Following the announcement of its partnership with Apple in 2014, 9to5 Mac reports that IBM has now launched what it is calling “Garages,” which is a way of creating dedicated physical spaces to help corporations develop MobileFirst iPhone and iPad apps.

"Four years ago, we made enterprise mobility a reality, and we've seen how transformative mobile can be," said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, IBM Industry Platforms. "Today, companies are now reigning in mobile faster than ever, creating a critical need for powerful innovations that will reinvent how they do business. We're combining the power of mobile with cognitive and analytics to continue to push the market forward."

IBM’s first Garages for MobileFirst will be in Shanghai and Bucharest, joining the current Bangalore unit.

Since IBM first started the partnership with Apple 3 years ago, it has developed over 100 apps in the first year alone, representing a wide variety of subjects including retail, education, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications, insurance, to name but a few, generating “several billion dollars in signings from over 3,800 client engagements.” IBM also named some new high-profile clients that will soon be using MobileFirst apps, such as Lufthansa Group, City Furniture, Singapore Airlines, and Japan Airlines.

You can find out more about IBM’s industry apps here: IBM MobileFirst for iOS - Enterprise Apps

Source: IBM opening ‘Garages’ dedicated to Apple partnership for developing iOS enterprise apps

9to5 Mac reports that the newly released iPad Pro models are outperforming new MacBook Pro models in some benchmark tests from blog BareFeats.

BareFeats pitched the 2017 and 2016 MacBook Pro Touch Bar models against four different iPad Pro models. The MacBook Pros that were tested were the top-of-the-range models boasting Core i7 processors, 16 GB of RAM, and Intel graphics.

BareFeats’ series of GeekBench and GFXBench tests focused on both CPU and GPU performance.

As far as single-core CPU performance is concerned, the 2016 MacBook Pro models beat all of the iPad Pro models, of which the latest 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models were ahead of the three other iPad Pro models.

The 2017 MacBook Pro also came out on top in the multi-core CPU performance test, but the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro was second and the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro was third. Both of the 2017 iPad Pro models beat the 2016 MacBook Pro.

But it was on the Geekbench Metal GPU tests that the new iPad Pros really excelled, with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro coming out on top of all devices tested, and the 12.9-inch model second, ahead of the 2016 MacBook Pro and the 2017 MacBook Pro.

Finally, the new 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pros came out ahead of all MacBook Pro models in two GFXBench graphics tests.

Source: Benchmark tests show new iPad Pro models outperform MacBook Pro in some CPU & GPU tasks

Niantic has announced a brand new Pokémon Go event that kicks off today to celebrate the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the Southern hemisphere.

The event starts at 1 p.m. PT today and ends at 1 p.m. PDT on June 20, and has a Fire-type and Ice-type Pokémon theme. That basically means that Trainers can expect to encounter more Charmander, Cyndaquil, Growlithe, Houndour, Ponyta, Swinub, Vulpix, and their Evolutions, as well as Sneasel, Magmar, Cloyster, and other Fire- and Ice-type Pokémon.

During the event, Trainers will get big XP bonuses for Nice, Great, and Excellent throws, as well as Curveballs and First throws. You’ll also earn more XP for hatching Eggs, and Lucky Eggs will be 50% off in the in-game store.

Following the Solstices Event, Niantic will be holding the first real-life Pokémon Go event on July 22 in Chicago, as well as other events in Europe, to celebrate the first anniversary of the game’s launch. Click here to find out more: Pokémon GO Fest - Pokémon GO

Source: Niantic

MacRumors reports that UK retailer John Lewis is offering a free 3-year guarantee on certain Apple products including iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs for purchases via the online store until June 28.

The offer applies to all Macs and iPads available on the online store, which all come with a free 3-year guarantee, as well as the opportunity to purchase 3 more years Added Care with accidental damage at a discounted rate. How much the Added Care costs depends on the product.

Apple’s brand new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is included in the free 3-year guarantee deal, although currently the store doesn’t have any in stock, but hopefully should have them before the offer deadline expires on June 28, so be sure to check back.

iPhones are not left out from the deal, as John Lewis is also offering £50 off any iPhone when purchased with an Apple Watch, with a 2-year guarantee for both products included.

Source: U.K. Retailer John Lewis Offering Free Three-Year Guarantee on all Macs and iPads Until June 28

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou has told Reuters, via AppleInsider, that Apple, Dell, and Kingston are among the many companies that are teaming up with Foxconn to bid for Toshiba’s memory unit. Gou said that Apple CEO and the Apple board of directors approved the bid.

According to Gou, Amazon is also close to joining the bid, and Cisco, Google, and Microsoft are all in talks about doing so as well.

Toshiba will be announcing its preferred bidder on June 15, provided the Japanese government doesn’t succeed in getting the announcement delayed while it works against the clock to finalise a bid from its own consortium.

Toshiba is said to favour the bid from American chipmaker Broadcom, in partnership with American equity company Silver Lake, which is said to be worth 2.2 trillion yen ($20 billion).

Many commentators do not expect Foxconn’s bid to succeed due to the fact that Taiwan-based Foxconn has close links with China, and the Japanese government has said that it would step in to prevent any deal that resulted in such vital chip technology being taken out of Japan. However, Gou today said that there is no Chinese capital involved in the Foxconn consortium, and that Foxconn’s own stake in Toshiba’s memory business would not exceed 40%.

Source: Foxconn head says Apple & Dell are key partners in joint bid for Toshiba's memory unit

Recode reports that Apple is about to make some big changes to its incredibly popular Podcasts app, many of which will be very welcome to podcasters.

First of all, the revamped version of the app will see Apple providing podcasters with basic analytics that will tell them when their listeners play individual episodes, what part of the episode they listen to, which parts they skip, and when they stop listening to the podcast.

What makes this so remarkable is that presently Apple gives virtually no information at all to podcast creators about their audience’s listening habits, only letting them know when someone has downloaded an episode.

So basically, all those amazing, and, in some cases, now very rich and famous, podcasters out there, as well as their advertisers, have had no information to guide them when they create, or finance, their podcasts. That makes the success of the medium all the more remarkable, when you think about it! As Recode points out, “this is a subtle but very big change.”

“It may look obscure, but this is the biggest thing to happen to the podcast business since Serial first when nuclear” tweeted Matthew Lieber, president of Gimlet Media, the podcast studio responsible for Startup and Crimetown.

While some critics of the move think that it might actually spoil the podcast format that has worked so well until now, it is generally an exciting prospect for podcasters.

Source: Apple is going to let podcast creators — and advertisers — see what listeners actually like

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