Apple Inc.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Patent reveals Apple is working on foldable iPhone with "self-healing" screen
Patent reveals Apple is working on foldable iPhone with "self-healing" screen
Credit: Apple, Courtesy of USPTO

Apple has filed a patent to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a foldable iPhone with a "self-healing" screen that could "heal" itself from scratches and dents "automatically." The patent called "Electronic Devices With Flexible Display Cover Layers" was filed earlier this year, but was only just made public, according to 9to5mac.com.

"During the operation of an electronic device, the display cover layer for the electronic device may be scratched or dented. To improve the aesthetics of the electronic device, it may be desirable for the presence of scratches and dents to be minimized. To help mitigate the number of dents, scratches, or other imperfections in a display cover layer, the display cover layer may include a layer of self-healing material," the patent reads.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
European Union drafts Digital Services Act to regulate large technology companies
European Union drafts Digital Services Act to regulate large technology companies
Credit: Corentin Béchade / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The European Commission is working on a new legislative package in order to regulate major online platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and others. According to an internal paper, one of the goals is to prevent "unfair practices". One rule could specify that the platforms would "not be allowed to pre-install their own applications exclusively" such as installing mobile apps on smartphones and preventing users to uninstall them.

In addition, there could be new restrictions on the usage of data generated by their services for their own commercial activities. This kind of data could only be used if made "accessible to other commercial users".

Technology • Internet & Web
Epic Games, Spotify and others form advocacy group to push for app store changes

Companies including “Fortnite” maker Epic Games Inc., Spotify Technology SA, and Tinder owner Match Group Inc. have forged an alliance to pressure Apple Inc. and other app-store operators to make changes to their marketplace rules.

Technology • Internet & Web
U.S. judge halts order to remove WeChat from app stores
U.S. judge halts order to remove WeChat from app stores
Credit: WeChat

Early Sunday, the U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler blocked the Commerce Department from requiring Apple and Google to remove WeChat for downloads. The judge issued a preliminary injunction at the request of the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance.

The preliminary injunction also blocked the order barring other transactions with WeChat in the United States that could have degraded the site’s usability for current U.S. users.

Technology • Internet & Web
After Trump "blessing" of Oracle deal, the U.S. will delay TikTok app store ban by one week
After Trump "blessing" of Oracle deal, the U.S. will delay TikTok app store ban by one week
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Logos TikTok & Oracle (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The U.S. Commerce Department on Saturday announced a one-week delay until September 27 on order to remove TikTok app from mobile application stores owned by Apple and Google. The decision came after President Trump has given tentative approval to an Oracle-Wallmart deal that will keep TikTok alive in the country.

Trump said, on Saturday, that "I have given the deal my blessing, I approve the deal in concept."

Technology • Internet & Web
Customs and Border Protection seize 2,000 OnePlus Buds claiming they are "counterfeit Apple AirPods"
Customs and Border Protection seize 2,000 OnePlus Buds claiming they are "counterfeit Apple AirPods"
Credit: CBP

US Customs and Border Protection tweeted that officers at John F Kennedy International Airport had "recently seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine."

The box from the tweet picture states that the product is from OnePlus and not Apple, but according to a CBP spokesperson: "Upon examining the shipment in question, a CBP Import Specialist determined that the subject earbuds appeared to violate Apple's configuration trademark."

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple has designed a face mask for its employees

Apple's Engineering and Industrial Design teams have designed a minimalistic face mask called the "Apple Face Mask" which is being distributed to both corporate and retail employees. The mask has three layers and can be worn up to five times.

Technology • Games
Apple demands compensation from Epic Games over Fortnite dispute
Fortnite Chapter2, Season 4
Fortnite Chapter2, Season 4 Credit: Epic Games (Reproduction)

Following the dispute over App Store fees between Apple and Epic Games, Apple now demands compensation payments from Epic for causing greater damage and "endangering the entire iOS ecosystem and the immense value to its customers".

Technology • Internet & Web
Apple's virtual special event "Time Flies" announced for Sep 15
Apple's virtual special event "Time Flies" announced for Sep 15
Credit: Apple (Screenshot)

Apple has officially announced its virtual special event "Time Flies" for September 15 at 10 am PT. Members of the press have been invited to join remotely and a live stream placeholder is available on YouTube.

Technology • Internet & Web
#appleevent hashtag appears on Twitter ahead of rumoured Apple event
#appleevent hashtag appears on Twitter ahead of rumoured Apple event
Credit: Screenshot via Twitter

The hashtag #appleevent, including a custom emoji in the form of the Apple logo, has appeared on Twitter after rumours of a possible announcement from the company this week.

Technology • Games
Epic Games files for preliminary injunction against Apple over Fortnite ban after 60% user loss
Epic Games files for preliminary injunction against Apple over Fortnite ban after 60% user loss
Credit: Epic Games

The Fortnite creator and rights holder Epic Games has filed for a preliminary injunction in order to get the popular battle royale game restored to Apple's App Store.

Epic Games states that the daily active users have dropped by 60% following the removal from the App Store and claims that the company is "likely to suffer irreparable harm" if the app is not restored while the legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games is ongoing.

Technology • Games
Apple terminated Epic Games developer account
Fortnite
Fortnite Credit: Epic Games

Apple terminated the Epic Games developer account on the App Store, meaning games like Fortnite and Infinity Blade are no longer available for download, and blocking Epic Games from developing applications for iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Apple says Epic will no longer be able to submit apps or updates using its Epic Games developer account, but users who’ve previously downloaded Fortnite on iOS and Mac can keep playing it.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Twitter among companies to pledge to give employees time off to vote
Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Twitter among companies to pledge to give employees time off to vote
Credit: unsplash.com/visuals

Hundreds of US companies have pledged to give employees time off to participate in elections. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman previously said that "no American should have to choose between earning a paycheck and voting."

Starbucks, Twitter, Uber and Coca-Cola, have said that employees would get election day off, while Starbucks employees are giving a flexible workday to either vote or volunteer at polling places. Apple employees are getting four hours off.

As of now, 700 companies have joined the nonpartisan coalition "Time to Vote", an initiative that formed ahead of the 2018 elections, and around 600 companies have signed on ElectionDay.org to either give employees time off or distribute information on voting.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook states Apple’s new iOS update will disrupt online advertising
Facebook states Apple’s new iOS update will disrupt online advertising
Credit: Greg Bulla

Facebook wrote, in a blog post towards its developer community, the changes being implemented in iOS 14 that the company "ability to deliver targeted ads on iOS 14 will be limited.".

According to Facebook, the update will probably mean that app developers will receive less advertising revenue due to the fact "some iOS 14 users may not see any ads from Audience Network, while others may still see ads from us, but they'll be less relevant."

The beta version of iOS 14 was released earlier this week, implementing a set of anti-tracking measures that limit the ability of advertisers to track a particular user and deliver highly tailored advertising.

Technology • Games
Apple ordered not to block Epic's Unreal Engine, but Fortnite still banned from App Store
Fortnite
Fortnite Credit: Epic Games

US District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ruled that Apple cannot terminate Epic Games' developer accounts or compromise its Unreal Engine. The App Store ban of Fortnite will not be lifted by the court until a full hearing can take place on September 28.

The judge claimed that Apple had "chosen to act severely" by threatening to block the Unreal Engine, which is widely used by others. "Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders," she said.

Regarding Fortnite, the judge stated Epic had "strategically chosen to breach its agreements with Apple.", ruling against Epic Games request to have Fortnite back to the App Store.

Technology • Internet & Web
Apple becomes first U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap
Apple becomes first U.S. company to reach a $2 trillion market cap
Credit: Apple

Apple hit a market cap of $2 trillion Wednesday, doubling in valuation in just over two years to become the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach the milestone.

The stock market value of Apple company has doubled since March in the midst of the technology rush and equals the Italian GDP.

Technology • Games
Apple threatens to terminate all Epic’s developer account over Fortnite App Store protest
Epic Games parody of the iconic Apple's "1984" ad
Epic Games parody of the iconic Apple's "1984" ad Credit: Epic Games (Reproduction)

Epic tweeted on Monday that Apple has threatened to cut off its access to all Apple developer tools, for iOS and Mac. The developer said Apple would terminate all of its development tools accesses on August 28.

Epic has filed for a preliminary injunction against Apple, saying the company will be "irreparably harmed long before final judgment comes" if it does not obtain the injunction. Epic also asked for Fortnite — with its lowered prices and alternate payment option — to be returned to the App Store.

Technology • Games
Apple and Google removed Fortnite from App Store and Play Store
Apple and Google removed Fortnite from App Store and Play Store
Credit: Epic Games

Apple has removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games implemented Thursday its in-app payment system that bypassed Apple’s standard 30% fee. Later Thursday Google also removed the game from the Android Play Store.

Epic Games responded with a series of calculated actions, including an antitrust lawsuit claiming Apple's App Store is a monopoly, a video mocking the iconic "1984" Apple ad, and encouraging fans to use #FreeFortnite on their communications with Apple.

Spotify’s spokesman Adam Grossberg said, "We applaud Epic Games' decision to take a stand against Apple and shed further light on Apple's abuse of its dominant position." 

Technology • Internet & Web
US court rules that Apple needs to pay $506 million over patent violations
US court rules that Apple needs to pay $506 million over patent violations
Credit: unsplash.com / Mika Baumeister

A federal jury in Texas has decided that Apple needs to pay $506,2 million in damages and interest for using patented 4G technology in hardware made by the company.

Following the jury verdict, five patents were willfully infringed leading the District Judge Rodney Gilstrap to be able to increase the compensation amount by three times compared to what the jurors have set. Panoptis Patent Management had sued on behalf of one of its clients as they manage the intellectual property and patents for companies in order to enable them to focus on "innovation and new development".

According to local media Apple will appeal the decision made by the court.

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok tracked Android users’ device identifiers until late last year
TikTok tracked Android users’ device identifiers until late last year
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday TikTok’s Android app collected its users’ MAC addresses for 18 months in violation of the platform rules. The MAC address serves as a unique identifier for each user’s device.

Since 2015, both the App Store and the Google Play Store had banned the collection of MAC addresses as a matter of policy, but the video app used a loophole. According to the Journal, nearly 350 apps on the Google Play Store used a similar loophole, generally for ad-targeting purposes.