TIME Companies

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Has Plans to Give Away All His Wealth

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, on March 9, 2015
Stephen Lam—Getty Images Apple CEO Tim Cook attends an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, on March 9, 2015

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change”

After paying for his 10-year-old nephew’s college tuition, Apple CEO Tim Cook says, he plans on leaving all his wealth — which today amounts to $120 million — to good causes.

But he won’t simply be writing checks. In an in-depth profile piece featured in the April 1 issue of Fortune magazine, Cook says he wants to approach philanthropy with a coherent, thoughtful, game plan.

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change,” he told Fortune.

To read the entire profile of Tim Cook, click here.

TIME apps

These Are the 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Week

Try Instagram's new collage-making app, Layout

It seems like hundreds of new iPhone apps pop up every week, but which ones should you bother trying? We explored the App Store and found some apps actually worth downloading.

Layout from Instagram

Some clever folks over at Instagram realized they weren’t doing enough to help users make collages or photo montages right in the app, seceding those functions to a plethora of third-party apps. Enter Layout, which lets you tinker with your photos by putting them in a collage or mirror-flipping them for a variety of clever effects. You can then share the results on Instagram or anywhere else on the web.

Layout from Instagram is free in the App Store

PICSPLAY 2

If you’re looking for a far more sophisticated photo-editing app, then PICSPLAY 2 is a necessary download. The app is packed with high-quality editing tools optimized for mobile use. That means you’ll find tools that aren’t only pared down for smaller screens, but ones that work well via swipes rather than needing super-careful fingertip placements to operate. You can completely change a way a photo looks—adjust color, burn parts of the image, eliminate elements, resize and more. It takes some getting used to, but it’s worth learning.

PICSPLAY 2 is free in the App Store

Atari Fit

It’s hard to tell which is the more appealing part of this app: that it offers you new exercises to include in your daily routine, or that it’s a gateway to the old school Atari games that you probably miss dearly. As you complete exercises, you earn experience points which then unlock different Atari games. Working out is just a small price to pay for access to the library of some of the greatest games of all time.

Atari Fit is free in the App Store

Adobe Fill & Sign

It’s total madness that in 2015 there are still moments when employers or landlords want you to fax documents — you might as well send files by carrier pigeon. Bring yourself into the digital age with Adobe Fill & Sign, which lets you scan paper documents or import files from your email inbox to fill out in the app. The files can then be sent electronically or, if you must, printed for snail mail.

Adobe Fill & Sign is free in the App Store

Star Wars™: Card Trader

It’s hard not to be excited for the next Star Wars film — but for those of us eagerly awaiting December 18, this cheesy trading card app can tide you over nicely. The app brings back Star Wars trading cards in digital form, letting you collect your favorite characters and swap with friends. It reminds me of my younger days finding Star Wars pogs in bags of Doritos, which is a level of excitement nobody should miss out on.

Star Wars™: Card Trader is free in the App Store

TIME apps

You Asked: How Can My Phone Help Me Split the Bill?

TIME.com stock photos Money Dollar Bills
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Plenty of apps can make it easier to send money from one person to another

Whether it’s splitting a tab, paying someone back for a few rounds at the bar, or negotiating six months of electricity bill back payments with your roommates, there isn’t always an easy way to square away your debts with friends. You never want to be that person who breaks out the checkbook at dinner.

But you’re in luck: There are plenty of great digital payment apps that can make your life a lot easier.

The most obvious choice for the job is the PayPal app. Once you sign in to your PayPal account, you can link your card or bank account when prompted. If you want to add a second card, you’ll find the option to do so on the app’s home page. In order to transfer funds to a friend’s account, select the option on the bottom left of the app that says “Send.” If your friend also uses PayPal, you send money using their email address.

However, PayPal knocks you with a 2.9% fee for sending money via a credit or debit card account instead of sending from a PayPal account to a PayPal account. To avoid that fee, check out Venmo, an increasing popular mobile payment app that doesn’t knock you with a fee if you link it with a debit card (using a credit card involves a 3% fee).

When you first open Venmo, you’ll be prompted to enter your bank info — stick with a debit card to avoid that fee. If you give Venmo access to your Facebook friends list, you’ll be able to select from a list of your friends already using Venmo, thanks to integration with Facebook’s social graph. You can also search for people on Venmo who aren’t already your Facebook friends by clicking the new transaction button—the upper rightmost gray button—and then typing a name.

Once you have selected your recipient, you’ll be prompted with a number pad on which you’ll be able to decide how much to transfer. Venmo also lets you request payments from people — say, that roommate who still hasn’t doled out his share of last night’s Thai delivery order. If you have somebody you really trust, like a significant other, you can let them take money from you without asking — sort of like having a joint bank account — but that’s probably not the smartest thing to do with casual friends.

Venmo keeps money you receive in a separate account; you can either hang on to that cash to use via Venmo or “cash out” and have it hit your regular bank account in 24 hours.

It’s worth noting here that Venmo recently had a security scare, but it’s taking steps to address those issues. There are other cash-sending alternatives, too: Mobile messaging app Snapchat recently added “Snapcash,” a payment feature that integrates with Square, while Facebook is rolling out a payment option in its Messenger app as well. Which app you use ultimately depends on which ones most of your friends or roommates are using and which one you feel most comfortable linking to your bank accounts.

TIME apps

Instagram’s New ‘Layout’ App Makes it Easy to Create Photo Collages

The new app is Instagram's second standalone product

Instagram is taking a page out of Facebook’s playbook by launching a standalone app that makes it easier to create collages from your favorite photos.

Layout, which launches Monday for Apple’s iOS, comes after the Facebook-owned Instagram found that one in five of its monthly active users were sharing images that combined multiple photos using third-party tools. That represents more than 60 million Instagram users turning to other companies’ software to create these collages.

While Instagram’s first stand-alone app, Hyperlapse, was the brainchild of two of the company’s software engineers, work on Layout started with a top-down decision from Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom. Systrom felt the process of creating collages was too fragmented: Before Layout, users had to use multiple apps, save various versions of images on iPhones’ camera roll, then open the Instagram app to post the results.

With Layout, Instagram sought to make the process as straightforward as possible. When you first open the app, you’re greeted with your camera roll images and the option to sort your photos by most recent. But since 90% of all collage images shared on Instagram are of people, the company tells TIME, Layout also offers a “Faces” option, which instantly brings together all of the portraits available in your photo library.

Instagram's
Instagram’s “Layout”

Once you start selecting images – you can work with up to nine of your photographs at a time – you’re offered a choice of layout options from the traditional horizontal and vertical diptychs all the way to a seamless square grid of nine.

What distinguishes Layout from other collage apps is the complete absence of border options, which Instagram says was a conscious choice, especially since it’s encouraging users to experiment with symmetry effects to create out-of-this-world images. And that’s where the mirror and flip options come in, which, combined with the ability to zoom in and out of each element of your collage, can result in more creative images.

Once you’ve finally tweaked your collage, you’re offered the choice to share it directly on Instagram and Facebook, or to open it in another app.

Without a doubt, Layout’s simplicity – both in its ease of use and the small number of available editing options – will make this app popular among selfie aficionados, a fact from which Instagram doesn’t shy away. Layout even includes a predominant “Photo Booth” mode that will take up to four photos using your iPhone’s front-facing camera and automatically place them into one of 10 available layouts. The feature, says Instagram, is particularly popular in Asia, where the company is looking to grow in the coming months.

In the end, Instagram’s Layout app doesn’t reinvent the wheel, offering little by way of novelty other than a more streamlined collage experience for Instagram’s power users. But that’s all it needs to do: keep Instagram users happy and within the app’s own ecosystem.

TIME apps

These Are the Most Expensive iPhone Apps

Most Expensive iPhone Apps
Philippe Huguen—AFP/Getty Images A man displays an Apple's iPhone 5 smartphone on Feb. 25, 2014 in the French northern city of Lille.

Apple's price limit for apps is $999.99

Think a $10,000 Apple Watch is expensive? Try buying a $999.99 iPhone app.

That’s the price limit that Apple sets on apps available on the App Store, and quite a few apps are actually marked up that high, as Business Insider reports. (App Store doesn’t allow you to sort apps by price.)

Here’s a look at some of the most expensive iPhone apps on the market:

  • VIP Black, the self-described “millionaire’s app” (proof of assets required upon download), giving users luxury benefits from the company’s partners
  • Alpha Trader, a trading suite for investment professionals
  • QSFFStats, a curiously expensive app that allows you to input flag football stats
  • MobiGage NDI, an app that automates measurement and inspections of manufactured parts and assemblies

While those apps don’t have any reviews — meaning it’s likely no one bought them — there is one $999.99 app that people are actually buying. That’s Cyber Tuner, a “pro piano technician’s gold standard tuning software tool,” which has 61 ratings and a five-star average.

[Business Insider]

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Games of the Week

Try 'Mr Jump' and more

Had enough Candy Crush and looking for some fun new games to play on your iPhone? Here are five favorites TIME rounded up this week.

Snow Roll

Sort of like the much-adored ski game for old desktop computers, Snow Roll sets you up as a penguin atop a ball of snow rolling down a mountain, zig-zagging between obstacles while collecting coins. It’s a pretty classic runner game in which you’re in an endless quest to beat your high score, but the 8-bit graphics and the limited storyline make it a good way to pass the time.

Snow Roll is free in the App Store

Mr Jump

Mr Jump does everything right: It takes the basic premise of getting from A to B and adds obstacles and a surreal, almost creepy component to mix things up. You’re a block-headed character with no face, navigating a pretty barebones landscape and trying to jump across ravines from one surface to the next. Collect tokens, upgrade your wardrobe, and break through new levels and maps as you get better and the game gets harder.

Mr Jump is free in the App Store

Stan Lee’s Hero Command

Most people are happy to engage with anything in which Stan Lee is involved. In this game, take missions handed down by the powerful creator himself as you run with a crew of original comic heroes, fight dangerous battles with explosive graphics — cartoonish in the best way possible. It’s overall a pretty funny game, and you get to clobber massive bosses with super powers.

Stan Lee’s Hero Command is free in the App Store

TouchTone

This is one of the most fascinating games for iPhone at the moment. A lot like the celebrated Papers Please, TouchTone is about cracking a code and finding patterns with an eye for red flags. TouchTone presents you with puzzles you must break in order to find important messages pertaining to national security. It’s a true, tough challenge that feels a bit like propaganda, but if you can get over that part of it, TouchTone will keep you occupied for hours.

TouchTone is $2.99 in the App Store

Heartbeats

A game that feels like a Gogol short story, Heartbeats is a puzzling little challenge that will take you quite some time to crack. The appeal of this game is largely in the way it’s designed — as a series of scrawled, eerie doodles. The game tells a story, too: solve the puzzles one man left behind as his entire legacy. Each presents a unique task that will make you work hard and think differently. A strange game that should make the top of the charts in little time.

Heartbeats is free in the App Store

TIME Apple

Conan Has a Much Cheaper Apple Watch Alternative for You

It's like an Apple Watch—but it fits in your pocket!

The Apple Watch has been maligned for being too expensive, and not particularly useful.

So Conan O’Brien has announced his alternative: the Apple Pocketwatch. It’s got all the functionality of your iPhone, including, well, being a watch in your pocket. And it costs $259.

“It’s more than just a binder clip and wallet chain. It’s $259,” intones the speaker dubbed over the faux commercial.

It’s Conan’s way of poking fun at the hyped-up, $349-to-begin device, which some have argued just moves your phone onto your wrist and doesn’t add much else.

TIME apps

The 5 Best iPhone Apps of the Week

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Try Tether, which unlocks your Mac when you're nearby

It seems like hundreds of new iPhone apps pop up every week, but which ones should you bother trying? We explored the App Store and found some apps actually worth downloading.

Tether

Tether works a lot like those keys that unlock your car when you’re nearby. Tether unlocks your Mac when you get close, then locks it back up the moment you step away. It’s a convenient way to avoid typing in passwords and getting right back down to business. It also feels like a program Bruce Wayne would have on his own computer, so there’s that, too.

Tether is free in the App Store

Enlight

Enlight is a sophisticated digital photo editor. Not only does it offer basic color adjustment, light tinkering and Instagram-optimization, but Enlight also has some more involved, Photoshop-like features that can be used without much skill. You can toy with the sizes of images as well as shift the focus of the image itself. In short, Enlight helps you alter your photos for both style and quality.

Enlight is $3.99 in the App Store

VaporChat

I say a lot of things I wish I hadn’t, so an app like VaporChat is pretty essential for a walking foot-in-mouth marathon like me. VaporChat offers you far greater control over your conversations by allowing you to delete texts or even entire conversations from your own phone and from the receiving device as well. No further explanation is needed.

VaporChat is free in the App Store

HERE

A much-lauded maps app, HERE combines the practicality of Google Maps with the level of detailed offered by more powerful travel apps. This means maps can be downloaded for offline use or in areas of spotty wireless service—the times when having maps may matter the most. HERE functions as a full GPS, helps plan public transport routes, and can give to tips on where to stay or help keep your itinerary organized. The interface is simple, keeping the app from getting overwhelming.

HERE is free in the App Store

NCAA March Madness Live

Though not a new app, the March Madness app’s new perfectly-timed update makes this one essential. And despite John Oliver’s well-reported piece on the ethics of the NCAA — especially during March Madness — your loyalty to your college team hasn’t gotten any less real. This app not only allows you to keep a bracket and keep track of the tournament’s progress, but it also gives you schedules and allows you to stream games live on your mobile device.

NCAA March Madness Live is free in the App Store

TIME How-To

How to Tell Which iPhone Apps Are Killing Your Battery

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone Facebook
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Your favorite apps are most often to blame

The most stressful part of a quickly-draining iPhone battery isn’t the fact that you may soon be without your trusty device, but that you’re ultimately helpless. You’ve stopped checking your phone every five minutes, turned down your screen brightness, and maybe even activated Airplane Mode. But still, something is killing your battery.

What could it be? Maybe your favorite app is the culprit.

Apple’s newest iPhone software, iOS 8, has made it easy to tell which apps are literally sucking the life out of your battery.

The first step is to go to your Settings app, then into the General tab, then into Usage, and then continue into Battery Usage. A quick scroll down will show you which apps are using the most battery life.

If your battery is knocking on death’s door, you should close these apps by double-clicking your iPhone’s Home button and sliding the guilty apps upwards into oblivion. That might not help too much, but at least you’ll know which apps are the biggest power-suckers in the future — and yes, sadly, you’ll often find your most-used apps like Facebook and Twitter on the top of the list.

If you’re on an older iPhone running iOS 7, you’re a little bit out of luck, as it doesn’t have the Battery Usage feature. Third-party battery usage apps can be helpful, but your best bet is to just know that apps like Google Maps, Facebook, Tinder, video games and camera apps will be the biggest drain on your iPhone’s battery. iOS 7 also runs a few background apps that drain your battery, like Background App Refresh, which can be disabled by going to Settings, then to General, then clicking the Background App Refresh tab. Similarly, Location Servings are a huge power suck — go to Settings, then Privacy, then Location Services to disable them.

TIME apps

The Best iPhone Games of the Week

Pocket Mine 2, Dotello, rop and more

Had enough Candy Crush and looking for some fun new games to play on your iPhone? Here are five favorites TIME rounded up this week.

  • Pocket Mine 2

    Pocket Mine 2
    Pocket Mine 2 Pocket Mine 2

    Pocket Mine 2 takes you into the life of a miner to dig deep and unlock a series of treasures. Not only are you mining for precious metals, but you can earn cards that enhance gameplay, play with new characters, get new gear for your kit, and find treasure chests and other fun rewards. It’s a strangely addicting game that builds on itself as you play.

    Pocket Mine 2 is free in the App Store

  • Dotello

    Dotello
    Dotello Dotello

    A game for people who love destructive gameplay and puzzles, Dotello is a simple game that presents players with a dot-based puzzle to clear. Players move the dots around to eliminate them with big, animated swipes. Keep an eye out for repetition and patterns in order to solve stages. The game isn’t timed, making it a refreshingly calm take on the genre.

    Dotello is free in the App Store

  • rop

    rop
    rop rop

    There’s nothing easy about rop. After playing for several hours, I’m still completely lost — but also still addicted. It’s a puzzle game that asks plays to recreate patterns on a plane over 77 different levels. The challenge is to finish each level without breaking the stream you draw. But this isn’t for the easily frustrated: I’ve been stuck on level four for two hours.

    rop is $0.99 in the App Store

  • Blokshot Revolution

    Blockshot
    Blockshot Blockshot

    Blockshot Revolution is all about destructive therapy. The main point of the game is to shoot fireballs out of a pod at a network of bricks and watch them shatter and explode. In theory, there’s a plot to this game and levels to clear, but in reality, the main sell here is endless block-smashing as a sort of mindless entertainment. Eventually, you can power up and use new weapons to smash blocks.

    Blokshot Revolution is free in the App Store

  • Dungeon Hunter 5

    Dungeon Hunter 2
    Dungeon Hunter 2 Dungeon Hunter 2

    Dungeon Hunter 5 is a single-player fantasy RPG game in which you control a bounty hunter through a series of campaigns through different worlds to track down villains. You can hook up with your friends to make the game more social, while the developers ping you with new weekly challenges to keep things fresh. And, of course, there are countless hours of slash-filled sword fighting.

    Dungeon Hunter 5 is free in the App Store

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