This week on AppleInsider: Child labor concerns, software updates, an Irish bomb threat & more

article thumbnail

Developments in the "real" world grabbed many headlines this week, including a bomb threat in Ireland, a new iOS development center in Italy and worries that Apple's battery suppliers are using child labor. The company meanwhile released a bevy of software updates for OS X and iOS.

To keep up on the latest in the Apple world, download the official AppleInsider app, and subscribe to our email newsletter.

Bomb threat forces evacuation of Apple's Irish facilities

A bomb threat ultimately determined to be fake forced the evacuation of Apple's facilities around Cork, including about 4,000 workers in Holyhill, and 800 more at Lavitt's Quay. Cork is home to the only factory owned by Apple itself, which assembles the iMac.

The company does occasionally receive bomb threats at its stores, but typically doesn't have to deal with them at any of its corporate offices in places like Cork, Cupertino or Austin.

Future iOS devices could make use of Li-Fi

Code in recent versions of iOS make reference to Li-Fi, a potential replacement or supplement for Wi-Fi based on visible light. In theory, Li-Fi can deliver bandwidth up to 224 gigabits per second.

Since the technology has yet to see any real-world adoption outside of testing, it's not clear when, if ever, Apple might adopt the standard.

Apple batteries may use cobalt mined with child labor

A report from Amnesty International and Afrewatch noted that children as young as seven are mining cobalt that ultimately makes it into the batteries of major car and electronics companies, such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Daimler. Traders are said to buy the cobalt from smaller producers and sell it to Congo Dongfang Mining, which then sells it to battery makers in China and South Korea.

Apple defended itself, claiming it never tolerates underage labor, in spite of regular incidents with Chinese suppliers, and is "evaluating dozens of different materials, including cobalt, in order to identify labour and environmental risks as well as opportunities for Apple to bring about effective, scalable and sustainable change."

Apple releases iOS 9.2.1, OS X 10.11.3

On Tuesday Apple issued updates to its core operating systems in the form of OS X 10.11.3 and iOS 9.2.1. While the former proved to be a regular maintenance update, the latter not only solved a problem with enterprise app installs but offered smoother performance for older iPhones.

Apple updates GarageBand & Logic Pro X, intros Music Memos

Not content with platform updates, Apple also updated GarageBand for iOS, adding a feature called Live Loops plus support for 3D Touch and the iPad Pro. A new, separate iOS app called Music Memos was launched to provide an Apple-branded way of recording and fleshing out musical ideas.

On the professional side, Logic Pro X and MainStage 3 received their own new features and fixes. Accompanying this was a new version of of Logic Remote with distinct iPhone and iPad Pro interfaces.

First iOS App Development Center coming to Italy

The facility, based in Naples, will guide European developers through the training needed to create iPhone and iPad apps. Apple is partnering with an unnamed local institution on the curriculum, and will further cooperate with other computer training institutions to extend its reach. More Development Centers should open over time, but Apple didn't offer any clues as to where or when.

AppleInsider podcast

Editors Neil, Shane and Victor sat down to talk about things like the demise of iAd, "iPhone 6c" rumors and Donald Trump's aggressive comments about Apple.