All Articles by Derek Kessler

The keys to Apple's to success in China: People, stores, and partnerships

Apple's been making great strides in China, and CEO Tim Cook today elaborated on how. China's been long regarded as a market that should have been challenging for Apple, but the explosive growth seen by Apple in the last quarter was fueled in part by the anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but also by massive growth in China.

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Apple's building an $850 million solar farm in California

Apple CEO Tim Cook today announced that Apple is investing $850 million in a brand-new solar farm to power their California operations. The 1,300-acre facility is being built in Monterey County, California, and will produce enough electricity to power all of the new Apple Campus 2, as well as Apple's other offices and retail stores in California, as well as their Newark, CA, data center.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak at today's Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be speaking today at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. Scheduled for 3:30 pm Eastern time (12:30 pm Pacific), Cook's appearance follows a record-setting quarter for Apple, tremendous growth fueled by the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and a stock price that's hitting all-time highs practically every week.

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Anki's next-gen robot racing game features jumping cars and modular tracks

Anki Drive has long been one of our favorite connected toys, and the next generation — Anki Overdrive — is looking to literally make a huge jump. The highlight of the new Anki Overdrive, due out in September 2015, is a modular track that replaces the roll-out mat of the first edition. The individual segments of the track are held together by magnets embedded in the edges, and can even be assembled to build bridges that cross the track or have gaps that cars must jump.

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Swift 1.2 features an improved compiler and Objective-C interactions

Apple's youngest programming language, Swift, received a fairly substantial update with today's first beta of Xcode 6.3, at least in beta form. The Swift 1.2 beta features an improved compiler that's both more stable and more speedy, as well as new Objective-C (the programming language that pre-Swift iOS apps were built on) interactions for building more capable hybrid apps.

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First iOS 8.3 beta seeded to developers before iOS 8.2 is even released

Apple today seeded to developers the very first iOS 8.3 beta, as well as a beta for Xcode 6.3 with the version 1.2 of the Swift programming language. Amusingly, this first release of the iOS 8.3 beta comes just a week after the fifth 8.2 beta — a version of the OS that has yet to see public release.

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iOS 9 likely to feature substantial stability improvements

The launch of iOS 8 hasn't been without its hiccups, and it seems that Apple is putting a lot of work into ensuring that its successor — we'll call it iOS 9 (seems like a safe bet) — irons out those kinks. iOS 8 adoption has lagged behind previous major version numbers of iOS, though it's worth noting that it is still doing quite well in comparison to the competition.

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How about a $3.5 million iPhone 6 bedazzled with 24kt gold and diamonds?

If, for some reason, you have a few million dollars just sitting around and don't feel like spending it on a new house in the Hamptons, a new 100-foot yacht, or a new bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom, might we suggest that you spend that on a new iPhone instead? Yep, the folks at Goldgenie are at it again, this time taking their 24kt yellow gold, platinum, or rose gold iPhone 6 and wrapping it in precious cut stones. We're not talking about Swarovski crystal encrustment here, no, this is legit bling.

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It will soon be a lot easier to unlock a phone from America's top carriers — here's what you need to know

The top five carriers in the United States will on Feb. 11 implement new unlocking procedures for smartphones, tablets, and other cellular devices sold on their networks. The new unlocking standards were set forth by the CTIA in late 2013 and, though a voluntary commitment by the carriers, define the conditions under which carriers must unlock your devices — and it's all looking good for the consumer. Once you've paid off your phone, you'll probably be able to get it unlocked, and it'll be even easier with future smartphones.

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SwiftKey Flow trace-typing comes to iPad

SwiftKey's trace-typing "Flow" feature is now available to iPad users, part of an update that's bringing emoji support, new languages, and more to iPhone and iPad users. SwiftKey has been one of our favorite custom keyboards for iPhone and iPad from the start, but the lack of trace typing on the iPad was maddening. That's no longer an issue.

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The developers behind Kim Kardashian: Hollywood are making a Katy Perry game

Hot off her Super Bowl XLIX halftime show performance, singer-songwriter-ascendent-pop-queen Katy Perry is poised to get her very own mobile game. The as-of-yet untitled game is being developed by Glu Mobile, the same company that inflicted Kim Kardashian: Hollywood on the world.

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Samsung reported to still be the manufacturer of next-gen Apple's A9 processor

Once more, this time with feeling.

Just like we said in December when Samsung started building the 14-nanometer A9 processor for Apple, and in July 2013 when Samsung was first tapped to make the chip, Samsung is yet again being confirmed as Apple's partner for the next-generation A-series chip.

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Microsoft's buying Sunrise calendar for more than $100 million

Sunrise calendar is getting snapped up by Microsoft for "at least $100 million." The calendar app, which integrates sources diverse as Google Calendar and Trello project management and is available on Android, iOS, OS X, and the web, has carved out a niche for itself on the devices of many users.

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FCC Chairman states outright: they plan to classify internet access as a utility

It's official, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to reclassify internet service providers as utility providers under the FCC's Title II authority. The move aims to preserve the principles of net neutrality in law, barring ISPs from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing traffic.

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A redesigned Tweetbot for Yosemite gets a blurry teaser

Tweetbot, one of our favorite Twitter apps, looks like it's finally getting the redesign we've been clamoring for for, well, years. The Mac app has seen several updates since release, and even a surprise disappearance and return to the App Store, but has carried something of a legacy styling into this modern OS X Yosemite era. That all is poised to change at some point later this year, if this blurry teaser from Tapbots developer Mark Jardine is any indication.

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Yammer now supports Handoff between iOS 8 and Yosemite, as this epic video will tell you

Microsoft's messaging app Yammer now supports Apple's Handoff feature on OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. Unlike some implementations of Handoff, which see you switching between corresponding apps on iPhone and Mac, Yammer's sends you from the iOS app to your Handoff-supporting browser and back again. Sure, it's not a terribly exciting implementation of the feature, but the video was just insane enough that we had to bring it to you.

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14 more banks jump on the Apple Pay bandwagon

Apple Pay has signed up another 14 banks to support the contactless transactions system build into the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The addition of new banks, which include Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank with more than six million customers and two million at INOVA Federal Credit Union, bring the total number of banks offering Apple Pay support to 54.

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This is what Michael Fassbender looks like as Steve Jobs

Production is under way on the Aaron Sorkin-penned Universal-produced Steve Jobs biopic, and thanks to the high-powered zoom lenses of the entertainment press we have a glimpse of the main characters in costume. So now we now know what Michael Fassbender looks like when dressed up as Steve Jobs complete with the long locks and bowtie, as well as Seth Rogen with extra-messy hair and Steve Wozniak's glasses.

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With $179 billion in the bank, Apple wants to borrow $5 billion for stock repurchases and dividends

Thanks to the ever-complicated nature of the US tax code, Apple — the most profitable company in history this past quarter — is planning to issue $5 billion in bonds to pay for their ongoing stock repurchasing program and dividends. Yes, Apple, the company that made an eye-watering $18.04 billion in profit last quarter, is looking to borrow money.

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T-Mobile's other Super Bowl commercial is all about celebrity one-upmanship (and Wi-Fi calling)

This is T-Mobile's other commercial for Super Bowl XLIX. The other features noted famous person Kim Kardashian, and there's also an online-only ad with a vulture. Needless to say, T-Mobile's going for the Curly Howard Trophy for this year's Super Bowl commercials. And I don't know about you, but I get terrible Wi-Fi reception in my subterranean butcher shop.

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