Apple

Apple Apologizes to Breaking Bad Season Pass Buyers, Offers Refunds

After much confusion surrounding the final season of Breaking Bad, Apple began sending out emails offering Season Pass buyers a refund. Here's the email:

Dear Customer

We apologize for any confusion the naming of “Season 5″ and “The Final Season” of Breaking Bad might have caused you. While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, we’d like to offer you “The Final Season” on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99. This credit can also be used for any other content on the iTunes Store. Thank you for your purchase.

Breaking Bad Season Pass

The confusion began when AMC split the final season into two parts, and Apple titled the first 8 episodes as "Season 5″. This led iTunes users to believe they were buying a Season Pass to all 16 episodes for $21.99, when it reality it only included the first half of the final season. Apple's second mistake was not removing their boilerplate text that promised: “This Season Pass includes all current and future episodes of Breaking Bad, Season 5.”

Apple Considers Increasing iPhone Screen Up To 6 Inches

The Wall Street Journal reports rumors are once again surfacing that Apple is considering plans to introduce iPhones with screens between 4.8 and 6 inches, a significant increase from the current standard of 4 inches. These “phablets” would be a cross between a phone and the larger sized tablets already on the market.

6 Inch iPhone

While this is not something Apple is planning to announce this coming Tuesday, insiders are saying it is being considered as the company seeks new opportunities for expansion. The size increase would be the first since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.

Apple Launches iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program

iPhone owners can now trade in their old devices at Apple retail stores across the US. Officially the iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program, Apple's offering gives customers up to $280 for a used device, as long as they leave the store with a new two-year contract for a new iPhone. The credit comes in the form of a gift card, which must be used towards a new iPhone.

Apple iPhone reuse and recycling program

Of course, any value left over on the card can be spent on merchandise or accessories at the Apple store. Customers must be deemed eligible for an upgrade by their wireless carrier to make use of the trade-in program. According to CNBC, smartphone trade in programs have become the hottest area of all smartphone transactions this year.

Apple Details New iTunes Kids Category for Developers

After revamping its App Store Review guidelines with new rules on children’s applications, Apple emailed developers with additional details on its new iTunes "Kids" category. Apple originally previewed the new category for children at WWDC in June. The new section "provides parents with a place on the App Store to find age-appropriate apps for children," according to the email sent out by Apple. The letter also breaks down the age subcategories as 5 & under, 6-to-8, and 9-to-11.

Apps For Kids

Apple has revamped the App Store a few times this year to make it more parent and school friendly. In April, the company made app age ratings more visible, and added a pop-up warning to all 17+ rated content. Apple also created a new system for "educational institutions" to add individual accounts for children under the age of 13.

iOS 7 Beta 5 Now Avilable

Apple has rolled out its second iOS 7 beta after giving its developer center a major overhaul last week. iOS 7 beta 5 is now available as an OTA update for registered developers. The last release brought several bug fixes plus interface and performance tweaks to the OS. Notable changes included more proof that Apple could be adding an iPhone fingerprint scanner, and the addition of a less confusing Lock screen. This is also believed to be the last beta Apple will release before they launch the final version in September.

iOS 7 Beta 5

iOS 7 will not only add a host of new features like iTunes Radio, but it will also completely change the look and feel of all supported iOS devices. Apple's all-new design promises to deliver a whole new experience for iOS users. It will be interesting to see the general public's reaction when it's released later this year.

Apple Wants Users to Report iMessage Spam

iMessage Spam, we all get it, and we all think it is annoying. Luckily Apple is tired of it too, and has established a way for iPhone users to report it. iPhone owners can now take a screenshot of unwanted spam, and email them to imessage.spam@icloud.com. You must include the full email address or phone number of the spammer, and the date and time that you received the message. It's unknown what Apple plans to do with the information, but hopefully they're planning to do something to slow down the amount of iMessage spam iPhone owners receive.

iMessage Spam

Apple is also adding the ability to block unwanted callers with iOS 7. Users will be able to add specific contacts to a "Block Contact" list after the new firmware is released. Previously you needed a jailbroken device to block unwanted calls.

Apple Responds to PRISM Accusations

Apple has posted a public letter addressing the recent PRISM scandal where companies like Google and Facebook were accused of giving the government access to personal data without a warrant. Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft all originally denied secretly cooperating with government officials, and said they only disclose user data when in accordance with the law. However, Edward Snowden, the former security contractor who leaked details of the PRISM program, said the tech companies were "misleading" in their responses. Perhaps that's why Apple felt it needed to clarify its customer privacy policy by posting an open letter to its users on its website.

PRISM

Here's Apple's original response:

"We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”

Here's What Your iPhone Will Look Like in a Few Months

Monday was a huge day for the tech world. Most eyes were glued to the console wars, where Sony ultimately made the Xbox One look like an overpriced glorified cable box. Apple was also busy showing off its new redesigned OS, which is going to give your iPhone and iPad a whole new look and feel. Apple unveiled iOS 7 at the WWDC keynote on Monday, and it was a huge announcement, even if it was overshadowed by the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This is an advanced warning, your iPhone is going to drastically change, so you better start getting used to it now.

iOS 7 New Look

iOS 7 is going to completely change your iPhone. Your app icons, phone keypad, email and everything else are getting complete makeovers. Here are two charts that compare the new iOS 7 icons to the old iOS 6 icons. The only way you can avoid these new icons is by not upgrading to iOS 7 when it's released.

U.S. Cellular to Carry Apple Products Later This Year

After turning down the chance to carry the iPhone in 2011, U.S. Cellular has decided to start offering Apple devices to its 5.8 million subscribers. U.S. Cellular president and CEO Mary N. Dillon said the carrier plans to "increase loyalty and attract more customers" by carrying Apple products later this year.

Apple Carriers

U.S. Cellular is one of the last major U.S. wireless providers that doesn't offer the iPhone. T-Mobile began carrying the iPhone in April, and is considering launching a MetroPCS-branded Apple device after acquiring the carrier earlier this week. Sprint started offering Apple products beginning with the iPhone 4S in 2011.

How to Block Mature Content on Your iPhone

Apple has a strict no adult content policy for the App Store, but the recent increase of social sharing services is making it impossible for the company to police every app available for iOS devices. Apple recently pulled the popular photo-sharing app 500px because users were able to access nude images. The app was eventually allowed back into the App Store, but its removal prompted Apple to makes its App Store age ratings more visible to users. Some apps like the video sharing service Vine, have also been slapped with a 17+ rating due to people uploading adult content to their profiles. Luckily for parents there is a way to block children from downloading mature rated content, however, parents should still monitor what their children are doing with their mobile devices.

iPhone Restrictions

For example, Snapchat allows users to send pictures and texts that are deleted within seconds after being seen. The app has been criticized for misleading kids into thinking it's safe to send compromising photos because they will eventually disappear. However, anyone who knows how to take a screenshot can easily save an image sent to them through the app. Snapchat does alert the sender if a screenshot has been taken, but by that point the damage has already been done.

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