Apple nearing half Samsung shipments as Android leader stumbles
The latest report by analyst firm Gartner shows Apple's iOS platform increasing its worldwide share to 13.1 percent in the September quarter, an increase in percentage points of 0.6 year-over-year, while Samsung's larger share slipped 0.2 points to 23.7 percent. Though the Android platform as a whole continues to be dominant worldwide -- growing 1.4 percent over the past year to 84.7 percent share -- the rise is seen as having mostly come from Windows Phone losses.
Visual Studio announcements include new apps for Mac-based development
Microsoft is porting an emulator for Android that will run on OS X, one that has already been released for Windows. Revealed during the Microsoft Connect 2015 conference earlier today, the software giant confirmed it would be creating a version of Visual Studio Emulator for Android to the Mac, as part of a collection of Mac-related announcements involving its Visual Studio programming suite of apps.
Apple's first real Android app brings well-regarded service to 'the enemy'
It has been quite a few months since Apple Music first launched, and Apple has finally pulled through with its promise to bring the service to Android, following after OS X, iOS, and Windows. While this is Apple's second release on Android, with the initial Move to iOS migration app being a rebrand of an existing tool, this is the first Android app Apple has constructed from scratch for the mobile operating system, and at first glance has managed to pull it off.
Android app for Apple Music arrives five months after iOS
Apple has finally launched its Android app for Apple Music, just as it advised during the launch of the music streaming service in June. Compatible with devices running Android version 4.3 or later, the app is being launched in beta on the Google Play Store five months later than others, with Android users able to take advantage of the majority of features users on iOS and the Mac have already been enjoying.
Employees changing from iPhone to Android aids Facebook development
Some Facebook employees are being ordered to switch from using an iPhone to an Android smartphone, for the sake of the social network's development, according to a report. Chief product officer Chris Cox has apparently told members from his team to change their mobile devices, in order for the team to go through what the social network users interact with on a daily basis for themselves and in theory helping to improve related services.
Android still has majority, but grip is slipping in the US even as LG rises
As with recent quarters, Apple is continuing to erode the marketshare of Android in the US, according to new figures from ComScore. The iPhone moved up to 44.1 percent marketshare for the period ending in August -- a 0.6 percent gain prior to the latest iPhones being introduced, which came at the end of the quarter. The gain came entirely from drops in combined Android sales (down 0.4 percent) combined with smaller drops in share from Microsoft and BlackBerry (0.1 percent each).
Cites excessive data collection as reason for tech snub
Porsche has opted to support only Apple's CarPlay infotainment technology in its latest 911 Carrera and Carrera S models, blocking Android Auto support chiefly because Google demands detailed information from the vehicle's onboard diagnostics unit that is then sent to Google, compared to Apple's need only for the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to tell CarPlay if the car is in motion. The carmaker was reportedly unhappy with Google's need to collect intricate data on the car's performance for no apparent reason.
We thought of the title first!
Hand on heart, we started with the episode title and tried to work backwards but failed. This week's episode does indeed feature the new OS X with the daft name but it also features some Android thing with a sillier one. Unless Google has named its next Android operating system Marshmallow as a nod to Veronica Mars: we'd respect that.
New Nexus smartphones have Nexus Imprint fingerprint readers
Google showed off three Android-powered mobile devices at today's event, alongside the new Chromecast dongles. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are smartphones produced by Huawei which Google will be shipping in the near future, while the Pixel C is Google's first Android tablet it has built end-to-end, with the search company applying what it learned from its Chromebook Pixel notebooks to the tablet format.
Link phones to share streaming music in sync
We were only thinking the other day that music used to be something you shared, and now it's something that works its way into our heads via white earbuds. Everyone able to listen to anything they want is great, but somehow it has meant that so often we don't listen to anyone else's choice. AmpMe 1.4 is about bringing the sharing back to streaming. There are clear features we'd like to see added, as this is limited, but still rather exciting.
Code analysis suggests Apple licensed Android migration app
Apple's first app for Android may in fact be a rebranded version of another existing app that accomplishes the same task, according to reports. An analysis of Apple's Move to iOS app allegedly borrows the majority of the code behind Copy My Data, an app from Media Mushroom that lets users transfer data between Android and iOS devices, suggesting that rather than build its own app from scratch, Apple instead employed someone else to create the app on its behalf.
Tool helps users move data to iOS devices securely, wirelessly
In a gracious move, the Google Play store has added a new Android app from Apple -- only the second such application the iPhone maker has offered for the rival platform -- that helps users who wish to transition from Android to iOS (or use both but transfer data) to do so. Called simply "Move to iOS," even the program's description reads as a pitch for users currently on Android devices to consider switching -- with the application promising to move contacts, message histories, photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, and calendars over seamlessly.
Stop reading now and go buy it
Okay, no messing: this is a gorgeous keyboard that we were instantaneously smitten with, and then came to like more and more in our testing. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a simply superb piece of work, and a pleasure to write on. Fair warning: with a few mild caveats, the rest of this entire Hands On is going to be in much this same style -- so if you're already convinced, just know that it's available on Amazon for about $70, and away you go.
Music app rises to 14th place in top smartphone apps, Maps in 11th place
New analytics data from ComScore has good news for Apple on two fronts: the research firm believes far more users in the US are giving Apple Music a tryout than has been previously reported, and that even in the quarter before the expected new model rollout, Apple's iPhone 6 line is still gaining share in the US, now largely taking it from drops in chief rival and Android flagship company Samsung rather than from smaller rivals as it had previously.
Refutes suggestions that US big-screen iPhone market is saturated
A new study by market research firm Kantar Worldpanel based in Europe has disputed speculation that Apple's next iPhones may not do as well as the record-shattering iPhone 6 lineup, which proposes that pent-up demand for a bigger-screen iPhone has now been addressed after three quarters of staggering sales figures. The study not only found that at least a third of all US iPhone buyers are at the end of their two-year contracts, but that the "switcher rate" from Android to iOS in Europe continues to grow.
Ruling benefits Lenovo, Android generally, though patent no longer infringed
One of the lynchpins of Apple's original court challenges against Android was set aside in a European court on Tuesday, as a top patent court in German ruled that the European version of Apple's "swipe-to-unlock" feature for the iPhone "was already suggested by the state of the art" at the time, and should not have been granted patent-level status.
Convenient cable boasts two ends: micro USB and Lightning
If yours is a house of multiple devices chances are you leave with at least a couple of different cables in tow. But is it absolutely necessary? Doesn't it become a hassle trying to keep track of all those cords? Lucky for you, Tylt is here to fix that problem with the Flyp-Duo reversible USB charge & sync cable, a cable that lets you charge your iOS and Android products without excess cord clutter.
Judge Lucy Koh shuts the door on suit, declaring lack of contract breach
Judge Lucy H. Koh, familiar to Apple followers, has ruled that a class action suit against Apple regarding lost iMessages may not proceed. The judge, known for her oversight of the Apple versus Samsung patent trials, ruled that members of the suit lacked standing because they were not hurt by any "contractual breach or interference" when they shifted to an Android phone from the iOS, and kept the existing phone number.
Steals share from Android in US, loses ground to Chinese makers in China
Apple's iOS platform continued a streak of strong growth in both the US and China, according to new ComScore and Canalys report issued yesterday, taking share away from Android. However, while still seeing extraordinary growth in China, surges in shipments from native Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Huawei meant that Apple was knocked to third place in Chinese market share, having briefly captured the top spot.
Phantom adverts affecting data caps, defrauding advertisers
Over 5,000 fraudulent apps currently available for iOS and Android are displaying ads users cannot see, but which are causing problems, using up cellular data, and costing advertisers around $850 million per year, says online fraud research company Forensiq in a new report. The ads are not visible on screen, yet the volume of them contributes to an overal slowing down of iPhone or Android devices while stealing data from often-limited cellular data plans.
App available for both Android, iOS; allows access through enterprise firewall
Barracuda has today announced the release of CudaLaunch, an application for both iOS and Android devices that provides mobile workers secure and remote access to an organization's private cloud applications and networks through the widely-used Barracuda NG Firewall. The application is designed for both mobile workers and IT administrators, with end-user features for productivity, as well as management features for administrators.
Dozens of apps allow unlimited login attempts, creating minor security risk
A new report has found that a number of popular iOS and Android apps have what amounts to a minor security fault, in that they allow users to make an unlimited number of attempts to login to an associated account, thus making them vulnerable to password hacking for attackers who have physical access to the device, such as thieves or overzealous law enforcement. Security firm AppBugs says "dozens" of apps are affected, including Slack, iHeartRadio, Dictionary, SoundCloud and many others.
Surely it should be better than this
When Google first brought its "guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you" to the iPhone, Android users were calling it a wondrous app and we believed it right up until now when we installed Field Trip 1.4.0 on a shiny new iPhone 6. Field Trip is meant to point out interesting things wherever you are, like a tour guide with Google's search engine behind it. Maybe we just live in a really boring area but still, we didn't expect it to make things up.
Analyst says sell-through figures put iPhone at 50 percent share
In a general report full of praise for Apple's smartphone performance and raising stock expectations, Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley has told clients that the sell-through -- as opposed to shipment figures as given by Android makers -- put Apple's iPhone as the top-selling model at all four major US carriers, accounting for half of all smartphone sales. Canaccord is also raising its stock target price for AAPL to $160, maintaining its "buy" rating, and raising earnings-per-share estimates.
Share of iPhone increases by 1.8 percent for second quarter in a row
Matching its performance in the previous quarter, Apple's iPhone again gained nearly two percent market share in the US in the last three months, according to ComScore, widening its lead as the dominant smartphone maker. While Android as a platform continued to hold the top platform position at 52.1 percent, it again suffered an overall decline of 0.7 percent, while iOS surged to 43.5, a 1.8 percent gain matched exactly by losses from Android, Microsoft, and BlackBerry.
Super-minimalist puzzle game of interlocking pieces
Sometimes, we want to engage our mind, while at the same time turning it off. Hook by Maciej Targoni is a super-minimalist puzzler with simple controls for solving problems that can be fantastically complex. It's all about interlocking pieces that fit together in very specific ways. The player must figure out in what order the different pieces can be removed to clear the board.
BlueStacks emulator allows Android apps to be used from Mac desktop
BlueStacks has released a completed version of its BlueStacks for Mac app, allowing for Android apps and games to be played from OS X. Originally launched in 2012 in alpha but only being finalized now, the BlueStacks App Player for Mac emulates the same functionality offered by Android tablets and smartphones, but on the desktop, and without the need for users to own an Android device in the first place.
Open Beats 1 streams discovered, work on Android devices
Android users do not have to wait until the Apple Music app heads to the platform in the fall before being able to listen to the Beats 1 station, some users have discovered. A number of unprotected live streams have been uncovered, allowing anyone with a suitable client to be able to listen to the stream uninterrupted, even on operating systems not yet supported by the service.
An ambient sound app to relax by, sleep to, or make your own soundscapes
Remember those scenes in the 1992 comedy Cousin Vinny, where Joe Pesci's character couldn't sleep in the rural quiet of the small country town he was visiting. He didn't get a good night's rest until somebody sent him a recording of his New York neighborhood at night. Noise can either keep you awake, or lull you to sleep. White Noise by TMsoft is an app that provides ambient soundscapes, paired with an alarm clock and the ability to record and loop our own "perfectly quiet" environment sounds. We tried out White Noise for iOS on our iPhone 5, and we were often surprised and delighted by the experience.
App allows for remote control of the 8,000 BTU AC in or out of the house
Home appliance manufacturer Frigidaire has released the first iOS and Android app controlled window air conditioner. The Cool Connect Air Conditioner connects with the Frigidaire Smart Appliance app across the Internet and through a local area Wi-Fi network, which lets consumers control the unit from their smart device, including generating a schedule for operation, receiving maintenance alerts, and remote unit status monitoring.
BlackBerry adds private chat function to $1 BBM monthly subscription
The latest update to BlackBerry Messenger for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10 devices adds more paid-for security functions to the service. The current timed and retracted messages options have been rolled into a similarly-priced $1-per-month Privacy and Control subscription, with the new Private Chat function able to strip out names and profile pictures after a short period of time, minimizing the usefulness of taking a screenshot of a conversation. The Android version of the app has also received a Material Design overhaul, while iOS users will now find their in-app font sizes will be based on the size selected in system settings.
We check back in on two female reproductive health apps
Last month, we compared two apps for tracking female reproductive cycels; back then Apple Health didn't track reproductive health, and we weren't sure when it would -- if ever. Thankfully, earlier this month at WWDC, it was announced that the built-in Health app will get reproductive health tracking in iOS 9. We still don't know what that will look like, unfortunately. Will the myriad of period tracker apps become obsolete? Maybe not ... Well, probably not. The announcement prompted us to take a look at the two trackers we tried previously, to see what's been going on with them.
An adorable side scrolling puzzler about a boy and his combat bot
Okay, maybe not so much a "boy" and his combat bot, but more like "very short man" and his combat bot. Tales From Deep Space by Amazon Game Studios is a side-scrolling puzzler where the player, or players, switch between two characters to overcome obstacles and move forward in their pursuit of ... figuring out what's actually going on. The story centers around E, a shlubby put-upon interstellar traveling salesman, who gets saddled with an old busted-up droid named CASI. Shortly after meeting on Big Moon (home of the Meeks), E gets robbed, martial law is imposed, and the pair are denounced as enemies of the state for what appears to be no reason. Thus begins an adventure of running through corridors and questionable security practices.
Apps collectively downloaded over 200M times insecurely transmit account credentials
A number of popular Android apps have been discovered to leak the passwords of users, due to the use of insecure authentication systems. Researchers have found the issue in Google Play Store apps run by many major companies, where a flawed implementation of HTTPS or a complete lack of HTTPS encryption at all during the login process leaves the user's credentials exposed and viewable by anyone monitoring network traffic.
Deliberately basic note taking done great
Enough already. We just want to write this thing down before we forget it, okay? If we could avoid faffing around picking a template to base our new document on, that would be a big help. Later on, we'll worry about where we're going to use the text, at this moment we just want to get words down. That's the aim of this app, and it has been from its start in 2008 right up to two weeks ago, when it got updated to Simplenote 4.1.1.
Report claims BlackBerry considering switch to alternative mobile operating system
The next smartphone from BlackBerry may not run on BB OS, switching out the operating system for Android. Reuters claims the manufacturer is contemplating switching over to producing Android devices because of the extremely low adoption rate of current BlackBerry devices compared to other popular smartphones on the market, and will form part of a change in focus for the company towards being a software-driven entity.
An Android based media platform for cable cutters
Over time, it's gotten easier to access downloaded and stream content legitimately. Unfortunately, there's still no one good place to get all of one's entertainment. There are many devices whose only job is making dumb TVs "smart," utilizing apps from the providers we subscribe to. One of those is the Satechi Smart TV Box. We actually like that it uses Android as its operating system, so we are already familiar with how it works, and the apps available for it. Once we got video playing -- when we could play it -- it all looked and sounded great, but we had some issues with it. Learn more in the full review.
Apple to update iOS, iTunes ahead of Apple Music launch, iOS 9 release
Because Apple Music, the company's just-announced subscription music service, will be out on June 30, Apple has noted that it will deliver an update to both iTunes on the Mac and iOS 8.4 (which contains the new Music app) sometime before that date so that early adopters will be able to try the three-month free trial or sign up as desired. The Music app will also function as it currently does without using the subscription options, but with a new UI that's more minimalistic.
Samsung, most other Android handset makers see contraction
Against all odds, Apple is continuing to increase its share of the US smartphone market in a "saturated" region, reports Comscore in its latest analysis of America's cellphone landscape. Apple's iPhone line grew 1.8 percent between January and March, with iOS now claiming 43.1 percent share and dominating as the leading single brand. While Android sales overall claimed 52.2 percent, the figure was down a full percent from the previous quarter, with individual makers mostly seeing declines.
Turn your whole Mac into an iOS keyboard
It is true that it's harder to type on the glass of an iPhone or iPad than it is to use a real keyboard with full-size keys that depress under your fingers. You could argue how much harder, as we do get by every day without carting large keyboards around with our iPhones, but it is harder -- and there's one more thing. We don't cart our iPhones around as much as we think: we are often right there with them at our Macs. Our Macs which have keyboards. Now Typeeto 1.0 lets you use that Mac keyboard with your iPhone.
BBM for Android gains Material Design, private chats
The latest beta for BBM for Android has been given a visual overhaul using Android Lollipop's Material Design. According to Crackberry, the same beta also brings with it private chats, where contact names are hidden, notifications are turned off, and the conversation is deleted upon ending the chat or after a short period of time. The option to edit a sent message, and the ability to publish status updates directly into the user's personal BBM feed have also been added. Since it is a beta, these features may change before reaching the main release, with no timescales for the additions advised by BlackBerry.
Second-generation ZenWatch still uses Android Wear, enhances Remote Camera function
Asus has launched its second smartwatch at Computex, following last year's ZenWatch. The ZenWatch 2 remains an Android Wear-powered device, but the design of the original has been altered to include a side crown, though more as a button than the Digital Crown of the Apple Watch, with it also replacing the previous dock with new magnetic charger to simplify the charging process, as well as improving the recharge time overall.
ZenPad S 8.0 has 2.3GHz processor, 4GB RAM, QXGA IPS display
Asus has unveiled a number of new tablets at its Computex event in Taipei, including ten-inch and seven-inch models, with the main focus being two eight-inch tablets. The ZenPad 8.0 and ZenPad S 8.0 are similar sized tablets with Intel processors, but while the ZenPad 8.0 opts for more modest specifications and a resolution of 1280x800, the S variant goes for higher-specification components and is fronted by an IPS 2048x1536 display.
GeForce GTX 980 Ti has 6GB memory, 2,816 CUDA cores
Nvidia has launched its latest non-Titan flagship graphics card, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, as well as commencing sales for its new set-top box. Part of a raft of announcements made recently, the new card is an upgrade from the GTX 980 that is claimed to easily play games at a 4K resolution, as well as meeting Oculus' virtual reality content requirements of providing images at a resolution of 2160x1200 at 90 frames per second.
Chromecast APIs aim to improve second-screen gaming
Google is giving developers even more ways to create content that works with Google Cast and the Chromecast streaming dongle. A new set of Remote Display APIs released in beta for Android and iOS will allow for developers to set up a better second screen experience than currently available, such as displaying the controls and some important information for a game on a smartphone or tablet while the main game is displayed on a connected television.
Google Now in Android M will use currently-used apps as search query prompts
Google Now is receiving a hefty upgrade in Android M, allowing it to understand more context-sensitive queries, as well as being more generally available to users. Now on Tap will allow users to trigger the Google Now voice prompt by tapping the home button for help, regardless of whether the user is on a website or an app, with users able to easily return to what they were doing once their query has been answered.
Android Pay, fingerprint recognition support arriving in Android M
Google has introduced a number of changes it is introducing to the next version of Android at Google I/O today. The developer preview of Android M this time is said to be focused on "improving the core user experience," taking some of the functions introduced by device manufacturers into their smartphones and incorporating them into the stock operating system, as well as making other usability changes.
A pre-teen survival horror game with puzzles and quicktime events
So, unlike our game from Amazon Game Studios (Lost Within), we didn't call Todd and ask him to keep us company as we played Til Morning's Light, but the story here is still pretty horrific. The game sits firmly in the classic survival horror genre of exploring a spooky old house, solving puzzles and occasionally being attacked by monsters. The puzzles aren't terribly difficult, although there's a very real danger of overlooking something important. We also enjoyed the production quality, and the quick-time combat system held our interest.
Google makes Roboto font open source
Roboto, the font used throughout Android, Chrome OS, and a number of other Google products has been made open source. Originally released under the Apache license as part of Android 4.0 in 2011, Google has now made it, and the toolchain used for its creation, into an open source project hosted on Github. Google has also added Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek characters found in Unicode 7.0, with the total number of glyphs increased from approximately 13,000 to more than 40,000 as part of the effort.
Streaming video app from Twitter reaches Android one month after competitor Meerkat
Periscope, the live-streaming video app from Twitter, is now available to download on Android. Arriving two months after the iOS version, and almost a month after competitor Meerkat made its own Android app available to the public, Periscope's Android variant keeps the majority of the iOS app's functions and also introduces a number of other features that have yet to reach Apple's mobile devices.