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WWDC 2015: Apple storms the digital world with new integrated updates

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San Francisco: Apple’s CEO Tim Cook on Monday morning came on to the stage in San Francisco to reveal the technology giant’s music service, OS X update El Capitan, iOS 9 and its Watch OS 2.

After being greeted by the crowd, Cook announced the ransom for a Cleveland Indians baseball player whose teammates are trying to shake him down for Apple products in exchange for a ball he wants to keep.

Soon after, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, announced the new updates.

After saying that OS X Yosemite had the fastest adoption rate of any PC operating system in history, Craig announced that the new OS X 10 will be called ‘El Capitan’ and will come with advancements under the hood to aid smarter ways to do things.

The new features will include Spotlight, Split View, and window management. Spotlight will now be able to search for more places and provide more useful results, including weather and sports scores.

Apple with this move seems to have prepared for the Windows 10 release and most of its intuitive menus seem to take a book from Windows’ play book and making it better.

He also introduced Metal, Apple’s graphics processing technology which will improve rendering by 50 percent and will scale up efficiency to 40 percent. Several gaming companies like Unity, 2K games are already adopting metal which uses Open CL, he added.

This announcement by Apple assumes significance, as Apple has always been a bad platform for heavy games. This transition will allow the company to expand its sales in the world market.

The new El Capitan will be available to developers from Monday.

“There will be a public beta in July and it will be rolled out to everyone in autumn via a free upgrade,” Craig added.

As a part of the conference, Craig also revealed updates to the iOS 9 which will extend battery life, improve security and performance. He also showed advancements to Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant which will be more proactive after the update.

Apple devices will now be able to anticipate what a user wants to do next based on location, the time, apps opened, or content the user is connected to. “It can also offer suggestions based on upcoming meetings and communication patterns,” Craig said.

The event also saw Jennifer Bailey, a 10-year Apple veteran and vice president of internet services, announce Apple Pay which will be launched in Britain. Londoners can take advantage of it and pay for their transit on the bus using the app. With iOS 9, users will be able to add retail store cards and reward cards to Apple Pay.

A few updates on apps were also announced. The Notes app, which has been completely redesigned for iOS9, will allow users to add a checklist of to-do items and access camera app from Notes to add photos.

Maps, the app, will also get updated and will get a new Transit view. Maps will now include directions for public transportation like buses, trains, subways, and ferries. The service will be launched in London as well as Berlin, New York, Mecxico City, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Apple introduced a new News app. Susan Prescott, vice president of product marketing, who joined Apple in 2003, introduced the app and explained its functions. The app looked a lot like Flipboard and will include news, interactive stories, photo galleries, animations and video.

Apple, which launched the iWatch six weeks back, also announced the arrival of the WatchOS 2. Users will be able to add photos, add photo album and add time-lapse photos for the watch face. The watch will be capable of showing and aiding usage of car-battery charge, home-control systems etc.

Interestingly, the watch will come with a time travel mode which shows the user about his schedule planned in his calendar. Features like alarms, replying to email, sketching ability and face time audio will also be present.

The new OS for the watch will also support voice control for Siri, apple pay, the wallet app along with the transit view on Maps app. The watch with the new update will be able to function with standalone Wi-FI and access microphone on it. Apple will also release watchkit (libraries for WatchOS) for developers to develop more apps for the watch.

At the end of the conference, Apple launched its music service. The service will not only host a library of songs but also connect artists with fans and will also run a 24/7 global radio station based out of three cities. (IANS)

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Out of Total Tax Fine of $15 billion, Apple Pays $1.77 billion to Irish Government

In August 2016, the European Commission said that Apple benefited from illegal tax benefits in Ireland from 2003 to 2014.

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Apple pays $1.77 billion of total $ 15 billion fine. Pixabay

Apple has paid $1.77 billion of total $15 billion to the Irish government as it begins to collect tax and interest into an escrow account set up to hold the sum.

“This is the first of a series of payments with the expectation that the remaining tranches will flow into the fund during the second and third quarter of 2018 as previously outlined,” the Irirsh Times quoted Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe as saying after the first transfer.

In August 2016, the European Commission said that Apple benefited from illegal tax benefits in Ireland from 2003 to 2014.

Meanwhile, Apple and Ireland are still pursuing appeals against a 2016 European Commission’s decision saying the iPhone maker’s tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law.

Apple pays fine
Apple pays fine to Ireland Government. Wikimedia commons

In 2016, the EU ordered the iPhone maker to pay almost $15 billion in back taxes to Ireland as it believed Ireland had not been collecting enough taxes and instead had been giving companies like Apple too big of a break on its already low 12.5 per cent tax rate.

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Apple has reportedly moved its cash to the small island of Jersey off the south coast of England to avoid further Irish taxation, CNET said in a report.

The Irish government expects that all of the money would be transferred by the end of September. (IANS)