The BBC News app for iOS is pretty good but it’s always been rather buggy. The BBC debuted version 2.0 of the app late last night, and as well as bug fixes and improved response times, there have been a few other welcome changes.
Among the tweaks, the app now lets users copy story links to the clipboard, Twitter and Facebook integration has been improved, so it’s easier to share stories of interest, and pulling down on the screen refreshes the content.
Only T-Mobile can save iPhone now. Apple's U.S. market share, as measured by smartphone operating system, retreated in February, according to data Kantar Worldpanel ComTech released today. With the iPhone 5 initial release sales glow gone, and a rapidly saturating market for a product feature set now three models old, share isn't sustainable. Meanwhile, Android gains -- as does Windows Phone.
iPhone share, based on sales, fell to 43.5 percent for the three months ended in February. That's down from 45.9 percent in January and from 47 percent a year earlier. By comparison Android is up -- to 51.2 percent from 49.4 percent sequentially and 45.4 percent annually. By the same reckoning, Windows Phone rose to 4.1 percent from 3.2 percent and 2.7 percent share.
America's fourth-largest carrier finally goes Apple, and you've got to wonder what that means for all the Androids on shelf. T-Mobile USA broke the long-anticipated news this morning, a day after announcing new, unlimited rate plans that ditch subsidies. iPhone comes with 4G LTE roll out in select cities and expanded HSPA+ coverage to the 1900MHz band. Subsidy-free plans, network expansion, iPhone availability and MetroPCS merger are all part of a bold "bet the company" strategy.
T-Mobile will start selling iPhone 5 on April 12, for the lowest upfront-price among major carriers: $99.99. The rest is paid off in monthly payments and for full price of the handset and no contract. Rivals charge $199.99 up front with 24-month contractual commitment and hefty subsidy should customers change carriers before the term expires.
Early this evening, during a New York soiree, Samsung launched the Galaxy S IV smartphone. The venue is atypical. The South Korean electronics giant usually starts from home, offering new smartphones globally before reaching the United States. Now, in a dramatic change, a flagship Galaxy phone lands on Apple's home turf first.
The companies are in a struggle for smartphone supremacy, with Samsung leading in most countries. With one glaring exception: The United States. Today's venue clearly marks the South Korean manufacturer's intentions to take the share lead from its American rival.
Phil Schiller's preemptive attack against Samsung's Galaxy S IV, which launches later today, says everything you need to hear about the sorry state of Apple. I'm stunned, because the marketing chief sounds too much like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2007, when he dismissed iPhone. Denial is the surest sign a company has lost its way, and I don't just mean some executive denying such-and-such product or competitor is any good as distracting marketing ploy. The worst, and Schiller gives it, is corporate denial -- the proverbial ostrich with head in the sand -- about the world around.
Last night, I saw Schiller quoted in the Wall Street Journal. This morning I see posts from Bloomberg and Reuters, too, and a raff of tech blogs and news stories -- largely quoting one of the more mainstream services. The Journal calls Schiller's Android attack a "rare interview". But I see something else: Desperation. Denial. What's missing means much more: The typical leaks and rumors about Apple's next thing that steals the thunder from a competitor. Apple has nothing to show, and the InterWebs are less embracing of rumors. How pathetic is that?
One measure of any brand's success is how much people talk about it. By that reckoning, Apple's star is fallen, while Samsung's rises. Consider the amount of rumors the past month or so about Galaxy S IV, which launches this week, and contrast that against near silence about anything Apple. Turn back the clock a year and you'll see modest buzz about the S3 but ongoing Apple rumors that stole the thunder from the Consumer Electronics Show, Mobile World Congress and just about every single new mobile product launch. (Yet this year, Apple efforts to overshadow CES failed.)
Then there was the noise, noise, noise from Apple's patent lawsuit against Samsung, which hundreds of bloggers and journalists used to repeatedly label the South Korean company the world's worst worrisome copycat. In the end Samsung's image is no worse for wear, while Apple rumors wear thin. The most prominent recent one is about a watch. For the wrist? What Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen calls a $6 billion business for Apple. Let me make that clear, because shorthand lacks the impact: $6,000,000,000! That's more than iPod generated in fiscal 2012 ($5.6 billion). Yeah, right.
Developers must make hard choices when choosing what platforms to support. In mobile, popular convention is iPhone first. But does that approach, in the real world of smartphone ownership, really make sense in 2013? Let us take a look at the hard numbers that were recently published by comScore and see what they can tell us.
This may be a self-perpetuating problem for Apple; according to ComScore, the Google platform simply offers more opportunity because of its larger user base, though that is far from the only consideration for developers. Granted, both mobile operating systems are wildly popular, despite the best efforts of Microsoft to get Windows Phone OS into contention (OK, maybe "best efforts" is going a bit far) -- Android and Apple combine for nearly 90 percent of the smartphone market -- 53 and 36 percent respectively.
In the highly saturated U.S. smartphone market, Apple's dominance grew, while iPhone nipped upwards towards Android, for the three months ended in January, according to comScore. The analyst firm, unlike most of its competitors, measures actual subscriber share rather than number of units shipped. Like Gartner's counting actual sales, comScore gives a clearer view of real-world dynamics.
During iPhone 5's first full three months of sales, Apple's share reached 37.8 percent -- up from 36.3 percent in December and 34.3 percent in October. By comparison, second-place Samsung nudged up to 21.4 percent share, from 21 percent sequentially and 19.5 percent for the same three months. HTC, Motorola and LG followed, with respective shares of 9.7 percent, 8.6 percent and 7 percent. All three lost share from December, with LG up ever-so slightly from October. Motorola's loses strongly suggest that at Verizon, carrier with the highly-visible Droid line of smartphones, subscribers shift allegiance to other brands. Good thing Moto has a new evangelist.
I’m a huge fan of Zombies, Run! The original immersive app, which basically turns a real-world run into a journey through the zombie apocalypse, and helped me get fit and lose weight when it first came out last year.
I’ve been really looking forward to Zombies, Run! 2 since it was announced, and the great news is it’s nearly here. The updated version, which comes as a free upgrade for current players of the game, will arrive on both iOS and Android on 16 April.
Adobe’s Photoshop Touch app for tablets is a great photo editing tool and now it’s available for handsets running iOS and Android, so you can polish up your snaps before sharing them online, or do something even more creative.
The app is packed with powerful features such as layers, selection tools, adjustments and filters, and there’s even a clever Camera Fill function which will let you use your device’s camera to fill an area on a layer. The app can handle images up to 12 megapixels in size and you get 2GB of free Adobe Creative Cloud space to store your pictures in.
In-app purchases are a lucrative revenue stream for both Apple and the developers who embrace it. It provides a way to try a game and then unlock the full thing, or gain access to additional features. In Temple Run 2, for example, you can use real money to buy coins and gems to use on unlocking new characters and abilities.
The problem is a lot of game makers offer this facility in their apps, and until Apple made a change to its purchasing system in iOS 4.3, it was possible for children to spend money on in-app purchases without their parents knowledge. This, inevitably, lead to a lawsuit against Apple, with the technology giant accused of failing to adequately publicize the existence of the feature in certain App Store games aimed at children.
The BBC’s iPlayer app is available for both iOS and Android, but owners of Apple devices definitely get the better deal with additional features, such as the ability to download shows to their iPhones or iPads for offline viewing.
The latest update from the BBC widens the gap between the app siblings further by introducing improved AirPlay support. Owners of iOS devices who also have Apple TV will now be able to beam a show from the app to the big screen, and then background iPlayer, and use their phone or tablet for something else while the show continues to play.
In addition, the new version of the app fixes various minor problems and glitches, improves playback quality, and ensures downloads are more reliable.
Yesterday Apple rolled out iOS 6.1.2 for compatible iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices, touting the fix of an Exchange calendar bug that might boost network activity and decrease battery life. And, as customary with a new iteration of iOS 6, there's also a new version of the popular evasi0n jailbreak tool. Evad3rs, the team responsible for the first iOS 6 jailbreak tool, released evasi0n 1.4 shortly after iOS 6.1.2 rolled out.
The latest version, according to the "evasi0n 6.0-6.1 Unthether" package in Cydia, touts the same bug fixes as two weeks ago when I reported on the first evasi0n update. It appears that the fruit company did not put the lid on modding attempts just yet. First-time jailbreakers running iOS 6.1.2 simply have to connect their iPads, iPhones or iPod touch devices to a compatible PC running Windows, MacOS X or Linux and run evasi0n to unleash the modding gates on their smartphone or tablet.
The Chinese smartphone market is dominated by five top manufacturers, none of them Apple, Canalys reveals. As I've warned a couple times recently, despite CEO Tim Cook's prognostications about China's importance or his company boasting 2 million first-weekend iPhone 5 sales, competitors rapidly close out the market for costly fruit-logos.
China is the biggest market for mobiles, largely dominated by smartphones -- 73 percent of the total in fourth quarter, up from 40 percent a year earlier. Shipments soared 113 percent to 64.7 million units, or 30 percent of all smartphones globally. Samsung captured the top spot, followed by Lenovo, Yulong, Huawei and ZTE.
Three days ago evad3rs released the first public iOS 6 jailbreak tool, opening up iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices to the world of underground modding. But as is the case with the majority of infant jailbreak-related releases it also brought along a series of bugs, which the team behind the project now claims to have fixed in the latest update.
On Twitter, planetbeing, one of the three members behind evad3rs, announced the release of evasi0n 1.1. The second iteration of the popular jailbreaking tool brings along "the latest fixes", which are supposed to sort the Weather app and "long boot" time issues. The latter problem is also referred to by the team as the "reboots getting stuck" bug.