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In addition, Apple has confirmed that Emergency SOS via satellite will be available in December in France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
What’s happening? On November 15, 2023, Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature launched on the iPhone 14 family in the United States and Canada.
Why care? Because this feature could potentially save your life should you ever find yourself in a dire situation with no network coverage.
What to do? Read our tutorial to learn how to use Emergency SOS via satellite.Emergency SOS via satellite launches in US and Canada
The satellite then sends the message down to custom ground stations located at key points all over the world, which take it from there. In case the closest emergency services location is unable to receive text messages, your message is then routed to one of the relay centers with Apple-trained emergency specialists.
The service, Apple explains, lets emergency services call centers connect to even more users in emergency situations. It requires no additional software or protocols to enable communications. Aside from texting emergency services, this feature also supports updating your location via satellite in the Find My app.Coming soon to France, Germany, Ireland and the UK
According to an announcement in the Apple Newsroom, Emergency SOS via satellite will arrive in Germany, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom in December.
In the US and Canada, this feature is free for the first two years from the iPhone activation. After that, you’ll need to subscribe to continue using Emergency SOS via satellite. Apple will reveal pricing information at a later stage.How to use Emergency SOS via satellite
There’s no special app or button for invoking Emergency SOS via satellite. Instead, you’ll see a prompt on your iPhone whenever you try to make an emergency call in an area without any Wi-Fi connectivity or cellular coverage. Touch the green button labeled “Emergency Text via Satellite” on the calling screen to start using the feature. Read: How to set up and use Emergency SOS on Apple Watch
Press and hold the power button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears, then drag it to call a local emergency service.
The regular call should fail and you should see a No Connection message at the top. Now touch the button labeled Emergency Text via Satellite. Alternatively, you can text 911 or SOS in the Messages app, then choose Emergency Services.
Now touch the Report Emergency option.
Answer a few questions to describe your situation as accurately as possible.
Follow onscreen tips to connect your iPhone to a satellite.
After you’re connected, continue following these prompts to maintain connection so the message can go through.
Emergency SOS via satellite is supported on the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models with iOS 16.1 and later. It’s unsupported on the iPhone 14 units sold in mainland China mainland, Hong Kong and Macao.
Apple has provided a built-in demo so that people can test satellite connectivity on their iPhones by connecting to a real satellite in range without actually calling emergency services. Read: How to set up your emergency contacts on iPhone
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Apple US manufacturing is back in the spotlight
Apple’s Q1 2023 financial results are almost upon us, but first there’s another chapter in the ongoing “why don’t they make iPhones in the US?” saga. The Cupertino company published an in-depth piece into component manufacturing in the US today, trumpeting Apple’s $60bn spend on American component suppliers and companies in 2023.
The numbers certainly aren’t small. That spend was up more than 10-percent over 2023, Apple points out, and spread across 9,000 different American companies. More than 450,000 jobs were impacted.
The TrueDepth Camera array introduced on the iPhone X, and which powers Face ID on the iPhone XS and latest iPad Pro, is dependent on Finisar, Apple says in example. The Texas company is adding 500 new jobs as it builds out production, paid for in part by a $390 grant from the Apple Advanced Manufacturing Fund. In a new facility, it will build the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) that TrueDepth requires.
It’s not the only example. Corning is well known for its toughened glass business, panes of which protect the touchscreens of most high-end smartphones today. It also works closely with Apple on the cutting-edge of protective glass, though, often resulting in Apple’s products being the first to feature the latest materials breakthroughs.
“Since 2011,” Apple says, “the total number of jobs created and supported by Apple in the United States has more than tripled – from almost 600,000 to 2 million across all 50 states.”
There’s a gulf between components and final assembly, mind, and it’s there that attention has been focused in recent years, not least by the Trump administration as it pressures Apple to build high-value electronics like iPhones in the US. A New York Times piece published today looks at some of the reasons that’s simply not practical, particularly exploring the lessons Apple learned when making the Mac Pro.
That professional desktop is, Apple frequently mentioned, made in the US. In the process, however, it exposed some of the challenges big and small that American manufacturing faces. A US supplier of screws, for instance, left Apple struggling to get enough components for the most expensive Mac. The company had replaced its old stamping presses with more specialized machinery after mass production shifted from America to China.
It’s not just skillsets and machinery, however: it’s also workforce flexibility. “American workers won’t work around the clock,” the Times points out. “Chinese factories have shifts working at all hours, if necessary, and workers are sometimes even roused from their sleep to meet production goals.”
Apple’s press release also comes, of course, just a day before the company’s financial results are announced. That, as Apple warned investors recently, will see it miss its previous earnings predictions. Blaming Chinese market instability, a lower-than-expected demand for new iPhones, and the US economic situation, CEO Tim Cook conceded that the most recent quarter had been tougher than anticipated.
Adding to that extra challenges of a more expensive US workforce, versus outsourcing to companies overseas where costs are cheaper, seems unlikely to feature in Apple’s production roadmap. Instead, the Cupertino firm looks most likely to continue tapping specialist firms in the US for particular components, but look to squeeze the most from margins by then shipping them abroad to actually be assembled.
Ever since getting into the limelight, TikTok has received a lot of criticisms over the safety of user data. In recent reports, Conservative MP Alicia Kerns warned Brits against the use of TikTok. She said the app was exposing the personal data of users. And was feeding Hostile threats like the Chinese Government with personal data of the users.
Meanwhile, ByteDance, the owners of TikTok have done all they could to settle disputes and appease concerns. Nonetheless, a couple of nations have either partially or fully banned the Chinese social media app for one or two reasons. Below is a thorough look at all the countries that have currently banned TikTok.United States
The United States government has revealed that it has ordered all of its federal employees to remove TikTok from all phones that was issued by the government. This report was issued on the 28th of February and explains that the action was taken to protect confidential data.
Meanwhile, China’s foreign Ministry spokesperson has come out to criticize the action by saying: “We firmly oppose those wrong actions”. The US government should respect the principles of market economy and fair competition. Stop suppressing the companies and provide an open, fair, and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies in the US”. “How unsure of itself can the world’s top superpower like the US be to fear young people’s favorite app like that,” He added.Canada
Canada, a country with close relation to the United States has also taken a step to ban TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices. Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada came out to explain the reason behind this ban.Gizchina News of the week
He went further to add that “I’m always a fan of giving Canadians the information for them to make the right decisions for them.”
Montana Becomes First U.S. State to Ban TikTok: What It Means for Users?The European Union
After this action, the European Parliament also revealed on Tuesday 28th February that they will also take similar actions. This time around the ban will not just be on government-issued devices. Employees at the parliament are also barred from installing TikTok on their personal phones that are linked to parliament related email accounts.India
India happens to be one of the first countries to take a step in banning TikTok. The Asian country banned the app in 2023 together with other Chinese apps. This is because India claims these apps threaten its national security and defense.
Interestingly, India happens to be TikTok’s largest market before the ban. TikTok users in India amounted to about 200 million.Taiwan
Taiwan’s ban came in 2023 when the Taiwanese government banned all government sector devices from using the app. This ban came because the government of Taiwan suspected the Chinese government of conducting cognitive warfare against Taiwan.Pakistan
Pakistan has banned TikTok on several occasions, but the latest ban came in November 2023Afghanistan
The ban of TikTok in Afghanistan is still hanging in the air till date. In April 2023, Taliban spokesperson reported that the government was planning on banning the app. This is because the app is impacting the younger generation negatively. Another reason was the fact that the app is inconsistent with Islamic laws.Iran
TikTok is totally banned in Iran as a whole. It does not matter whether government phone or individual phone. This is because the laws of TikTok contradicts with the laws of Iran.
Despite all these bans here and there, TikTok is still growing at a faster pace as more users keep getting onboard each day. Is the platform really a security threat or these allegations are just there to slow it down and totally kill it. Can TikTok get wiped out off the social media space entirely? Share your thoughts.
Apple Pay has officially expanded to Ireland today for customers of KBC and Ulster Bank, two of the country’s big four banking institutions. The service also works with EU’s Boon prepay system tied to MasterCard. Irish customers who register their Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards via the Wallet app can start using the service to pay securely for goods in “tens of thousands” of stores, including Aldi, Boots, Burger King, Harvey Norman and Lidl.
Apple Pay is also supported in compatible apps and on some websites. The Cupertino company has added related Apple Pay details to its regional website in Italy, signaling an imminent launch in the 60 million people market. Also, major banks have recently gained regulatory approval to launch Apple’s payments service in Taiwan.
“We ultimately want to bring Apple Pay to as many users in Ireland as possible,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s chief of Apple Pay, told The Independent. “But even if your primary bank isn’t involved today with Apple Pay, you can still use Apple Pay with Boon prepay.”
Boon prepay is a European service designed to permit customers to conduct transactions at point of sale terminals that accept MasterCard contactless payments.
Irish customers should check out the localized Apple Pay mini-site for further information, including the list of eighteen retailers and ten featured apps that accept Apple Pay at launch.
According to a report in Focus Taiwan, seven major banks in Taiwan have recently obtained permission from the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission to offer Apple Pay when the service rolls out there.
TUTORIAL: How to use Apple Pay
As of January, the seven banks—Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Cathay United Bank, E. Sun Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank, CTBC Bank, First Commercial Bank and Union Bank of Taiwan—had issued 25.4 million credit cards, or 62 percent of the Taiwan’s total.
Apple’s Taiwanese website has listed Apple Pay as “coming soon” since February.
Beyond Taiwan, the mobile payments service is expected to launch in Germany and Italy in the near future as the iPhone maker recently added complete translations of Apple Pay support documents to its German and Italian websites.
Apple Pay in Italy will support Boon, UniCredit and Carrefour Banca at launch.
Apple Pay is available on iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and on iPhone 7 Plus. The service can be used with iPhone 5 or later when paired with your Apple Watch. Making payments in apps and on the web is supported with Apple Pay across compatible iPhone, iPad and MacBook devices.
TUTORIAL: How to remove credit cards from Apple Pay
Apple’s support document for U.S. users was updated today with a list of more than two dozen additional banks and credit unions that now accept payments via Apple Pay:
Bank of Washington
Elkhorn Valley Bank & Trust
First Community Credit Union(MO)
First National Bank of Elkhart
IU Credit Union
OAS Staff Federal CreditUnion
Ohio University Credit Union
Plus4 Credit Union
The Conway National Bank
The Farmers & MerchantsState Bank
Town & Country Bank andTrust Co.
And in Japan, the service now supports the following banks and card issuers:
Cedyna Financial Corporation
YJ Card Corporation
Apple Pay is now available in fourteen countries following the addition of Spain last December and New Zealand and Japan in October of last year. The iOS Feature Availability webpage provides an up-to-date list of Apple Pay markets.
Let me say right up front, I’m not knocking the usefulness of social media sites. I graduated from college long before facebook was launched, so I’m just getting into it. But, I have to say that it’s been a great way to connect with new friends and an even better way to re-connect with those I’d lost touch with. Like everyone, I love the best YouTube clips and I’m starting to appreciate the power of embedded video within blog posts. I won’t lie, I’ve never been too thrilled with Digg, but, then again, I don’t think I’m in their target demographic.
I’m also not belittling the value of social media optimization. If Neal, Jane, and Tamar have taught me anything lately through their writing, it’s the massive power of social media sites to drive traffic or to build your personal brand. And, if you are currently working in online marketing, you ignore the power of these sites to build traffic and shape perception at your own peril.
So these sites are great for their users and those people and sites made popular by their users. The question I have is this – what’s in it for the owners of these sites?
What creates economic value online is the intentionality of the user. Millions of people search Google every day as they are heading down the path to a purchase. Similarly, people visit Yahoo Finance to figure out where to buy insurance or what kind of loan to take out. They visit Amazon, which is now an information portal with a store attached to it, to research and then buy retail products.
And, finally, there’s twitter. I don’t even know where to begin with that one.
You don’t need to remind me that some people (who are much smarter and richer than I am) have paid big bucks to acquire these sites or buy up their ad inventory. I’m just not convinced that was the right move.
Jon Kelly is the President of SureHits, the ad network for insurance & loans.
Ukrainian developer Readdle, the maker of some of the finest productivity apps for the iPhone and iPad, today launched its most ambitious project yet, a personalized email client for the iPhone and Apple Watch conceived to help you deal with your inbox faster.
The app is called Spark, it looks neat and offers a number of compelling features, like quick replies, powerful search, fast signatures, smart notifications, attachments, cloud services support, email-to-PDF conversion, a WatchKit extension to check important messages on the wrist with an Apple Watch app and a glance, and much more.
“Spark provides clarity to your inbox,” Readdle said. “Just one glance is enough to see what’s important and what’s going on.”
The app looks beautifully simplistic, it’s fast and can be customized by changing Spark’s widgets and sidebars to match your workflow. In addition to a Smart Inbox with nicely designed cards that help you tame your inbox, Spark also supports the traditional unified view of your inbox.
In this view mode, Spark collates emails from multiple accounts in one place, just like Apple’s stock Mail app does. Spark’s unified inbox take this one step further by automatically categorizing messages: the app is clever enough to tell the difference between a personal email, a notification and a newsletter.
Because it’s content aware, Spark can tell if an email is from a real person or an automated service. Your messages get grouped by the sender: from people you know and from automated services.
This lets you quickly delete all newsletters and other emails from online services with a single swipe to free up space on your email server.
Deleting unwanted emails also makes Spark run faster.
To process your emails even faster, swipe left to archive messages you’ve already dealt with, or pin ones that you want to return to later today. For those wondering, the app supports snoozing like Dropbox’s Mailbox so you can easily swipe to snooze a message for tomorrow or another day.
Snoozing in Mailbox has spoiled me and I’m glad that Spark supports this feature because I simply don’t have the time to deal with each and every message. Besides, I strongly dislike being forced to prioritize my emails with folders or tags so snoozing is an indispensable feature in my workflow.
But what good is an email app without a powerful search?
Thankfully, Spark delivers: the app integrates natural language processing so you can type something like “attachments from Seb last week” and Spark will automatically find all the emails Seb sent me last week which have an attachment.
Speaking of attachments, Spark supports adding attachments from, or saving them to popular services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Readability, Pocket, Evernote and OneNote.
You can even connect two accounts for one service (i.e. personal and work).
I’m liking a lot the fact that Spark permits me to save an email message as a PDF document to my iPhone, or a cloud service of my choice, canceling the need for a specialized PDF creator app.
Check out the Spark promotional video below.
Last but not least, Spark enhances your email experience with smart signatures, read receipts, quick replies and smart notifications that only alert you about emails you care about.
With smart signatures, you can define multiple signatures like in many other email clients. What sets Spark apart from other apps is a cool feature allowing you to quickly cycle through your signatures when composing an email just by swiping.
If you don’t have the time to respond to a message right now but want to give the sender some sort of feedback, you can tap on the Like, Thanks or Smile icons at the bottom of any email.
Spark also supports read receipts so that app pings you when others have read your message, and vice versa. Allowing recipients to know that you’re read their message is an optional feature.
You will also love Spark’s Calendar widget, a cool feature that combines al your event invitations in one place, letting you RSVP or save them to your iPhone’s Calendar app.
And lastly, Spark’s Apple Watch component puts important emails on your wrist, with pre-populated quick replies and the ability to dictate a longer message, if you want.
The Apple Watch app, along with a glance, lets you quickly check out the most important emails, and even reply with dictation.
Color me excited!
Smart inbox— Spark creates a Smart Inbox with cards to better manage your e-mail, and also gives you a traditional unified view of your inbox.
Clarity—Your inbox is reorganized based on content awareness to show you the important things first.
Smart Notifications—You can set up notifications to show up only when you get e-mails from people you care about.
Integrations—Spark integrates with Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and Box and allows you to save both email attachments and actual emails there. What’s unique is that you can set up two Dropbox accounts: one personal and one work. You can also easily convert an e-mail into a PDF file with just one button.
Personalization—Spark is the most configurable email application. This is the only e-mail client that adapts to your workflow. You can set up different menu items, number of e-mail in each card, menu bar position, widgets to show and much more.
Smart Search—We wanted to create a better way of searching the e-mail, because the current search is broken. Natural Language search allows you to ask exact questions. For example: type “Attachments from David” and Spark will only display e-mails from David that contain attachments.
Great design and details— Spark has tons of cool little things that make the whole experience much better:
Clean compose window where you focus on the content
Ability to attach any file from your camera or cloud storage
Ability to change signatures by a simple swipe
Ability to delete all e-mail in the card (open a card, scroll down and swipe the bottom bar to the right)
Undo actions if you accidentally deleted an e-mail
Read receipts show you when your e-mail is read
Built-in calendar allows you to check availability times when you e-mail is minimized (right inside the app)
Reply to forwarded messages (to the original sender)
Quick replies (simply tap “Like” or “Thanks” buttons and the person will receive your acknowledgement or gratitude)
Pins is a lightweight way to mark what’s important either for today or for any other date)
And much more
Spark for Apple Watch—Spark is perfect for Apple Watch. It only notifies you when there’s an important event. Moreover, Spark lets you reply with dictation or a “quick reply” button (unlike native Apple app).
“Spark improves your experience with every core aspect of an email,” developers told me via email. “We want it to be better than any other e-mail client for (almost) every person on the planet.”
I’ve found their marketing claims to be accurate as Spark, for the most part, has already replaced Apple’s Mail, Dropbox’s Mailbox, Microsoft’s Outlook and the excellent TL;DR as my go-to iPhone email client.
But don’t take my words for it, take Spark for a spin—it’s free.
Spark is available in the App Store at no charge.
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