This dongle lets you charge your iPhone from your Android device

Nov 23, 2015 - 2:49 PM - by sparkyscott21

You know how you can plug your Apple Pencil into the Lightining Port of your iPad Pro to charge it?

Wouldn’t it be great it you could charge your iPhone the same way?

That’s the dream on the table (ish) with the PowerMe, a new dongle that can charge any Lightning or microUSB device from any other microUSB smartphone or tablet.

So no, the PowerMe won’t let you charge an iPhone from an iPad. But if you have a Galaxy tablet, or a Nexus 7, or any other gadget that has a microUSB port?

You can use that as your de facto USB battery pack. How awesome is that?

PowerMe is currently trying to raise funds on Indiegogo to make the product a reality. But this doesn’t appear to be a far-off bet: for just $9, you can pre-order a PowerMe with a January delivery right now.

The accessory will be available in white, gray, green, blue red and orange. Order it here.


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Man wielding a samurai sword causes chaos at Apple’s flagship 5th Avenue retail store

Nov 23, 2015 - 2:40 PM - by sparkyscott21

Just before the weekend, a man was arrested after wildly waving around a samurai sword at Apple’s flagship retail location in New York City. According to ABC7NY, a suspect named Hsu Chien walked into the Apple retail store late on Friday afternoon and headed straight for the store’s iconic winding glass staircase, all the while brandishing a sword.

Next, to the horror of nearby shoppers, Chien began screaming and waving the sword around wildly. Some witnesses later told news outlets that Chien, in the midst of his screaming tirade, at one point demanded an iPhone. Other witnesses, meanwhile, relayed that Chien at one point was counting loudly, leading some in the store to briefly think that he might have a bomb.

Eventually, the harrowing ordeal was brought to an end once Apple security personnel climbed up the stairs whereupon they managed to subdue Chien and hand him over to the police for questioning. Subsequent reports have indicated that Chien, following his arrest, was taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation. Thankfully, no one was hurt during the entire ordeal.

A portions of the incident were captured on tape and can be seen in the news segment below.

A photo taken by Twitter user Keith Davis gives us an up-close shot of Chien being arrested while also providing us with a much closer look at the sword he was brandishing about.

Chien is reportedly being charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing.


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Apple announces annual winter iTunes Connect downtime slated for Dec. 22-29

Nov 23, 2015 - 2:31 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple on Friday reminded developers that the annual iTunes Connect winter downtime is fast approaching, with this year's shutdown scheduled for Dec. 22 through Dec. 29.

A post on Apple's developer website, first spotted by MacStories, urges app makers to submit new apps and app updates now as they will be unable to do so during the week-long closure. Apple usually schedules the downtime around the holidays.

The busiest season on the App Store is almost here. Make sure your apps are up-to-date and ready for the winter holidays. New apps and app updates will not be accepted December 22-29, so any releases should be submitted, approved, and scheduled in advance. Other iTunes Connect functionality will remain available.

The company also thanked developers for helping App Store reach a milestone 100 billion cumulative downloads. Transacting customers jumped 18 percent year over year to drive a 25 percent increase in App Store revenue.

iTunes Connect is an online tool to help developers manage apps, updates, pricing, and App Store assets. Apple updated iTunes Connect in September with a revamped user interface and new features, including an option that lets developers set a launch date for app releases pending review.


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Apple wins DRM patent lawsuit leveled by ContentGuard

Nov 23, 2015 - 2:29 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple came out unscathed from a legal battle involving digital rights management IP owned by ContentGuard, a subsidiary of non-practicing entity Pendrell Corp. that sued the iPhone maker for infringing on five patents.

The jury handed down its decision in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Friday, finding Apple not in infringement of five DRM-related patents owned by ContentGuard, reports Reuters. While not responsible for damages, Apple was not able to prove the patents-in-suit invalid.

Apple was accused of illegally applying patented DRM technologies to its digital content distribution services, including music, movies and TV shows sold through iTunes and e-books marketed in iBooks. The Cupertino, Calif., company denied those claims.

Today's decision comes after ContentGuard first asserted its clutch of patents in a fishing expedition against big tech industry players in 2013, including Amazon, Samsung, BlackBerry, Motorola and HTC, among others. Google and its online music, movie and eBook storefronts were added to the list of defendants in 2014, according to Law360.

ContentGuard saw limited success in its endeavors, however. Aside from a favorable ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board in June, which spurred Amazon to settle a month later, the patent holder lost cases against Google and Samsung. Like Apple, both Google and Samsung were unable to convince juries that ContentGuard's patents are invalid.

Now owned by Pendrell and Time Warner, ContentGuard is the result of a DRM business partnership between Xerox and Microsoft struck in 2000.


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Of 101M iPhones now in U.S installed base, 62% are iPhone 6 models with Apple Pay

Nov 20, 2015 - 2:45 PM - by sparkyscott21

According to research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the installed base of iPhones in the United States has now reached 101 million. Somewhat incredibly, the majority of these phones now in use are iPhone 6 (or newer) models with support for Apple Pay via Touch ID.

By the end of the September quarter, CIRP noted that 58 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were in use in the U.S., while another 4 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models entered into service in the last weekend of the quarter.

Mike Levin, CIRP's Co-Founder, noted that iPhone 6 models sold an estimated 60 million units across their first launch year, in contrast to the estimated 28 million iPhone 5s sales that occured during its first year on sale.

"The analysis shows the continued strength of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, now one year old," Levin wrote.

CIRP's data is based on analysis of "iPhone buyers, their new model selections, their prior phones, and overlaying Apple iPhone sales data adjusted to the U.S. market."

While iPhone sales continue to grow, the rate of growth of the U.S. installed base during the September quarter is slowing, from 6 percent growth last year to 4 percent growth this year.

Levin noted that "as the U.S. market matures, Apple has fewer first-time smartphone buyers to add to their base, and faces the challenge of attracting loyal Android users."

Inciting switchers

Separate research by Ericsson Mobility indicated that shaking users loose from their current platform is rather difficult. Their report noted that "around 80 percent of Android and iOS users are loyal to their operating system."

However, that firm also found that during Apple's annual iPhone introduction, defection rates from Android and Windows doubles, as Android loyalty rates dip from 82 percent to 76 percent.

Apple's Tim Cook noted in the company's September earnings report that "we recorded the highest rate on record for Android switchers last quarter at 30 percent." Because that only included one weekend of new iPhone 6s sales, this indicates that Apple's ability to incite switching from other platforms remains significantly higher than Ericsson's data found.

Too many! Cook spoils the scoop

Cook also noted, "we also look at the number of people that have upgraded, that were in the installed base prior to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and that number is in the low 30 percentages, so we feel like we have a very open field in front of us."

Cook has a more accurate view of Apple's installed base for iPhones than outside researchers trying to ascertain the company's sales mix and installed base, but he was also commenting on global sales, not just those in the U.S.

As Apple's share of the U.S. installed base ratchets upward, it has drawn its attention toward selling iPhones in other markets, having
... [Read More]
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Leaked screenshots show glimpse of Apple troubleshooting app for iOS

Nov 20, 2015 - 2:39 PM - by sparkyscott21

Apple is working on an iOS app intended to funnel people through the support process faster, as well as address a lot of questions without phone calls or looking it up on the company's website, it was revealed on Friday.

When troubleshooting the app asks a user basic questions in order to determine the problem, and offers options for booking a Genius Bar appointment, sending a device in for repairs, or calling/chatting with a support representative, according to uSwitch Tech. The details stem from a source connected to Apple's Cupertino headquarters, as well as images supplied by well-known leak middleman Sonny Dickson.

The app also includes a number of self-help guides, which deal not only with glitches but general use.

The anonymous source noted that once a person is logged in, the app is aware of all devices registered to an Apple ID. It will also ask whether a device is on the latest version of iOS, and where relevant offer to contact a carrier when it comes to iPhone/iPad issues.

Though all of these options are available elsewhere, the upcoming app should unify and streamline them with some additional perks. When considering an AppleCare call, for example, the app displays an estiamted wait time.

uSwitch said that it's unknown if Apple is working on a fully standalone app or planning to integrate the support features into the Apple Store app. The latter currently lets users book Genius Bar appointments, but nothing more.


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