Apple paying out to US suppliers


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Apple doled out more than $3B to over 7,000 US suppliers in 2013 — After announcing cooperation with the White House’s SupplierPay initiative, Apple on Friday released domestic supply chain expenditure figures for the first time, saying it spent more than US$3 billion with over 7000 US suppliers last year.

The numbers, along with some backstory on the small company responsible for the Mac Pro’s aluminum enclosure, were revealed in a statement provided to TechCrunch following SVP of Operations Jeff Williams’ meeting with President Barack Obama over the “SupplierPay” initiative.

Surprising sales in emerging markets keep Mac growth ahead of PC market — Sales growth for Apple’s Mac platform has outpaced the PC market for the 31st time in the past 32 quarters, keeping the trend alive. But surprisingly, Apple’s premium-priced computers were actually driven by growth in emerging markets like China and Latin America last quarter, new data shows (chart, above, from Needham & Co).

Expensive lunch for charity — Apple fans have another chance at a sit-down with a member of the company’s senior leadership, as internet software and services chief Eddy Cue has put one hour of his time up for auction — and sweetened the pot with a 13-inch MacBook Air — in the Fortune 500 equivalent of a charity dunk tank.

Background removal tool — Who hasn’t struggled with knocking out the background of a photo in Photoshop? Zooming in, finely tuning your tool to be the proper size and then frustratingly highlighting the areas you want to save or delete—what a pain! PhotoScissors 1.1 seeks to eliminate the hassle by providing a simple background removal tool. Macworld reviews it.

Nine things everyone should know how to do with a spreadsheet — Rob Griffiths thinks that as a Mac user, you’ve got plenty of choices among spreadsheet apps, but for most of us the choice comes down to three: Microsoft’s Excel 2011; Apple’s Numbers (version 3.2); and the browser-based Sheets section of Google Docs. Here are 9 things you should be able to do with any spreadsheet you have, although he specifies Numbers and Excel.

 

Five tip Friday (actually, ten)


I’ve been away a couple of weeks so here are ten tips to get everyone back up to speed, and to celebrate the new site for Mac NZ, thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of Paul Luker. First 5 for Mac, next for iOS.

1/ Secret Emoji characters in Mavericks — Whenever you are in a text field in Mavericks, just press Command-Control-Space and an emoji panel will appear. Then click any of the Emoji icons to insert it at the current position in the text.

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2/ Navigate the Emojis — For those who find it quicker to use the keyboard, you can navigate between the Emoji icons with the arrow keys, and shift left and right between the different sections using Tab and Shift-Tab respectively. If you know what you are looking for, just begin to type the name, and the Emoji will filter as you type. Give it a try with ‘dog’ or ‘kiss’.

3/ Constant Emojis — By default, the Emoji panel disappears once you choose an icon. However, if you find yourself using it a lot, just drag it away from the text field to ‘detach’ it, and it stays open until you click the close button in the top left.

4/ Emoji character viewer — The button in the top right of the detached panel expands the panel into the full size ‘Character Viewer’ that was previously available in OS Mountain Lion (below). Awesome 😀

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5/ Make a face to ignore in iPhoto — Doing everything with the keyboard makes a lot faster. If you’re using the Find Faces feature and skip faces you don’t know (because you don’t want to pause to use the mouse), the next time you click on Find Faces, you’ll be presented with those same unknown faces over and over again. They build up and always get presented in the same order, so you end up spending a lot of time skipping them before you get to new faces.

To avoid this, just name all these unknown faces ‘Unknown’ (or some other word with an uncommon starting letter). Then all you have to do to ignore a face (once you’ve tabbed to it) is type a ‘u.’ After you’ve labeled a bunch, open the ‘Unknown’ face album and bulk-confirm all the unwanted faces. Now the next time you use Find Faces, you’ll get right to the new faces. (From MacOS Hints.)

Five tips for iOS: There are several ways to decline voice calls on iPhone.

1/ Send a caller instantly to voicemail — When a call comes in, just double-click the Sleep/Wake button along the top of your iPhone or tap the red Decline button on the touchscreen. Your iPhone will stop ringing, and your caller will hear the prerecorded tones of your voicemail greeting.

2/ Let a caller (eventually) go to voicemail — If your iPhone starts ringing, you see the caller ID, and you just don’t want to take the call but you don’t want your caller thinking that you’re blowing them off, either, you can single-clickthe Sleep/Wake button to silence your phone (or single-click one of the volume buttons).

Doing either will silence your iPhone’s ringer, but your caller will still hear your phone ringing.

Eventually, the call will go to voicemail, and your caller will figure out you couldn’t get to your phone.

3/ Decline a call with a text message — If you don’t want to decline a call without letting the caller know you’ll ring back, you can send them a text message such as ‘Can’t talk right now, call later?’ while at the same time declining the call. This is less rude than just terminating the call.
Tap the ‘Message’ button to send a pre-written text message to a caller you’d rather dodge. When your iPhone starts ringing, you’ll see the standard “slide to answer” slider at the bottom of the screen. Just above the slider and to the right, you’ll see a Message button. Tap that button, and you can choose between a series of canned text messages, including “I’ll call you later,” “I’m on my way,” and “What’s up?” Tap a message, and it’ll be sent instantly to your caller, just as they’re hearing your voicemail message.
You can tap “Custom…” to compose a custom message on the fly, but I find it better to create your own pre-written messages by tapping Settings>Phone> Reply with Message.

4/ Decline a call, then get a reminder — If a call comes in that you really do want to answer, just not right this second, tap ‘Remind Me’ to get a reminder about a missed call later in the day, or once you arrive (or leave) a specific location.
This  button is just above the ‘slide to answer’ slider. Doing so sends your caller to voicemail, and you’ll get a choice: Get a reminder about the missed call in a) an hour, b) when you leave your current location, c) when you get home, or d) when you arrive at work.

5/ Customise a reminder — Want to change the time of your reminder? Just open the Reminders app on your iPhone, find the missed-call reminder that your iPhone just created (tap one of the reminder lists, or use the search box), tap it, then tap any of the reminder settings (such as the time or the location) that you’d like to change.

iPhone and consoles prop up chip market


Apple’s iPhone and game consoles to prop up chip industry in 2014
Agam Shah writes that Apple fans may not be the only ones waiting for a new iPhone later this year—semiconductor industry revenue will get a boost from it too, according to Gartner.

The iPhone release will spark semiconductor demand, Gartner said in a statement. Based on growing demand for the iPhone and other hardware, the research firm is projecting semiconductor revenue to be US$336 billion this year, growing 6.7% compared to 2013, outpacing the previous forecast of 5.4% made in the first quarter.

phoexAdobe updates Photoshop Express for iOS with blemish removal tool, RAW importing…
Adobe is continuing to add features to its existing apps with the release of Adobe Photoshop Express 3.4. The updated version of Photoshop Express for iPhone and iPad specifically four new features: a new blemish removal tool, the ability to increase or decrease filter strength, a new defog tool to remove haziness, and the ability to import photos in the RAW format.

Google Maps for iOS adds mapped search results and Gmail appointments, more
Google has updated its Maps application for iPhone and iPad to version 3.2 introducing new features and improvements.

The latest version of Google Maps
now supports viewing search results with descriptions directly on the map view. Gmail users will notice appointments and reservations with addresses will now appear the map view as well. The update supports changing between the map view of results and the list view of results and features an explore view for discovering new locations to try out.

 

US Foundation for the Blind lauds Apple


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National Federation of the Blind says ‘Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company’
Apple works hard to ensure that Macs, iPhones, iPods, and iPads can be used to their full extent by people who are deaf or blind, for example. In response to the reporting (Philip Elmer-DeWitt has a good summary of the original reporting and takedowns at Fortune), Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, has published a comprehensive blog post describing Apple’s work on accessibility, the technology industry as a whole, the resolution regarding iOS device accessibility, and what can be done to improve accessibility of third-party apps into the future. 9to5Mac has more.

Chinese state TV annoyed by NSA, takes it out on Apple
The WSJ reports that the state-run China Central TV has described the iPhone as a “national security concern” due to its location-tracking capabilities. [Picture from 9to5Mac.]
But Apple denies the claims, stating that “privacy is built into [its] products and services from the earliest stages of design. We work tirelessly to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world.” Apple also explains that it uses industry leading encryption to protect location data, and says that all location data is stored solely on the iPhone, not on Apple’s servers.

Apple goes on to, once again, explain that it does not work with government agencies to spy on its customers.

Yosemite hands-on: Mail, Messages, and Calendar
Jason Snell writes about the forthcoming major update to OS X. It generally means that many of the apps included with the operating system also get major updates — or at least the biggest updates they’re likely to get until the next major operating-system release.

In OS X Yosemite, due this fall, several major Apple apps have received upgrades both big and small. I’ve been using a pre-release version of Yosemite (on an Apple-supplied MacBook Pro) for the past month and have had a chance to spend a little time with Mail, Messages, and Calendar. Here’s a look at what’s new.

Apple blog highlights new Swift programming language
Apple has launched a blog on its official developer website to promote the new Swift programming language. Swift, which was announced at WWDC 2014, is a successor to the Objective-C programming language for iOS and OS X, and it provides new, cleaner, and more robust tools for developing applications. The blog will be dedicated to Apple engineers working on Swift sharing tidbits behind the language’s development as well as hints.

iTunes Extras on Apple TV


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Apple brings iTunes Extras to Apple TV, HD Extras to Macs
Apple today released iTunes version 11.3 and with it is making its iTunes Extras feature available for HD movies on Macs. Apple also announced the feature is now available for Apple TV with update 6.2 (and will arrive on iOS 8 this fall).

While we’ll have to wait for iTunes Extras to arrive on iOS with the release of iOS 8 this fall, the Apple TV OS 6.2 update rolled out late last month to users alongside iOS 7.1.2.

[Boot up the Apple TV, go to Movies, and the HD movies have Extras. Apple also has a banner for it – above.]

Skitch: multi-purpose editing tool for doodling on any document
Skitch is one of those apps you’re not quite sure what to make of. Part of the Evernote family, you can doodle all over photos and then share them with your friends. Skitch is truly a multi-purpose tool that lets you markup virtually any document.

Hands-on with Capo and Capo touch
Love playing songs on your stringed instrument of choice but hate the process of learning them? Check out Capo, the Mac and iOS tool for quickly learning just about any song from your library.

Nike’s app and football
Nike is launching a brand new app called Nike Football (or Nike Soccer in the US), that will act as a hub for all things Nike Football from exclusive content and Q&A sessions with athletes to the latest product launches for the company’s line of football products. Nike is also including some social features that let users organise their own pick-up games, trash talk among friends and teammates, and more.

Life after Aperture, iPhoto


Life after Aperture & iPhoto

Yes, they’re going. The next OS (Yosemite) gets rid of both,  and since iPhoto has been the included image management application on the Mac for years, it’s actively used by millions of customers. Although Aperture never made as many inroads into the professional community as Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom, it was still the Apple-supplied pro option [and I love it for looking after my genealogical image collection].

Both programs are being replaced by Apple’s upcoming Photos for OS X application, which at this point is still a mystery: Will it incorporate the advanced features of Aperture, will it be a stripped-down limited clone of the Photos app under iOS 8, or will it be something in-between?

No matter what’s to come, you can start to take steps now, thanks to Macworld,  to prepare for your transition – whether that means switching to Photos or migrating to another third-party photo application. (Regardless of your decision, make sure you have good working backups of your photos!)

itrnsSonico Mobile releases iTranslate for Mac with 80+ languages

Sonico Mobile, makers of popular apps such as iTranslate and iTranslate Voice for iOS today released iTranslate for Mac, bringing the features of the corresponding iOS app to the Mac.

iTranslate for Mac sits right in your menu bar, so translations are always just a click away, no matter what app you’re working in. Simply input text, and the app will quickly process it and provide you the translated output. It’s just as easy to use as the iOS version.

The app has over 80 languages built in as well as a dictionary, so you can get meanings for translated words. Users will also appreciate voice output feature, which makes it easy to listen to the pronunciation of your translation.

Finally, the app has support for reading non-Latin characters, with Romanization for Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Korean, and more.

iTranslate for Mac is on sale for a limited time at 50% off introductory price, so for NZ$6.49 in the Mac App Store. [I bought it.]

The App Store’s 6th anniversary by the numbers

Apple is celebrating the 6th anniversary of the App Store, so let’s look at the most recent numbers Apple announced regarding App Store statistics. During the WWDC keynote on June 2nd, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared that the App Store then featured more than 1.2 million apps and counting. App Store customers have downloaded apps more than 75 billion times since the digital store debuted on July 10, 2008, and Apple also noted its platform is home to more than 9 million developers with registered accounts through the Developer Program, a number which was up 47% from the previous year.

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for apps to 16 new countries

Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion to: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan,Turkey, and United Arab Emirates.

Countries that already have access to the Volume Purchase Program include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Environmental


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Apple issues 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report

Apple has updated its Environmental Initiatives website and has issued its 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report. The update fulfills a promise from Earth Day in which Apple said that it would more frequently update consumers on its environmental progress and the report highlights significant advances in clean energy usage

Apple has pushed its attention to new levels with the hire of former Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson last year. 9to5Mac has more information.

Diversity at Apple

At this week’s Sun Valley conference in Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg reporters that Apple will release diversity data on its workforce. Cook did not specify when this data release would come, but it’s the first confirmation from Apple that the company is planning to release such data. A CNN report from March detailed Apple as one of the several technology giants that have objected to releasing the information.

Diversity reports, such as one Facebook released on its workforce a couple of weeks ago, typically detail demographics in terms of ethnicity and gender. Apple has been criticised for having both a mostly male executive team and board of directors, but Cook has added Angela Ahrendts to the executive team and has been seeking new board members in recent months (and there’s Lisa Jackson , as above). Recently Apple appointed Denise Young Smith as the new head of Human Resources.

[Um-hm … what do you see in the picture, above?]

Cue and Cook at Sun Valley

As expected (due their appearances on the guest list) Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue were in attendance at this week’s Sun Valley media conference in Idaho. The WSJ’s Doug MacMillan shared the above photo of Cook walking around the Sun Valley resort. The Information’s Jessica Lessin spotted Cue, and the executive provided a witty response to Lessin’s question about TV deals.

iTunes U 2.0 has iPad-based course creation, student discussions 

Apple has issued a significant update to its iTunes U application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The application focuses on enhancements for both teachers and students, and the application was first announced by Apple last week alongside the new Back to School retail initiatives.

Apple’s official press release appears here.

Activation Lock


Activation Lock in iOS 7 responsible for pronounced decrease in iPhone thefts
The Activation Lock feature Apple introduced in iOS 7 is already having a discernible impact on crime, according to law enforcement officials in a few major cities. If you recall, Activation Lock prevents would-be thieves from turning off “Find my iPhone” without first entering the appropriate iCloud credentials. What’s more, even if a thief wipes a device clean, reactivating the device requires the original device owner’s credentials.

The end result? The iPhone remains a popular device for consumers, but not so much for thieves. And also, all the other smartphone makers are considering adding similar features.

Maps ‘City Tours’ feature hidden in iOS 8 betas, works like a guided Flyover video
Although deeper changes to Maps are in the works, Apple did announce a new City Tours feature for iOS 8 discreetly on one of the keynote slides. This feature is not normally available in the current iOS 8 betas, but developer Pierre Blazquez has managed to unlock the feature through a hidden debug screen and shines some light on exactly what ‘City Tours’ entails.
[Image: London from the Apple Maps app.]

Hundreds of businesses in London are about to flip the switch on payments via iBeacons
In Brixton, South West London, hundreds of businesses will soon integrate iBeacons as part of one of the first real-world networks for mobile payments using Apple’s Bluetooth LE iBeacon tech.

Skype 5.1 for iOS rolling out with improvements to conversations and favourites
Approximately a week after releasing Skype 5.0 with a completely revamped design and new features, Microsoft is now rolling out version 5.1 with various improvements. Notably, there are enhancements to managing conversations, favourites, and finding the status of Skype contacts.

Adobe updates its iPad Voice app, linking it to Lightroom Mobile sync
Adobe has posted a quick update to the fascinating Adobe Voice app. Adobe Voice is designed to create animated videos with very little work. As we noted in our review, it integrates animation, photos and music to create quick, but professional-looking, presentations.

QuickBooks app for Mac review: Intuit’s free app makes QuickBooks Online more friendly
Each new iteration of QuickBooks Online and its related set of apps makes this platform better, thinks Jeffery Battersby. QuickBooks Online has had good iOS apps for accessing your QuickBooks Online data and now they’ve released the QuickBooks app for Mac, a free tool that brings your QuickBooks Online account to an app on your Mac.

LinkedIn debuts new Job Search iPhone app for finding your dream career
LinkedIn’s news continues today as it launches a standalone iPhone app for dedicated to job hunting. The iPhone app is called LinkedIn Job Search and it joins the primary LinkedIn app as well as LinkedIn Pulse, LinkedIn Contacts, and the social network’s other existing mobile applications. The app takes advantage of location data and push notifications to keep job hunters updated with relevant opportunities based on a set criteria.

Lego Retro Apple Gear


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Recreating retro Apple gear with Lego blocks — Do you still have an old Apple IIc laying around? What about a Mac 128k? Maybe you do, and maybe you don’t, but regardless of whether you’ve ever actually owned one of these harbingers of modern computing there’s a good chance you’ll fall in love with these tiny Lego replicas by Chris McVeigh.

He goes by his online alias Powerpig, and he’s taken painstaking steps to recreate some of the most recognisable Apple computers of yesteryear, while keeping their charm and quirky appeal very much intact.

The novice’s guide to excellent Mac backups — Everyone knows they are supposed to back up, but maybe you aren’t sure what you should do or how you should do it. I’m here to help.

Play It On A Mac: Spintires — In this weekly series Mike Wehner shows you how to get your favourite Windows-exclusive PC games running on OS X. For more information on the programs used, check out the Play It On A Mac explainer. For suggestions and/or questions about any game, feel free to contact me on Twitter.

Spintires is an off-road adventure game with ridiculously realistic physics and terrain deformation. You can actually see the mud and road debris wrap around the tires of your various Soviet-era trucks as you make your way through forests, streams, and the very rare paved roadway. The game was successfully Kickstarted a number of months ago and just recently debuted on Steam to rave reviews.

Yosemite, Tokyo, Cupertino


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How some of your favorite Mac apps could look when OS X Yosemite launches — When OS X 10.10 Yosemite launches this fall, most of Apple’s first-party apps will look completely different. This means that many third-party apps will begin to look out of place. Zinx has compiled some mockups from Dribbble demonstrating how some popular apps could look when they are redesigned for Yosemite.

Apple shares video of Omotesando, Tokyo Apple Store grand opening preparation — Apple has shared a video on its official YouTube channel of its preparations for the June 13th grand opening of the Omotesando, Tokyo Apple Store (above). The video is just under a minute long, but it does provide some perspective into the lengths that Apple takes to prepare stores for their openings.

Apple opens stunning new (and more private) Caffè Macs employee cafeteria in Cupertino — According to employee tweets and photos, Apple opened a stunning new Caffè Macs employee cafeteria at the corner of Bandley and Alves Drive in Cupertino this past Tuesday. Located close to the company’s first campus building, Apple received approval to build at this location in early 2012, and after 2 years of work, the new cafeteria is complete.

Tax, iMac, Pro, campus, iStudio Publisher


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Apple responds to EU investigation into tax practices: “Apple pays every euro of every tax that we owe” — Following a report yesterday that the European Commission was about to launch a formal investigation into Apple’s tax practices in Ireland, the EU has now officially announced the investigation at a press conference. Bloomberg reports that the investigation will include not just Apple, but also Starbucks and Fiat Finance & Trade SA and will look at “whether the tax deals in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are illegal state aid.”

Apple may soon be able to repatriate its $100B+ overseas cash after Senate mulls tax holiday — If Congress delivers on a proposed tax holiday, Apple could soon join a slew of American companies with large dollar amounts of offshore money eager to repatriate their earnings without being subject to the current corporate tax rate.

iMac reportedly getting a spec bump next week, but no Retina model yet — According to a new MacG report, Apple is planning to debut a spec bump for the iMac lineup next week. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear these will be Retina iMacs (for which references have appeared in recent OS X beta builds). Instead, it seems we’re only due for a slight processor speed increase, with each model gaining only 100MHz.

The report speculates that the new models could include a new and improved Thunderbolt 2 connection, but there doesn’t seem to be any confirmation of that at this time. MacG accurately predicted the most recent MacBook Air refresh, so it’s a safe bet that these iMacs are coming next week.

A year after being announced, you can now get a Mac Pro within 24 hours — While you still may not be able to walk in to an Apple Store and expect to walk out with a 2013 Mac Pro, the US$3000 and $4000 base models of Apple’s professional desktop are shipping within 24 hours of ordering for the first time since launch in late December 2013. This includes shipping to Apple Retail Store locations for pickup. Apple, of course, previewed the latest Mac Pro model at WWDC 2013, exactly one year from yesterday, but it only promised then that it would begin shipping later that year. Availability has since proven to be a challenge for the ‘assembled-in-USA’ Mac line.

Foundation walls start to take shape around Campus 2 project as Apple permanently closes Pruneridge Ave — The first walls around Apple’s Campus 2 have begun to take shape, as noted by KCBS reporter Ron Cervi, in a tweet today. Previously, more photos from KCBS showed the site’s considerable excavation under way, and earlier photos from March detailed the demolition work of the former HP campus on the site, which was almost complete at that time.

iStudio Publisher — This MacPhun software that creates PDFs includes a free 30-day trial of the full iStudio Publisher application for page layout and desktop publishing. Please make full use of your trial period before purchasing.

Yosemite design vid, Air update, Irish tax


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Apple posts OS X Yosemite design video from WWDC keynote — Apple has posted the video about OS X Yosemite’s new design from the WWDC keynote. The video gives a look at the system’s new inherent translucency, cleaner layout, redesigned icons, and new buttons. You can watch it here.

Apple releases SMC update for mid-2013 MacBook Airs to address battery issues — Apple has issued SMC update 2.0 for all mid-2013 MacBook Airs, citing a fix for battery problems while the computer’s screen is closed.

This update addresses an issue which may cause the battery to drain faster than expected when the lid is closed.

You can download the update here or in the Mac App Store.

EU launching formal investigation into Apple’s tax practices in Ireland — According to a report from Ireland’s RTE.ie, the European Commission has decided to launch a formal investigation into Apple’s tax practices in the country (via The Loop). An announcement is expected by EU officials tomorrow:

Apple last year faced US Senate hearing on its offshore tax practices in which it denied taking advantage of any tax gimmicks or loopholes in Ireland. The EU shortly after launched an investigation into tax agreements with multinational companies in Ireland and number of other EU countries, while government officials in Ireland denied claims of a special 2% tax deal with Apple.

Later, in October of last year, the SEC in the US ultimately closed its own investigation without establishing any wrong-doing on Apple’s part.

Moshi iVisor Glass iPhone Screen Protector


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I’ve been pretty happy with my Logitech magnetic case that both protects my iPhone 5 and snaps to the Logitech car mount I have, but I felt a little insecure about the face of my iPhone being exposed, as the rubbery case I ditched in favour of the Logitech case+energy had a raised upper rim so if you laid the iPhone down on its face, it didn’t come into contact with the flat surface it was on, so ever since, I’ve been a bit worried about the glass face.

Then I spotted this new screen cover. I’ve tried screen covers before – a few of the various smooth-on ones, but I never like the feel or the look of them and, despite my best efforts, I always ended up with an air bubble somewhere. But this ones entirely different – it’s a rigid piece of glass, for a start, with a silicon adhesive on one side, then an anti-shatter film, then a very thin piece of ‘atomically strengthened’ glass and that, in turn, is covered with an oleo phobic coating. This lets the touch interface work as if you haven’t even added a layer. In fact, despite all the aforesaid layers, the whole iVisor is barely thicker than a thumbnail and it works with the Logitech case+drive perfectly.

It adds a cover right across, including a coloured bezel, so it really is full protection to the front face of your iPhone 5, 5s or 5c (and there’s a version that fits the 4/4s). The colours, in fact, match the iPhone 5c colours and you can get black or white, also.

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Also, though, as long as you clean the surface of your iPhone (a tiny microfibre cloth is provided) well and then line the screen up very carefully from the get-go, it applies with no bubbles at all and the transparency appears absolute, while some plastic films appear ever so slightly slightly opaque.

And it’s not easy to get off – in fact, a little suction cup is provided should you need to, but I was loath to try it since I want this cover on my phone, OK? Sorry. I don’t want to mess it up and luckily I managed to apply it perfectly first time.

Tough — Moshi reckons this protector is shock and scratch proof and to back that up, if iVisor Glass is damaged or broken while protecting your device, Moshi replace it for free within a year from purchase. That’s a pretty big risk on Moshi’s side, I’d say – the number of cracked iPhone screens I have seen lately is impressive. Also impressive is that people can 1/ keep using them and 2/ don’t get them repaired, even though excellent repairers like Richard DeGranpre (in Auckland) can do such a good job of it. Now my iPhone has metal on the back thanks to Logitech and extra-strong, layered glass on the front thanks to Moshi. Sweet!

Conclusion — Rigid, tough, crystal clear and very thin, this is the best looking and best working screen protector I have seen so far, and because of that should work with most existing cases.

What’s great — Slim and very clear, touch works perfectly, and it adds a lot of protection

What’s not — It really sticks on. You don’t want to apply it badly the first time.

Needs — Anyone who values their iPhone a lot.

Mac NZ’s buying advice — This is a superior product.

What — Moshi iVisor Glass, NZ$49.99. Marketed in New Zealand by MacGear, and available from your favourite iPhone accessories shop (if they haven’t got it, ask them why not).

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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