Google Glass is still being tested by a limited number of lucky users, and Apple’s rumored smart watch remains ever elusive, but wearables is clearly one of the fastest growing areas in technology, so it’s inevitable that an exhibition would be set up to showcase it.
The Wearable Technology Show will be held on the 18th and 19th March 2014, at the Olympia Conference Centre in London, and include three dedicated conference rooms, over 70 sessions on fashion, sports and fitness, health, M2M, live product demos, a developer hackfest and a business startup track.
Apple has a big problem. The news media and technorati treat your company like Microsoft. Can you say "has-been?" For nearly 15 years, the company that Bill Gates built could do no right. Every seeming innovation met fierce criticism. Today, tongues wag about how Apple has lost its way under your leadership and how the days of innovation are over.
There's nothing stopping tablet owners from making use of mobile websites, but apps are where it is at. Gmail has a perfectly serviceable website, but the app does make many tasks easier to perform. Today, Google takes the lid off a completely redesigned version of its iPad app which has been designed to make it easier to do more, whether you choose to work in landscape or portrait mode.
Despite the fact that this release is, based on version number at least, a small move forward -- this is version 2.7182 -- there are a lot of changes, some cosmetic, some functional. Landscape mode benefits from the addition of a new navigation bar that can be used to switch between accounts and categories. This is essentially an iPad friendly version of the tabbed inbox that has been introduced online.
I own an iPad, and despite not rushing to buy a Surface, I actually quite like Microsoft's slate. A couple of days a week I work on my iPad (mostly remote accessing my PC via Parallels Access) and it's not a great experience. I know I'd get a lot more done if I was using a Surface Pro 2 instead, but Apple's tablet is far better in other areas, so for me it wins on balance.
Yesterday, on the Surface blog there was an article headed "What's new in Surface Pro 2". It was a detailed look at what Microsoft has done to improve the latest generation of its slate and I found it fascinating. Partly because it was an interesting read, but also because it was the sort of thing Apple would never do.
Two days ago IDC released its latest Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker report, showing growth for both Android and Windows Phone and drops for iOS and BlackBerry.
Today Gartner provides details on worldwide mobile phone sales to end users, with the big news being that smartphones accounted for 55 percent of all mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2013.
Windows Phone may be the fastest growing major smartphone platform, but its market share still has a long way to go in order to become an imminent threat to Apple's iPhones, let alone Android smartphones. The latest IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker report shows, once again, Microsoft's tiled mobile OS in the same distant third place, far behind its more popular rivals, despite the impressive 156 percent year-over-year growth in shipments from Q3 2013.
"Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price", says IDC research manager Ramon Llamas. "Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward". That difference in market share that Llamas mentions is a whopping 77.4 percentage points, between Android's 81 percent and Windows Phone's mere 3.6 percent; put differently, Android shipments (211.6 million units) were 22.27 times higher than those of Windows Phones (at 9.5 million units).
Five words, 25 letters, all indicating the latest addition to Apple's growing iPad family. Let's try to skirt over the name that extends to almost Tolstoyan lengths before we get too bogged down in it. But it does bear mentioning that this is a name no one is going to use; this is the iPad mini, perhaps the 'new' iPad mini to help differentiate from its predecessor. However it's not just the official title that's big… there's that price tag too.
While the price is not a new revelation -- we knew about it when the new iPad mini was announced a few weeks back -- now that the latest model is actually available to purchase, it seems a good time to reassess it. Head over to the Apple website and you can pick up the diminutive tablet for $399. And that's just the base price.
Starting today, the new iPad Mini with Retina display is available to order from Apple's online store. The tablet was unveiled, alongside the bigger iPad Air (that launched November 1) and other products bearing the fruit logo, three weeks ago during a special Apple event.
Folks looking to purchase one today and get it as soon as possible should take into account the customary initial lead times. Apple lists the 16 GB and 32 GB Wi-Fi iPad Mini with Retina display as ready to ship in one to three business days (lower than its estimates for the new iPad Air -- five to seven business days). The 64 GB and 128 GB Wi-Fi as well as all cellular models are slated to ship in five to ten business days. This applies to both the Space Gray and Silver trims.
It's becoming a familiar story. A big name company decides to reveal figures about the number of requests for data that have been received from the government, apologizing straight away for the lack of detail it can provide. Microsoft has already done it, as has LinkedIn and Google. The latest figures come from Apple, and they make for interesting reading.
The report starts off by stating that Apple is revealing as much information as it is legally allowed to, and then immediately goes on the defensive:
Worldwide, Windows Phone may hold a distant third-place spot in the smartphone market, but in Europe handsets running the mobile tiled OS are closing in on Apple's iPhones through huge share gains. According to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report, in five key local markets Windows Phone sales more than doubled in Q3 2013, compared to the same period from last year. Meanwhile, iPhones lost market share.
In France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain combined, Windows Phone's market share grew to 9.8 percent in Q3 2013 from 4.6 percent a year earlier. The highest market share gains happened in France (to 10.7 percent from 5.2 percent), Germany (to 8.5 percent from 2.5 percent) and Great Britain (to 11.4 percent from 4.2 percent), with Italy and Spain posting more moderate growths (to 13.7 percent from 10.8 percent and to 3.7 percent from 2.2 percent, respectively). By contrast, in the said local markets iPhone's market share decreased to 14.6 percent in Q3 2013 from 16.8 percent a year earlier.
Sometimes there is revolution in evolution. That's my surprising reaction to iPad Air, which Apple started selling on November 1. This is simply the best tablet I have ever used. Period. The fruit-logo company wisely chose to resist reinventing the wheel and build a vehicle around four instead.
For people who complain -- and there are many -- that Apple's newest 9.7-inch tab shows waning innovation, let me correct the record. You are oh-so wrong. iPad Air is an amazingly refined piece of art -- like a sculpture chiseled to perfection. iPad 3 and 4 are unpolished bricks by comparison. More importantly, anyone looking for a tablet to largely, or completely, replace a Windows PC or Mac, Air is it.
This week Google put an end to all the speculation and finally launched not only the Nexus 5 but also the new version of Android -- KitKat. There were no great surprises as there had been so many leaks prior to launch that we knew pretty much everything there was to know, but it was good have the rumors confirmed. Expect a full review in the very near future. The Nexus 5 comes with KitKat preinstalled, but it will also be available as an upgrade for a number of other handsets. As it this wasn't quite enough for Google, the company also donated 17,000 Nexus 7s to communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.
After the recent announcement, the iPad Air went on sale, and Logitech was ready with a series of cases.
The Lumia 1020 is famous for its camera. The Nokia smartphone offers a 41 MP shooter with Xenon flash, Zeiss lens and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). It’s capable of producing photos at a whopping 7712 by 5360 resolution and recording 1080p video at 30 FPS.
Apple’s 8 MP iSight camera on the iPhone 5s is much weedier in comparison, although it does have some tricks up its sleeve, including a sensor that increases the area available for pixels by 15 percent. But even so, pitted head-to-head you’d expect the Nokia phone to win easily right? Apparently not. According to Laptop Mag, it’s Apple’s new phone that takes the crown.
Google groupies make too much of third quarter tablet shipment estimates released yesterday. By IDC's reckoning, Apple's global share fell from 40.2 percent to 29.6 percent year over year. Meanwhile, Samsung soared from 12.4 percent to 20.4 percent share. The whole Android market grew at iPad's expense -- that's the popular contention smirked across the InterWebs. Yeah, right.
Apple apologists are quick to give the money rebuttal whenever market share tides turn against the products -- that the fruit-logo company earns more per device than rivals, sometimes all of them combined. The revenue rebuttal is exhausting for being so predictable but often also it's right and no truer than the tablet market. Q3 share numbers make lots of sense behind CEO Tim Cook's shocking decision to raise iPad mini 2 prices by $70 over the original -- that's about 22 percent. Profit share is his priority.
It was only two weeks ago that Microsoft shocked the world and made Microsoft Remote Desktop a cross-platform affair. Today, Microsoft shocks us again and announces that over one million people have downloaded the app.
In other words, over a million people found OS X or their mobile devices to be insufficient in meeting their needs. After all, if a user can satisfactorily accomplish one-hundred percent of their needs on an iPad or Android tablet, there would be no reason to download the app and connect to a Windows machine.