Turkey’s president calls for a boycott of US electronics

As tensions mount between the US and Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now calling for the country to boycott US electronics. He even called out the iPhone specifically — a product he’s often seen using. “Every product that we buy in foreign currency from outside, we will produce them here and sell abroad,” Erdogan said during a speech given in Ankara, “We will boycott the electronics products of the US.” He added, “If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side. And we have our own telephone brands.”

Via: New York Times

Verizon looks to Apple and Google for live TV over 5G

Following a rumor last month that Verizon could partner with Apple or Google for TV tie-ins on its rollout of 5G wireless internet, the company announced it has deals with both. The 5G Residential Broadband service it will offer in Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Indianapolis will offer promotional packages with an Apple TV 4K box, and a tie-in with the streaming YouTube TV service. While Verizon did not announce details, according to Bloomberg sources customers will either be able to choose a free box or a free subscription. The report indicates customers can also choose streaming packages from the NFL, NBA or (the Verizon-owned parent company of Engadget) Oath.

Indianapolis is a new addition to the list of cities where 5G will launch later this year, initially for fixed receivers before mobile devices begin to roll out in 2019.

Source: Verizon (1), (2)

iOS 12 won’t launch with FaceTime group chats

We hope you weren’t planning a group FaceTime chat the very moment iOS 12 and macOS Mojave reached your devices. The release notes for Apple’s latest iOS 12 and Mojave developer betas reveal that group FaceTime won’t be available in either operating system on launch, and will instead arrive in an update “later this fall.” Much like Apple Pay Cash, you could be waiting weeks or months to try the tent pole feature.

Source: 9to5Mac

Verizon bundles Unlimited plans with six months of Apple Music

Verizon has added a new perk to its unlimited plans, and it’s thankfully a straightforward one that won’t make the carrier’s rather complex choices and tiers even more confusing. Starting on August 16th, you’ll get six months of free access to Apple Music with an unlimited plan. Even better, it doesn’t sound like an add-on simply meant to attract new subscribers, because you can sign up for the freebie whether you apply for a new unlimited line or whether you already have one.

Source: Verizon

Apple says the iPhone doesn’t listen to your conversations

Last month, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee fired off a letter to Apple following reports that phones and other devices, such as smart speakers, can listen in on conversations. Now, the tech giant has sent the Representatives its response: iPhones, it says, don’t listen to people’s conversations and don’t share people’s spoken words with third-parties. In what could be interpreted as a dig at its staunchest competitors, Cupertino explains in the letter (courtesy of CNET) that the customer is not its product and that its business model “does not depend on collecting vast amounts of personally identifiable information to enrich targeted profiles marketed to advertisers.”

Source: Reuters, CNET

North Carolina elementary teachers will get iPads to bolster reading

Apple’s renewed push for iPads in schools appears to be paying dividends. North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has unfurled plans to give the state’s K-3 teachers iPads to help improve and track student reading. Educators will use the tablets to “reduce burdens” and boost interaction as kids advance their reading levels. Johnson didn’t outline the cost per tablet, but the state will pay $6 million out of a $15 million pool of unused money from previous budget years.

Source: WRAL

Logitech’s wireless iPhone charging stand helps you watch movies

Wireless chargers are often finicky things: they tend to require that you place your phone just so, and stands usually preclude you from using your phone in anything but a vertical position. Logitech and Apple think they can lick both of those problems at once. They’ve teamed up on Powered, an iPhone-oriented wireless charging stand that promises to keep your device topped up no matter how you’re using it. The cradle design both simplifies placement (just drop it in and go) and lets you charge while the phone is turned sideways — helpful if you’re determined to finish watching a movie when you return home.

Source: Logitech

Apple Pay Cash leads Consumer Reports’ first payment service test

Peer-to-peer mobile payment services are all the rage these days (eMarketer expects a 24 percent jump in US adoption in 2018), but which of them is actually the safest to use? Consumer Reports might have an idea. The publication has conducted its first head-to-head test of payment services, and it’s clear that some services are better picks than others. While all of the payment platforms were “good enough to use,” Apple Pay Cash was the victor due to its stronger-than-usual privacy and security.

Source: Consumer Reports

Apple shuts App Store affiliate program, imperiling recommendation sites

Enlarge / The note sent to affiliate program members letting them know a major source of revenue will be going away. (credit: TouchArcade)

Apple is shutting down an App Store affiliate program that shared a small percentage of revenue generated by third-party links to purchase apps or in-app content. The move will likely have an outsized impact on sites that provide editorial reviews and recommendations of mobile games and other apps, which rely on that affiliate revenue for much of their budget.

The announcement, which will become effective October 1, comes just over a year after Apple cut the program’s revenue sharing rates for mobile apps from 7 percent to 2.5 percent. Affiliates will still continue to earn a commission on linked sales for iTunes movies, TV shows, music, and books, as well as subscriptions to Apple Music.

In a note sent to affiliate program members, Apple said

Continue reading “Apple shuts App Store affiliate program, imperiling recommendation sites”

Apple hit with $145 million fine for WiLan patent infringement

Apple has been hit with yet another patent infringement fine. Canadian patent licensing company WiLan took the tech giant to task over two patents relating to wireless communication within the iPhone. WiLan – which isn’t shy about suing the wireless industry over alleged patent violations – has been awarded $145.1 million in damages by a federal jury in California. Apple, naturally, says it plans to appeal the decision. This isn’t the first time the two companies have locked horns – in 2013 a jury ruled in favour of Apple in a separate litigation where WiLan sought $248 million in damages.

Source: Reuters

Apple to stop people earning money from affiliate app sales

Starting on October 1st, apps won’t be part of Apple’s affiliate program anymore. Cupertino has announced that partners will no longer be getting commissions for iOS and Mac apps as well as in-app content after the next couple of months. The tech giant cited the launch of the new App Store and the fact that it was designed to be much better for app discovery as the reason behind its decision. Partners can only continue earning affiliate money if they recommend the other types of content Apple sells: music, movies, books and TV.

Via: TouchArcade

Source: iTunes

Chase now offers phone-based withdrawals at ‘nearly all’ ATMs

It took a long, long time, but Chase’s phone-based ATM withdrawals are finally widespread. The bank has expanded its card-free access to “nearly all” of its ATMs across the US, giving you one less reason to panic if you leave your wallet at home. As before, you can get in by tapping a device with a Chase debit or Liquid card linked to Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, and then entering your PIN code. It’s functionally equivalent to using your regular card, so you’re not facing the usual limits that come with making tap-to-pay purchases.

Source: Chase Media Center

iOS 12 developer beta points to bezel-less iPad with FaceID

Last year, early iOS leaks gave us a preview of the eventual iPhone X and some details on Apple’s HomePod speaker. Now, 9to5Mac points out an icon in the iOS 12 developer beta that seems to show an iPad design with tiny bezels all around and missing the home button. Separately, code for accessibility features shows evidence of FaceID support in an upcoming iPad Pro likely scheduled for release this fall.

The image doesn’t show an iPhone X-like notch, so presumably new iPads would manage to squeeze a TrueDepth camera into the remaining bezel. With iPad sales remaining flat compared to last year, it seems likely that we’ll see new devices soon, and now we have some idea at least of what they’ll look like.

Source: 9to5Mac

Huawei supplants Apple as the second largest smartphone seller

While Huawei was already a smartphone giant, analyst numbers released today show that in the last quarter it sold more smartphones than any company in the world other than Samsung. IDC and Strategy Analytics found that smartphone sales slowed overall, a trend that hit Samsung the hardest of the big companies with its sales dropping off by more than 10 percent from last year. In its earnings report yesterday, Samsung said it’s moved the Galaxy Note 9 launch up as a result of lackluster Galaxy S9 sales, and it’s planning new devices based on foldable OLED technology.

Meanwhile, for Huawei a healthy reception for the P20 Series (we called the Pro version “the best smartphone you’ll never buy“) and the popularity of its midrange Nova devices delivered sales of 54.2 million units. That beat their projections for Apple by more than 10 million and snagged 15 Continue reading “Huawei supplants Apple as the second largest smartphone seller”

Apple Pay comes to 7-Eleven and CVS later in 2018

Apple Pay is making its way to two of its fiercest opponents. As part of Apple’s financial results call, Tim Cook revealed that both 7-Eleven and CVS would introduce support for the tap-to-pay service (and, by extension, equivalents like Google Pay) later in 2018. He also confirmed that Germany would offer Apple Pay by the end of the year. There wasn’t any mention of how quickly it would roll out to the two retailers or why they’d changed their mind, but the news likely represents an admission of defeat for the two store chains.

Phishing scam targets iPhone users with a fake call to ‘Apple Care’

As more and more people use their mobile devices for everyday computing tasks, it makes sense that there would be more attacks. The latest phishing attempt, discovered over at Ars Technica, involves a false webpage that initiates a call on your iPhone. According to the site, when they made the call, they were connected to a fake representative who said he was “Lance Roger from Apple Care.” The person quickly hung up as the reporter tried to stall and get more detail on the scam.

Source: Ars Technica