TIME apps

5 Can’t-Miss iPhone Apps On Sale This Weekend

Launch Of The iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus
A general view of the iPhone 6 at Apples Covent Garden store launch on September 19, 2014 in London, England. Ben A. Pruchnie—Getty Images

Do some networking with Business Card Reader

Looking to download a few great iPhone apps while saving some money this weekend? Check out these five, all on sale or free for the new few days.

SKRWT

A camera app for the geometrically (or photographically) challenged, SKRWT helps mobile photographers learn composition more effectively. Or, if that’s still difficult, users are taught to fake it with SKRWT’s grid alignment. It also automatically crops your photos for better composition, turning your camera both into a viewfinder and instant editor.

SKRWT is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

Ancient Battle: Rome

Back in the mid 2000s, Rome Total War was responsible for pulling millions of students away from their schoolwork, children from social occasions, spouses from marital duties. It was a strategy game that blew the others out of the water. Ancient Battle: Rome, is, in many ways, a facsimile of the much beloved Rome. Command specialized units in battle against enemy forces. Outflank, outmaneuver, or straight up outnumber your opponent for the win.

Ancient Battle: Rome is on sale for $0.99 in the App Store.

Business Card Reader

Ingenuity, practicality, and technology all cross paths with Business Card Reader. All manner of networking is cut short when you get back from an event and find you have lost a business card, or worse, cannot find it when you need it many months later. Business Card Reader not only photographs a business card, but creates a contact in your iPhone with the information on the card.

Business Card Reader is on sale for $1.99 in the App Store.

Surgeon Simulator

A disturbing version of Operation, Surgeon Simulator takes you into the mind of a surgeon before his patient. It’s honestly a very dark game, allowing users to now perform dental surgery or surgery on an alien body (the latter being the game’s coolest feature.) But the sheer absurdity of the game makes it strangely mesmerizing. Think Goat Simulator meets The Simpson’s Dr. Nick.

Surgeon Simulator is on sale for $3.79 in the App Store.

ShutterSnitch

Perhaps one of the most useful apps for photographers on the move, SutterSnitch allows you to wirelessly transmit images from certain digital cameras to an iPad or iPhone. Although the list of compatible cameras is relatively short at the moment (it includes some popular options like GoPro), it also works with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards and FTP transmitters. Combine this with Pixelmator (which is also on sale for Black Friday), and your iPad suddenly becomes an almost-fully-powered mobile editing station.

SutterSnitch is on sale for $8.99 in the App Store.

TIME Advertising

Watch Apple’s Black Friday iPhone Ads

See six ads from both sides of Apple’s — and America’s — cultural divide.

Having cut the cable TV cord before the busiest shopping day of the year, I had to go to YouTube to see how Apple was promoting its products in advance of Black Friday.

Here’s what I found: Six ads in two days, three for the iPhone and three for Beats by Dre, the headphone-and-streaming-music company acquired by Apple in May for $3 billion.

I liked them all. But they’re very different.

Two white comedians, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, are once again carrying the water for Apple.

Beats’ SoloSelfie-with-iPhone campaign taps into a different celebrity culture.

The iPhone ads

Nov. 24: Gamers

Nov. 24: Reservations

Nov. 26: Voice text

The Beats by Dre ads

Nov. 26: #SoloSelfie Kenan Thompson Tutorial

Nov. 26: #SoloSelfie

Nov. 26: #SoloSelfie – The Tutorial

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Companies

Apple’s Market Cap Just Hit $700 Billion for the First Time

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
People attend the Apple keynote at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College on Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The number has doubled since Tim Cook took over as CEO from Steve Jobs three years ago

Apple hit a major symbolic milestone Tuesday morning as its market capitalization topped $700 billion for the first time.

The tech giant’s market cap has doubled since Tim Cook took over as CEO three years ago when Steve Jobs stepped down from the role. The company’s stock has hit several new record highs lately on the heels of September’s wildly successful launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple shares have jumped by 21% since the company unveiled the new smartphones at a product event that also heralded the arrival of the much-hyped Apple Watch and the new Apple Pay mobile payments system.

The Apple Pay service became available last month, while the Apple Watch will go on sale in 2015.

But, the latest iterations of the iPhone have been driving up the company’s value since they went on sale in September and posted a record opening weekend by selling more than 10 million units. Apple is expected to keep selling those phones at a swift pace over the holiday season, with at least one analyst forecasting 71.5 million iPhone shipments in the fourth quarter.

At this point, Apple’s market cap is higher than the gross domestic product of all but 19 of the world’s countries, coming just behind Saudi Arabia (GDP of $745 billion) and ahead of Switzerland ($650 billion), according to data compiled by the World Bank.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

MONEY Tech

Why the War Between Apple and Android is Over

A visitor looks at Apple's website on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, in a Samsung pop-up shop in Soho in New York.
Richard Levine—Alamy

This is Tim Cook's Apple now—and Cook vehemently disdains litigation.

I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.

– Steve Jobs

You’ve undoubtedly heard this infamous quote by now from the late Apple APPLE INC. AAPL -0.0588% co-founder, which was included in his official biography that was published shortly after his death in 2011. Steve Jobs’ loathing for Google GOOGLE INC. GOOG 0.2702% Android was perfectly captured in this quote.

Over the years, this “thermonuclear war” has raged on, with Apple primarily targeting rival Android OEMs as opposed to Google itself. Naturally, the highest profile case was against Samsung, but Apple has also conducted its patent warfare through The Rockstar Consortium, a joint venture owned by 5 prominent tech companies. Apple and Microsoft are two of the main backers.

Rockstar was the entity that outbid Google in the 2011 auction to acquire Nortel’s massive patent portfolio, winning out with a $4.5 billion offer. Apple put up $2.6 billion of that total, presumably making it the majority owner of Rockstar.

That portfolio included important intellectual property surrounding Wi-Fi networking and cellular connectivity, among many other areas related to mobile technology. Rockstar proceeded to sue Google and numerous Android OEMs like Samsung and HTC with said patents a little over a year ago.

Well, Rockstar and Google just settled their differences, which could signal that Apple’s “thermonuclear war” is over.

War changes

No dollar terms for the settlement were disclosed, but the bigger story here is an underlying strategic shift for Apple. Cisco CISCO SYSTEMS INC. CSCO 0.784% was also on the receiving end of patent litigation, and similarly just announced a settlement with Rockstar that will result in a $188 million pre-tax charge.

The patent wars have raged on for years, with little effect on the underlying competitive dynamics of the smartphone industry. From a financial perspective, litigation is unlikely to be worth the trouble, and it now seems that Rockstar’s shareholders (the 5 tech companies) are wary of the distraction and want to exit the consortium. Chances are that Rockstar will never come out ahead compared to the $4.5 billion it paid.

Apple also settled its litigation with Motorola Mobility earlier this year, while the handset maker was still officially under Google’s multi-colored flag (Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola closed in October). At the time, Apple and Google said they would work together in advocating for patent reform. In August, Apple and Samsung settled all of their outstanding patent disputes outside of the U.S. as well. Neither of these settlements includes any cross-licensing agreements.

Why the sudden change of iHeart?

A changing of the guard

There are a handful reasons why Apple’s war on Android would never bear fruit and why it may be giving up.

Apple’s primary goal was never to make money from these patent suits (it makes plenty of money as it is). It was trying to block popular Android devices from the market. But the underlying strategy of trying to preclude Android devices from the market was inherently doomed, considering the open-source nature of the platform and the sheer number of OEMs making Android devices.

Perhaps most importantly, the strategy was implemented under Steve Jobs. As you can see from the quote above, he had rather strong feelings on the matter. So strong, in fact, that they weren’t pragmatic. Not only would spending Apple’s $40 billion in cash (at the time) be an obvious breach of fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, but the company would have no chance of succeeding at keeping Android off the market. Naturally, Jobs was probably just being a little melodramatic.

But this is Tim Cook’s Apple now, which is very different than Steve Jobs’ Apple in more ways than one. Specifically, Cook vehemently disdains litigation. Here’s Cook on the Q2 2012 earnings conference call, less than a year after becoming CEO:

I’ve always hated litigation and I continue to hate it. We just want people to invent their own stuff. So if we could get some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that’s the case in a fair settlement on the stuff that’s occurred, I would highly prefer to settle versus battle. But the key thing is that it’s very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff.

Philosophically, Apple just doesn’t want its rivals to continue copying its hardware and software designs. Legally, the company has limited options on how to stop it, particularly as it’s become painfully obvious that patent suits aren’t effective. That’s especially true for a Chinese competitor like Xiaomi, which mostly operates outside the jurisdiction of U.S. patent courts while China is notorious for weak intellectual property rights.

Fighting words

Without a doubt, Apple is just as upset about Xiaomi’s copying ways as it is about Samsung’s copying ways. Design chief Jony Ive has spoken twice in recent months regarding the Chinese smartphone maker. Here’s Ive at a Vanity Fair conference in October:

I’ll stand a little bit harsh. I don’t see it as flattery. When you’re doing something for the first time, you don’t know it’s going to work. You spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied. I have to be honest, the first thing I can think, all those weekends that I could have at home with my family but didn’t. I think it’s theft, and it’s lazy.

Ive’s comments at London’s Design Museum last week echo the same notion:

We may seem a little testy when things we have been working on for eight years are copied in six months – but it wasn’t inevitable that it was going to work. It’s not copying; it’s theft. They stole our time, time we could have had with our families. I actually feel quite strongly about it. It’s funny – I was talking to somebody and they said do you think when somebody copies what you do it’s flattering? No.

Naturally, Xiaomi adamantly denies the allegations. You be the judge.

The market will work itself out

By his own admission, Ive is not a shrewd businessman; Ive is a designer and he’s justifiably angry. However, the fact still stands that Apple has little effective recourse to stop companies like Xiaomi or Samsung.

It turns out that the solution is just as easily captured in another Steve Jobs quote. Apple’s most viable strategy in beating Android is simply to compete as aggressively as it can by creating the best products. In 2010, Jobs said, “And if we succeed, they’ll buy them. And if we don’t, they won’t. And it’ll all work itself out.”

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 -0.0588% 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]

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