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About Alex Heath

Alex Heath Alex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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Apple’s new partnership with IBM will put iOS in the enterprise like never before

Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

Tim Cook with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Photo courtesy Apple

Today Apple announced that it’s partnering with IBM to “transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps.” The relationship will combine IBM’s enterprise data specialties with Apple’s iOS hardware and software.

“iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”

There are four key areas that Apple will be working on with IBM:

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Snapchat may have finally found a way to make money with Geofilters

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 2.55.59 PM

Today Snapchat introduced Geofilters, which are location-based stickers that can be quickly applied to a snap by swiping once to the left after you take a picture. The feature could finally provide a revenue model for the startup that turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook.

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Apple finds new suppliers to solve battery issues with the iPhone 6

iPhone-6-ecran-bordures-05

The iPhone 6 isn’t expected to feature radical improvements in battery life, but that doesn’t mean Apple hasn’t had trouble making new batteries for the device. Since the next iPhone will be thinner than the current design, its battery needs to be thinner as well.

Apple has been having trouble with battery makers overseas meeting its specifications, but now it’s being reported that new suppliers have been brought on to solve the issues. The news highlights how diversifying its partners in the Asian supply chain continues to be Apple’s strategy moving forward.

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Shazam can now play back full tracks with Rdio

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.50.31 PM

Shazam got a cool update today.

The song-recognition app that Apple is baking into Siri in iOS 8 can now play back full tracks thanks to a partnership with Rdio. Users with the Rdio app installed will be able to listen to a whole song tagged in Shazam without having to the leave the app.

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Ultratext is the easiest way to create and share fun GIFs on the iPhone

Ultratext gif

I only recently got into the world of animated GIF memes, and that’s mainly thanks to a group of friends that like to inundate my iMessage with random stuff 24/7. Like any good millennial, I have some of my favorite GIFs saved in my Camera Roll to whip out at an appropriate time in a conversation.

Then there’s the world of making my own GIFs, which I have never had the slightest inclination to dabble in until I stumbled onto Ultratext, a relatively new app for the iPhone. After showing it to my techie and non-techie friends alike, it’s safe to say that Ultratext is the easiest and most fun way to create GIFs and share them in a matter of seconds.

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iPhone 5s is world’s top smartphone, but phablets are on the rise

rgrge

Bigger iPhones are on the way, which is good news for Apple’s bottom line.

The iPhone 5s is the number one smartphone in 35 countries around the world, according to new research conducted by Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 came in second followed by the S4, Note 3 phablet, and iPhone 5c at fifth place. With larger 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones on the horizon, Counterpoint notes that Apple will have another hit on its hands if it goes after the larger-screen smartphone market.

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Production issues could delay giant 5.5-inch iPhone until 2015

iPhone 6 and 6c concept

Besides a 4.7-inch model, Apple has been expected to announce an even larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 this fall. But now production issues might keep Apple from pulling the trigger on an iPhablet until winter or even 2015.

Ming-Chi Kuo of the Taiwanese firm KGI Securities, who has been a consistently reliable source of information on Apple’s plans, isn’t bullish on seeing a 5.5-inch iPhone by the end of the year. Problems with the phone’s new display and casing could result in it being pushed back until well after the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 comes out.

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Apple responds to Chinese media backlash over iPhone location tracking

Tim Cook in the crowd at a recent event with China Mobile.

Tim Cook in the crowd at a recent event with China Mobile, the largest carrier on earth.

After the Chinese media called iOS’s ability to track an iPhone’s location a “national security concern,” Apple has responded with a lengthy statement detailing its commitment to customer privacy.

Yesterday China’s state-run CCTV ran a segment heavily criticizing the “Frequent Locations” feature in iOS 7 that records where the device has been in detail on a map. The implications of the report were that Apple was sharing the data with other companies and governments.

Today Apple responded to the allegations by saying that it is “deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers” and that it has never created a backdoor for any government agency.

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Sharp moves to pry iPhone display plant from Apple

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Back in 2012, Sharp’s Kameyama Plant No. 1 switched from making larger TV panels to smaller screens for smartphones. Apple became a key partner, and now the plant is at 90% capacity making displays for the iPhone 6.

You’d think that such strong business would keep Sharp happy, but that isn’t stopping the Japanese company from wanting to distance itself from Apple. The main thing Apple seems to be concerned with is that Sharp could end up doing business with Samsung instead.

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Sapphire-coated iWatch production not expected to begin until November

Apple-iWatch-01

Will Apple have iWatches ready to hit the shelves when it announces the wearable at its rumored event in October? Probably not.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who is undoubtedly the most accurate Apple analyst on the planet, is saying that Apple won’t begin mass production of the iWatch until November. He has also lowered his sales projections considerably because of “complications” Apple has to deal with concerning new materials like sapphire.

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