Mar 13, 2013 - 2:23 PM - by Maura
MacRumors reports today that according to leaked screenshots of training material meant for Staples sales associates in the US, it seems that MacBooks, iPhones and iPads will soon be offered for sale at Staples. This follows on from Staples starting to sell Apple accessories via its US online store, and also some retail Staples stores, according to MacRumors sources. Although the leaked document seems to indicate that all the listed Apple devices will be on sale at Staples from some time around March 27 onwards, it is not yet know whether or not desktop Macs will also be available. If these leaked documents are as genuine as they seem, then, as MacRumors points out, this is another great sales outlet for Apple, as Staples has more than 1,500 stores in the US alone. The report does not say whether or not Staples stores in other countries will also be stocking Apple devices.
Staples Associates Training to Support iPhone, iPad, and Mac Notebook Sales by Late March - Mac Rumors
Mar 13, 2013 - 1:00 PM - by Maura
Apple’s own in-house Maps app certainly caught a lot of criticism when it replaced Google’s Maps app in iOS 6, most of it justifiable, but as Jim Dalrymple points out today in The Loop, Apple is making great strides towards updating and improving the app, and he does a great job of detailing all the work that Apple is doing to bring the app up to scratch. For example, a new update for the Japanese version of the app has just introduced improvements such as toll road notifications, updated icons for freeways, and the addition of 3D buildings, such as Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower. And that’s not all: as Dalrymple points out, Apple has added flyover support for many other cities recently, including Buffalo, NY, Tulsa, OK, and Minneapolis, MN. The 3D buildings in Standard view and Turn-by-turn navigation in such cities as Cologne, Germany, London, England, and Lyon, France, to name a few, have also been updated. Further improvements outlined in the article include the addition of local information for Apple Stores, businesses, cinemas, restaurants, airports and transit shops.
Apple?s Maps being updated often and significantly
We always love it when Apple puts out new commercials. One of our favorite was the one in which John Malkovich had a heart-warming, witty discussion with Siri on an iPhone 4S. This week, Apple just released two freshly squeezed commercials aimed at showcasing the amazing capabilities of the iPhone 5.
The two videos are called “Brilliant” and “Discover” and have at their center the iPhone 5. The first one – “Brilliant”, shows off a quick succession of words like sweet or brilliant or fun. For each word there’s an iPhone activity related to it. For example, when we behold the world “brilliant”, we can immediately see the user browse a document about Albert Einstein. The video also showcases some iPhone capabilities, like paying at Starbucks via the Passbook app and even controlling a helicopter prototype. Bottom line, the video is a statement that the smartphone can basically be used for everything.
The second ad follows the line of the other, but is more focused on the educational potential of the iPhone 5. The video starts off with the word Rock and showcases some charts detailing aspects about certain minerals. Then rock turns into Rock music as a rock tune is being played on GarageBand. We move on to see Alcatraz - the Rock being pinned down on the Apple Maps app. Augmented reality via Yelp and the Shazam song identification system are also showcased in the video.
The apps manage to beautifully highlight the diversity of activities that can be entertained on a device such as the iPhone 5.
The war between iOS and Android users has been going on since the advent of smartphones. Humorous websites have depicted Android users as being the nerdy type, while Apple users are seen as being more fashionable and trendy and so on. A new study coming from Web video company Ooyala highlights yet another difference between the users of the gadget.
According to their research, it appears that iPhone users watch lots more video content than Android users. The numbers provided by the company showcase that only 33% of Android users surf YouTube all day, while 67% of their iOS counterparts enjoy some video time.
But there’s a little issue with the study provided by Ooyala. The company is in charge of streaming lots and lots of video content, and when we say lots, we mean the service provided by Ooyala has been taken up by 200 million viewers worldwide. So, basically, Ooyala conducted their research only amongst its users, thus not taking into account the preferences of people who might not be affiliated with their service. Therefore, the study lacks universality.
The research also showcased some purported 2012 market share numbers – according to them, iOS has been snatching 19% of the global market and Android 68%. And here we have another problem. If Android adoption would increase at such a pace, we’d probably be seeing Android devices everywhere in a few years.
Mar 12, 2013 - 2:18 PM - by Maura
If you’re looking for a really absorbing, atmospheric and imaginative new game for your iOS device, then look no further than my current fave free iOS game, The Silent Age, from Danish indie developer House on Fire. The Silent Age harks back to the era of classic point-and-click games, and also reminds me a lot of classic Delphine Software games for the Amiga, such as Another World and Flashback. According to the developers, The Silent Age is free (and that means completely free, no need for in-app purchases), simply because it is “a project born out of passion.” The first episode was funded by donations, and the second will be too, and will be made available when they have raised $25K from donations. The game, which is set in 1972, looks so beautiful and simple, and revolves around the protagonist, Joe, who is a janitor in a government building, and who stumbles into a time-travelling mystery. It has already been featured in the App Store by Apple, and so popular has the game proved to be that the developer’s blog site crashed, which is why you’ll only see a bare-bones blog when you click on the link below at present. It has already won a Casual Connect Indie Prize, and I’m sure that’s the first of many awards.
Click here to download the free game: https://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/the-...580991034?mt=8
Episode Two | The Silent Age, iTunes
Mar 12, 2013 - 12:14 PM - by Maura
iDownload Blog reports that Vevo has today announced at SXSW that it is about to launch a new, always-on channel for pretty much any platform you can think of, including television (via the Roku box), Xbox, and mobile platforms such as iOS. Presently, you can use the Vevo app on your iOS device, or watch the dedicated Vevo You Tube channel, in order to stream music videos that have been licensed by the record companies. According to Vevo’s announcement today, though, Vevo’s apps and channels will soon be updated to show 24-hour original programming, including live concerts and TV shows. iDownload Blog says it is a “multicast” experience, where no matter where, or on what platform, you are watching the channel, you will be seeing the same content, globally.
This looks like it could be really cool, a return to the old MTV-style of wall-to-wall music programming, before MTV became mainly about reality TV!
“Like traditional television, it will come with a 24-hour schedule of programming blocks, and soon feature hosts and VJs, operating much the same way as MTV in its early days,” Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff told Fast Company.
Source: Vevo wants to become the next MTV, launches always-on broadcast channel
Mar 11, 2013 - 3:33 PM - by Maura
According to a new report on MacRumors today, two features that have long been said to be coming to an iPhone near you could actually finally be coming to the forthcoming iPhone 5S! MacOtakara cites the initial report in the China Times, which said that Taiwanese chip makers, Chipbond, have been contracted by Apple to make some of the iPhone 5S’s components, including the touch display driver, as well as fingerprint sensor chips and near field communication (NFC) chips. The report goes on to say that it is thought that the fingerprint sensor is required as part of the secure authentication process of NFC features such as paying for goods and services in shops via your mobile. If this is indeed true, then it would possibly be happening at just about the right time, with NFC readers now being seen in many top high street stores. It would also be a much more major update for the next iPhone than has been rumoured of late, however, rather than just the basic refresh that we have been hearing about recently.
Source: iPhone 5S to Include Both Fingerprint Sensor and NFC? - Mac Rumors
Mar 11, 2013 - 2:42 PM - by Maura
iDownload Blog reports today that Foxconn and TSMC are about to hire 5,000 new employees, according to Reuters, whose story was soured from the Taiwanese Economic Daily, who reported that both companies had posted job ads at a recruitment event for Taiwan university students who are about to graduate. The report noted that the amount of new employees that Foxconn is looking to hire represents the biggest such recruitment drive for quite some time. iDownload Blog adds that it is expected that this massive influx of workers is most likely to handle not just new iPad and iPhone launches, but also possible brand new Apple product launches, such as an Apple TV set, and Apple smartwatch. Interestingly, the report also says that the majority of the Foxconn recruitment posts are in the area of research and development for automated production, robotics, and e-commerce. iDownload Blog even goes as far as to note that Foxconn has also been rumoured to be switching from human factory workers to hi-tech robots, with 10,000 “Foxbots” being delivered to an unnamed Foxconn plant.
Source: Foxconn and TSMC recruit 5,000 workers each ahead of Apple product launches
We have been hearing rumors that Apple is one its way of releasing two new iPhone versions. The first one is the low cost iPhone aimed at developing markets, but the second - the so called iPhone Plus, has apparently received less attention and less information is known about the future of this – so far – enigmatic device.
However, this week saw the advent of a few concept pictures that leaked online showcasing the purported iPhone Plus. So far, we can’t be sure if this is the real deal, as every time an upcoming device is announced, the web is flooded with photographs claiming to showcase the specs and looks of the gadget.
Steve Hemmerstoffe of Nowehereelse.fr and Martin Hajek took the rumors seriously and came up with a list of specs that, to their mind, seem to perfectly match the concept of the 4-8 inch screen new iPhone. The two designers claim that it’s perfectly likely due to the increase in screen size that Apple will add a new row of icons to the device. Will this intrinsically mean that Cupertino will add new programs to the iOS running on the device?
The authors also claim that the home button is on its way to becoming history. Apple might just as well replace it with a more fashionable clickable display – in the manner of the MacBook trackpad. One of the most interesting predictions they make is the presence of the Edge to Edge display that might ensure the size of the phone would be kept constant. This will certainly please those who have been complaining that the iPhone just seems to be gaining up in size while the iPad keeps shrinking; making some wonder if the two devices won’t end up being the same size somewhere in the near future.
Design wise, the two see the new back casing of the iPhone Plus as being made of anodized aluminum coating and sporting chamfered edges, just like we see today in the iPod touch 5G or iPad Mini. From what they are saying, the iPhone Plus certainly sounds like a device to watch out for.
Mar 11, 2013 - 2:16 PM - by Maura
The website Phones Review reports today that Android Authority have taken it upon themselves to really put the iPhone 5 through its paces in a thorough “torture test” designed to find out how much punishment it can take. In the video, as you can see, the phone actually holds up incredibly well, turning out to be much more durable than you might imagine! First of all, they drench the poor iPhone 5 in steaming hot coffee, then put it through a scratch test by shaking it in a bag of nails and rubbing the phone all around in the bag, then dunking it in a fish tank. In the end, the iPhone 5 passed the first two tests with flying colours! It still worked after the coffee bath, and was removed from the bag o’nails with barely a scratch! It did finally succumb after the fishtank dunking, but overall, Android Authority was pretty impressed.
Source: iPhone 5 torture test video shows pretty good results » Phone Reviews
Many Apple fans looking to understand the history of Apple might have wondered how the original iPhone prototype looked like. Sure, some leaked pictures or court documents showcase a version that looked very similar to what Apple released for the first time in 2007, but Cupertino's original prototype existed long before that.
Now, Ars Tehnica has received some exclusive images relayed by one of Apple’s former employees (who remains nameless for fear of retaliation) in which an ancestral in-house version proto-version of what we know today as the iPhone is revealed. These are photographs snapped before the gadget was even molded in its smartphone shape.
Taking a brief look at the photographs one might be surprised to notice that the proto-device featured a bunch of Ethernet ports that today are more characteristic of computers than of mobile devices. These ports were packed into the prototype to simplify the working and developing process. However, as the source reports, the team working on the evolution of the device still had no idea what the final product will look like in the end.
We could nickname the device showcased by Ars Tehnica the “first” iPhone and tell you that it was as large as you make it out from the photographs as it sported a 5”x7” screen and was 2 inches thick. Of course, for today’s users it might seem huge and bulky, but it’s really interesting to see where Apple originally started from.
The pictures also bring detail about the hardware specs and one Ars Tehnica writer highlighted that the first iPhone to ever be released on the market sported an ARM11 while the one present in the photographs is actually an ARM9 – a variant of the Samsung S3C2410.
Mar 11, 2013 - 12:02 PM - by dgstorm
If you are a comic book fan and own an Android or iOS device, you will want to jump on this amazing deal right away. Marvel has just announced that for a limited time only you can download over 700 comics from both Marvel and DC to your iOS or Android device! You just need to head over to your respective content store and grab the ComiXology Comics app to download them.
The offer expires Tuesday night at 11pm EDT, so you have about 36 hours to nab this amazing deal! Here are the links below.
Source: Marvel ComiXology Comics app - iTunes & Google Play Store
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