AppleInsider reports that Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have tested 400 fake Apple chargers that have been obtained from sellers in Australia, China, and the US, and found that 99% of them are unsafe.

UL subjected the chargers to high voltage in order to find out if they were correctly insulated, as well as making other important safety checks.

After carrying out the tests, UL said that chargers made by unknown manufacturers and purchased online were an “unknown entity” and were therefore dangerous to use.

In October Apple stepped up its efforts to tackle the growing problem of counterfeit chargers by suing counterfeit accessories seller Mobile Star for violating copyrights and trademarks by selling fake goods on Amazon and Groupon. The lawsuit particularly refers to fake 5-watt USB power adapters and Lightning-to-USB cables that Mobile Star sold online.

Apple said that it has an ongoing program designed to combat the sale of fake accessories, and that in the past 9 months it purchased “well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine” from Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” program, finding that nearly 90% of them were fake.

Back in 2012 engineer Ken Shirriff found that Apple’s official chargers had better and safer components that those in the fake ones, and following that Apple launched its still-running fake charger buy-back program.

Source: UL safety testing shows 95 percent of counterfeit iPhone chargers lack safeguards, are unsafe

It might not be a surprise, following on from a recent leak, but Telltale Games and Marvel Entertainment officially announced their interactive episodic game series based on Marvel’s iconic sci-fi franchise Guardians of the Galaxy live on stage at The Game Awards 2016 in Los Angeles. The first five episodes of the series will premiere digitally in 2017 on consoles, PC, and mobile devices.
Source: Telltale Games and Marvel Entertainment

Bloomberg reports that Apple is set to use drones and indoor navigation features in order to make improvements to its Maps apps and bring them closer in quality to Google’s ever popular Maps app.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans said that the company is putting together a team of robotics and data collection technicians who will oversee the use of drones to record and update map information faster and more efficiently than the current minivans can manage.

Apparently, Apple is looking to use the drones to check out street signs, track road changes, and monitor construction work. The data that the drones collect would then be sent to Apple teams who would be tasked with immediately updating the Maps app in order to keep it as current as possible.

Apple is also working on new Maps features, according to Bloomberg’s source, such as viewing inside buildings and improved car navigation.

Apple has already spoken of the need to improve its Maps app to keep up with Google Maps, with senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, telling Fast Company earlier in the year that “There’s a huge data-quality issue there, and I don’t think we initially appreciated all the kinds of technology we would need to do that on an ongoing basis.”

Source: Apple Said to Fly Drones to Improve Maps Data and Catch Google

Apple has a great tradition of marking World AIDS Day, which takes place on December 1 every year, via its (RED) charity. This year is no exception, with Apple announcing today that a variety of special (RED) items would be available tomorrow.

In particular, AppleInsider reports, Apple is launching various new (RED) accessories, including a special (RED) iPhone 7 Smart Battery case, an iPhone SE case, and several really smart looking Beats accessories, including new (RED) Solo3 Wireless headphones, and a (RED) Pill+ Bluetooth speaker.

Also, from Thursday until December 6 Apple will be donating $1 to (RED) for every Apple Pay transaction at an Apple store, on, or via the Apple Store app, up to a limit of $1 million.

In turn, Bank of America will make a donation for every Apple Pay payment made using its cards, with the same $1 million limit.

In the App Store there will be 20 games with in-app (RED) purchases, including Candy Crush Jelly Saga and Angry Birds 2. On iTunes, you can donate directly to (RED), and iTunes will also be donating all proceeds from The Killers Don’t Waste Your Wishes album. A free (RED) documentary, The Lazarus Effect, will also be available to download.

And finally, more than 400 Apple Stores will change their logos to red logos, or will display the (RED) decal in their windows.

Source: Apple offers new Beats & iPhone accessories, special iTunes & App Store content for World AIDS Day

iDownload Blog reports that Apple and Universal Pictures have teamed up to promote The Secret Life of Pets movie’s arrival on iTunes Movies by updating Siri to provide responses that tie in with the animated movie’s content and themes. There’s even a cute teaser video that showcases Siri’s involvement, and you can view that below.

To join in the fun, all you have to do is ask Siri question about what your pets do when you’re not at home. Give it a try! According to the video, it seems that pets like to watch Apple TV when their owners are not at home! My favourite response that I got to the question “Siri, what do my pets do when I’m not at home?” was “probably some vigorous discussions about theoretical topological phase transitions in electromagnetic, mixed in with the occasional nap.” Nice one, Siri!

Click here to download the movie for $19.99: The Secret Life of Pets on iTunes

Sources: “Siri, what do my pets do when I’m not home?”

MacRumors reports that according to a press release issued by Adobe today, Apple’s iPad was one of the top five best-selling electronic devices on this year’s Cyber Monday.

Adobe’s figures don’t distinguish between the various iPad models, but it’s likely that the heavy discounts on the newest iPad Pro models, and in particular the 9.7-inch model, had a lot to do with the impressive sales figures.

The other devices that featured in the top five best sellers this Cyber Monday were Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft’s Xbox One, Samsung’s 4K TV range, and Amazon’s Fire tablets.

And there was even more good news for Apple from Adobe with the announcement that Beats by Dre products, and in particular the popular headphone range, were some of the items that were most likely to run out of stock on Cyber Monday.

Overall, it seems that Cyber Monday sales actually surpassed the amount spent on Black Friday this year.
Source: iPads and Beats Headphones Top Best-Selling and Sold-Out Cyber Monday Charts

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