Turn your phone into a virtual reality portal [Deals]

Virtual reality is finally here…if you can afford it. Picking up one of those sleek new headsets is going to set you back hundreds of dollars, but why drop so much coin when you’ve already got most of what you need for immersive VR in your pocket? DSCVR easily turns your mobile device into a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Turn your phone into a virtual reality portal [Deals]

Apple to Open $25 Million Technology Development Site in India

Apple plans to open a $25 million technology development site that’ll span 250,000 square feet in Hyderabad, India, according to ZDNet. The site will open its „innovation center“ in June of this year before ramping up to full operations by the end of the year.

The new centre will be built on 250,000 square feet of land in the real estate firm Tishman Speyer’s WaveRock facility at Hyderabad’s IT corridor at a cost of $25 million (150 crore rupees). It is anticipated to create 4,500 jobs for locals. IT majors such as Infosys, Wipro, Microsoft, and Cognizant have already set up their offices in the IT corridor.

ZDNet says the development center will be used to work on maps. Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary to IT in Telangana, the state in which Hyderabad resides, told ZDNet that Apple „has not looked at cities only in India, but across many places in Europe and other parts of the world.“

Rajan notes that Apple choosing Hyderabad is a „strong endorsement of the city as a major IT hub in the country.“ Microsoft also has offices in the city and plans to expand its operations while Google has pledged to open a headquarters in Hyderabad, making it the biggest technology campus in South Asia.

In 2006, Apple opened a massive support center in Bangalore, but closed it shortly thereafter. While Apple keeps most of its design and development within the United States, it does own several research and development sites around the world, including in Israel and Ireland. In late 2014, the company announced that it would open an R&D center in Yokohama, Japan. In January, Apple announced that it would open iOS development centers in Europe, starting in Italy.

On a whole, India is becoming increasingly important to Apple’s business. Last July, the company noted that its growth in India was over 90 percent while Apple’s sales in the country topped $1 billion in a fiscal year for the first time. Tim Cook has also mentioned that Apple was interested in expanding its manufacturing base in the country. Currently, Apple is close to gaining approval to open retail stores in India.

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Apple to Open $25 Million Technology Development Site in India

Apple Music on Sonos Officially Launching Tomorrow

Sonos today announced that Apple Music will be officially available on Sonos wireless speakers starting tomorrow, ending a two month beta testing period. Sonos customers across the world will be able to stream Apple Music content and directly access Apple Music features including For You, Radio, and My Music.

Over the course of the beta test, which started on December 15, Apple Music on the Sonos platform was tested by hundreds of thousands of listeners. Apple’s Eddy Cue commented on the beta test, calling it „great“ and an „amazing listening experience.“

„The feedback from Apple Music members on Sonos during the beta period has been great,“ said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. „Sonos plus Apple Music provides an amazing listening experience at home – and we’re excited to offer it to all Sonos customers starting tomorrow.“

Beginning Wednesday, February 10, streaming Apple Music on Sonos speakers can be done by selecting „Add Music Services“ from a Sonos controller app, choosing the Apple Music icon, and logging into the service. An Apple Music subscription or free trial is required.

Apple Music on Sonos has been highly anticipated as it was noticeably absent from the system when Apple Music first launched on June 30. Sonos previously supported the direct streaming of Beats Music and promised to implement Apple Music support before the end of 2015.

Ahead of the announcement of official Apple Music support, Sonos conducted a study on the positive effects of music listening in the home using an Apple Music subscription paired with a Sonos sound system. The study found that families who regularly listened to music in the home spent 67 percent more time together and ate together more often, among other positive effects.

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Apple Music on Sonos Officially Launching Tomorrow

Square Enix’s ‘Final Fantasy IX’ Launches on iOS App Store

Square Enix today launched the iOS version of its popular game Final Fantasy IX [Direct Link], which was originally released in 2000 for the Sony PlayStation. New to the iOS version of the game, players will be able to unlock achievements, activate 7 additional game boosters including a rapid-pace „high speed“ mode, game autosaves, and improved high definition cut scenes and character models.

Gameplay Features

・Abilities

Learn new abilities by equipping items.

When fully mastered, these abilities can be used even without equipping items, allowing for nearly endless customization options.

・Trance

Fill your Trance gauge as you sustain hits in battle.

When fully charged, your characters will enter Trance mode, granting them powerful new skills!

・Synthesis

Never let items go to waste. Combine two items or pieces of equipment together and make better, stronger items!

・Minigames

Whether it’s Chocobo Hot and Cold, Jump Rope, or Tetra Master, there are plenty of minigames to enjoy when you’re not off saving the world.

You can even earn special item rewards!

Otherwise, the ninth game in the JRPG series will remain the same, with the story focusing on the adventures of a thief named Zidane, who finds himself in the midst of a war between two powerful factions when he kidnaps Princess Garnet, the heir of the war-torn nation of Alexandria. Last summer, Square Enix re-released another game in the series, Final Fantasy VII, for iOS as well.

As with part seven in the series, Final Fantasy IX takes up about 2GB of storage space on an iPhone, but requires over 8GB of free space to download. Square Enix encourages users to „make sure that ample spare memory is available“ before attempting to begin the game’s download.

Final Fantasy IX is compatible with the iPhone 5s or later, iPad 4th generation or later, iPad mini 2 or later, and the iPod touch 6th generation. All devices will need a version of iOS 7 or any recent iOS update to run the game. Square Enix is also running a sale for Final Fantasy IX‘s launch, so starting today and until February 21 users can download the game at a discounted price of $16.99.

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Square Enix’s ‘Final Fantasy IX’ Launches on iOS App Store

Apple Stores Now Offering Belkin Screen Protector Application

As of today, Apple Stores across the United States and around the world are offering a new system that allows Apple Store employees to apply Belkin-branded screen protectors for iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus customers. Many stores across the world began rolling out the Belkin ScreenCare+ Application System last week, but the system is officially available in retail stores starting this morning.

Belkin’s ScreenCare+ Application System lets Apple Store employees accurately and precisely apply screen protectors using a ScreenCare+ machine. When a customer purchases either a Belkin TrueClear Invisiglass Screen Protector or a Belkin TrueClear Anti-Glare Screen Protector, an Apple retail employee who has been trained in the application method will bring the ScreenCare+ machine from the back of the store.

Using the machine, the employee will clean a customer’s iPhone display and then apply the screen protector directly in front of the customer. Should a mistake be made during the application process, a new screen protector will be applied at no cost to the customer.

The Belkin screen protector application service should greatly cut down on the hassle involved with applying a screen protector at home. With Belkin’s machine, there’s less room for error as alignment is automatic and there’s little chance of dust or debris accidentally getting stuck under the screen protector.

ScreenCare+ is available at Apple Stores worldwide, but screen protector application is limited to Apple’s latest iPhones – the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus. Belkin’s Invisiglass screen protector is made from an ultra-thin, flexible glass that absorbs shock and is shatterproof while preserving the natural feel of the iPhone. The Anti-Glare screen protector reduces glare to improve visibility in bright light while also protecting the iPhone display from damage.

Screen protectors can be purchased from Apple retail stores and applied by Apple Store employees starting immediately.

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Apple Stores Now Offering Belkin Screen Protector Application