Wearables are awesome, the next big thing. Smartwatches in particular are very functional extensions of the smartphones, which have become ubiquitous nowadays. True, many tech pundits were dubious of the smartwatch's utility; including myself. I came around after actually using a smartwatch -- the Android Wear-based Samsung Gear Live -- for an extended period and loving it. My colleague Joe Wilcox is a recently converted proponent.
As great as Android Wear is, there are problems. While the most glaring is the fairly short battery life of devices, its lack of cross-platform support is a bigger issue. In other words, it can be harmful to consumers to have a product that only works with a certain platform, as it limits their freedom. An Android user with Android Wear that wants to move to an iPhone for instance, will be left with a useless smartwatch. Thanks to a developer named Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh, this may no longer be an issue. This impressive dev has gotten Android Wear to work with iOS. The best part? No jailbreak needed!
A major Apple shareholder and activist investor, Carl Icahn, believes Apple is worth much more than it is currently valued.
He believes the American company’s stock should be valued at $216 (£140), which is far more than the current price of $124.92 (£81.32). At $216, the company would be worth $1.3 trillion (£845 billion), which is about the size of South Korea’s gross domestic product, Reuters writes.
It's something that has been supported by iCloud for a while now. Bringing two factor authentication to iMessage and FaceTime means that messages and video chats are now locked behind an extra layer of protection.
If you log out of your iMessage or FaceTime account, the next time you try to sign in you will be prompted to activate two factor authentication. This means you'll have to log into your account and generate an app-specific password before you can continue.
Apple is giving app developers more breathing room for their apps by increasing the maximum size of binaries from 2GB to 4GB. The move comes as devices' resolutions have grown, placing greater demands on developers' abilities to stick to the upper size limit.
Increasing the maximum size to 4GB gives greater scope for including high resolution images and video, as well as creating larger, more immersive games. While this is news that will be welcomed by developers and some iOS users, not everyone will be as pleased. Many people with 16GB devices are already struggling to find room for apps.
While I don't own a Mac, I do own an iPad -- which I love. However, as popular as iOS devices are, not everyone owns one. Yes, believe it or not, many people do not own any Apple hardware. Unfortunately, in order to register for Apple iWork for iCloud, you had to have an iCloud account. In order to register for an iCloud account, you had to own Apple hardware -- Windows, Android, Chromebook and other Linux users were out of luck.
Well, today this changes. Now, anyone can register for and sign in with a regular Apple ID and use the web-based office suite. What does this mean? Pretty much anyone with a modern operating system and web browser can take advantage of Pages, Numbers and Keynote at no charge. You no longer need a full-fledged iCloud account. Before you say you don't care since you can already use Office Online or Google Docs, I urge you to try it; Apple's offering is quite slick.
Smartphone theft in some of the major cities in the US and the UK has declined dramatically, so say the authorities.
But it's not because of improved law enforcement, it's actually down to manufacturers implementing a kill switch option, allowing smartphones to be deactivated remotely.
That is the only takeaway from today's brutal bias assault against Android Wear. Canalys reports half-year 2014 shipments of 720,000, and the Apple-loving free press categorizes the number as a failure. Meanwhile, the analyst firm boasts that "All eyes are now on Apple, which will reveal further details about the Apple Watch prior to its release in April". Not mine. Are yours?
Over at Wall Street Journal, Rolfe Winkler begins his hatchet piece with: "It's been a slow start for Google’s smartwatches". The search and information giant doesn't sell any of the devices, developing the underlying platform. Nitpicking aside, he ridiculously writes: "Apple sold roughly 114 million iPhones over the same period. That means Apple sold almost as many iPhones each day as makers of Android smartwaches sold over the six months". Oh yeah?
Following on from the rumors that surfaced a week ago, Microsoft has confirmed its acquisition of calendar app Sunrise. The Android and iOS calendar app is widely recognized as one of the best that's available, and the announcement marks the latest move in Microsoft's recent productivity focus.
This is the second big acquisition Microsoft has made recently -- just a couple of months ago, the company snapped up email firm Acompli. It also sees Microsoft adopting rather Apple-esque language, referring to "meaningful, beautiful experiences in mobile email and calendaring".
People in the UK really love Apple products. OK, to be more precise, people in the UK with email accounts love Apple products.
More than half of all email in the UK (54 percent) is opened on an Apple device, says SendGrid, an email delivery platform. The total number of opened emails on iPads and iPhones has increased by 18 percent and five percent respectively.
Asking someone to switch from their operating system of choice is akin to asking them to switch partners when they’re in a happy relationship. But time and time again, Apple, Google and Microsoft try to attract new users with redesigns, killer features, and headline-grabbing excitement. It's an approach that Microsoft is using for Windows 10, but Apple could use a different tactic with the release of iOS 9.
If you've got an iPad, iPad mini, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, the next version of iOS could be slightly lacking in the 'new' department. Reports suggest that rather than taking the wraps off a raft of new features, Apple is instead focusing firmly on improving stability and performance of its mobile OS.
Outside Apple Store, people excitedly line up to buy iPhone 6. The crowd is remarkably eclectic. Tattoos here. Mohawk there. Someone wearing a prim business suit chats with a burly biker wearing sleeveless T-Shirt. Everyone's clothes beam bright, vibrant colors. Loud laughter and uproarious chatter is everywhere. This is one happy group of buyers.
The store's doors exit onto a green pasture of sheep. Each wears a chain around its neck, with iPhone 6 attached. Cow bells appear on the screens, and clanging sounds against the chirping of birds. One animal looks up: "Baaaaaaa!" Then another, and another. An announcer asks: "Do you really want to be an iSheep?" Then the Android logo and robot flash across the screen.
I have never used a case with any of my smartphones. When the back is all plastic and there is no metal in sight, the added width and thickness that a case adds is not something that I can justify just to cover some superficial scratches that are not off-color. But then I got an iPhone 6.
With nothing but metal surrounding the 4.7-inch display, I soon had a feeling I would be getting a case after all. On iPhone 6, scratches would look terrible, especially on my Space Gray model. I haven't found it to be as slippery as my colleague Joe Wilcox has, but this has also been of concern, more so than with any of my previous smartphones. Enter Acme Made Charge for iPhone 6.
I should read Harvard Business Review more often. There, Juan Pablo Vazquez Sampere offers insightful and fresh perspective in post: "We Shouldn’t Be Dazzled by Apple’s Earnings Report". Of course, I would agree, having written something similar in past BetaNews posts. Point is the same, just the context changed. I lack his prestige and venue, and that's okay. The observations we both make aren't rocket science, or shouldn't be.
Simply stated: Atop the pinnacle of success, Apple stands at the precipice of failure. The scrappy innovator is gone, replaced by the, ah, Establishment cofounder Steve Jobs and his renegades challenged with years of guerrilla tactics. Apple has in this decade achieved huge success. But managing success is challenging, if your business model is innovation. The two objectives often work cross-purposes.
Yesterday, I told you that Android users may be affected by malware even if they only use Google Play to get apps. Three popular, adware-riddled, titles made it past Google's security checks, remaining undetected for months -- in fact, they may still be affecting users as we speak. And if you believe that iOS is safe, you might want to reconsider. New malware has been found, affecting iOS users even if they haven't jailbroken their device. Is there nothing that's safe anymore?
Security firm Trend Micro has uncovered the malware as part of an investigation into Operation Pawn Storm, a cyber-espionage operation with economic and political targets. It is designed to steal personal information, like contact lists, geo-location data, photos, text messages and more. The malware affects both iOS 7 and iOS 8, which are found on 97 percent of Apple's mobile devices.
The latest figures published by Kantar Worldpanel show that US sales of iOS devices are outpacing those of Android handsets. Just. Buoyed by the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple saw sales figures rising across Europe, the US and in China, with the smaller of its two smartphones proving to be the best-selling handset in the US.
Overall, iOS devices accounted for 47.7 percent of smartphone sales, just managing to edge ahead of Android which dropped slightly to a 47.6 percent market share. The holiday period was key to this switch in popularity, as the iPhone 6 proved the most popular gift in 2014. But it's not just in the US that Android is losing its grip on the market.