Google's Gboard keyboard made its debut on iOS, and it was a few months before the company brought the app to its own Android platform. Today a major update to the iPhone version of the keyboard sees the arrival of voice typing, meaning that users will be able to dictate messages rather than typing by hand.
In addition, the update introduces new emoji, support for additional languages, as well as easy access to Google Doodles and information about them.
Android or iOS? Or both? It’s a question anyone who’s been involved in building a mobile app will have asked. Android is still the major player in the development world, due to the simple fact of the size of the market, but it’s foolish to write anything that’s grown from Apple off.
As with just about every trend in technology, it appears that flexibility and fluidity is the choice route. Here are five things developers will need to consider to stay relevant in 2017 and beyond.
IT security has never been more prominent at the forefront of people's minds than it is currently. With a sadly regular supply of hacking horror tales, Internet users are now exercising a great deal of care with the information they share through their networks. Stronger passwords and a reluctance to add personal details are among the more common measures to have become widely implemented.
Another option which people are leaning towards is that of secure messaging apps, a selection of which are profiled in the infographic below by ERS IT Solutions. There doesn’t yet exist a messaging app that is completely impenetrable to hackers, but there are those which distinguish themselves for their encryption of messages so that even if they are intercepted, the messages can’t be deciphered by unsolicited parties.
One of the things that the iPhone is missing compared to some of its main Android rivals is wireless charging support. While this may not sound like a major omission, many consumers nowadays -- especially buyers in this segment -- expect a modern smartphone to have this technology. And it looks like Apple might finally offer it.
In what can only be considered as a big first step towards an iPhone with wireless charging support, Apple has joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the group responsible for promoting the Qi standard that is prevalent in devices that offer wireless charging -- like the Samsung Galaxy S7.
In 2014, Apple introduced the first big iPhone, the iPhone 6 Plus. Since then, the company has offered a phablet version for each new incarnation of its hugely successful device. While Apple doesn't say how many buyers prefer it over the standard model, reports show that it accounts for a significant portion of sales.
In US, the Plus models have gained considerable traction, with Consumer Intelligence Research Partners saying that they made up 35 percent of the iPhone installed base as of 31 December 2016. And their popularity is growing, as a year prior that figure stood at 25 percent.
The measure of Apple fiscal first quarter 2017 isn't record revenues ($78.35 billion) but comparison to major competitors: More than three times Google ($26.06 billion) or Microsoft ($24.1 billion). Amazon announces tomorrow, Groundhog Day. Will the retailer's CEO, Jeff Bezos, see his shadow? The 3x multiplier nearly applies to net income: $17.89 billion, versus $6.64 billion and $5.2 billion, respectively, for the two rivals. Looked at differently, compared to Apple's same quarter in fiscal 2010, seven years later, profits exceed total revenues ($15.68 billion). That's an astounding comparison.
The results defy pundits' prognostications, including my own, about gravity pulling the company back to Earth. iPhone, as major source of revenue, can only stay up for so long, before slowing smartphone sales wreck havoc. That said, credit where it's due: CEO Tim Cook is, as I've asserted before, a logistics and manufacturing genius. He is a strategist, but not an innovation leader like predecessor Steve Jobs. Cook masterfully manages his inheritance, but he, nor Apple observers, should get lost in the quarter's glow: iPhone remains boon and bane.
Apple edged Samsung to take the top spot in the smartphone market in the final quarter of 2016, thanks to very strong iPhone shipments. The Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor moved 78.3 million units, having a share of 17.8 percent, while its South Korean rival only managed to ship 77.5 million smartphones, which equates to a market share of 17.7 percent. Total shipments for the quarter were 438.7 million units, according to a Strategy Analytics report.
This is not the first time that Apple beats Samsung, but it is rare for it to happen. Samsung usually has a comfortable lead over its rivals, including Apple, but thanks to the Galaxy Note7 recall it failed to repeat that performance last quarter. You can follow the saga here, but the gist of it is that the company had to pull millions of devices as a result of its mistakes, and that had a serious effect on its showing in the last part of 2016.
There is a curious phenomenon on iOS -- Google's apps are often better on Apple's mobile operating system than on Android. It is for this reason that users of the search-giant's services can be perfectly content using an iPhone or iPad.
Google Chrome is a very popular web browser on iOS, with many folks choosing it over Safari. I prefer Apple's own browser, but I digress. The Chrome browser is largely open source, as it is based on the Chromium project -- except for the iOS variant, that is. Today, for the first time ever, the iPhone and iPad version of the browser is open source too.
Buy an iPhone -- or any other phone -- from somewhere other than an official reseller, and you run the risk of getting your hands on a stolen device. Apple has a tool that allows would be buyers to check whether the phone they are planning to buy is secured with Activation Lock. Until very recently, that is; the tool has now disappeared.
The Activation Lock status checker was available on iCloud.com, and by simply entering the IMEI or serial number of a phone it was possible to perform a quick check to see if it is already locked to another user. But no more!
The latest official macOS Sierra update that Apple recently introduced did not bring any new features to the table, as it focused on improving performance and fixing bugs, but that is about to change as Night Shift will finally arrive in the upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4.
Night Shift should sound familiar to iPhone users, as Apple debuted this feature nearly a year ago in iOS 9.3. What is it? Night Shift is a mode that, when activated, reduces blue light to help you sleep better.
Apple today releases updates for all its major operating systems, introducing iOS 10.2.1, macOS Sierra 10.12.3, tvOS 10.1.1 and watchOS 3.1.3. The latest builds do not add any new features, as the focus is on improving the existing functionality and squashing bugs.
Mac users are treated with the lengthiest changelog, and users of the latest MacBook Pros (October 2016 models) should be particularly interested in it. That's because Apple improved graphics switching on the 15-inch MacBook Pro and fixed graphics issues that occurred while using Adobe Premiere Pro to encode projects on both 13-inch and 15-inch Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pros.
The financial turbulence that followed the UK's vote to leave the European Union has seen the value of the pound tumbling. With the pound and the dollar almost reaching parity, Apple has again been forced to increase prices.
While the US and UK currencies may not quite have reached parity, the price of apps in the two regions will very soon do just that. Apps that cost $0.99 in the US would have cost £0.79 in the UK pre-Brexit -- now this will jump to £0.99. Information about the price hike came in an email to developers, and it will take effect over the next seven days.
Cellebrite -- the Israeli security company famed for helping the FBI crack the iPhone at center of the San Bernardino case -- has been hit by hackers. The attack resulted in the theft of 900GB of data.
While the website Motherboard -- which was handed a copy of the data -- reports that "the cache includes customer information, databases, and a vast amount of technical data regarding Cellebrite's products", the company has downplayed the incident.
It is no secret that iOS is a tightly controlled ecosystem. There is not a whole lot that users can do to customize their iPhones, and there are not that many options for developers wanting to sell their apps outside of the App Store. In fact, if you do not want to reach a very small audience, who likes to jailbreak their devices, your one and only bet is the App Store.
A number of customers believe that that is a problem so serious that they sued Apple over its perceived iOS app distribution monopoly. A complaint was filed all the way back in 2011, but only now did a court allow the lawsuit to go forward.
Apple traditionally enjoys very strong iPhone sales after it launches new smartphones. And this is certainly true of the three months ending November 2016, when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus topped the sales charts in US and helped iOS close in on Android in Great Britain.
In US, it is actually an all-iPhone podium, with the iPhone 6s joining the newer models in the top three, according to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report. Apple saw its share rise to 43.5 percent, while Google's Android dropped to 55.3 percent of the market.