Windows Phone holds steady at one percent; BlackBerry not counted in survey
The latest Good Technology Mobility Index Report on the mobile enterprise space, based on a survey of Good's customer base for its own enterprise-level email services, shows iOS gaining ground by taking away share from Android in calendar Q4 2014, with the former growing by four percentage points to hit 73 percent share of global enterprise activations. Android fell by the same amount to 25 percent, while Windows Phone held steady at one percent.
Ridiculously easy way to edit relationship data into Contacts
This week's Pointers tip is short and sweet, and one of those head-slapping "of course!" moments. It's a far simpler way of adding your family into Siri so that she (or he) will understand who you mean when you say "send a text to my wife" or "read me the last email from my father." You can do this manually in Contacts (or the previous version, known as Address Book), but its a bit labor-intensive that way. Using this easier method, you can eliminate the dreaded "which John did you mean?" when you know more than one, and meant the one you're related to.
Commercial itself was created using iPad Air 2, showcases student works
During the Academy Awards on Sunday night, Apple debuted a new minute-long TV commercial that features the iPad Air 2 -- not only as the subject of the ad, but also as the creative tool that created the spot. Appropriately called "Make a film with iPad," the entire commercial was shot using the built-in camera of the iPad Air 2, and combines the work of students using the tablet to make their own films with behind-the-scenes footage and a voice-over from director Martin Scorsese.
Superb Sudoku app gets gets bug fix update
The bug was something to do with iOS 8 compatibility. We don't care. We just want to enthuse about a puzzle game that has kept us up nights with that 'just one more game' feeling. Plus, the bug's been fixed now, what are you waiting for? Sue Doku is on the App Store and it's $1.
Move possible, but would require re-think by Apple of existing OS security
According to "sources familiar with the matter," Apple is intending to launch more public beta releases of upcoming system software, starting with a revision to iOS8 in mid-May. The move may be intended to help deflect criticism of recent, high-profile bugs in releases of both Apple's iOS, as well as in its desktop operating system, OS X.
Beats headphones, iOS devices, MacBook all leaders in their respective categories
A new survey measuring customer loyalty and engagement has picked several categories of Apple products as the best in their field, at least in the minds of consumers. Beats headphones were the top most-liked headphone brand, the combined MacBook lines took best laptop, and the iPhone and iPad unsurprisingly won best smartphone and tablet, respectively. The Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index measures how well a product meets -- or exceeds -- consumer expectations.
win 1 of 2 copies of Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut
Late last year, Harebrained Schemes released their latest title Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut. This RPG game features 17 missions, intuitive touch interface, team customizations options and more. Last week, our staff completed a Hands On review, and also obtained two iOS App Store redemption codes to give to our readers.
win 1 of 5 copies of Workflow 1.1
What is Workflow 1.1? Is it really an "essential" tool to add to your tool kit? What's new in version 1.1? Last week MacNN explored these questions in a complete Hands On review. We discussed who this software title would be good for, and who it might not be so good for. We also secured five promo codes to give away copies of this software to our readers.
The MacNN Podcast for February 16, 2015
The MacNN Podcast hits its second episode and engages on a wide variety of topics! Join this week's hosts, MacNN Editor Charles Martin, alongside staff writer Michelle Elbert, reviewer William Gallagher, and news writer Malcolm Owen as they discuss the events that got our attention, needed further discussion, or just plain tickled our fancy.
Initiative launches in September, massive transaction volume expected
At today's Cyber Security conference at California's Stanford University, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage. As part of the appearance, the White House and Cook announced that Apple Pay would be enabled for users of federal payment cards, including all benefits that are paid out through debit cards. Additionally, the Apple payment service would be accepted at National parks and similar venues.
BrydgeAir stands out from the Bluetooth keyboard accessory crowd
The market for keyboard accessories for tablets like the iPad is extensive, whether Apple likes it or not. That Apple hasn't released an equivalent accessory to speaks volumes about the typical ergonomics of these kinds of accessories. The best option that we have found to date is to marry an iPad with the Incase Origami and one of Apple's wireless keyboards, although it is not the most integrated solution. Does the BrydgeAir Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad Air offer a better, more integrated solution?
Popular RPG series makes leap to iOS
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is, in some ways, a testament to how much mobile gaming has evolved. The assumption used to be that anyone playing a game on a phone or tablet could only afford to play for a few minutes at a time while riding the subway or sitting in a waiting room. Now that mobile devices are beginning to replace computers and consoles for some people though, it's not uncommon to see single-player iOS and Android titles that can take a dozen hours or more to complete.
Airline becomes first to take mobile payment system for in-flight purchases
JetBlue has announced that, starting next week, passengers will be able to pay for items such as food and beverages in-flight using Apple Pay. Items range from amenities like headsets and food items, to upgrading to a premium seat. The service will begin with cross-country flights between New York and California, then expand to other routes. Flight attendants will use Apple's iPad mini, which will be specially encased to take credit cards as well.
Initiative praising Apple, Samsung for strides in anti-theft measures
Smartphone thefts have precipitously declined in three major cities that spearheaded an anti-theft initiative that they claim has driven industry trends. According to a joint press release from New York, San Francisco, and London, iPhone thefts alone have fallen 25, 40, and 50 percent, respectively -- the law enforcement group claims that device "kill switches," known in the Apple world as "Activation Lock" and "Remote Wipe," are credited for the drop in stolen devices.
Bringing your 'brains' with you, safely and efficiently
You may have noticed that people rarely use the term "getting away from it all" when they talk about vacations anymore. Unless you are going camping in the middle of absolutely nowhere, or trying to do a cruise ship on the cheap, chances are you are in fact bringing some of "it" with you -- probably in the form of your iPhone, iPad or Mac (or all three) and a connection to the Internet. As jet-setting journalists, we have come up with a few tips for this over the years, which we now pass on to you.
Credit card ties Apple Pay to tradition, while Elliphant breaks new ground
American Express has again created its own commercial featuring Apple Pay, a technology the company has been a strong supporter of. Made in collaboration with Apple, the Amex ad uses its own previous commercials to portray the mobile payment technology as the next step of its evolution. In contrast, Apple's own latest TV spot is busy promoting the company's iPad tablet, showcasing its role in rap artist Elliphant's song creation process.
Bluetooth stylus brings pressure sensitivity to iPad
Bluetooth styluses are a relatively new development for the iPad. They all offer some level of pressure sensitivity, ranging from 16 in the very cheap ones, to thousands of levels in the more expensive models, sometimes running well over $100. Seeing a market, big name developers like Wacom have entered the arena to design accessories to work with tablets. We checked out FiftyThree's Pencil -- one of the earlier entries into the field, and designed to go specifically with the company's Paper drawing app, though it can be used elsewhere.
Health data from the 'worried well' can help identify problems early
Apple's HealthKit API and the apps that utilize it aim to take data collected from the iOS 8 Health app and others, and allow the user the option of sending it securely on to the user's healthcare provider (complying with HIPAA as required by law). Of the 23 top hospitals surveyed by Reuters, 14 of them -- or 60 percent -- responded that pilot projects involving HealthKit were either in place or being worked out.
Rival beats TSMC to 14-nanometer process, said to win contract
Numerous reports appear to confirm that Samsung will return to a larger role in helping Apple manufacture its next-generation A9 chip, which will be used in future iOS devices. Apple primarily uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for its A8 chips seen in the iPhone 6 and current iPad lines, but still used Samsung for manufacturing the chips to some extent due to demand. Sources say Samsung has beaten TSMC to a 14-nanometer process, giving it the edge.
Package built for iOS 7, runs on iOS 8; limited possibility of spread
Security researcher Trend Micro has found another malware package that uses Apple's "ad hoc provisioning" feature to install. The software, called XAgent, is part of a phishing attack that harvests contact information from an infected phone, and emails itself to friends of the infected. Users must install the malware themselves, but could be tricked into doing so. Data stolen includes text messages, contact lists, pictures (specifically, screen shots), location information, and a list of installed applications.
Combined leasing plan saves $17 on equivalent separate schemes
Sprint is offering its customers the option of switching over to iOS devices wholesale, with a promotional bundle that leases just Apple products. The carrier is putting together its current iPhone for Life and iPad for Life schemes into one single leasing plan, which will let users have both an iPhone and an iPad all on the same mobile plan for $100 per month.
Prediction based on likely development time, Apple Watch timing
Speculators are now predicting, based on the usual development cycle and other factors, that Apple will release the currently-in-testing iOS 8.2 upgrade next month. Conventional wisdom has the release as likely in the second week, approximately a month prior to the Apple Watch rollout, which is estimated for April. In related news, Apple has updated its gauge for iOS 8 adoption, now at 72 percent of users.
monitors, Macs, iPods and iPads
Apple's online store currently has a vast selection of refurbished products, from iPods and iPads to Mac Pros and accessories. Save $200 on the refurbished 27-inch Apple Cinema display with 2560x1440 resolution. It was $999, but is now $799. That monitor would pair nicely with the six-core Mac Pro which has a 3.5GHz processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a price tag of $3,399.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 3, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, our new regular series where we search online retailers for offers and discounts for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today's deals include a multifunction laser printer from Canon, discounted Kindle Fire tablets, clearance PCs at Staples, and a recap of still-active deals you should take another look at before they disappear.
Asian version of US ad plays to Chinese market, gift-giving season
Apple has created a new version of its holiday ad "The Song" for the Chinese market in time for the Lunar New Year celebrations, which commence later this month. The wholly-reimagined ad is prominently featured on the company's China website, and is the first such ad made directly for China. Senior VP of Retail Dame Angela Ahrendts has made China a priority over the next two years as it emerges as Apple's third-largest market.
Releases enter later testing phase
Apple has released fifth betas of iOS 8.2 and Xcode 6.2 to developers. Both are available through the Dev Center; iOS 8.2 is also accessible as an over-the-air update for people already using beta firmware. Exact changes have yet to be discovered, but Xcode has been updated to include the latest set of WatchKit tools for Apple Watch developers.
Amazon shipments fall nearly 70 percent
The global tablet market shrank year-over-year for the first time during the most recent quarter, according to new estimates from IDC. The market dipped 3.2 percent, from 78.6 million units to 76.1 million -- driven in large part by declines at Apple and Amazon. Apple's iPad shipments fell nearly 18 percent, from 26 million to a little over 21.4 million; Amazon, meanwhile, plummeted almost 70 percent, from 5.8 million units to 1.7 million. Also contributing, however, were drops at Asus and Samsung. The former slid from four to three million tablets, while Samsung went from 13.5 million to 11 million.
Apple credits TaiG team in release notes
Yesterday's iOS 8.1.3 update sabotages the TaiG jailbreak tool, users say. The hack was functional through iOS 8.1.2, outdoing Pangu, which stopped working as of v8.1.1. Although the TaiG team itself hasn't confirmed the problem, Apple's notes for v8.1.3 actually credit the group with finding four security vulnerabilities.
Cites high customer satisfaction, enterprise opportunities among reasons
Apple's iPad tablet is continuing to see growing declines in sales, as noted in the most recent quarterly results. As expected, the iPad dropped 18 percent year-over-year in sales, though new models and the holiday season provided a substantial boost from the previous quarter. Although Apple only sold 21.4 million iPads this holiday season compared to 26 million last year, sales were up strongly from the previous quarter, leaping from September's 12.3 million iPads.
Giant otherwise shows strong financial performance
Beyond its official press release, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its fiscal first quarter. The document is the only one to mention iPad sales, and reveals that shipments dropped 18 percent year-over-year to 21.42 million. Revenues for the tablet fell 22 percent to $9 billion.
Company mum on iPad results in official press release
Apple has posted the results of its first fiscal quarter for 2015, which actually ended on December 27. The company says it achieved record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion, and similarly record-setting net profits of $18 billion, or $3.06 per share. The figures compare against $57.6 billion, $13.1 billion, and $2.07 in Q1 2014; gross margins increased from 37.9 percent to 39.9 percent. Apple notes that international sales made up 65 percent of the recent quarter's revenues.
Major additions include Hamburg, Liverpool
Apple has added 12 new towns and cities to the list of Apple Maps locations with Flyover coverage. Of these only one is in the US -- that being Amarillo, Texas. The others include three places in France -- Beziers, Clermont, and Saint-Tropez -- along with Aguadilla and Arecibo in Puerto Rico, Brno in the Czech Republic, Cittadella in Italy, Hamburg in Germany, Helsingborg in Sweden, Liverpool in England, and Odense in Denmark.
Generally directed at bugfixes
Apple has released iOS 8.1.3 via iTunes and as an over-the-air download. Though primarily a maintenance update, it does make one important change: reducing the amount of storage that will be needed for future over-the-air upgrades. The amount of space iOS 8 required for an OTA update was a common complaint by users; on 16GB iPhones and iPads, there is frequently too little room left, forcing people to use iTunes instead. Apple hasn't said how much storage will be needed in the future.
Allows viewing, dismissing iOS notifications, sharing files and links
Pushbullet has introduced a native Mac client for its namesake notification and file/link sharing service. When used in tandem with the company's updated iOS app, the software can not only display iPhone and iPad notifications on a Mac, but be used to dismiss them without picking up the mobile device. More significantly, users can copy and paste between platforms, push links, or download and open exchanged files.
STM announces Dux rugged cases for iPad, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
STM Bags has announced the release of its new Dux case for iPad, along with versions for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Described as offering "rugged" protection from drops and general wear and tear, the Dux case consists of a rubberized bracket and polycarbonate exterior. Its clear back allows for customizing the appearance of the device, or letting the back of the iPhone or iPad remain visible. The Dux for iPad (priced at $50) features sizes designed for iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 2 through 4, iPad mini, as well as mini 2 and 3, and is available in blue, red, and black. Dux for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (priced at $30) are available in black and red.
Mac Pro update in 2015, iPad tips and more
The updated Mac Pro has now been available for purchase for a little over a year, and one Fresh-Faced Recruit started a discussion this week in the MacNN forums, asking when we might expect an update, as he is considering buying one. Today, the conversation continues in the thread titled "signs your iMac is on its last legs".
Smaller unit still longer than 11-inch MBA; no info on alleged new port
A set of photos purporting to show the assembled display of the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air has emerged from a Chinese enthusiast site. The pictures are claimed to be a 12-inch Retina display assembly, but feature an iOS-device like metal Apple logo rather than the usual translucent plastic lighted Apple logo, potentially undermining the credibility of the images. The display is seen to be thinner than a typical MacBook Pro, albeit thicker than an iPad Air.
Ways to save power can return you to 'all-day' battery life
You've got to hand it to Apple. We were in an Apple Store, trying to decide between an iPhone 6 and a 6 Plus, as you do, and naturally a salesman came over. We mentioned that one thing that's really drawing us to the Plus is the battery life -- and you know what would have then happened in any other store selling any other phone. Of course the salesman would have immediately evangelized that feature. He'd somehow make it sound magical, how long you can go without charging the phone and yet, simultaneously, sold us some extra battery pack. Except this was Apple, and the guy didn't do any of that. Instead he asked us how long we were able to go without recharging our current iPhone, he tested our battery, and then he talked us through how to make it last longer.
Claims company knowingly infringed on two 3D UI patents from 1996
Apple has been named in a new lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Wednesday by patent non-practicing entity (NPE, often nicknamed "patent troll") TriDim Innovations. The NPE accuses the iPhone maker of knowingly infringing on a pair of patents from 1996 that covers a 3D workspace user interface, and claims that the company's Cover Flow technology, bought from Steel Skies in 2006, violates the two patents. Time Machine and Mobile Safari in iOS 7 and 8 also use the technology.
Mirrors website content
The Khan Academy iOS app has been given a newly redesigned iPad interface, and access to the same range of course content as the service's website. This includes not just videos -- which were previously available -- but all 150,000-plus learning exercises. Product director Matt Wahl notes that this is "where the majority of people spend their time" with Khan.
iPad mini 3 for $353
At Amazon this week, get the iPad mini 3 with 16GB of storage and Wi-Fi in space gray, on sale for $353 with free shipping. That's $46 off the list price of $399, and around $35 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. The iPad mini offers a 7.9-inch Retina display, A7 processor chip with 64-bit architecture, Wi-Fi and 16GB of storage. Included is Apple's one-year warranty on parts and labor.
Browser layout updated for Material Design, new iPhones
Google has updated the iOS version of Chrome with several major improvements. The most important may be overdue support for the higher resolutions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. In parallel, though, the look of the browser has been revised to match Google's Material Design philosophy, which includes touches like "flatter" surfaces and more animation.
Contains more even mix of traditional banks, credit unions
Apple has updated the official roster of financial institutions supporting Apple Pay to include 16 more companies. Unlike an expansion earlier this month, the new one contains a more even mix of traditional banks and credit unions. The full list of additions includes: A+ Federal Credit Union, Amegy Bank of Texas, America First Credit Union, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, California Bank & Trust, Connex Credit Union, Goldenwest FCU, Huntington Bank, KeyPoint Credit Union, Meijer Credit Union, National Bank of Arizona, Nevada State Bank, TCF National Bank, Bank of Greene County, Vectra Bank, and Zions First National Bank.
Nexus 9 struggles to deliver a knockout blow against iPad Air 2
Ever since the day that I scored a world exclusive for Electronista by spotting the original Samsung Galaxy Tab in the wild ahead of its release, I have taken a keen interest in watching Android tablets continue to take on the iPad and fail. Google's success with Android has been largely dominated by smartphones, with no single Android tablet competitor getting anywhere near the sales numbers of Apple's iPad. With the continued rise of "phablets," which effectively do double duty as a smartphone and a tablet, it seems that the chance for Android tablets to truly challenge the success of the iPad may have passed. Despite this, Google is persisting with Android tablets of its own, with the Nexus 9 its latest hope. Does the Nexus 9 stand a chance against the undisputed champion of tablets, the Apple iPad Air 2?
Portable MIDI keyboard with a twist
Thanks to software like GarageBand, creating personalized music has never been easier. The included bank of loops provides a great starting ground for putting together ideas -- however, this can only take a budding musician so far. In order to get the full potential out of any software with a large library of sound samples, some form of external input device is necessary. While options in this field vary greatly, the best place to start is usually with a basic MIDI keyboard. Keith McMillen Instruments' latest product, the K-Board, is a budget-friendly option that looks to introduce a number of features not generally found on keyboards. Is the device simple enough for anyone to use? We have spent the last couple of weeks banging away on the supposedly "unbreakable" keyboard to find out.
Handles essential security, deployment tasks
JAMF has announced the general release of Bushel, a cloud-based mobile device management platform aimed at Apple devices. Unlike some MDM products, Bushel is aimed at small- to medium-sized organizations. It's in fact free to use for up to three devices, and costs $2 per device per month for every unit beyond that threshold.
Insists patents are non-essential and not infringed
Apple has filed a lawsuit against Sweden's Ericsson, claiming that the latter is asking for excessive royalties for certain LTE patents, Reuters reports. The iPhone maker says that it hasn't infringed on any of the patents, and hence doesn't owe royalties for them - but the company says, nevertheless, that the patents aren't essential to cellular standards. Further, Apple claims that any royalties should be based on the value of the chip that includes the technology, rather than as a percentage of a device's total cost. If the court should find that the Ericsson patents are, in fact, standards-essential and have been infringed, Apple asks that the court assign a reasonable FRAND royalty rate.
Pushes video to numerous media streaming platforms
A new port of AllCast, a popular Android app, has just been released for iOS. The title lets users stream personal photo, video, and music libraries to a variety of platforms, not just the Apple TV -- the only format natively supported by Apple. Some compatible targets include Chrome, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, WDTV, Xbox One/Xbox 360, and various platforms compatible with DLNA.
Problems included finances, heavy dependence on Apple ecosystem
The Los Angeles Unified School District's failed iPad deployment was botched early on, according to a review by the US Education Department. The federal agency says that the LAUSD put too hard an emphasis on using Apple hardware and software, ignoring cheaper options that could have saved money for the district and taxpayers. In July the LAUSD said it was shifting to a strategy involving Chromebooks and Windows devices, such as the Microsoft Surface.
Camera phones, despite limitations, replacing point-and-shoot
Flickr has updated statistics for 2014 in its "Most Popular Camera" and "Most Popular Mobile Camera" categories, with the combined models of iPhone taking second place in the general "camera" category -- beating out DSLR maker Nikon and popular point-and-shoot maker Sony for second place. While Canon remains the most popular overall camera, the built-in cameras on smartphones from Apple and Samsung have -- despite inherent limitations -- steadily risen in popularity.