Amazon’s smartphone said to feature unique, tilt-based gesture interface

By Cody Lee on Apr 22, 2014

According to a bevy of recent reports, Amazon is preparing to launch a smartphone. It’s a tough market to try to bust into this late in the game—with Apple and Samsung taking home a large share of the profits already—but from what we’ve heard, the e-commerce giant is going to try to differentiate itself with unique features.

Today, following up its report from last week on a purported prototype of the Amazon phone, BGR has offered up some new details. Apparently, in addition to glasses-free 3D and head-tracking tech, the handset will also feature a number of motion-based gestures that can be activated by tilting the device in various directions… Read More

 

Aaron Sorkin talks Jobs movie at Tribeca Film Festival

By Cody Lee on Apr 22, 2014

Aaron Sorkin took a moment yesterday to speak about his upcoming Steve Jobs movie. The Academy Award-winning screenwriter was answering questions at New York City’s School of Visual Arts for the Tribeca Film Festival last night when the subject of the Sony-backed Jobs film came up.

Sorkin of course avoided talking about the drama that surfaced yesterday surrounding the picture’s director and cast, but he did offer up a few details about his script. Some of it we’ve heard before—such as his goal to do something other than a ‘Jobs biography’—but there were a few new tidbits… Read More

 

Apple reportedly ‘very, very serious’ about mobile payments

By Jake Smith on Apr 21, 2014

Apple is ramping up internally to launch a mobile payments service, according to Recode. The publication reports Apple has been interviewing payment industry executives to fill two new senior positions at the company focused on mobile payments, as it plans to get into the industry.

The search team is being lead by Apple executive Jennifer Bailey, who previously ran the company’s online stores including iTunes. The two new positions are heads of product and business development, two positions that are at the core of any new product at Apple. Read More

 

Square reportedly in talks to sell after growing losses, held ‘informal talks’ with Apple

By Jake Smith on Apr 21, 2014

Mobile payments startup Square is looking to sell its business, following growing losses and shrinking cash reserves, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Square, founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey in 2009, makes software, hardware products, and services, including Square Register and Square Wallet, for customers to pay merchants in an easier way.

Square has discussed an acquisition with Google in 2014, according to the report, with prior talks dating back to 2012. Additionally, Apple is said to have held informal talks with Square about a deal, interesting given the mobile payment rumors that have been circulating the Cupertino-based company.  Read More

 

Facebook reportedly planning ad network for mobile devices

By Jake Smith on Apr 20, 2014

Facebook is finally following the likes of Google and Yahoo and will launch an advertising network with a focus on mobile platforms, according to Recode.

Facebook hasn’t publicly acknowledged its plans, but the publication says Facebook will take the wraps off its mobile ad network at its F8 developer conference in San Francisco at the end of April.

An ad network from Facebook essentially means you’ll see Facebook ads even when you’re not on Facebook – think any app on the App Store. In a way, Facebook’s solution could go after Apple’s iAd network, which has failed to catch wind with the industry. Read More

 

Analysts make case for why Apple will launch mobile payment system

By Jake Smith on Apr 17, 2014

The Morgan Stanley Research group in Europe believes Apple has all the ingredients to cook up a proprietary mobile payment system, and makes a case for why the Cupertino-based company may launch it soon.

Primarily, Apple in a way is already the “de facto, in the mobile payment space,” given it has 400 million credit cards on file through its iTunes Store.

One Morgan Stanley executive makes a strong case, based on public information and not insider Apple information, on why it sounds likely:

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Apple reportedly building song-identification feature for iOS, partnering with Shazam

By Jake Smith on Apr 16, 2014

Apple is working on a song-identification feature within its iOS software, in an effort to continue building out its Music offering to combat streaming services and declining iTunes sales, according to Bloomberg.

Apple is said to be partnering with Shazam, a third-party service on the App Store that allows users to press a button and recognize music and media playing around them. On the iPhone and iPad in a future iOS update, users will be able to identify songs and artists without having to download an app, the report says. Read More

 

Facebook reportedly aims to get ahead of Apple with new payments service

By Jake Smith on Apr 14, 2014

Get ready to pay for items using Facebook, as the social network is said to be planning a payments service that could launch before the rumored iWallet from Apple.

Facebook hasn’t officially confirmed the service, but it’s working to receive regulatory approval for it in Ireland, according to a report from the Financial Times. The service is said to allow users to store money and make electronic payments through the social network. Essentially, it will put Facebook in competition with Google Wallet, PayPal,  Isis, Square, and soon Apple, if the rumors are true… Read More

 

WSJ: Amazon preparing to launch 3D smartphone in September

By Cody Lee on Apr 12, 2014

The Wall Street Journal added its weight to speculation that Amazon is preparing to launch a smartphone. The outlet reported late yesterday that the e-commerce giant has been showing off prototypes of the handset to developers, and it plans to take it public later this year.

What’s really interesting about the device is that The Journal says its screen is capable of displaying three-dimensional images without the need for special glasses. And it accomplishes this by using retina-tracking technology that’s embedded into four front-facing cameras… Read More

 

Alleged iPhone 6 cases surface in two different sizes

By Cody Lee on Apr 11, 2014

Most of the reports we’ve seen thus far regarding the iPhone 6 have pointed to two separate models: one with a 4.7-inch display and one with a 5.5-inch. It’s possible that Apple is simply testing two different designs, and only plans on releasing one, but the consensus is that both models will make it to market.

Adding evidence to that theory is a new photograph, which surfaced online earlier today, of what are supposed to be two iPhone 6 cases. It’s hard to tell how big they are, but it’s being said that they were made to fit new, larger iPhones, and there’s a mysterious cutout on the left-hand side of each of the cases… Read More

 

Apple looking to beef up its iTunes team amid ‘overhaul’ rumors

By Cody Lee on Apr 11, 2014

According to recent reports, Apple is looking at various ways to remedy declining music sales, and better combat the competition. Billboard says the company is considering everything from launching an on-demand streaming music service, to giving its iTunes Store a dramatic overhaul.

And it certainly appears Apple is working on something big in regards to the media manager. A number of iTunes team-job listings have popped up on its website this week calling for iTunes Software Engineers, Senior Software Engineers, and an iTunes Recommendation Platform engineer… Read More

 

Apple said to be considering adding high-resolution music to iTunes soon

By Cody Lee on Apr 11, 2014

Rumor has it that Apple is considering taking drastic measures to reverse declining music sales. Billboard says the company is looking into several options, including giving its iTunes store a ‘drastic’ overhaul, opening up iTunes to Android users, and launching an on-demand streaming music service.

Apple may also be planning to add high-resolution audio to its digital library soon as part of its turnaround efforts, according to music blogger Robert Hutton. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, Hutton says the iPhone-maker could launch new hi-res music downloads as early as WWDC

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Case maker’s iPhone 6 model hints at a larger display, thinner design

By Cody Lee on Apr 10, 2014

Most of the reports we’ve seen thus far regarding the iPhone 6 point to a larger display and much thinner profile. And earlier today, our friends over at Nowhereelse.fr posted new evidence to support that theory: a case maker’s model for the handset from Chinese case manufacturer Elam.

As you can see in the photo above, the design of the phone looks very similar to what we’ve seen so far. Note the device’s extremely thin profile, rounded corners and larger display. It looks very much like the device we’ve been seeing lately in purported schematics and designer mockups… Read More

 

Next-gen iPad Air and Retina iPad mini to feature A8 processor, Touch ID

By Cody Lee on Apr 10, 2014

Rounding out our coverage of Ming-Chi Kuo’s lengthy report on 2014 Apple products last night, we have the iPad. We’ve already discussed the analyst’s predictions for the iWatch and iPhone, and now it’s time to take a look at his prophecies for Apple’s next-gen tablets.

According to Kuo, the Cupertino company is planning on launching a second generation iPad Air this year alongside a new Retina iPad mini. He says that both slates will feature new A8 processors, and will finally receive Home buttons outfitted with Touch ID technology… Read More

 

iPhone 6 to include relocated sleep/wake button and larger, higher resolution display

By Cody Lee on Apr 10, 2014

Last night, KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo sent out a monster research note to investors with a timeline of when he thinks Apple will release their new products this year. He also offered details on each product, which he’s learned from his supply chain connections and other sources.

We’ve already covered Kuo’s iWatch predictions, which called for a “fashionable” smartwatch with advanced features like biometric sensors and wireless charging, and now it’s time to look at his iPhone forecasts. The analyst sees two Apple-branded smartphones launching this year… Read More

 

iWatch to come in two sizes, feature wireless charging and be ‘fashionable’

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

Since we first began seeing ‘iWatch’ rumors back in early 2013, I’ve been wondering what the smartwatch will look like. Will it look like a traditional watch, similar to those from Samsung and Motorola? Or will it look more like a fitness band, like Nike’s FuelBand? What kind of features will it have?

Admittedly, there’s been no shortage of reports on the so-called iWatch, but a new research note from KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo offers perhaps the most comprehensive look at the device we’ve seen. The analyst says the watch will come in two sizes, feature wireless charging, and will be “fashionable.” Read More

 

A timeline of all the products Apple is rumored to launch this year

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

Apple is preparing to release a bevy of new products this year, according to a new research note from KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo. The highly regarded analyst has laid out a timeline of all the products Apple is rumored to launch in 2014, beginning in Q2 and going all the way through December.

Kuo sees Apple starting with an iMac refresh in late Q2, followed by upgrades to the iPad Air and iPad mini. He then sees the company introducing a new 4.7-inch iPhone and the oft-rumored iWatch in Q3, and closing out the year with a refreshed Apple TV, 5.5-inch iPhone and a 12″ MacBook… Read More

 

Apple said to be considering ‘dramatic’ overhaul of iTunes music store

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

Apple is considering the most dramatic overhaul of its iTunes music store in more than a decade, according to a new report by Billboard. Citing sources familiar with the company’s deliberations, the outlet claims Apple is actively looking for ways to combat declining music downloads.

We saw a similar report from Billboard last month, which claimed that the Cupertino firm was mulling over an Android version of its iTunes store, as well as an on-demand streaming service of sorts. It’s clear that Apple is facing increasing competition from Spotify, Rdio and other services…

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New report says iWatch is set to launch in September

By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2014

It sounds like Apple is aiming for a fall launch of its so-called iWatch project. According to a new report from DigiTimes, the Cupertino company has taken delivery of samples of flexible circuit boards for the smartwatch ahead of its September debut.

The news comes just 24 hours after Taiwan’s Economic Daily News claimed that Apple was aiming for a 3rd quarter iWatch launch. And while both outlets have somewhat sketchy track records, combined with previous intel the two reports hold weight… Read More

 

Google building Android set-top box with voice input, apps and games

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2014

In 2011, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that, “by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.” But here it is, 2014, and a quick search of BestBuy.com confirms that the lofty goal never came to fruition.

The company hasn’t given up on the living room though. In fact, according to a report from The Verge, it’s readying a new Android-based set-top right now. The site has obtained screenshots and other documents outing the project, which is apparently named Android TV… Read More

 
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