Back in 2010, Steve Jobs revealed Apple’s new mobile advertising platform iAd. The goal of this new venture into advertising was to make the mobile ads that appeared in iPhone and iPad apps interactive and more stylish.
Apple users would also be able to remain within the current app they were using without being forced out of the app and into their browser. The iAd platform was able to achieve this but it came at a high cost and required advertisers to relinquish power to Apple, which had final say over which ads were approved. The company was also reluctant to share the marketing data it acquired through iAd.
A call by shareholders to do more to increase diversity on Apple's board of directors has been soundly rejected by the company. The board is currently predominantly white and male, leading to calls for an "accelerated recruitment policy requiring Apple to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directors".
But in a proxy statement, the board can be seen to have voted against the proposal, saying that it would be "unduly burdensome and not necessary because Apple has demonstrated to shareholders its commitment to inclusion and diversity". The result of the vote will come as something of a surprise as Tim Cook has admitted that the company has much to do to improve diversity.
Apple has finally acknowledged that the battery percentage shown on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may not always be accurately displayed by iOS 9. Users have reported issues since the two flagships were introduced last year, in September.
According to user reports, the battery percentage on the two devices will stop updating after a certain level is reached, leading to an empty battery much sooner than indicated. Users say that a restart will force iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to display an accurate readout again, at least temporarily. But what causes it?
If my last prediction about the Internet of Things becoming a security nightmare seemed a no-brainer to half of my readers, as some commenters suggested, this prediction that Apple won’t buy Time Warner will probably be a no-brainer for the other half, simply because it is always easier to say an acquisition or merger won’t happen than that it will. But I think there is something to be learned from why I don’t think this acquisition will take place -- something that says a lot about Apple as a company.
That this topic comes up at all is because, as frequently happens these days, activist investors are trying to bully Time Warner into selling all or part of itself, this after having already bullied the company into spinning-off its cable TV operation and then its print publishing operation. So now what’s mainly left at Time Warner are cable TV networks, TV and film production and distribution, and a modest online operation. All of this, but especially premium cable channel HBO, is supposed to appeal to Apple’s eye for quality.
Here's the deal, folks -- I love cars and technology. Heck, I am sure many of you dear BetaNews readers do too. Unfortunately, it just isn't feasible to buy a brand-new car every time the latest technology comes out. While I love my Ford Focus, it doesn't even have Bluetooth. My iPhone gets connected to the stereo by way of an analog cable. I would absolutely love a car with Apple CarPlay.
While I am a Ford fan, I am also a fan of value and quality regardless of make. Hyundai is a company that overcame much to become one of the best-bang-for-your-buck vehicle brands, and its Elantra is one of the smartest buys for those on a budget. Today, Hyundai announces that the 2017 model of the aforementioned car will be getting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Google has finally caught up with Apple, and is now offering support for promo codes in Google Play. This is a feature that has long been available to iOS users, but it's only after years of complaining that Android users are, at long last, being afforded the same luxury.
Oddly, Google has decided to place some restrictions on how promo codes can be used. While developers can generate codes that can be used to purchase apps or to make in-app purchases, they are limited to creating 500 codes per quarter.
Things are not looking good for the PC market. The fourth quarter of 2015 registered the biggest-ever year-over-year drop in shipments, as IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker revealed a 10.6 percent fall compared to the same period in 2014. For the whole of 2015, shipments are said to have dropped by 10.4 percent compared to the year prior.
Lenovo was the vendor with most PCs shipped in 2015, followed by HP and Dell. However, with the exception of Apple, all other vendors in IDC's top five have seen their shipments dropping last year. Mac shipments rose by 6.2 percent, according to the report.
If you need any more proof that Apple Watch is the smartwatch to beat, Juniper Research has just released a report on smartwatch shipments in 2015 which puts Apple's device at the top of the list with a whopping 52 percent share.
Apple Watch only went on sale in April, so its 52 percent market share was reached in just over eight months. Meanwhile, Android Wear shipments came in at "less than 10 percent" in 2015. Other rivals did not fare well either.
Apple is rumored to be working on a tool that will make it easier for iOS users to migrate to Android, following pressure from major European mobile operators. The carriers apparently believe that it is too difficult for their iPhone-toting customers to switch to a device running the more popular operating system, which severely limits their options come upgrade time.
Apple actually has a similar tool, but it is there to help Android users migrate to iOS, and not the other way around. Developing a tool that would basically enable it to (more quickly) lose customers to major rivals, like Samsung, sounds like Apple agreeing to shooting itself in the foot. But is the iPhone maker actually building it?
If you want a very secure and feature-rich Unix-like mobile operating system, Apple's iOS is incredible. In fact, many forward thinking folks, like myself, envision a day where it becomes a desktop OS too, potentially replacing OS X. While iPad Pro is a good first step, the iOS operating system still has a long way to go in that regard.
Today, Apple announces the features for the upcoming iOS 9.3 -- currently in beta. While hardly revolutionary, this evolutionary upgrade is packed full of some really cool new things. It may even be able to help you sleep better. No, really; iOS 9.3 could improve your overall health and well-being.
Silicon Valley met with the US government on Friday to discuss how to tackle online terrorist propaganda from the likes of IS. At a closed-door meeting, Tim Cook and representative of Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and other tech firms spoke with White House officials to try to find a way to combat terrorists on the web.
Joined by the likes of the NSA and FBI, the technology firms, and the Obama administration are seeking ways to stop terrorist propaganda being disseminated online. IS has already proved itself to be a masterful manipulator of the media, and has successfully used social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to get its message out.
It isn’t easy being huge as both Apple and Microsoft are starting to realize. Both companies are incredibly successful and I’m not here to say either is in real danger, but both are suffering major structural challenges that will hurt them in 2016. What’s key for these predictions is how they respond.
I’ll deal with Microsoft first because there the challenges and solutions are both clearer than they are with Apple. I’ve been very impressed with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who I think hasn’t saved the company, because it didn’t need saving, but he’s a real improvement over Steve Ballmer. Nadella has done the best he can to get Microsoft in order and reinvigorated, not an easy job. His major remaining challenges involve Windows Phone and Windows 10.
Fitbit's stock has taken a dive after the company announced a smartwatch at CES 2016, sending shares from $30.21 at the stock market's opening yesterday, to just $23.73 at the time of writing this article. It would seem that investors were not too keen on Fitbit going after the likes of Apple Watch with its upcoming Blaze.
Fitbit is focused on fitness trackers, and is actually the largest vendor in the wearables market, having shipped 4.7 million units in Q3 2015. The smartwatch market is dominated by Apple Watch; although there are no official sales numbers, IDC says that Apple sold 3.9 million units in the same time frame.
Apple's stock has taken a huge hit in the past couple of months, with shares now trading close to the $100 mark. Investors seem to be overly concerned with the iPhone's performance in the last quarter of 2015, after analysts have delivered mixed sales estimates, and a so-called report of a 30 percent production cut for the first quarter of 2016 is only making things worse.
So, unsurprisingly, Apple is looking to reassure investors that it's in good financial health, revealing today a "record-breaking holiday season for the App Store". Is this the company's way of suggesting that hardware sales have actually been strong during the holiday season?