Apple officially announces (RED) iPhone 7 & 7 Plus, updated iPhone SE with double the storage

Apple today has taken the wraps off of a new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The device was unveiled alongside a new iPad and a new social video editing app.Apple made the announcement in a press release, which contained quotes from Tim Cook and offered up more details on the (RED) initiative.In the press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that (RED) gives customers an unprecedented way to contribute to the Global Fund for AIDS research. Cook explained that thus far, the (RED) initiative has been very successful and the new iPhone 7 color variant will further lend to the growth of the effort:“Since we began working with (RED) 10 years ago, our customers have made a significant impact in fighting the spread of AIDS through the purchase of our products, from the original iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition all the way to today’s lineup of Beats products and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.“The introduction of this special edition iPhone in a gorgeous red finish is our biggest (PRODUCT)RED offering to date in celebration of our partnership with (RED), and we can’t wait to get it into customers’ hands.”

It’s unclear how many PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 units Apple plans to make. The device carries a “Special Edition” tag, but the company tells Mashable it plans to make “a bunch” of them:
As for supplies of the (RED) iPhone, Joswiak told us Apple plans to make “a bunch,” but wouldn’t say how long they’d be in market or exactly how many are available.
For those unfamiliar, Apple’s (RED) partnership sees it donate a certain percentage of sales to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programs and help deliver an AIDS-free generation.
In addition to the new (RED) iPhone, Apple has also doubled the storage capacity for the iPhone SE. The device is now available in 32GB and 128GB models starting at $399. Finally, Apple has also announced new colors of its silicone and leather cases. The silicone case is now available azure, camellia and pebble, while the leather case now comes in taupe, sapphire and berry.
The (RED) iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at $749 from Apple’s website and Apple retail stores. As of right now, the devices are listed as unavailable online but will go up for sale at 8:01AM PT/11:01AM ET. 


PSA: If a Live Photo didn’t choose the perfect moment, you can now select a different frame

If you’ve ever taken a Live Photo only to find that the still image selected by the Camera app was just before a beautiful smile, or your slightly wonky horizon is straight in a later frame in the animated version, there’s now an app to fix it.

Google has updated a free app to allow you to play your Live Photo frame-by-frame, and then choose a different frame for the still. Once you select it, you simply export it back into your camera roll as a replacement Live Photo. The Motion Stills app was originally designed to apply automatic stabilization to turn your shaky Live Photos into silky-smooth GIFs. You can even edit a bunch of Live Photos together into a movie. An update in December added the ability to add text that tracks a person or object.
A fresh update this week added the ‘best frame’ feature, as well as improving the quality of the GIFs.
Motion Stills is a free download from iTunes.
Via The Verge

Tim Cook: Hundreds of Apple employees affected by immigration ban, company considering legal action

Tim Cook has told the WSJ that hundreds of the company’s employees have been affected by Trump’s executive order on immigration, and says that Apple is considering taking legal action. He also said that the company would be supporting employee fundraising efforts for organizations providing relief to refugees.Cook said that he hopes that the White House can be persuaded to rescind the order, but that the company may resort to the courts if not …

[Cook said] that he continues to contact “very, very senior people in the White House” and impress on them why repealing the executive order is important not only for Apple but for the country.“More than any country in the world, this country is strong because of our immigrant background and our capacity and ability as people to welcome people from all kinds of backgrounds. That’s what makes us special,” said Mr. Cook. “We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.”While Cook did not specify the White House contacts, Trump told the Apple CEO and other tech leaders back in December that they could call him personally.

Trump then offered up an invitation for the various executives to come to him at any time if they need something […] “You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. It doesn’t make any difference.”Cook said that he had received numerous ‘heart-wrenching’ emails from Apple employees affected by the travel ban.One employee who’s expecting a child said the future grandparents have Canadian and Iranian citizenship and won’t be able to visit to meet their new grandchild.
Apple is matching employees’ donations to refugee relief funds on a two-to-one basis, effectively tripling the value of their contributions.The remarks to the WSJ went further than Cook’s earlier email to all staff in which he talked of the importance of immigration to Apple, indirectly referencing the fact that Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant by observing that ‘Apple would not exist without immigration.’Apple is not the only tech company considering legal action against the executive order banning immigration from seven countries where Muslims are in the majority. Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia are filing court declarations in support of a lawsuit filed by the Washington state attorney general to have the order rescinded, and other tech leaders have expressed their dismay at Trump’s action.
Google has created its largest ever crisis fund to help with legal battles for those affected by the ban, while Netflix CEO Reed Hasting called the order ‘so un-American it pains us all.’

Hours after release, Super Mario Run is top free and top grossing app

Earlier today, the highly anticipated first ever Mario game for iPad and iPhone hit the App Store. Dubbed Super Mario Run, the app has rocketed to the top of both the free chart and top grossing chart on the App Store in the hours following its release.Super Mario Run is a free download, but a $9.99 in-app purchase unlocks the entire game. As part of the initial free download, you can try out a few levels of the game but you’ll eventually be required to hand over the $10 if you want to continue.

Super Mario Run’s success shouldn’t be too surprising when you think about the amount of hype surrounding the game’s release. As the first Mario title to come to the iPhone and iPad, the game received its fair share of publicity. Nintendo’s Shigeru Minamoto was brought on stage at Apple’s iPhone announcement even in September to debut the game, and since then there’s been a steady stream of press surrounding the release of the game.If anything, the chart success should show Nintendo that bringing classic Mario titles to iOS will be far more lucrative than some of the other titles it has launched, such as Miitomo. In terms of reception, Super Mario Run carries a four star rating on the App Store right now , with just over 1200 ratings.Super Mario Run is available now for free on the App Store, with a $9.99 in-app purchase unlocking the full game.
Have you been playing Super Mario Run? Let us know your thoughts in the comments if so.

Instagram adds bookmark feature, to privately save posts for later viewing

Instagram has today rolled out an update to its iOS, Android and Windows apps to allow you to bookmark posts for later viewing.Starting today, you can save posts you’d like to revisit later.Now you’ll see a new bookmark icon underneath posts in your feed. Simply tap it to save a post to a new, private tab on your profile. There you can see all the posts you’ve saved — and they’re only visible to you.

When you stumble upon a funny video you want to remember, a new outfit you like or even inspiration for an upcoming vacation, you can now keep track of favorite posts right from your profile.The update was announced in the company’s blog just a couple of days after its new live video feature rolled out to U.S. users. Increasing competition does seem to have stirred Instagram into a little action, though there’s still no iPad app …
Instagram is free download from iTunes

Twitter adds livestreaming into iOS app, start broadcasting video from the compose tweet view

Twitter is rolling out a new feature into its native client app for iPhone and iPad. From today, users will be able to start video live stream broadcasts from within the Twitter app courtesy of a new integration with Periscope, which Twitter acquired in 2013.

To start a live video, open the tweet compose screen and tap the new “Live” button. You can frame your shot and then press Go Live to start broadcasting to the world. The feature is rolling out gradually over the next few days.Periscope is being slowly enmeshed into the core Twitter experience. Earlier in the year, Twitter integrated Periscope viewing into the timeline. Now, users will be able to begin broadcasting Periscopes from within the Twitter app.
The live streams are really Periscope streams, so users on either Twitter or the Periscope app will be able to see the video. When live, viewers can leave comments and send hearts to interact with the streamer. Bringing video into the tweet compose will no doubt send usage of Periscope skyrocketing but perhaps at the cost of fewer text tweets.
Twitter seems to be positioning live video as an alternative mechanism to typing 140 character anecdotes, especially for major breaking news and events. A similar ‘Live’ button used to exist in the Twitter app but it really was just a shortcut that took users to the Periscope app; the new feature announced today is that all of the broadcast functionality has been integrated directly inside of the Twitter app — users are not required to install Periscope at all.Find the new live video feature in the updated Twitter app, available as a free download in the App Store. The feature is going live for all users over the next few days.

Convert Currency in Spotlight Search for iOS

Spotlight Search for iOS now has the ability to perform currency calculations and conversions using up to date exchange rates.This is a handy built-in feature for travelers, anyone who needs to exchange money, and those who work across borders, and it’s built right into the latest versions of Spotlight for iOS on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Getting Currency Conversions in iOS with Spotlight Search
To convert any currency, open Spotlight from the Home Screen of iOS by pulling down on an icon, then enter the following syntax types, specifying the currency to start with and to convert to:
1 USD to EUR
1 USD to GBP




500 CAD to USD

100 RMB to USD

500 EUR to JPY

This is just an example, as any major world currency is supported for conversions in iOS.

You can specify the three letter shorthand for the currency, which is the fastest method, or if you aren’t sure, you can actually type out the entire currency name as well, like so:

1 US dollar to Japanese Yen
15 Euros to Great British Pound

19585 Indonesian Rupiah to US dollars

100 Australian Dollars to Vietnamese Dong

1000 US dollars to Apple Store Apples

850 Chinese Renminbi to Korean Won

As long as the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is connected to the internet it will pull the most up to date exchange rates for the currency conversion.

Super Mario Run for iOS will be released on December 15

Announced in September, at the same time with the iPhone 7, Super Mario Run is the very first Mario game developed for mobile devices. Of course, we mean the first official Mario game for mobile, because knock-offs have been around for quite some time. 

Today, Nintendo revealed that Super Mario Run will be available on iOS devices starting December 15. The game is free to download, but you’ll have to pay $9.99 in order to get unlimited access to everything that it’s offering (including three game modes). 

Styled just like the Mario games of our childhoods, Super Mario Run is an endless runner that asks you to collect coins, avoid obstacles and enemies, and reach flagpoles to complete levels. The game supports no less than 10 languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and traditional Chinese. In order to download Super Mario Run, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod running iOS 8.0 or later.
Super Mario Run will also be available on Android devices, but it’s not clear exactly when this should happen (probably sometime in 2017). We’ll keep you posted! 

source: Nintendo

Apple unveils all-new, redesigned MacBook Pros with OLED Touch Bar, larger trackpad, USB-C, more

Apple has officially unveiled the new redesigned MacBook Pro at its special event in Cupertino, California. The new design is all metal like the 12-inch MacBook (no plastic along the hinge) and available in space gray (looks darker than 12-inch but we’ll see) and traditional silver. 13-inch and 15-inch options are available. Much more below:
And here’s what we now know:

  • 13-inch is 17% thinner, 23% less volume, 3 pounds, nearly 1/2 pound less than previous version
  • 15-inch is 15.5 mm, 14% thinner, 20% less volume, 4 pounds, 1/2 pound less
  • USB-C ports
  • Force Touch trackpad, 2x larger
  • All-new keyboard with 2nd-gen butteryfly mechanism like 12-inch MacBook (more responsive, improved travel)
  • Function keys replaced with dynamic Touch Bar, a Retina OLED display panel above the keyboard
  • Touch Bar adaptive to specific applications, color display changes based on context
  • Touch ID available on new MacBook Pros, a first
  • Supports log-ins, sapphire crystal, second-gen version like iPhone 6s
  • Apple T1 Chip supports Touch ID, includes Secure Enclave for Apple Pay
  • Siri key added to Touch Bar with default system keys
  • Control Strip lets you manage system controls like brightness and volume
  • Touch Bar supports emoji, QuickType typing
  • Photos use of Touch Bar looks especially promising with scrubber for photos in a collection and finding place in a video
  • Touch Bar can be customized (example includes Finder, Control Strip)
  • Touch ID on new MacBook Pros support profiles (Phil Schiller’s fingerprint logs him into his account, Craig Federighi’s fingerprint pulls up his account)
  • Touch Bar supports most (if not all) Apple apps including Terminal, Xcode
  • Developers can program Touch Bar support
  • MacBook Pro display is 67% brighter, 67% higher contrast ratio, 25% more colors, display as thin as 12-inch MacBook display
  • 15-inch includes Intel Core i7 (6th gen, quad-core, 2133MHz memory), Radeon Pro, up to 4GB VRAM, up to 2.3x faster, Superfast SSD up to 2TB, up to 50% faster, advanced thermal architecture (for fan), all-new speaker design, 2x dynamic range
  • 13-inch includes Intel Core i5 or i7, Intel Iris Graphics, Superfast SSD
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C connector), headphone jack, any of four ports is charging port (RIP MagSafe)
  • Can support two 5K displays externally
  • New version of Final Cut Pro that supports Touch Bar coming, Adobe will also support Touch Bar with Photoshop, and djay Pro from Algoriddim shows support
  • Microsoft Office is working on Touch Bar support for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Skype for Business
  • Affinity Designer and Pixelmator also working on support, Sketch, DeVinci Resolve as well
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life in both models
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch will also be available in a version without Magic Bar
  • $1499 for non Touch Bar version, $1799 for 13-inch Touch Bar model, and $2399 for 15-inch Touch Bar model
  • Today for new models without Touch Bar, 2-3 weeks shipping for Touch Bar models
  • All models available to order starting today!
  • That’s a wrap for MacBook Pro unveiling, stay tuned for more in depth coverage. 

Apple opens special event with focus on Accessibility, announces dedicated website

Apple kicked off today’s keynote with a video highlighting some of the accessibility features of Apple products, such as spoken alerts letting a blind person know when the camera has detected a face and locked focus on it …Tim Cook said that he could not be prouder to share the video as Apple’s teams work so hard to make products accessible to everyone, and the company was highlighting those in a new accessibility website.

The website has separate Accessibility sections for Mac, iOS, Watch and TV. There are also overviews highlighting the focus on vision, hearing, physical & motor skills and literacy & learning.