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Apple Pledges $1B to Boost US ‘Advanced Manufacturing’

Apple is bringing more of its manufacturing efforts to the US.

During a Wednesday interview with CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Cupertino tech giant has been thinking about how it can get more people in the US to do "advanced manufacturing."

"I'm proud to tell you that we're creating an advanced manufacturing fund," Cook said. "We're initially putting $1 billion in the fund."

Cook added that Apple already talked to "a company" — which he did not name — about this plan. Apple plans to announce the first investment from this fund later this month.

"By doing that, we can be the ripple in the pond," Cook said. "If we can create many manufacturing jobs … those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them, because you have a service industry that builds up around them."

Meanwhile, Apple has already created 2 million jobs in the US, Cook said. He added that Apple is "not satisfied," however, with the number of jobs it's created here so far.

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"You can bet we're going to be hiring thousands of employees in the future, thousands more employees in the future," Cook said.

The new pledge comes after Cook in November spoke with then president-elect Donald Trump, who asked the Apple CEO to bring more of its manufacturing back to the US. Trump said he promised Cook and other tech companies incentives for manufacturing stateside, including "a very large tax cut for corporations." According to Trump, Cook responded with "I understand that."

Steve Jobs in 2011, however, reportedly scoffed at the idea of bringing iPhone production to the US when asked by President Obama what it would take to make that happen. "Those jobs aren't coming back," Jobs said at the time.

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Google Play Movies & TV becomes a one-stop shop for everything that streams

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As you browse through the app, you can click on titles to read more about them, as before, but now you’re also able to see where the item can be streamed. At launch, Google is working with 28 streaming services whose content libraries are now integrated in Google Play Movies & TV. That’s fewer than Apple’s TV app supports, which is currently over 60. But it will find content even if it’s an exclusive to the streaming provider, and not necessarily something Google has for rent or sale. That means you can find original programming – like Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle” – and then start watching it on the streaming service that hosts it. “We deeplink right into playback for that [third-party streaming] app,” explains Ben Serridge, the product manager for the Movies & TV app at Google. “So if I wanted to start watching ‘The Good Doctor’ pilot, I press the play button and it goes into the ABC app and start playback.” Beyond the big names, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, the app also pulls in content from ABC, CBS, FOX NOW, NBC, HBO NOW, HBO Go, Showtime, Showtime Anytime, Max Go, Starz, Disney Now, HGTV, BET Now, Comedy Central, A&E, Cooking Channel, Crackle, DIY Network, Food Network, History, Lifetime, MTV, The CW, Travel Channel, Tubi TV and VH1. Notably missing is Netflix, whose content is searchable in Apple’s TV app. Serridge didn’t explain why it’s missing, saying only that “we would very much like to have all the apps that distribute this kind of content on Play participating” – effectively tossing the ball back to Netflix’s court. Even without Netflix, the feature is useful if not comprehensive. It will show you the services hosting the content, whether it’s freely available to stream, if you need a subscription (as with HBO Now), the associated costs, or if you need to login with pay TV credentials to watch. This is especially helpful because some of the network TV apps offer a teaser of a show with a few free episodes, but not complete seasons. The Google Play Movies & TV app will help you track down the rest elsewhere, if need be. The app will also now help you narrow down searches thanks to a robust filtering system that lets you click on tags by genre, mood, decade, and more. For example, you could click on “Family,” “Drama,” Award winning,” Highly rated,” Comedy,” and other filters. In addition to helping you find content, stream it, or add it to your Watchlist, the app includes personalized recommendations. These will be partly based on items you’ve previously watched, but you can also explicitly signal your interest or distste as well, by clicking on the thumbs up or thumbs down button. The thumbs down will remove the item from your suggestions entirely. Outside the app itself, the Play Store is being updated to show you the same information about content availability. Solutions like the new Google Play Movies & TV app and Apple’s TV app are handy in the cord cutting era where content is spread out across networks, services, and other over-the-top offerings. But even these apps aren’t enough. Not only is Netflix missing from Google’s app, so is its own YouTube original content – and that’s the same company! Also not addressed by either Apple or Google’s app are which shows may be available to stream or record via live TV services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Sling TV. (Although, to be fair, that’s not only a different set of services, it’s also a much larger challenge given that broadcast network availability varies by market. A dedicated solution like Suppose.tv or Fomopop’s live TV finder may work better.) Meanwhile, there are other tools for finding and tracking favorite shows, like Reelgood or TV Time (or a jailbroken Fire TV stick we should admit), but they don’t have the the benefit of matching content from a rent-and-buy marketplace like Google Play, or being available across phone, tablet, and desktop web, like Google Play. Google says the new features will roll out to Android phones and tablets in the U.S. over the next few days.

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