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.
The iPad is a wonderful tablet that people love the world over. Sure, Apple has its detractors, and people tend to focus on the deficiencies of the iPad, but its continued popularity is no fluke; it is enjoyable and useful with a ton of great apps. Unfortunately, the tablet's power is limited by its form factor. In other words, other than Microsoft's Surface line, the average tablet cannot stand on its own or be positioned for comfortable desk typing.
Case manufacturers have enabled some brilliant solutions for making the iPad more versatile, and Logitech has been on the forefront in that regard. In fact, Logitech has garnered quite the praise and respect from the iPad community for its cases and keyboards. Today, Logitech continues this tradition, with the attractive Logitech AnyAngle case. It is compatible with the iPad Air 2 and all models of the iPad mini.
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.
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.
When Microsoft released Office for iPad, it was immediately popular and shot to the top of the app charts. This was hardly surprising, as people had been hoping for it ever since Apple's tablet was released. Sure, Apple's iWork solutions are fine, but Office is, well...Office. It is the gold standard for getting things done.
The problem was, while the apps were free, editing was not. You see, downloading Word, Excel and PowerPoint cost nothing, but it did not function as consumers had hoped. Only viewing office documents is a frustrating experience -- people want to edit too. The solution for this was to become an Office 365 subscriber, which unlocked the full potential of the software. While many recognized the value in being a subscriber, it is a hard sell when Apple's offerings are much more affordable (or free with a new iPad). Microsoft responded by making editing a free feature and all are happy right? Not so; what about the people who already paid? Great news, you can get a refund now!
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.
In an effort to drum up awareness about its Surface Pro 3 slate, Microsoft has been dishing out devices free to every TV show and broadcaster going, often sponsoring shows (aka filling them with incongruous product placement) and handing over cash to get the message out.
Unfortunately the message that seems to be coming across a fair bit lately is that the recipients prefer iPads. The CNN news team has certainly found a good use for the promotional Surfaces that Microsoft paid them to use -- the devices apparently make a good wall, behind which it’s possible to use Apple’s tablet surreptitiously on air. And as one newsreader discovered, Microsoft Surface also makes a wonderful stand to rest an iPad against.
On May 15, 2001, while previewing the first Apple Store to analysts and journalists, then CEO Steve Jobs boasted: "Apple has about 5 percent market share today", but the remainder "don't even consider us". Jobs exaggerated, and not for the first time, seeing as how Mac global share was more like 2 percent. But the ambition, to use the retail shops to "double our market share", was achievable. Three years following his death, with 10-percent long ago reached in the United States, something more startling occurred: During calendar Q3 2014, Apple moved into fifth place for global PC shipments, according to IDC. The question is why?
I have wondered for weeks, and waited until Apple's quarterly earnings report before writing an analysis. By my math, the average selling price of Macs was about $1,200 -- that in a PC market where sales are sluggish, at best, except below $300 selling price. Yet, according to financial disclosures, Apple shipped a record 5.5 million Macs, with units up 21 percent annually and 25 percent sequentially and generating $6.625 billion revenue; that's an increase of 18 percent and 20 percent, respectively, for the same time periods. Who in the hell is buying these things, and for so much money? The answer may surprise you.
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.
Sarah Perez makes the point before I could (oh lazy me): "Apple announces too many iPads". That's the most sensible take on tablets launched last week, and over the weekend copycat stories started posting. Strange thing, there's nothing new about iPad configuration complexity. The number of base SKUs, while way too many, increases by just two.
I first harped on Apple's "too many problem", following iPad mini's introduction two years ago, observing: "It's a crowded lineup, with overlapping features and prices not seen from Apple since the early- to mid-1990s". Crowded is understatement. The mini jacked up the number of basic configurations from eight to 14. However, when looking at all available SKUs, including two colors and carrier-specific models, the number jumped to 54.
This week, Apple unveiled a number of new and updated products. The latest additions to the iPad range were the crowd pleasers, while the iMac with Retina 5K Display was something of a headline-grabber. Yosemite was expected, but the Mac mini refresh came slightly out of the blue.
For anyone looking for a cheap way to get their hands on a Mac, it's a great starting point -- prices start at just $499. But you'd better make sure you select a model with enough RAM when you place your order -- Apple has taken steps that mean it is impossible for buyers to install more memory.
Apple always streams its major events live, but restricts them to existing users of Apple products.
If you want to watch today’s launch of the Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, you need to be viewing on Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second or third-generation Apple TV with software version 6.2 or later. However, there is a way around this.
Remember those predictions about tablets taking over the world and putting good-old PCs out to pasture? Well, scratch that, as it is not happening, at least not in the foreseeable future. Sales are slowing this year, dramatically. The slate market is estimated to only grow by 11 percent, year-over-year, in 2014, falling short of the 55 percent increase that was registered in 2013. So why is this happening?
Well, if you ask Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, it is because "tablets are not smartphones". Giving the US market as example, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech highlights the fundamental differences between the two categories, pointing to long replacement cycles, impersonal nature, resilience and low perceived value of tablets as the main reasons for the sales slowdown.
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.
When Apple acquired Beats Music earlier in the year, there were obvious fears that the service would shut down. While this type of rumor is often well-founded, it seems fears were misplaced on this occasion: Apple has no plans to shutter Beats Music. A company spokesperson made a statement to the Guardian making it clear that suggestions that the subscription music service is to close down are "not true". But could the brand end up being eaten by iTunes?
Beats Music has not been a runaway success. It has subscribers, but not all that many. With Apple's backing there is a chance that its popularity could increase, but it can be difficult to shake off the reputation of an old name -- Beats Music has singularly failed to reach the celebrated heights of Beats Electronic's headphones. Having spent $3 billion on Beats Music and Beats Electronic, it would be strange if Apple just gave up on a portion of its investment.