Apple makes key Maps hire from Nokia HERE as it fixes past leadership’s mistakes

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Apple has made another notable hire from the mapping world this month: the Cupertino-based company, coming off of a series of mishaps in its Maps division, has brought on former Nokia HERE and NAVTEQ executive Torsten Krenz, according to sources. Before joining Apple this month, Krenz served as Nokia HERE’s director of regional map and content. 

Krenz has had a long career in the mapping world and previously served as Vice President of Global Expansion in NAVTEQ’s Digital Mapping Operations before it was acquired by Nokia and merged with Here. Sources say Krenz was leading global field operations and responsible for ground truth mapping worldwide at Here before departing for Apple. It’s an interesting hire as Apple also hints at a new data-collection project for Maps and could be another clue the company is looking to step up its own data-collection to improve Maps. Read more

Apple interviews Tom Hanks via Twitter about his new Hanx typewriter iPad app

Tom Hanks iPad

Tom Hanks has played many roles throughout his acting career in movies like Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, and even Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy, and today the actor is finally adding app developer to that list.

Hanx Writer, a flashy new app with a very classic concept revisited for the tablet age, is the result of close collaboration between Tom Hanks and the game/mobile app development studio Hitcents. The app brings the old school typewriter experience to the iPad with clicking and clacking and dings and includes various inks, ribbons, and keyboards. It’s also very functional in that you can share you documents in all their vintage glory over email, AirDrop, print, and more just like any modern iPad writer. Catch the interview after the break… Read more

Report claims concerned Apple met with Thailand NTBC over disclosing iPhone 6 model numbers

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We learned yesterday that Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has approved the sale of two unreleased iPhones, specifically with the model numbers A1524 & A1586, ahead of the expected announcement on September 9th. Confirmation of the approval for the new iPhone models was even publicized via Twitter by the NBTC’s Secretary General in addition to being discussed on video.

Whether or not the two new model numbers point to the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions of the next generation iPhone or simply changes to existing iPhone models sold in Thailand isn’t certain until the devices hit the market, but a local report filed from Thai Rath claims that Apple South Asia has “requested a meeting to discuss the case of the NBTC,” suggesting these model numbers are more than just changes to existing devices… Read more

Report shows iBeacon battery drain is worse on iOS than Android

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Aislelabs, a Toronto-based company offering in-store analytics and solutions for building mobile shopping experiences, today released a report examining how Apple’s Bluetooth iBeacon technology impacts battery life on iOS devices vs Android. The study found that Apple’s iBeacon framework, first introduced with iOS 7 to let iOS developers take advantage of Bluetooth beacons for sending location-aware notifications, actually performs better with Android, at least when it comes to battery life: Read more

Apple starts using China Telecom’s data centers to store iCloud data for China users, rather than US locations

icloud

Update: Apple confirmed the use of China Telecom servers in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

But the company said Friday in a statement to The Wall Street Journal that all data stored is encrypted, meaning China Telecom won’t have access to its content.

“Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously. We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China,” it said.

Apple has begun using Chinese data centers to store iCloud data for local Apple customers, the first time Apple has used mainland China for iCloud account and information storage. On a municipal government website, Fuzhuo City Telecom said that ‘Apple China has completed the iCloud data dump into China Telecom’s cloud services’. The post has since been taken down from the government site, however.

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New job listings indicate Apple’s aim to bolster retail marketing team

 

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Following the recent hire of a former Burberry and Nike social marketing executive to run Apple’s new social media arm, a few job listings on Apple’s website point to an attempt to bolster the company’s retail marketing team. A few of the positions were outlined by ifo Apple Store earlier today and seem to point toward an increased focus on building and maintaining customer loyalty to the Apple brand.

We’ve heard time and again that Apple customers, particularly iPhone users, are among the most loyal, but it seems Apple believes there’s still more to be done in that department. One of these new job listings calls for a “Program Manager — Loyalty, Global Retail Marketing,” which would focus on creating “learning and services strategies” designed to inspire loyalty among Apple’s user base.

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Apple celebrating diversity in Cupertino with several employee events this week

Diversity

Yesterday, Apple released its first ever diversity report and a letter from CEO Tim Cook explaining Apple’s approach to diversity and inclusion and its importance at Apple. The report details several facts, including that 55% of Apple’s United States workforce is white and only 30% of the Apple workforce is female.

Writing about the report, Cook said, “I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them.” In a move to further promote diversity and inclusion within Apple’s culture, Apple is holding several events this week at its Cupertino headquarters, according to sources…

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Samsung trolls iPhone-toting ‘wall huggers’ at power outlets in major airports

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Image via Cnet

Last month Samsung ramped up the anti-Apple rhetoric with a new ad campaign that depicted iPhone users as “wall huggers,” constantly tethered to a power outlet due to the inferior battery in their non-Samsung smartphones. Today Cnet reports that the company has taken its campaign one step further by trolling real-life iPhone users at power outlets throughout major airports.

The new ads take the form of posters near power outlets that read, “Samsung Galaxy S5 with Ultra Power Saver Mode,” followed by a tagline that appears to poke at Apple’s own recent ad campaign: “So you have the power to be anywhere but here.” If you’d like to take a gander at the latest salvo in the ever-escalating flame war between Apple and Samsung, you’ll be able to do just that very soon at JFK, O’Hare, and Midway airports. Samsung says even more airports could be getting the ads if they’re successful in the first three.

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Apple bans potentially dangerous chemicals from iPhone and iPad assembly process (Update: Apple statement)

Photo: Sunday Mirror

Photo: Sunday Mirror

Five months after Chinese and American labor watchdog groups petitioned Apple to investigate the use of potentially hazardous materials in its iPhone and iPad assembly process, the company has announced that it will make changes banning the use of at least two chemicals, the Associated Press reported today. The chemicals in question are benzene and n-hexane, which are tied to lukemia and nerve damage, respectively.

After conducting a four-month study, Apple says it determined that there was no evidence to suggest that these chemicals posed a threat to workers assembling its devices in twenty-two factories, but announced that it would take steps to ensure that it would not become a problem in the future. To that end, both benzene and n-hexane have been banned from the assembly line.

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Apple hints at Maps data-collection project taking place in New York

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Apple has for a long time hired engineers around the globe to contribute to making its Maps experience better. While positions for its team outside Cupertino usually consist of Maps Quality Analysts and Ground Truth managers that submit region specific corrections for Maps, a new job listing on Apple’s website hints at a “data-collection project” planned for New York. Read more