Tag - Services
On Thursday, Korean manufacturer Samsung announced that would buy US cloud services company Joyent, based in San Francisco, for an undisclosed sum. The 11-year-old company will retain its name and top managment, but it will be integrated into Samsung's mobile division, and reportedly help the rival smartphone maker offer its own cloud services. In a statement, Joyent CEO Scott Hammond said that "Samsung brings us the scale we need to grow our cloud and software business."
Welcome to the inaugural article for a little series we're calling "Should You Subscribe," where the MacNN staff talks about our experiences with services that charge you some sort of regular fee for using them. Who is Amber taking aim at for the first article? Her newest, yet most-used subscription service: Pandora One.
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.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE