On Sept. 16, 2015, Apple released iOS 9, which enables users of iPad and iPhone to disable ads. The company claims the capability improves the overall user experience. As someone covering the tech industry for more than two decades, I perceive it as something else, too: Competitive assault against Google and means of pushing publishers to iOS 9's new News app. There is nothing friendly about Apple's maneuver. It is aggressive and tactical. But does it really matter?
Stated simply: More than 90 percent of Google revenue comes from contextual and search-related advertising. Apple derives about the same figure from selling devices and supporting services. At the same time, mobile is the future of Internet advertising and the battleground where the two meet. The entities' respective mobile platforms, Android and iOS, long ago put the tech titans on a collision course. Conceptually, what Apple can't gain from iPad and iPhone sales, it can take by shaking pillars supporting its rival's business.
Apple has released its first ever Android app. No, there's not an Android version of Safari or anything like that, but a tool designed to simplify the process of switching to iOS. The predictably named Move to iOS will appeal to anyone who was persuaded to switch allegiances by the release of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, or indeed iOS 9.
The app can be used to move contacts, messages, photos and more to a new iPhone or iPad, and is compatible with phones and tablets running Android 4.0 and newer. It works slightly differently to what you may have expected. Rather than uploading data to the cloud, it instead creates a private Wi-Fi network between an Android and iOS device and securely transfers it.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has addressed one of biggest annoyances in the otherwise excellent iPhone. Cook has said that the company is aware that not everybody is a big fan of several stock apps -- more popularly known as junkware, crapware, bloatware -- in the iPhone lineup, and it intends to step back and (almost certainly) give users the ability to remove them.
In a wide-ranging interview with BuzzFeed News, the company's chief executive talked about privacy concerns with the new iPhones, the company's claim of iPad Pro being a desktop replacement, and more importantly, why it doesn't allow users to remove stock apps -- for example, Calculator, Stocks, Tips, Watch -- from their iPhones or iPads.
Even before Apple officially unveiled its new “professional” grade tablet, the seeds of its demise were being sown. The culprit? None other than arch-rival Microsoft which, by partnering with Hewlett Packard and Dell to distribute and support its Surface Pro line of products, essentially locking-down the enterprise tablet market once and for all.
Some were confused by the recent announcement that these two PC industry stalwarts would agree to resell Microsoft hardware, at least in the enterprise. After all, both HP and Dell produce products designed to compete with Microsoft’s Surface lineup. By adding the Surface Pro 3 (and eventually, Surface Pro 4) to their catalogs, they seemingly risk cannibalizing their own device sales.
Microsoft has rolled out a major refresh of its Skype mobile apps with the release of Skype for iPhone 6.0, Skype for iPad 6.0 and Skype for Android 6.0.
All three apps come with a redesign aimed at making them easier to use as well as improved search tools. iPad users also gain all iPhone features, while Android users also benefit from some platform-specific improvements.
Firefox is a wonderful browser that can be found on multiple operating systems, such as Windows, OS X, Android, Ubuntu and more. One place it is absent, however, is iOS. In other words, it is not available on the wildly popular iPhone and iPad. This is tragic, but not without reason. Mozilla pledged to avoid iOS, as Apple prevents the use of alternative engines, such as Gecko. The company has since reversed course, however.
Today, Mozilla announces that a public preview of Firefox for iOS is now available. Excited? You probably shouldn't be. Why? It is a New Zealand exclusive for now. I can understand wanting to restrict the preview, but making it an exclusive to that country only just seems very random. Right?
The tablet market is expected to witness yet another decline in shipments, with IDC estimating an eight percent drop in 2015 compared to last year. However, by the end of 2019, the market is said to recover, thanks in most part to a boost from Windows tablets which will help increase shipments by nearly 13 percent over this year's estimate.
Windows tablets do not currently contribute by a significant amount to overall shipments, as they are estimated to have a market share of just 8.4 percent in 2015 from 17.7 million units. That being said, they are the only slates that will display dramatic growth, expected at 59.5 percent by the end of the year compared to 2014. By the end of 2019, their market share is expected to reach 17.5 percent, thanks to shipments of 41.7 million units.
There's a lot to look forward to in iOS 9. We already know that the new version of Safari will include the option to block ads, but the browser is not going to be alone in clearing out unwanted ads. Crystal is an ad blocker for iOS 9 created "with the goal of making web browsing with the iPhone and iPad a great experience again".
It started life as a tool for testing iOS 9's own content blocker, but grew into a stand-alone project. Crystal is currently in closed public beta but its developer, Dean Murphy, has released some figures that show how effective it is. The results show that Crystal can speed up page load times by nearly four times and reduce bandwidth consumption by 53 percent. Impressive stuff, and the stats make for extremely interesting reading -- particularly for those waiting for the launch of a new iPhone.
Stop the presses! People don’t like it when things are rubbish! A new study shows that while we are more attached to our phones than ever, they are an increasing source of frustration and problems. Users have become less tolerant of issues with hardware, bad experiences with customer services, and crashing apps.
The study -- entitled It's Complicated: Mobile Frustrations & Churn -- also found that faulty handsets and poor customer services would be enough to drive nearly a third of people to a new carrier or handset manufacturer. Interestingly, the study also threw up a few surprises, including the revelation that not many mobile users are bothered about photo and video quality.
Apple is still first place in the tablet market, despite two years of solid decline in sales. The figures released by IDC earlier this week show Apple as the major vendor, with 24.5 percent of the market share.
This is a far cry from Apple’s performance three years ago, when it held almost 50 percent of the tablet market. The tablet has continuously lost market share since, dropping three percent since 2014 and shipping 2.4 million less units.
When Apple released its Q3 report for FY2015, it revealed that its iPad sales continue to fall. This was the first quarter when the iPad’s revenue was lower than Mac sales. The past quarter reported that the revenue was lower than a couple hundred million dollars, but this quarter shows that the difference is nearly $1.5 billion.
This is quite a substantial drop in revenue, but still, the iPad in terms of units sold is still higher than Mac sales.
People are more satisfied with the Apple Watch than they were when they first bought the iPhone and the iPad, a new survey shows.
The report by Apple Watch research platform Wristly, published on 19 July 2015, found that three months after the launch of the smartwatch, overall customer satisfaction is at 97 percent.
Apple is letting developers and enthusiasts test out beta versions of iOS 9 ahead of launch. While the company is keen on getting feedback for the next version of its mobile operating system (just as Microsoft is with the preview builds of Windows 10), there have been concerns that problems with apps during beta testing has led to a swathe of negative reviews in the App Store.
Developers have complained that problems with iOS betas can cause problems with their apps, rather than their apps being inherently problematic. To address the issue, Apple is placing a ban on App Store reviews from iOS 9 beta testers.
Apple’s App Store has passed another huge milestone, 1.5 million total apps.
It is an enormous amount of active projects on one platform, considering Apple’s Mac OS X store only has 25,000 apps. The only platform to rival iOS is Android, which has a large app library but lower revenue.
With previous versions of iOS we have had to wait a while for a jailbreak to finally come out, but for iOS 8.4 one is already available. The TaiG team has moved extremely quickly to update its tool, releasing an updated version that supports iOS 8.4 shortly after Apple made it available to the public yesterday.