Foxconn hoping to make future iPhone screens, get more of the Apple pie

File photo of employees working inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua

iPhone assembler Foxconn is apparently hoping to move beyond its relatively low-margin work into more profitable high-end component manufacturing in order to take a bigger slice of revenue from Apple, reports the WSJ.

Apple Inc.’s major assembler Foxconn is in preliminary discussions with a provincial government in northern China for an investment in a new factory that would make high-end screens for iPhones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the talks say.

Foxconn already manufactures some iPhone components, but currently only low-margin ones like metal casings and cables …  Read more

Apple to grow retail stores in China from 15 to 40 within two years, says Cook

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Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ …  Read more

Review: Pixelmator for iPad out now, a desktop-class photo editor for a mobile device

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Note: The app is still rolling out worldwide. Check back soon if the links don’t work for you!

Announced during Apple’s October event, Pixelmator for iPad ($4.99) is an important stepping stone in the iPad’s history. The Mac app is regularly featured by Apple as an exemplar app in the Mac App Store and it is clear Apple wants to use Pixelmator as a ‘trophy’ app in the same way. No doubt this app (aside from games) is one of a handful that will directly benefit from the A8X performance gains.

I tested the app on an iPad Air, although the app technically supports all the way back to iPad 3, even some operations on the Air felt slow. I would be a bit cautious if you intend to install it on one of Apple’s older tablets.

As a 1.0 release, the depth and breadth of this app is staggering. There are a myriad of effects, painting brushes, color adjustments and other features to help edit and create images. The vast majority of the Mac app’s functionality have been ported across to the iPad with a touch-friendly interface, including advanced editing options like layer styles. There are also some template options that aren’t currently included in the Mac app to appease the ‘Photo Booth’ selfie crowd.

Read on for 9to5Mac’s full review of Pixelmator for iPad …

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Apple iPad Air 2 first look: Unboxing, benchmarks, and camera performance (Video)

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Today we’re taking a look at Apple’s fastest and thinnest tablet to date. The iPad Air 2 is more than just a pretty shell. This tablet packs some decent performance over its predecessor. While we haven’t had enough time with it to put together a full review, there are some main points we wanted to go over.

First up, this thing is crazy thin. Apple wasn’t exaggerating when claiming that it was thinner than a pencil. It’s 18 percent thinner than the iPad Air measuring a mere 6.1mm in thickness. This may not be a good thing for everyone, but for the most part it was comfortable to hold while playing games, watching movies, or any other tablet-based task. I’d hate to sound redundant, but damn this iPad is thin. Anyway, let’s jump in and take a look…

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Apple dropping support for SSL 3.0 on push notification servers, requiring TLS by October 29th

Notification Center

Apple has announced to developers that it will be dropping support for SSL 3.0 on its push notification service on October 29th in order to mitigate a vulnerability discovered in the software recently.

Developers who currently support both TLS and SSL 3.0 on their push servers will not be impacted by the change, but those using SSL 3.0 exclusively will need to switch to TLS before next Wednesday to ensure there is no disruption in their service. Apple has provided a way for developers to test compatibility with the updated system:

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Bank of America confirms some Apple Pay customers seeing double charges, expects fix today

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Following up on a bevy of miscellaneous issues with Apple Pay, some Bank of America account holders are now reporting that the new service is charging them twice for some transactions. Re/code has now confirmed that Bank of America is in fact experiencing a technical error that is causing the double charges and is currently attempting to roll out a solution that will resolve the problem.

The glitch was apparently the result of a miscommunication between the bank’s systems and an unnamed payment network and wasn’t Apple’s fault at all, according to the report. The bank said that only about 1,000 transactions were affected by the problem, which is a relatively minute number compared to the number of transactions likely being carried out nationwide today.

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iPad Air 2 teardown shows minor internal tweaks, 15% smaller 7340 mAh battery

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With iPad Air 2 units now officially arriving in the hands of customers, our friends over at iFixit have officially kicked off their ritual teardown of the device. For the most part the teardown only revealed minor changes on the inside, such as repositioned display cables that iFixit calls a welcomed changed for repairs.

Also revealed are minor tweaks to Wi-Fi antennas and other components. In addition, the teardown confirms an approximately 15% smaller battery compared to the previous generation iPad Air… Read more

Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

Mail for Inbox

Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform (Think Paper for Facebook?). Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

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Google’s new Inbox app is a marriage between Gmail and Google Now (update)

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Today, Google unveiled a new email solution called Inbox, which looks like a marriage between Gmail and Google Now. Currently available by invitation only, this new app takes bits from your email like purchase invoices and bank statements and groups them together for fast access. Like Google Now, Inbox adapts to the way you operate, highlighting key pieces of emails like flight plans, photos, documents and upcoming event information.

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Modernizing the home screen: How iOS could take cues from the design of the Apple Watch

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At Apple’s special press event this past September, we witnessed the introduction of several new user interface paradigms, in the form of Apple Watch. Perhaps one of the most interesting was Apple Watch’s entirely new home screen. This is the first departure from the same basic concept of the home screen that Apple demoed in January of 2007 when it debuted the iPhone OS.

Apple clearly thinks that Apple Watch is the future of the company, but is the Apple Watch home screen the future of the iOS home screen? Let’s take a look at how we arrived at where we are today.

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MasterCard kicks off Apple Pay advertising on TV with its latest World Series promotions

MasterCard Apple Pay MLB

We haven’t seen any TV ads from Apple for Apple Pay since it launched earlier this week on Monday, but that doesn’t mean no one else is advertising the new mobile payment service on television. Apple Pay partner MasterCard has begun airing a new set of MLB World Series-focused ads aggressively promoting Apple Pay and the iPhone 6 in the process. As we noted earlier this week, both MLB stadiums for the World Series will be accepting Apple Pay at the concession stands for each baseball game meaning you got buy your peanuts and cracker jacks using just your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Check out the ads below to spot Apple Pay in action at the baseball stands. Read more