Tim Cook thanks Apple employees, gives them Thanksgiving week off.

Apple's Latest iPhone Models Go On Sale Across U.S.

Apple CEO Tim Cook knows that the company wouldn’t be in the enviable financial state it’s in right now if it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of its employees. Cook today sent a company-wide email to employees thanking them for that work and letting them know that they’ll get some extra paid time off during the Thanksgiving holidays.

Apple is shutting down on November 25, 26 and 27 so that employees can have the entire week off. While retail and AppleCare employees will still be working those days during the all-important buildup to Black Friday, they’ll get that extra paid time off at a later date along with employees at international locations.

Cook’s full email to employees can be read in its entirety below.

Team-

It’s been an exciting summer. For the first time, we’ve launched two new iPhone product lines. iOS 7 was created from a deep collaboration between our design and engineering teams, bringing to our customers a stunning new user interface and amazing new features. We unveiled OS X Mavericks and the most powerful Mac ever. The App Store celebrated a new milestone – 50 billion downloads. And we continued to express our love for music with iTunes Radio and the iTunes Festival.

I had the opportunity to visit a few of our stores during the iPhone launch. There is no better place to see and feel why Apple is special. The best products on Earth. Energy. Enthusiasm. The best customers in the world. Passionate team members focused on enriching people’s lives. Innovative products that serve humanity’s deepest values and highest aspirations.

And I am proud to tell you that Apple is also a force for good in our world beyond our products. Whether it’s improving working conditions or the environment, standing up for human rights, helping eliminate AIDS, or reinventing education, Apple is making a substantial contribution to society.

None of this would have been possible without you. Our most important resource is not our money, our intellectual property, or any capital asset. Our most important resource – our soul – is our people.

I realize many of you worked tirelessly to bring us this far. I know it required great personal sacrifice.

In recognition of your incredible efforts and achievements, I’m happy to announce that we’re extending the Thanksgiving holiday this year. We will shut down with pay on November 25, 26, and 27 so our teams can have the whole week off. Retail, AppleCare and a few other teams will need to work that week so we can continue to serve our customers, but will receive the same number of days off at an alternate time. Please check with your manager for details. Our international teams will schedule the vacation days at a time that is best suited for their specific country.

I hope you find the extra time restful and relaxing. You deserve it. Details will be available on AppleWeb soon.

I am exceedingly proud of all of you. I am in awe of what you’ve accomplished and couldn’t be more excited about the future. Enjoy the time away!

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iShower water resistant Bluetooth speaker review.

by  Aaron Kraus from technologytell.

Category: Water resistant Bluetooth speaker
Developer: iDevices
System Requirements: iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Mac, or any other Bluetooth-equipped device
Price: $99.99
Availability: Out now

If you find your singing in the shower could use some accompaniment (or real music to drown you out*), taking your iPhone into the bathroom is not the wisest idea. Water+expensive electronics rarely get on well together, but in the case of the iShower, a little H20 is no issue.

iShower Mounted in Shower

Take your tunes in the shower, to the pool, or out on the beach, secure in the knowledge that your expensive electronics will survive the harsh environment.

Pair It

Pairing the iShower is simple, if you follow the directions. Failure to follow the directions will result in failed attempts at pairing, because there is an extra button press after the device enters pairing mode (Play/Pause)—the reason for that is explained further on down. From there, it is a simple matter of choosing an audio source on your iPhone/iPad, then safely stowing it away from the water while the iShower ventures forth into danger. Once paired, you can use the iShower’s controls to pause, skip, and adjust the volume of the audio playback.

Unlike other Bluetooth devices, the iShower boasts a range of up to 200 feet. This claim was not put to a stringent test for this review, but the iShower exhibited better range than most Bluetooth devices; at the 50 foot mark there was no noticeable loss of sound quality or increased interference/static. This range means you can leave your phone safely in a car/bag and just take your tunes with you poolside. The conveniently hinged carrying handle doubles as a non-slip tabletop prop, while a self-adhesive mounting bracket holds the speaker snugly on any hard surface. Even the three AA batteries required to run the iShower are included (though at the $100 mark, it is surprising to see a non-rechargeable battery).

Share It

The multistep pairing process for the iShower is a byproduct of the device’s ability to remember up to five paired Bluetooth devices, meaning you can keep your iPhone, iPad, and a few other devices paired, or share your speaker when having a pool party. Multiuser settings in the shower…are well outside the limits of what we can cover in a family-oriented blog. Switching between paired users is as easy as pushing the Forward/Back buttons to cycle through all five paired devices. Obviously only one device can be playing music at a time, but switching devices does not require re-pairing each time. Smart power management is included, so the iShower can turn itself off when no music is playing to save batteries.

Bare It

iDevices lists the iShower as being water-resistant, meaning it can handle getting splashed, spritzed, or sprayed, but not fully submerged (it is not waterproof).  In testing, the iShower was unfazed by casual splashing from kids in a pool, soap and water in a shower, or a sudsy rinse on a kitchen sink’s backsplash.  Sound quality is acceptable and performs well without noticeable distortion at most volumes, though cranking up a bass-heavy track does cause distortion.  The iShower is not an ideal choice for poolside raves, but it is perfect for casual listening to a variety of music.

All in all, the iShower is a solid little speaker that lets you not only take your music to new places, but even lets you control it. iDevices has created a solid little speaker that handles multiple users with aplomb, which is perfect for a family bathroom or friends by the pool.  And the best part is never having to worry about giving your iPhone a bath!

*No neighbors were harmed in the performance of this review.

To Help You Save Money On Your Hotel Bookings, WorldMate Is Now On The Alert For Better Deals.

by Aldrin Calimlim from appadvice.

To Help You Save Money On Your Hotel Bookings, WorldMate Is Now On The Alert For Better Deals

Just a few weeks after its huge 4.0 update, WorldMate for iPhone has once again received another major update.

Sure, the new 4.1 update brings only one new feature to the popular itinerary management and travel booking app. But, mind you, this single new feature can prove way more useful to you than a host of minor new features combined.

The new feature in question is called Hotel Price Alerts. With Hotel Price Alerts, WorldMate is set to help you save money on your hotel bookings.

Just forward your hotel confirmation emails to WorldMate, regardless of where you placed your reservations, and Hotel Price Alerts will inform you of better deals, if any. A better deal can be any of the following:

  • A better price for the same hotel room
  • A better price for a similar room at a nearby hotel
  • A similar price for a much better room at a nearby hotel

Worldmate

WorldMate

By reviewing the deals from its inventory of 100,000 hotels worldwide, WorldMate is able to suggest a better deal for you. WorldMate considers your upcoming trips, your stated preferences, and your history of previous reservations in its suggestions.

In addition, WorldMate allows you to cancel your current reservation or update it with a better deal right within the app.

Hotel Price Alerts is now available in both WorldMate and WorldMate Gold for iPhone.

Wondering about the difference between the two editions of the app? Well,WorldMate is free while WorldMate Gold costs $9.99 in the App Store.

And aside from the ad-free interface, the benefits of the Gold version include pushed flight alerts, real-time flight status integrated into your itinerary, and iPhone Calendar app sync. However, if you use the free version to book your next trip, you automatically get a three-month Gold subscription for free, which is a “better deal” in itself.