All Articles Tagged "apple"

Leave Your Credit Cards At Home: Apple Pay Offers A Virtual Payment Process

October 21st, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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The just-debuted Apple Pay may replace your wallet. But it will definitely change the way retailers and restaurants in the United States do business.

Apple Pay is the tech giant’s mobile payment product and it works on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for online as well as brick-and-mortar store purchases. Industry experts say this could mean the end of physical credit cards. Already, checkout counters in more than 220,000 stores, such as Whole Foods, McDonald’s and Chevron, are expected to soon be equipped with readers.

To use Apple Pay, you have to position the iPhone near one of the readers at a store, hold your finger on your Touch ID and the item paid for. “A vibration and a beep will let users know that checkout was successful. There’s no need to do anything else,” reports ABC News.

As far as security concerns with Apple Pay, neither Apple nor merchants will see or store any of your private data. So need to worry about the current rash of security breaches that have plagued many major retailers.

You merely take a photo of your credit card and add it to their phone’s Passbook. Once you do this, the card is assigned a unique device account number, encrypted, and stored in the phone’s Secure Element Chip.

And at check out, “the device account number and a dynamic security code are used to complete the transaction. Apple will never know what you purchased, the company said, and you’ll still get rewards points on the credit cards you use,” reports ABC News.

You can also use Apple Pay with the two new iPads that hit the market last week — the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3. Users add their debit or credit card info from their iTunes account or take a photo with the tablet’s camera. When users want to pay for something, they tap the home button and the transaction is complete.

Apple Pay also works such apps as Target, Uber and OpenTable.

Apple Unveils Two New iPads, Two New Desktops, New Software

October 17th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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On October 16th, Apple had another one of it’s much talked about and hyped about announcements. This time wasn’t as awe-inducing as the iPhone announcement but there are quite a few interesting updates, new devices, and an official roll out of some features we’ve been expecting. Here’s a rundown of the highlights from Apple’s latest announcement.

Apple’s New Operating System iOS 8 Debuts Today

September 17th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Get ready! Because iOS 8 is coming to an iPhone near you! iPhone users won’t need to purchase the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus to get in on all the amazing new features and updates from Apple. Today at 1 PM EST the new software update equipped with all the features we’ve been waiting for will become available.

Back in June, the company announced the new software that includes better photo editing options, a way to duck out of those pesky group chats, and a smart keyboard with predictive typing. The HealthKit is part of the update, to help you keep track of your fitness goals and health needs. There’s a continuity feature to help your work flow, allowing you to start an email on your phone and finish it on your computer, or even start a phone call on your phone and pick it up on your computer. For a quick refresher of the features to expect in this latest update, check out our full breakdown by clicking here.

To get the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update and hit “Download and Install.” It’s best if you make sure your phone is plugged in while doing this. If you don’t have enough space on your phone to do the update wirelessly, simply plug in your phone to iTunes and complete the update through your laptop. The update is available to iPhone 4S, 5, 5C and 5S owners. iPads are also included (with the exception of the first generation versions). iPod Touch 5th generation editions will also be eligible for the update.

This software update is  great for those who are missing out on getting their hands on the new iPhone’s set to hit stores this Friday, September 19th. This year iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus pre-sales broke records, selling four million phones within 24 hours.

Following Settlement Rejection, Apple & Google Return To Talks With Disgruntled Tech Workers In Hiring Class Action

September 5th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Denys Prykhodov /

Denys Prykhodov /

Apple’s already getting enough bad press over the celebrity nude photo hack. Maybe by settling a mega class action lawsuit, they can help redeem themselves.

Tech companies have finally returned to the table to resume talks with suing workers over a hiring lawsuit. The companies — Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe — have returned to mediation talks with tech workers in a high-profile lawsuit over Silicon Valley hiring practices, according to a court filing.

The companies were accused of conspiring with each other to avoid hiring each other’s employees. The talks are continuing following a rejection by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, of a proposed $324.5 million settlement in the class action case. Koh said it was too low, and that due to the strength of the case the plaintiffs deserve more.

“Tech employees alleged that the conspiracy limited their job mobility and, as a result, kept a lid on salaries,” reports The Chicago Tribune.  The case has been going on since 2011 and it has been followed closely because it could open the gate for other lawsuits. A class-action lawsuit over the lack of diversity in hiring the tech sector should probably have been expected given the industry’s acknowledged issues with hiring women and minorities.

The current case is based mainly on emails in which Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt, and some of their rivals came up with a scheme to avoid poaching each other’s prized employees, especially the engineers.

According to Koh, Jobs was probably the mastermind of the plan. She said when she rejected the settlement, that there was “substantial and compelling evidence” that Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy.”

A hearing is set for Sept. 10.

Only 7 Percent Of Apple’s Employees In The US Are Black

August 12th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Apple is the latest company to announce its diversity numbers in the US and, hold on to your hats (just kidding), most of the people working at the company in this country are White men.

According to the report, released just today on its website, 55 percent of the company’s employees are White, 15 percent are Asian, 11 percent are Hispanic and seven percent are Black. The figures are similar when you look only at the staffers in tech positions — 54 percent White, 23 percent Asian, seven percent Hispanic and six percent Black — and those in non-tech positions — 56 percent White, 14 percent Hispanic, nine percent Asian and nine percent Black.

Seventy percent of staffers are male and 30 percent are female.

Apple has 98,000 staffers around the world.

“Let me say up front: As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page,” writes Tim Cook in a memo accompanying the numbers. “They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we’re committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.”

The website makes a point of showcasings people of different ethnicities and sexual orientations to highlight the company’s commitment. Cook also calls out one staffer in particular, Kim Paulk at a store in Manhattan, who has a condition that has resulted in diminished sight and hearing. She works with a service dog Gemma that people have taken to calling a “seeing iDog.”

It’s clear that Apple has a broader definition of diversity. But the numbers don’t lie. Apple is one of the last big digital companies to reveal its diversity numbers, though they tell the same story. At the moment, diversity in STEM professions is a hot topic. But the solution will require a long-term commitment. The company gets that also.

“Beyond the work we do creating innovative tools for our customers, improving education is one of the best ways in which Apple can have a meaningful impact on society. We recently pledged $100 million to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring cutting-edge technologies to economically disadvantaged schools. Eighty percent of the student population in the schools we will equip and support are from groups currently underrepresented in our industry,” the memo continues.

h/t Business Insider

The 250 New Emojis Are Not What We Were Expecting

June 17th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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via Unicode

via Unicode

Unicode Consortium (the company that regulates the presentation of text across software platforms and devices) officially released version 7.0 that comes with close to 250 new characters including: shopping bags, a bed, a camera with flash, and the highly sought after “back of envelope.” Needless to say, this is not quite the update we were expecting. The good news is, you can now officially give people the finger via text. The Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended is among the new emoji characters set to come in this new update. The bad news is the only hand that we’ll see will still look like a white person’s hand.

After Apple received an email from MTV about the lack of diverse emoji characters, Apple responded. However, since Apple does not create or control the emojis, they’re actively working with the Unicode Consortium to update the standard and create more diversity amongst the emoji characters.

Celebrities like Tahj Mowry and even Miley Cyrus agree that there needs to be more ethnicities and races reflected in our emoji symbols, but since this new update doesn’t quite add brown hands or faces to the character set we will have to continue to wait and see. While the Consortium released their update yesterday, the new emoji characters will not be available on your phones until a software update is issued that would allow your phone to support Unicode 7.0, which some predict will arrive sometime in July.

You can check out the full list of new emoji characters here.

Hello, iOS 8: This Is The Apple Update You’ve Been Waiting For

June 5th, 2014 - By Rhonesha Byng
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Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It looks like Apple may have been listening to us after all. Consider some of the most annoying features on your iPhone, or things you wish you could change (like too many group chats, text messages interrupting an Instagram post or a tweet). Well it’s likely that many of those concerns are addressed in the newest software update from Apple.

Earlier this week, Apple introduced their latest operating system, iOS8. Set to become available to iPhone users this Fall, (around the same time the rumored iPhone 6 is speculated to make its debut) it brings a host of welcome additions and improvements. The updates and upgrades seem to be a combination of  features borrowed from 3rd party apps in addition to features already available on Android phones. Nonetheless, Apple is taking major strides in the smarthome space and the health space. Better late than never, right?

Here are the new features part of iOS 8.

Apple Introduces New iOS 8 System & OS X Yosemite

June 2nd, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple introduced its latest operating system, the OS X Yosemite, and the iOS 8 system at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWCD), with NBC News reporting that the new system creates “a more uniform experience across Apple’s laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones.” Both systems come with a number of new features that have been hinted at and asked for.

As previously mentioned, the smart home app is coming, and it will be able to do things like dim your lights. Healthkit will compile information like the calories burned and the steps taken by the app’s user. There’s going to be more Siri, and a version of the “Swype” keyboard function that’s currently available on Android devices will be on the new devices. The new systems will be available in the fall.

Both systems are also offering an upgrade to its Dropbox-like storage system, iCloud. Mashable says that, on Yosemite, “Storing and editing documents in the cloud — with different kinds of apps — is enabled through the service, and it’s compatible with Windows devices, too.” While offering more space, the price is also dropping  on this service. The iCloud Photo Library will offer a similar system for all of your pictures. The version available on Yosemite won’t be ready until 2015.

Welcome messaging upgrades have also been made on the mobile iOS system, including an option to turn a note from audio to text. And if you’re one of the many people who wanted a Family Sharing option, here it is, offering the ability to share items bought on iTunes and a notification if one person tries to purchase apps.

“Until recently, Apple benefited from being the first choice of app developers to build programs on its devices,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “However, as Android’s share has grown globally, to roughly 80% of phones sold last year, more developers are creating apps for both platforms at the same time or for Android first.”

The Journal also reports that Apple is seeing some dollars and cents benefits of late after a number of financial moves, including improved earnings. But this WWCD is also the opportunity to build some buzz around what’s coming. Now we wait for the tech critics, early adopters and various gurus to have at it and let us know if it’s worth the excitement.

Music Mogul Jimmy Iovine Says Bye To Interscope, Hello To Apple

May 30th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Most people think of Interscope Records and Jimmy Iovine, the man who co-founded the company 25 years ago, are synonymous. Now Iovine has announced he will step down as Chairman and CEO later this year, reports Damaging The Streets. The news comes on the heels of he and Dr. Dre finalizing a deal to sell their joint venture, Beats By Dre, to Apple for a whopping $3 billion.

With that kind of money, you’d think Iovine would retire and ride off into the sunset. But quite the opposite. While he is leaving Interscope, which was once home to Dr. Dre, Eminem and Gwen Stefani, Iovine will join Apple once they acquire Beats this September.  “The $3 billion deal, Apple’s biggest acquisition ever, will make Iovine and Dre senior advisors to Apple’s content division,” reports Time.

Meanwhile over at Interscope, Iovine will be succeeded by John Janick, who will take over Interscope Geffen A&M label (the label took on this new name in 1999 after a merger). Janick was previously COO and president of IGA. He joined the label group in 2012.

“John Janick has exactly what it takes to lead Interscope Geffen A&M: he started his own label, he understands the art of making records and the unique dynamic between a record label and artist, as well as the enormous responsibility that comes with representing one of the greatest artist rosters ever assembled,” Iovine said in a statement. “It’s always been so important to me to be able to identify and train the right successor, so I’m thrilled to have found John Janick. And during the last few years, as I was preparing John to take the reins, Lucian Grainge was transforming UMG, a transformation that made it possible for me to make this transition knowing that Interscope is in good hands.”

Janick’s label is called Fueled By Ramen. Interscope is the top US label.

It is an end of an era at Interscope, and the dawning of a new one at Apple.

Update: Apple Announces Beats Deal For $3 Billion

May 28th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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From left to right: Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, Eddy Cue. via BusinessWire

Update: It’s official. Apple is buying Beats for $3 billion with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine joining Apple to work with Eddy Cue, Apple’s executive in charge of Internet services. Writes The New York Times“The Beats brand will remain separate from Apple’s and Apple will offer both Beats’s streaming music service and premium headphones.” Apple’s iTunes service will continue alongside these Beats offerings.

The deal is $2.6 billion in cash and $400,000 in stock. This is Apple’s biggest acquisition deal ever.

“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Iovine in a statement about the deal.


When we first heard Apple was in talks to buy Beats Electronics, the company owned by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, reports made it seem as though the $3.2 billion deal was imminent. Nearly three weeks later and still, nothing.

Now The New York Post says the deal will happen next week and the price has dropped just a touch to $3 billion.

Some wondered if the leaked clip of Dre and Tyrese Gibson was holding up the deal. Actually, the Post says, it’s the fact that Beats Music, the company’s streaming service, only had 111,000 subscribers in March. Spotify, to contrast, has 10 million paying customers and another 30 million who use it for free. One of the reasons Apple is said to have set its sights on Beats was for the streaming music possibilities, which has become increasingly popular with fans. That could have led to a renegotiation of the price.

Still, Beats is pulling in $1.3 billion in sales of its Beats headphones, so there’s great value to bringing it into the Apple fold.

Separately but related, there’s the matter of whether or not Dre will become “hip hop’s first billionaire.” If this story is true and the company sells at $3 billion, Dre would receive $750 million from the deal, given his 25 percent ownership of the company. Deduct taxes and take into account that Forbes has placed his earnings from the company in the $275 million range for the last couple of years, and Dre falls shy of the billion-dollar mark. We’re sure he’ll be fine.

Apple is trying to get its mojo back after a slump in innovation that has pushed it out of the top spot for most valuable brand in the world. (Google now occupies that slot.) The company is planning a new iteration of the iPhone with a larger screen and possibly a new smart home that will be introduced at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2. Dre and Iovine are expected to be there.