Apr 24, 2013 - 12:36 PM - by Maura
In the light of all the recent press stories about Apple’s current status, financially and otherwise, iDownload Blog has a very interesting feature today that looks into the possibility that Samsung is deliberately fanning the flames of discord in the debate about Apple. In particular the article mentions possible fake Samsung product reviews, as well as Samsung “trolls” trying to dominate comments. iDownload Blog also draws our attention to an excellent pair of articles by Fortune’s very well sourced Philip Elmer-DeWitt, in which he asks whether or not Samsung is now using similar tactics against Apple to those that it has admitted using in the past against HTC. In the follow-up article, Elmer-DeWitt talks of a barrage of pro-Samsung and anti-Apple comments about his article in a forum. The iDownload Blog article also goes on to examine the way in which major news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal report on Apple. There’s some very interesting stuff there! I recommend you check out the whole article, and make up your own minds whether or not they might be onto something!
Source: Are Samsung drones trolling Apple?
Apr 24, 2013 - 11:59 AM - by Maura
Tumblr is an incredibly popular blogging site, which makes the Tumblr iOS app an essential for many iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users, so I’m sure they’ll all be very pleased to hear from iDownload Blog that the popular app has just had a significant update, including a new social sharing feature, so that you can now share your Tumblr posts via Twitter and Facebook, among others. A new email template has also been added, so that you can email entire posts to your friends more effectively. Another welcome update is the ability to save Tumblr posts to read later directly from the app, via either Instapaper or Pocket. Other tweaks include sprucing up the image viewer to make it easier to close, and also improving the Following list, making it searchable, and also sorting it alphabetically. And finally, GIFs will now animate when you scroll (although not on the original iPad, phones older than the iPhone 4S, and any iPod touches older than fourth-gen.
Click here to download the free app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tumblr/id305343404?mt=8
Source: Tumblr iOS app updated with read later and social sharing features
One of the big problems iPhone users have been confronted with is the limited battery life. Users tend to love their Apple smartphone, so finding ways of prolonging the ability to use it, is most important.
A new Kickstarter project is now trying to creatively solve the issue that’s bothering a lot of us. There are only limited things you can pack while going on a trip for example, but you will always have your body with you. The statement might be odd, but bear with me. The creators of Infinity Cell are trying to harvest the energy produced by your moving body to produce, you guessed it, energy to fuel your iPhone.
The team behind the technology is hoping to raise $155,000 before June the 6th in order to finesse their work. At this point, the designers only have a rough prototype of Infinity Cell. Right now, the technology looks like a pack of cigarettes attached to the smartphone. This design can be of course improved and it certainly needs a lot of slimming down in order to appeal to the population.
But even in this state, the amazing thing is, that if you need to add an extra 20% to your battery life, all you need to do is hold the iPhone connected to the Infinity Cell (via a cable) and shake it. The more shaking you do, the more energy you receive. Some users might feel that shaking their iPhones in public will make them look ridiculous. Instead try attaching the phone to your belt and going for a run. Win-win situation!
Apple is involved in lawsuits not only involving its arch competitors, but strangely enough, its customers, as well. We're talking about a class-action lawsuit combining the efforts of 18 separate lawsuits which has been filed against the tech giant, concerning the “Antenna-gate” scandal. The plaintiffs have even created their own website at www.iPhoneStettlement.com where they explain their motives and demand justice being done to their cause.
The litigations have reached a consensus after a while, and settlement has been awarded to the injured parties. In the settlement we find the following explanation:
Apple was “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.”
Apple also made a statement after news of the settlement went public, trying to clear out its image:
"This settlement relates to a small number of customers who indicated that they experienced antenna or reception issues with their iPhone 4, and didn't want to take advantage of a free case from Apple when it was being offered in 2010."
Bottom line, plaintiffs are expected to receive a free bumper or a $15 cash check. The latest update on this story showcases that these payments have started being made by Apple. Several 9to5mac readers have already confirmed that they have received their checks this week. The settlement should be cashed by July the 16th, so be quick or you risk losing the money.
Apr 23, 2013 - 4:15 PM - by Maura
Apple has today released its second-quarter results, and there’s both good and bad news for the company, according to AppleInsider. Starting off with the bad news, Apple reported that its second-quarter profits fell by 18% to $9.5 billion from $11.6 billion in the year-ago-quarter, on sales of $43.6 billion, the first fall in profits for Apple for nearly 10 years. On the up side, that revenue figure is up from $39.2 billion in the year-ago-quarter. Apple said that it sold 37.4 million iPhones, and 19.5 million iPads in the quarter, as well as 4 million Macs. Both iPhone and iPad sales have increased, up from $35.1 billion and 11.8 million respectively in the year-ago-quarter, with the Mac sales figure staying still at 4 million previously as well.
Apple also published the following guidance for the fiscal 2013 third quarter:
“We are pleased to report record March quarter revenue thanks to continued strong performance of iPhone and iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline.”
“Our cash generation remains very strong, with $12.5 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter and an ending cash balance of $145 billion,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.
Source: Apple beats on revenue but sees profits fall for first time in nearly a decade, Apple
- revenue between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion
- gross margin between 36 percent and 37 percent
- operating expenses between $3.85 billion and $3.95 billion
- other income/(expense) of $300 million
- tax rate of 26%
Apr 23, 2013 - 3:44 PM - by Maura
For those of you out there who enjoy taking photos with your iPhone, MacRumors features a very nice looking app today called FocusTwist, from Arqball, which helps you to take pictures from variable focus points with your iPhone, using multi-image functionality as a means of refocusing certain parts of the picture, with the finished picture being similar to the sort of refocused images that can be taken with a Lytro Light Field Camera. According to MacRumors, the app works by simultaneously taking a series of different images of an object, all from different focal points. Apparently you need either a very still hand, or, even better, a tripod, because the camera is taking so many pictures at once.
Click here to download for $1.99: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/focu...597654594?mt=8
“Twists are great for food, toys, fashion, nature, architecture - any scene with multiple elements to focus on,” says Arqball of the app, which Gizmodo featured as its “App of the Day” yesterday.
Source: FocusTwist Allows iPhone Users to Capture Refocusable Lytro-style Images - Mac Rumors
Apr 23, 2013 - 2:24 PM - by Maura
iDownload Blog reports today that the already excellent third-party Twitter client, TweetBot, has had a makeover today with the release of version 2.8 to the App Store. And as iDownload Blog notes, this comes at a particularly opportune time for those Twitter users who are not keen on the official Twitter apps for iPhone and iPad, with Twitter axing TweetDeck from May 7. Although TweetBot is not a cheap app, it’s actually well worth the money, especially if you use Twitter a lot for your business, or like to keep tabs on several different Twitter accounts. And now, with this update, it has just got even better, with some very useful new features, such as a media timeline filter that lists only video and image content. Reviewing the iPad version of the app, MacStories’ Federico Viticci says that the new media timeline is “a mix of Tweetbot’s existing style and Instagram’s photo feed,” and, in general, he says that he’s “a fan” of the new feature. iDownload Blog says that the app’s image viewer has also been spruced up, and is now more similar to the Mac version of the app’s image viewer. Fixed Instagram previews are also added with this update.
Click here to download the iPad version for $2:99:
Click here to download the iPhone version for $2:99: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/twee...498801050?mt=8
Source: TweetBot 2.8 released with Media Timeline and overhauled image viewer
Apr 22, 2013 - 2:35 PM - by Maura
Last week the people of China suffered a massive, 7.0. magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province, which is approximately 72 miles from Chengdu. One hundred and eighty-six people were confirmed to have lost their lives in the earthquake, with over 10,000 people injured. AppleInsider reports today that Apple has responded to the news of the disaster by issuing an official statement on its Chinese website, saying that “our hearts are with the victims of the Sichuan earthquake,” as well as pledging to donate $8 million cash to those people in the region that have been affected by the earthquake. Although the translation of the statement is not exactly clear in parts, it would also seem, from reading it, that Apple is saying that its local employees are also ready to help in the region, which could be a reference to something similar to when Apple opened the doors of its retail stores in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and let people who had lost their homes and possessions use the computers and internet service in the Apple stores to contact loved ones.
Source: Apple donates $8M to Chinese earthquake recovery efforts
Apr 22, 2013 - 1:26 PM - by Maura
AppleInsider reports today on a new rumour from China Business via The Register, which says that an anonymous Foxconn worker has claimed that Apple has returned between 5 million and 8 million iPhones to Foxconn because the phones were not up to Apple’s usual standards. As AppleInsider notes, although the model of the supposedly “substandard” iPhones has not been revealed, it may well be the iPhone 5, which was known to have several production issues when it was first launched. This situation seems to have improved in recent months, however, so possibly this is not the model in question. The Register report also suggests that it could actually be the next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, that has these supposed production issues, with recent rumours saying that Apple has been having issues with the next iPhone’s black and white coating, which involves the use of new technology that may well cause delays in production.
Source: Rumor: Apple returned batch of 8 million defective iPhones to Foxconn
Apple products have managed to create the most spectacular combos. For example, the iPhone combined with some lenses was turned by a team of medical professionals into a low cost microscope.
This week brings news of yet another interesting partnership between Apple and this time, a famous car manufacturer. According to information provided by USA Today, Volkswagen is getting ready to uncover at the Shanghai auto show a type of intelligent car they have called iBeetle. The vehicle will use the design of the 2013 Beetle model but add a tweak.
The “i” in iBeetle means that drivers purchasing the car will have access to an integrated iPhone dock available on the dashboard. The Apple system is located just above the GPS and music system, so it’s very easily reachable.
Basically, the dock will allow users to have access to a suite of applications without them having to actually touch the phone to do so. This invention might prove to be a big plus for road safety. For example, owners of iBeetle can play your favorite songs on Spotify and check if you have Facebook messages via a text-to-speech functionality.
That’s not all Volkswagen is doing in order to better integrate the iOS experience into their products. The car manufacturer is designing special apps for the iPhone and some of them might prove to be very useful for drivers. For example, one such application is capable of measuring oil and coolant temperatures.
Source: USA Today
According to a new report coming to us via MarketWatch, advertisers prefer to target Apple devices. MartketWatch followed a report put together by MoPub. Compiling the data, it was found that 50% of total mobile ads are directed towards the iOS environment, while the Android one is left into the background.
Even if Android devices are cheaper and might be wider spread, Apple customers are more likely to actually purchase the devices and most importantly are more likely to buy the refreshed line of products. For example, it is estimated that 15% of users using Samsung smartphones do so because they have been awarded the devices after they signed different contracts. Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps states:
“These accidental customers are in the lower third of income earners in the U.S.”
Bottom line, the power to buy lies with the high-end Apple lovers and that’s why they are getting more ads.
The study also found that users clicked-through the ads presented to them with a 1.7% rate in March. Broken down into particular devices, the numbers are 1.7% for the iPhone and 2.5% for the iPad. In March, Apple introduced fresh commercials for both products. Android only managed to score 1.1%. The report explains that Apple is also doing the better job at placing ads on the device’s screen so user experience is not diminished in any way.
Apr 19, 2013 - 3:23 PM - by Maura
MacRumors today reports on a couple of stories that have appeared on Wired over the past two days regarding the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) comments about Apple’s Siri and privacy. In particular, the ACLU is concerned about statements that it has heard to the effect that Apple stores older “disassociated” voice clips from Siri users for “a period of time,” even after Siri has been deactivated by the user. The ACLU’s lawyer, Nicole Ozer, expressed confusion about what Apple means by such phrases, adding, “The only thing that’s clear is we really don’t know what may be happening to the personal information we have told Siri, even after we turn Siri off.”
The ACLU also noted that some companies, such as IBM, have actually banned their employees from using Siri, because of privacy issues. In a new report on their previous story, posted today, Wired conveyed Apple’s official thoughts on the matter, saying that the voice files from the questions that you ask Siri are sent to Apple’s data farm, analysed, given a random number, and then stored randomly, and anonymously. After six months, the user number is disassociated from the voice file, but those voice file can be kept for 18 months or more for testing purposes. Ozer goes on to say that Apple should take more steps to inform users about Siri’s privacy issues, telling people to be careful what they say to Siri, because “Siri works for Apple.”
Source: Anonymized Siri Voice Clips Stored by Apple for Up to Two Years - Mac Rumors
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