Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Ive got a new job, Amazon pays tax, Microsoft leaks music, Google+ loses Photos, Iron Man loves Samsung, and Call of Duty fans battle Master Chief from the Halo games.
Apple Promotes Ive to Chief Design Officer
Apple has promoted Jony Ive to Chief Design Officer. This is a newly created position which will put Ive in charge of the design of everything at the company, from hardware and software, right through to Apple’s retail stores and new campus in Cupertino, California.
With Ive moving up the ladder, his former role as Senior Vice President of Design will be filled by two other people. Richard Howarth is the new VP of Industrial Design, with a focus on hardware, while Alan Dye is the new VP of User Interface Design, with a focus on OS X and iOS.
Ive’s promotion was first revealed by Stephen Fry in a profile for The Telegraph. Fry is a self-confessed Apple fanboy, and doesn’t hold back in expressing his love for the company and the people at the heart of it. However, Fry did once annoy Steve Jobs, so he’s not all bad.
Say what you will about Jony Ive — especially the pseudo-intellectual way he waxes lyrical about the latest Apple products — but his designs have helped Apple become the most profitable company on the face of the planet. So it’s no wonder he’s earned himself a promotion.
Amazon Starts Paying Tax In Europe
Amazon is to start paying sales taxes in various European countries, ending its practice of funneling most revenue through Luxembourg. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company changed its policies on May 1st, and it will now report revenues in Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK.
The online retailer’s previous arrangement meant Amazon paid less tax on products sold, no matter where on the continent they ended up. This was all thanks to a low-tax agreement with Luxembourg, which affected any products bought through Amazon in the European Union.
However, the European Commission has been investigating this arrangement, along with other tax loopholes used by companies such as Apple and Starbucks. And Amazon has now acted to end the practice. The company maintains these changes have been planned for years, making the timing nothing more than coincidental.
Windows 10 Music App Channels Spotify
— OnMSFT.com (@onmsft) May 25, 2015
Microsoft has revealed the new Windows 10 music app, which looks to have been heavily inspired by Spotify. While the version of the music app included in the current builds of the Windows 10 Preview isn’t very different from Windows 8, the updated version looks to be a vast improvement.
The new music app features a dark theme, a simple and intuitive user interface, recently played tracks and recommended playlists on the right, and a striking menu on the left. Windows 10 hasn’t yet been given an official release date. In the meantime, Spotify may just be consulting its lawyers.
Google Removing Photos from Google+
I have finally turned off notifications from Google+ and deleted all my photos. One step away from deactivating my account…
— Henry (@henweb) May 12, 2015
Google is rumored to be splitting Photos away from Google+, giving users the opportunity to access the service without the need to sign up to the social networking site. Bloomberg suggests the separation will be announced at Google I/O 2015, a developers conference taking place at the end of this week.
The photo-sharing and photo-storage service currently comes bundled in with Google+, but that may be preventing it from gaining popularity. The idea is that offering Photos as a standalone product, and letting it play nicely with other social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, would allow the service to reach its full potential.
Iron Man Owns a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
If Iron Man were to own a smartphone, he would own a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Apparently. Mainly because a new limited edition of the S6 Edge released as part of the promotion of The Avengers: Age of Ultron has Iron Man’s image plastered all over it. And we all know Tony Stark has an ego the size of the Hulk’s heart.
Unfortunately for Avengers fans in the U.S. and elsewhere, the limited edition Iron Man Galaxy S6 Edge is only being released in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Which is a shame, as that arc reactor charging cradle really is a thing of beauty.
Gamers Made a Halo Vs. Call of Duty Film
And finally, we have what must surely count as one of the finest fan films ever to have graced YouTube’s servers. It shows what happens when a group of Call of Duty fans dismiss Halo as being a bit crap. Suffice to say, Master Chief is none too happy.
The effects are all amazing, with the both visual and practical effects going above and beyond what you would expect to see from a mere fan film. Throw in some funny gags and a few geeky references for gamers, and the result is gold. [H/T GeekTyrant]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will Jony Ive’s promotion change things up at Apple? Should Amazon be allowed to carry on channeling goods through Luxembourg? Are you pleased to see Google potentially splitting Photos from Google+?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Brett Weinstein via Flickr