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Apple TV+ ‘Mythic Quest’ cast and crew raised $600K for pandemic relief along with special quarantine episode

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Apple TV+ comedy Mythic Quest launched its special quarantine episode today that was shot using 40 iPhones. Beyond bringing some laughs with the hilarious new bonus episode grounded in our current COVID-19 reality it has also raised over half a million dollars for coronavirus relief.

We got a behind the scenes look at how Rob McElhenney and the Mythic Quest cast and crew made its quarantine episode possible earlier this week.

Now Variety had a chance to chat with the creator and star to learn more about the episode which also revealed that the cast and crew have raised $300,00 with McElhenney and his wife matching that donation for a $600,000 total which was given to Mercy Corps’ COVID-19 relief fund.

“As we came up with the conceit of the company donating money, then I thought, ‘Wow this would be really cool if we could figure out a way in which we as a show were doing the same,’” McElhenney says. “The organization is a global one that is doing some of the best work out there for those affected by this pandemic. What we were what we’re hoping is that we can raise awareness for this incredible organization. But we also want to be very respectful of our audience who has been asked to give and give and give and give. And they have responded, and I know because I’ve run a couple of fundraisers over the course of the last three or four months and people continue to give and I know that people can’t afford to give. Of course I want people, if they can, to continue to give, but I also feel like I don’t want to ask anyone for anything else anymore. The audience has had it rough and they’re going to have a rough couple of maybe years. So this is just something we’re putting out in the world and if you can give, great, but we just hope you enjoy the show.”

McElhenney also talked about the idea of making a quarantine episode for his hit show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

“The thing about the ‘Mythic Quest’ characters is that, like the filmmakers, they believe in science and they respect the law. And so we could make an episode that we felt was socially responsible,” McElhenney tells Variety. The “Sunny” characters on the other hand, do not, he adds, which means the kind of episode the production team would have delivered would have been the opposite of what he did with “Mythic Quest.”

“I don’t know that it would be socially responsible to make right now. Maybe in about six months from now or a year, hopefully we’re going to see what the ‘Sunny’ characters were doing in quarantine, but I have a feeling it’s not what the ‘Mythic Quest’ characters were doing,” he continues.

Check out the full interview for an interesting read over at Variety. And you can watch the special Mythic Quest episode Quarantine now on Apple TV+.

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Apple TV releases 2020 film ‘Just Mercy’ for free as App Store shares ‘Stand Up to Racism’ resources

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“Just Mercy”, the film based on a true-story about racial injustice starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx has been made available to stream for free on Apple TV.

Meanwhile, Apple has shared a new App Story today titled “Stand Up to Racism” with a number of curated digital resources to keep informed, speak out to your elected officials, donate to charities, learn from history, support Black developers, and more.

“Stand Up to Racism” is the featured story of the day on the US App Store and focuses on how technology can empower us to “change the world for the better.”

Featured sections in the story include:

  • Make your voice heard
  • Stay informed
  • Put your money to work
  • Learn from history
  • Watch a doc
  • Start a conversation about race
  • Support Black developers

Apple includes apps for each section to make it easy contact your government representatives, donating to the official George Floyd Memorial Fund through GoFundMe, learn about civil rights history with Khan Academy, and much more. Check out all the apps here.

More ways Apple is working to end racism and inequality is through promoting awareness on its homepage (open letter from Tim Cook) and with Apple Music.

“Just Mercy” streaming for free

This week Apple also made the 2020 film “Just Mercy” available to stream for free on the Apple TV app (also available on other app/platforms). The Warner Bros. film is based on a true-story of a young lawyer who decides to use his Harvard law degree in Alabama to fight against racial inequality in the context of those wrongly convicted of crimes (free streaming for “Just Mercy” may just be in the US).

A powerful and thought-provoking true-story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson.) One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx,) who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds-and the system-stacked against them.

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Telegram update for iOS brings video and sticker editing, GIF improvements

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Popular messaging service Telegram has launched an update today with a focus on the built-in media editor and improving GIF options.

Five years ago, Telegram released a built-in photo editor for its messaging app. Now it’s expanded that to be a video editor as well as rich support for animated stickers. Telegram detailed the update in a blog post:

You can now enhance video quality automatically in two taps – or manually tweak a dozen parameters, like brightness or saturation, until your inner Kubrick is satisfied.

For perfect paintbrush precision, zoom in on photos or videos when drawing on them to get every line just right. Your made-up makeup – or your classmates’ handlebar moustaches – will never look the same.

For the animated sticker improvements, the latest update allows you to add them to any video or photo, and popping an animated sticker on photos converts it into a GIF.

GIFs get some love too in this update:

The GIF panel has been upgraded with a new Trending section and emoji-based tabs that cover the most popular emotions. You won’t ever need to wrestle with words again when looking for Robert Downey Jr. 🙄

We’ve also improved loading times for GIFs in the panel, so you can find that perfect GIF faster. Hold on any GIF you haven’t sent before to save it to your Recent tab for later use.

Finally, folders in Telegram has become more flexible:

If you have many chats and use folders, hold on any chat in the list to add it to one of your folders. This also works for removing chats from folders. Last call for spring cleaning!

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Apple Shares Open Source Resources for Password Manager Apps

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Today on Apple’s developer site, the company announced the release of new resources for password manager apps:

Apple has created a new open source project to help developers of password managers collaborate to create strong passwords that are compatible with popular websites. The Password Manager Resources open source project allows you to integrate website-specific requirements used by the iCloud Keychain password manager to generate strong, unique passwords. The project also contains collections of websites known to share a sign-in system, links to websites’ pages where users change passwords, and more.

The open source project can be accessed on GitHub.

Apple has continually deepened its investment in the area of password management with iCloud Keychain upgrades in recent years and new APIs for third-party apps. Today’s announcement takes things a step further down the path of openness and collaboration, enabling apps to share important site-specific information with one another so that users have the best, most secure experience possible no matter their choice of password manager.

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