Good news: It looks like you’ll still be able to whip out your iOS 8-powered iPhone or iPad, head to Notification Center, and perform some quick calculations on a calculator widget that you previously placed in the Today section. TechCrunch now reports that Apple has decided against an earlier decision to reject calculator apps from building iOS 8 widgets, which should come as a relief to apps like PCalc that first started complaining about Apple’s widget policies earlier this week.
“The PCalc app and widget will remain in the App Store, and all calculator-type widgets will be allowed as well, an Apple spokesperson has confirmed to us,” TechCrunch writes. “From our understanding, the calculator use case was not one that Apple had anticipated, which is why an App Store reviewer originally explained to Thomson that he would need to adjust the app, or risk being pulled from the App Store”
For some reason, Apple had told developers to remove calculator widgets from their apps, MacRumors reported on Wednesday, and added that they would have to do it unless they want their apps removed from the App Store.
“Apple has told me that Notification Center widgets on iOS cannot perform any calculations, and the current PCalc widget must be removed,” PCalc’s developer James Thomson wrote on Twitter.
“I’m going to try to escalate the decision, but it sounds like it was made high up and won’t be changed.” he added. “I’ve basically got 2-3 weeks to remove it, barring a miracle.”
Ironically, Apple has PCalc highlighted in its App Store as one of the iOS 8-ready apps that comes with widgets support. But as soon as the calculator widget is gone, the app will not have any widgets for users, as it’s basically a calculator app.
“I would be allowed to make a widget that let you to ‘enter a formula’ but it couldn’t perform the calculation in the widget,” Thomson revealed.
Apple’s guidelines for Notification Center widgets say that these app extensions should have a “simple, streamlined UI,” and shouldn’t be a mini version of the app.
An image showing the current PCalc widget follows below.
Apple iPhone 6 advertised on unauthorized Iranian reseller Hesam
Almost one year after the U.S. began to loosen sanctions on exports to Iran, Apple is reportedly in early stage talks with distributors to start official sales of its products in the country.
According to people familiar with the matter, senior Apple executives are courting prospective Iranian distributors at the company's headquarters in London, paving the way for an official reseller network in the Middle East country, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Apple's entry into Iran is contingent on future diplomatic relations, but the company is making preparations in case sanctions lift, sources said. The report notes other Western businesses are doing the same, but many of those interested in getting in early are based out of Europe, not America.
As for Apple, sources expected the company to rely on so-called "premium resellers" in its Iranian operations, not flagship Apple Stores. The business model would take after franchise-style outlets that deal only in Apple products, a strategy used in certain areas of Europe and Asia.
A move into Iran would not be unprecedented, at least in the smartphone sector, as a number of big-name Asian corporations are already selling their wares and have become well entrenched in the region.
In August of 2013, Apple announced it would begin selling products to customers who planned to take the devices into Iran. At the time, the U.S. government had just lifted an export ban imposed as a result of economic sanctions targeting Iran's nuclear program. The Obama administration reportedly eased restrictions of high-tech electronics as they could help citizen protestors disrupt the Iranian regime.
Like many countries, Iran has an appetite for Apple devices. A report in 2013 noted business was booming for banned Apple products, with devices being funneled in through underground trade routes for massive profits.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook published a letter on Thursday revealing that while it wasn't an "easy choice," he's decided to publicly announce that he is "proud to be gay," and that it has given him perspective on what it means to be a minority.
In the essay published by Bloomberg, Cook said he's been open about his sexual orientation for years with friends and colleagues, but coming out publicly has been a difficult decision. But recently, he's realized that his desire for privacy has held him back from "doing something more important."
"While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now," Cook wrote. "So let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
Cook used the revelation to talk about how America has changed over the years in how it views gay people and relationships, and said that public figures coming out has helped to change American culture to be more tolerant. But he also decried existing intolerant laws in the U.S. that can lead to the persecution of people based solely on their sexual orientation.
He said that while privacy remains important to him and the decision to come out wasn't an "easy choice," he hopes that hearing the CEO of Apple is gay might help someone else who is struggling with their own identity.
"Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day," Cook wrote. "It's made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It's been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry.
"It's also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO of Apple."
While Cook hasn't spoken publicly about his own sexual orientation before Thursday, he has openly championed equality during his tenure as the CEO of Apple. Just this month, he spoke on human rights issues in his home state of Alabama, and compared its slow progress on rights for the LGBT community with the country's long struggle to reach racial and gender equality.
Cook was first profiled as the "most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley" by a publication back in 2011, discussing what has been something of an open secret despite the fact that he had not, at the time, chosen to publicly disclose his sexual orientation. And earlier this year, a television anchor inadvertently "outed" Cook as gay.
... [Read More]
The iPad Air 2 is a great deal, but Apple mints money on storage
If there’s one thing Apple knows how to make, it’s money. Even so, the iPad Air 2 is one of the best value tablets Apple has ever made.
Even though it costs Apple roughly the same amount to make an iPad Air 2 as it did to make a first-gen iPad Air, Apple’s margins have actually gone down slightly on the superslim, A8X-powered tablet.
According to a new report from research firm IHS, the 16GB iPad Air 2 (Wi-Fi only) costs Apple just $275 to make, while the top-end 128GB LTE iPad Air 2 costs $358.
That means Apple’s profit margin on the iPad Air 2 ranges between 45 percent and 57 percent, depending on the device.
Comparatively, Apple made more money selling the first-gen iPad Air: The profit margin Apple could depend on making there ranged from 45 percent on the low end to 61 percent on the high end.
Where is the profit margin dip coming from? Memory. The iPad Air 1 shipped with 16, 32, 64 and 128GB of memory; the iPad Air 2, on the other hand, leaves out the 32GB tier, effectively lowering the price for the 64GB and 128GB models by $100 each.
Don’t cry too much for Apple though. According to IHS, Cupertino still makes most of its profit on memory: Wile 128GB of flash memory costs Apple just $60, they sell a 128GB device at a $300 premium.
Not a bad business model, if you can manage it. Sadly, few besides Apple can.
Apple on Tuesday announced to developers that it has extended iAd support to an additional 70 countries, with the advertising network now in 95 countries around the world.
The expanded iAd availability was announced through Apple's developer webpage, which notes additional countries include those in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia.
The aggressive iAd rollout foreshadows Apple's intentions for the branded advertising platform, which has failed to live up to initial expectations. Apple is pressing for more comprehensive placement for its clients, good examples being integration with iTunes Radio and the introduction of full-screen interstitial video ads in August.
Apple also reminded developers that iAds can be created using iAd Workbench, the company's easy to use campaign generation, modification and tracking tool. Further, iAd Producer was recently updated with new capabilities, including support for fullscreen iPhone banner ads. Apple's iAd Workbench is open to anyone with a valid Apple ID.
Just last week, rumors suggested Apple is working to integrate Apple Pay with its iAd platform by including interactive buy buttons for advertised products. According to reports, the system could roll out in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season.
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