Institutional and volume buyers now get better price break
Organizations and enterprises that spend more than $5,000 a year on Apple products will be seeing an increased discount on volume buying of Apple hardware. Apple as of last week has improved its hardware volume purchasing discount, and added the unlocked iPhone and Apple TV to the program for the first time. The improvement in discount ranges from one to three percent, depending on the level of annual spending on Apple products.
AT&T cuts wireless data charges for individual customers without contact
AT&T has announced wireless data price cuts to individual customers that do not have annual service contracts. Done in an attempt to rival its competitor, T-Mobile, customers having one smartphone with no annual service contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan that features 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50GB of cloud storage. Those who have two smartphones will now pay $90 per month.
Sony announces PlayStation 4 sales exceed 6 million units globally this week
As of March 2, Sony has announced that its PlayStation 4 console system has cumulatively sold through more than six million units globally. Software sales currently total over 1.37 million copies sold in retail stores, as well as through digital downloads. Over 370,000 console units have been sold in Japan since its launch in the region on February 22. The PS4 system is currently available in 57 countries worldwide.
Adds support for OS X 10.9.2, tweaks Profile Manager
Apple on Monday released an updated "developer preview" of OS X Server 3.1, which updates support for OS X 10.9.2 (and requires it in order to run) and makes some minor changes in the recent Profile Manager overhaul. The new build is identified as 13S4122, up 21 builds from the previous beta, which was released in mid-February. As 10.9.2 is now officially out, Apple is likely pushing to release the final 3.1 server update soon.
New version enhances business use at cost of some personality
FileMaker Pro 13 is the first new version of the venerable database software since the company opted to kill of its consumer-friendly Bento software, and brings some of that influence into the fold -- such as new themes, easier import and a more-streamlined web-publishing feature to compliment FileMaker 12's mobile savvy. Is it worth the upgrade? Are databases still useful outside business or enterprise? Read on to find out.
Apple changes and adds to mobile device management programs
Ahead of the release of iOS 7.1, expected in the middle of next month, Apple has proceeded with an overhaul of its existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms for educational, enterprise and institutional clients. It launched a new Volume Services web site earlier this month, and has now activated a number of features on that site, kicking off a big push for large-scale iOS deployments.
Barnes & Noble announces plans to launch new Nook devices in early 2015
Barnes & Noble has released its third quarter financial results today, which highlights narrowed losses compared to previous reports. In addition, the company has announced its plan to launch a new Nook color e-reader in early fiscal 2015. As reported last June, Barnes & Noble suffered losses on its Nook tablet lines, and subsequently announced its move to co-brand future Nook tablets with third-party manufacturers. This move was to assume less risk in production, while still earning money from devices sold and allowing for room to focus on its digital bookstore.
Will allow people to preorder from digital menus
Mobile payment service Square is testing out a new app called Pickup, reports say. Priceonomics notes the app is currently in beta with some San Francisco restaurants, and lets people order takeout food in advance of showing up. This is possible because the app has access to participating restaurants' menus, and lets people pay through Square.
RealPlayer Cloud now available for international users
RealNetworks has announced today that RealPlayer Cloud is now available for international users. RealPlayer Cloud provides users with 2GB of free cloud storage space, with additional storage available through subscription plans starting at $5 per month for 25GB of data. The app offers users moving, watching and sharing of videos with any user on any device, across platforms, supporting a wide variety of video formats.
Opera Software launches mobile internet packages sponsored to cover customer cost
Opera Software has announced the launch of its Sponsored Web Pass product, offering mobile Internet packages to consumers that provide free data. Operators can team up with advertisers to sponsor the cost of customers' mobile Internet access, in time- or content-based increments. By watching a short ad from a corporate sponsor prior to viewing selected content, users can then engage with the content in their (free) Web Pass for its duration. When the Sponsored Web Pass expires, users are given the opportunity to opt-out of continuing using data. Operators interested in utilizing Opera's Web Pass can contact Opera Software.
Follows shortly after latest OS X 10.9.2 beta
Apple is seeding a new build of the OS X Server 3.1 beta to developers, reports say. The code is identified as build 13S4101b. So far, any further improvements have gone undiscovered.
Changes won't affect most of the public
iOS 7.1 should ship "around March 15," and incorporate an overhaul of Apple's existing mobile device management (MDM) platform, a source tells AppleInsider. The company is said to be working with several MDM vendors and institutional clients on the overhaul. It has already launched a new Volume Services website, which is reportedly still in testing but includes options like "Automate MDM Enrollment" and "Buy Apps and Books in Volume." The new tools are expected to go live around the same time as iOS 7.1.
Security startup SlickLogin purchased by Google
Israeli security startup SlickLogin has announced that it will be joining Google, in light of the company's recent buyout. Aiming to offer a simplistic yet secure method of user authentication, SlickLogin's users can authorize access to a secure account by placing their phone next to their laptop or tablet, which emits an undetectable sound. The sound acts as a unique audio password, and utilizes patent-pending technologies. Google's acquisition of SlickLogin suggests that its two-factor authentication technology may be replaced in the future.
Marriott Hotels rolls out mobile check-out feature
Marriott Hotels is introducing a new mobile checkout feature, allowing its guests to check out of their room by using the Marriott Mobile App. As early as 4AM on the day of scheduled departure, guests will be notified on their smartphone that mobile check-out is available. App users provide their email address to receive their bill, and can leave room keys in the room. The new feature accompanies the already-available mobile check-in function that was launched last July on the Marriott Hotel app in the US and Canada. The Marriott Hotel app can be downloaded free for iOS and Android devices on iTunes and Google Play, respectively.
DaaS allows Chromebooks to run cloud-based Windows apps
Chrome OS users will be able to use traditional Windows apps in the future, Google has announced. Working with VMWare, the two companies have developed Desktop as a Service (DaaS) for enterprise users, allowing companies to run Windows apps on servers with the intention of letting Chrome OS devices connect and stream the content directly to the Chromebook or Chromebox.
iPhones account for vast majority of devices
iOS devices represented some 73 percent of all enterprise mobile device activations during the December quarter, a new Good Technology report claims. The data (PDF) comes from customers of the company's Good Dynamics Secure Mobility Platform, but includes a number of Fortune 500 companies spread across different sectors. Good notes that it saw overall activations grow 34 percent between Q1 and Q4.
Improves reports, dashboard
Ntractive has released Elements CRM 5.5, a major interim update of its of its customer management software for the Mac. The software now includes two new resolution modes, Mobile and Desktop. The latter is meant to take better advantage of iMacs and dedicated monitors, and also makes more dashboard data visible.
Whole Foods become second large-scale customer of Square
Natural foods grocery chain Whole Foods has plans to integrate Square's iPad cash registers into its stores, with a few of its locations already implementing the devices. Whole Foods has signed a deal to put Square's iPad-based payment systems inside US grocery locations, where they will be used at counters that sell ready-to-consume products, such as pizza, sandwiches, and beverages, for the purpose of supplementing conventional checkouts. Customers will be able to pay for 'quick purchases' at the cash register with credit and debit cards, cash, and the Square Wallet smartphone app (in some locations). Whole Foods is the second major company to adopt Square's payment system.
Web interface gets HTML5 video, ZIP file support
CrushFTP has released a major update of its self-named enterprise-oriented FTP software, v7.0. One change for enterprise users only is the addition of a job scheduler, which can also run jobs in intervals. Events in the app now have a visual task-designing interface, and the progress of tasks can be monitored in real-time. Tasks are also more resilient, surviving server restarts and allowing handoffs to secondary servers. A dashboard is available to server administrators.
Orders must cost at least $25,000
Apple is offering a select group of companies up to 20 percent off leases for the 2013 Mac Pro, a new report claims. Eligible businesses must be in the US, and placing orders for at least $25,000 of hardware with a 24-month lease period. Even then, it's believed that only some companies are receiving the offer via email notices.
Kickstarter for alternative cloud service and device combo exceeds its campaign goal
San Franciscan siblings Karisma and Sam Nagar have successfully crowd-funded their cloud device and service Pixeom, with eleven days to spare in its Kickstarter campaign. The Pixeom Exchange Device is a prototype that offers an alternative to corporate cloud services that require access to its users' information to use its digital space. Aiming to facilitate a new type of data exchange for Internet users, Pixeom functions by centralizing one's own cloud network in a personal home device, as opposed to a large, remote data center. All of a user's cloud service needs will be supported within the device at a one-time purchasing cost, facilitating storage, social networking, and online auctioning functions that focus on privacy.
Software creates 'video walls,' digital signage, remains Mac-exclusive
Renewed Vision has unveiled its Mac-exclusive ProVideoPlayer (PVP) version 2.0, sporting improvements and new features alongside a rewritten application and redesigned user interface in what the company says is the culmination of eight years of real-world experience with using the software in live presentations, installations and other events. The software is used for digital signage, video walls and other professional video presentations.
Years after discontinuing enterprise products, post-PC era reaps benefits
Largely overlooked by analysts and investors obsessed with Apple's iPhone segment -- to the exclusion of otherwise strong revenues and growth -- were new numbers on Apple's penetration of the enterprise market, which has seen tremendous growth in the latest figures. Bolstered by BlackBerry's unravelling and a shift towards letting employees use their own preferences for mobile devices, Apple completely dominates the mobile enterprise market.
Blu's Vivo 4.8 HD Android phone offered for $250 unlocked
Upstart Android manufacturer Blu has released a new midrange smartphone, the Vivo 4.8 HD. At 6.9mm thick (0.2 inches), the Vivo 4.8 HD offers a 4.8-inch screen with 720x1280 Super AMOLED display, the Vivo 4.8 has a 1.5GHz quad-core chip processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB of storage memory. Its camera functionality consists of an eight-megapixel rear and five-megapixel front-facing unit. Blu's Vivio 4.8 HD phone is available unlocked for $250, in black, white, yellow and pink.
Client tracker and billing management software TaskTime 4 released
TaskTime 4, a tracking and billing app, has had its latest update released this week. Able to track clients and projects that are under way, TaskTime 4 allows users to manage business transactions and facilitate creating invoices. Data can be stored and backed up within the program, and synced to iCal and DropBox. TaskTime 4's project manager can be used to add, delete, rename, merge and store projects, and its client manager offers the same for clients.
Future buyers could scan code with iPhone camera, pay with iTunes credit
A report in the Wall Street Journal suggests that Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue have been holding meetings and discussions with other technology business leaders regarding an Apple-branded mobile payment system. Buyers could, for example, simply scan a product barcode using their iPhone, confirm the purchase, and instantly pay for it through their iTunes or linked credit card accounts.
Interactive CV timeline service Sumry lifts free beta period
Sumry, an interactive CV hosting service has closed its period of free beta testing. Intended to be an alternative to a standard résumé or CV, Sumry offers its platform as a space to display job experience and life history in the format of a storied timeline. The user's profile page is split into six sections (story, passions, skills, personality, contact information, and links) and is fully customizable with different background colors, links and more. Creating an account with Sumry is free, and setting one's profile to live is $3 per month.
New processors designed for virtualization, heavy processor loads
AMD today announced the immediate availability of its new 12- and 16-core AMD Opteron 6300 Series server processors, code named "Warsaw." Designed for enterprise workloads with a heavy emphasis on virtualization, the new AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors feature the "Piledriver" core and are fully socket- and software-compatible with the existing AMD Opteron 6300 Series.
Upgrade free for OmniOutliner buyers dating back to 2011
OmniGroup has released OmniOutliner 4 for Mac, an update of its core notetaking and organization software. The app is now Mavericks-only, but has gained a number of tool and general interface enhancements. These include things like a new, modernized sidebar, better inspectors, column hiding, and a Resource Browser. Text zooming lets users quickly inflate text sizes for easier reading.
Griffin Technology's Merchant Case and Square Reader for iPhone facilitate business usage
Officially announced at this year's CES, Griffin Technology is now shipping its Merchant Case and Square Reader for the iPhone 5/5s/5c line. The Merchant case is custom-molded to secure the Square Reader in place, and eliminate excess strain on the iPhone's headphone jack when connected. The groove along the bottom aligns with the Square Reader, and allows credit cards to slide through smoothly. Its silicone construction protects the phone from drops and bumps, and an integrated slot located on the back of the case stores the Square Reader when not in use.
Mac, iPad spending rising thanks to iPhone 'halo' effect, report says
A new study by Forrester Research shows that despite not actively courting the business and government markets, Apple continues to win sales in those sectors through the quality of the products. Having accounted for only one percent of worldwide government and business spending in 2009, Apple now accounts for eight percent, and is expected to hit 11 percent in 2015 -- even more remarkably, the study does not even include spending on smartphones.
Company promises 25 percent faster transfers from new hardware
LenovoEMC today announced the worldwide availability of the new px4-400d Network Storage, a high performance four-bay desktop NAS that delivers advanced data protection plus local and remote content sharing utilizing the existing LenovoEMC LifeLine operating system. Lenovo promises up to 25 percent higher data read and write performance than in its previous models of network attached storage devices.
Interface gets minor improvements
Oranged Software has released Studiometry 11.1, an update to its project and customer management software for businesses. The v11.1 patch adds sub-projects, which are created simply by dragging one project onto another. Users can now also assign resources to events or tasks, such as rooms and equipment. If a person tries to assign a resource that's already claimed, the software will warn them about scheduling conflicts.
Allows companies to push content without breaking plan limits
AT&T has introduced Sponsored Data, a new program that will allow businesses to cover the costs of data for cellular subscribers, bypassing the caps most mobile plans have. A developer or publisher, for instance, might choose to cover the costs of an app, or a movie studio might pay for trailer downloads. More obscure possibilities include covering the costs of visiting shopping and healthcare websites, paying for internal business-related traffic, or attaching sponsored data to loyalty programs.
New low-profile projectors offer HDMI, USB OSX and Windows connectivity
Epson today introduced three new VS-Series projector models. The new low-cost Epson VS230, VS330 and VS335W allow for bright images for small- to medium-sized meeting rooms, are lightweight and travel-friendly, and offer Epson's simple setup suite for flexible positioning and rapid setup.
Configurator 1.4.3 fixes VPP redemption issues, other bugs
On Thursday, Apple updated its enterprise Mac program for iOS device mass-configuration, Apple Configurator, now at version 1.4.3. The update improves redemption of Volume Purchase Program (VPP) codes when installing App Store apps by fixing an issue in which valid codes were incorrectly reported as "already redeemed." It also resolves a problem with skipping Setup Assistant steps while preparing an unsupervised device, and fixes an issue that could prevent the app from being quit. It requires OS X 10.8 or later, and is available free on the Mac App Store.
Microsoft sees big increase in activations, but percentage still tiny
A new study by Microsoft Exchange services firm Intermedia has shown that Apple devices being activated on its Microsoft Exchange-based network accounted for 76 percent of all small- and medium-business (SMB) activations across 2013 -- some 190,000 iPhones and iPads in total. This was more than six times the 29,000 activations seen with Samsung Android devices, providing some insight into a continuing trend in business that favors Apple products.
Dropbox for Business to be offered to Dell enterprise customers
Dell has announced a number of new partnerships it has formed with other companies at its Dell World event in Austin today. The computer producer revealed updates to the Dell Cloud Partner Program, an agreement with Red Hat over OpenStack, and that it would start offering Dropbox for Business through its enterprise sales, among other announcements.
Supports major cloud services
Boxcryptor has released an OS X client for its self-titled encryption software. The tool is used to encrypt files before uploading them to a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Box, or SugarSync. Using Boxcryptor's apps for various platforms, including iOS and Android, the files can be decrypted and accessed elsewhere.
Design gets shareable themes, drag-and-drop data
Having leaked it yesterday, today Apple-owned FileMaker has formally announced FileMaker 13, the next major edition of its database creation software. One of the major additions is WebDirect, an HTML5-based method of publishing databases to the web without special programming. When developing iOS frontends, users can now generate them in a single step, and add things like slide controls, popovers, gesture controls, custom keyboards, and barcode capture functions.
Valentina Studio 5.5 released, Paradigma offers Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials
Paradigma's cross-platform database management software for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, Valentina Studio has been updated to v5.5 and 5.5 Pro. Offering new features for administration of database servers, Valentina Studio has improved report design features for datasource Microsoft SQL Server, additional administrator functions, and more. Valentina Studio Pro is regularly available for $200, and includes 12 months of free updates, while Valentina Studio is free.
eBay Now's same-day delivery service free until Christmas Eve
Auction site eBay announced today that its local shopping and delivery service, eBay Now, is offering free delivery from now until Christmas Eve on orders more than $25. The eBay Now service is available for customers in San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Jose, parts of New York City and Chicago for delivery of local products within an hour of ordering online.
ESPN's SportsCenter app offers personalized ESPN content, optimized for iOS 7 and Android
ESPN Digital Media today launched its SportsCenter app for iOS and Android. The app provides sports fans a comprehensive, personalized mix of preferred ESPN content. ESPN SportsCenter is considered to be an update to ESPN's popular ScoreCenter app.
Company has 90,000 employees, most currently on BlackBerry
Like many federal agencies and other large businesses, Pfizer - one of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers with unprecedented influence in the healthcare industry - has asked its employees to transition away from BlackBerry phones and towards their choice of iOS or Android products instead. The company, in a memo announcing the change, said the transition was due to BlackBerry's "volatile state" and advised employees to make the change as soon as contracts allow.
New distribution option lets organizations control individual app use
Apple has made two new improvements to its Volume Purchase Program for business and education. The first is a concept called Managed Distribution, allowing organizations to assign or revoke app licenses for individual users, instead of operating through redemption codes. A school, for instance, can assign apps and books to select groups of students, or one student at a time. The function supports iOS 7 and Mavericks clients, and can be controlled through OS X Server's Profile Manager or updated third-party device managers.
Collection of Parallels tools to help manage virtual machines in enterprise
Virtualization solutions provider Parallels has introduced a new suite of tools and updates for mixed Mac and Windows environments, aimed at enterprise. Parallels Business Solutions rolls together the Parallels Management Suite, Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition, and the Parallels Access iPad app, with the entire collection meant to help IT managers use the existing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) infrastructure to manage both Macs and virtual machines.
New drives increase data density, lower operating temperatures
Western Digital today announced that after a year in development, it is shipping the 6TB Ultrastar He6 enterprise-class hard disk drive. Taking advantage of the inherent benefits of helium, which is one-seventh the density of air, the new Ultrastar He6 drive features Western Digital's 7Stac disk design with 6TB, making it the world's highest-capacity HDD aimed at cloud storage, massive scale deployments, disk-to-disk backup, and replicated or RAID environments in a data center environment.
Works with phones, tablets, computers
Logitech has announced the Mobile Speakerphone P710e, a peripheral for phones, tablets, and computers. The unit connects via USB or Bluetooth, and props phones and tablets up for easier viewing. It can pair with up to eight Bluetooth devices, two of them simultaneously; in the case of NFC-equipped devices, Bluetooth pairing can be done simply by tapping against the speakerphone.
95 percent of enterprise apps, 90 percent of tablets, 72 percent overall
A new report by Good Technology notes that in addition to dominating the competition in corporate adoption, Apple's iOS platform is also gaining share as it sees a new wave of enterprise device adoption and activation. Overall business mobile device activations are up 60 percent, while iOS percentage of the market has grown to 72 percent, up from 69 percent in Q2. Apple's platform is also responsible for an astonishing 95 percent of all enterprise app use, and holds 90 percent of the tablet share.
'A place for the most creative teams ... to innovate for decades to come'
Apple's Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer may have at first seemed to be an unusual choice for hosting a sneak-peek at a very large 3D architectural model of Apple's forthcoming Campus 2, known already as "the Spaceship" three years before it is even planned to open -- but like his colleagues, Oppenheimer has a gift for selling dreams. Along with Senior Director of Real Estate and Facilities Dan Whisenhunt, the CFO gave reporters a tour of the model ahead of a Cupertino City Council vote.