Read Apple’s answers to questions posed by a government antitrust committee

Topics include Safari as a default app, repair profits, and the amount of money spent on Apple Maps.

What you need to know

  • Apple’s answers to questions posed by a government judiciary committee have been published.
  • The questions were asked by the Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • Key revelations include Apple’s spending on its Maps app, repair profits, and employee arbitration cases.

Apple’s answers to questions as posed by the Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the Committee on the Judiciary have been published.

The document features 43 questions covering a range of topics. The questions come from David N.Cicilline, Chairman of the above-named subcommittee, and were answered by Apple’s VP of Corporate Law, Kyle Andeer.

The questions cover a range of topics including; Apple’s default iOS browser, Safari; App Store revenue; the cost and profitability of repairs and employee arbitration.

The first few questions cover Safari in iOS, with the first question asking whether iPhone users were permitted to uninstall Safari, and if not, why? (I know, it gets better don’t worry.) There were also questions about default browsers on iOS, the use of WebKit and more.

Question seven queries how 84% of apps on the App Store don’t share any revenue with Apple. The answer is of course that those apps are free. (Maybe it doesn’t get better.)

A question about Apple Maps revealed that Apple has invested “Billions of dollars” in the app since its launch in 2012. There were also questions about Apple’s repair policies, and why it prevents some independent repair stores from accessing many of its spare parts and manuals. The biggest turn up in this section was the revelation that Apple doesn’t make any money from its repair services, in fact, it stated:

For each year since 2009, the costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs.

Further questions include topics such as Siri data, specifically what kind of data Apple collects, and who was access to it. There were also questions about arbitration, to which one answer revealed that two former Apple employees have initiated arbitration proceedings, both over wrongful termination claims.

The full document is a pretty dense read, but if you’re interested, you can check it out here!

This article was originally posted here

The $200 Kharbon IP67 Wireless Earbuds are just $67 today

Bluetooth earbuds are more accessible than ever, but many of us are still hesitant to make the switch out of fear for poor battery life. If your active lifestyle doesn’t have time to constantly recharge your earbuds, we understand your pain, and so does Kharbon Audio. Thankfully, their latest pair of Bluetooth earbuds boast several days’worth of battery life, and you can get a pair on sale for just $67 when you use code BFSAVE15 at checkout.

The Kharbon IP67 Wireless Earbuds offer high-fidelity sound quality thanks to their graphene technology. They feature an ergonomic design with an extended ear canal tube to provide a comfortable fit. As the name suggests, they have an IP67 waterproof rating, allowing you to enjoy your music when you’re powering through the gym, running in the rain, or even while swimming.

What truly sets the Kharbon earbuds apart is the portable charging case, which offers up to 150 hours of extended battery life. With this, you can take your music on the go for days on end without worrying about finding a wall charger. Best of all, the charging case also doubles as a power bank for your phone and other wireless devices if you’re in a pinch.

Bluetooth earbuds can’t truly be wireless if you’re constantly tethered to cables while recharging? With the Kharbon 1P67 Wireless Earbuds, you’ll enjoy outstanding sound quality while keeping your charge time to a minimum. They’re currently on sale for $79, or 60% off, but you can get an additional 15% off using coupon code BFSAVE15.

Prices subject to change

 

This article was originally posted here

Chase away the winter blues with a SAD light therapy lamp

Whether you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or you just dread the long, dark days of winter, a therapy lamp is purported to help those of us who live farther from the equator. Mimicking the sun’s positive effects, these 10,000 LUX (the SI unit of illuminance, equal to one lumen per square meter) lamps can perk you up and help you feel more energized. Here are some of the best light therapy lamps you can buy.

Best Overall: Verilux HappyLight Luxe

This luxe lamp has all the options you might need. The light surface measures roughly six inches across and nine inches tall. You can set a timer to run the lamp anywhere from five to 60 minutes in five-minute increments, and you can even pause it during your session. Choose from four brightness levels and three different color temperatures. You can place it on the included stand for a slightly upward-facing angle, or hang it on a wall.

Pros:

  • Good-sized light with small footprint
  • Four brightness levels
  • Three color temperatures
  • Five- to 60-minute timer
  • Can mount on the wall or place in stand

Cons:

  • Stand is limited to one angle

Best Overall

Verilux HappyLight Luxe

Customizable

Choose your brightness level, color temperature, and session time with a touch of a button.

Best Value: TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp

This small but effective lamp doesn’t take up much room on your desk, but it emits a cool-toned 10,000 LUX of light at maximum power. You can control this lamp with a touch control near the top or a button control near the bottom. Cycle through low (25%), medium (50%), and high. (100%) light brightness settings. When you turn the lamp on, it will automatically remember and go to your last-used setting. The light itself is about six inches in diameter and is angled to point up at the user.

Pros:

  • Takes up little space
  • Three brightness levels
  • Goes with most decor

Cons:

  • No adjustability for height or angle

Best Value

TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp

Aesthetic appeal

This small, round lamp with three brightness levels will look good with any decor.

Best Deluxe Model: Carex Day-Light Lamp

This big lamp takes up a large footprint on your desk or table, but the larger screen means you don’t have to sit as close (manufacturer recommends 12 to 14 inches) to reap the benefits and the full 10,000 LUX of light. The arm that holds the light adjusts for both height and angle so you can position it just right, though it is meant to point down at the user. The base is weighted, so your lamp won’t tip over — the three-way switch toggles between 10,000 LUX, off, and 5,000 LUX. The light has a warmer tone to it, and the surface area of the light measures 15.5 inches wide and 13 inches high.

Pros:

  • Large surface area more effective from farther away
  • Adjustable height and angle
  • Two brightness levels

Cons:

  • Large footprint
  • Heavy

Best Deluxe Model

Carex Day-Light Lamp

Bigger is better

If portability isn’t an issue, a larger lamp like this truly bathes you in light.

Best Desk Lamp: TheraLite Aura

Medium in both size and weight, the light itself measures roughly 11 inches wide and 7.5 inches high. It emits a warmer-toned light, and the brightness can be adjusted by the “-” and “+” buttons on either side of the power button. The height is not adjustable, but the angle is. This lamp is meant to point down onto the viewer like the sun. My daughter uses this one as a desk lamp, due to its size and shape.

Pros:

  • Not too bulky
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Adjustable angle
  • Larger light surface

Cons:

  • Not height-adjustable

Best Desk Lamp

TheraLite Aura

Flexible

This adjustable-angle lamp points down at you like the sun.

Best CFL Model: Verilux HappyLight Compact

This tiny box-style lamp has a CFL bulb inside and a lens that measures just over 4.5 by 4.5 inches. Its tiny footprint won’t take up much space on your desk, and in fact, this is the very lamp that the doctor I spoke with uses herself. CFL bulbs are just as effective as LED bulbs, but will need to be replaced eventually, and LED bulbs will not. Still, if you prefer CFL over LED bulbs, this is a nicely-priced option.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Well-priced
  • Tried and true

Cons:

  • CFL bulbs burn out

Best CFL Model

Verilux HappyLight Compact

Compact

This small, square box lamp has no bells or whistles, but it does the job.

Artsiest: Circadian Optics Bright Light Therapy Lamp Lattis Edition

This little lamp looks like a Piet Mondrian or Frank Lloyd Wright creation. While the lens is only about 2.5 inches wide and eight inches high, the lamp is a little bigger because of its decorative elements. Still, it has a tiny footprint, perfect for smaller spaces. It has three brightness levels that you cycle through with a touch of the button on the back.

Pros:

  • Looks like an art piece
  • Three brightness levels
  • Tiny footprint

Cons:

  • No adjustability for height or angle
  • Small light surface

Artsiest

Circadian Optics Bright Light Therapy Lamp Lattis Edition

Artist’s touch

Looking something you’d see in an art museum, this tiny wonder has three levels of brightness.

Best Travel Lamp: Circadian Optics Bright Light Therapy Lamp Lumos Edition

This flexible little wand-like lamp has a light surface area of roughly 6.25 by 1.5 inches. Tap the power button to cycle through three brightness levels. The flexible arm lets you adjust the angle 180 degrees. You can also turn the base around, and use it on a desk or mounted to a wall. It would be great for travel because it can be folded up, so the light is protected.

Pros:

  • Travel-friendly
  • Flexible angles
  • Use on a desk or mount to the wall
  • Three brightness levels

Cons:

  • Tiny light surface area

Best Travel Lamp

Circadian Optics Bright Light Therapy Lamp Lumos Edition

On the go

This tiny, flexible wand-like lamp folds up to protect the light surface in your suitcase.

Best Natural Wake-up: Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

While this is not a 10,000 LUX SAD/light therapy lamp like the others in this article, it may be a more soothing alternative for people who find bright lights too harsh but still want to add some “sun” to their dark winters. This bedside lamp mimics the action of the sun for a relaxing sunset bedtime wind-down and a gentle, gradual sunrise wake-up. In addition to the simulated sunrise, you’ll also wake to your choice of sounds: Bird Song, Birds in the forest, Zen Garden, Gentle piano, and Seaside Sounds. My colleague Adam uses this lamp and loves it.

Pros:

  • Easier wake-up
  • Mimics sunset and sunrise
  • Gentle light and sound alarm clock

Cons:

  • Only 300 LUX, so not a true therapy lamp

Best Natural Wake-up

Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Gentle

Not bright enough to be a true therapy lamp, this alarm clock mimics the sunrise to wake you up gently.

Bottom line

Choosing between lamps comes down to personal preference. Think about what features you need and your preferences on size and appearance. Do you need varying brightness levels, and is a timer important? Do you need adjustable height and angles, or will you be traveling with it? Is price a factor?

Once you’ve narrowed down your must-have features, you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on this list. I use the Verilux HappyLight Luxe; it’s my favorite because of the timer you can set to shut itself off automatically. I also like that you can adjust the brightness level and even the color from warmer to cooler. I haven’t hung it on the wall, but I like having that option.

What you need to know about SAD light therapy lamps

I’m not a doctor or a scientist; I recommend you speak with your doctor before using a therapy lamp. I did talk with Dr. Deepika Sastry, M.D., M.B.A., who is a psychiatrist at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and an Assistant Professor at Case Western University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center. Dr. Sastry said,

“Bright light therapy is a very effective and well-studied treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I prescribe it to my patients as we have a long and often cloudy winter, and every single one has told me how much it helps their mood and energy. I use a SAD lamp myself and can vouch for its efficacy!”

While we did try out all of the lamps in this guide, it’s hard to gauge effectiveness. There are so many factors in a given day, but these have all done their job. I have been able cut back on my coffee consumption since I’ve started using these lamps, and yet have felt more energetic. Each lamp listed exudes the recommended 10,000 LUX (the SI unit of illuminance, equal to one lumen per square meter) of light except for the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock. Several sources I read specified that a bright light therapy lamp should only be used in the morning, ideally soon after you wake up. I experimented with timing and found that a half-hour of use was just about right for me.

Choosing the lamp for you

I spoke with Ann Green, VP of Marketing for Verilux about how to choose and use a light therapy lamp. “The size of the light is also a personal preference. Smaller sizes are easier to fit in a small space or take on the go. Larger sizes provide a bigger field of light, allowing you greater freedom of movement for the light to reach your eyes. Verilux recommends 20-60 minutes of light therapy per day (recommended time is a function of brightness and distance. Individual results may vary.) Researchers at the National Institute of Health demonstrated that white light, in a range of 2,500 to 10,000 lux, helped to reverse the symptoms of “Winter Blues.”

We all have a different sensitivity to light, so it is essential to find the settings, distance, and time that are comfortable for you. It is not necessary to sit in front of the lamp continuously. You can divide the time into several mini-sessions. Continue to use the lamp daily to feel an improvement in your mood and activity level. When you are feeling sluggish and lethargic, increase the brightness of the light, sit closer to the lamp and/or spend more time with the lamp. If you feel a sort of edginess, as though you have consumed too much coffee, it may be time to turn off the lamp.” The manufacturer’s instructions that come with each lamp should give you specifics on the ideal distance and angle and generally how to use your lamp most effectively.

I hope you enjoy your light therapy lamp as much as I have been, and you get the mood and energy boost you’re looking for. Have a sunny day!

This article was originally posted here

Condé Nast CEO unsure Apple News+ will be a success

Rogerlynch
Roger Lynch kickin it in Cannes.
Photo: Roger Lynch/Twitter

One of Apple’s biggest publishing partners for Apple News+ is still waiting to be impressed by the fledgling subscription service.

Speaking at Recode’s Code Media conference this week, Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch said the “jury is out” on the service. His less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of Apple News+ comes a week after a report claimed Apple is struggling to significantly increase the number of paid subscribers for Apple News+.

Lynch, who took over Condé Nast in April, made sure the audience knew he inherited the Apple News+ deal from his predecessors. Apple News+ launched in March of 2019. The service offers access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers for $10 per month.

“I hope Apple News Plus is wildly successful,” Lynch said, per Variety. “Whether it’s good for publishers like us or not is to be determined.”

Apple News+ reportedly had 200,000 signups in the first 48 hours of launch. Subscriber growth has supposedly been pretty slow ever since though. Apple is also reportedly debating bundling Apple News+ with Apple Music and Apple TV+ in 2020 as a way to pull in more subscribers.

Lynch has plenty of experience with subscription services which have become a bigger focus for Apple the last two years. While working for Dish he helped incubate the Sling TV streaming service. He then moved onto Pandora and help the streaming service in its acquisition by SiriusXM. Now he’s tasked with taking publications like Wired, The New Yorker, Vogue and GQ to the next level.

Many critics worried that Apple News+ would cut into some publishers’ ability to grow their own subscription businesses. Lynch told the audience that Condé Nast has not seen that effect. He also suggested that Condé Nast and could leave Apple News+ if it doesn’t work out saying “we have options.”

 

This article was originally posted here

Digging into ‘Minecraft Earth’ — Block-building fun for your iPhone

 

Minecraft collides with the real world in this quirky entry into the AR genre. Is “Minecraft Earth” worth digging into, or should you stick with the original version?

Minecraft Earth

Now that Minecraft Earth is out for public play, it’s time to take a look at the next big entry into AR gaming. I took to the streets to see if Minecraft Earth was worth checking out, or if it would fall short of all of the hype.

After the launch-day woes subsided —which were no worse than Pokemon Go‘s launch day problems —Minecraft Earth has shown itself to be a surprisingly polished game. I play it on an iPhone 11 and find that the game runs well. The game’s App Store page says that it is compatible with any iPhone from the iPhone 6s forward and requires iOS 12 or later.

The game feels a lot like Minecraft and has an appropriate, pleasingly blocky look.

The UI is easy enough to navigate, though it does take a little exploration to actually figure out what some of the things do. There are enough moving parts to the game that it feels fun, but not so many that it becomes overwhelming. I think that the developers should absolutely be applauded for the design.

General gameplay

Crafting in Minecraft Earth

Crafting in Minecraft Earth

Most of what you’re going to be doing in Minecraft Earth relates to collecting resources, which is done by tapping on certain objects on the map. These objects might be dirt or stone, critters like pigs, chickens, or cows, or trees.

Any resources you collect will drop into your inventory and you’ll be able to craft with them or directly place them into buildplates.

Crafting in Minecraft Earth isn’t quite the same as it is in Minecraft, but it’s similar. Unfortunately, the game does utilize dreaded timers, though regular Minecraft does have timers for smelting. Impatient players can pay to finish crafting and smelting projects instantly, though considering the value of currency in this game, may be better off waiting it out.

Building in Minecraft Earth is pretty easy, too. You can drop a buildplate onto the ground and build the same way you would in Minecraft. You start with one buildplate and unlock more as you level. Additionally, some pretty cool buildplates are available for purchase in the store. Yes, that means this app has in-app purchases—but more on that later.

One of the nice things about Minecraft buildplates are that you can easily place them on a table or desk for easy building. If you want to build with multiple people or explore your creation at a much larger scale, you can drop it on the floor. This is where Minecraft Earth really shines.

All about the AR

Buildplate on floor

An 8×8 buildplate on the floor

I have longed for a good AR game for years. Pokemon Go isn’t a great AR game as far as AR is concerned, and I don’t know many people who play it in AR mode. Sure, it’s fun, but there’s something extremely annoying about trying to find and catch pokemon in AR. Wizards Unite definitely makes a better case for AR games, but I still found it lacking. I want a game that puts AR at the forefront, not as an added gimmick.

That’s where this game comes in. The AR in Minecraft Earth is an entirely different story. There’s something extremely pleasing about dropping a buildplate onto the ground and playing with it. It looks great, and provided you place it in a well-lit area on a somewhat textured surface, it stays put, which makes building pretty easy.

I’m extremely pleased that Minecraft Earth is a huge step in the direction of good AR games, and I’m hopeful now that we’ll get even more in the future.

Adventures

Attempting to do an adventure in Minecraft Earth

Attempting to do an adventure in Minecraft Earth

Similar to Pokemon Go‘s raids or gyms, there are “Adventures” you can go on in Minecraft Earth. Adventures are where you’ll need to go if you want to get some of the more rare crafting materials, including some rare variations of creatures for your collection.

Adventures are shown on the map, signaled by large beacons of light that stretch upward into the sky. Once you go to one, you can place it on the ground and explore it the same way you would explore something in Minecraft proper.

This is where I start to have issues with the game.

Let me clarify this really quickly: I love the idea of Adventures. If you’re going to do a Minecraft AR game, you should do something like this. However, there’s some problems.

First is that Adventures are, as far as I can tell, randomly generated. There’s some suggestion that they do use Open Street Maps and location data to create them in areas that are appropriate, but they aren’t perfect.

Also, unlike Pokemon Go, Minecraft Earth doesn’t tell you any identifying features of an Adventure. In Pokemon Go, Pokestops and gyms are usually notable businesses or landmarks —parks, statues, public pieces of art, et al.

My closest adventure happens to be right in the middle of a gated elementary school playground. I’m not the one to scale fences in order to play augmented reality games, so the best I could hope for is to get sort-of-close. For me, that meant standing on the opposite side of a four-lane highway outside of a Tim Hortons, in a slushy, Great Lakes winter mess.

It took forever, but it finally allowed me to place the adventure, in the middle of the sidewalk. And lo and behold, it was much too large to actually use without walking into the middle of the aforementioned four-lane highway. I managed to mine a few chunks of rock before inevitably giving up.

This raises several concerns for me that Pokemon Go does, but in a sort-of opposite way.

In Pokemon Go, those who live in rural areas are often an extreme disadvantage when it comes to leveling. Not only are there less gyms and pokestops, which slows leveling by limiting resources like pokeballs, there are less Pokemon since Pokemon now spawn near pokestops and gyms. In my home town, for example, there are two gyms and one pokestop spread out across a mile. In the city I live in, I have a park that has two gyms and seven pokestops two blocks from my apartment, and if I’m willing to walk a half mile, I can collect over 16 pokelocations before I get to a park that is consistently filled with people playing Pokemon Go anytime the weather is warmer than 45F.

In Minecraft Earth, rural players may have an advantage, though I haven’t gotten the chance to test this out. I do know that city folk might be at quite the disadvantage. Adventures seem to spawn somewhat indiscriminately, though they do seem to follow a “near a somewhat appropriate location” like a park, school, or a store.

The downside is that, at least for me, that means a lot of these locations are restricted to playing on the sidewalk near a busy road. And even if the road isn’t terribly busy —which I haven’t found yet —the sheer size of the Adventure means that players wind up bumbling blindly around the sidewalk, parking lot, or park as they attack spiders and mine ore.

At any rate, I’m not quite sure what the solution to the issue of “not letting children —or 30 year old women who like Minecraft —wander into busy streets” is, but I trust that someone working on the project could figure it out.

The money issue

In App Purchases and Minecraft Earth

It costs nearly $17 U.S. dollars to purchase “Sleepy Village”

How quickly we come back to my old soapbox—freemium game payment models. While Minecraft Earth is nowhere near as bad as Mario Kart World Tour, it’s still not great.

And as always, I feel compelled to say that I’m not inherently against in-app purchases. Developers work hard on games and they deserve to be compensated for their work. In-app purchases serve a purpose, and that is to keep games profitable after the initial launch.

What I do take issue with is the obfuscation of cost by converting real-world money into in-game currency. So, as always, let’s break down what your money gets you in Minecraft Earth.

Minecraft Earth‘s in-game currency are called rubies. Unlike a lot of freemium games, you do find rubies organically in the wild, either as quest objectives or during adventures, though it’s extremely slow and somewhat random.

Rubies are $1.99 for 40 in the smallest quantity, and $39.99 for 950 rubies at the biggest pack. That means that each ruby you buy is worth anywhere from just over $0.04 to just under $0.05 —before tax —depending on what quantity you choose to buy. So, now knowing what we know, how much do things in Minecraft Earth actually cost?

Rubies are used to buy buildplates, and they often have some sort of premade structure like buildings on them. The cheapest buildplate you can get —”Grassy pasture” —is 75 rubies, which means that you’re going to pay roughly $3.40 for it. The most expensive buildplate —”Sleepy village” —is 375 rubies. That comes out to almost $17, which is a considerable expense if you need to purchase every ruby.

I actually don’t mind the concept of buying buildplates, though I do hate the fact that they’re not a $1.99-$9.99 purchase. $17 seems extremely high for a build plate, regardless of the size or premade buildings.

Cosmetic shop

Cosmetic shop items

But wait! There’s actually a second in-game currency—minecoins. As far as I can tell, minecoins are exclusively used to buy cosmetic items. You can get 320 minecoins for $1.99 at base, or 3500 for $19.99 at the largest, most discounted package. This means that each minecoin costs somewhere between $0.0057 to $0.0062 —before tax.

Cosmetics cost anywhere from 60 minecoins at the cheapest —so about $0.35 —to 280 at the most expensive —or just under $1.70.

Surprisingly, for a freemium game, that’s not horrible. Additionally, you finally get to buy your favorite cosmetics, rather than draw random items a la gacha style games.

Still, I’d rather it just be in fiat currency.

Worth it?

Minecraft Earth surprised me in a good way, and aside from almost walking out in front of a city bus while trying to play it, I think the core gameplay is good.

I wish the freemium models were a little less exploitative, but you do get to unlock some nice buildplates as you level, and especially persistent players may be able to offset the costs by collecting rubies through quests and adventures.

If you’re looking to play a fun AR game, I suggest checking out Minecraft Earth. It’s polished despite still being in early access, and most casual players shouldn’t feel too harassed by the in-app purchases.

This article was originally posted here

Apple says it doesn’t make any profit from repair services


Repair services can’t be cheap, especially for a company like Apple. And it turns out the company is certainly not making any profits from the endeavor, either.

Back in September, a United States House Committee sent a letter to Apple in an effort to get the company to answer several different questions spanning several topics, including App Store policies, repair services, and apps in general, especially those related to stock apps available out of the box. It’s all part of an ongoing antitrust probe, and Apple has since responded to those questions.

The answers from Apple are, simply put, predictable. The House Committee asked questions like whether or not iOS users can set a third-party app as a default option, for instance. That question pertained to Safari. Apple’s answer is exactly what you’d expect:

  1. Does Apple permit iPhone users to set a browser other than Safari as the default browser? If yes, please describe the steps a user would need to take in order to do so. If no, please explain why not.iPhone users cannot set another browser as the default browser. Safari is one of the apps that Apple believes defines the core user experience on iOS, with industry-leading security and privacy features. As noted in response to Question 1, Safari is an “operating system app,” like the Phone, Camera and iMessage, which are designed to work together.

Apple also says that, following the launch of Apple Maps back in 2012, the company “has invested billions of dollars” in the service. Interestingly, the House Committee went a bit further and asked Apple why it decided to launch its own Maps app to begin with:

  1. Why did Apple decide to build its own maps application rather than continue to use Google Maps to power the maps applications on iPhones?Apple believed that it could create a better map. In addition, because of Apple’s commitment to privacy and security, and the desire to keep as much information “on device” as possible, Apple believed offering a map that was more integrated into the device would serve the privacy needs of customers while providing them an exceptional map experience. Apple Maps helps users find their way without compromising privacy. Personalized alerts and suggestions, like letting users know when it’s time to leave for their next appointment, are created using data on your device. And the data that is sent to Maps while the app is being used—such as search terms, navigation routing and traffic information—is associated with random identifiers instead of a user’s Apple ID.

And hey, the good news here is that Apple Maps is still getting better. It’s safe to say it wasn’t all that fantastic at launch, or even in the immediate years after, but Apple’s efforts (and, apparently, the billions of dollars spent) in that regard are finally starting to pay off.

Finally, the House Committee requested profit information regarding repair services. Apple says that “costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs”, dating back to 2009.

  1. For each year since 2009, please identify the total revenue that Apple derived from repair services.For each year since 2009, the costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs.

Most of the responses from Apple aren’t all that surprising or interesting, all things considered, but we’ve pulled out the more interesting bits.


This article was originally posted here

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal]

Check out this huge sale on wireless chargers and power banks from mophie, Belkin, and iOttie.

Popular devices including the mophie powerstation, Belkin Boost Up, iOttie iON, and many more are being discounted by up to 35% off as Amazon’s Deal of the Day.

Take a look at the sale items below and please download the iClarified app or follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and RSS for deals ahead of Black Friday.

Deal of the Day:
Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad 7.5W – Fast iPhone Wireless Charger for iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, X, 8, 8 Plus, AirPods 2 (Compatible w/ Samsung, LG, Sony, more)
$23.99 (-52% from $49.99)

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount Holder Universal Phone Compatible with IPhone XS Max R 8/8 Plus 7 7 Plus 6s Plus 6s 6 SE Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus S8 Edge S7 S6 Note 9
$11.94 (-23% from $15.49)

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] Belkin Wireless Charger 10W – Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, Wireless Charger for iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XS, XS Max, XR, X, 8, 8 Plus/Samsung Galaxy S10, Note10 and More
$22.99 (-43% from $39.99)

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] iOttie Easy One Touch Mini CD Slot Car Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone Xs Max R 8 Plus 7 Samsung Galaxy S10 E S9 S8 Plus Edge, Note 9 & Other Smartphone
$11.94 (-30% from $16.95)

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] iOttie Ion Wireless Fast Charging Stand || Qi-Certified Charger 7.5W for iPhone Xs Max R 8 Plus 10W for Samsung S9 Note 9 | Includes USB C Cable & AC Adapter | Ash
$25.97 (-35% from $39.95)

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] mophie – Wireless Charge Pad – Apple Optimized – 7.5W Qi Wireless Technology for Apple Iphone 11, Pro, Max, XR, XS Max, X/ XS, 8 and 8 Plus – Black
$29.99 (-45% from $54.60)

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] iOttie Easy One Touch Mini Air Vent Car Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone Xs Max R 8 Plus 7 Samsung Galaxy S10 E S9 S8 Plus Edge, Note 9 & Other Smartphone
$11.94 (-30% from $16.95)

Huge Sale on Mophie and Belkin Wireless Chargers, Power Banks, More [Deal] mophie powerstation External Battery for Universal Smartphones and Tablets (6,000mAh) – Space Grey
$27.99 (-44% from $49.95)

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This article was originally posted here

Firstlight app gives you realtime control over iPhone camera

screenshots of Filmic Firstlight
Filmic brings live analytics to its new camera app for iPhone.
Screenshot: Filmic/App Store

An app developer putting out a camera and photo editing app today is in for a steep, uphill climb. Dozens of apps populate the category and those at the top are holding that place for a reason.

But the name Filmic should grab the iPhone photographer’s attention. The makers of the go-to app for mobile filmmakers, Filmic Pro, now have a unique camera experience for stills called Firstlight.

Firstlight is an iOS app free to download but more features are available with a subscription that is $1 per month or $8 if you prepare for the year.

Filmic’s Firstlight team did not set out to create an editing app. They want photographers to skip involved post-production by providing realtime features so that shooters get the look they are going for in-camera. Firstlight has the same live analytics found on the cinema camera app, Filmic Pro.

The free version has a number of tools: custom film simulations, adaptive film grain, exposure and focus controlled with swipes, a selection of lenses, HDR control, expanded shadow detail and burst mode.

An early criticism of the app is that RAW shooting is not available until you pay for the advanced app.

Below is a tutorial video on the Firstlight shooting experience.

This article was originally posted here

‘Apple Music for Business’ to bring licensed music playback to businesses

“Connect with customers through music.”

What you need to know

  • Apple has announced its brand new service, Apple Music for Business.
  • It’s run by PlayNetwork.
  • It will allow users to get licensed music to be played in retail locations and will feature human-curated playlists and custom recommendations matched to store brands.

Apple has announced the launch of its new Apple Music for Business plans, in partnership with PlayNetwork.

According to WSJ via 9to5Mac, the service will allow businesses to sign up for licensed music that they can play in retail stores.

It will feature human-curated playlists, much like regular Apple Music, but it will also come with custom recommendations matched to individual store brands. There’s a dedicated Apple Music for Business app with a user-friendly interface, which gives employees instant access to playlists. Users can control music so as to choose which playlists will appear in each setting or locale, and there are scheduling controls to set specific times and dates for when playlists are played. According to the website:

Partners receive dedicated support designed to get more customers to listen to and share your music—all while earning your brand additional revenue. It’s a total end-to-end customer engagement and retention experience.

Businesses will receive marking toolkits that allow them to advertise to customers exactly what music is playing and where they can find it (Apple Music), If customers see this info and sign up for an Apple Music trial, the business will get a referral fee with no cap on earnings. According to WSJ, Harrods and Levi Strauss and Co. have been quietly piloting the service. The website states that the service is now available to enterprise brands.

This article was originally posted here

The Morning Show’s producers chalk up negative reviews to ‘Apple haters’

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon star in The Morning Show on Apple TV+, available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions since November 1st.

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon star in The Morning Show on Apple TV+, available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions.

Some negative reviewers may have made up their minds before watching The Morning Show, executive producers Mimi Leder and Kerry Ehrin said onstage at Code Media in Los Angeles.

Shirin Ghaffary for Recode:

The Morning Show, which debuted on Apple TV+, is a series about a morning news TV show set in the Me Too era. The producers of the show, Mimi Leder and Kerry Ehrin, talked onstage at Recode’s Code Media conference about the challenges of launching a high-profile show on a new service, and some of the mixed critical reviews it’s received.

“When those reviews came in, I didn’t know what show they were watching. And I just kind of thought they were nuts,” said Leder, director and executive producer of the show, who is known for her previous work on shows like ER and The West Wing. “I just felt there were a lot of Apple haters and wanting Apple to fail.”

“The good news is that people love the show, and we love the show, and that’s what matters,” said Leder.

MacDailyNews Take: The anti-Apple bias in certain early reviews of The Morning Show was obvious and palpable. We bet you can read the reviews and figure out which reviewer has stuck themselves with an Android phone and/or a Windows PC.

When Apple TV+ shows are reviewed by those without an anti-Apple agenda, the reviews are excellent. Read the reviews closely and, in some, you can clearly see the anti-Apple sentiment colors their reviews. — MacDailyNews, November 3, 2019

The Morning Show is a high quality show, eminently watchable, well-written, and interesting, with some stellar acting (Jennifer Aniston is a revelation especially). On any non-Apple service, The Morning Show would generate uniformly rave reviews. The wide disparity of the reviews is clear evidence that some reviewers have ulterior agendas.

Why do some people have an anti-Apple bias? Because they are ignorant masochists who made the wrong choice and, at least subconsciously, realize they blew their money, time, and patience on inferior wares and so they dig in deep in order to protect themselves mentally. Defense mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the mind to manipulate, deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety in order to maintain one’s self-worth. “Apple is ‘bad,’ therefore I made the right choice.”

Cobbling together a computer [fake Mac] from one maker, a tablet [pretend iPad] from another, and a phone [wannabe iPhone] from yet another is not “the right choice.” It is stupid and inefficient. Those of us who smartly use Macs + iPhones + iPads effortlessly – with Continuity – run rings around those self-defeated, hamstrung saps all day long, every day of the week, 365 days a year.

This article was originally posted here