There’s certainly no shortage of cloud storage services to choose from these days and Microsoft’s SkyDrive provides a fairly generous 7GB of space free of charge. The latest version of the iOS app sees compatibility extending to include not only the iPhone 5, but also the iPad Mini, and there are also a few new features to explore.
The latest release comes after Apple blocked updates to the app following Microsoft’s launch of a subscription model. This could be one of the reasons that it is now not possible to sign up for a SkyDrive account from within the SkyDrive app -- if you have an account already you’ll be able to sign in straight away, but if you need to create one, you will have to head over to the website to do so.
If neither Papa Sangre nor The Nightjar mean anything to you, you’re missing out on some real iOS gaming greatness. Both are audio-only adventures for iOS from British developer Somethin’ Else. You don’t need any major gaming prowess to play them -- just a good pair of headphones and the ability to listen (which a lot of women will say rules out most men then).
The two very immersive games follow a similar style. You use the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad’s screen to walk forward, and swipe to turn left or right, listening for sound clues to ensure you’re headed in the correct direction -- towards something to collect or an exit, or away from some form of nasty scurrying around in the darkness.
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.
If you're a Flipboard user then you need to read this. On Wednesday, Flipboard 2.0 for iOS made its way onto the App Store bringing along important new features, changes and improvements, among which is the the ability to create magazines.
Users can "collect and save content" into their own magazines by tapping on the "+" button from any item in Flipboard. To fully personalize the experience, Flipboard 2.0 allows you to name the magazine, add a description and choose whether to let other users view it or keep the new creation private. As the company says, "now everyone can be a reader and an editor".
Google updates just keep on coming. Earlier today new versions of Google+ for Android and iOS pushed out, and I've been too busy to handle the goods (Later! Promise!). Two key areas of focus: Sharing and sharing -- as in primping photos and being better part of Communities. The updates are somewhat different for both platforms.
In an unsurprising move, the iOS app picks up some features from Snapseed, which Google acquired last autumn. So now, when you’re sharing a photo, you can: "Do basic edits like rotate and crop, as well as select filters like Drama and Retrolux; adjust saturation, contrast, brightness and lots more by sliding your fingers up-and-down, then left-and-right; single tap at any time to compare your creation with the original", Amar Gandhi, Google+ director of product management, says.
Apple quietly rolled out iOS 6.1.3 yesterday, which touts "improvements to Maps in Japan" and the fix of a bug "that could allow someone to bypass the passcode and access the Phone app". Nothing out of the ordinary, really. But buried deep down in the more extensive changelog, almost hidden, the fruit company credits evad3rs -- the team of developers that jailbroke iOS 6 -- for a number of found bugs.
The extensive changelog is available in Apple's mailing list and lists evad3rs as responsible for four bug findings related to the iOS dyld (dynamic link editor), kernel, lockdown and USB. The said bugs affect the way the operating system handles local user requests to "execute unsigned code", "determine the address of structures in kernel", "change permissions on arbitrary files" and "execute arbitrary code in the kernel".
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.
On Thursday, Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry announced plans to secure Android and iOS devices with Secure Work Space for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. The company cites evolving needs and "ever-growing variety of devices" that are used within the work space as the main reason for stepping up to fortify the security of the two mobile operating systems.
BlackBerry targets both smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS through data-at-rest and data-in-transit security capabilities. The company says that administrators will be able to create a "separate and secure work space" which contains corporate apps, calendar, contacts, web email and other features, and configure, interact, secure and wipe the new compatible devices.
In December, I warned: "You can't trust IDC's 2016 tablet forecast, or any other". That's because the analysts revise predictions every couple months. Well, lookyloo. The firm dropped a new forecast late yesterday, and like every other Android gives iOS another beating. I say, "Perhaps".
The great soothsayers now see Android tablet shipment share rising above iOS for all 2013, a feat already claimed individually for third and fourth quarters. IDC sees the green robot at 48.8 percent share to 46 percent for the fruit-logo. Don't believe it. The market is too volatile and IDC, along with all its competitors, has yet to make accurate predictions. Anything can happen, including an unexpected surge of Windows tablets.
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.
Phil Schiller doesn't cast a big shadow. Sure he is Apple's big cheese over global marketing, but in product briefings or Apple keynotes, Schiller never struck me as having much presence, particularly around the charismatic Steve Jobs. Somehow, I expect lead marketer to be more like Don Draper of AMC's "Mad Men". Schiller has lots of enthusiasm, but not command. He comes across as too nice a guy.
But make no mistake, his contributions to Apple, over nearly two decades, are immeasurable -- and not the topic of this post. There's another kind of presence, one of brilliant ideas and behind-the-scenes leadership. Yesterday, Schiller showed his brilliance, and scored a tremendous marketing coup for Apple in just four words: "Be safe out there".
Apple fans can breath a sigh of relief -- not only do they now have Google Maps again, but today they gained another Google travel app, Field Trip. The app quietly rolled to the iTunes Store today with no fanfare, nor even an announcement from the search giant, bringing with it all of the features that many Android users have grown to love.
Field Trip works in the background and is unseen the vast majority of the time. However, when the user is out and about, it can suddenly spring into action when a place of interest is detected nearby. These can include local history as well as the latest and best places to shop, eat and even have fun.
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.
The BBC’s excellent on-demand and catchup TV service iPlayer is available for both iOS and Android devices, although owners of phones and tablets running Google’s mobile OS remain slightly short-changed when it comes to features compared to their Apple OS counterparts.
Windows Phone users must feel perpetually short-changed at the moment I’m sure, but they too will soon be able to get iPlayer. There’s just one catch. Instead of releasing a dedicated app for Microsoft’s mobile OS, the BBC will be rolling out a shortcut application that will give users with a Windows Phone 7.5 or Windows Phone 8 handset access to the BBC iPlayer website via a live tile. According to Cyrus Saihan, Head of Business Development, BBC Future Media, "This shortcut will wrap the BBC iPlayer mobile website together with our media player.