Take a browse through Apple's App Store and you'll notice something interesting: there are no free apps for Mac, iPhone and iPad any more. Or at least you'd be forgiven for thinking that was the case. Rather than trying to entice people into downloading apps by emblazoning a sexy "Free" button next to them, Apple now opts for a more descriptive "Get" button.
This does not mean that free apps now cost money, but it does mean that the apps you download may cost you money further down the line. Confused? The rewording of the download buttons seems to have come about because of regulators in Europe expressing disapproval that apps previously labeled as free could lead to large bills via in-app purchases.
It seems that Apple is in update mode today. As well as the launch of the OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update, today also sees the release of iOS 8.1.1. The focus this time around is not really on delivering exciting new features, or even fixing glaring problems, but keeping owners of older devices happy. Aging iPads and iPhones are in for a treat as there are performance boosts to look forward to.
Pre-iPad 2 owners miss out, but the update is available for iPad 2 and newer a well as iPhone 4s and newer. Apple is yet to publish a changelog for the update, but check for an update on your idevice and you'll see a brief description about what to expect.
Apple's Senior Vice President of Design, Jony Ive, used an interview at London's Design Museum to lash out at design copycats. He touched on many topics, including suggesting that design schools rely too heavily on computers, the "theft" of Apple designs, and explaining why the design of Apple's own products is formulaic.
In conversation with Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, Ive also said that Apple does not exist to make money. This will come as news to most people -- including, perhaps, Apple itself -- particularly as the company is currently the most valuable brand in the world. He insists that integrity is at the very heart of Apple, and that any money that may come rolling in is merely "a consequence".
In the classic movie Rambo: First Blood, Col. Trautman tells John Rambo, "It's over Johnny. It's over!", to which Rambo exclaims, "Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off!" While the interaction is actually regarding Rambo's trouble leaving the Vietnam War in the past, it actually sounds like something an ex-iPhone user would say about iMessage. You see, Apple's messaging platform has been historically difficult to eliminate from one's life -- leading to missed text messages and overall frustration.
Sadly, this has been a huge inconvenience for quite a while, but Apple is finally rectifying the cause of Android-converts' indignation. Today, the company introduces a new tool called "Deregister iMessage". Those that have ditched the iPhone should check it out as soon as possible.
As a web user it's very easy to feel like just another cog in the financial machine. Visit just about any website and you'll encounter ads. These generate revenue that's needed to pay for developers, writers, servers and so on, but the likes of YouTube, which rely on user-generated content, can quickly generate large profits thanks to the costs to revenue margins. Now video streaming service Hang w/ is bucking the trend and sharing profits with its users.
The platform exists as an iOS and Android app, and enables users to broadcast to users around the world as well as conducting video chats. It has managed to earn itself celebrity endorsement from the likes of Cheech and Chong (oh, yes), 50 Cent, Soulja Boy, Timbaland, and Ultimate Poker, and has helped to drive 22 million downloads for major shareholder MEDL Mobile. Recognizing the fact that it is users creating content, Hang w/ now shares 25 percent of its advertising revenue with users.
Just a few days ago Microsoft released its financial data for Q1 2015 (yeah, the timescale is weird) and we learned a little about where the company's money is coming from. According to data compiled by FactSet and published by USA Today Microsoft is in fact the tenth most profitable company in the world.
The list has been put together by taking into account companies' "net income before discontinued operations and extraordinary items for their latest fiscal year", and it finds Microsoft in interesting company. Sandwiched between oil giant BP and banking behemoth Wells Fargo & Company, Microsoft just managed to sneak into the top ten with $86.8 billion in revenue.
Still in buoyant mood after the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch, and iPad Air 2 -- even the Mac mini -- Apple gave its Q4 2014 earnings call yesterday. CEO Tim Cook announced that the company generated $42.1 billion in revenue in the quarter and a net profit of $8.5 billion, up from $37.5 billion and $7.5 billion for the same period last year. Referring to the "biggest iPhone launch ever", Cook explained that Apple is due to enter the holiday season with its "strongest product lineup ever".
He explained that 60 percent of the quarter's revenue came from international sales, and sales have gone up in just about every area of the company with the exception of iPad and iPod sales. The iPhone remains the biggest seller (some 39.272 million units, up 16.2 percent), and Mac sales are also strong (5.52 million units, up 20.7 percent).
With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 on the horizon, as well as some great Android devices already on the market, some of you may be thinking about ditching iOS for Android. It is unquestionably a big decision, so you may want to ensure that the switch from an iPhone or iPad will be as painless as possible.
To help with the switch, Google has prepared a nifty guide that explains how you can migrate your data from iOS to Android, tackling key areas such as multimedia content, contacts, email, messaging and, of course, apps. You may recall that Apple posted a similar guide last month, detailing to would-be customers the steps they need to take to move from Android handsets to iPhones. Google now looks to simply be returning the favor.
Whatever your mobile platform of choice, there are some apps which are all but impossible to avoid. Some -- like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube -- have reasonably dull histories; we all know the corporations behind their creation. But there are plenty of other big names with less well known histories. A new infographic from IrishApps.org reveals the stories behind some famous titles, and reveal the fortunes they have generated.
For example, did you know that Flappy Bird was originally going to be called Flap Flap, and was put together in just two days? Or that the founder of Summly was just 17 years old when he sold his app to Yahoo? How about the fact that the Ukrainian developer of WhatsApp is estimated to be worth $7 billion?
Today is a big day for both Apple and Samsung, as the two are launching their latest flagships in three of the largest smartphone markets: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially hit China, and Galaxy Note 4 arrives in US and UK. It's a "finally" moment in both cases, as the handsets were announced more than a month ago.
For Apple, having its new iPhones officially available for sale in China, the largest smartphone market, is a huge opportunity to boost sales in what could very well be its best quarter of the year. The pair had to launch later in China this year, due to regulatory hurdles. Among other things, the local government has forced Apple to beef up the security of iOS 8 to give the new iPhones its nod of approval.
Over the years, Apple has become well known for its tight control of the message in new product launches. Increasingly, one word or concept has become a signature that is carefully woven throughout the keynote, press and marketing material.
Here is a look at some of the language used for each iPhone launch since 2007 and how we can learn from what Apple is really good at; controlling the message.
The world's largest smartphone manufacturer is troubled. Overnight, Samsung warned that its third-quarter operating profit could fall as much as 61.8 percent because of weakness in its largest division, mobile, from which phones account for about 60 percent of company profits. Smartphone shipments are up slightly, but the money they generate is down substantially.
For Google, the news is a mixed blessing. In April 2012, I warned that "Google has lost control of Android" -- Samsung's dominance with customized versions of the mobile operating system being major reason. Big G effectively responded by separating core apps and services from Android, spreading them out across versions, and better unifying the user experience. Still, Samsung's TouchWiz UI is the main way tens of millions of people experience Android every day. The South Korean company's problems could eventually be good for Google, but will they benefit Android or pull it down?
The red telephone booth is one of the most enduring icons of the UK; but as delightful as their housings may be, the humble payphone has had its day. Coin and card-fed phones are on the verge of being consigned to the history books, while the mobile phone goes from strength to strength. But mobile phones, for all their strength in portability, coverage, and flexibility, have their kryptonite: battery life. In keeping with the environmentally-friendly preference for recycling and reusing rather than trashing, unused phone boxes are being given a new lease on life.
Should you find yourself wandering down London's Tottenham Court Road and notice that your battery is getting a little low, there's a green solution popping up. Phone booths that would have otherwise be left to rack and ruin are being converted into solar-powered charging stations that can be used completely free of charge.
Apple devices hold their value well, which is good news if you’re thinking of selling an old one. The downside of this is it makes iPhones an attractive target for thieves.
If you’re looking to buy an iPhone, but can’t afford a brand new one -- on contract or off -- then shopping for a used model makes a lot of sense. But how can you know for sure that the device you’ve got your eye on is being offered by the legitimate owner, and not a thief offloading his ill-gotten gains? A new Apple tool can tell you.
I preordered Apple's new smartphone on September 12, and it wasn't easy. Few months back, I went "Microsoft All-In" for the summer, purchasing the Nokia Lumia Icon on contract from Verizon. So I didn't qualify for the discounted, upgrade price. But when there's a will, there's a way -- and a generous family member helps make something special happen.
My iPhone 6 review begins with such disclaimer. Like iPad Air, I paid for the device. Apple didn't send me a review unit, but I did ask, and I am not on the preferred list of writers who get early access to "iDevices" and who presumably are more likely to rave. Such qualification is necessary, because iPhone 6 is an exceptionally satisfying handset, and I don't want to be mislabeled fanboy for stating such. That's a brash conclusion coming from someone abandoning a competing smartphone with better specs and satisfying user experience.