Apple

Your turn, Samsung – Mr Sato returns the Ice Bucket Challenge to Korea’s electronics giant【Video】

Your turn, Samsung – Mr Sato returns the Ice Bucket Challenge to Korea’s electronics giant【Video】

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is still going strong, thanks to its mix of suspense, physical comedy, and contributions for a worthy cause. Business and entertainment moguls from around the world have participated, and recently even inanimate objects have started taking part with Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone being doused by the Korean conglomerate’s U.K. division.

As per the rules of the challenge, Samsung then exercised its right to pass the dare onto someone else, and it designated rival Apple’s iPhone 5s. A quick comparison of the spec sheets for the two competing phones has some people crying foul at singling out the iPhone 5s, though. Today, we’re offering Samsung a chance to make things right.

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Keep your iPhone safe and retro-gamer chic with Famicom protective film

Keep your iPhone safe and retro-gamer chic with Famicom protective film

Yesterday, Nintendo’s Famicom, known internationally as the NES, celebrated its 31st birthday. While it may not have been the first video game console, the way Nintendo’s 8-bit system combined, for its time, high-end processing power, pleasing aesthetics, and user-friendliness elevated it to a level above both its predecessors and would-be rivals.

The Famicom was the sort of sweeping, segment-defining success that didn’t come along again until the iPhone took over the smartphone market. Now, you can combine those two iconic pieces of Nintendo and Apple hardware with a Famicom protective film for your iPhone.

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Continue? Save your iPhone from a battering with these protective Street Fighter II cases

Continue? Save your iPhone from a battering with these protective Street Fighter II cases

While Mortal Kombat gets most of the attention, whether positive or negative, for violence in fighting video games, Capcom’s Street Fighter II, the title that established the genre as gamers know it today, had some pretty grisly graphics, too. Unlike modern polygon fighters which zoom in on the victorious character as he or she strikes a victory pose, Street fighter II cut away to a different screen after each match, which showed the gory details of what a losing combatant would look like after taking a few too many hadokens or spinning bird kicks to the face.

Now, with a new set of iPhone cases, you can adorn your smartphone with the losing portrait of the Street Fighter II character you like best, or perhaps hate the most.

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We test our iPhone’s new protective sheet against the legendary sword Excalibur

We test our iPhone’s new protective sheet against the legendary sword Excalibur

The touchscreen is both the greatest and most annoying part of a smartphone. On the plus side, you’ve got clear images, vibrant colors, and the simplicity that comes from bypassing a bunch of buttons and menus. At the same time, though, you’ve also got to deal with unsightly scratches and cracks.

We recently heard about a new protective sheet that’s supposed to be able to withstand almost any kid of abuse, so we put it to the test against a variety of damaging instruments including what one shopkeeper told us was the legendary sword Excalibur.

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First new Japanese Apple Store opened in eight years, Apple fans celebrate best way they know how

First new Japanese Apple Store opened in eight years, Apple fans celebrate best way they know how

On 13 June, the Omotesando Apple Store opened in Tokyo. It was a rare occasion, being the first of its kind to open in Japan since the Sapporo Apple store in 2006. Although no new product was released, an estimated 1,000 Apple fans came out to show their support in true Apple fashion by making a huge line.

We sent our local Apple line-up correspondent Mr. Sato to report from the frontline.

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Free at last? Japanese government mulling over doing away with cell phone SIM locks

Free at last? Japanese government mulling over doing away with cell phone SIM locks

When my brother and his family moved back to America, leaving my wife and I as the last Baseels in Japan, he graciously offered me his practically new iPhone. Sadly, despite the tempting opportunity of upgrading from my old-school flip phone, I had to turn down his generous offer.

Being happily married, this wasn’t because I needed the boost in attractiveness that comes from an outdated cell, but simply because my brother and I had different providers, and his iPhone was SIM locked, like all mobile phones in Japan have always been.

However, that might be changing soon.

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Preorders begin for Attack on Titan iPhones cases

Preorders begin for Attack on Titan iPhones cases

We can’t imagine a more dedicated way to show off your love of hit anime Attack on Titan than by strapping on a pair of replicas of the heroes’ giant-killing swords whenever you step out of the house. What we can imagine, though, is the blades clashing with the rest of many peoples’ wardrobes, not to mention earning them the unwanted attention of their local police department should they happen to live in a municipality where defending yourself from 60-meter tall monsters isn’t a daily concern.

Thankfully, if you’re looking for anime accessories that are less bulky/deadly, the makers of the Attack on Titan iPhone case have announced they’ve started taking orders.

Price, details, and lots of delicious photos after the jump!

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Ever wondered what Steve Jobs would look like as a cute Japanese girl?

Ever wondered what Steve Jobs would look like as a cute Japanese girl?

No, me neither, but now you can get just that on a T-shirt!

If you’ve been looking for the right way to express your admiration for Apple’s legendary CEO, wait no longer! Now you can get the genderswitched Jobs shirt you’ve always wanted! From the illustrator of IS <Infinite Stratos> and the Xenosaga series, this merchandise for unlikely mash-up manga Chocolate Apple has been years in the making.

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Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

With the advanced state of the technology at our fingertips these days, our tech lives have never been so customizable. But one thing users may have never thought to get creative with is the iPhone’s humble lock screen. The most a typical user will ever aspire to is replacing the standard background with a picture of their cat or something. Or so I’ve observed of my more technologically inclined friends; I still use a rotary phone.

But did you know that with a little creativity and a photo editing tool, you can actually make some pretty cool custom unlock screens? Just ask these Japanese netizens that squandered their creative talents making anime characters say appropriately anime-ish things on their unlock screens:

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iPhone gets stolen in Spain, Japanese owner gets hit with massive bill for $9,800

iPhone gets stolen in Spain, Japanese owner gets hit with massive bill for $9,800

Recently, we brought you the tale of a man whose iPhone was stolen while he was traveling in Thailand, only to have some of the sting taken out of the unfortunate development when he saw the pictures of the cute girl who was using the pilfered phone.

Now comes the story of another Japanese iPhone user who fell victim to overseas thieves, then received a surprise upon returning home. Unfortunately, his surprise wasn’t photos of a fine-looking female, but instead a massive bill from his cell phone carrier for nearly one million yen (US$9,800).

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Samsung, IOC deny asking iPhone carrying Olympic athletes to cover their Apple logos

Samsung, IOC deny asking iPhone carrying Olympic athletes to cover their Apple logos

The Olympics gives the world’s most talented athletes a chance to show their abilities to people all over the globe. It also gives the world’s most wealthy marketers a chance to show their products to that same audience.

Among the Games’ biggest sponsors is Samsung, whose Galaxy Note 3 was granted the title of official phone of the Sochi Olympics in thanks of its manufacturer’s generosity. Some reports are claiming that the Korean electronics maker isn’t showing a respect for healthy competition, though, by asking athletes with iPhones to make sure they cover the Apple logo when on-camera.

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So like us – Monkey takes dip in hot spring, brings iPhone

So like us – Monkey takes dip in hot spring, brings iPhone

Along with Mt. Fuji and the Shibuya scramble intersection, a snapshot of a woman chatting on a cell phone while dressed in a kimono is one of the must-have photos from any extensive stay in Japan. That seamless blending of the traditional and high-tech is a perfect encapsulation of just what makes Japan such a compelling society.

Hmm, you know what? We forgot to include a picture of a monkey in a hot spring on our photography checklist. That’s another one of those “Only in Japan” scenes, right? But what if you’re running short on time? Is there any way to multitask and combine our subjects?

Sure there is, with this picture of a primate taking a dip in a hot spring with his very own smartphone.

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Apple cosplayer beats the rush, lines up for iPhone 6 seven months early

Apple cosplayer beats the rush, lines up for iPhone 6 seven months early

It’s been less than six months since the iPhone 5S went on sale here in Japan, but already Apple devotees are chomping at the bit to get their hands on an even newer model. One such would-be early adopted is blogger Yoppy, who’s still feeling the pain from failing in his quest to be the first person in Japan with an iPhone 5.

Not wanting to let greatness slip between his grasp two times in a row, Yoppy decided that this time he was going to line up early for the release of the upcoming iPhone 6. How early? Seven months ought to do it.

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Your iPhone is embarrassingly bad at simple math

Your iPhone is embarrassingly bad at simple math

The Cult of Apple is so smug about the many features and perks of the iPhone that it becomes a test of will for us Android users not to snatch any iPhone we see out of the hands of its user and throw it overhand into the nearest wall.

But now we may have a new weapon in the war on Apple: basic arithmetic. Seedy Japanese Internet geek forum 2chan has apparently proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that, when it comes to the calculator function, Apple’s smartphone is as dumb as that kid in your elementary school class that ate glue all day.

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How cute does a girl have to be before she’s forgiven for using a stolen iPhone? This cute

How cute does a girl have to be before she’s forgiven for using a stolen iPhone? This cute

Not so long ago, if you were travelling overseas and someone swiped your bag or camera, you pretty much had until you left the country to crack the caper. Unless you happened to be carrying a cargo of priceless gems in your tote bag, the local authorities weren’t going to coordinate an international search and recovery operation with you once you’re back in your home country.

Things are different now, when so many of the gadgets we take with us on vacation are linked to cloud storage services and social media accounts. Such was the case of one Japanese traveler who goes by the Twitter screen name Matsumoto Hiroki. Matsumoto, who lost his iPhone on a trip to Bangkok, was able to track down the person using it through iCloud, which is when his story got really interesting.

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This Apple store gave away 15 Macbook Airs, stacks of iPads and accessories in “lucky bags” this morning

This Apple store gave away 15 Macbook Airs, stacks of iPads and accessories in “lucky bags” this morning

It’s January 2 here in Japan, and for most major stores and savvy consumers alike, that can mean only one thing: fukubukuro! Literally meaning “lucky bag”, fukubukuro give stores a chance to bundle items together – some great, some not so great – to sell off at a massively discounted rate and make room for incoming stock. The catch? Customers have no idea what they’re buying until after they’ve handed over their cash. Usually, though, they get far more than what they pay for.

For larger companies like Apple, lucky bags are also a great opportunity to drum up a little additional publicity and get people lining up outside their stores hoping for the chance to buy one. Ever the Mac and iPhone fan, our reporter extraordinaire Mr. Sato was there to grab some swag for himself.

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RocketNews24 office left in disarray at startling Apple iOS discovery

RocketNews24 office left in disarray at startling Apple iOS discovery

On December 13… RocketNew… I’m sorry.

It’s just I can’t stop staring at it. None of us can. How many times have we looked at the menu screens of our iPhones or iPads? Too many times to count, but we could never see what was going on right in front of us all this time.

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Bluetooth Taiko No Tatsujin controller lets you play properly in the comfort of your own home

Bluetooth Taiko No Tatsujin controller lets you play properly in the comfort of your own home

The taiko drum simulating rhythm game Taiko No Tatsujin has been a hit in game centers and home living rooms for quite some time now. Even the iOS app has fared well, currently standing as the 25th top grossing application on the Japanese App Store.

Still, playing it on a touch screen doesn’t quite match the experience of using a physical drum and sticks. You’d probably be too afraid of screwing up the screen by wailing on it too hard. That’s why Bandai will be releasing a Taiko No Tatsujin drum controller for use with Apple devices.

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Adventures in buying an unlocked iPad Air from a Hong Kong scalper

Adventures in buying an unlocked iPad Air from a Hong Kong scalper

We here at RocketNews24 are no strangers to the lengths people will go to for the latest Apple product. And when we first heard about the new iPad Air, we knew we wanted to get our hands on one. But since merely buying the newest iPad was not enough of a challenge, we set out to buy an unlocked model that could be used on any wireless network in Japan.

Unfortunately, it seems like that is not an option in Japan, which led one of our reporters from RocketNews24 Japan, Takashi Harada, on a trip to Hong Kong to try to get one of the hottest devices of the season! It turned out to be quite the adventure.

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Nagano farmers sell damaged “typhoon apples” online

Nagano farmers sell damaged “typhoon apples” online

Japan is no stranger to typhoons. Every year, the island nation is battered by howling winds and torrential rain. This year 28 typhoons have made their way to Japan, but it was the 26th that had a particularly disastrous impact on apple farmers in Nagano prefecture. With their crops partially destroyed and most of their fruit unable to be sold in stores due to scratches and imperfections, the clever farmers took to the internet. Their crops are now being sold at online retailer, Oisix, as “typhoon apples.” And believe it or not, many people are actually buying the flawed fruit.

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