Friday Recap: iPad 3 Display Confirmed?, Foxconn Updates, App Store 25 Billion

Apple App Store 25 Billion 200pxAnother long week in the tech world finally comes to a  close, but not before yet another tech blog gets its hands on a secretive Apple component ahead of the actual product introduction. We’ve also got a couple of updates on the Foxconn story to share with you, and plenty more on deck for this Friday, February 17, 2012.

MacRumors Nabs iPad 3 Display, Everybody Run for Cover

It’s been nearly two years since Gizmodo got their mitts on a real-life iPhone 4 and documented it for all to see, during which time Apple has been able to keep a tight lid on most of its other products leaking into the wild. Apparently, that winning streak ends today, with MacRumors reporting they’ve got their hands on a bonafide iPad 3 display part, which they’ve examined “under a microscope in an effort to determine whether it is indeed an ultra-high resolution Retina display” -- the kind that’s been widely rumored for some months. Cut to the chase: The rumors appear to be true, with the leaked display part packing four times the number of pixels in the same 9.7-inch space, which equates to double the resolution -- 2048x1536, to be exact, which is double that of the current iPad and iPad 2. Godspeed, MacRumors, may the wrath of Tim Cook fall upon the shoulders of another...

Final Draft Reader Arrives for iPad

It’s not quite the convenience of being able to actually write a screenplay on the iPad, but the creators of the number one selling scriptwriting software in the world have finally dipped their big toes into the tablet pool. Final Draft, Inc. has announced the availability of their Final Draft Reader app this week, a $19.99 iPad-only solution for reading Final Draft 8 FDX files on Apple’s tablet, exactly the same way they appear on the Mac and Windows versions. You’ll get ScriptNotes for easily adding, editing and categorizing notes right on the iPad, and any edits or additions will be maintained when the script is brought back to the desktop. FDX script files can be imported via iTunes File Sharing, Dropbox or email, and screenplays can be shared with others easily via email as well. 14 different languages are supported, so scripts written in other countries are also compatible. Best of all, Final Draft is promising that Reader is only “the first in a series of mobile apps for scriptwriters and filmmakers,” suggesting that the best is yet to come. Final Draft Reader 1.0 is now available from the App Store; the 8.6MB download is compatible with all iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.

Foxconn Ponies Up More Dough to Employees After Change.org Campaign

Change.org gave themselves a big high-five today with the announcement that Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn, “will be raising workers wages by 16 to 25 percent” on the heels of increased criticism over working conditions there. Members of Change.org delivered more than 250,000 signed petitions to Apple stores around the world, which appear to have done more than simply raise publicity for the organization. "Apple and its suppliers have both taken action this week in response to their consumers concern about the treatment of the Chinese factory workers,” said petition creator Mark Shields, a self-professed Apple “super-user.” “These quick responses are great steps in the right direction, and I hope the early signs of a genuine commitment by Apple to make sure that their products are made without abusing workers.  It would still be great to see Apple use some of its hallmark creativity to issue a worker protection plan so that the injuries and suicides that have marked new product launches to date, quickly become a thing of the past." The full petition remains for all to see on Change.org’s website.

App Store Nearing 25 Billion Downloads, Apple is Celebrating

Interested in winning a $10,000 App Store Gift Card? Apple’s website now features a counter that’s rapidly spinning toward 25 billion -- the amount of apps downloaded from the App Store, which could happen in the very near future. “As of today, nearly 25 billion apps have been downloaded worldwide,” Apple announced on its website. “Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 25 billionth app, and you could win a US$10,000 App Store Gift Card.* Just visit the App Store and download your best app yet.” Needless to say, the odds of downloading the winning app at just the right moment are probably slim at best, but hey -- somebody’s gotta win, so why not you?

Never Mind: “Tons of Issues” Cited During FLA Foxconn Audits

Announced on Monday, Apple invited the Fair Labor Association to begin inspections of the company’s Foxconn plants in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. Almost just as quickly, Reuters reported that the FLA found the plants in first class condition -- but it turns out such comments may have been premature. FLA CEO Auret van Heerden told Bloomberg today they were “finding tons of issues” while en route to a meeting where preliminary findings will be presented to Foxconn management. “I believe we’re going to see some very significant announcements in the near future,” van Heerden said. For now, that’s all the FLA is going to say, and neither Foxconn nor Apple have anything further to add as a 30-person FLA inspection team continues to interview 35,000 Foxconn employees.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 


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