Apple has finished paying $15 billion European fine

Apple has finished wiring billions of euros to pay back illegal tax benefits to the Irish government according to Reuters. Overall, Apple has paid $15.3 billion (€13.1 billion) for the original fine as well as $1.4 billion (€1.2 billion) in interests. In August 2016 the European Commission ruled that Apple benefited from illegal tax benefits from 2003 to 2014. In particular, the company should have paid more taxes in Ireland — a lot more. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that Apple’s effective corporate tax rate was much lower than expected. At the time, many global companies used the Double Irish structure to pay corporate tax on a fraction of your actual profit. Apple claimed that everything was legal, and the Irish government sided with Apple — probably because the huge fine would be bad for business. European governments lobbied to put an end to the
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11 neat hidden features in iOS 12

iOS 12 is finally here. And the update is packed with many improvements. In particular, Apple has tucked away many little features that you won’t see right away. If you want to impress all your friends with your mad iOS skills, here is a list of some of these features. I also wrote a review of iOS 12 if you want to learn more about all the changes coming with iOS 12.

#1: Is it a phone? Is it a trackpad?

Many people don’t know about this superpower, but you can move around an email or text message by turning your phone into a trackpad. On previous versions of iOS, you had to use 3D Touch. It is now much easier to access as you just needs to tap and hold on the space bar of the keyboard. Goodbye, Gboard!

#2: Second Face ID

RIP, Touch ID. But Face
😎
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iOS 12 makes your phone faster than ever

iOS 12 could be summed up in one feature: speed. The rest is just a footnote, especially when you compare iOS 12 to iOS 11. You may remember that iOS 11 was filled with many new features, especially on the iPad. But it was also the buggiest release to date. Even the Calculator app wasn’t working properly. And let’s not forget about messages arriving out of order or your keyboard replacing the letter “it” with “I.T”. Like many of you, I’ve been using a beta version of iOS 12 for the past few weeks. Even though it was just a beta, iOS 12 is by far the fastest version of iOS of all time. And Apple just released iOS 12.0 today. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new in iOS 12.

Low level

If you are reading this article on an iPhone or iPad, chances are you’re
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iOS 12 is now available to download

Apple has just released the final version of iOS 12. This update is all about making your phone work better — and there are also a bunch of new features. The update is currently rolling out and is available both over-the-air in the Settings app, and by plugging your device into iTunes for a wired update. Many people try to download these major updates at the same time. Apple usually implements a queue system to ensure speedy downloads once you’re at the front of the queue. iOS 12 is compatible with any device that can run iOS 11 — the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later as well as the most recent iPod touch. But first, backup your device. Make sure your iCloud backup is up to date by opening the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tapping on
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Discover Sono Motors’ vision of the electric car at Disrupt Berlin

New car makers have been popping up left and right. But instead of creating yet another Tesla-like company, German company Sono Motors is working on something completely new — a solar-powered car. That’s why I’m excited to announce that the company’s co-founder and CEO Laurin Hahn will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Sono Motors has been working for years on its first car — the Sion. The company now has a handful of prototypes on the road and is refining its manufacturing process to ship those cars to customers who preordered. The company is focusing on compact cars at first with the Sion. The car looks more like a Volkswagen Golf than a Mercedes E-Class. And it makes a ton of sense given that a solar car isn’t your average car. People in the automotive industry will tell you that cars remain parked for 90 percent or 95 percent
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Apple is releasing iOS 12 on September 17th

Even if you don’t plan on buying a new iPhone, you’ll be able to get a bunch of new features next week. Apple plans on releasing iOS 12, the next major version of iOS, on Tuesday, September 17th. As always, iOS 12 will be available as a free download. If your iPhone or iPad runs iOS 11, you’ll be able to update to iOS 12 as Apple plans to keep supporting all existing iOS 11 devices. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new in iOS 12. The main feature of iOS 12 is a performance improvement, especially for older devices. If you have an iPhone 6 or an iPad Air for instance, you should see a big improvement when it comes to launching apps, triggering the camera and entering text. The other big theme of the year is new features to help you spend less time using your phone. There’s
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Here are the prices of the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr

Apple just unveiled brand new phones. The iPhone Xs and Xs Max are the two new flagship devices, replacing the iPhone X. The iPhone Xr is replacing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with Face ID and an edge-to-edge design. And maybe you were waiting for this press conference to buy a new smartphone. So here’s a quick rundown of how much you’re going to pay for those devices. The iPhone Xs is are available with 64GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage for $999, $1,149 or $1,349. You need to add $100 on top of that for the iPhone Xs Max with a bigger display ($1,099, $1,249 or $1,449). There are three different colors — silver, gold and space gray. The iPhone Xr replaces the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It will start at $749 for 64GB, with 128GB and 256GB also available for $799 and $899. There
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The iPhone Xs and Xs Max get dual-SIM capability

There are many reasons why dual-SIM capabilities make sense. And that’s why many Android smartphones let you insert two SIM cards. Apple is entering the world of dual-SIM capabilities with a physical SIM tray and an eSIM for most of the world, and two physical SIM cards in China. You won’t be able to buy a second SIM card at the airport and put it in the phone. Instead, just like on the iPad, you’ll have to subscribe to a plan using your iPhone. Few telecom companies support eSIM just yet. Apple showed the logos of Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Bell, EE, Vodafone, Airtel, Deutsche Telekom, Truphone, GigSky and Jio. Let’s hope that this move is going to convince more telecom carriers to switch to eSIM. Being able to sign into your mobile plan just like you would sign into your Spotify account sounds like a dream. If you use two
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Apple unveils the Apple Watch Series 4

Apple just unveiled an updated Apple Watch. And this year’s new Watch is all about the display. Thanks to thinner bezels and a slightly bigger casing, you’ll see more on your screen. “Apple Watch isn’t just the number one smart watch, it’s the number one watch in the world period,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said before introducing Apple COO Jeff Williams. Williams framed the Apple Watch as a communication device, a fitness device and a health monitoring tool. For instance, the Apple Watch can notify you if you have an unusual heart rate. It’s clear that Apple has put aside the idea that the Apple Watch is an app platform. “Everything about it has been redesigned and reengineered,” Williams said. The design still looks very familiar, but it’s clear that the screen is bigger. You don’t necessarily see it when there’s a dark watch face. But it’s striking in
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Nintendo Switch online service will launch on September 18th

Nintendo has communicated quite a lot on its new online service. And the company just shared the last missing piece of information — the service will launch on September 18th. For the first time, Nintendo will launch a subscription service to access online services. It’ll cost $20 per year, $3.99 per month or $7.99 for three months.

Subscribers will be able to play multiplayer online games, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Arms. If you were already playing those games over the internet, you’ll have to start paying. In order to sweeten the deal, the company is adding new services for subscribers.

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New leak suggests iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr names

We’re just hours away from Apple’s big iPhone event and it looks like the company may have leaked its own news. AllThings.how spotted the names of future Apple products on Apple’s own website. According to AllThings.how, Apple updated the product sidemap file minutes before taking the Apple Store down to add the new product pages. And this sitemap pointed to pages of unreleased products. In particular, you could see links to products pages for the iPhone Xs, the iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone Xr. It lines up with previous rumors. According to previous rumors, Apple is going to update the iPhone X with better components. In addition to this rumored iPhone Xs, there will be a bigger version of this device — a gigantic 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max. Finally, Apple is going to replace the iPhone 8 with the iPhone Xr, a 6.1-inch device with an
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The Family raises $17.4 million to support European startups

The Family has always been an ambitious startup accelerator. But it has always felt like the company never had enough money to grow as quickly as it wanted. The Family is raising a new $17.4 million funding round (€15 million). Private banking and asset management group LGT Capital Partners is leading the round, with HummingBird Venture, Project A, eVentures and others also participating. “It’s the first time an investor understands The Family’s business model. It’s the first time an investor isn’t trying to turn us into a VC fund,” The Family co-founder Oussama Ammar told me. According to him, The Family is basically going to do more of the same. Except that this funding round “makes [The Family] virtually immortal.” The Family had to double-check its bank account many, many times to make sure that there was enough money to pay all its employees. This funding
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Paysend announces global account to compete with Revolut

Meet Paysend’s global account, a new way to hold, spend and send money in multiple currencies using a mobile app and a card. It looks a lot like Revolut’s basic features. But the company is trying to provide a more focused and robust experience from day one. “We are quite different from both a technical infrastructure and consumer offering viewpoint. We own and control our own processing and this gives tremendous ability and flexibility to deliver a wide variety of services whilst controlling the entire consumer journey,” Head of Product Alex Murashko told me. “But for me an important distinction is that we have a different approach to designing the product. We believe in simplifying the consumer experience so that instead of feeling like they are bombarded with a long list of features they have available a focused group of benefits.” And it’s true that Revolut has launched
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What makes Apple’s design culture so special

A few days ago, I interviewed Ken Kocienda at TechCrunch Disrupt SF — he just released a book called Creative Selection. After working at Apple during some of the company’s best years, Kocienda looks back at what makes Apple such a special place.
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The book in particular starts with a demo. Kocienda is invited to demo to Steve Jobs his prototype of what is about to become the iPad software keyboard. And it’s the first of a long string of demos punctuating the book. As a reader, you follow along all the ups and downs of this design roller coaster. Sometimes, a demo clearly shows the way forward. Sometimes, it’s the equivalent of hitting a wall of bricks over and over again. Kocienda’s career highlights include working on WebKit and Safari for the Mac right after he joined the company as well as working on iOS before the release of
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And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2018 is… Forethought

At the very beginning, there were 21 startups. After three days of incredibly fierce competition, we now have a winner.

Startups participating in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. They all presented in front of multiple groups of VCs and tech leaders serving as judges for a chance to win $100,000 and the coveted Disrupt Cup. After hours of deliberations, TechCrunch editors pored over the judges’ notes and narrowed the list down to five finalists: CB Therapeutics, Forethought, Mira, Origami Labs and Unbound. These startups made their way to the finale to demo in front of our final panel of judges, which included: Cyan Banister (Founders Fund), Roelof Botha (Sequoia Capital), Jeff Clavier (Uncork Capital), Kirsten Green (Forerunner Ventures), Aileen Lee (Cowboy Ventures) and Matthew Panzarino (TechCrunch). And now, meet the Startup Battlefield winner of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018.

Winner: Forethought

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How Adidas and Carbon are changing the sneaker supply chain

While the Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes are cool looking sneakers, the story behind those shoes is even more interesting. The sportswear company has partnered with Carbon to design a new kind of sneakers. Behind the Futurecraft 4D, you can find a process that is not that new — 3D printing. Many companies promised an industrial revolution by bringing back factories to service-driven countries, such as the U.S. and European countries. But this partnership between Adidas and Carbon could turn that wild dream into a reality. “What you saw there was basically this integration of hardware, software and chemistry all coming together to take a digital model, print it very fast, but do it out of the materials that have the properties to be final parts,” Carbon co-founder and CEO Joseph DeSimone told TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino.
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And the secret sauce behind Carbon’s process is its cloud-based software tool. You use
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N26 launches N26 Black for freelancers

Challenger bank N26 is launching a premium plan for professional accounts. N26 already had a free plan for freelancers and the self-employed, called N26 Business. N26 Business Black introduces the same perks as N26 Black, but for freelancers and the self-employed. The new plan costs the same for regular users and business users. The company recently raised the price of N26 Black, so you’ll now have to pay €9.99 per month for N26 Black or N26 Business Black. In addition to regular N26 features, N26 Business Black lets you withdraw money anywhere in the world without any conversion fee. You also get the Allianz insurance package, which includes travel insurance, mobile phone and ATM theft protection and an extended warranty on things you buy. In order to sweeten the deal, N26 is offering three months of Zervant for customers based in Austria, Germany and France, and three months of
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PoLTE lets you track devices using LTE signal

Meet PoLTE, a Dallas-based startup that wants to make location-tracking more efficient. Thanks to PoLTE’s software solution, logistics and shipment companies can much more easily track packages and goods. The startup is participating in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF. If you want to use a connected device to track a package, you currently need a couple of things — a way to determine the location of the package, and a way to transmit this information over the air. The most straightforward way of doing it is by using a GPS chipset combined with a cellular chipset. Systems-on-chip have made this easier as they usually integrate multiple modules. You can get a GPS signal and wireless capabilities in the same chip. While GPS is insanely accurate, it also requires a ton of battery just to position a device on a map. That’s why devices often triangulate your position using
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Stealthy wants to become the WeChat of blockchain apps

Meet Stealthy a new messaging app that leverages Blockstack’s decentralized application platform to build a messaging app. The company is participating in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF and launching its app on iOS and Android today. On the surface, Stealthy works like many messaging apps out there. But it gets interesting once you start digging to understand the protocol behind it. Stealthy is a decentralized platform with privacy in mind. It could become the glue that makes various decentralized applications stick together. “We started Stealthy because Blockstack had a global hackathon in December of last year,” co-founder Prabhaav Bhardwaj told me. “We won that hackathon in February.” After that, the #deletefacebook movement combined with the overall decentralization trend motivated Bhardwaj and Alex Carreira to ship the app. Blockstack manages your identity. You get an ID and a 12-word passphrase to recover your account. Blockstack creates a blockchain
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