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Updated: 3 hours 8 min ago
To coincide with Earth Day, Apple has launched an entirely new version of its Environmental Responsibility website. The site outlines how the company is reducing its impact on climate change, using greener materials, and conserving resources. A video narrated by Apple CEO Tim Cook explains that the philosophy behind the company’s green efforts is the same thing that drives everything Apple does — the desire to do better. In a letter on the site, Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, concludes, “At Apple, we continue to put nature at the center of our business and design principles. We promise to keep you updated on our journey.”
Re/code writes about the benefits of Made for iPhone hearing aids for people such as 29-year-old Dusty Dorey, who enjoys visiting his local pub where his hearing aid automatically compensates for the noise levels inside. The article describes the built-in accessibility features in iOS that allow people with hearing loss to enjoy listening to music or conversing with Siri. Dorey tells Re/code, “I didn’t think about it until I turned on turn-by-turn navigation and it started going into my hearing aids. Having it pipe directly into your ears is awesome.”
CNN describes how iPad devices are helping autistic children learn communication and social skills. The article features an app called Flummox & Friends, created by Christa Dahlstrom, who was inspired by her autistic son to create a fully scripted TV show for iPad that “aims to educate children by being entertaining, not condescending.” Dahlstrom notes, “We’ve really started to see children’s media migrate from the TV screen to the iPad.” CNN also highlights a speech therapist who uses iPad to help kids connect socially and a parent whose son uses iPad in a way that helps him “break complex concepts up into more easily understandable chunks.”
Apple has announced that it will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference June 2 through June 6 at San Francisco’s Moscone West. At the conference, developers from around the world will learn about the future of iOS and OS X. WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies and fine-tune their apps, as well as the Apple Design Awards, which showcase the best apps from the past year. Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website now through Monday, April 7 at 10 a.m. PDT, and tickets will be issued to attendees through random selection. Developers will know their status by Monday, April 7 at 5 p.m. PDT. There will also be 200 Student Scholarships available, giving students around the world the chance to earn a free ticket (developer.apple.com/wwdc/students).
A Greenpeace study shows that Apple leads the way in making the Internet greener and more sustainable, according to The Telegraph. Greenpeace’s “Clicking Clean” report looked at 19 major tech companies and concluded that Apple — with all its data centers powered by energy from sustainable sources — is the most aggressive in reaching the goal of 100 percent renewable energy. Apple’s shift to clean energy “made it clear why it’s one of the world’s most innovative and popular companies,” said Gary Cook, senior IT analyst at Greenpeace.
Starting this baseball season, the San Francisco Giants are adopting Apple’s iBeacon technology to send offers and alerts directly to fans’ iOS 7 devices while they’re at AT&T Park, reports Engadget. This is the first year Major League Baseball has begun using the technology, and it will appear in 20 of the 30 MLB ballparks. The Giants believe that iBeacon technology can help fans have a better time at the ballpark. “Mobile and digital experiences are paramount to our fan experience,” says the team’s Chief Information Officer Bill Schlough. “It opens up a world of possibilities.”
To help diagnose sports-related concussions, Cleveland Clinic in Ohio is using an iPad app that can measure and monitor symptoms moments after an athlete gets hurt. With iPad and the C3 Logix app, trainers can visualize an injury’s effect on cognitive and motor performance, making it easier to spot a concussion. “In the past, evaluating a concussed athlete involved a lot of guesswork,” says athletic trainer Jason Cruickshank, whose team is part of a program using this new technology. “iPad and the C3 Logix app have taken that subjectivity out of the process.” And injury assessments that previously required several pieces of equipment have now become simpler. “We needed an acceleromater, a gyroscope, and a great display to be able to objectively test balance, vision, and reaction time,” Cruickshank says. “iPad gave us all of that in a single device.”
Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and other shows are now available via a new 24-hour NPR streaming station on iTunes Radio. And later this spring, NPR is planning to expand the station to include streams of member stations in the U.S. “What you hear today is just the start of what’s to come,” said Zach Brand, NPR’s vice president of digital media.
Apple has announced that iPad with Retina display replaces iPad 2 as the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. “Now for $399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The iPad line sets the gold standard in mobile computing and all iPads have access to the largest and best ecosystem of more than 500,000 iPad optimized apps from the App Store.”
The iTunes Festival SXSW kicks off Tuesday in Austin, Texas, with performances by Coldplay and Imagine Dragons. The Festival runs through Saturday and also features Pitbull, Keith Urban, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, Willie Nelson, and more. Catch all five nights of the iTunes Festival for free as a live or on-demand stream in the iTunes Store on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. Watch the performances on Apple TV or download the iTunes Festival app. And gear up for the shows by listening to the iTunes Festival at SXSW Artists station on iTunes Radio.
Apple and Danish company GN ReSound have teamed up to introduce a hearing aid that’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, reports CNN.com. The LiNX hearing aid works with the accessibility options in iOS 7, letting users control it right from their Apple device. Doctors are hoping the high-tech factor will take some of the stigma out of seeking help for hearing loss. “The association with Apple is going to make a great difference in getting people in the door in the first place,” audiologist Dr. Ken Smith says.
In exploring some of the world’s tallest and most treacherous peaks, one new piece of equipment has become essential to mountaineers Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington: their iPad. Instead of relying on paper maps to prepare for their expeditions, they study details of remote regions using iPad and the Gaia GPS topography app. “Five years ago, it was hard to even get a paper map of some of these places,” Ballinger says. “Now with the iPad it’s remarkable how much we can plan ahead.” The climbers also use iPad to blog and post photos during an expedition instead of recounting their story when the trek is over. And iPad is an important tool during extreme weather, as Ballinger and Harrington rely on it to make sure they stay on track. “In a whiteout,” says Harrington, “being able to see where you are on the mountain can be a matter of life or death. iPad is the only way to tell where we’re going.”
Apple today announced that Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s senior vice president and CFO, will retire at the end of September. Luca Maestri, Apple’s vice president of Finance and corporate controller, will succeed Oppenheimer as CFO reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Oppenheimer will transition the CFO role to Maestri in June and the balance of his responsibilities over the remaining time allowing for a seamless transition. “Peter has served as our CFO for the past decade as Apple’s annual revenue grew from $8 billion to $171 billion and our global footprint expanded dramatically,” said Cook. “His guidance, leadership and expertise have been instrumental to Apple’s success, not only as our CFO but also in many areas beyond finance, as he frequently took on additional activities to assist across the company. His contributions and integrity as our CFO create a new benchmark for public company CFOs.”
Educators at one of Singapore’s top public high schools have found that using iPad in the classroom is helping students excel and changing the way they interact with their lessons. In 2011, Nanyang Girls’ High School launched a program to introduce iPad in the curriculum. The initiative began with a single grade level, but has since expanded to include the entire student body. “The interactive features definitely appeal to and engage the students more,” says history teacher Ong Lee Hua. Students are speaking up more in class and participating more in online discussions. And teachers also say iPad helps the girls learn to navigate the collaborative world they’ll be working in. “The collaborative element of using iPad is pretty relevant in today’s world,” according to language arts teacher Cressandra Tan. “Not just relying on your own strengths, but the strengths of your group.”
Apple has announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter and safer way to use iPhone in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music, and access messages with a word or a touch. Users can control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or push and hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri. “CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.” Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers will bring CarPlay to their drivers in the future.
For the fifth consecutive year, Apple has been named overall winner in Laptop Mag’s “Best and Worst Laptop Brands.” The magazine evaluated notebooks from nine manufacturers in a range of categories, from reviews and tech support to design and software. “For a remarkable fifth year in a row,” the magazine writes, “Apple has proved once again that it’s still the gold standard of laptop makers.” Apple won four out of eight categories and tied for first in two others, and all four MacBook models reviewed received Editor’s Choice awards. “Often imitated, never duplicated,” the reviewers concluded. “The clean, modern look of Apple’s MacBook has set the standard for portability and power, which is why so many other notebooks look like clones.”
Soundgarden will join an all-star lineup playing the iTunes Festival at SXSW on March 13, Apple has announced. The Seattle-based band will perform the entire “Superunknown” album to celebrate the recording’s 20th anniversary. The festival will be held March 11-15 in Austin, Texas, and will also feature Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, Keith Urban, and more. You’ll be able to watch the performances live or on demand from iTunes.
FileMaker Inc. announced today that its FileMaker Go for iPad and iPhone apps have surpassed 1 million downloads from the iTunes App Store. FileMaker Go is a free app that allows users to remotely interact with FileMaker databases. “Businesses are using the FileMaker Platform to create solutions that manage everything from sales contacts and inventory to medical data on iPad and iPhone,” FileMaker’s Ryan Rosenberg said. “With the recent launch of FileMaker 13, customers will find it easier than ever to design innovative mobile solutions.”
On a recent visit to a middle school in Maryland, President Obama “wielded an iPad to help make a point about how he hopes to do more for schools without more funding from Congress,” according to a Reuters report. Obama plans to modernize classrooms with technology, and Apple and other private companies have pledged to provide $750 million in tech products and services. Apple’s commitment includes donating free iPads to disadvantaged schools. Obama said technology like this “makes vivid and real math and science, in a way that is more interesting to the students.”
Fans can use iPhone and iOS to personalize their Super Bowl weekend experience, reports The New York Times’ Nick Wingfield in an article about the NFL’s iBeacon integration with the NFL Mobile app. At Times Square and MetLife Stadium, mobile technology can lead fans to the nearest stadium entrance, the closest place to buy merchandise, or where to view the Lombardi Trophy. Mobile announcements and alerts based on location are not new, but the article notes that experts say, “Apple is further along with its version of the technology, which is why most alerts of this kind are now sent to iPhone users.” Manish Jha, the NFL’s general manager of mobile, says, “The power of this is it really is able to connect the real world, the brick-and-mortar world, with the virtual world with a level of granularity that hasn’t existed before.”