Apple’s iPad Event: What you need to know in 100 words

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Ooh, shiny

It’s that time of year again, where Apple announces their new iPads. (Actually, this is only the second year that the refresh has come in fall).

Instead of making you read a long lengthy post about it, I decided to update you in under 100 words.

Here’s what’s up: They thinned it down, and it now only weighs one pound and has a sexy contoured exterior. It now has a faster A7 chip, and the magical M7 graphics “helper” – giving it twice the processing and graphics performance of the last iPad. It has another Wifi antenna giving it extra bandwidth and speed.

The ten hour battery life is maintained.

They also created a Retina version of the iPad mini with essentially these same features.

That’s all, folks. Now get back to work.

What You Missed at WWDC

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This is an article from The Next Web. I decided it would be easier to use their article than to write the exact same thing out my way.

No more cats: say hello to OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Apple says it’s sold 28 million copies of OS X Mountain Lion and the Mac install based has doubled in the past five years. So what’s next for Mac? After initially joking that the new version of OS X would be called ‘Sea Lion’, Apple revealed that ‘Mavericks’ is 10.9′s name, indicating a shift from cats to names associated with California.

  • The new version of OS X 10.9 features tabs for Finder, to allow users to more easily navigate multiple windows in the operating system’s file navigation system.
  • A new feature called Tagging works like tags do in WordPress  blog posts, Flickr photos and the like. You can assign tags to documents when you save them, aiding with search. For example, all files relating to your sporting pastimes could use a ‘Sports’ tag to help you find them wherever they are on your local storage or on iCloud.

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  • Meanwhile, there’s better support for multiple displays. Using AirPlay, you can use an Apple TV box to run an extra display.
  • The battery life of your Mac should be much better under Mavericks, with technology designed to better handle transitions between power modes. Apple says that this reduces CPU usage up to 72%. The new OS can also rapidly compress inactive memory in order to make space available to applications. This, Apple says, results in a 1.5x improvement to waking a system from standby.
  • Apple unveiled a new version of its Safari browser, which will come with OS X Mavericks. It has a sidebar with reading list, continuous scroll, and a new Top Sites homepage. There’s a Shared Links section that lists links shared by people who you follow on Twitter and the like, and the Reading List now scrolls smoothly between items and has drag-and-drop re-ordering. Safari also has improved browser memory usage and Javascript handling, while an AppNaps feature will pause the processes in tabs that are running particularly battery-draining websites or Web apps in order to improve battery life.

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  • iCloud Keychain is a new password management apps that stores your passwords, credit card numbers, WiFi passwords and account information. It syncs them all to trusted devices and all information is encrypted with 256-bit AES.
  • OS X Notifications are improved with the ability to reply to iMessages right from the notifications, and even start a Facetime call. iOS apps can now send push notifications to your Mac, if you enable the feature.
  • Calendar has a new look, with weather information, location suggestions and links to Apple Maps built in.
  • Apple Maps is built into Mavericks, complete with the 3D flyover feature and the ability to plan turn-by-turn navigation routes and send them to your iPhone.
  • iBooks and iBooks Textbooks will be available in Mavericks.

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  • A developer preview of OS X 10.9 is available today, with the full public release coming in the fall.

New MacBook Air models

  • The new MacBook Air promises “all day battery life,” thanks in no small part to power-efficient Intel Haswell CPUs. The 11-inch model promises 9 hours of battery life, while the 13-inch model promises a whole 12 hours. That’s half a day, rather than ‘all day’, but we get Apple’s point.
  • The new models have 802.11 ac Wifi support for faster connections.
  • The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $999 for 128GB, the 13-inch starts at $1,099 with 128GB. Both ship today. Oh, and there was no word on an Air with a Retina display.

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New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule units

  • The new versions of Apple’s networking devices support 802.11 ac WiFi and have completely new designs.
  • The new Time Capsule is available in 2TB and 3TB versions.

 The new Mac Pro: A black cylinder made in the USA

  • It’s been a long time since the Mac Pro got an overhaul but today we saw what’s on offer when a completely redesigned machine launches later in the year.
  • The new Mac Pro is a small, black, cylindrical machine that will be made in the USA.
  • It’s powered by a new Intel Xeon processor, ECC memory with up to 2x faster performance, PCIe based flash memory with a 1 Gbps write speed. Apple says that it’s 10 times faster than any previous Mac Pro.
  • The device is expandable using external devices over connections using Intel’s new Thunderbolt 2 technology, running at 20 Gbps per port and up to six devices per port.
  • In a play to the professional video production market, the internal graphics processor can handle three 4K displays.
  • It sports six Thunderbolt ports, HDMI out, Gigabit Ethernet. In a cool touch, a motion sensor detects when you turn the Mac Pro around and lights up the inputs for you.

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iCloud growth

  • Tim Cook said that at 300 million accounts, iCloud is now “the fastest growing cloud service ever.”
  • There have been 35 billion downloads from the iTunes in the Cloud music service.
  • Game Center now has 240 million users.
  • There have been a total of 800 billion iMessages sent, and 7.5 trillion push notifications received.

iWork for iCloud: Taking on Google Docs

  • In addition to new versions of iWork for Mac and iOS, iWork is coming to the browser in the form of iWork for iCloud.
  • Pages, Keynote and Numbers will all have Web-based versions.
  • Supported files, including Microsoft Office documents, can be dragged to iCloud on your Mac and then worked on in the browser.
  • Although performance is best in Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer are also both supported.
  • A developer beta of iWork for iCloud is available now, with full release planned for later in the year.

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 iOS by the numbers

  • 600 million iOS devices have now been sold.
  • Over 90% of iOS users are on the latest version of iOS. ”More than a third of Android users are using an operating system that was released in 2010,” chided Tim Cook.

iOS 7

It was no surprise that iOS 7 would be unveiled today and it didn’t disappoint with a completely new design and lots of new features.

The new design:

  • As expected, iOS 7 features a new ‘flat’ design with a wave goodbye to the real-world-aping, ‘skeuomorphic’ approach of the past. A video featuring Sir Jony Ive unveiling the design received a standing ovation in the auditorium.
  • There are completely reworked icons and the default apps all have new looks. There is system-wide use of the Helvetica Neue, and image based backgrounds.
  • Images are the best way to show it off, so here we g, courtesy of Apple’s website:

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Notifications and mutitasking:

  • Notification Center is now available from the lock screen and features a section that shows appointments and more with ‘today’ at the top.
  • Control Center now offers easy access to many settings like Wifi and Bluetooth, and a flashlight.
  • Better multitasking: iOS 7 detects which apps you use the most and gives those apps more background updates.
  • When an app receives a Push Notification, iOS will update the app in the background so that it’s ready to go when you tap the notification. No more waiting for the app to load and refresh.
  • A new interface for multitasking lets you see the apps live as you switch between them, giving you a view of the content instead of icons.

New Safari:

  • Safari for iOS has a new tabbed browsing view, access to the iCloud keychain, a smart search field and more.
  • The new tab interface is vertical with iCloud tabs at bottom
  • You can navigate the browsing history with a swipe.
  • Shown earlier in the new version of Safari for OS X, the continuous scrolling Reading List and shared links features are coming to mobile Safari.

File sharing with AirDrop:

  • You can share photos (and presumably more) with nearby people. You simply open up AirDrop from a share card and the names of the nearby people you can share with are listed.

Photos and the camera:

  • The camera now has filters built in and the ability to create cropped, square photos. Instagram, you have a lot to answer for.
  • The new Photos app in iOS 7 organizes your photos into ‘Moments’, for easier navigation. These are automatically generated as you shoot.
  • You can navigate through years of photos by way of tiny thumbnails, sorted by year.
  • Shared photo streams allow multiple people to share photos that they can all see in a single feed.
  • The Photos app has a new landscape mode.

Siri gets a new look:

  • Siri has a new interface and a brand new, smoother voice, available in both male and female varieties. The new voice is available in English, French and German with more languages to follow.
  • Siri now has control over iOS settings like voicemail, brightness, bluetooth and more.
  • There are now Web search results from Bing and Wikipedia results inside Siri.
  • Siri now has in-car support. You can dictate messages, use Maps, and more.

App Store updates:

  • The new-look on-device App Store has a kids section and an ‘Apps Near Me’ section.
  • Your apps will now update automatically.

Facetime for Audio:

  • Yes, Facetime now has a VoIP option for audio calls.

Better device security:

  • If a thief tries to turn off Find My iPhone or wipe your iOS device, they won’t be able to reactivate it without your iCloud password.

New developer SDKs:

  • Developers now get third-party game controller support, BlueTooth LE support, 60fps video capture, the ability to build AirDrop support into their apps and more.

So, when can we get it?:

  • iOS 7 for iPhone is available today in beta, with iPad and iPod touch betas coming later. A full release will take place in the fall.
  • iOS 7 will work on the iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2 and later, the iPad mini and the iPod touch 5th generation.

iTunes Radio

Yes, Apple’s long-rumored ‘Spotify rival’ is here, but it’s more of a Pandora rival really. Here’s what the new iTunes Radio has to offer

  • Billed as “a new way to discover music,” it features songs that are trending on Twitter and collections based on events.
  • You can also create your own stations in iTunes Radio, similar to Pandora. There are staff-curated stations, too.
  • To help tune each station to your tastes, there are ‘Play more like this’ or ‘Don’t play music like this’ buttons.
  • There’s no subscription fee. It’s ad-supported, but if you’re an iTunes Match subscriber, you won’t see them.
  • iRadio will launch in the US and expand to more countries.
  • It supports Mac, PC, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

itunes radio 220x391 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list     Screen Shot 2013 06 10 at 20.29.05 220x391 Everything announced at Apples WWDC 2013 keynote in one handy list

And that’s your lot. Phew! Keep it locked to TNW for much more Apple news as WWDC continues this week.

Header image: Getty Images. All other images, via Apple.com

Source: The Next Web

Thank Goodness: Evasi0n Brings iOS 6.1 Jailbreak to All iOS Devices

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Finally, the iOS haxing community has come through. Ever since the release of iOS 6, there has been no jailbreak available for any device past an A4 processor. Not any more! The Evad3rs Dev Team has brought us a Jailbreak for any iDevice running any version of iOS 6. This includes

-iPhone 5
-iPhone 4S
-iPhone 4
-iPhone 3Gs
-iPad with A6X chip (4th gen)
-iPad 3
-iPad 2
-iPad mini
-iPod touch 5
-iPod touch 4

The jailbreak is beautifully straight-forward and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for an always beautiful $0. 

Read more and download here.

Google Maps for iPhone is Here!

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With the release of iOS 6, the biggest complaint was the new maps app. And I don’t just mean people were whining a bit; I mean that it was such a big deal that many people refrained from updating to iOS 6 just for the bad maps. It was such a big problem that Apple even created a special section on the featured page of the App Store with alternative map apps. And it’s not just the Apple addicts noticing – a slew of memes have popped up mentioning iOS maps as well.

There’s been quite the uproar, but finally Google has fixed our problems. Introducing the official Google Maps for iPhone!

I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that what we had before iOS6? Well, kind of. Before iOS 6, Apple had created their own maps app that used the Google Maps API. This new Google Maps app is completely built and maintained by Google, no Apple involvement.

The app is just how you’d expect it to be: A nice, clean google interface with sans-serif fonts and light colors. The zooming is very smooth and font sizes change like water. The “3D” effect is less than that of Apple’s maps, but it is still adequate for getting a general idea of the terrain.

The app also comes with Google’s voice navigation, which is a nice addition for many.

Overall, it’s what you’d expect – a good, solid, full-featured maps app that is a free alternative to the laughable iOS maps.

Click here to download it from iTunes. 


Apple’s Announcement in 330 Words

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Today, Apple announced things. Here’s a basic outline:

  • 13″ Retina MacBook Pro
  • Mac Mini Upgrade
  • New iMacs
  • 4th Generation iPad
  • iPad Mini

13″ Retina MacBook Pro

Apple took their best-selling notebook and took out the optical drive and made it thinner and lighter. It has flash memory and a processor upgrade and will start at $1699.

 

 

Mac Mini

Apple added some ports (HDMI, Thunderbolts, USB3) and an option to have flash storage. Upgraded i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge Processors, and it will start at $599.

iMac

The new iMac has a nicer (though non-retina) display and they removed the optical drivemaking it only 5mm thick at the edges. It still has an SD card reader in the back though, and has i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge processors. They added USB3 and more thunderbolt ports. Apple also showed us their “Apple Fusion” Drive, which is basically a RAID of a 128GB SSD and a 1-2TB HDD which intelligently moves around files depending on use, meaning you get a lot of storage capacity for things you don’t use much and a bit of high performance storage for things used quite often. This drive is also available in the Mac Mini. The iMac will start at $1299.

iPad

Apple took their current iPad and upgraded the chip to an A6X and made the front camera “FaceTime HD” (720p resolution). They also added more LTE carriers and a lightning port. The new iPad will have the same pricing as the old one (starting at $499).

iPad Mini

A new Apple invention that is as thin as a pencil, as light as a pad of paper, has a 7.9″ screen, and the same screen resolution as a non-retina iPad. This means that all apps will run on it (although they will be non-retina). It also has a lightning connector, front (720p) and back (5MP) cameras, a battery life of 10 hours, and will start at $329 – which is a bit pricey to compete with a Nexus 7 which you can get for $199.

Apple’s new iPods and iPhone: Simply screwed up

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Today Apple had an announcement about their much awaited iPhone 5 and a few new iPods.

The iPod touch was updated to be thinner with a newer camera, new dock connector, a new chip, a taller 4 inch screen, a new camera and some colored backs. They’ve also added a small magnet for a wrist-strap, implying that it’s targeted for kids. The screen is the same screen that they’ve put into the new iPhone 5, and you’ll read about why I don’t like that later.

The Nano was revised to be a bit bigger, with surprisingly unappealing icons and a stupid design that makes it look like a zune. Seriously, their designs are near-identical (but Microsoft won’t sue because Microsoft isn’t that malevolent). The new Nano introduces nothing interesting and nothing new except for a dock connector which requires a big expensive adaptor to be used with older 30-pin accessories. Worst of all, they called it the “Lightning” connector.

The most awaited product on their list was the iPhone 5, which really, I’m disappointed about. It features 4G LTE connectivity (about time), an “updated” dock connector, a tall, 4″ screen, no NFC, and an overall not-so-great design.

First of all, the screen. It’s the same width as the current iPhone, but they made it a bit taller. I don’t think that it’s the right way to go, as the proportions of it are simply weird. The ratio is very awkward in general.

 

 

Flip the thing around and you’ll think you’re staring at a prototype. On the top and bottom edges of the back of the iPhone, you’ll be greeted with glass. The rest of the back is a piece of aluminum. It looks unrefined and unfinished.

 

 

 

Then, there’s “EarPods.” Apple basically revamped their old headphones and renamed them with a name that I will never come to accept. EarPods? Seriously?

Overall, the announcement was not just underwhelming, it was disappointing. They revamped the insides a little bit, but I think that they went very, very wrong with their design.

 

Samsung owes Apple a LOT of Money

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If you think that Apple is too pricey for charging $1000 for a bottom line laptop, get a load of this.

After a long, heated dispute on patent infringements that took a staggering 21 hours in court, Apple’s bill for Samsung comes out to $1.049 BILLION dollars.

To put that in perspective, the US treasury’s cash balance is around 75 billion. Samsung owes Apple around 1.4% of the worth of the US treasury.

But what for? I could go through the entire list, but it basically comes down to Apple’s design patents from device exteriors to the packaging of a plethora of Samsung’s products.

For the 21.5 hour period, the jury was deciding on some “inconsistencies” on two of the products: The LTE-enabled Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Intercept. It was decided that Samsung would owe around $200,000 for the Tab, even though nobody formally noted any patent infringements.

About the Samsung Intercept, Samsung made some stupid error that isn’t really important enough to mention and they owe an extra $2,000,000 for that.

So finally, the long tale comes to an end, with an unfortunately typical ending: Money —–> Apple.

SelfControl: Goodbye Procrastination

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Selfcontrollogo

Okay, so you have a ton of stuff to do. Emails to respond to, presentations to finish, proposals to complete. Calls to make, appointments to schedule, packages to deliver, documents to sign. 

But that one tab… it’s flashing. It beckons you. 

“Bob sent you a message!”

Bob. He sent you a message. 

All of the sudden, your entire agenda turns to nothing as you get sucked in to this pointless conversation with Bob. 

But wait – you have a new notification. Someone commented on your cat photo. You need to respond. If you don’t, then your opinion wouldn’t be expressed to the world! Oh, that post, it must be liked. Oh, there’s Bob again – Gotta reply to that. Oh, new comment on that cat photo. What?! They don’t think cats are better than dogs? I need to google why cats are better than dogs. Oh, there’s that flashing tab again! It’s Bob. Oh, I have a new chat. I have to respond to it. Oh hey, there’s my old high school friend! I should say hi. Oh, that post is cool, I should like it. Oh, I need to respond to bob. Oh, someone liked my status. Oh, I have to respond to my chats. 

Three hours have passed. You’ve gotten absolutely nothing done. 

This, my readers, is a daily phenomenon that affects almost 100% of active Facebook users. The term for it is “unconscious procrastination, meaning that you procrastinate and you don’t even realize it until you actually take a look at the clock. And thanks to many sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more, unconscious procrastination is a problem that affects the productivity of the entire world. 

Well, thankfully, there is indeed a solution: SelfControl. 

SelfControl is very simple: Add the sites you don’t want to it’s blacklist, set a timer, hit start, and goodbye procrastination. Any of the sites that you added will no longer work for that amount of time! So no matter how much you might want to get to Facebook to see if Bob responded, you can’t – so I guess that gives you the opportunity to get something done!

One of the beautiful things about SelfControl is that once you set the timer, you can’t stop it. Even if you restart your mac, uninstall the application, whatever, you won’t be able to visit your blocked sites until the timer is up. 

Okay, now for the technical part (those who aren’t interested, skip to the next paragraph). On your Mac there is a file called the hosts file. Basically, it contains a local DNS registry, which usually only consists of localhost being 127.0.0.1. What SelfControl does is adds an entries to the hosts file that direct whatever sites you blacklisted to 0.0.0.0. This means that if you try to visit a site that you blacklisted, you will be redirected to the server at the address 0.0.0.0 – which doesn’t exist. Now for the spoiler: if you really want to get your Facebook and other social networks back before the timer is out, you can use the Terminal to edit /etc/hosts and delete the SelfControl entry.

So say goodbye to Bob, your friends, and your admirers alike; you have work to do. 

SelfControl Website

Direct Download

My Take on iPhone vs. Android

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People ask me about phones all the time. They wonder what they should get for their budget. 

Whenever someone is looking for a smartphone, they always have the exact same question:

iPhone or Android?

Yes, it is the most debated question in smartphone history, similar to the Mac vs. PC battle. And like the Mac vs. PC battle, neither will ever reign superior to the other on all fronts. 

After a lot of thinking, I came to one definite conclusion: Macs or PCs will never be “better” than the other. PCs have more games and more flexibility. Macs have always been trusted for multimedia and are made very carefully. PCs can be upgraded for years and years. Macs have tightly integrated components. 

Neither the Mac or the PC will ever be superior. Macs are right for some people, PCs are right for others. Macs tend to be more refined and user-friendly, but PCs are flexible and can be modified to be lightning fast and always stay up-to-date. 

I’ve also concluded that it’s the exact same with the iPhone and Android phones. 

Android phones are like beta tests. 

They feature the latest and greatest of technology. In an android phone, you’ll find 3D cameras and screens, NFC chips, 4G LTE, new software technologies, and tons of other fancy technology. However, this technology never comes quite perfected; there’s always some little glitch somewhere, and you end up with more of a learning curve to master and take advantage of all of these newfangled capabilities. 

iPhones are like refined, tested, and perfected production products

When Apple decides to integrate a new technology into their iPhone, they really integrate the technology into their iPhone. In an iPhone, all of the technology is closely integrated and embedded into the operating system. This often means more stability, more user-friendly, and easier-to-integrate APIs for developers. 

In conclusion,

iPhones are better for some people and Androids are better for others. Some prefer android because they want to have the latest and greatest and be able to be part of the future. iPhones are for people that want a solid, integrated, working phone that is easy to use and doesn’t take much effort or comprehension of technology to use the more advanced features. Either way, there is no winner. 

How-to: Change iOS Signal Bars to Number

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This little hack allows you to view your signal as a dB rating instead of bars. It will show as a negative number, and the closer you are to 0 the better the signal you have. This is handy because it offers you more insight into your service beyond a 1-5 bar scale. 

1. Open the Phone application from your home screen. 

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2. Go to the dialer and enter *3001#12345#* followed by Call.

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3. An application called Field Test will open. You will notice that your signal bars have now changed to a number. Press and hold the power button until you see the “Slide to Power Off”, then press and hold the home button until you are back home.

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That’s it! To change between the bars and the number, go to the home screen or the lock screen and tap the signal indicator. 

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Enjoy!

Sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus are Illegal.

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Seriously people, I’m not kidding.

The phone that I just recently purchased (and love) is now illegal to be sold in the United States.

The culprit? Apple, as expected.

Apple filed a boatload of patent infringement lawsuits against samsung, and where there’s money there’s power. Apple won the lawsuit against Samsung with flying colors, and now the sales of the flagship android device are banned in the United States.

I’m one of those people who thinks that Apple is using its patents too harshly against the competition. It’s like a towel company saying to another towel company “HEY! We have white towels! You’re not allowed to! We’re the only ones who can sell white towels!!”

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Apple has fought (and mostly won) many different lawsuits with Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and every other company who dares set food in the world of creating a smartphone that could possibly compete with the iPhone. Apple went against HTC for the user interface. Motorola initiated the lawsuits against Apple saying that they infringed some their, then Apple said that Motorola infringed THEIR patents, then Motorola said that Apple infringed MORE patents, and the story goes on. In fact, nobody really knows what the patents were about in te first place.

The list goes on. In fact, there’s an entire wikipedia article full of them!

I don’t like the way Apple does things. That’s for sure. Profitable or not, it’s just not fair.

Iranian? Good Luck Getting your Apple Product

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Well, isn’t this surprising.

An 19 year-old student and her uncle were at an Apple Store shopping for an iPad and iPhone at a mall in Georgia. They were talking in Farsi, and when an Apple employee overheard she said “I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations.”

Leave it to Apple to discriminate not only against other platforms, companies with similar home screens, or any other firm that dares to threaten their authority, but also against people from different parts of the world.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time that this has happened at an Apple store. Another customer, Zack Jafarzadeh, went with his friend to a different Apple Store and received similar treatment. “We never talked about him going back to Iran or anything like that. He was just speaking full-fledged Farsi and the representative came back and denied our sale,” said Jafarzadeh to WSBTV. “I would say if you’re trying to buy an iPhone, don’t tell them anything about Iran. That would be your best bet.”

It gets better. An Apple Store manager told a news team from WBSTV about their policy, which said the exportation, sale, or supply of Apple products from U.S. to Iran is not allowed without prior authorization by the federal government. The manager explained Apple Stores have to “rely on customers to be honest.”

And here’s the best part. An Apple Store employee apologized and recommended that they buy their products online. Hah!

So when a US citizen and her uncle come into an Apple store speaking Farsi, they aren’t allowed to buy anything and are basically instructed to purchase the products as long as no Apple employees need to look at them.

This is how Apple rolls, everybody. I could be annoyed at the employees, or the manager, or the Store, but really, Apple is to blame. The same thing can happen anywhere in the US, as long as Apple decides that selling an iPad to a US citizen that speaks Farsi is breaching a US law stating that it is illegal to enter Iran with “laptops or satellite cellphones” without U.S. consent.

Android, anyone?