Apple tells Chinese app makers to cut tips or pay up


Apple Money 2
Apple wants to take its cut of the money Chinese app users send as tips to content creators.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has risked upsetting customers in China by revealing plans to take a percentage of donations that are sent to content creators on social media, via the “tip” function of local apps like WeChat.

Apple previously told developers to disable the feature, but it has since reconsidered and decided that this represents an opportunity to make some money. Since they are considered in-app purchases, Apple wants to take its usual 30 percent cut of payments.

Number of Siri-style AI assistants will overtake humans by 2021


How Ovum thinks AI assistants will occupy the marketplace in 2021.
Photo: Ovum

The number of AI assistants by 2021 will outnumber the current world population, according to market research group Ovum’s new Digital Assistant and Voice AI–Capable Device Forecast.

The report highlights the growing popularity of Siri-style smart assistants, and also offers some intriguing predictions as to which AI assistants will become big, and which will be also-rans.

Laptop and tablet ban on flights from Europe won’t happen after all


Emirates is one of the airlines affected by the ban.
Emirates is one of the airlines affected by the ban.
Photo: Emirates

The Trump administration won’t be expanding its ban on the use of laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices to flights entering the United States from European airports, after all.

U.S. and EU officials reportedly decided against a ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on flights from Europe, although “other measures” designed to keep passengers safe are still being weighed up.

Today in Apple history: Apple shows off its amazing Fifth Avenue store


Apple's stunning Fifth Avenue store.
Photo: Simone Lovati/Flickr CC

May18May 18, 2006: The world — and, more specifically, the Apple-watching press — gets its first glimpse at Apple’s swanky new Fifth Avenue Apple store in New York City.

Hidden behind black plastic wrapping during development, the covering is removed one day before the store’s grand opening — revealing a 32-foot glass cube adorned with a white, floating Apple logo. At 10am EST, members of the press get an exclusive tour of the new venue.

Tim Cook meets with YouTubers to celebrate accessibility


Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 12.08.20
Apple is working hard to make sure its products can be used by everyone.
Photo: Apple

A cup of coffee with Tim Cook can cost thousands of dollars, but to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day Apple’s CEO has made an exception.

To promote Apple’s stance on Accessibility, Apple invited three YouTubers with disabilities to its campus for a cup of joe and a casual chat with Tim Cook. In their brief interviews, they discuss everything from the challenge of getting Apple Watch algorithms to recognize wheelchair movement to Apple’s history as a company with values.

Check them out below.

Four Apple suppliers get dragged into Qualcomm conflict


Apple apparently wants its manufacturers to withhold payments to Qualcomm.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Qualcomm has filed a complaint against manufacturers Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron and Compal as part of its ongoing conflict with Apple.

In a statement given today, Qualcomm noted that while iPhone makers Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron and Compal don’t dispute “their contractual obligations to pay for the use of Qualcomm’s inventions, the manufacturers say they must follow Apple’s instructions not to pay.”

iPhone SE handsets made in India go on sale next week


iPhone SE
Designed in California, made in India.
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

Apple manufacturing partner Wistron has started work producing iPhone SE models in India at its factory in Bangalore. The handsets are set to ship to customers later this month, most likely as soon as next week.

While no pricing has yet been announced, Apple is reportedly likely to charge significantly less than the $399 and $499 it sells the 32GB and 128GB iPhone SE models for in the United States. In an effort to grow its brand in India, pricing could be as low as $220.

Apple’s accessibility videos shine light on how its tools change lives


Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 12.04.29
Apple's "Designed for" videos focus on accessibility.
Photo: Apple

In keeping with its trend of highlighting regular users in its ads, Apple has debuted a new series of videos on its YouTube channel, showing how Apple’s Accessibility features can help users in their everyday lives.

The seven “Designed for” videos, each running under two minutes, highlight stories like a visually-impaired DJ who uses Apple’s award-winning VoiceOver feature, or a sport-playing teenager unable to use her natural voice, but able to communicate using the TouchChat app on her iPad.

Check them out below.

Today in Apple history: John Sculley starts work as Apple CEO


John Sculley was Apple's third president and CEO.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

May17May 17, 1983: John Sculley starts work at Apple as its third president and CEO, following Mike Scott and Mike Markkula.

As the former boss of Pepsi-Cola, Sculley is lured to Apple by Steve Jobs, who uses one of the most famous lines in the history business: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Apple Pay officially opens for business in Italy


Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 10.56.47
You could say Apple Pay has a pizza the Italian market. You probably shouldn't, though.
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay is officially open for business in Italy, with Visa and MasterCards issued by Boon, Carrefour, and UniCredit all able to used by customers. Additional banks are set to be added later on in 2017.