Apple won’t testify at congressional hearing on tech industry ties in China

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iPhone sales are finally rebounding in China
Tim Cook has spoken about China being Apple's future biggest market.
Photo: Tim Cook/Weibo

Apple won’t attend a March congressional hearing about the tech industry’s relationships in China, the Washington Post reports.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley called the March 4 hearing. Hawley has raised concerns about tech companies’ reliance on and possible cozy relations with China.

Despite virus fears, over half of Apple retail stores reopen in China

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Some Apple Stores in China reopen despite coronavirus.
Some Apple Stores in China are cautiously reopening but with reduced hours because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Photo: Apple

Many Apple Stores across China are open again, despite the coronavirus that has shut down so much of the country.

The iPhone maker depends on China for a significant percentage of its sales, and Apple being able to reopen so many stores in the midst of this crisis is a positive sign.

New Huawei tablet adds features iPad owners can only dream about

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Huawei MatePad Pro is like an iPad Pro, but cheaper
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Huawei is outrageously flattering the iPad Pro.
Photo: Huawei

Huawei added cutting-edge features to its iPad Pro rival. A MatePad Pro update includes 5G built-in cellular-wireless networking. And it offers two-way wireless charging, so the tablet can send power to another device.

These features were added to a device clearly made to resemble Apple’s top-tier iPad.

Snag a sweet iPhone refurb for as little as $119.99 [Deals & Steals]

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DS-Feb-24-20
And save on MacBook Pro, iPad Air, and more!
Photos: Apple, Twelve South

Woot is again blowing out a massive selection of refurbished iPhone handsets. Only this time, the prices are even lower. Bag your new smartphone today for as little as $119.99.

That’s just one of the awesome offers in today’s Deals & Steals roundup. Other highlights include:

Find all these and more in today’s Deals & Steals roundup.

Apple plans move to gigantic new Manhattan office

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Apple New York office building. Reportedly.
Apple is supposedly headed for some fancy new digs at Penn 11, across the street from Madison Square Garden.
Photo: Vornado Realty Trust

A certain phone maker is taking the phase “Big Apple” as a suggestion. Apple reportedly signed a lease for 220,000 square feet in a historic building in New York City. That’s far larger than the company’s current NYC office.

But this won’t become an enormous Apple Store. This is office space.

App Store Confidential author ‘surprised’ by Apple’s attempt to halt book

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Apple's not happy about former Apple employee Tom Sadowski's new book, App Store Confidential.
It's the book Apple tried to ban. Or, at least, slow down.
Photo: Murmann Verlag

The author of App Store Confidential says he is “surprised” by Apple’s attempt to halt sales of the book, and by the company’s allegations that the German-language memoir reveals trade secrets.

Tom Sadowski, a former App Store manager who worked at Apple from 2009 through 2019, told Cult of Mac he’s not sure which parts of his new book Cupertino objects to. “I’d love to [know], but unfortunately I don’t,” he said. “I am accused of betrayal of secrets without specifying it more precisely.”

The aluminum Kaweco Sport is the fountain pen Jony Ive would use [Review]

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The Kaweco Sport aluminum
The Kaweco Sport: compact, sturdy, and beautiful.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

It’s totally tempting to use a fountain pen. These throwback writing utensils carry a promise of a slower time, when people had hours to write — and when the main writing tool wasn’t a $1,000 computer or an $800 iPhone, but a tube of ink with a sharp tip.

However, fountain pens also can prove intimidating. Are they messy? Do you need to refill them from a bottle of ink? Can you toss one in a pocket like a cheap gel pen?

The fact is, you can have all the style and enjoyment of a fountain pen in a package that’s as practical as a cheap biro. More practical, really, as you can refill it yourself. If you want to try a fountain pen, you should begin with the Kaweco Sport. And if you want the Jony Ive-compatible version, you will buy the reasonably priced aluminum one.

Apple’s ‘She Creates’ sessions celebrate International Women’s Day all March long

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mac
The 'She Creates' sessions will be available all of March.
Photo: Apple

Apple plans to celebrate International Women’s Day throughout the entire month of March with some special Today at Apple sessions that encourage women to explore their creativity.

The new ‘She Creates’ series of sessions will be available at Apple Stores from March 1 to March 31, giving visitors hands-on training for coding, photography, augmented reality and more.

How to resurrect your Mac’s startup chime

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startup chime
Chimes and bongs: not just for hippies.
Photo: Arturo Rey/Unsplash

When you start up a Mac, it goes “bong,” and that’s the way the world should be. Unless, that is, you bought a Mac in 2016 or later, when Apple removed the Mac startup chime. These days, a Mac starts up silently, with only a whisper of fan noise (or the din of a whirring, clicking hard drive on an iMac) to let you know something is happening.

But what if you miss the good old Mac startup chime? Or — if you’re new to Macs — you just fancy a bit of retro charm? Today we’ll see how to bring back the bong.