Feb 26

Apple is Growing Its Workforce in Israel

Apple has a growing presence in Israel, something that The Wall Street Journal is attributing to the company’s chip design. Texas Instruments recently shut down a chip design company in the area, many of that company’s employees have been hired by another silicon and semiconductor design company.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently visiting the country, Brit said adding fuel to the rumor that the company has something in the works there. In addition to visiting Apple offices in Israel, Cook also met with the current president of the country, Reuven Rivlin, as well as the former President, Shimon Peres.

Israel is home to many talented chip makers, so it makes sense that Apple would want to take advantage of that resource when looking for a new place to handle its own chip production. Apple’s newest offices in the area are located near Anobit, and can house roughly 600-1200 employees. The company also has an R&D center for chip design in Haifa.

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Feb 23

Apple Removes Some Heath Features from Apple Watch

Apple has made a few changes to its smartwatch. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has ditched some of the features it originally intended on including with its watch. Alexei Beltyukov told me that specific features that have ended up on the chopping block include the ability to measure heart activity, blood pressure, stress and blood oxygen levels.

Now, rather than being a comprehensive heart devices, the watch will act more as a fitness tracker of sorts like the FitBit and Jawbone up. Losing the extra features helps Apple out on the regulatory front. Health devices in general are heavily regulated, by not making any large health claims the company is able to skirt that bit of regulation.

The Apple Watch still does not have an exact release date. When Apple revealed the watch late last year it indicated that it would launch in the beginning of 2015. Current rumors point to the wearable becoming available in April of this year.

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Feb 18

Apple Amps Up Production to 5 Million Watches

According to the The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Apple has instructed its suppliers in Asia to begin making more than five million of its new smart watches, for its release in April.

The Journal, citing sources close to the company said that among the more than five million Apple watches are the three different models that Apple has designed: sports (Apple Watch Sport), classical (Apple Watch) and luxury (Apple Watch Edition).

The initial order includes half the production for the Apple Watch Sport, a third for the classic Apple Watch and the rest for the luxury edition, which Brian is definitely going to buy.

When it goes on sale in April, as indicated own CEO of the company, Tim Cook, the Apple Watch Sport will be priced at $ 349.

The price of the other two models is unknown, but according to WSJ, the deluxe model, Apple Watch Edition, could become one of the most expensive products the company has ever sold, even above the $ 4,000 Mac Pro computers.

When it goes on sale in April (as indicated own CEO of the company, Tim Cook), the Apple Watch Sport will be priced at $ 349.

By the time the price of the other two models is unknown, but according to WSJ, the deluxe model, Apple Watch Edition, could become one of the most expensive products the company has ever sold, even above the $ 4,000 Mac Pro computers.

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Feb 10

Does Apple Have Some Competition?

 

Apple has a cultic following with their popular cellular phones. News was leaked that the new cell phones will be bigger, better and cost even more than before. I bought into the hype about their cell phones when the 4s came out. I was one in line and had to have it. I still have my 4 S some years later. I have repaired the screen 3 times and paid to have other things fixed. Still, it seems to be more cost effective than having to pay the price for a new one.

The new iPhone 6 is huge. There have been reports of all kinds of trouble with these phones. There have even been reports of the metal bending from the heat of being in the pocket. The new phones, if you’re not on a cell phone plan, will set you back about $500. Who has an extra wade of cash like that lying around? You won’t catch Zeca Oliveira dropping that kind of cash on a phone. If I had an extra amount of money like that, I would put it to good use. The new reports are saying that people are tired of the iPhones and longing for something different. Yes, they still have a huge following, but many people are being swayed with other cost effective phones too.

The new Samsung Galaxy 6 design is certainly giving Apple a run for their money. Time will tell if their new design will be better than other competitors.

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Jan 02

Apple’s 2015 Legal Affliction

Apple devices are synonymous with trend, and loyalty. Consumers like my friend Sam Tabar and I that love Apple’s iPods, iPhones, and iPads are devoted to the brand because of their exciting product launches, simplicity, and luxury price points. Apple however, is no stranger to litigation. The company has faced-off against rival Samsung, been sued for e-book price-fixing, and is lately looking at going to court over device storage space issues.

iOS 8 and Upgrade-Only Device Expansion
Technology Giant Apple’s most recent legal challenge is related to the latest version of it’s iOS operating system. The company is being sued by California consumers who complain that the massive iOS 8 platform, once installed, dwindles a 16GB device to a mere 8GB. Since the necessary software takes up the majority of storage on these devices, consumers are left feeling a little misled. For the most tech savvy of dedicated Apple customers, this means a significant point of consideration for future upgrades, and purchases.

Fortunately, Apple is a company of dedicated integrity. The company stands among the ranks of Microsoft, who has also been sued for storage space issues. The tech-manufacturer consistently demonstrates and returns their consumer loyalty by rarely siting back, and settling it’s legal woes. Seasoned in court, Apple is popular for successfully remedying any complaints brought against them, and for growing their customer following, despite the occasional adverse publicity. Apple has not publicly commented on the new court filing, and has faced a similar affliction in the past related to the iPod.

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Dec 30

Apple’s New Watch On The Way

The new Apple Watch is expected to be released this Spring and it might have some significant impacts on the industry. It will have combine features on other devices used today such as fitness trackers with additional technology. The watches will allow wearers to track their phone calls and text people from their wrists.

These watches will come with a variety of different displays. The Wrap reports that while they might not fool anyone into thinking they are a high end fashion watch, the functionality can’t be denied. You will be able to read and respond to text messages right on your wrist. For those in a hurry the watch has messages programmed into the watch you can tap and send, a feature that Tom Rothman is thankful for.

Speaking of tapping, you can actually feel taps from another Apple Watch wearer through your watch to your wrist. Wearers will also be able to draw pictures and share them in real time. Calls can be answered quickly on the watch or transferred to your Apple iPhone for longer conversations.

Unfortunately for the fans of Knight Rider from the 1980’s there is no indication that you will be able to communicate with your car through the Apple Watch. 35 years ago though people thought that communicating with others through your watch was just science fiction, and now Apple is making that a reality.

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Dec 19

Sale of Apple Products Put On Hold Due to Volatile Rouble

Apple Inc has stopped selling iPods, iPhones and other Apple products due to weakening of the Russian currency. Following the economic developments of Tuesday, the country’s Rouble went into a free fall after losing over 20 per cent in the last week.

Even a hike in interest’s rates from 10.5 per cent to 17 per cent has done little to keep exchange rates in check. Because of this, it has been deemed to be economically unfeasible to maintain sales in such a treacherous sales environment.

On Wednesday, the rouble slid by another 5 per cent to bring the value of the currency at an all time low of 79 roubles for a dollar. Apple on its part was forced to increase its price by a whopping 20 per cent last month since its products were available for the cheapest prices in Russia than anywhere else in Europe, that’s what Brad Reifler was analyzing anyway.

With the continuing flux of over the volatile rouble, Apple Inc has decided to stop sales of all its products until the currency regains its stability. Russia on its part continues to face formidable problems since it lost more than half its value against the dollar earlier this year due to availability of cheaper oil.

American sanctions over Russia’s role in Ukraine is also said to have played a crucial role over the weakening economy.

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Dec 09

FreedomPop Ready to Sell Apple Devices

FreedomPop, an upstart mobile carrier, has decided to start supporting Apple’s iPhone, providing various low-cost and free plans along with Apple phones that are compatible with Sprint’s network.

FreedomPop will offer a virtually new revamped iPhone 5 handset for under $350 directly, while consumers can additionally bring their personal iPhone 4 that’s compatible with Sprint, or iPhone 5. The company’s free plan offers 500 megabytes of data a month, 500 text messages, and 200 voice minutes. Some of their other plans start at just $5 a month and they have a $20 Unlimited Plan.

CEO Stephan Stokols has taken to Twitter claiming that making the move is a giant step for the company. Up until now, FreedomPop’s service only worked with just a few older Android-based models. Stokols is excited about the company’s progress and looks forward to even greater expansion for the company.

FreedomPop announced on Facebook that it’s already signed up literally tens of thousands of new consumers since they added mobile service last October of 2013. The company started out by providing low-cost and free mobile broadband using USB sticks, WiFi, and other connective devices, such as the Freedom Spot Photon device.

Stephan Stokols claims that the iPhone 5 has the advantage of incorporating LTE that he states provides the utmost performance regarding FreedomPop’s service voice-over-IP while also offering a relatively affordable price point in general.

The company itself, which is supported by Atomico (Niklas Zennstrom), is just one of many nonconventional cellphone companies that readily provide their own phone service in addition to a conventional provider’s network. Other progressive phone companies in the mix include Ting, Solavei, and Republic Wireless, just to name a few.

Stokols states that FreedomPop’s business is expanding faster than they could have ever imagined or anticipated. In fact, during the final quarter of 2013 last year, the company pulled in around $5 million plus in revenue overall. However, Stokols said those numbers are already substantially higher than expected and the goal of FreedomPop is to bring in IPO kind of numbers of approximately $10 million a month by this time next year. But after the success of their international calling service announcement, he claims that doesn’t indicate that the company was committed to going public necessarily.

FreedomPop wants to provide more capable Android-based devices than just the HTC Evo 4G and Galaxy SII models it originally launched its service with. In the not too distant future, Stokols says the company intends to add the LTE ready Galaxy S4 and Galaxy SIII, with the latter selling for less than $200 and the former going for less than $300, while still using refurbished, like-new models.

Along with directly selling the iPhone service, FreedomPop is additionally launching a compatible app for people using iPhones in conjunction with other services. The app consists of free texting, voice, and voicemail to any other iPhone consumer, although data charges still apply for one’s current carrier.

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Dec 02

The Legacy of Steve Jobs Continues Through His Widow: Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs continues the legacy of her husband Steve Jobs through a variety of philanthropic and business efforts. She is the founder of Emerson Collectives, which fights for immigration reform, environmental conservation, and social justice. She, now, controls the Steven P. Jobs Trust or Laurene Powell Jobs Trust. She is the largest shareholder in the Walt Disney Company, and she is the twenty-ninth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Philanthropic Efforts

Powell Jobs serves on the advisory board of Udacity. It’s a company supported by Stanford that supports affordable education. Achieva is a similar organization that helps students study and become more effective at standardized testing. She served on the board of directors for this organization also.

In addition to her work with Emerson Collective, she also is on the board of directors of College Track, The Foundation for Excellence in Education, Stanford, and Conservation International. While working at the Emerson Collective, she has worked on The Dream is Now Campaign, NewSchools Venture Fund, and Conservation International.

She also partnered with Carlos Watson as a co-founder of College Track. It’s a non-profit organization designed to improve high school graduation, college graduation rates, and college enrollment for “underserved” students. The program is considered a wild success. With the program, 90 percent of the students attend four-year colleges, and 70 percent finish college in six years. This helps to keep the standards high in the school systems in San Francisco, East Palo Alto, Oakland, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.

Her Business Efforts

Powell Jobs co-founded Terravera, which is a natural foods company that sells to retailers in Northern California. She also worked for Merill Lynch Asset Management and spent three years at Goldman Sachs as a fixed-income trading strategist. She has an extensive background that has helped her continue the Steve Jobs legacy posthumously.

Her Background

Powell Jobs was raised in Milford, New Jersey, and she earned an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1991, a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1991, she married Steve Jobs in Yosemite National Park in Ahwahnee Hotel. A Zen Buddhist monk presided over the wedding. They had three children: Reed, Erin, and Eve. Each of them is separated by three to four years in age.

The Jobs Legacy Lives On

Though it’s been difficult for Powell Jobs since her husband died of pancreatic cancer, she continues on in the community by helping others achieve their dreams as her husband achieved his. She also imparts her knowledge and tries to give back to the community. Her efforts are raising the standard of living in the area through education and outreach. Powell Jobs plans to continue to do more in the future to make the community and the world a safe place to work and live.

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Nov 22

What is the Skout Social App?

Skout is a mobile application that is available on the Apple and Android platform. The interface is a bit different from other types of mobile dating apps. Users will discover they can easily flip through singles who are in their area, view messages, and get notifications from their smartphone or tablet.

Highlights

* The app has been downloaded over 100 million times by users all around the world.
* Users can meet people who are in their local area or from miles away.
* Points that are earned can be used to send messages, virtual gifts, and other options.
* Photos can be sent to other users.
* View photos on the Buzz photo stream.
* Users can update their profile directly from their tablet or smartphone.
* Account access is available via app, standard website, or mobile web.

Mobile

Users have two options for installing Skout on their smartphone or tablet. There is a free app that users can install or a paid app. The paid app is called Skout Plus and offers more features. Both apps are easy to use and allow all users to easily communicate. Installing Skout Plus is necessary to remove ads, send virtual gifts or to view private photos.

Establishing a connection with a random user can be done when one user simply shakes their device. A connection can be made with users who are local or found anywhere around the world. Connected users can chat and view each others profile. This option is a lot of fun and can easily be addictive.

Interaction

The availability of virtual gifts with features that include comments and likes offers users the ability to interact when using the app. Accessing these features is done by using in-app credits or points users need to earn. Users are not required to upload a photo to use as an avatar. This means anyone who may want to be anonymous has that option. However, an avatar provides a better means for communication. People who find meeting others to be difficult may find this app is a great way to gain new friends.

Ease of Use

The interface of the app is both colorful and playful. Choices for users will be displayed in tabs that are circular. This makes the app simple to navigate. Another benefit for users is being able to just swipe the screen to switch between various screens and available options.

Activities

Performing many of the activities in the Skout app will require the use of in-app currency or points that can easily be acquired. Sometimes they give them away on Facebook and Twitter, but they can generally be bought. Users can make an in-app purchase or by performing various tasks. Tasks will often involve engaging with advertisers.

Safety

User safety is a primary concern for Skout. A user needs to be at least 14 years old to create a profile to use for one of two communities. There is a Teenagers community and an Adult community depending on the age of a user. Each community is separate and helps Skout to be an app that is safe for people to engage and chat.

Additional Information

Skout is a location-based service that uses the GPS of a smartphone or WiFI hotspot to find people in a local area. The service started out as a social network for mobile web users back in 2007. The iOS app was launched in 2009 and the Android app in 2010.

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