Apple Watch makes its U.S. cover debut courtesy of Self Magazine

candice-apple-watch

It’s been a few months since the Apple Watch was featured on the cover of Vogue China, but now the upcoming gadget is finally making its debut on the cover of a U.S. magazine this month. Self Magazine announced today that its March issue will feature cover model Candice Swanepoel wearing Apple’s unreleased smartwatch.

Swanepoel’s Apple Watch of choice appears to be the low-end Sport model with the white sport band.

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Apple reportedly poached employees from A123 Systems to work on battery tech, now faces unfair competition lawsuit

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.49.11 PM

Apple has poached five key engineers from A123 Systems to work in a new battery division at the Cupertino technology company, with some hires possibly going as far back as June, a new report claims. The battery maker claims that these hires violated agreements it had in place to prevent them from joining competing companies.

The employees the report refers to are Don Dafoe, Michael Erickson, Indrajeet Thorat, Mujeeb Ijaz, and Depeng Wang. Three of these workers—Erickson, Thorat, and Wang—were PhD project heads working on new battery technology. Ijaz headed up the System Venture Technologies Division, which oversaw work by all four of the others.

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Happy Hour Podcast 002 | Getting the facts straight about Apple’s mystery car project

happy-hour

Welcome to the second installment of the revamped Happy Hour podcast. Today we’re talking all about cars. Apple cars. Do they exist? Well, that’s anyone’s guess at this point, but there are a lot of details that line up for this to become a possibility. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the second episode embedded above.

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Motorola president responds to Ive criticism in New Yorker profile, says Apple charging ‘outrageous prices’

AT&T-Moto-Maker-Design-Studio

In an amusing retaliation to Jony Ive’s opinion of Motorola’s Moto Maker, Motorola president described their company as a ‘different philosophy’ as well as directly attacking Apple’s product lineup, describing iPhone prices as ‘outrageous’ in a conversation with the BBC. Read more

Microsoft OneNote for Mac adds OCR for scanning & copying text from images, full search coming soon

OneNote

OneNote, Microsoft’s cross-platform application for taking and organizing notes, received a useful update on the Mac adding support for OCR, or optical character recognition. OneNote version 15.7.1, which is rolling out on the Mac App Store now, adds the ability to scan images from OneDrive notebooks for text.

Once OneNote’s OCR system has ran, you can actually copy the text and save it to your notes just like if it were a editable text file from the start. Searching images for text is currently possible for new images added to OneDrive notebooks, but a future version will make text search possible on existing images as well.

The update also includes the ability to toggle viewing authors and closing the window without quitting the app. Microsoft also added support for iCloud Drive on its iOS versions of Office yesterday. Full release notes below:

Apple Pay adds another 19 banks & credit unions, 80+ institutions supported

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The second wave of the month for new banks and credit unions supporting Apple Pay is happening now adding to the more than 60 institutions already supporting Apple’s mobile payment service. The mid-February wave includes 19 additional banks and credit unions bringing the total to more than 80 institutions. Here are the new banks listed as supporting Apple Pay as of today: Read more

Two UK banks now allowing mobile app login using Touch ID

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Two UK banks–Royal Bank of Scotland and Nat West–are now allowing customers to login to their mobile banking apps using Touch ID, reports the BBC. The updated RBS app is expected to hit today, with the Nat West one following tomorrow.

RBS and NatWest customers must activate the feature with their security information, but would only need to use Apple’s Touch ID thereafter.

The banks–owned by the same parent company–said that use of Touch ID is subject to a number of security safeguards …  Read more

Apple Pay top payment method in Staples iOS app, says company, with 30% of sales

staples

Staples has revealed that Apple Pay is now the most popular form of payment in its iOS app, used for 30% of purchases made using the app. Apple Pay also appears to have driven new sales, with almost two-thirds of those transactions being from first-time Stapes customers, reveals FierceMobileIT.

“Apple Pay has been one of the most successful implementations when it comes to payments. […] Right now it’s the number one payment method for us in our iOS apps,” said Prat Vemana, vice president of mobile commerce for Staples.

Vemana also revealed that while Staples has both iOS and Android apps, with usage split pretty evenly between the two, Apple owners are more profitable, generating 70% of mobile purchases …  Read more

NBC updates iOS app with live streaming in select markets and partial catalog of classic shows

NBC has followed in ABC’s footsteps and released an update for its iOS app that introduces live streaming of the network’s content directly to an iPhone or iPad. Similarly to ABC’s offering, the feature is only available in a few select cable markets that this time and requires a subscription to a cable or satellite partner.

All users will be able to take advantage of the other new feature added in version 3.0, however…

$40 Mac Bundle: Things, ScreenFlow, Typed, Civ, ExpanDrive, Aftershot Pro 2, more

Mac-software-bundleFrom 9to5Toys Specials:

Today we’ve put together a really impressive bundle of 8 Mac apps including the latest versions of Screenflow and Things (which are $100 and $49 at the Mac App Store by themselves!).

Using the coupon code ULTRAMAC5 at checkout, 9to5 readers can get an extra $5 discount over at Specials.9to5Toys.com to buy the whole bundle for $39.99 – that’s 91% off from the $470 retail price. 

Every app’s latest version is included, none of which has ever been in a bundle before (except AfterShot Pro 2). In fact, 6 of the apps cost more by themselves than the whole bundle does!

Here’s what’s in the goodie bag:

  1. ScreenFlow 5 ($99.99) – The best screen recording tool for Mac. Version 5 was released in October and has never been in a bundle before.
  2. Things 2 ($49) – Award-winning task management app that’s never been in a bundle before.
  3. Civilization: Beyond Earth ($49.99) – The latest in the epic Civilization series.
  4. ExpanDrive 4 ($49.95) – Slick utility app.
  5. ProSoft Data Rescue 4 ($99.99) – Market leader in data recovery. This is the new version 4.
  6. AfterShot Pro 2 ($79.95) – A very solid photo editor, and the only app included that’s been in a bundle before.
  7. Typed ($24.95) – A new text editor that has gotten a lot of hype and acclaim out the gate.
  8. Snapselect ($24.99) – Handy new photo app from MacPhun.

In all, the value is almost $470, and with the coupon code “ULTRAMAC5″ 9to5 readers can grab it for $39.99 (91% off). This one will go really quick.

IDC: Xiaomi’s growth tops Samsung in China, but Apple is making a dent too

iphone-lineup

According to the latest numbers from IDC, Xiaomi—the rising star of the smartphone industry—has managed to pass up Samsung in China. In 2013, Xiaomi trailed Samsung’s almost 19% market share by a solid 13 percentage points (at just 5.3%), and was only the 5th largest maker of smartphones in China. Things changed in 2014. Last year, Xiaomi finished off with 12.5% of the market, almost a half-point more than Samsung at 12.1%, taking the top spot and passing not just Samsung, but Lenovo, Huawei, and Coolpad as well.

Interestingly, though, the latest numbers also show that Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus contributed to a decent size dent in both Samsung and Xiaomi’s market footprint in Q4 of last year. Read more