This is what new ‘EU Internet’ switch in iOS 8 Beta 4 does for you

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

The most recent beta of iOS 8 has introduced an easily overlooked new option under the Cellular section of the iOS Settings app. It’s called ‘EU Internet,’ applies only to those traveling in the European Union and is a bit puzzling.

As a quick recap, exorbitant roaming charges for data downloads in the European Union have already been reduced in an effort to make prices more realistic for those using mobile devices outside their home country.

That’s just the beginning as the European parliament recently passed a new regulation, currently needing an approval by the Council of the European Union, that promises to render all roaming charges in the EU illegal by December 2015.

As a result, European customers will always pay the same price for all phone calls, text messages and mobile data usage everywhere in the EU… Read More

 

T-Mobile unveils time-limited $100 per month family plan with 10GB LTE data

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

“Leaving my office last week, I pulled alongside a bus covered with yet another ad for AT&T’s ‘Best-Ever Pricing’ for families,” writes T-Mobile USA’s outspoken CEO John Legere in a blog post Monday.

As is his wont, Legere couldn’t resist offering a scathing critique of AT&T’s family plan, calling it “funny” because “their deal is no deal at all” compared to the pricing of T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Family Plan.

Regardless, Legere went on to announce a new competitive offering which will be launching later this month to give a family of four a total of ten gigabytes of high-speed LTE data (2.5GB each) in exchange for a cool hundred bucks per month. By comparison, AT&T’s “Best-Ever Pricing” offers four lines for $160… Read More

 

Don’t expect to see iWatch or 5.5″ iPhone 6 before December, new rumor cautions

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

I don’t think anyone in their right mind would seriously question Apple’s motivation to reportedly market and sell bigger iPhones this year.

Moreover, many pundits and watchers are in agreement that Apple will indeed enter new product categories this year with a rumored iWatch wearable device, said to combine health and fitness functions.

What’s unclear though is the timing for these product launches. We already know it’s going to be action-packed Fall, but you’d be wise not to keep your fingers crossed for a simultaneous launch of both new iPhones and iWatches… Read More

 

European Commission green-lights Apple’s $3B Beats buy

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

The European Commission has okayed Apple’s purchase of the Beats Music streaming-music service and Beats Electronics’ premium headphone business, concluding that the agreement would not be detrimental to consumers across Europe. This is an important though expected development as Apple hopes to complete the $3 billion transaction by the end of the September quarter, pending regulatory approval in the United States… Read More

 

Microsoft airs Cortana vs. Siri ad showing contextually-aware tasks

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

Microsoft on Monday shared a new television commercial which the company first showed off at its annual conference back in April to rally up developers who were concerned that the software giant was losing its mojo.

The 30-second video depicts a showdown between Cortana, Microsoft’s own digital personal assistant baked into Windows Phone 8.1, and Apple’s Siri.

Microsoft’s assistant is shown completing a number of contextually-aware tasks using a plethora of services and data sources… Read More

 

Apple said to be buying Swell Radio app

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

Following a TechCrunch report last Friday which claims that Apple has recently acquired data-style book analytics services BookLamp (basically a “Pandora for books”) to beat Amazon at its own game, Re/code is reporting early Monday that the Cupertino firm has another acquisition target in its crosshairs – a radio/podcast app Swell (“Pandora for talk radio”) which raised $7.2 million from investors including DFJ, Google Ventures and InterWest Partners… Read More

 

Swatch says it doesn’t need Apple, will launch its smart watch next year

By Sébastien Page on Jul 27, 2014

Some silly rumor made the rounds last week claiming Swatch was in talk with Apple to produce a line of iWatch devices. This was quickly denied by Swatch, who’s now saying it will bring its own smart watch/fitness tracker to market by next year.

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek recently told Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag (via Reuters) that the company will soon update its Swatch Touch line, which will be equipped with features appealing to athletes: Read More

 

Claimed circuit board hints at NFC-enabled iPhone 6 – again!

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2014

Combing through our archive of posts mentioning “iPhone” and “NFC” is all it takes to realize that talk of Apple allegedly adopting NFC is intensifying, not dying down. In fact, rumors calling for NFC-enabled iPhones date as far back as 2011!

Thus far, however, the iconic smartphone has not picked up support for NFC technology, which is an acronym for Near Field Communication. On the other hand, Apple has numerous NFC-related patents.

Additionally, it doesn’t really hurt to mention that a growing number of high-end Android handsets include NFC as part of their standard feature set. Well, today a claimed image has surfaced apparently picturing an iPhone 6 printed circuit board with what appears to be an embedded NFC chip… Read More

 

Tweetbot 3 quietly rolls out animated GIF support via iOS media player

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2014

You’re probably aware that Twitter began supporting animated GIFs via its web interface in mid-June. If so, you may also recall that Twitter’s iOS client has picked up support for this popular file format a mere week later.

The feature isn’t exclusive to the company’s own mobile apps: Twitter soon after updated its API to let makers of third-party clients implement direct GIF sharing via pic.twitter.com links.

Tapbots’ Tweetbot, one of the best Twitter clients for the Mac and iOS devices, does not officially recognize animated GIFs. That’s why tapping a pic.twitter.com GIF link in Tweetbot for iPhone opens the detail view for the tweet itself rather than play the embedded animation inline.

This has been driving me nuts – but not anymore. As it turns out, Tapbots yesterday issued a maintenance update to Tweetbot for the iPhone and iPod touch which apparently adds support for animated GIFs via Twitter’s pic.twitter.com links. Strangely enough, the official release notes make no mention of this nice little addition whatsoever… Read More

 

BlackBerry, Dell not concerned about Apple-IBM deal

By Cody Lee on Jul 25, 2014

You would think hearing that Apple is teaming up with IBM to push further into the enterprise space would be worrisome for competitors. But both Dell and BlackBerry, who are each in the process of reshaping their businesses, say they’re unfazed.

In an interview this week, Dell’s John Swainson said that while he thought the announcement “made for a good press release,” he fails to see how the pair can prosper. Likewise, BlackBerry CEO John Chen likened the deal to “two elephants dancing.” Read More

 

Apple acquires book recommendation startup BookLamp

By Cody Lee on Jul 25, 2014

During Apple’s quarterly earnings conference call on Tuesday, Tim Cook said that the company has acquired 5 companies in the last 4 months, not including Beats electronics. We’ve known about two of the purchases, Spotsetter and LuxVue, and today we add a third.

TechCrunch is reporting that Apple recently acquired BookLamp, a startup based out of Boise, Idaho, that developed big data-style book analytics services. Described as “Pandora for books,” the service recommends books through digital analysis of author writing styles… Read More

 

Big increase in Apple spending suggests major new products incoming

By Cody Lee on Jul 25, 2014

For those of you still skeptical that Apple is gearing up for a blockbuster fall, check out this report from Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty. The analyst dug through its just-released 10-Q filing, and she says it reveals a lot about its upcoming plans.

Huberty explains that the company’s significant increase in spending all-but-confirms that we’ll see some major new products this year. In fact, its quarter-over-quarter increase is the largest we’ve seen since it introduced the first iPhone in 2007… Read More

 

Official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie game arrives

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the official mobile game of the upcoming movie, has made its surprise debut on the App Store, well ahead of the movie’s August 8 premiere.

Created by the same that which brought you Combo Crew [Universal, $1.99], this movie tie-in classes as a classic beat ‘em up where you play as one of the four classic turtles.

You’ll have to learn powerful combos and counter-attacks to defeat Shredder’s minions, chain multiple attacks to build up your Turtle Power meter combo to unleash your other turtles and much more.

The $3.99 iPhone and iPad game sneakily includes a bunch of In-App Purchases to boost your scores and stats… Read More

 

Bose sues Beats over noise-cancelling patents

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2014

As Apple is prepping to shell out $3 billion to buy Beats Music and Beats Electronics’ high-end headphone biz, reports are coming in that audio equipment specialist Bose has gone on the offense and is now taking Beats Electronics to court over its noise-cancelling headphone patents.

Bose alleges its patented tech is used in the Beats Pro noise-cancelling headphones and other products like the Beats Studio and Beats Studio Wireless.

Furthermore, Bose is now seeking financial damages and a sales ban on some Beats headphones, claiming patent infringement. Bose develops, markets and sells a vast range of loudspeakers, noise-cancelling headsets, automotive sound systems, amplifiers and headphones.

Needless to say, Bose holds a number of patents in this space. Its QuietComfort line of headphones has in particular proven itself popular with consumers who want to get away from outside noise. And just like Beats, Bose gets frequently criticized as some reviewers slam their high-end products for being overpriced and of average quality… Read More

 

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse leaps onto the Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2014

Following its release on the iPhone and iPad last November, Sega’s 1991 adorable platformer has at last made its way to the Mac.

Developed by Feral Interactive and published by Disney Interactive, the $14.99 download features eye-candy cartoonish graphics and stars Mickey Mouse who is on the quest to save his lovely Minnie, kidnapped by the jealous witch Mizrabel.

The game involves lots of running and jumping along a side-scrolling landscape, spiced up with attacking enemies, throwing projectiles, solving puzzles and more. The Mac edition has of course been brought to the 21st century with new layouts, updated graphics and silky smooth 60FPS execution… Read More

 

Select ComiXology titles now available to download without DRM restrictions

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2014

I downright hate digital-rights management (DRM). No, I’m not a cheapskate who’d rather pirate someone else’s hard work rather than support publishers with my wallet – my average monthly spending on iTunes is about $50, for those wondering.

Now, it’s perfectly understandable that content owners should be entitled to imposing copy protection on their digital products, but the annoyances to consumers far outweigh the benefits to content owners, methinks.

ComiXology is a typical example. But, but – comics want to be free of the clutches of DRM! Having realized as much, ComiXology on Friday sent out en email informing customers they can now download backup copies of select titles from certain publishers without the dreaded DRM restrictions, using its free iOS appRead More

 

Chinese sources: mass production of 4.7″ iPhone 6 begins, 5.5″ and new iPads start in September

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2014

As the purported parts and cases thought to belong to the iPhone 6 continue leaking out, Apple is now said to have started mass production of a 4.7-inch handset variant. As for a bigger 5.5-inch version, the handset is understood to enter production in September, alongside upcoming new iPads.

If true, there may after all be some truth to the rumors that the two phones won’t launch simultaneously in order to avoid cannibalization. Just yesterday, for instance, the hit-and-miss DigiTimes said the 4.7 and 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 will launch separately as Apple wants to “avoid competition between the two models”Read More

 

Wii-like dance party in the living room via Apple TV? Yes, please!

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2014

Back in June, India-based Rolocule Games teased its upcoming Dance Party game which would supposedly bring multiplayer fun to the living room with a little help from Apple’s AirPlay technology and the $99 Apple TV media-streaming box.

At first, I was skeptical. But as Dance Party launched earlier today in the App Store as a free download, I’ve come to the realization that my fears were unfounded.

Yes, the game indeed works as advertised!

Dance Party really has to be seen live to be fully appreciated. Much like dance games on the Nintendo Wii, users mimic the onscreen dancer to get feedback on how they are doing. The game is basically airplayed from an iPhone to the Apple TV and takes advantage of Rolocule’s award-winning motion tracking technology called Rolomotion… Read More

 

Can’t redeem Yosemite beta code? Here’s a fix.

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2014

Apple today opened the floodgate by posting the public beta of its upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite software, which launches officially sometime this Fall, and already a bunch of people took to Twitter over an error message saying the redemption code has already been used.

Each copy of Yosemite beta requires a promotional code which must be redeemed in the Mac App Store to download the installer. Is there anything you can do about this error message?

Yes, there is – and a remedy couldn’t be simpler. Read on… Read More

 

Instagram prematurely leaks its Snapchat rival

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2014

Facebook-owned Instagram may have unintentionally (or intentionally, perhaps?) leaked an image advertising its rumored Snapchat competitor, indicating the official launch could as well be around the corner. A banner for an app called Bolt was spotted by several online users in Instagram’s Android app.

Tapping the banner would yield a dead end in the Google Play Store. Although the banner went away a few minutes later, people have already screenshoted it and the image is now making rounds on Twitter and other social media channels online… Read More

 
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