Apple to Accept Some Cracked Screens in iPhone Trade-in Program and Install Screen Protectors

10:20 PM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · · News

Cracked iPhone 6

Apple will begin accepting some iPhones with cracked screens in an expansion tot he company's iPhone trade-in program. Online reports say Apple will also begin offering in-store installation of screen protectors.

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Neither change is going to dramatically increase the success of Apple's fleet of stores, but incremental improvements and the reduction of friction points will contribute to the overall vitality of the company's retail business.

Tim Cook Says iPad Will Return to Growth, iPhone will Grow, Apple TV has ‘Bright Future’

9:38 PM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · · Cool Stuff Found

Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams told Apple employees on Thursday that its iPad product line will return to growth by the end of 2016. According to 9to5Mac, the two executives participated in a town hall meeting with Apple employees. In addition to the iPad comments, they said Apple Watch was one of the “hottest” holiday gifts, with sales surpassing the original iPhone launch of 2007 (which is a mostly irrelevant comparison, but interesting nonetheless). Other highlights include a bright future for Apple TV and the living room, the possibility of expanding more Apple services outside of Apple's hardware ecosystem (i.e. to Android), more leave benefits to employees, and a big step towards insuring all of its smelted metals are conflict-free.  Check out Mark Gurman's report for more info.

Apple Overtakes Google/Alphabet as Most Valuable Company

8:17 PM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · · Analysis

AAPL vs. GOOGL Comparison Chart

Apple retook the title of world's    most valuable company, a title briefly lost to Alphabet—the holding company that owns Google—earlier in the week. At the market's close on Thursday, Apple's market cap stood at $534.4 billion, while Alphabet's rose to $503.3 billion.

Why Apple’s Time Machine Utterly Fails User Needs

5:30 PM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · · Editorial

Apple's Time Machine languishes

Apple's Time Machine backup system was born in a time when Apple realized that customers weren't routinely backing up their Macs. So a simple, stopgap system, with some novel features, was devised for the novice user. Unfortunately, over the years, the app hasn't progressed and kept pace with modern user needs. Today, most every tech writer says: Use it, but don't trust it completely. This is unfortunate.

Pay What You Want: Leawo Media-Pro Mac Bundle

5:17 PM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · · TMO Deals

Media-Pro Mac Bundle

Check out the Leawo Media-Pro Mac Bundle, a collection of five Mac apps to help you manage your media. Clean up your song files, rip DVDs, convert DVDs, and more. This is one of our pay-what-you-want deals, too. Pay anything, and you'll get Music Recorder for Mac. Beat the average price—$9.18 as of this writing—and you'll get all five apps. Make the leaderboard at any time during the deal's run, and you'll get an entry into a drawing, and 10 percent of the profit goes to Save the Children. Cool, eh?

Sharp Ready for Foxconn Buyout

2:35 PM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · · News

Foxconn's bid for Sharp won out over INCJ

Sharp is about to have a new owner, and instead of Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, it's going to be Foxconn—the same company that builds iPhones for Apple. Taiwan-based Foxconn's US$5.3 billion bid was about double what INCJ was offering, and seems to have been enough to overcome Japan's stigma of foreign investors.

Apple Pay Now in 2 Million Retailers

9:23 AM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · · News

Apple Pay retail partners hits 2 million

The number of retailers accepting Apple Pay is still climbing and has hit the 2 million mark. Au Bon Pain, Chick-fil-A, Create & Barrel, and Zappos are among the latest to get on board with Apple's wireless mobile payment system, and more are on the way.

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More retailers on board means more opportunities for iPhone and Apple Watch owners to use Apple Pay. It's easy to use, and far more secure than the magnetic stripes on credit cards. It's a little frustrating that more stores aren't supporting NFC payment systems.