European iTunes App Store to see tax changes Jan 1st 2015

Apple has sent an email to iOS developers  reminding them of an upcoming value-added tax rate policy changes, that are calculated for App Store purchases in the European Union. 

Starting January 1, 2015, the company will charge the value-added tax, or VAT, rate based on the country which they are from rather than calculating a flat VAT rate for all countries in the European Union. That means, that residents of the countries, where value-added taxes are higher than users are currently being charged, could actually see their app prices go up.

According to the email, Apple says:

“On January 1, 2014, value-added tax (VAT) rates for apps will change for all territories in the European Union. VAT will be based on the customer’s country of residence instead of being the same across all EU territories.”


Apple’s tax practices recently came under fire from government authorities.

There is no information on whether Apple plans to apply the new tax rule to all iTunes purchases, including music, movies and e-books. It is also unclear how huge of an impact this will have on customers.


Apple took down Russian online store due to ‘extreme’ currency fluctuations

Apple has taken down its online store in Russia due to “extreme” fluctuations in the value of the ruble. 

According to the company’s spokesman Alan Hely, Apple had decided to shutter the store while it “reviews pricing,” and it “apologizes to customers for any inconvenience.”

The Russian economy has face several problems for months, but the situation have gotten significantly worse in recent days due in large part to the falling price of oil and economic sanctions. The ruble has experienced a dramatic 19 percent decline on Tuesday, after the central bank raised interest rates by 6.5 percentage points in the middle of the night.

Apple has previously tried to deal with the ruble’s fluctuations last month by increasing the price of the iPhone 6 by 25% in the whole country.

Apple’s Russian online store is currently unavailable, with the company’s usual offline message left on the site. “We’ll be back,” the site says. “We’re busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon.”


Russia, one of the top 5 largest cellphone-using countries in the world, received its own Apple Online Store in June of last year.

There is no news on when Apple will restore online sales and how much it will increase its prices.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Google Drive for iOS now lets users upload files from other apps

Google released an update to its Google Drive app with support for iOS 8 extensibility, which allows users to upload files to the cloud from outside sources. Users were previously required to open the cloud storage app and upload from there. 

However, the ability to upload information from other apps into Drive is available only to iOS 8 users.

Additionally, the updated version gives users access to custom made maps through Google’s My Maps feature, however, the Google My Maps integration is limited to viewing and sharing the custom maps currently. The app previously supported uploading files only from the iOS Camera roll. The updated version now allows to upload files from other apps on both the iPhone and iPad. To do it, just fire up Google Drive on your iOS device and tap the plus sign in the upper right corner. Then select the new ‘Upload Files’ function which provides a menu populated with the installed storage providers.


Google My Maps is known as a custom map creation tool that sports layers, directions, points of interest, line drawing and others. Drive allows users to make new My Maps in-app or access previously saved maps saved to the cloud.

Finally, the latest Google Drive comes with the usual unnamed bug fixes and performance improvements.

Google Drive for iOS is available as a free 49.8MB download from the iOS App Store.


Apple releases new emotional holiday ad ‘The Song’

As a part of its ‘From one gift come many’ campaign, Apple has released a new commercial called ‘The Song’.

The add shows a girl who stumbles upon an old record, which a gift from her grandmother to her grandfather from 1952. To record herself, the girl uses her MacBook Air and GarageBand and then, the commercial shows her using an iPhone and an iPad over some time to perfect the holiday gift.

The girl then leaves an iPad mini with a note saying “A Duet, Press Play” for her grandmother, who listens to the duet between herself and her granddaughter, bringing her to tears as she looks through the old photographs left along with the iPad by the girl. The record is a kind of message about not being able to be together for the holidays and then a rendition of “Love Is Here to Stay”.

“With a Mac, iPhone or iPad you have the power to create thoughtful, emotional gifts and memories that transcend time,” the ad’s description says. “It could be a movie, a homemade card or a song that brings two generations closer together.”

Apple is well-known for its commercials around the holidays. Last year’s creation, titled “Misunderstood,” showed a boy staring at his iPhone during a family gathering, only to which make a home movie for his family. The 2013 ad won a Creative Arts Emmy for “Outstanding Commercial.”


United Airlines to provide flight attendants with iPhone 6 Plus

United Airlines on Wednesday announced that more than 23,000 flight attendants will soon be given the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus to handle onboard transactions and access company email and other internal information.

The airline stated, that the company will be rolling out Apple’s device to its flight attendants starting next year during the second quarter, allowing them to do onboard retail transactions, access the airline’s website and internal network, plus policies and procedures manuals. 

“We are thrilled to make this investment in our flight attendants,” said Sam Risoli, United’s senior vice president of inflight services. “iPhone 6 Plus will enable them to deliver an even higher level of flyer-friendly service and will offer our flight attendants simple, one-touch access to valuable work information, enabling them to better serve our customers.”


United Airlines intends to expand the functions of its iPhone 6 Plus deployment in the future, including replacing flight attendants’ printed safety manual with an electronic version, as well as sending real-time reporting and enhanced follow-up on aircraft cabin issues and repairs. The company shared that it has renewed its iPad pilot program using the iPad Air 2 which it calls “a move toward creating paperless aircraft and flight decks” and is planning to create a few customer-focused tools for the product.

While United Airlines is planning to distribute the iPhone 6 Plus to its flight attendants, Apple has released two apps targeted toward the travel industry called Plan Flight and Passenger+.


Tim Cook nominated for TIME’s 2014 Person of the Year

TIME has revealed its Finalists for Person of the Year today and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is on the list. 

Every year, TIME makes a list of individuals, or sometimes more than just one person, to nominate for the publication’s annual “Person of the Year” award.

TIME is recognizing Cook for launching a number of new products as well as coming out as the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO.

“Tim Cook, who introduced Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Watch, and Apple Pay this year, and whose decision to come out made him the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO.”

Back in late October, Tim Cook made announcement telling about his sexual orientation in a letter written for Bloomberg Businessweek, where he said that his decision was done to “bring comfort to anyone who feels alone” and to “inspire people to insist on their equality.” 

The list features six additional persons, including pop artist Taylor Swift and Russian president Vladimir Putin, and also includes the Ebola caregivers and the Ferguson protestors.


Accodring to the publication’s editorial team, TIME’s Person of the Year award is given to “a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine” that has “for better or for worse done the most to influence the events of the year.”

Tim Cook was previously included into the 2012 list alongside Bill and Hilary Clinton, but the award was given to U.S. president Barack Obama. In 2013, Pope Francis received the Person of the Year award, and in 2010, it went to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 

putin pope-francis-person-of-the-year-time-2013 obama-time-person-of-the-year-768x1024 image4

Here’s the full list:

The Ferguson protesters, who took to the streets in August following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer, and again in November when a grand jury declined to indict the officer in the killing.

  • The Ebola caregivers, who are still fighting the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, that has so far taken the lives of nearly 7,000 people in West Africa.
  • Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who has remained in the headlines throughout this year, from his country’s stewardship of the Winter Olympics in Sochi to its annexation of Crimea, and its role in the ongoing civil strife in eastern Ukraine.
  • Taylor Swift, one of the world’s top-selling pop artists, who this year shook up the music industry by pulling her music from streaming service Spotify, which she believes should compensate artists more.
  • Jack Ma, an English teacher turned founder and CEO of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant which debuted a $25 billion IPO.
  • Tim Cook, who introduced Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple Watch, and Apple Pay this year, and whose decision to come out made him the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO.
  • Masoud Barzani, the acting president of the Iraqi Kurdish Region since 2005, who has deftly threaded the region’s push for independence with the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.
  • Roger Goodell, the National Football League commissioner whose leadership has been under great scrutiny this year as the league dealt with public incidents of domestic abuse by players such as Ray Rice, among other controversies.

Apple to join “Hour of Code” initiative worldwide in December

Apple announced that it will work with Seattle-based by hosting Hour of Code computer programming workshops for kids on Thursday. The campaign will offer a free one-hour introduction on the basics of computer programming at different Apple Stores on December 11. The company also plans to hold other events at its retail stores from December 8 to 14.

Those, who want to attend the event can now register to reserve a spot at the programming basics workshop at Apple Stores in the United States and around the world. Apple will host special events at a few its international stores including London, Berlin, and Tokyo next week.

The team behind Hopscotch, a visual programming language created for young programmers, for example, will come to the Apple Store in SoHo, New York, while the Apple Store on Regent Street in London will feature NaturalMotion, the developers that have launched games like Clumsy Ninja.The developers of the iOS app, FitPort, The Elements app and the founder of BASE will join the event in different countries.


“Hour of Code” is a campaign that’s sponsored by non-profit website, which hosts a global movement targeted at reaching millions of students through a free workshop that provides basic programming techniques.

“Computer Science Education Week is December 8-14. We’re supporting by hosting workshops and other special events at your local Apple Store. Join us on December 11 for the Hour of Code, a free one-hour introduction to the basics of computer programming.”

It isn’t the first time Apple participates in the initiative.The company also hosted the Hour of Code at its stores in 2013.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple shutting down iTunes Connect December 22 – 29

Apple has sent an email to registered developers on Wednesday informing them about shutting down its iTunes Connect service December 22 to December 29 as part of the holidays. That means, that during this time, developers will not have the ability to submit new apps, app updates or in-app purchases on the App Store. In addition, they will not allowed to access to iTunes Connect, Application Loader, iTunes Connect for iOS.

The email from Apple says: “During this time, you will not be able to submit new apps, updates, or In-App Purchases.” While the connect service will be shutdown, the company will let developers schedule app releases and price changes during the December 22 to December 29 period.  Any changes that developers want to be made during the time, must be submitted by December 18 “to ensure your app remains available during this busy period.”

Apple tradtionally shut down its iTunes Connect during the holidays, offering Apple staff a short break during the festive season. Most developers, who were expecting the shutting down, will probably release their new apps and holiday sales on the App Store in the days leading up to December 22. Those developers, who are now testing or users offered to test prerelease products with TestFlight Beta Testing will not face the shutdown.

Both the App Store and iTunes Connect should get back to normal on December 30.



Apple is blamed for plagiarism

When the first iPhone appeared in 2007 chinese companies started to copy them. The main difference was the price. While iPhones are quite expensive, their anologues are much cheaper.

Now, the situation has changed completely — Apple is charged of copying product of the chinese company Digione, which isn’t well-known.

The matter is Digione has a patent, presented in July, which looks exactly like iPhone 6. This patent is actual in China only.

Take a look at the photos to make certain that devides are really resembling.

The device from Digione has a 5,5 inches display and an eight-core processor MediaTek. It will cost you about $130.

Digione sent wanted to solve the problem and sent a letter to Apple, hinting the new iPhone may turn to be a copy of their product. But Apple ignored this letter.

There is still no information if Digione is going to bring an action against Apple.




Jailbreak, News/Rumors

Apple stops signing iOS 8.1,downgrades impossible

Apple has stopped signing iOS 8.1 meaning there is no way to either upgrade to it, or downgrade to it. Instead, you’ll have to go directly to iOS 8.1.1.

Fortunately,TaiG has released a jailbreak utility for iOS 8.1.1 that works on Windows. iOS 8.1.1 was officially jailbroken. TaiG can be used to jailbreak iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 8, iOS 8.0.2, iOS 8.1, and iOS 8.1. It works well and is pretty easy to follow along.

Users who have already been jailbroken on iOS 8.1 can decide whether to stay put on iOS 8.1 or upgrade to iOS 8.1.1. But those who’re not jailbroken and are currently on a non-jailbreakable firmware, have to upgrade to iOS 8.1.1 if they wish to jailbreak now.

taig-jailbreakYou can use the below instructions on how to jailbreak your device.

Step 1: Download the latest version of TaiG jailbreak on your computer, and unzip the zip file. You are also required the latest version of iTunes.

Step 2: Connect your device to your computer using the USB cable.

Step 3: If you have password on your iPhone or iPad, disable it from Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.

Step 4: Turn off Find my iPhone from Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone.

Step 5: Launch TaiGJBreak as an Administrator. Right click on the TaiG exe and select the “Run as Administrator” option.

Step 6: TaiG will take some time to detect your device. Once done, deselect the TaiG App Store, just below Cydia 1.1.16.

Step 7: Click on the green jailbreak button to proceed:TaiGJBreak will start the jailbreak.

Step 8: After the jailbreak is complete, your device will reboot automatically, and you will see the Cydia icon on the Home screen.

Congratulations, your device is jailbroken!