Tim Cook: switchers are buying iPhones in droves

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Though massive, the iPhone business has plenty of room to grow because only a small fraction of Apple’s installed base upgraded to the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 models. Fewer than fifteen percent of recent Apple buyers had an iPhone, with the remaining 85 percent of sales coming from switchers who used to own a non-Apple handset, in most cases Android.

That’s the gist of an interview Apple CEO Tim Cook gave to the Wall Street Journal’s last evening. In other words, the vast majority of new iPhones were purchased by former Android users. Read More

 

Claimed protective case mold hints how massive iPad Pro might be

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Aside from an alleged manufacturing mold and Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction of a creative stylus accessory for Apple’s purported pro tablet, it’s been a few weeks now without a newsworthy iPad Pro rumor in sight. Courtesy of the French blog NowhereElse.fr on Thursday, we now have a better idea of the large form-factor iPad’s massiveness.

The publication has ostensibly managed to get hold of a manufacturing mold for an assumed iPad Pro protective case said to have been designed according to the genuine device dimensions. For context: rumors have mentioned two possible screen sizes for the iPad Pro, twelve inches and 12.9 inches. I’ve included the photo right after the break so check it out and feel free to chime in with your thoughts in comments. Read More

 

Annual Back to School promo launches in New Zealand and Australia with $25-$100 gift cards

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Apple’s annual Back to School promotion launched today in Australia and New Zealand, as noted by 9to5Mac. Unlike last year when the promo included iTunes gift cards, this time around Apple Store gift cards are being offered to university students, students accepted to a university and parents buying for a university student.

A qualifying Mac, iPad or iPhone purchased is required.

The sale runs from January 30 through March 19. Read More

 

Apple also becomes China’s #1 luxury gift provider

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

In addition to becoming the top smartphone seller in China (based on the 70 percent annual sales uptick in Greater China), Apple is now the top luxury gift provider in the country, knocking Hermès off the top spot, Reuters reported Thursday.

This is interesting because Hermès is a French manufacturer that was established back in 1837 and today specializes in a plethora of luxury products, ranging from leather and lifestyle accessories to perfumery and other luxury goods. Read More

 

SoundCloud for iPad finally gets its facelift, but drops the audio recording feature

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

SoundCloud, an online audio distribution platform hailing from Berlin, Germany, has finally refreshed its user interface on iPads, following a major revamp on the iPhone and iPod touch side last summer.

And just like the iPhone revamp, the more visual iPad experience with an emphasis on album art in the new SoundCloud 3.7.1 comes with a major disappointment as the audio recording feature has now been killed. Read More

 

Scanbot updated with reminders, endless scanning and 1Password integration

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Scanbot, the popular document scanner and QR reader that Apple listed among its Best Apps in 2014, has received an update which allows you to add smart reminders and tasks via iOS Reminders and Evernote to your scanned documents, with alerts delivered via Push Notifications to the Lock screen.

Secondly, Scanbot 3.5 brings out support for the login and password management app 1Password, making possible adding cloud services to Scanbot using data stored in 1Password. And thirdly, developers have implemented endless scanning by removing any limitations in terms of the amount of pages you can scan, allowing you to literally scan full books now. Read More

 

China’s ludicrous new cybersecurity rules aimed at Western companies could hurt Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

The Chinese government has adopted new cybersecurity rules targeted at Western technology companies that are bound to give firms like Apple a major headache.

According to The New York Times on Thursday, the new rules require vendors that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to turn over secret source code.

The Chinese government also requires that Western technology providers submit to “invasive audits” and even build backdoors into hardware and software. As a result, the Apples, Dells and HPs of this world are going to need to jump through more hoops to do business in China.  Read More

 

Apple ties Samsung for the world’s top smartphone maker crown

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Driven by phenomenal iPhone sales during the holiday quarter, Apple has now tied Samsung for the title of the world’s top smartphone maker. According to latest numbers from research firm Strategy Analytics relayed by Bloomberg, both companies sold about 74.5 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of last year.

Both companies took an equal 19.6 percent market share in the global market for smartphones. Motorola owner Lenovo was a distant third with a 6.5 percent share, followed by Chinese vendor Huawei, which took a 5.7 percent share. Lenovo and Huawei shipper about 24 million smartphones each. Read More

 

Microsoft releases native Outlook app for iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Microsoft on Thursday released the official Outlook email client in the App Store (not to be confused with the native Outlook Web App for the iPhone). Optimized for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the iOS 8-only app is based on Microsoft’s $200 million purchase of the popular mobile email app Acompli.

Featuring a built-in calendar, comprehensive search features, gesture-based interface akin to Dropbox-owned Mailbox and support for popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s own OneDrive service, it brings together the core tools you need to get things done in one sweet package. Read More

 

Samsung Galaxy S6 won’t be using Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip due to overheating

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

News broke today that Samsung’s upcoming flagship, the fabled Galaxy S6, won’t be using Qualcomm’s new mobile system-on-a-chip, the Snapdragon 810.

As Re/code noted, the revelation came indirectly, via Qualcomm’s earnings call today, as the firm had to tell investors “a large customer’s flagship device” won’t be shipping with the Snapdragon 810 inside.

Lost business has forced Qualcomm to cut its outlook for the fiscal year slightly. The semiconductor maker did not say which client, and why, has dropped the Snapdragon 810.

However, a week ago Bloomberg learned that Samsung had opted to drop the 810 from its upcoming flagship due to overheating problems. Read More

 

Microsoft just made OneDrive totally awesome

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Wednesday, Microsoft rolled out an all-new version of its OneDrive sync client for the Mac while bringing out a plethora of really cool features on the web and releasing a revamped iOS app.

The iOS client now supports OneDrive for Business accounts so basically your work and life can now be on all your Apple devices in a single app.

Not only does the redesigned iPhone and iPad app look nicer, it also lets you search photos by tags and create gorgeous albums. It even recognizes text in photos and PDFs and integrates with the popular password-management software 1Password and LastPass. Read More

 

Marissa Mayer wants to make Yahoo default search engine in Safari

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Embattled CEO Marisa Mayer just bought herself some more air cover by spinning off Yahoo’s 15 percent stake in Alibaba into a new public company. But Mayer is still under pressure to boost Yahoo’s core biz which has been eroding steadily. Now, MacRumors passes along a transcript of Yahoo’s conference call when Mayer praised Apple’s Safari browser as the premier search platform.

She called fans of the Apple web browser “among the most lucrative users in the world” and expressed interest in Yahoo becoming the default search engine in Safari. Read More

 

Facebook’s Paper app now supports sharing from iOS Favorites album and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Facebook’s Paper for iPhone app has been refreshed today with improved performance as well as faster way of sharing photos, in addition to fixing a few issues “you’ve let us know about.”

When sharing photos, your Camera Roll items are now organized by date. Even better, the app now supports the new Favorites album introduced in iOS 8 which collates the images you’ve favorited by tapping on the heart icon in the iOS Photos app. Read More

 

Spotify arriving to PlayStation as Sony axes its ill-fated Music Unlimited service

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Sony has finally pulled the plug on its unsuccessful music-streaming service, Music Unlimited.

Destined to be shut down on March 29, 2015, it’ll be succeeded by a new Sony service called PlayStation Music and based entirely on the Spotify service and its backend.

From the get-go, the new service will have full access to over 30 million songs and 1.5 billion playlists on Spotify.

PlayStation Music will be debuting this Spring in 41 markets and be available on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles, as well as on the Xperia smartphones and tablets. Support for other mobile and desktop devices will be added at a later stage. Read More

 

Tumblr app adds new alert types, better 1Password integration, likes/follows on Lock screen, more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

As growth of Yahoo-owned Tumblr continues unabated, new features are being added to the official iOS app on a regular basis.

After picking up support for two-factor authentication last October, the new Tumblr 3.8 for iOS now includes greatly improved integration with the popular 1Password password-management app, as well as with Authy, a handy iPhone software for generating two-factor codes. Read More

 

eBay working on bidding app for Apple Watch

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

eBay may be developing an app for the Apple Watch which ties to its existing iPhone and iPad software, as per a job listing AppleInsider highlighted yesterday.

Originally posted to eBay’s careers webpage in November, the ad was spotted recently on LinkedIn.

The ad states the bespoke Watch app is being developed by the company’s New Technology Group, which employs over 200 engineers in product development in Portland.

An ideal candidate will “design and implement elegant solutions for the Apple Watch that will complement our core iOS eBay app,” reads the ad. Read More

 

FCC to hotels: blocking Wi-Fi hotspots is illegal!

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Many of us have been there. You just checked in to a nice hotel and went right to your room. After taking a shower, you pull out your Mac to connect to a personal Wi-Fi hotspot in the hope of getting some work done. But alas, it won’t work. Slowly but surely, a sinking feeling sets in that you’re being forced to use the hotel’s exorbitantly priced Wi-Fi.

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to put an end to the practice and on Tuesday issued a public enforcement advisory warning hotel chains and other commercial establishments that intentionally blocking or interfering with Wi-Fi hotspots is illegal. Read More

 

Opinion: don’t hold your hopes high for next-generation Apple TV this year

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Between the bigger iPhones, new and faster iPads, Apple Pay, the Watch and latest versions of iOS and OS X, the Apple TV project appears to remain on the back burner for now.

Whether or not the decision is meant to prevent spreading Apple too thin and keep its engineers focused on products that matter over a longer arc of time is anyone’s guess.

Now, I’m not pretending that I’m privy to Cupertino’s inner workings.

But the fact remains that, for the time being, Apple seems content with simply stuffing the set-top box with new content sources. Yesterday, for example, Apple TV owners saw the addition of Sports Illustrated’s 120 SPORTS network.

Of course, Tim Cook & Co. must do a whole lot more than simply keep adding new channels to the box. Fans, on the other hand, have been keeping their fingers crossed for an Apple TV hardware upgrade sporting a major OS update and new features like DV-R, live TV functionality, an app store to download and play games on it with the use of ‘Made for iPhone’ controllers.

Watchers are now hoping for an Apple TV refresh at WWDC 2015. But if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my hopes high for a major hardware revision to the set-top box in 2015, and here’s why. Read More

 

Facebook rolls out new Super Bowl experience

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX is upon us and Facebook wants to beat out Twitter to the punch and become the epicenter of conversation. Building on the more than 50 million people who joined the conversation on Facebook during last year’s Super Bowl, the social networking service today announced a brand new experience at facebook.com/superbowl.

Replacing Twitter as your Super Bowl companion begins with official posts from the NFL/NBC and related stories by teams and individual players. You’ll also find live scoring updates, real-time reactions, posts from your friends (with “watching Super Bowl XLIX” in their status updates) and more, all neatly organized in one place. Read More

 

Photos for Mac goes from “early 2015” to “available at a later date”

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2015

Photos for Mac, a missing piece in the iCloud Photo Library puzzle, has just gotten delayed until later this year.

Last summer, Apple took us by surprise saying it would cease development of Aperture and transition users to Photos for Mac, a new app that was supposed to replace iPhoto on OS X Yosemite as well. But Yosemite came and went and native Photos Mac app was nowhere to be seen.

Apple then gave us a vague new shipping date: “early 2015.” However, the updated wording in this support docs now lists the app as being “available at a later date.” Read More

 
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