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Tim Cook throws more shade at Google because Apple can’t win the classroom


Once he and his company is threatened by an outsider, Apple’s Tim Cook heads straight to the press and drops a quote that gets attention. The latest victim of a frustrated outburst from the Apple CEO is the Chromebook, the family of computers that runs Google’s Chrome OS. This comes as Google expects there to be more Chromebooks distributed in schools than all other devices combined.

While not naming Chromebooks specifically, Cook was clear in targeting them indirectly.

“Assessments don’t create learning. We are interested in helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no. We create products that are whole solutions for people — that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level.”


Cook referred to Chromebooks as “test machines” even before providing that little bit on allowing students to learn and teachers to teach. Are students and teachers not benefiting from Google’s efforts in education? The company has continuously built up its Classroom platform since launching in 2014 and introduced virtual reality to the classroom as well. Meanwhile, Apple is trying to sell school districts iPads, but that hasn’t worked out very well for and the Los Angeles Unified School District legally went after the company in April. The two parties reached a settlement of $4.2 million in September. This is all while Google can get hardware manufacturers to produce low-cost Chromebooks for schools at a rapid pace.

And this still doesn’t feel as feisty as the time Cook called Android a “toxic hellstew,” to which Sundar Pichai defended Android’s security and pointed out that Google’s mobile operating system is being adopted at faster pace than anything else. You’re going to have to try harder next time, Tim. Because none of the millions of people using Chromebooks around the world are feeling like they have “test machines” in their hands. Perhaps Apple could do better in education if they released accessible products. A glorified iPad that starts at $799 and is way less productive than a mountain of Android and Windows devices probably shouldn’t have been Apple’s most recent move if education is such a big deal to the company. Who knows, maybe the next “one more thing” at an Apple event will be a low-cost MacBook.

Source: BuzzFeed News

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Griffin’s ‘Survivor Play’ Case for Apple TV Siri Remote Now Available

Back in September, Griffin announced its first product for the fourth-generation Apple TV, a silicone case designed to protect the Apple TV Siri Remote. As of today, Griffin’s Survivor Play remote control case is available for purchase.

The Survivor Play mimics the design of sleeves for the hand-held Wii Remote, wrapping the Siri Remote in a soft textured silicone that adds grip and padding that may save it from breaking should it be dropped on accident. The Siri Remote slips easily into the sleeve, which protects the back, the sides, and part of the front while still leaving the buttons, the built-in touch pad, and the Lightning port available for use.


At the back, there’s a thick but ergonomic grip included, which Griffin says makes the Survivor Play easy and comfortable to hold on to even during long gameplay sessions.

Given that there have already been multiple reports from people who have broken the glass touch area on their Apple TV Siri Remotes, the Survivor Play is a useful accessory that could prove to be quite popular with Apple TV owners. Because it leaves the Lightning port open, it can be paired with a Remote Loop for even more peace of mind.


Griffin’s Survivor Play for the Siri Remote can be purchased from the Griffin website for $19.99.

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Samsung Pay now incorporates buying and using 50 popular gift cards

Samsung Pay is the most widely accepted mobile payment platform on the planet, and now they’re stepping up their game even further. Samsung Pay will now support the purchase, storing, use and sharing of 50 of the most popular gift cards on the market, just in time for Christmas. Samsung also announced a gift card store where users can purchase gift cards for themselves or others right on their phone within the Samsung Pay app.

Samsung is making a major push to be the king of the mountain in the mobile payment game. The biggest advantage they have is being able to use the mobile payment platform with older style magnetic strip detectors with their Magnetic Secure Transmission technology. This technology lets Samsung Pay emulate magnetic strips and expands the ability to pay at many more stores and shops with older hardware.

With the support of more than 50 major retail gift cards and the launch of the in-app gift card store, Samsung Pay is bringing consumers an easier way to use gift cards

Injong Rhee, EVP of Samsung Electronics, Global Head of Samsung Pay

The mobile payment industry is right now in a race to the most convenient. Samsung has a challenge because they’re only on Samsung devices, which to be fair dominate the Android landscape. But, now that you don’t have to carry multiple credit cards and multiple gift cards with you it’s easy to envision leaving the house with just your phone and ID and being fine.

Here is a list of all the gift cards Samsung Pay will now support:  Buca di Beppo Gap Options OfficeMax Southwest Airlines
ArcLight Cinemas Carnival Cruise Lines Ghirardelli Chocolate Old Navy Spafinder Wellness® 365
Athleta California Pizza Kitchen Goodcents Deli and Subs Omaha Steaks Staples
Babies “R” Us Curtis Lumber Gordmans PacSun Sur La Table
Baby Gap Detroit Zoo Grinders Above and Beyond Panda Express Swinging Doors
Banana Republic Dominos Gymboree Pep Boys Tabasco
Barnes & Noble eBay Legal Sea Foods Puckett’s Grocery The Container Store
Bass Pro Shops Express Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que Regal Entertainment Group Toys “R” Us
Bob Evans GameStop Max & Erma’s Rue 21 Whole Foods Market
Bow Tie Cinemas Gap Nike Shoney’s Wooden Nickel

Source: Business Wire

The post Samsung Pay now incorporates buying and using 50 popular gift cards appeared first on AndroidGuys.


T-Mobile will give Verizon customers a year of Hulu to switch

T-Mobile announced a new phase of its Un-carrier Unwrapped holiday promotion on Thursday. The company already offered Sprint customers $200 to change carriers and tempted AT&T subscribers with a steeply discounted 128GB iPhone 6s. Now, Verizon customers who switch to T-Mobile’s Simple Choice postpaid plan will receive a year-long Hulu subscription (with limited commercials, valued at $100). Additionally, switchers will receive up to a 50 percent discount on all in-store accessories. The promotion runs until Sunday, December 13th. You can find full details, rules and restrictions over at T-Mobile.

Source: T-Mobile


SwiftKey launches assistive app for users with special needs

SwiftKey released a new app on Thursday designed to give users with learning disabilities (those living with autism, for example) a non-verbal means of communication with friends and family. The app, called Symbols, allows these users to construct sentences using a series of images rather than words. It’s driven by the same prediction engine that powers SwiftKey’s popular keyboard app. What’s more, Symbols also takes time and date into account when recommending specific symbols to further simplify routine communications. Plus, the app can be heavily customized to suit the user’s specific needs including the addition of custom images and categories, speech-to-text and audio playback.

“The communication opportunities that this app will provide are amazing,” said Charlotte Parkhouse, a Speech & Language Therapist at the UK’s Riverside School, which helped develop the program. “The flexible use of symbols will allow pupils with severe communication difficulties to express themselves in meaningful ways and the predictive symbol function means that it can be truly personalised. Brilliant!”

Symbols is currently available for Android devices at Google Play.

Source: SwiftKey


Google Photos’ new albums make it easier to share memories

When the time comes to collect photos from your weekend camping trip, Google Photos now has a way to do so with ease. With the image repository’s new shared albums, all you have to do is share a link with the folks you’d like to contribute. If this sounds familiar, Google first detailed the updated sharing at its Nexus event back in September. You and your fellow collaborators can also receive notifications when new photos or video are added to the library. Of course, Google Photos offers unlimited storage, so you won’t have to worry about eating up your allotted space.

You can also download files added by others to your personal Google Photos collection, should the need arise. You know, if you’re concerned a member of the crew may try to get rid of some embarrassing memories. The new shared albums work a lot like sharing photo and gallery links have since the service split off from Google+, only now you can let folks add photos to the albums, too. If you’re looking to give it a go, shared albums are rolling out today across Android, iOS and the web.

Source: Google Blog


The Apple TV already has over 2,600 apps

It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the new Apple TV is already home to over 2,600 apps. The company that helped launch the entire app-centric industry might have been a bit late to the streaming-media box app store, but according to data collected by appFigures, tvOS is well on its way to becoming another popular platform for developers to build upon.

According to the data, the number one type of app available for the Apple TV are games. It’s not surprising that 38 percent of the store is hoping to make the device a gaming console. But, users have other plans.

The top 10 apps are all from major streaming companies, Netflix, Hulu etc. In fact, 28 of the top 50 apps are entertainment with only eight games games breaking into that list. Of course it’s easier to build a game than to become a major content provider. So expect more games for the box in the foreseeable future.

Source: appFigures


Here’s the Cygnus spacecraft launching in glorious 4K

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft, laden with more than 7,000 pounds of supplies destined for the International Space Station, finally got off the ground earlier this week and NASA was there to capture the successful launch in 4K ultra high definition. The space agency utilized an array of six UHD cameras positioned around Cape Canaveral AFS to document the event and has posted the footage to its newest YouTube channel, NASA TV UHD. This launch marks the first flight of the Cygnus spacecraft since a disastrous attempt in October, 2014 which saw the Antares rocket carrying it explode shortly after takeoff.

Via: NASA (Twitter)



MacRumors Gift Guide by Joe: 64GB iPhone 6s on T-Mobile, V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Headphones and More

Earlier this week, my coworker Juli Clover kickstarted our MacRumors Gift Guides with a list of items that she owns and loves, would love to receive or would love to gift to someone. Today, she passes the reins onto me.

Our second gift guide this week is written by myself, Joe Rossignol, and is based on gifting an iPhone 6s on T-Mobile, including some of my personal favorite headphones and accessories that can be bundled with the smartphone.

SIM-Free 64GB iPhone 6s – $749 or Financed:

iphone6s-gold-select-2015iPhone 6s is Apple’s newest smartphone, featuring a faster A9 chip with 2GB of RAM, 3D Touch and Live Photos. Apple continues to offer a base model with 16GB storage, but upgrading to 64GB is highly recommended for iPhone users with a higher number of apps, photos and music. iCloud storage is also available.

Apple sells the 64GB iPhone 6s in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver or Space Gray for $749, while T-Mobile’s newer JUMP! On Demand financing program breaks down the cost of the smartphone into 24 equal monthly payments of $27.09 with $99.99 due upfront. A credit check and qualifying service are required.

Also read more about Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program.

T-Mobile 6GB Simple Choice Plan – $65/Month:

T-Mobile Nationwide 4G LTET-Mobile is progressively becoming a more attractive U.S. carrier for iPhone users on a budget. Under the leadership of CEO John Legere, the carrier has replaced contracts and subsidizing pricing with attractive price points and features that are highly competitive with larger rivals AT&T and Verizon.

One of the most valuable plans offered by U.S. carriers is T-Mobile’s 6GB Simple Choice postpaid or prepaid plan, which for $65 per month includes unlimited talk, text messaging and up to 6GB of 4G LTE data nationwide, in addition to complimentary features such as Binge On, Data Stash, Mobile Without Borders and Music Freedom.

  • Mobile Without Borders: Unlimited talk and text messaging to and from the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, and free 4G LTE roaming in select markets

  • Simple Global: Unlimited low-speed data and texting at no extra cost, and flat-rate calls for 20 cents per minute, in 145 other countries outside of the U.S.

  • Data Stash: At the end of the month, your unused 4G LTE data, up to 20GB total, rolls forward into your Data Stash to be used any time within 12 months. If you use 3GB of your 6GB 4G LTE data in January, for example, you could use up to 9GB of 4G LTE data in February. T-Mobile is also offering 10GB of 4G LTE data for free until December 31, 2015 as a one-time promotion for new customers.

  • Music Freedom: T-Mobile offers unlimited streaming music from a number of top services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, SiriusXM and more. The data used by these apps does not count against your monthly allotment.

  • Binge On: T-Mobile offers unlimited 480p video streaming from a number of top services, including Netflix, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, WatchESPN, Showtime, Starz Play, Encore Play, Vevo,, NBC Sports, Movieplex Play, Vessel, Sling TV, Sling Box, T-Mobile TV, Go90, DirecTV, Univision Sports, Crackle, FOX Sports, FOX Sports Go, Vudu, and Ustream.

For most iPhone users, 6GB of 4G LTE data per month should be a reasonable amount, especially when considering the dozens of music and video streaming services that T-Mobile does not count against your data allotment. T-Mobile’s network is still inferior to AT&T and Verizon in some areas, however, so be sure to check their coverage map.

V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Headphones – $300

VMODA-Crossfade-WirelessApple’s EarPods included in the box with the iPhone 6s are likely good enough for the average iPhone user, but heavy music listeners or audiophiles may prefer to invest in a more premium pair of headphones. Nearly five years ago, I did so myself by purchasing a pair of V-MODA Crossfade LP headphones.

V-MODA continues to sell a lineup of premium headphones today, including new Crossfade Wireless headphones for $300 [Amazon]. The on-ear headphones deliver up to 12 hours of award-winning sound over Bluetooth per charge, or you can use the USB port or 3.5mm headphone jack for wired analog listening with zero latency.

Related Rumor: Apple May Replace 3.5mm Headphone Jack on iPhone 7 With All-in-One Lightning Connector

V-MODA’s Crossfade Wireless headphones use high-end Crossfade M100 drivers and are designed with an ergonomic steel flex headband, patented 50mm dual diaphragms, interchangeable soft memory cushions, custom 3D printed shields with laser engraving and other premium materials.

Bluelounge Backpack – From $149

Bluelounge-BackpackBluelounge’s Backpack is another product that I have owned for several years, it having accompanied me on multiple trips to New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco and other destinations. The roll-top backpack is modern, eco-friendly and versatile, featuring solid aluminum carabiners and neoprene compartments that can hold smartphones, tablets and other day-to-day items.

Bluelounge’s Backpack is also waterproof and transitional in size, making it a perfect gift idea for the college student or outdoorsman among your family or friends. The backpack, made from 100% PET recycled materials and solid aluminum, is available in small for $149 (black or green) or in large for $159 (black or gray).

Anker Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case – $39.99

Anker Ultra Slim Battery CaseApple introduced its new Smart Battery Case earlier this week for $99, which is two-and-a-half times more expensive than Anker’s Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case for iPhone 6s on sale for $39.99 [Amazon]. Anker’s case also delivers an extra 2,850 mAh battery capacity, providing up to 120% extra battery life per charge, compared to Apple’s 1,877 mAh battery case.

Anker’s Ultra Slim Battery Case may be slightly harder to put on your iPhone, and does not display the case’s battery level on the Lock screen or in Notification Center, but its affordable price point is hard to ignore. Wirecutter calls it the best battery case for iPhone 6s.

We’re going to be sharing additional gift guides over the next week, so make sure to keep an eye out for them. If you have a favorite product, feel free to add it to our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Master List, which is going to be turned into a gift guide culled from our forum members’ most loved items.

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tvOS App Store After One Month: 2,624 Apps in Total, Entertainment Apps Most Popular With Consumers

It’s been more than a month since tvOS and the tvOS App Store launched alongside the new fourth-generation Apple TV, marking a good time to take a look at the state of the tvOS App Store. AppFigures today published some figures on tvOS apps, giving us an overview of the new App Store’s progress since it launched.

There are a total of 2,624 apps available in the tvOS App Store, and AppFigures expects growth to hit 5,000 apps in January and 10,000 apps early in 2016, with an average of 447 apps being added to the tvOS App Store each week. At that growth rate, tvOS is closely mirroring the growth of the original iOS App Store. In July of 2008, the iOS App Store launched with 500 apps, and expanded to 9,676 apps four months later in November of 2008.


At six months, the iOS App Store was at 15,000 apps and 500 million downloads, so it will be interesting to see if the tvOS App Store keeps pace. As of now, its growth rate compared to the growth rate of the iOS App Store is promising — in a few years, the tvOS App Store could closely resemble the iOS App Store in terms of app availability.

Of course, Apple will need to entice developers to the platform for it to be as successful as the iOS App Store, and that could be an uphill battle. TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp recently spoke to multiple tvOS developers who have popular apps and games in the tvOS App Store, many of whom are earning $100 “on a good day” with revenue that’s been trailing off since the Apple TV launched.

The tvOS App Store may be growing steadily, but if Apple can’t encourage developers to create high-quality content for the platform, it could go the way of the Mac App Store instead of the iOS App Store. Aside from a handful of super popular apps, most Mac App Store apps aren’t bringing in a lot of money and some developers are even abandoning the platform because of the way Apple has handled it.

There are no ads available in tvOS apps, so developers must charge money up front or generate revenue through in-app purchases. A lot of people have come to expect content for free through the iOS App Store, which is problematic. According to AppFigures, 39 percent of apps on the tvOS App Store are paid apps. Most paid apps are priced at $0.99, and almost all paid apps are priced below $4.99.


When it comes to the composition of apps in the tvOS App Store, games are, unsurprisingly, the most popular category, making up 38 percent of all Apple TV apps. Of the 2,624 apps available, 1,002 of those are in the Games category. Entertainment, which includes apps like Netflix or Hulu, is the second most popular category, followed by Education and Lifestyle.


Though games are the most prolific apps in the tvOS App Store, based on the top 50 most downloaded apps, customers are more interested in the Entertainment category, downloading apps like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go. Games is the second most popular download category, followed by News.

AppFigures data was gathered from its Appbase app catalog, which contains more than four million apps from all major app stores, including Apple TV apps.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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