Google reaches agreement to settle patent litigation with Apple-backed consortium Rockstar

google

Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

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iFixit: How to fix your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus in 21 easy guides

iPhone-6-repair-guide

iFixit gave Apple’s iPhone 6 a repairability score of 7, the highest ever for Apple’s flagship and most popular device in their September teardown.  That bodes well for folks who want to take their iPhone repairs into their own hands, though perhaps it’s best to give the Geniuses at Apple a chance to gift you an out of warranty repair before getting your hands dirty.

In any case, today iFixit announced an updated library of 21 repair guides for the iPhone 6 (and 14 for the 6 Plus). The new guides cover everything from replacing the battery to speakers to the glass panel and everything in between. The tutorials walk you through the process and also conveniently provide links to purchase any necessary tools you might not have (hit up their Amazon store for some hefty discounts).

As with any iPhone take-apart, be very careful and be prepared to forfeit your warranty if you screw up.
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Evernote for OS X updated w/ Yosemite design, performance improvements, more

Evernote this afternoon has released a major update to its OS X desktop app, making both major design enhancements for Yosemite and under-the-hood performance improvements. The update, which the company says is a total rewrite of the app, adds an entirely redesigned interface with a new, lighter color scheme, as well as new icons.

At Evernote, we believe that speed and stability are essential for productivity. That’s why we’ve completely rewritten Evernote for Mac. Everenote is significantly faster, more reliable and consumes less energy than ever before. We’ve also added a number of new features!

In addition to the design improvements, Evernote also touts a variety of new features.

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Twitter for iPhone rolling out Tweet sharing via Direct Messages

Last week, Twitter announced a list of improvements coming to the service including enhancements to Direct Messages and video capabilities slated for next year, and today the social network started rolling out its new features as promised. With the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, you can now share public Tweets privately over Direct Messages with native embedding. You can see the new feature in action below… Read more

America First Credit Union announces Apple Pay support for its Visa card

America-First-Apple-Pay

Adding to the growing list of banks and card issuers adding support for Apple Pay in recent weeks, America First Credit Union today announced it’s rolling out Apple Pay support for its Visa card.

“Security and privacy is our upmost priority when it comes to offering our members the latest in technology and mobile advancements,” said Rich Syme, executive vice president at America First Credit Union. “Apple Pay will bring a new level of efficiency for members, allowing them to pay with their mobile devices in a fast, easy and secure way.”

Apple has been adding several new banks since first launching Apple Pay last month and now lists a total of 17 card issuers (not including America First Credit Union) on its support document last updated earlier this week. There is, however, a long list of banks that have already announced support will arrive soon. The list also includes information for supported card types available through the banking partners. A growing list of retailers have also added support for the service at retail locations recently.

We have a running list of banks that plan to support Apple Pay in the coming weeks and months here. We also have a running list of the latest stores and apps that accept Apple Pay here. Read more

Billboard 200 chart will include streaming listens from Beats, Spotify, Google Play, & others in album sales

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

Billboard is about to add data from music streaming services to its weekly Billboard 200 charts for the first time as services like Spotify and Apple’s Beats Music become increasingly popular. The New York Times reports that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan plan to start incorporating both streams and downloads from music streaming services, in addition to the music sales the chart already covered, in order to more accurately reflect popular albums based on what users are listening to. The first chart including streaming services will include data for next week and arrive online Dec. 4: Read more

Apple patents smoke detectors in iDevices that can call 911, activate sprinklers and locate building occupants

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The Nest smoke detector may look decidedly old-fashioned if one Apple patent ever makes it into production. Apple has patented the idea of embedding smoke detectors into “electronic devices” and using those devices to provide a comprehensive response to a fire.

In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities. Alerts may contain maps and graphical representations of buildings in which smoke has been detected. Motion detectors and other sensors and circuitry may be used in determining whether electronic devices are being used by users and may be used in determining where the electronic devices are located. Alerts may contain information on the location of detected smoke and building occupants.

In other words, your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad or Mac could detect smoke, alert you, alert other devices within range, activate sprinklers, call emergency services and use the fact that an iDevice is moving or in use to tell fire crews where in the building you and your family members are …  Read more

Apple supplier Corning says new Gorilla Glass 4 twice as shatter-resistant in drop tests (Video)

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The GTAT mess may have forced Apple to abandon its presumed plans to replace iPhone Gorilla Glass screens with sapphire, but next year’s iPhone displays could still prove up to twice as shatter-resistant, says glass-maker Corning.

Corning said that studying hundreds of broken phone screens had revealed the unsurprising fact that shattered screens most commonly occurred in a one-meter drop onto a rough surface like concrete or asphalt. Drop tests in these conditions found that Gorilla Glass 4 survived up to 80% of such impacts – twice the record of the Gorilla Glass 3 used in current iPhones.

While there was much scientific testing behind the scenes, the videos the company used to illustrate the improved strength were rather less scientific in nature …

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10% of owners of iPhone 5 & up will buy an Apple Watch, predicts Morgan Stanley

apple-watch

Morgan Stanley is predicting in an investor note that around 10% of those who own an iPhone 5 or later will buy an Apple Watch, generating first year sales of around 30M – right at the top end of the 10-30M range suggested by other analysts.

While predicting likely sales of a new product category is always a rather shaky undertaking, and sales of competitor smartwatches may not prove a reliable guide, Morgan Stanley thinks there is one clue to how well the Apple Watch might sell: the precedent set by the iPad …  Read more

New report claims Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs biopic moving from Sony Pictures to Universal

Steve Jobs Fearless Genius

A new report claims that the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, led by veteran screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, is set to change hands. According to Hollywood magazine Deadline, the film will be moving from Sony Pictures to Universal Pictures by tomorrow at the latest. Despite the studio move, production of the movie is expected to remain on the fast track. Read more

More details of Apple’s GT Advanced sapphire deal make it crystal clear how things fell apart

sapphire lol

Photo via WSJ

The Wall Street Journal has revealed key details of the failed deal between Apple and sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies that show why the agreement collapsed and how GT managed to run itself into bankruptcy while trying to meet Apple’s standards.

A previous report from the Journal revealed that GTAT had been unable to provide the iPhone 6 displays it had promised Apple, but now we have even more information on why that demand was so hard to meet.

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