Apple

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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Japanese artists dream up a cartoon version of Apple’s Siri

Japanese artists dream up a cartoon version of Apple’s Siri

We’re all familiar with Apple’s module for voice commands, Siri. Available with Apple mobile devices, which are sold in 14 different countries, Siri is well-known around the world. But things start to get interesting when Siri is used in a language other than its original English.

When said in Japanese, Siri turns into Shiri, which is just one letter off from “Oshiri,” the Japanese word for “butt.” With a name like that, you can imagine what asset the illustrators of the Internet chose to accentuate when drawing the personification of Apple’s personal assistant and knowledge navigator. Just be warned, you might be embarrassed to look at some of these images at work.

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Japanese blogger discovers the real reason people camped out for the iPhone 5S launch

Japanese blogger discovers the real reason people camped out for the iPhone 5S launch

Apple’s iPhone 5S went on sale in Japan on September 20, with electronics aficionados, including our own Mr. Sato, lining up days in advance in order to purchase one on launch day.

Obviously, you have to love your electronics to be willing to camp out on the sidewalk, especially with a typhoon hitting the Tokyo area right before the new model’s release. Blogger Junichi Suzaki wondered if there might be something other than the promise of shiny new tech convincing people to spend multiple days and nights in line, though, and found a surprising motivation for the people at the head of the line.

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Our reporter Mr. Sato becomes first Japanese buyer of a Docomo iPhone5S!

Our reporter Mr. Sato becomes first Japanese buyer of a Docomo iPhone5S!

In the early days of the iPhone in Japan it was under an exclusive contract with telecoms giant Softbank, which gradually gave way to AU availability as well. This left NTT’s Docomo, as the only big mobile carrier without any Apple product of its own.

However, coinciding with the Japanese launch of the new iPhone5S and iPhone5C today, Docomo has finally jumped on the iPhone bandwagon and is carrying the unit that so many people have been clamouring for. No one was more thrilled at the news then our own Mr. Sato, a long time Docomo subscriber. So he headed down to the Docomo store in Marunouchi to get one as soon as it came out. Turns out he was their very first customer.

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Japan loves the new iPhone5C case! Now they can grate radishes anytime, anywhere

Japan loves the new iPhone5C case! Now they can grate radishes anytime, anywhere

With the unveiling of the next iteration of iPhones, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C a lot has been said about the iPhone 5C’s official protective case. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the words “aesthetic train wreck” tend to get bandied about.

People in Japan, however, get it very much. They see the brilliant functionality that helps them with a daily chore which an app could never fulfill. It helps them garnish their dishes with grated daikon, for instance…

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It begins! First Tokyo iPhone5S buyer lines up for phone 10 days before it goes on sale

It begins! First Tokyo iPhone5S buyer lines up for phone 10 days before it goes on sale

It’s become an annual ritual. Every year, Apple releases a modified version of a product already available and people begin to migrate towards the glowing white apple in their cities to congregate and await its glorious arrival.

This year, however, one Japanese iPhone5S user-to-be may have jumped the gun on his pilgrimage to the Apple store in Ginza, Tokyo. Arriving 10 days before its release, he sits patiently waiting for it to come.

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Looking for a cheap scare? Tell Japanese Siri you want to die

Looking for a cheap scare? Tell Japanese Siri you want to die

Apple’s virtual assistant Siri can be a lot of fun when you have free time and the battery power to spare. You could flirt with her, ask her trivia questions, or find the best place to hide a dead body.

For one Japanese Twitter user, however, a fun chat with Siri got really dark really quick. In their words: “I was screwing around with Siri and I randomly said ‘I want to die.’ Her answer was so unexpected that I put the chain lock on my door at the speed of sound.”

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Want that new Mac Pro now? Amazon Japan currently offering the next best thing!

Want that new Mac Pro now? Amazon Japan currently offering the next best thing!

Calling all MacHeads! Can’t wait to get your hands on that ever-so-sexy Mac Pro introduced at the WWDC a few days ago? Not to worry, Amazon Japan has you covered, almost. Check out the New TUBELOR (black) from ideaco which can be yours for a mere 3,465 yen (about US$36). Though it doesn’t come with dual GPUs, PCI Express-based flash storage or high-performance Thunderbolt 2, with a little work on your part, this piece of just-as-sexy office hardware could have your co-workers drooling with envy, and, bump you to the top of your office’s cool colleague rankings.

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Thai DJ Puts iPhone on Blast…from an iPhone

Thai DJ Puts iPhone on Blast…from an iPhone

Just as hidari no ko vs migi no ko  is dividing Japan, iPhone vs Android has divided the world. And that division is most clear in the ceaseless battle between Apple and Samsung. Where patent lawsuits once captured our attention, stealth marketing and negative campaigns have suddenly sprung up. And today’s news out of Thailand is all the more bizarre for its tactlessness. Read More

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