reversible on their devices, if any, according to their preferences.

The guidelines are still a draft that should be finalized by time the next major batch of over 100 new emoji characters are made available for companies like Apple to implement starting in the second half of 2018.

The Unicode Consortium has also introduced a handful of new emoji candidates for the second half of 2018, including a swan, badger, infinity, and pirate flag, according to Jeremy Burge at

Unfortunately, for true emoji aficionados, it looks like "Frowning Pile Of Poo" and two other faces haven't made the cut for the next batch.

Emoji 11.0, proposed earlier this year, currently includes 130 new emoji candidates. Some notable inclusions are faces with red hair, faces with no hair, faces with curly or afro hairstyles, and hot and cold faces.

Other candidates include new superheroes, a firecracker, a fire extinguisher, a test tube, a lacrosse stick with ball, a softball, and a bagel.

The timeline means that iPhones and iPads could support both the new and reversible emoji in iOS 12 or iOS 12.1 around September to November of next year. The new batch should extend to the Mac as well in a future macOS update.

The emoji included in this article are sample images by and could vary slightly from Apple's final designs.

Tag: emoji
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DirecTV Now Reaches 1M Subscribers While AT&T Continues to Promise DVR, 4K, and More Coming in 2018

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 14:15
AT&T this morning announced that its over-the-top streaming service DirecTV Now has surpassed the one million subscriber mark, with the milestone coming in just a little bit over a year since the service launched on November 30, 2016. DirecTV Now originally debuted only on iOS and Apple TV devices, and continues to promote the Apple TV in offers where new subscribers can pay for four months of service upfront ($140) and get an all-new 32GB Apple TV 4K ($180) for free.

In comparison, Sling TV is said to still sit at the top of the OTT streaming service bundle market with about 1.7 million subscribers as of Q3 2017. Around this time, Sling TV was followed by PlayStation Vue (455,000 subscribers), YouTube TV (325,000), Hulu with Live TV (150,000), and FuboTV (100,000), according to research firm Guggenheim Securities (via Variety). At the end of the same quarter this year, AT&T reported about 787,000 people had signed up for DirecTV Now, which has now grown to more than one million in just over two months.

"This milestone is an incredible testament to the thousands of hours many people spent working to bring this product online and continually improving it during the past year," said David Christopher, president, AT&T Entertainment Group. "We're thrilled so many customers have come to love DIRECTV NOW and can't wait to bring them a host of new features in 2018."

"To reach 1 million subscribers is an important benchmark for any OTT video service, but to go from zero to 1 million subscribers so quickly is quite an achievement," said Brett Sappington, senior director of Research, Parks Associates. As it celebrates the milestone, AT&T also looked forward into the New Year and listed a few upcoming features coming to the service in 2018. According to the company, subscribers can expect the following features to be added to DirecTV Now sometime next year:
- A DVR in the cloud to record your shows and access virtually anywhere
- 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) quality video
- Capacity for more than 35,000 titles on demand
- Individual profiles
- Adding an additional concurrent stream
- More……surprises! One of the most-requested additions to DirecTV Now is a cloud-based DVR for recording and storing shows to watch later, and AT&T originally stated that the DVR would be launching in fall 2017. The DVR has been in beta for weeks now, so it appears that AT&T is still fine-tuning the experience ahead of the wide launch next year. It's not clear if all of the new features will debut at once, but besides the DVR subscribers can expect an overhauled user interface, 4K video, expanded on demand options, and more.

Tags: AT&T, DirecTV Now
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Lifeprint Launches Larger WiFi-Equipped AR Photo Printer That's Available Exclusively From Apple

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 13:00
Lifeprint, known for its photo printers that come equipped with augmented reality technology, today announced the launch of its latest printer, which is larger than the original version to let iPhone users print bigger pictures.

The new Lifeprint photo printer can print images that are 3 by 4.5 inches, up from 2 by 3 inches. WiFi is new to this version of the printer, which means you can print to a Lifeprint printer from anywhere in the world and send photos to printers owned by friends and family. Bluetooth is also available for local printing.

With Lifeprint printers, you also can print a still of a video or a Live Photo and then use the Lifeprint app to see an augmented reality version of the video, essentially bringing your photos to life. It's a little bit gimmicky, but it can be a fun way to share videos with friends. It's also a neat way to print and share Live Photos.

Like many of the miniature iPhone printers on the market, Lifeprint printers use ZINK paper, which allows for color images without ink cartridges. ZINK also has a sticky back, so all of your printed photos double as stickers. On the downside, ZINK is expensive at over $1 per photo when using the Lifeprint-branded paper in the new size.

You can print photos, videos, Live Photos, GIFs, Snaps, and more with Lifeprint, and the Lifeprint app has built-in tools for editing your images and adding stickers, filters, and captions. There's also integration with Instagram and Facebook so you can print directly from your social network."For our second printer, we wanted to go bigger and broader. The larger film is classic instant camera size and really captures that retro look and feel. Perfect for decorating your walls. But more importantly the WiFi capability means you're always connected. This allows users to print to and from anywhere in the world. No matter where you are, you're connected and ready to print. And of course, the magical Harry Potter-like Hyperphotos still bring those videos to life in your hands. Super cool."Lifeprint's new 3x4.5 printer is available exclusively from and Apple retail stores for $149.99 starting today. Film is priced at $50 for a pack of 40 and $30 for a pack of 20.

Tag: Apple retail
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Apple Wins EU Trademark Case Against Xiaomi and its 'Mi Pad' Tablet

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:24
Apple Tuesday won the right to prevent Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from registering its "Mi Pad" mobile tablet device as an EU trademark because the name has been deemed too similar to Apple's iPad (via Reuters).

The General Court, the European Union's second highest, ruled that registering Mi Pad as a trademark was not in the public interest, as consumers were likely to be confused by the similarity of the signs.

"The dissimilarity between the signs at issue, resulting from the presence of the additional letter 'm' at the beginning of "Mi Pad", is not sufficient to offset the high degree of visual and phonetic similarity between the two signs," the Court said in a statement. The decision comes three years after Xiaomi filed an application with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to register Mi Pad as a trademark, which prompted Apple to lodge a complaint. The EUIPO sided with Apple's view, based on the grounds that Mi Pad could be misconstrued as a variation of the iPad trademark.
The court agreed with the EUIPO's decision and said English-speaking consumers were likely to understand the prefix "mi" as meaning "my" and therefore pronounce the "i" of Mi Pad and iPad in the same way.Xiaomi could appeal against the ruling at the EU's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, but so far no statement on today's decision has been given by the Chinese mobile maker.

Xiaomi's expansion into Europe kicked off last month when it began selling its smartphones in Spain. The company has managed to become China's fourth largest mobile vendor by sales and has launched in dozens of other countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine, as part of a $1 billion overseas expansion drive.

Its devices, ranging from smartphones to tablets, have been publicly criticized in the past for heavily borrowing design elements from Apple's iPhones and iPads and adopting marketing materials tactics similar to Apple's.

Tags: European Union, Xiaomi
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Spotify's Annual 'Wrapped' Feature Serves Up Playlists Based on Your 2017 Listening Habits

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:57
Spotify's annually hosted Wrapped website went live today, offering subscribers a look back at their listening habits over the last twelve months.

After the user logs in with their Spotify credentials, the site tells them how many minutes in total they listened for in 2017, including the number of different songs and artists they listened to, and how many genres they explored along the way.

Users then move onto a short quiz where they get to guess their top songs, artists, and genres over the course of the year, before being revealed the results.

The site then provides "Your Top Songs of 2017", collected in one playlist, as well as a playlist titled "Ones That Got Away", which includes a selection of unplayed tracks released in 2017 that are "based on what you love", according to Spotify.

Buttons are presented on the site that let users play the playlists in Spotify, although we had trouble getting the function to work from within the desktop Safari browser (Chrome and Firefox had no such trouble). The site doesn't seem to like Safari on iOS if content blockers are enabled, either.

In addition to the Wrapped feature, Spotify today released its Year in Music lists, which revealed that Ed Sheeran was the service's most streamed artist globally in 2017, racking up 47 million listeners, while his latest album, ÷, was played 3.1 billion times. Meanwhile, Rihanna was the most streamed female artist of the year, with Drake, Taylor Swift, and Coldplay also proving popular choices throughout 2017.

(Via TechCrunch.)

Tag: Spotify
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Apple Releases Apple Watch Sport Bands and iPhone Cases in Three New Colors

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 04:07
Apple today quietly added three new Apple Watch Sport bands to its online store, introducing three unique colors. The new bands are available in Spicy Orange, Dark Teal, and Flash, a bright shade of yellow.

Flash and Spicy Orange match previously available Sport Loop and Woven Nylon bands. The Flash color is available for the Sport Loop, and Spicy Orange is available for both the Sport Loop and the Woven Nylon.

The Spicy Orange shade is similar to the exclusive orange Apple Watch Sport band Apple offers with its Hermès Apple Watch models, which has never been available on a standalone basis.

The new Apple Watch Sport bands, like all Sport Bands, are available for both the 38 and 42mm Apple Watch models and are priced at $49. Sport Bands fit wrists from 130 to 200mm and come in S&M and M&L sizes with both size options included in the purchase price.

Apple's Silicone Cases for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus are also available in three new colors, including Flash and Spicy Orange to match the new Sport Bands and Cosmos Blue, which is similar to the Dark Teal and a color previously available for the iPhone lineup in leather.

The new iPhone cases are priced at $39 for the X, $35 for the 8, and $39 for the 8 Plus. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus cases also fit the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, iPhone 8, iPhone XBuyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now), iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone X (Buy Now)
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SIM-Free iPhone X Now Available From Apple Online Store in the United States

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 01:19
Starting today, Apple is offering a SIM-free version of the iPhone X from its online store in the United States, allowing customers to buy an unlocked iPhone without choosing a carrier.

SIM-free versions of the iPhone X in all capacities list the same ~one week delivery estimate available for other iPhone X devices. SIM-free iPhone X models ordered today will arrive on December 12.

SIM-free iPhone X models will work with any carrier and have full support for both CDMA and GSM networks, much like the Sprint and Verizon versions of the new smartphone. iPhone X models from AT&T and T-Mobile do not support CDMA networks and are not compatible with Sprint or Verizon.

Since iPhone X pre-orders kicked off on October 27, Apple has only allowed customers to buy an iPhone X with an AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon SIM, though models purchased in full are listed as unlocked. At launch, Apple was requiring carrier pre-activation to make an iPhone X purchase, but that requirement was lifted in mid-November.

It's been possible to get the equivalent of a SIM-free unlocked iPhone X ordering a Verizon model and paying full price, but now there is an official SIM-free version.

Now that SIM-free iPhone X models are available, Apple is will also soon allow its employees to purchase the iPhone X through the internal employee site at a discount.

Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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Gmail App for iOS Updated With Support for iPhone X

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 00:15
Google today released a new version of its Gmail app for iOS devices, and while not listed as a new feature, the update introduces support for the iPhone X, Apple's newest flagship device.

The new version of the Gmail app allows it to take full advantage of the larger bezel-free display of the iPhone X, doing away with the large black bars that were previously present at the top and bottom of the app.

Google's Gmail app on an iPhone X before and after today's update.
With the new view, you can see an additional email when viewing your main inbox, and there is more room for reading and composing email messages. It also looks much nicer in general without the ugly black bars.

Today's update also introduces support for adding non-Google email accounts to the Gmail app via IMAP.

Google has been slowly updating its iOS apps with iPhone X support and has thus far updated Gmail, Google Maps, and its productivity apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.

Gmail for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: Google, Gmail
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Apple Maps Transit Directions Available in Tampa, Florida

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 00:03
Apple recently updated its Maps app to add transit directions and data for Tampa, Florida, according to Apple's iOS 11 Feature Availability website. Transit directions have been available in Miami, Florida since mid-2016, but have not expanded to other areas of the state.

Transit options available in Tampa include the TECO Line Streetcar System, several bus lines, and Amtrak, which connects to other areas in Florida.

Transit directions were first added to Apple Maps in 2015 as part of iOS 9. At launch, transit information was only available in a handful of cities, but Apple has been working hard to expand the feature to additional locations. Transit information is now live in dozens of cities and countries around the world, with a full list available on Apple's iOS 11 Feature Availability website.

Tags: Apple Maps, transit
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Apple Introduces New Apple Watch Recycling Program Offering Gift Cards Up To $175

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 23:31
Apple today updated its Renew and Recycling program for the Apple Watch, offering Apple Store gift cards for older Apple Watch devices that are in good working condition through a partnership with Brightstar.

Apple previously allowed customers to recycle the Apple Watch through its recycling program, but there were no gift cards offered. Gift cards received from recycling products can be put towards new devices purchased from the Apple Store, either at retail locations or online.

Gift cards are available for original Apple Watch models, Apple Watch Series 1 models, and Apple Watch Series 2 models, with Apple offering between $50 and $175 depending on device. For a 42mm stainless steel Apple Watch Series 2 in full working condition, for example, Apple is offering $175, which is the highest payout available.

For an original 42mm Apple Watch Sport model in good working condition, Apple is offering $50, the lowest payout. These prices are lower than what you might get attempting to sell a device on your own, but higher in some cases than the prices available through other trade-in programs.

Working condition means the device powers on, the enclosure is in good condition, there are no obvious signs of liquid damage, the display is in good condition, and the buttons are operational. Apple does allow for normal wear and tear when it comes to the display and the enclosure, however.

Apple is only offering money for Apple Watch devices that meet all of the above restrictions. For devices that are damaged in some way, Apple offers free recycling through Brightstar, but no gift card.

When recycling an Apple Watch through Brightstar, the company will allow you to use your own shipping or it will send a free shipping box. Customers must make sure the Apple Watch is free of all faults, all data has been wiped, and that the battery is fully charged. It does not appear that charging cables nor Apple Watch bands need to be sent with the Apple Watch.

Apple, in partnership with Brightstar, also offers gift cards when recycling a range of older iPhones, iPads, Macs, PCs, and smartphones from third-party manufacturers.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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Apple Pay Holdout Target Launches New In-App Mobile Payments System

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 21:59
Target today launched its own payments platform, allowing customers to pay for purchases using a new Wallet feature in the dedicated Target app available on iOS and Android devices.

Target's Wallet feature lets customers pay with their Target REDcard and get Cartwheel discounts and benefits all in one phone scan during checkout.

To use the feature, Target customers need to add a Target REDcard to the Wallet in the Target app. REDcard is Target's store-branded credit card, which offers customers discounts on purchases.

When checking out, Target customers will need to open up the Target app, tap on Wallet, scan coupon barcodes and then scan the wallet barcode to make a purchase.

Target's payments service is a barcode-based system, similar to Walmart's dedicated Walmart Pay option, which uses QR codes. While Walmart Pay supports any major credit, debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift card, Target's Wallet appears to be limited to its own RED cards.

Target claims that its new Wallet feature is up to four times faster than other payment types when checking out."Wallet in the Target app makes checkout easier and faster than ever," said Mike McNamara, Target's chief information and digital officer. "Guests are going to love the convenience of having payment, Cartwheel offers, Weekly Ad coupons and GiftCards all in one place with Wallet."Target, like Walmart, is one of the few remaining major companies that have opted not to adopt Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payments service. As a result, Apple Pay is not available in Target stores, but it can be used in the Target app when making online purchases. Target is also a founding member of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a now defunct consortium of retailers that planned to launch a payment platform called CurrentC to compete with Apple Pay.

CurrentC has been delayed indefinitely, and many MCX members like Best Buy and Rite-Aid have begun accepting Apple Pay.

Earlier this year, Target said it had "no plans" to add support for Apple Pay.

Related Roundup: Apple PayTag: Target
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Apple's New Raleigh Store Opens This Weekend

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 20:49
Apple is opening a new store at the Crabtree Valley shopping mall in Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend, as part of its efforts to modernize its chain of nearly 500 retail locations around the world.

Apple's upcoming store at Crabtree Valley via Will Sigmon
The new store will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, December 9, likely at 8:00 a.m. local time, according to Slice podcast co-host Will Sigmon.

Apple is moving into approximately 9,000 square feet of space, nearly double the size of its current store at Crabtree, which opened in June 2006. The new location will be next to Sephora on the second level.

The new store will feature Apple's latest retail design, which typically includes large glass doors, sequoia wood tables and shelves, a large video screen for Today at Apple sessions, and light boxes spanning the length of the ceiling.

All of Apple's stores opened since September 2015 have been based on the updated aesthetic. Apple has also renovated or relocated around 50 existing stores around the world as part of the modernization of its retail chain.

Apple has one other store in The Triangle at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham, along with two stores in Charlotte and one in Greensboro.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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Apple Supplier Quanta Computer Teams Up With Lumus to Make Lenses for Augmented Reality Smart Glasses

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 18:40
Apple manufacturing partner Quanta Computer has teamed up with Israeli-based augmented reality company Lumus to manufacture lenses for smart glasses, reports Bloomberg.

Lumus designs displays for AR glasses and will use Quanta for manufacturing purposes. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lumus CEO Ari Grobman said Quanta, which led a $45 million investment in Lumus in 2016, will also be able to produce AR lenses for other tech companies.

Totem headset from VRvana, the virtual reality company Apple recently purchased
The partnership will result in more affordable lenses for wearable augmented reality products, lowering the overall cost for future products. "Quanta has suggested that full AR headsets would be priced for less than the cost of a high-end cell phone. That's a big deal," Grobman told Bloomberg.

It's not clear if Quanta and Lumus are working with Apple on a future augmented reality headset or smart glasses, but it is a possibility as rumors suggest Apple has a wearable augmented reality product in the works.

The latest rumors indicate Apple is developing an AR headset with a dedicated display, a built-in processor, and a reality operating system called "rOS." Apple is still in the prototyping phase and is exploring different input methods like touch panels, voice activation, head gestures, and more, and it is exploring the types of applications where such a product could be used.

Apple has an aggressive timeline for its augmented reality headset and is aiming to finish development by 2019 ahead of a 2020 release, but there could be delays and changes to the product as work continues.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
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Apple Releases tvOS 11.2 for 4th and 5th Generation Apple TV Models

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 18:05
Apple today released tvOS 11.2, the second major update to the tvOS operating system designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 11.2 comes just over one month after the release of tvOS 11.1, the first tvOS 11 update.

tvOS 11.2 can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System --> Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates turned on will be upgraded to tvOS 11.2 automatically.

According to release notes provided during the beta testing period, tvOS 11.2 enables a new AVDisplayManager feature for developers, which is designed to allow the device to automatically switch video display modes to match the native frame rate and dynamic range of video content.

tvOS 11.2 brings a new Sports section to the dedicated TV app, which offers up access to live sports games through integration with the ESPN app. The Sports app can be accessed through a new "Sports" tab at the bottom of the app, and it offers up custom content based on team preferences and current sports seasons.

The update also includes support for switching the Apple TV 4K display output to SDR for apps that are GPU-bound when running in HDR and it re-introduces the Unwatched category in Home Sharing for Movies, TV Shows, and Home Videos.

Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Will Start Paying Ireland Billions Owed in Back Taxes 'Early Next Year'

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 17:20
In August 2016 the European Commission ruled that Apple must repay 13 billion euros ($15.46 billion) in back taxes dating between 2003 and 2014. According to the EU, the taxes were avoided with the help of sweetheart tax deals from Ireland, and today The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will now begin paying these back taxes "as soon as early next year."

Ireland's Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, reports that Apple and Ireland have agreed to terms of an escrow fund for the money, setting a pace for Apple to begin repaying the taxes in Q1 2018. Apple's payment will sit in the escrow fund while both sides continue to appeal the EU's decision in court.

In October 2017, the EU announced its intention to take Ireland to court for its failure to recover Apple's back tax sum, with Ireland citing the escrow account as the reason why negotiations and repayment were being held up. Now, Donohoe said the next steps will be to determine who operates the escrow account and who manages the fund once Apple begins the repayment process. The EU said that it will only close court proceedings against Ireland once Apple's back taxes are recovered in full.
Ireland will begin collecting €13 billion ($15.46 billion) in back taxes from Apple Inc. as soon as early next year after both sides agreed to the terms of an escrow fund for the money, Ireland’s finance chief said Monday.

In a statement, Apple said, “We have a dedicated team working diligently and expeditiously with Ireland on the process the European Commission has mandated. We remain confident the General Court of the EU will overturn the Commission’s decision once it has reviewed all the evidence.” The center of the EU's argument is that Irish revenue commissioners gave Apple unfair advantages between 1991 and 2007 by allowing the company to move income from the European market through two "non-resident" head office subsidiaries based in Ireland.

Ireland's government has stated it "fundamentally disagrees" with the EU's analysis of the tax situation, leading to its appeal. For Apple, the company said that the EU made "fundamental errors" in the calculations related to the taxes it owes, arguing that the bulk of the profits during this period are due in the United States. Apple CEO Tim Cook put it more succinctly after the first ruling came out, calling the tax avoidance claims "total political crap."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags:, Ireland
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Apple Pay Cash Now Available for iOS 11.2 Users

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 17:03
Apple released iOS 11.2 early in order to address a serious date bug that was affecting some users on December 2, and while the update introduced Apple Pay Cash, the feature was not yet activated by Apple.

Because it wasn't activated, Apple Pay Cash was not usable, despite being listed as a feature in the update's release notes. Apple today made Apple Pay Cash officially available in the United States, so it can be used by all iPhone and iPad owners who have iOS 11.2 installed. Apple Pay Cash is just now rolling out, so it may take a bit of time before it's fully functional and available for everyone.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Apple Pay Cash is Apple's new peer-to-peer payments service, designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers, much like Square Cash or Venmo. The service is currently limited to the United States.

Using Apple Pay Cash, you can send and receive money through iMessage conversations using the Messages app. Cash is sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app and can be used for purchases or transferred to a bank account. For more on Apple Pay Cash, make sure to check out our how to.

Apple Pay Cash will also be available on the Apple Watch once watchOS 4.2 has been installed, and we're expecting to see watchOS 4.2 later this week.

Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iOS 11
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Apple Classifies 2011 Mac Mini as Obsolete

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 15:36
Apple this week added all Mac mini models released in mid 2011 to its public-facing vintage and obsolete products list.

Mid 2011 models have officially been classified as vintage or obsolete as of November 30, 2017, according to an internal memo distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and later obtained by MacRumors.

The distinction means that Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers will no longer repair or service the 2011 Mac mini, given over five years have passed since it was last manufactured, except where required by law.

The only regions exempted include California and Turkey, where customers may still obtain service for up to two additional years.

Apple repairs and services products for up to five years after they are no longer manufactured, and 2011 Mac mini models have now eclipsed that coverage period after being discontinued in late 2012.

2011 Mac mini models were the first with a Thunderbolt port, and the first without an optical disc drive for CDs/DVDs.

It has been over 1,100 days since Apple last refreshed the Mac mini, according to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide. The computer is still powered by Intel's dual-core Haswell processors, now five generations old.

When Apple announced plans for a modular Mac Pro, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the Mac mini "is an important product" in the company's lineup, but he didn't confirm if a new machine is in the works.

Apple CEO Tim Cook likewise said the Mac mini will be an "important part" of Apple's product lineup going forward in a recent email.

Related Roundup: Mac miniTag: vintage and obsoleteBuyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Don't Buy)
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Facebook Announces Messenger App for Kids That Parents Can Remotely Monitor

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 13:54
Facebook today is rolling out a preview for a new standalone app aimed at kids under the age of 13, which the company says was built to make it easier for kids to "safely video chat and message with family and friends." The "Messenger Kids" preview is available only on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad in the United States, letting young family members download the app, which can then be controlled by their parent's Facebook account.

Facebook said that it developed the app with guidance from the National PTA, as well as experts in child development and online safety. Messenger Kids does not require children to create a Facebook account, but instead asks parents to download the app, authenticate it, and then create a miniature profile of their kid that is linked to the parent's Facebook account.

Once parents set up an account, kids can have one-on-one or group video calls only with contacts approved by their parents. The home screen of the app shows these approved contacts, as well as which are online.
Whether it’s using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she’s working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone. Like other Facebook apps, there are a wide variety of masks, emojis, and sound effects to use within video chats. Kids will be able to send photos, videos, and text messages -- and edit them with GIFs, frames, stickers, and doodling tools -- to their friends also on Messenger Kids, as well as adult family members. The adult contacts will receive these messages on their normal Messenger app.

For parents, there will now be a Messenger Kids parental controls panel on their own Facebook app, where they can approve or disallow certain contacts from being able to talk with their kid. Facebook said that there are "no ads" in Messenger Kids and any of the child's information from the app "isn't used for ads."

Messenger Kids is available on the iOS App Store for free starting today [Direct Link], and Facebook confirmed that there are no in-app purchases. For more information, visit Facebook's new website for the kid-focused app.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Messenger
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Spotify Testing Like/Dislike Feature for Songs in Discover Weekly Playlists

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 13:19
Spotify is quietly testing a new feature that enables listeners to provide positive or negative feedback on track selections in Discover Weekly playlists.

First spotted by Mashable, Spotify has started including a small heart symbol and a blocked sign at the lower left corner of the desktop app interface when a song is playing in a Discover Weekly playlist. When users hover over the heart or blocked sign, a description overlay shows "Like" or "Don't like", respectively.

Clicking "Like" adds the track to the listener's library, while clicking "Don't like" causes a dialog to appear asking whether it's the song or the artist the user isn't keen on. Selecting either ensures that track/artist doesn't show in Discover Weekly again.

According to Spotify, it is testing the like/dislike buttons as a possible new feature for Discover Weekly (they can already be found in the Daily Mix), but they won't appear for everyone, and the streaming service still hasn't decided if a full rollout will follow.

Spotify's Discover Weekly playlist has been a hit with subscribers. Spotify announced in May 2016 that more than 40 million people had used the playlist service, streaming just under five billion tracks in under a year. As Mashable notes, some users have been requesting like/dislike buttons for the playlists for at least a couple of years.

Tag: Spotify
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