China’s media watchdog sues Apple over obscure film

Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Apple has been hit without another lawsuit in China.
Photo: Apple

Apple is facing yet another legal headache in China thanks to what may be the craziest lawsuit yet in a year that has been full of wacky legal battles

China’s media watchdog, The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the company has violated its intellectual property by broadcasting an obscure patriotic film from 1994.

Hillary emoji let you play the woman card for real

Hillary emojis are ready to slide into your DMs.
Hillary emojis are ready to slide into your DMs.
Photo: Hillarymoji

The battle to win the 2016 presidential election is heading to your iPhone’s keyboard now, thanks to a new iOS app that adds a batch of Hillary Clinton emoji to devices.

Aiming to excite millennial voters, the free Hillarymoji app comes with 20 pictograms of the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate doing everything from dancing in her pantsuit to deleting emails off her BlackBerry.

3rd-party Apple Watch faces, and how the iPhone was really invented, this week on The CultCast

Catch each week's best Apple stories, on The CultCast.
Catch each week's best Apple stories, on The CultCast.
Photo: Apple/Erfon Elijah

This week on The CultCast: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry — wait till you hear the latest lawsuit aimed right at Apple’s biggest products. Plus: Leaked photos of EarPods with a Lightning connector look better than expected; why we may never get third-party Apple Watch faces; Netflix is adding a feature it swore would never happen; and a man builds a vibrant photography career in the world of sports with nothing but his iPhone. Oh, and Val Kilmer dances with a carrot in his derriere. Just hit play already.

Our thanks to Freshbooks for supporting this episode. FreshBooks is the easy-to-use invoicing software designed to help small business owners get organized, save time invoicing and get paid faster. Get started now with a 30-day free trial.

App world goes bananas for art app that turns photos into Van Goghs

Sometimes you think a photo would be better if it were a painting. The Prisma app for iPhone lets you apply the painting style of a famous artist.
Sometimes you think a photo would be better if it were a painting. The Prisma app for iPhone lets you apply the painting style of a famous artist.
Photo: Prisma/iTunes

An AI-powered app that turns any boring photo into an art masterpiece is taking the app world by storm.

Prisma is an iOS app that not only transforms an ordinary photo into a painting, it does so in the styles of different famous artists, from Van Gogh and Picasso to Edvard Munch of “The Scream” fame.

Developed in Russia, the app is taking off like a rocket, doubling its servers, topping the charts and inspiring the #Prisma hashtag. It even counts the Russian President among its enthusiastic users.

A growing number of filmmakers say, ‘Lights, iPhone, action!’

By

The set of Time to Pay Off Debts, a film short made with the iPhone 6s.
The set of Time to Pay Off Debts, a film short made with the iPhone 6s.
Photo: Conrad Mess

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugApple guaranteed the iPhone would reinvent the phone. But filmmaking?

Writer and director Conrad Mess said the iPhone’s red record button turned him into a filmmaker. It helped another cash-strapped director win praise and wide distribution for a feature film he shot on the iPhone 5s that was the buzz of last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The iPhone also is reshaping video journalism, especially across Europe, where news organizations are using the iPhone video camera for an increasing number of stories — and live stand-ups, selfie stick in hand — because the mobile journalist can shoot, edit and share on one device.