iOS 5 includes early earthquake warning notifications for Japanese iPhone users

Following the devestating earthquake in Japan earlier this year, Apple has added a new early earthquake warning notification option to iOS 5. iOS 5 users in Japan can turn on early earthquake notifications at the very bottom of the iOS 5 Notification Center settings pane. As you can see above, all the user has to do is flick a switch to start receiving these notifications. According to Time, who profiled Japan’s earthquake warning system earlier this year, the system gives warnings from seconds to one or two minutes before the earthquake hits. Time also explains the history of the system:

Japan has the most advanced earthquake early-warning system in the world. A nationwide online system launched in 2007, it detects tremors, calculates an earthquake’s epicenter and sends out brief warnings from its 1,000-plus seismographs scattered throughout the country, one of the most earthquake-prone nations on the planet.

For those who cannot read the text above, it also warns that the feature may reduce your battery life because it is always connected to Japan’s earthquake warning system. This new notification options truly showcases Apple’s commitment to safety for those in Japan.

Apple offering free repairs for devices damaged in the Japan quake and tsunami

Apple is offering free service and repair to those Mac users who were affected by the Japan tsunami and earthquake in March. As stated in a Support & Information Services note [Japanese version/ Google-translated English version] on Apple’s Japanese website, the company is offering free repairs of any Macs, Cinema Displays, iPhones, iPads or iPod touches damaged in the disaster. Apple’s offer applies to those directly affected by the earthquake who primarily live in municipalities covered by the Disaster Relief Act of 2011.

This isn’t the first time Apple has offered to help those who suffered in the Japan disaster earlier this year. Local Apple Retail managers opened up Apple Stores as sorts of communication centersthat allowed people to use the Internet on the store’s machines to email, FaceTime and Skype their loved ones. Additionally, several Mac developers came to the aid of the disaster victims offering donations from the proceeds of their apps. Apple and all member of the Mac community who have helped and continue to help those in need deserve props and recognition for their support and humanity.

Steve Jobs sends e-mail to Apple employees in Japan offering support!

According to several news sites Apple CEO Steve Jobs is reported to have sent a message to Apple staff regarding the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The contents of the email were first posted to (via Macotakara), and later on other sites.

The email which was said to have been sent to all Apple employees can be seen below:

To Our Team in Japan,

We have all been following the unfolding disaster in Japan. Our hearts go out to you and your families, as well as all of your countrymen who have been touched by this tragedy.

If you need time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you. If you are aware of any supplies that are needed, please also tell HR and we will do what we can to arrange delivery.

Again, our hearts go out to you during this unimaginable crisis.
Please stay safe.
Steve and the entire Executive Team

Apple has set up Red Cross donations through iTunes, and delayed plans to launch the iPad 2 in Japan due to the recovery efforts. Furthermore recent rumors have stated that the Apple Stores have been used as shelter and communication hubs for the thousands of stranded people.

AT&T offers free Calls & Texts To Japan during March

Many companies have been affected by the catastrophe which has hit Japan, several companies have already donated to relief organizations, now AT&T has officially announced that customers can call and text Japan for free through March 31st.

The offer extends to customers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and is in reponse to last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

AT&T also said wireless customers will not be charged for international long distance calls or texts to Japan that were placed after March 11th.

And AT&T landline customers can apply for 60 minutes of credit for calls to Japan from March 11th to March 31st.

Those interested can read the whole press release below:

AT&T Offers Wireless, Wireline Billing Relief for Consumers Calling and Texting Family, Friends in Japan