US customers get holiday channels on iTunes Radio instead
As was the case last year, Canadians are once again getting a sale on selected albums in iTunes as part of a "Boxing Day" event, part of a traditional observance throughout Canada and a number of other Commonwealth countries. The UK iTunes Store is also having a sale on hit albums, but doesn't label the event as a "Boxing Day" sale. US users don't get a sale, but are instead enjoying special holiday channels on iTunes Radio, which remains unavailable in the UK and Canada.
Williams tells Apple staff that company is improving labor conditions
In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically, Williams and Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain, or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."
Apple targeting 'Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa'
[Updated with Chinese job listing] A new job listing indicates that Apple is actively working on expanding Apple Pay worldwide, beginning with Europe. The company is seeking an Apple Pay intern who will work with a London-based team. The listing states that Apple Pay is "set to expand across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa," and that the London group will collaborate with "issuers, payment networks and merchants across Europe."
Airing Thursday in UK
At 9PM GMT on Thursday, BBC One will be airing a documentary on the working conditions in Apple's extended supply chain. The Panorama piece, titled Apple's Broken Promises, focuses initially on conditions at Chinese factories producing the iPhone 6. It also goes into detail on the sources of materials for Apple products, bringing cameras to an Indonesian tin mine where children are digging out materials by hand.
Option already available on iTunes
Apple has begun accepting PayPal at its US and UK online stores, reports note. The option has been present for some time when making a purchase through iTunes, including the App Store and the iBookstore, but missing from Apple's websites. When checking out, PayPal is listed as the only alternative to a credit or debit card.
Could impact the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google
British Chancellor George Osborne has announced a 25 percent tax on "profits generated by multinationals from economic activity here in the UK which they then artificially shift out of the country," the BBC reports. The move is forecast to generate an extra £1 billion in tax revenue over the next five years, on top of £4 billion pulled in from cracking down on tax breaks for banks. Both predictions are disputed by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which suggests that the situation is too complex to pin down definite numbers.
Could hint at new features for Apple Maps
Apple has hired five people linked to the now-defunct developer of a mapping app called Pin Drop, a report says. The app let people bookmark locations and then share them with other people; its developer shut down on October 31st, however, citing a lack of funding. The person responsible for creating the app, Andy Ashburner, may have played a role in getting his team work at Apple.
Could grow from 20 workers to 40 in 2015
Apple will be opening a research and development center in Cambridge, England within the "next few weeks," according to a regional business publication, Business Weekly. The offices are reportedly located at 90 Hills Road, and in the same city as offices for other major tech firms like ARM, Broadcom, Sony, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. It's thought that Apple's presence could start with about 20 workers and grow to as much as 40 within the next year.
Project years in development
Apple will finally open a long-awaited store in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 18, according to an official banner outside the shop. Efforts to build an Edinburgh outlet date back to at least 2010. Once a location on Princes Street was secured, the company then spent over a year in construction. This was followed by another nine-month delay as it worked to finalize the store's design.
Business-class rugged laptop features up to 14 hours of battery life, Intel Core i5
Panasonic announced today that a new entry in its rugged line of notebooks is being released in the UK. The lightweight 14-inch Toughbook CF-LX3 is a notebook that the company says it built for "busy mobile executives." It features a weight of only 2.7 pounds and a battery that can last up to 14 hours depending on activity. Panasonic adds that the Toughbook CF-LX3 can withstand drops from a desk, about a 30-inch fall.
Administrators refer Phones 4U customers to credit card companies
Customers of UK retailer Phones 4U may not receive a refund for their pre-ordered iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. PWC, the administrators of the failed retail chain, has effectively reversed an earlier decision to allow for refunds to proceed, with affected customers now extremely unlikely to receive a refund directly from the company at all.
Offerings advance beyond sports
UK TV network Sky has expanded its Now TV offerings on the Apple TV to include its Entertainment and Movies packages, according to an announcement. The app's user interface is largely the same -- including New In, Most Popular, and Must See categories -- but now extends beyond sports, and has adopted a "flat" look to match the Apple TV's new iOS 8-style aesthetics. The Now TV iOS app has offered a wider range of content for some time.
Google Now adds flight price monitor card shown after Google Flight searches
Google Now has added a new card to its roster, warning users of changes in flight prices. Spotted by Android Police, the card will automatically appear if a flight is searched for via Google Flight Search, though apparently not when using other fare comparison sites, with the card advising of any rise or fall in cost. It is unknown how far the feature has rolled out, nor if it picks up relevant data from standard Google searches or Gmail.
Approximately 900 jobs to be saved by store sale
More stores from failed British mobile phone retailer Phones 4U are being scooped up for use by a second carrier, with shops to be rebranded and reopened in a short space of time. EE, operator of Orange and T-Mobile in the country, has signed a deal with administrators to acquire 58 of the stores from the company, pending court approval, and in the process attempt to keep on 359 affected employees at the locations.
Rebranding of 140 Phones 4U stores to Vodafone expected in coming weeks
European carrier Vodafone is going to attempt to help some of the employees affected by UK retailer Phones 4U's administration proceedings. The mobile phone network will step in and acquire 140 of the chain's stores across the country, and in the process take on approximately 900 of the affected 5,596 staff at the saved locations.
Puts jobs of 5,596 people at risk
UK retailer Phones 4U has gone into administration -- the UK equivalent of bankruptcy protection -- following a decision by network operator EE not to renew a contract ending in September 2015. The company now lacks any network partners, as earlier this month Vodafone said it would skip extending its own contract. All of Phones 4U's 550 stores are shut today, and will only reopen if and when administrators decide business can resume. The situation could endanger the jobs of some 5,596 workers.
UK, Germany first European countries to receive Amazon smartphone
Amazon has lowered the cost of the Fire Phone in the United States, down to 99 cents on a two-year contract. At the same time, the retailer revealed it is bringing the Fire Phone to Europe, with the United Kingdom and Germany set to be the first markets on the continent to receive the device at the end of this month.
deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Placebo among artists
[Updated with iOS app, Apple TV channel news] Another 19 musical acts have been added to the list performing at next month's iTunes Festival in London. Some prominent names include Mary J. Blige, deadmau5, Tony Bennett, Ed Sheeran, Placebo, and Little Dragon. In all, Apple has announced 40 artists, but over 20 more have yet to be made public.
Elbow, David Gray, Lenny Kravitz, First Aid Kit among names
Apple has added another 21 acts to the list performing at next month's iTunes Festival in London. Some of the better-known additions include Jenny Lewis, Elbow, Paolo Nutini, David Gray, The Script, Jessie Ware, Ryan Adams, First Aid Kit, and Lenny Kravitz. Over 60 acts will be playing in total -- previously-announced performers include Beck, Pharrell Williams, Kylie Minogue, Maroon 5, and Robert Plant.
Focuses attention on seldom-promoted service
To promote the App Store's Newsstand section, Apple UK is now giving away five free magazine issues a day through August 22. Shoppers are limited to issues selected by Apple, however. The promotion involves single, but complete, issues of the magazines in question, in hopes of sparking subscriptions or generating more interest in e-magazines generally. The first day's group includes NME, The Economist, Focus, T3, and Glamour.
Manchester United bans electronic devices later than 150mm x 100mm from home game grounds
UK football (soccer) team Manchester United has announced a new ban on iPads and other tablet devices being brought into Old Trafford by its fans. The restriction was instigated by concerns that fans can record large portions of live matches on their tablets, and so the devices now join large bags, large cameras and liquids on the list of prohibited items.
Regulator recognizes game can be played for free, but it's 'severely limited'
It appears that regulators are catching onto the idea that Electronic Art's (EA) Dungeon Keeper mobile game isn't really what could be considered a "free-to-play" game. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent regulator of ads in the UK, ruled this week that ads promoting the game as free-to-play must not appear in the future.
Open beta Explorer program now includes the UK, participants still need to buy-in
Google decided to give customers on the other side of the pond a crack at Google Glass. The company said that is now offering the open beta Explorer program to residents of the UK. This expansion to marks the first time that Google Glass has been sold to residents outside of the United States. However, participation in the program still comes at a hefty price.
Court rules Nintendo infringed on two of three patents in lawsuit from 2012
Nintendo lost its first court battle against Philips Electronics last week over its use of technology in Wii Remotes and associated consoles. The England and Wales High Court ruled that Nintendo infringed upon two of three patents from Phillips that are based on motion, pointing and gesture controlling. The third patent considered for a potential violation, which is for modeling a body in a virtual environment, was found to be invalid.
Could be paving way for hardware refresh
(Updated with cuts on Mac mini, iMac) Apple has quietly reduced the price of the Apple TV across much of Europe. In the UK, the set-top has dipped £20 to £79. In continental countries pricing has been lowered €10 to €99. Elsewhere, though, costs appear to be unchanged. The device is still $99 in the US, for example.
Includes separate iMovie, iBooks workshops
Apple has opened registration for the 2014 edition of its annual Apple Camps. The program is aimed at teaching creative projects to kids aged 8 to 12 while simultaneously promoting Apple products. This year, two sets of three-day workshops are available: one is dedicated to creating a short film using iMovie and the iPad version of GarageBand, while the other involves producing an interactive book using iBooks Author and illustrations done on an iPad.
Online code education platform announces new partnerships in five countries
Codecademy, an educational startup aiming to provide accessible learning of programming code, has announced expansion into five more markets -- the UK, France, Brazil, Estonia and Argentina. Agreements with educational and government groups have allowed Codecademy to be available on a localized level, with partnerships including work on customized programs, and non-English language content. Presently, Codecademy courses remain free.
US, other regions still at 2-3 weeks
Apple's official shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro have shrunk to one to two weeks in several European nations including the UK, France, Spain, and Germany, checks show. Other online storefronts -- including the US -- are still showing times in the two- to three-week range. If historical trends persist, times in the US should improve in short order.
Yahoo's news app now available for Android
Yahoo has announced the expansion of their news app, now available for Android. Yahoo News Digest now features both International and Canadian news, the latter of which is primarily curated for US and United Kingdom interests. Yahoo News Digest (free) is now available for iOS on iTunes, and Android through Google Play.
Sighting adds to rumors that Apple plans multi-country but slow rollout
Fueling speculation that Apple may be planning to expand iTunes Radio to selected countries in the near future, tweets on Twitter have revealed that Apple's director of iAd services, Paul Wright, has been making the rounds of London media marketing and ad agencies where he is based. This follows claims by online radio service Bloom, which would be a competitor to iTunes Radio in the UK, that it was rebuffed from advertising on iAd, and a report of iTunes Radio briefly functioning in Ecuador.
Apple says move in keeping with official policies
UK-based streaming service Bloom.fm has been banned from advertising on Apple's iAd network due to it being competition with iTunes Radio, according to Bloom PR representatives. Until recently, Bloom was spending £2,000 per month on iAd spots. In rejecting the advertising, Apple is quoted as telling Bloom that it constituted "a competitive service to iTunes Radio and it is against Apple policy."
Former Burberry CEO could make switch to Apple this month
Apple's incoming senior VP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, is receiving her expected Dame of the British Empire title today, British newspaper the Daily Mail The honor is equivalent to a knighthood; instead of the Queen, though, today's ceremony will be hosted by Vince Cable, the British government's Secretary of State for Business. Ahrendts is originally American, and non-British citizens can't be granted damehood by the Queen; likewise, while she will be able to attach "DBE" to her name, she won't be able to refer to herself as Dame Ahrendts.
Shops could fill in key gaps
New photos may suggest that Apple's upcoming store in Hannover, Germany is almost finished. The outlet has been under development since April 2013, and construction facades are still in place on the inside of the building. An Apple logo is now on display outside the shop though, and is being lit up at night, although it's still covered. It's believed that the location could open as soon as next month.
Will be awarded title alongside Melinda Gates
Apple's incoming retail head and former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is being named a Dame of the British Empire, according to Vogue. The honor is a female equivalent of a knighthood. Since Ahrendts is originally from the US, her damehood has been approved by the Queen, but will not be awarded by a member of the British royal family. The same is true of Melinda Gates, who is being granted damehood at the same time.
Court says anonymized data can still be used to identify people
Privacy activists have won the right to sue Google in England over fooling Safari into accepting cookies, according to reports. Some time ago, Apple updated Safari to allow people to block cookie-based tracking. Google developed a workaround, but was discovered, and punished with multiple fines by the US government. An American class action lawsuit was tossed out of court in October because the judge ruled no one could prove they'd been harmed.
Testing of hands-free Beacon system expands
Transaction service PayPal has started testing a new web feature called In-Context Checkout, reports say. Normally, web-based PayPal transactions have to be completed at paypal.com. With the in-context code in place, choosing PayPal checkout at a retailer's website will simply conjure a pop-up, where billing and shipping information can be entered. At the moment only a handful of retailers have the option, but PayPal is promising that more vendors will adopt it in the first half of 2014.
Fraud estimated to be worth £450,000
A woman from Newton Aycliffe in the UK has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding people in an iPad scam, the BBC reports. Kirsty Cox was found guilty of four fraud charges connected to taking thousands of orders for iPads between March and December of 2012. Cox claimed a contact could help her get the tablets for £50 to £100 off their retail prices, but she ultimately couldn't provide them.
US residents enjoy special holiday 'channels' on iTunes Radio instead
While US residents can brag on their ability to listen to special "holiday" channels on iTunes Radio, other countries have their own iTunes celebrations going on -- the Canadian iTunes Store, for example, has launched a "Boxing Day" sale on select albums and songs, while the UK store has a similar sale (but not, strangely, labeled as "Boxing Day" related). In both countries and a few others, "Boxing Day" kicks off a week of sales from all manner of retailers.
Fails to block all adult sites, blocks public health resources
Adult content filters rolling out on the major Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom are found to be a mix of ineffectual and over-effective, according to a report. The new filters, pushed for by Prime Minister David Cameron, are seemingly blocking access to useful health-related sites, while at the same time failing to block pornographic material.
Day passes available for limited viewing
UK satellite television broadcaster Sky has announced that Apple TV users in the UK can watch Sky Sports content. The Now TV app enables users to sign up for a day pass that provides access to six Sky Sports channels, including four standard channels, the Sky Sports News channel and another dedicated to Formula One racing.
AT&T signs deal with EE for 4G roaming in UK, will offer similar connection in early 2014
AT&T has signed a deal with Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, allowing the US carrier's subscribers access to the 4G network when visiting, in a similar deal to one between AT&T and Rogers in Canada. Though the pricing of the deal were not disclosed, Pocket Lint reports that EE customers will be able to get 4G speeds from AT&T's network in the US in the first half of 2014.
Commercial version of educational tablet touts included data connections
The creator of the Aakash 2 tablet, an educational Android slate sold in India, has launched a commercial version in the United Kingdom. Though the range of 7-inch UbiSlate tablets do not match the entry-level specifications found in retailer-branded budget tablets like the Tesco Hudl, it does appear to be competing on sheer pricing of the hardware to consumers alone.
Feature additions go unmentioned
Various editions of FileMaker Pro 13 have gone on sale at Apple's UK online store ahead of an anticipated official announcement. The listings don't make mention of specific feature upgrades, but in screenshots the OS X release appears to have a new "Share" button, while the companion iOS app - FileMaker Go -- has been given a visual overhaul for iOS 7. Still missing is a matching FileMaker Server update.
Most countries participating
Most of Apple's online storefronts for Europe have announced zero-percent financing deals, available today through January 10th. Some participating countries include the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The deals are only eligible on hardware purchases worth over €400, or £449, but let shoppers spread costs over time without incurring the interest Apple normally charges. Depending on the country, payments can be spread over 10 or 12 months.
Shorter UK domain names to cost the same as existing registrations
Nominet, the domain registrar of the United Kingdom, will soon start offering shorter .uk suffixes to websites. The new address ending, set to become available from the summer of 2014, will bring the UK in line with other country-based suffixes, such as .fr for websites serving France, .de for Germany, and .ca for Canada.
Pickups already taking place at some stores
Some delivery orders of the Retina iPad mini are already en route, buyers say. In the UK, Apple notifications mention some deliveries shipping as soon as Friday, November 15. Day-one US orders are meanwhile shipping anywhere between November 18th and the 21st.
Provides free six-month subscription to higher-tier cable customers
British cable operator Virgin Media has completed its trial of offering Netflix on 40,000 of its set-top boxes, opening it up to all customers. Subscribers with a TiVo box, in over 1.8 million UK homes, will not only gain access to the streaming video service on the device, but will also gain six months of Netflix service for free to Premiere or VIP Collection customers.
Amazon listing confirms 4.5-inch display, Android KitKat upgrade in future
The Moto G could be shipping to customers the day after its expected launch on November 13th. A sales page for the phone on Amazon UK shows the device, under the previous name of the Motorola DVX, as being "due to be released on November 14th," as well as seemingly confirming a number of rumored specifications.
iPad Air availability spreads to more countries
Following earlier launches in Australia and Asia, the Apple iPad Air has gone on sale in the UK and Europe, as well in the US online store, as it moves to launch in 42 countries by the end of today. The new tablet has been released in Apple retail stores across Europe, some of which have opened earlier than normal in order to sell the iPad Air to waiting customers.
UK carriers only beginning to make announcements day ahead of launch
The UK branch of Three has announced plans to carry both the iPad Air, launching tomorrow, and the Retina iPad mini, due sometime in November. Data plans will start at £7.50 per month for 1GB of data, and scale up to £25 per month for 15GB. Costs for the iPad Air will be in line with Apple's own, beginning at £499 for a 16GB 3G/4G model. Three's LTE network will only begin rolling out in December.