TIME Charity

Apple Launches Two-Week RED Campaign to Help Fight HIV/AIDS

A red ribbon is put on the sleeves of a man by his friend to show support for people living with HIV during a program to raise awareness about AIDS on World AIDS Day in Kathmandu
A red ribbon is put on the sleeves of a man by his friend to show support for people living with HIV during a program to raise awareness about AIDS on World AIDS Day in Kathmandu on Dec. 1, 2013 Navesh Chitrakar—Reuters

The fundraiser will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 7

Apple is teaming up with the charity RED to launch a two-week campaign across its app, retail and online stores to raise money to help fight HIV/AIDS and has recruited 25 top appmakers to help.

All proceeds will be donated to the Global Fund to be used in providing antiretroviral drugs and treatment to those suffering from AIDS, USA Today reports.

“We’ve been involved with RED from the beginning and have raised $75 million, but we were convinced there was an opportunity to get people to rediscover this cause,” said Apple’s senior vice president of software and services, Eddy Cue.

The appmakers taking part in the campaign have modified parts of their products to include new RED-themed features. For example, customers who buy Clash of Clans can unlock RED gems and those playing FIFA 15 Ultimate Team can complete in a RED tournament.

Apple’s campaign will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 7, and customers who purchase one of the 25 apps during the two weeks will see all of their money for the app donated to the charity. The money spent on any upgrades will also go to fight HIV/AIDS.

[USA Today]

TIME apps

How One Word Made a Massive Change to Apple’s App Store

Apps are seen on Apple iPhone 5s January 22, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Karen Bleier—AFP/Getty Images

Apps aren't labeled "FREE" anymore. They're labeled "GET"

Free apps on Apple’s App Store aren’t listed as “FREE” anymore — they’re listed as “GET.”

The change in the App Store’s download buttons arrives after the European Commission this summer forced Google to eliminate the word “free” on Google Play. That’s because the word “free” was misleading, the Commission said in a statement addressing both Google and Apple, as apps tagged with the “free” label could still have in-app purchases — a big revenue driver for app developers, particularly with mobile games. While Google’s change was seen only in European countries, Apple’s change is worldwide.

Striking the word “free” is also meant to protect children who are misled into making in-app purchases on their parents’ accounts, a situation that’s caused both Apple and Google a few multi-million dollar legal headaches. Apple has previously taken steps to make the App Store more child-friendly by launching a Kids section for children 11 and under.

There is one exception to the App Store’s word swap, though. Apple’s own free apps without in-app purchases, like iMovies, Numbers and Keynote, have retained the “FREE” label.

 

TIME Media

Apple Reportedly Making Beats Music a Pre-Installed iPhone App

Apple Said To Be In Talks To Purchase Beats Headphones Company
Beats headphones are sold along side iPods in an Apple store on May 9, 2014 in New York City. Andrew Burton—Getty Images

The change could come as soon as March

Apple is, unsurprisingly, planning to use the massive reach of the iPhone and iPad to put its newly acquired Beats Music streaming service in front of more people.

The company is planning to make Beats Music one of the pre-installed iOS apps in an upcoming software update, according to the Financial Times. The move could happen as soon as March.

Apple acquired Beats for its headphone and music streaming businesses for $3 billion earlier this year. While the headphones are a bona fide hit, Beats Music is thought to have a tiny user base—founder Jimmy Iovine pegged the number of subscribers at 250,000 in May, whereas rival Spotify has 50 million monthly active users, 12.5 million of whom pay for an ad-free experience.

Making Beats a default iOS app would instantly give it exposure to hundreds of millions of potential new users. But the strategy isn’t fool-proof—iTunes Radio is now a default offering in iOS, but it’s done little to upset Pandora as the king of Internet radio.

MONEY Tech

Why the iPhone 6 Plus Was a Missed Opportunity

Apple CEO Tim Cook wears the Apple Watch and shows the iPhone 6 Plus during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, September 9, 2014.
Stephen Lam—Reuters

If the large iPhones included meaningfully faster processors than their smaller counterparts, this would be yet another selling point used to help drive a richer product mix for Apple.

Back in September, Apple APPLE INC. AAPL 0.7384% launched not one, but two new smartphones. The first was the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, which is the direct successor to the iPhone 5s. The second, and for this discussion the more important one, is the iPhone 6 Plus. This is a 5.5-inch “phablet” that includes a higher resolution display and optical image stabilization. The operating system, too, takes good advantage of the larger screen.

One thing that Apple didn’t do, though, is give the iPhone 6 Plus a beefed up set of internals. It still sports the same one gigabyte of memory that the iPhone 6 features, as well as the same A8 system-on-chip. I believe that, in the future, Apple would be wise to develop, much in the same vein as the “AX” chips for the iPads, a separate processor for the iPhone “Plus” family.

More processing power would be welcome

The iPhone 6 Plus features a 1920-by-1080 pixel display, which means that the on-board graphics processor needs to render a far larger number of pixels than the 1334-by-750 pixel display. For most tasks, the A8 seems to have no issues driving both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

However, for sophisticated 3D games, using the same graphics processor for both a lower-resolution display and a higher-resolution one doesn’t make sense. This need for more graphics horsepower for rendering complex 3D scenes on a high resolution display is likely why Apple provisioned the A8X chip found inside of the iPad Air 2 with a substantially faster graphics processor than it did the A8. It follows that future iPhone “Plus” phones would benefit from more powerful graphics processors.

Yet another selling point, and reason to buy up the stock

If the large iPhones included meaningfully faster processors than their smaller counterparts, this would be yet another selling point used to help drive a richer product mix for Apple.

Given the kinds of volumes that Apple ships of its iPhones — and given how unexpectedly popular the iPhone 6 Plus seems to be — the development costs of a specialized chip for future large iPhones would essentially be lost in the noise. On the other hand, the benefits of the higher performance, particularly in convincing users to go for the iPhone “Plus” rather than the standard iPhone, could be substantial.

It can go beyond chips

Given that Apple sells the “Plus” line of iPhones for a $100 premium to the standard iPhones, the company likely has quite a bit of room to pack more features in while still maintaining a good cost structure. In addition to an improved processor, Apple could also start including higher resolution cameras, as well as more memory, more sensors, and so on.

In other words, while Apple needs to be careful to preserve its margins on the mainstream iPhone, it likely has the freedom to tastefully pack in more device-level features into the “Plus” variant of the iPhone.

On top of that, Apple showed that it is willing to add iPhone 6 Plus-specific software features, such as the “dual pane” mode in apps like Mail. At some point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple introduced its own take on the multi-windowing support found on a number of Android tablets and smartphones as an exclusive to the “Plus” line of iPhones.

This is all good for Apple

I have a lot of faith in Apple’s engineering teams to make sound technical decisions. Given the higher price point that the company can command with its larger iPhones, there seems to be a lot of room for Apple to make the “Plus” line of phone even more premium than it is today. I think investors and consumers alike will begin to see Apple take full advantage of this opportunity in future phone iterations, which should help drive an even richer product mix and market share gains against the Android camp.

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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TIME Gadgets

Apple Just Revealed Lots More Info About the Apple Watch

Apple Watch SDK New Features
View of the Apple watch displayed in a shop on September 30, 2014. Loic Venance—AFP/Getty Images

We can learn a lot from the Apple Watch's developer guidelines

Apple opened the floodgates for Apple Watch developers Tuesday when it made the smartwatch’s Software Development Kit available for the first time. But the SDK isn’t just for coders — it also has lots of hints about what using the Apple Watch will be like for consumers when it hits store shelves sometime next year.

Here are some new discoveries about the Apple Watch:

The Apple Watch isn’t a standalone device

The iPhone is pretty much a requirement if you want to use what will be the Apple Watch’s most advanced apps. In Apple’s own words, “a Watch app complements your iOS app; it does not replace it.” Apple Watch apps will essentially run on your iPhone, and the smartwatch will be an extension of your smartphone.

The Apple Watch probably has the most hi-res screen of any smartwatch

We already knew the Apple Watch’s two sizes (just their heights, not widths). But now we know their display resolutions, too. The 38mm watch is 272×340 pixels, while the 42mm watch is 312×390 pixels. Apple says those are good enough resolutions to be labeled as Retina displays, which Apple has said is a feature of the watch.

Still, it’s unclear exactly how sharp the displays will be. Some estimates have put the Apple Watch screen clarity on the level of the iPhone 5, which has a more hi-res display than iPads and MacBook Pros. If that’s the case, the Apple Watch could boast a better display than the current smartwatch market leader, Samsung Gear S.

The Apple Watch could come in more sizes

The way Apple has set up the Apple Watch’s interface is more like a website than a smartphone, which should make it easier for developers to adapt their apps to work on larger or smaller watches sometime down the road. While our wrists are only so wide, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say Apple is considering new ways to build all sorts of screens.

There’s a brand new font

The new font, called San Francisco, was “designed specifically for legibility on Apple Watch,” according to Apple’s developers’ site. The sans serif font looks a bit like Arial and is meant to take up less horizontal space.

There are two types of notifications

Apple gave users a preview of how notifications work during the Apple Watch unveiling, but we know a bit more now. There are two types of “looks:” the Short Look, which briefly provides a “discreet, minimal amount of information” when you raise your wrist, and the Long Look, which gives you more info if you tap on a Short Look notification or keep your wrist held up.

TIME Smartphones

People Are Already Talking About the iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7 Rumors
An Apple logo is seen on the back on a smartphone on August 6, 2014 in London, England. Peter Macdiarmid—Getty Images

Here's what's already being speculated about for the next version

The iPhone 6 is only two months old, but iPhone 7 rumors are already getting traction.

Among devoted Apple followers, there’s a general consensus that the iPhone 7—if it’s not released as the iPhone 6S, following previous convention—will feature at least a 4.7-in. screen size, which is the size of Apple’s iPhone 6, according to MacWorld.

There’s also the possibility that several features already available on the Apple Watch may make their way to the next iPhone. These include sapphire glass, a highly durable screen material that was rumored for the iPhone 6, and wireless charging, which is also known as “inductive charging.”

Another rumor is that Apple could introduce “sidewall displays,” which allow the screen to curve onto the phone’s edges. The speculation is supported by Apple’s filing of a patent that describes smartphones with flexible displays that can be bent over the edges.

In accordance with how Apple usually upgrades its iPhones, users can likely expect improved cameras, performance and battery life. It’s also probable the iPhone 7 will arrive next September, the month Apple usually announces its newest iPhone.

Of course, new iPhone rumors don’t come without their fair share of somewhat outlandish features. There’s speculation that the iPhone 7 could have face-scanning technology, and even a rumor that it could have holographic screens.

Prices are rumored to be between $650 and $850 without a contract, which would make it the most expensive iPhone to date, according to Inquisitr.

[Mac World]

TIME Companies

Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 Update Should Make Your iPhone 4S and iPad 2 Useable Again

Apple iOS 8.1.1
The components of a smartphone sold as an Apple Inc. iPhone 4S are arranged around the company's logo for a photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Upgrade will improve performance of two legacy devices that were slowed down after installing iOS 8.1

Did your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 cease to function normally after you installed iOS 8? Apple is finally out with a fix.

Apple released iOS 8.1.1 on Tuesday, an upgrade promising performance improvements on older iPhone 4S and iPad 2 devices that experienced major slowdowns after installing iOS 8, according to Apple. The new upgrade also includes bug fixes and increased stability alongside the speeding up of the two legacy devices.

iOS 8.1.1 can be downloaded for free through the Software Update section on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

 

 

TIME Tablets

Nokia’s New Tablet Looks Exactly Like an iPad Mini

The surprise new tablet pits Nokia against Microsoft

Nokia is returning to consumer electronics with an Android-powered tablet that looks an awful lot like Apple’s iPad mini.

The Finnish company’s N1 has the same 7.9-inch screen size and the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as the iPad mini, as well as nearly identical placement of the camera, buttons and headphone jack, the Verge reports. It has made some improvements, too: at 318 grams and 6.9mm thin, the N1 is thinner and lighter than the Apple equivalent.

The tablet will go on sale at the beginning of 2015 in China, ahead of other countries, the BBC reports.

Other N1 specs include a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It has a 5-megapixel version at the front, and an 8-megapixel camera at the rear.

Microsoft completed its takeover of Nokia’s former mobile-devices business in April. Nokia’s entry into the tablet space pits the two companies against each other. Microsoft sells its own Nokia-labelled kit, including the Lumia 2520 Windows RT-powered tablet.

Nokia licensed its design and brand to Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn in order to make the product, effectively outsourcing production and supply chain management.

TIME technology

Report: iPhone 6 Outsells 6 Plus by 3-to-1

Apple iPhone 6/6 Plus Launch in Japan
New iPhone models at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus at the Apple Omotesando store on September 19, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Chris McGrath—Getty Images

And buyers are after more storage, too

The iPhone 6 sold at three times the rate of the 6 Plus, according to a new report, indicating that consumers are swinging to the smaller, more budget-friendly model by a wide margin.

A survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners broke down iPhone purchases by model in the first 30 days of availability, figures that Apple does not normally disclose to the public. The results show a strong uptake of the iPhone 6, which accounted for 68% of purchases, followed by the iPhone 6 Plus, at roughly one-quarter of sales. The remainder went to older models.

And an interesting note about storage: The buyers’ average was 48 gigabytes, or double from a year ago.

TIME Security

Apple Isn’t Aware of Any iOS ‘Masque Attack’ Incidents Yet

Fackbook Acquires WhatsApp For $16 Billion
The Facebook and WhatsApp app icons are displayed on an iPhone on February 19, 2014 in San Francisco City. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Spokesperson downplays the threat posed by malware that can mimic an app

Apple has no knowledge yet of an iOS user suffering from a “Masque Attack,” a company spokesperson said Thursday, responding to recent reports that a malware infected app could open a pathway to user accounts.

Cyber security experts at the firm FireEye disclosed the method of attack on Monday, in which a hacker can email or text message a link to a popular app, such as a “New Flappy Bird” game. The link uploads malicious software that replaces an existing app with an identical looking facade and opens a pathway to login credentials and sensitive data.

“We’re not aware of any customers that have actually been affected by this attack,” Apple said in a statement to the San Jose Mercury News, adding that customers should never download apps from unknown sources outside of the App Store.

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, issued a warning Thursday about the attack.

[San Jose Mercury News]

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