Apple signs Silicon Valley’s open letter bashing Trump’s travel ban

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Donald Trump signing document
President Trump signing an executive order.
Photo: The White House/Facebook

Apple will join other tech companies, including Alphabet, Facebook and Uber, in penning a letter opposing President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

News of the letter comes shortly after an interview Apple CEO Tim Cook gave to The Wall Street Journal, in which he described the “heart-wrenching” messages he had received about Trump’s executive order, which potentially affects hundreds of Apple employees.

Check out the draft of the open letter to Trump below:

Surprise! Facebook is the year’s most popular mobile app

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Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 14.57.26
Nielsen's sample of the year's most popular apps.
Photo: Nielsen

With 2016 coming to a close, Nielsen has ranked the year’s most popular mobile apps in the U.S. and — wouldn’t you know it! — Facebook takes the top two spots with its Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps.

Despite the growth of other social media services, Facebook saw growth of 14 percent from last year, with more than 146 million average unique users each month. Facebook Messenger also picked up over 129 million unique users every month.

Beats 1 finally gets an official Facebook page

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Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 14.38.34
Well, that took long enough!
Photo: Apple

Apple has launched a new Facebook page to promote its Beats 1 worldwide radio station, which broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week exclusively on Apple Music.

The page features small sharable video clips of Beats 1 action, currently including snippets from Zane Lowe’s interview with Lady Gaga. Oh, and a whole lot of hashtags, too.

Facebook Messenger is getting a new Data Saver mode

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Hidden messages on Facebook? Sign me up!
Facebook Messenger is going on a data diet.
Photo: Rob LeFabvre/Cult of Mac

Facebook Messenger can be a real data hog if you’re a frequent user — especially if you send and receive a lot of GIFs, images, and videos. But that’s going to change thanks to a new Data Saver feature that’s currently being tested on Android.

Apple vs Samsung patent battle has U.S. Supreme Court confused

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Samsung got dominated by Apple in 2016.
Apple vs Samsung is going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

U.S. Supreme Court justices appear to be confused over how much Apple’s patented iPhone design should worth.

Lawyers for Apple and Samsung faced off this morning at the nation’s highest court. The two sides argued whether breaking a design patent should be worth most of a product’s profits, or if the thousands of other patents that go into a smartphone should be viewed as equally valuable to the contribution of profits.

Billions of dollars and the future of patent law is at stake in the case that hinges on a law written in 1887. But the justices didn’t give much indication which side they’ll take.

Facebook’s new iOS app helps you find events

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Find stuff to do with Facebook Events.
Find stuff to do with Facebook Events.

Facebook is on a quest to cure your boredom with its newest standalone app that is focused solely on events.

Available only on iOS (for now), the new app dubbed Events from Facebook helps you find things to do in your area by giving you a filtered feed of what your friends are up to.

How to watch Clinton vs. Trump debate on Apple TV and iOS

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No matter who wins, we all lose.
No matter who wins, we all lose.
Photo: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

The first debate between U.S. presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is set to kick off tonight at Hofstra University in New York — and you can catch all the action on any Apple device.

Apple updated its “Watch the Debate Live” section today on both App Stores for iOS and Apple TV, giving users multiple places to catch what is expected to be the most-watched political debate in history.

Here’s how to livestream it:

Is Apple wasting its time trying to fight Snapchat? [Friday Night Fights]

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Apple has tried to fight the social networks before.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next big venture could be to go head-to-head with Snapchat and similar content-sharing services. The company is expected to integrate new video features into iOS that would be developed by the engineers behind Final Cut and iMovie.

Friday Night Fights bug But is this a good idea? Apple failed miserably when it tried to take on social networks before, and some would argue that many of its products already suffer as a result of its expansion into new areas.

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over whether Apple is wasting its time trying to fight Snapchat.