On Thursday, NBC's venerable "Today" show featured a segment, covered by the network's chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson, highlighting Apple's push for all-renewable energy sources for its data farms. The report, which ran about two and a half minutes, showcased the solar energy and fuel cells used at the iPhone maker's Maiden, North Carolina center, which is thought to be the main resource for iCloud and Siri among other Internet-related services.
Top Stories | AAPL Stock: 567.77 ( + 43.02 )
3 hours ago | Posted in: software, digital imaging, accessories
Mobile accessories company Kensington has announced its new line of Portafolio Me and Comercio Me customizable folio cases for iPad Air and iPad mini. Designed to allow for aesthetic customization, the folios feature a scratch-resistant picture window and removable panel for inserting any desired image for display. Special case models include one of thousands of officially licensed designs and logos. The case design also incorporates SoundWave speaker channels that improve audio quality through redirecting sound towards the listener. Both folios are available in red and "smoke" color options, and are priced at $40.
On Tuesday, Apple surprised analysts by noting a modest increase in Mac sales in the March quarter, improving them by some 100,000 units over the year-ago quarter. The feat was impressive, as the PC market generally has suffered a major decline in demand which has also affected Mac sales. Though it was the company's MacBook line that lead sales, one factor that may have played a significant role was the demand for the company's latest Mac Pro.
5 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple
[Update: both sides file arguments against the form] On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh published a draft form that jurors in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial will fill out to assign damages and royalties due -- if any -- to both Apple and Samsung as warranted by their findings of infringement. Apple is suing Samsung over its alleged copying of five patents, while Samsung is countersuing over claims Apple infringed on two patents the Galaxy S5 maker purchased after the first Apple-Samsung patent trial.
6 hours ago | Posted in: industry
It can be argued that we're always on the cutting edge of technology -- every day there are new advances, and new techniques developed to do legacy tasks some other way. Likewise, hardly a day goes by without a new lawsuit from an entrenched company, claiming that this new way somehow infringes upon, or unfairly penalizes, an old-guard way of doing business. This seems to be the way of things, but as technology marches on, our judicial system doesn't seem to be able to keep in step.
[Update: possible pricetag revealed] According to court filings before the Northern District of California, Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe have made a settlement offer to conclude the antitrust investigation against the quartet, as expected earlier this month. The four tech companies were accused of conspiring to not poach each others' vital employees to prevent escalating salaries and employee demands, but protested the limiting advancement opportunities and salaries was not its intention.
Apple is using at least two shell companies to secure trademarks on future names for OS X, reports claim. On the same day in early December, two firms -- Yosemite Research LLC and Coast Research LLC -- are said to have filed for US trademarks on several California-related names. The former applied for "Yosemite," "Redwood, "and "Mammoth," while Coast pursued "California," "Big Sur," and "Pacific."
11 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, gadgets, accessories, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Opera Software has released an iPhone version of its WebKit-based browser, Opera Coast. An iPad version was released last September, initially optimizing the browser for touchscreens. Users can begin a search by using a pulling down gesture on the home screen, bringing up an input interface with an icon-based autofill for sites previously visited. Navigation between pages can be executed by a swipe, with websites displayed on the iPhone's full screen. Opera Coast features a small toolbar on the bottom that includes a visual grid (that can can consists of multiple screens) of saved websites, with searching enhanced be related words and suggestions. Both iPhone and iPad versions of Opera Coast are free to download.
11 hours ago | Posted in: Apple
Apple CEO Tim Cook is now auctioning off a lunch date via the website Charitybuzz. The auction runs today through May 13th, and has a $100,000 target, with the proceeds due to go to the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. The RFK Center is involved in field activities around the world, as well as awards and educational programs.
The Linux Foundation today announced it has formed a new project to fund and support critical elements of the global information infrastructure, namely, OpenSSL. The newly formed Core Infrastructure Initiative enables technology companies to collaboratively identify and fund open source projects that are in need of assistance, while allowing the developers to continue their work under open source community norms. Founding backers of the Initiative include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Rackspace, VMware and The Linux Foundation.
12 hours ago | Posted in: accessories, iPad
On Tuesday Logitech announced several new iPad cases. Here at MacNN we were given a chance to try two of them, the Hinge and the Turnaround, both in versions for the iPad Air. Since they're relatively straightforward cases, we thought we'd give them a simple-hands-on rather than full reviews.
13 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones, Apple
Apple has topped a 2014 JD Power ranking of customer satisfaction among US smartphone owners. Each smartphone maker is scored according to metrics for performance, physical design, features, and ease of use, and relative to each of the four major US carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Apple is in first place with all four carriers, but trailed closely by Samsung.
14 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, industry, iPhone apps, mobile phones
Facebook has bought out Finnish firm ProtoGeo Oy and its signature product, Moves, a health and fitness tracking app for iOS and Android. ProtoGeo says it will start contributing to Facebook's own services in an unspecified capacity. Moves will continue to exist as a standalone app though, and ProtoGeo adds that there are "no plans to change that or commingle data with Facebook."
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. An issue that caused Arq Agent’s helper program to crash when a backup error occurred and no information was available has been fixed with this update. Developers have also removed an unreliable “multi-threading processing” option.
World Clock Deluxe can display multiple clocks in a horizontal or vertical palette, in the menu bar and in the dock. Version 4.12 features an improved software update, as well as several enhancements for the report that is displayed after updating cities, time zones, and DST rules. Some OS X Mavericks incompatibilities have also been resolved and some minor interface revisions have been made.
Screens is a screen sharing and VNC client that can be used to connect remotely to any Mac, Windows or Linux computer. Support is included for controlling a computer with gestures, while a scrollable shortcuts toolbar gives quick access to other functions. The v3.0.1 update now allows for blank passwords, and includes various stability and performance improvements.
Beamer is a tool for wirelessly streaming movie files to an Apple TV. Support is offered for most major video formats, such as AVI, MOV and MKV, but subtitle support is still in the works. The latest release adds the ability to enter a Beamer 1 license to receive an upgrade offer. An ‘Export License’ button has also been added to the preferences and a few crashes have been fixed.
Porthole allows users to stream audio from their favorite music source to an AirPort Express, AirPlay speakers, or Apple TV. Version 1.6.2 has fixed a bug that could cause the software to crash when connection and disconnecting in rapid succession, which should also improve stability during network interruptions. Additionally, the new release also includes Xcode project updates and other minor tweaks.
15 hours ago | Posted in: computers
Apple could be planning to update the MacBook Air as soon as next week, according to sources for French site MacGeneration. This includes refreshes of both the 11- and 13-inch lineups. It's unclear which processors they might use; lower-end models could use recent options like the 1.4 GHz i5-4260U, 1.4 GHz i5-4350U, or 1.5 GHz i5-4360U, but Intel hasn't announced a replacement for the i7-4650U used in more expensive Airs.
Beyond the "big story" about Apple's analyst-beating earnings, profits and surprise stock split, financial analysts got a chance to ask some probing questions during Wednesday's Apple conference call discussing the company's fiscal Q2 results. In a Q&A session accompanying the announcements, Apple CFO Lucas Maestri and CEO Tim Cook revealed some details and their thoughts on diverse areas of the business, ranging from specifics on China to the changing US smartphone landscape.
With the exception of iPads and the declining iPod, the numbers coming out of Apple's conference call with analysts mirror the title of Pixar's best movie: Up. Of primary importance to analysts were the better-than-expected iPhone sales, but Mac sales were also up from the year-ago quarter. Other numbers revealed in the course of the call were also positive; growth in China and Japan, strength in developing markets and new revelations on Apple TV and iTunes numbers.
Wed April 23, 2014 | Posted in: accessories, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Movie, television and celebrity information database, IMDb, has updated its app for iOS today. The app allows users to find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, and create a "must-see" list of shows and films. In v4.2, users can now access US-wide television listings. Additionally, Amazon Prime is now integrated, meaning that whether a title is available on Amazon Prime is indicated upon searching. If the Amazon Instant Video app is installed, the media can be played immediately. The showtimes page design has been revamped, and a ratings history bug has been fixed. Free to download, the IMDb iOS app requires iOS 7.0 or later.
Once again, US District Court Judge Denise Cote has denied an Apple motion -- this time asking that the court delay the class-action lawsuit brought by 33 states and various consumer groups while Apple appeals her original guilty verdict in the federal case that alleged Apple led a conspiracy to fix e-book prices. The states are hoping to get further damages from Apple, up to a possible $840 million if the judge triples the damages asked for due to a finding of willful guilt.
On paper, the sales of the iPad in Apple's fiscal second quarter look bad: a 16 percent drop from the year-ago quarter, rumors of which already had pundits and business sites wondering if the iPad had peaked. Statistics, however, can sometimes be misleading -- and in an unusually proactive explanation, Apple CEO Tim Cook took time at the start of his conference call with analysts to explain that changes in channel inventory accounted for most of the "lower" sales.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will circulate new "open" Internet regulations internally on Thursday. The new proposal will allow companies to pay Internet providers a fee for "special access" to customers and boosted speed of delivery of the paid content, on a "commercially reasonable" basis, paving the way for more deals like the one Comcast struck with Netflix. The FCC will determine what the terms will be on a case-by-case basis.
In a surprise announcement, Apple will do a 7:1 stock split on June 6, giving stockholders of record as of June 2 an additional six shares for every one share of stock they currently hold. Trading will resume on June 9 at the split-adjusted price, which CEO Tim Cook has said the company wants to be more affordable so that smaller investors can get into the stock. Given today's closing price of $524.75, the average price of a share would drop to $75 if the split were happening now.
Former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will be joining Apple as its retail head "next week," Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed today during the company's Q2 conference call. Ahrendts has been confirmed as making the switch since last year, but until now neither Apple nor Burberry would give an exact timeframe. In the interim Ahrendts has been helping Burberry transition to her successor, CCO Christopher Bailey.
As a part of announcing its second-quarter results, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF), exposing further facts. They reveal, for instance, that Apple's iPad revenues dropped 16.4 percent year-over-year, shifting from roughly $8.7 billion to $7.6 billion. The company has typically seen continuous growth for the iPad, but units fell from just under 19.5 million to 16.3 million. Cook later clarified that inventory changes made the drop seem much more dramatic than it actually was in terms of end-user sales.
Apple has posted $45.6 billion in revenues in its second fiscal quarter, up from $43.6 billion the same period a year ago. Net profits rose from $9.5 billion to $10.2 billion, or from $10.09 per share to $11.62. The company sold 43.7 million iPhones, an increase from the 37.4 million in Q2 2013. iPad sales came in at 16.3 million units, below a Wall Street consensus forecast of 19.7 million. The company also recorded 4.1 million Macs.
Wed April 23, 2014 | Posted in: software
Google Play Music on Android can be used to stream music through AirPlay devices, thanks to a release from doubleTwist. MagicPlay: AirPlay for Android, downloadable from Google Play and works with the existing doubleTwist Player, will act as a bridge between Google's Cast API for streaming to the Chromecast and AirPlay, granting the music service AirPlay support.
Wed April 23, 2014 | Posted in: accessories, iPhone apps, iPad apps
Calling and messaging app, Viber, today has announced an update for its iPhone app featuring a redesign for iOS 7. Viber facilitates free world-wide calling and messaging over a WiFi or 3G connections to other Viber users, with calls made to non-Viber landlines and mobile numbers possible at low rates. Viber v4.2.0 features a revised aesthetic to compliment iOS 7, and the added ability to send up to 10 photos and videos at one time to reduce redundancy in file transfer. Users can now send longer video messages, and contacts can see when a user is typing a message to them from an Android tablet, Linux, Mac, PC, or Windows 8 device. Viber is free to download through iTunes for devices running iOS 6.0 or later.
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