Articles about iOS

Just one percent of retail payments is made with a smartphone, and iPhone users buy more and spend more

Smartphone fashion shopping

Do you pay for goods in stores with your smartphone? If so, you’re in the minority. According to Javelin Strategy & Research’s new Mobile Proximity Payments Forecast 2015 report, while 9 percent of online transactions are currently made on a smartphone, mobile proximity payments -- that is using your smartphone to buy something in a brick and mortar store -- account for just 1 percent of all retail transactions.

Apple users lead the way when it comes to mobile proximity payments, with almost 16 percent having made at least one purchase in a month. That’s nearly double the rate of Android smartphone owners.

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U.S. smartphone market is phabulous

OnePlus One vs LG G3 vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Alongside Euro-zone cell phone data, U.S. first-quarter 2015 phablet shipments are out from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Depending on how the numbers are cut, fanboys can rally for their platform.

Spurred by iPhone 6 Plus, iOS showed strong performance, representing 44 percent of phablet sales. However, the number of iOS smartphone switchers from Android fell -- to 11.4 percent from 14.6 percent year over year -- supporting early anecdotal evidence that existing Apple customers are the most-likely 6 Plus buyers. Also confirming: Android smartphone conversions from iOS fell from 9.8 percent to 5.9 percent.

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Google buys Timeful to bring smart scheduling to Calendar and Inbox

Google buys Timeful to bring smart scheduling to Calendar and Inbox

The latest addition to Google's portfolio is Timeful, Inc. Previously a standalone app for iOS, Timeful is a tool for automatically managing a schedule, using "sophisticated algorithms to suggest the best times to schedule to-dos and habits throughout the day".

There are echoes of Google Now to Timeful, so it's easy to understand why Google was interested in the company. Moving forward we can expect to see the tool integrated into Inbox and Calendar to help with the automatic scheduling of events.

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Microsoft releases Band SDK to developers

Microsoft Band SDK released to developers

In the world of wearables, Microsoft Band may not hold the same gravitas as Apple Watch or the various Android Wear devices, but the company is still trying to get more developers on board -- today launching the Microsoft Band SDK, following on from February's preview release.

With support for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, and full-blown Windows, Microsoft is clearly keen to appeal to as many developers as possible. This full SDK release offers access to all of Band's sensors -- as part of a push to get more third-party apps on the device.

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Windows 10 is undeniably impressive, but can it win you over?

Victory Winner Free

I was sold on Windows 10 before I could even try the first Technical Preview. Now, after seeing the latest slew of changes unveiled at Build 2015, it is clearer than ever that Microsoft is on the right path and that Windows 10 will be the most impressive release yet. There is no doubt in my mind about it.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft expects Windows 10 to attract one billion users within the first two to three years of its release. The timer starts this summer. It may sound like an empty claim, but when you look at everything that has been done so far to make Windows 10 so exciting, and consider the huge unlocked potential, it certainly sounds plausible. While I am no fortune-teller, I can’t see Microsoft getting anything important wrong. And that’s something I haven’t felt in ages in regards to the software giant.

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YouTube kills off support for older devices -- is yours affected?

Youtube television

YouTube has stopped supporting devices that make use of the second version of its Data API. In practice the move, which was announced more than a year ago, is forcing users to look into alternative ways of watching YouTube videos, and likely also taking many by surprise.

For those who are not familiar with it, YouTube's Data API allows developers to implement YouTube functionality into their apps. The second version is mostly used on older devices, with the list including TVs, smartphones, tablets, Blu-Ray disc players and more. Here's what you should do, if you're affected.

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Now you can Direct Message (almost) anyone on Twitter

Now you can Direct Message (almost) anyone on Twitter

Twitter today announces a number of key changes to the way its messaging system works. Until now it has only been possible to exchange a private Direct Message with another user if you both follow each other. This all changes as Twitter introduces the ability to DM anyone as long as they have the feature enabled on their account.

Just last week, Twitter announced that it will use a Dublin-based branch to handle all non-US account data but today's news is all about communication. If you're happy to receive DMs from anyone on Twitter, you can flip the switch on a setting that makes this possible.

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Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries release Halo: Spartan Strike for Windows and iOS

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When I was a young man, I loved video games more than anything. Not only did I play the games, but I bought magazines about them and had fun discussing them with friends. Back then -- in the 80s' and 90's -- things were much simpler. You put in your cartridge, started the system and were playing in seconds. Nowadays, however, games take forever to load, are super complicated and offer in-game purchases. It can feel like a huge money-grab. Hell, sometimes you spend more time installing updates than playing the actual games!

When Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries released Halo: Spartan Assault last year, I was in heaven. The game was a throw-back to the glory days of gaming -- pick up and play. You shot stuff and tried not to die; a wonderful concept! Today, the follow-up to that game, Halo: Spartan Strike, sees release. You can download the game now for Windows, Windows Phone, iPad and iPhone. The best part? A paltry $5.99 price tag (and no in-game purchases)!

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Microsoft makes mobile image searching a (nearly) typing-free experience

Microsoft makes mobile image searching a (nearly) typing-free experience

Microsoft thinks that typing on a mobile device is difficult. At the same time it understands that "you love to discover images" on the very same devices. To help make your mobile searches a little easier to conduct, the company is introducing a number of tweaks and changes to the iOS and Android Bing app.

Of course it is not possible to entirely eliminate the need to input words in order to conduct a search, but Microsoft has taken steps to reduce it to an absolute minimum. How has this been done? Enter simple search terms and you're provided with a couple of new ways to drill down to exactly what it is you're looking for with just a few taps.

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Logitech's crowdsourced PX57 video game available now for Windows, OS X and iOS

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When Logitech announced that it was crowdsourcing a video game using Reddit, I was dubious to say the least. I knew the company could pull it off, but I was fearful that anonymous Internet users would ruin the "Together We Game" experiment.

Luckily, my fears were unfounded, as not only has the game been released, it is actually very fun and normal. In other words, the Internet did not spoil the game. Best of all, the tower defense game is free and available for Windows, OS X and iOS. Will you download PX57?

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Facebook Messenger breaks away into a brand new dedicated website

Facebook Messenger gets a brand new dedicated website

Today Facebook launches a new standalone website for its Messenger service. The separate interface means that it is now possible to chat with your Facebook contacts without having to visit the main Facebook website where you might run the risk of whiling away too much time reading through your timeline as well.

On mobile devices, Facebook has moved users to a dedicated Messenger app rather than allowing them to chat within the main app. By bringing the web-based version of the social network's chat tool in line with the iOS, Windows Phone and Android versions, Facebook has made chatting a distinct feature that can now be conducted completely separately in its own tab.

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Google reported to FTC for 'unfair and deceptive' ads in YouTube Kids

youtube_kids

A number of consumer groups have filed a complaint with the FTC suggesting that Google is targeting children with "unfair and deceptive" ads in YouTube Kids for Android and iOS. A letter signed by Children Now, Consumer Watchdog, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, and others says that ads are displayed in a way that would not be permitted on broadcast or cable television.

The letter makes three main complaints about the app. The first suggests that Google mixes programming and ads, while another says that the relationship between Google and the manufacturers of advertised products is not clear. The groups ask for the FTC to take action to stop the advertisements.

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Facebook introduces scrapbooks for photos of your kids

Facebook introduces scrapbooks for photos of your kids

Facebook is about more than being social; it's about presenting a version of yourself to other people. When you share a photo of your meal, you're making a statement: "look at this delicious expensive meal I can afford", "look at the fancy restaurant we're visiting", or "gosh, aren't I healthy for making this salad?". But of course Facebook is not just filled with photos of food -- there are also photos of kids, presenting an image of family life.

Starting today, Facebook is rolling out a new scrapbooking feature designed specifically for pulling together photos of your child. The idea is to make it easier to collect together photos into one place so you can view all of your memories without having to jump from place to place.

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Microsoft brings mobile device management to Office 365

Microsoft brings mobile device management to Office 365

Microsoft has announced that mobile device management is now available in Office 365 for commercial customers. The feature is built into the office suite and allows administrators to control access to Office 365 data by Android, iOS and Windows Phone tablets and phones.

Security is very much at the heart of Office 365's mobile device management, and it includes a remote wipe feature. For businesses who have embraced the BYOD philosophy, this will bring peace of mind as it allows for the remote removal of Office and associated files even on personal devices.

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Microsoft decides sub-10.1 inch devices just aren't professional

Microsoft decides sub-10.1 inch devices just aren't professional

You've probably heard that size matters, and Microsoft agrees. If you're carrying about a mobile device that measures 10.1 inches or less, the chances are you're not using a "professional" device -- at least this is what Microsoft believes.

10.1 inches, 256.54 millimetres, 25.654 centimetres; this is the new dividing line between what is classed as a personal device, and which is professional. This is interesting to know, but what does it actually mean? For starters, if you fall into the "personal" category, you're entitled to a free copy of Office.

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