The tablet market is performing strongly this holiday season, and Apple's iPad Air and iPad mini are leading the pack among all contenders. This according to a new report from market analysis firm Canaccord Genuity, which saw the two newest iPads outpacing entries from Samsung, Amazon, and Google throughout November and the first half of December. The findings are in keeping with previous analyses of the tablet market, which showed Apple in the lead but Samsung and others increasing share.
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49 minutes ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is close to completing a list of rules for cellphone unlocking with US carriers, according to a report. The new rules would govern how a carrier advises a consumer about unlocking and the timing of the unlocking process itself, with the deal between the mobile phone networks and FCC expected to be agreed upon in the near future.
A report issued by the advocacy group Fair Labor Association has praised Foxconn for continuing to improve working conditions. An audit reportedly found that three of Foxconn's factories in Longhua, Chengdu and Guanlan, each tasked with assembling iPhones and other Apple devices, have satisfied nearly all of the goals that were outlined last year in a reform plan.
2 hours ago | Posted in: industry
Southwest Airlines is allowing users of Apple's iOS devices to send iMessages while in flight for just $2. A post on the company's blog revealed that the airline will be rolling out in-flight iMessaging for $2 per day for users with a device running iOS 5 or later. The feature was enabled on Southwest flights on Wednesday, and it joins a number of other digital-oriented features the airline has rolled out of recent.
2 hours ago | Posted in iOS apps
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a mobile port of the classic side scrolling game. The v3.0 update introduces a new Boss Attack mode that challenges players to defeat all of the game’s bosses in a a single run. Players can also now choose to play through the game as Knuckles or Tails, and for the first time can play through the Hidden Palace Zone, a level that was scrapped from the original game.
Fantastical is a calendar utility that allows users to create events by explaining events in basic English. For example, a user can enter "Lunch with John at 123 Main Street on Tuesday," and the software will add all of the relevant information to a new event. In v2.0.3 TextExpander support now requires TextExpander 2.3 or later. An option to open maps in Waze has also been added, and problems with editing recurring Google Calendar events have been fixed.
Dictionary.com provides users with all of the sites Dictionary and Thesaurus information in a downloadable format. The app stores all of the necessary data locally and does not require an active internet connection for use. Version 4.4 adds a number of new premium upgrades, including Idioms and Phrases, Grammar and Tips, a Slang Dictionary, and an entire Encyclopedia. A new in-app message center also allows users to receive word trivia and other bonus content.
The PayPal mobile application allows users to manage their account, as well as send money to friends from an iOS device. Within the application users can check balances, withdraw funds, and view past transactions. A number of improvements are included in this update, along with various fixes for known bugs. The app should now run smoother on iOS 7 devices and problems users were experiencing with logging in have been eliminated.
Wikipanion Plus allows users to browse through Wikipedia articles in an iOS friendly format. From within the app users can search for any Wikipedia page, and optionally save them to the device for offline reading. iCloud syncing has been added for iOS 7 devices in this release, and a bug that could delete certain history items has been resolved.
4 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging, iPhone apps
Instagram has introduced a new feature, Instagram Direct, that enables users to privately share messages, photos and videos. The announcement marks a shift from the company's previous system, which was designed solely for public sharing. Users can now choose to send content to another individual or groups of up to 15 people.
Apple has rejected claims that an underage worker's death at a Pegatron factory was due to poor working conditions. The Cupertino-based company reportedly sent its own team of medical investigators to the factory, which is said to assemble the iPhone 5c, however the experts agreed with Pegatron's assertion that the assembly line environment was not a contributing factor in the pneumonia death.
7 hours ago | Posted in: Graphics/Web Design, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Yahoo has acknowledged that a number of users were not able to access Yahoo Mail for part of this week, with the company apologizing for the outage on the official blog. The mail downtime commenced on Monday, with the company claiming to have fixed the issue for the majority of affected users last night, though support teams are apparently still working on some loose ends.
9 hours ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Facebook has updated its iOS app to automatically play videos that appear in a user's news feed. Version 6.8 of the app does have the videos set as muted by default, reports TUAW, and though there is no option to turn off the autoplay aspect of the videos, there are settings to allow it to work just on Wi-Fi connections rather than cellular. Both videos from users and advertising will be affected by the change, though it is not known when it will appear in versions on other software platforms.
11 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging
Adobe on Wednesday updated its photo-management and editing program Lightroom to version 5.3 after more than a month in beta, adding support for a number of cameras as well as bringing tethered capture to the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. The company also updated Adobe Camera Raw to version 8.3, which now supports the iPhone 5s lens among others as well as many other camera models, and brings some new features such as auto-straighten and new camera profiles.
An official China Mobile page which lets Beijing-based users make reservations for its new "4G" LTE service features a graphic of the iPhone 5s and (on a different page) a jewel-encrusted golden apple -- which both confirms that the world's largest cellular carrier will be including the iPhone at long last, and hints that pre-orders for it could begin as early as late Thursday. China Mobile is the last of China's major cellular providers to carry the iPhone, the result of nearly six years of negotiations.
Samsung's tales of woe against Apple in court continue -- this time in its South Korean home. Samsung has lost an attempt to ban assorted iPhone and iPad models in South Korea, as the presiding judge dismissed a lawsuit that had Samsung claiming patent infringement against the Cupertino manufacturer.
In a move likely designed to compete with T-Mobile's recent discounting of iPhone down payments, US retail giant Walmart will cut its up-front price for the 16GB models of the iPhone 5s and 5c by $72 when purchased with a two-year contract from either AT&T or Verizon. The promotion, which begins Friday December 13, coincides with the launch of Walmart's contract-free iPhone sales with service through Straight Talk or NET10 Wireless.
18 hours ago | Posted in: digital imaging, Graphics/Web Design
A pair of ex-Pixar employees have formed 180g -- a software development company that has now released an e-book publishing tool, Vellum. The new OS X software package allows authors and small publishers to easily create, modify, and publish elegant e-books compatible with the three major US platforms: Apple's iBookstore, Amazon's Kindle, and Barnes & Noble's Nook.
19 hours ago | Posted in: iPad
Apple's good fortune in Japan continue apace, with the company's iPad offerings making up six out of the top 10 bestselling tablets in that country. This according to BCN, which measures electronics sales in Japan and found that Apple tablets were overall the most popular. Topping BCN's list was the iPad Air, followed by the iPad mini.
Even before an expected debut on the world's largest cellular provider, China Mobile, is announced, Apple's new iPhone models have led to a surprising surge in Chinese sales, vaulting the company from sixth place in marketshare to third place since it debuted its latest models. The popularity of the iPhone 5s and 5c have been such that the company tripled its marketshare in a single month, according to a report from market researchers Counterpoint.
21 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets
Foxconn – also known as Hon Hai, assembler of Apple's iPhones and iPads – is looking to capitalize on the anticipated boom in wearable tech by starting an investment fund to finance nascent companies working in the segment. Sources familiar with the project told Bloomberg this week that Syntrend Creative Park Co., a Foxconn unit, will administer the NT$200 million ($6.8 million) fund aimed at giving the firm a hand in the development of wearable devices in the vein of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the Google Glass eyewear computer, and the suspected Apple iWatch. The move is the latest by Foxconn to diversify its operations to handle more things than the construction of iOS devices for its most lucrative partner.
22 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
Tony Fadell, one of the creators of the iPod and the founder of Nest, appears to have been the individual who purchased special edition gold Apple EarPods and a red Mac Pro at an auction at Sotheby's. This according to photographer Kevin Abosch, who tweeted images of Fadell with the auctioned items on Wednesday. All told, the two one-of-a-kind Apple products are believed to have cost Fadell around $1.4 million.
23 hours ago | Posted in: computers, upgrades/storage
Promise Technology today announced the availability of Pegasus2, the only RAID 5 storage solution in the market thus far that is designed to work with Thunderbolt 2-enabled systems such as the forthcoming new Mac Pro. The enclosure -- designed for photographers, video professionals, and other users needing extremely high data transfer rates -- delivers 20Gbps of bandwidth, allowing for simultaneous transfer and display of high-bandwidth 3D and 4K video files.
23 hours ago | Posted in: software, upgrades/storage, iPhone apps, iPad apps
RealNetworks' RealPlayer Cloud, a dual-purpose video player and cloud service, has announced its new partnership with Google's Chromecast. Consumers can now watch their personal video collection on their TV by accessing content on the RealPlayer Cloud through its own app, pushing the content to a TV using the Chromecast dongle.
Wed December 11, 2013 | Posted in: software
Google has formally introduced Chrome Apps for OS X, enabling the web-coded apps to "behave and feel" like native software on Macs. Titles can be placed on the Dock or searched for by name in Spotlight, opening in separate Chrome windows that omit the search bar, tabs and other browser-specific features.
Wed December 11, 2013 | Posted in: security
The National Security Agency (NSA) may have been using cookies from web advertisements in order to track individuals, according to a report. A PREF cookie, a unique identifier typically used in Google's advertising system, has apparently been used by the NSA alongside location data, in order to locate individuals of interest to the agency.
Wed December 11, 2013 | Posted in: industry
Japan has reportedly taken the lead position in mobile app revenue for both iOS and Android platforms, according to data collected by analyst firm App Annie. The US previously held the top spot, however Japan's four-fold jump in revenue from mobile game sales has helped the country maintain a stronger growth rate over the past year.
Wed December 11, 2013 | Posted in: software, audio, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Spotify has rolled out its free music streaming service to tablets and smartphones, just as speculated by reports last week, along with a number of other announcements. While the tablet version of the app will have a similar service to that of the free desktop version, smartphone users will be forced to use a new free "Shuffle" mode instead.
Wed December 11, 2013 | Posted in: iPhone, software, accessories, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Felix has released its latest phone cases for the iPhone 5 and 5s today: the HandHold, and the CrossWay. Designed to be minimalist, the cases protect the phone as well as store thin items such as credit cards, a license, or cash.
PopChar X allows users to add special characters without the need to remember a keystroke combination. In v6.4 the character table should now display paster, and the built-in installer now reliably cleans up temporary files after automatic updates. Background activity has also been reduced by reloading the available fonts only when absolutely necessary.
Acorn is an image editing utility that offers layer support, built-in effects, vector shapes and text, and more. Version 2.2.2 fixes a problem where PDF files were not opening correctly. In addition, issues where the New View windows were showing the image in the wrong colorspace, or not properly updating when moving a bitmap layer have also been fixed.
Arq is a backup utility that will make incremental backups to an online storage account. The software keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. The latest release has added a backup set UUID to Glacier vault names to make restricting access via IAM easier.
VLC Media Player includes support for a wide range of audio and video file formats, including DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Several audio output bugs have been fixed in this release, align with issues related to video filters, decoders, and the Qt interface. UI resetting has also been improved, and a new language option has a been added to the interface.
NoteList is an app that allows users to manage and organize all of their notes and memos. Notes can be labeled with customizable colored tags that allow users to keep entries grouped and organized. Version 3.2 solves a problem with the startup document, improves various functions, and fixes various minor bugs.
Wed December 11, 2013 | Posted in: Apple
The Apple TV set-top device got a wave of new content on Wednesday, with Bloomberg TV making its debut on the Apple streaming device, alongside a number of other new channels. As well as the new Bloomberg app, Apple TV owners will now have access to Crackle, Watch ABC, and KORTV. The apps should be available now via a background update.
Wed December 11, 2013 | Posted in: gaming, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Rovio has released the latest addition to its Angry Birds series of Apps on iOS with Angry Birds Go! The new entry in the popular franchise is a Mario Kart-like downhill racer with the eponymous fowls facing off against each other, as well as their ever-present porcine nemeses. The entry also brings into play a number of physical toys that open up new items in the game's virtual world.
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