Tylt's Energi Sliding Power Case ($100) is the first battery case we've seen for iPhone 6, though we have seen a previous version of Energi before, for iPhone 5. Energi comes with a simple standalone case, which can then be inserted in a larger 3200 mAh battery sleeve with a built-in Lightning connector for charging on the go — the two pieces work together as a bigger, thicker case. While the design here is similar to the previous Energi case, the battery now has a higher capacity, and the inner case offers more protection than before. The sleep/wake buttons and volume controls are now covered, as are the top and bottom of the phone. A micro-USB cable is included for charging the battery. We'll have a full review shortly.
Just Mobile is billing its TopGum ($80) as "the sophisticated backup battery" for iOS devices. The sleek aluminum 6000 mAh battery features a built-in cable with a Lightning connector attached. TopGum offers dual output charging, as the Lightning cable can recharge devices at 2.4A, while a separate USB port provides 1A charging. The included micro-USB cable can be used to recharge the battery itself or, optionally, to charge devices from the battery. Also included is a small dock for charging the battery — the micro-USB connector can be plugged into the dock so the battery can charge upright while docking on three small pins. Just Mobile claims TopGum can fully charge an iPhone up to three times, and charge an iPad mini up to 75 percent. The battery comes in two colors — a silver and gold that match Apple's device colors. We'll have a full review soon.
In today’s iLounge Deal you can pick up Dragon Dictate for Mac 4 for $99.99 – 50% off the normal price. Providing fast, accurate speech recognition and versatile transcription, Dragon Dictate for Mac lets you dictate and edit documents, send email, transcribe voice memos, and more using just your voice. You can also accurately transcribe an audio file of any single speaker’s voice from podcasts or pre-recorded audio files, compose and reply to emails in Gmail using full text controls, and even use voice commands to manage your Gmail inbox. Version 4 also provided higher performance and faster editing as a pure 64-bit application and improved memory management, and up to 99.9% accuracy.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is “deeply offended” by allegations in a new BBC documentary regarding Apple’s handling of workers at its Chinese suppliers, The Telegraph reports. In a BBC investigative report which aired last night, BBC’s Panorama revealed poor treatment of workers and a breach of working hour standards, after sending undercover reporters into factories run by Apple supplier Pegatron located on the outskirts of Shanghai.
This morning, Apple Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams sent out an e-mail to around 5,000 UK staffers, saying that both he and Apple CEO Tim Cook were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way,” and that in terms of accusations that Apple isn’t improving working conditions, “nothing could be further from the truth.” Williams alleges that Apple had shared “facts and perspective” regarding its commitment to human rights with the BBC, and that these details were “clearly missing from their programme.”
We know of no other company doing as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions, to discover and investigate problems, to fix and follow through when issues arise, and to provide transparency into the operations of our suppliers.
In response to the BBC’s report that workers were falling asleep during extremely long shifts and being required to work numerous days while repeatedly being denied requests for time off, Williams responded that Apple has been tracking the weekly hours of “over one million workers” in its various manufacturing partners and that all of its suppliers are at an average of 93 percent compliance with Apple’s 60-hour work week limit. Williams conceded that the company can do better, but maintains its commitment to doing so.
The BBC documentary also claimed that it had found cases of child workers and dangerous working conditions in the mines on the Indonesian island of Bangka, where Apple sources its tin supply from. Williams responded to this in much the same way as Apple’s original statement, noting that “Apple has publicly stated that tin from Indonesia ends up in our products, and some of that tin likely comes from illegal mines,” but that the situation is complex and the company is actively working to improve the situation in that country, believing that remaining engaged is the more responsible course of action, rather than sourcing tin from elsewhere. Since Apple consumes a relatively small portion of the tin mined in Indonesia, Williams stated that simply sourcing tin from elsewhere would “do nothing to improve the situation for Indonesian workers.”
In the internal e-mail, Wiliams assured staff that despite Apple’s position on the documentary itself, the company is taking all of the allegations seriously and plans to investigate all of the claims that have been made, acknowledging that the company is aware that there are “a lot of issues out there” and that Apple “will not rest until every person in our supply chain is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
Apple has not lived up to its commitment to improve working conditions in its Chinese suppliers’ factories, according to a new undercover BBC investigation. In a documentary scheduled to air tonight, titled “Apple’s Broken Promises,” BBC Panorama shows what conditions inside a Chinese iPhone 6 production line are really like. The investigation found standards being breached at Pegatron factories on everything from workers’ hours, to dormitories, to juvenile workers — all areas in which Apple had promised sweeping improvements over the past several years. The documentary includes footage of exhausted workers falling asleep on 12-hour shifts, an undercover reporter who was forced to work 18 days in a row despite repeated requests for time off, and another reporter who worked shifts of up to 16 hours. Panorama also followed Apple’s supply chain down to the Indonesian island of Bangka, and found evidence that tin from illegal mines could be entering Apple’s supply chain, despite the company’s dedication to ethical sourcing of minerals. Investigative reporters also found children digging tin ore out of the mines by hand under extremely dangerous conditions.
Apple declined to be interviewed for the story, but the company did release a statement saying that it is “aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions.” The company noted that it was a “very common practice” for workers to nap during breaks, but that it would “investigate any evidence” of workers falling asleep while actually working. In its statement, the company said that it had monitored the working hours of “more than a million workers” and that the workers at the particular plant in question were averaging 55 hours per week. Responding to the situation in Bangka, Apple described it as a “complex situation” as many miners sell tin through a series of middle men, so it’s not always possible to confirm the sources of tin, but Apple remains engaged in Bangka to attempt to “drive changes on the ground” to improve the situation there.
Panorama: Apple’s Broken Promises airs tonight on BBC One and will be available later on BBC’s iPlayer platform.
Algoriddim’s djay app has pretty much set the standard for digital DJ’ing, having debuted for the Mac back in 2006 and then of course, it later morphed into impressive iPad and iPhone versions. Now, however, Algoriddim has taken its flagship app to the next level with djay Pro ($50), a landmark update and redesign that brings the Mac version more in-line with the highly popular iOS versions, while aiming to take advantage of the full power available on the latest Mac platforms and build a user interface that is powerful enough for pros, yet accessible enough for the average consumer. The new version, rewritten as a native 64-bit application, provides a 60fps graphics engine and is optimized for the Retina Displays on the MacBook Pros and new iMacs. A $50 price tag is the 40 percent-off launch price for an unestablished amount of time.
Apple has released the third beta of iOS 8.2 to registered developers, featuring a build number of 12D5452a. As with other recent versions, the latest beta appears to be primarily focused on fixes and enhancements to WatchKit to allow developers to continue preparing their apps for next year’s debut of the Apple Watch.
IK Multimedia's new iRig Mic Field ($100) is a stereo audio/video field microphone that plugs directly into the Lightning port of an iOS device. Though it looks a lot like IK's previous iRig Mic Cast, that accessory was designed specifically for voice recordings. iRig Mic Field can handle stereo-quality audio or video recordings, including field and music recordings. The pocket-sized microphone can rotate 90 degrees for easy recording in portrait or landscape mode. We'll have a full review in the near future.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent out an e-mail to employees announcing that Apple has raised $20 million this quarter for (PRODUCT)RED, iClarified reports, with Apple’s Holiday (PRODUCT)RED campaign likely contributing the lion’s share of the fundraising, which goes to support the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.
I’m thrilled to announce that our total donation for this quarter will be more than $20 million — our biggest ever — bringing the total amount Apple has raised for (PRODUCT) RED to over $100 million. The money we’ve raised is saving lives and bringing hope to people in need. It’s a cause we can all be proud to support.”
Apple has long been a supporter of the (PRODUCT)RED campaign, beginning with the debut of the iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in 2006, although this year’s World AIDS Day 2014 campaign was the largest the company has undertaken, and the first time App Store content has been included.