Tag - Services
Apple's second fiscal quarter results, now due to be reported on April 26, are likely to contain a lot of bad news -- though the company will still be reporting growth rates and profits any other company would be envious of. The problem is not that Apple is in any kind of trouble -- sales dropoffs are common following blockbuster holiday quarters -- it is that the rate of the dropoff will be bigger than last year, and may be more severe than even Apple has predicted, according to some analysts. However, other areas of possible growth -- such as Apple's "services" sector -- could help bolster the overall financials, even if they can't replace the drop in iPhone sales.
Okay, we asked for this one, really. Earlier this month we ran a Pointers about exploiting OS X Services and in it we mentioned how you could create your own such utility. Actually, what we said was that we'd once done this in Automator and it was so long ago that we couldn't remember how we did it. You could've let that pass but, no, apparently you couldn't. So, because you insisted, here's how to build a useful tool in Automator and then install it as a Service that you can run from any other app.
Last week we were checking out a particular app and found that it had a rather useful feature: you could use its functions from within many, many other apps via OS X Services. For this app, the integration's use is plain to see, and very useful, but in looking into it we realized that we do not use Services much at all –– but our software does.
Usually when you say something is a niche product, you mean that even if it's superb, it's only ever going to be of use to a small group of people. In this case, though, a huge audience would benefit from TextSoap, but we'd bet money that it's a niche because only a small group of people realize they have the problem this solves. TextSoap 8.0.3 for OS X fixes issues some people don't notice, others put up with, and a small group of people have previously had to work hard to solve for themselves.
An outage earlier today has since been corrected, but affected users around the world with a roughly two-hour disruption of the various App Stores, some iCloud services, and related features such as Apple Maps. As of 11AM ET, the problem has been fixed and all services are reporting operational again, but no explanation of the nature of the outage or the percentage of users affected has been reported by Apple. The downtime struck for about two hours from around 10AM Eastern Time until noon.
There are other streaming music services, and you can well argue that there are better ones, but Spotify is winning the war to become the Hoover, Xerox, and iPad of its class: the brand name that somehow becomes synonymous with the idea. At least, nobody tells you what their favourite iTunes Radio station is, no one in the world sends you links to Pandora, and it's like few people have heard of Beats Music. Yet. However, Spotify is known even by normal people, and it is a way in to the whole streaming music subscription concept.
Starting next year, Google will be tinkering with new versions of some of its most popular products. While the search giant often experiments with its services and various consumer offerings, the upcoming venture is a little different. Instead of improving or completely changing existing products, the company is going to create specific versions for children ages 12 and younger.
Yahoo announced today that it will be consolidating and shutting down a number of services to better fit with its mission statement. The company will shutter several services in the near future, and either integrate some of those features into other software or see the services' existence ended altogether. Shutting the little-used services down allows Yahoo to focus on the company's four core areas.
PC email client Mailbird has introduced a new time-saving feature to its service. Its speed-reading option allows users to read their emails in a format that, much like other speed-reading apps, involves a technique that flashes words one at a time on the screen; this promotes faster reading than if one is moving their eyes across the page. The new tool can be activated by selecting the glasses icon at the top of any email message within Mailbird, and the rate of the words can be adjusted from 100-1,000 words per minute. Offered in three tiers, Mailbird services are available in Lite (free), Pro ($1 per month) and Business ($9 per user per year) variations.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6