Pandemic-themed game Plague Inc. pulled from App Store in China

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screenshot of Plague Inc game
Maybe a little too real for government regulators.
Screenshot: Ndemic Creations/YouTube

Apple was forced to pull one of the world’s most popular games from the App Store in China by order of the country’s Cyberspace Administration.

The creators of Plague Inc. say it is unclear whether their pandemic-themed game was removed because of China’s ongoing battle to contain the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

EU might force Apple to offer removable batteries in iPhones

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changing battery on iPhone X
Someone in the EU thinks its a good idea to force companies to design smartphones with easy-to-remove batteries.
Photo: iFixit

Imagine easily swapping out the battery of your iPhone as you would a smoke detector.

The European Union may consider adopting a law that would regulate the design of all smartphones sold in the 27 member nations to provide consumers with easy access to the battery.

Souped-up selfie stick wants you to look good

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selfie stick with light
This little light shines.
Photo: Pictar

Tel Aviv-based Pictar wants to shine a light on your obsession for the perfect selfie.

Its new Smart-Light Selfie Stick comes with a detachable light plus a control panel in the handle to control camera functions and adjust the tilt of your iPhone.

Shareholders meeting reveals Apple Store coming to India; Cook labels coronavirus ‘a challenge’

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steve jobs theater
Apple shareholders gathered at Steve Jobs Theater today for their annual meeting.
Photo: Apple

Apple hosted shareholders for an annual meeting Wednesday, and it was seemingly business as usual. CEO Tim Cook said the company will open its first Apple Store in India this year. He explained why Apple’s streaming service passed on a Friends reunion. He defended Apple’s role in FBI investigations when asked to retrieve iPhone data.

But the tech giant finds itself at an unusual moment in its history with a deadly coronavirus in China that halted business travel, crippled manufacturing, closed all 42 Apple Stores in the country and forced Cupertino to pull back on its March-quarter revenue protections.

Cable company Altice USA adds streaming app to Apple TV

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Altice One on Apple TV
The Altice One app is available on Apple TV today.
Photo: Altice USA

The nation’s sixth-largest cable TV provider announced Wednesday the addition of an Apple TV app to its streaming service beating Roku to the punch in the competitive streaming video market.

Altice USA provides broadband and pay television in 21 states to some 3.3 million subscribers through its Optimum and Suddenlink brands.

The deal with Apple comes as more and more Americans cut their cable TV cords in favor of streaming services.

Filmmaking app brings vintage vibes to your iPhone flicks

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Rtro video app for iPhone by Moment
Give your iPhone videos that retro look with Rtro.
Photo: Moment

Sometimes the story is best told with a home movie vibe straight out of a vintage 8 mm movie camera. That’s just not practical in the age of TikTok and Instagram, but there are plenty of smartphone apps to add a retro feel to your flicks.

The latest is actually called Rtro and it made its small-screen debut today when it became available for download in the App Store.

Jif peanut butter stirs debate over how to pronounce ‘GIF’

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Gif and Jif on the same peanut butter
Choose GIF
Photo: Jif

Jif peanut butter is sharing its label with the word Gif, a brilliant branding move that attempts to settle one of the most important questions of our time: Hard G or soft?

The “answer” is on the label of the limited-edition 40-ounce jars now listed on eBay for $9.99. Jif teamed up with GIF platform Giphy (sort of sounds like Skippy), to create the label in observance of National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day on March 1.

In surprise to no one, virus hit January iPhone sales in China

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iPhone China locked
This iPhone in China is locked.
Photo: Kankanews

Sales of iPhones in China dropped 28 percent in the month of January as the deadly coronavirus began its rapid spread, according to new research.

February is likely to go on record as much worse. As the death toll from the virus rose, factories shut down, Apple closed all 42 of its China retail stores and the government doubled down on quarantines and travel restrictions.