Apple's iPad may have reinvented the tablet computer years ago, but they haven't rested on those laurels. The iPad continues to rank highest in every category tracked by JD Power in their 2014 U.S Tablet Satisfaction Study, except of course, price. To be fair to Samsung, Amazon, and Asus, the margin of victory (0.8%) is quite small, but a win is a win!
According to the Wall Street Journal Apple has gained the number two spot in online retail sales revenue, passing Staples to come in just behind Amazon. Considering Amazon makes all of their money online, and Apple has an impressive retail channel as well, and sells through other businesses (including Staples, Amazon, and BestBuy), this accomplishment is even more impressive. Recently, Apple has offered trade-in incentives as part of their effort to bring in more direct iPhone business, at the expense of wireless carriers and other retailers. Clearly, this is paying off.
Apple has made dramatic moves in the post-Steve Jobs era to shore up their position on Wall Street. For the first time, Tim Cook issued dividends to shareholders, making Apple stock an even better investment. Apple believed in their own stock, perhaps more than investors, and began a significant buy-back campaign, to own more of their own destiny. And more recently, they announced a stock split that will see the average share at a much more attainable sub-$100 price compared to flirting with $600 pershare.
In the seemingly never-ending patent infringement case between Apple and Samsung, it looked like the end was in sight. Apple and Samsung were each awarded damages, although Apple's reward was orders of magnitude more than Samsung's. The jury awarded Apple over $120 million and Samsung over $150,000. So that's the end of it, right? Nope. According to Bloomerg, Samsung wants to pay less (or not at all) and is appealing the decision.
I'm trying to get back in the WIPTW swing again, and I found three relative newcomers to iOS that are refreshingly original and mostly free! Tales of Honor (free) is a space strategy and time management game that represents the honor universe well. Arena of Heroes (free) is a turn-based MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) that pits you against a computerized component or other ranked players in a pitched battle of warrior and magic-using archetypes. Uber Racer 3D Monster Truck Nightmare ($0.99)—yes that is the name, and I can't believe it did not overflow an App Sstore field buffer or set off an alarm or something—is a Mad Max-style crash and dash game, thrusting you in the seat of a monster truck during the last days on earth (or something like that). Let us proceed to the reviews shall we?
With the free availability of Apple's iWork suite, and its robust collaboration tools, you may not need to use Google's suite. But if you're a user of Google Docs, you'll be happy to know that on Wednesday Google released Google Docs (free) for word processing and Google Sheets (free) for doing spreadsheets. Plus, they'll soon be releasing a free Google Slides app for creating presentations. Google Docs and Google Sheets let you create new documents and edit existing documents. They also let you work offline. Whether you're working online or offline, all your changes are immediately saved. In addition to collaboration and sharing features, you can also read and respond to comments from your collaborators. Google Sheets lets you format cells, enter/sort data, perform various sheet operations, and more.
Paying your iPhone carrier bill every month can add up quickly! Here at iPhone Life magazine we have decided to eliminate that frustration for two of our lucky readers. We will be giving away up to $324.42 to each winner to cover their iPhone bills for three months.
Here's how the giveaway works: enter your email at the GIVEAWAY PAGE. Earn one additional entry each time you share the giveaway with a friend via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Get 10 more entries every time someone you shared with signs up. There is no limit to the number of additional entries you can get by sharing the giveaway; so if you go all out, your chances of winning will shoot off the charts!
Apple released iOS 7.1.1 last week, and you'd be well advised to download it to your devices. You can do so over the air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can connect your device to your computer and do the update via the iTunes software. The update fixes important security issues as well as bugs. Most importantly for iPhone 5s owners, it reportedly helps to make Touch ID faster and more accurate. According to a detailed explanation on Cult of Mac, accuracy would decay over time. Quoting a Reddit user, the post explains how the update improves Touch ID: "With iOS 7.1.1 Apple now takes multiple scans of each position you place finger at setup instead of a single one and uses algorithms to predict potential errors that could arise in the future." In the past, if you didn't get a good scan during setup, it would later cause problems. The increased accuracy of the update results in a faster response because the phone needs to make fewer calculations while unlocking the phone.
Last week I posted up a review on the Blumoo bluetooth entertainment system controller, a CES gadget for which I was eagerly awaiting release. This week, yet another cool accessory product seen at CES is now on Kickstarter (with an improved design, IMO.)
It's hard to beat free, and with FreedomPop, you get it all for free: 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages, and 500MB of data per month. If you want more, you can sign up for an inexpensive plan starting at $5 per month.
The rumblings began 10 days ago when Nike, as reported by CNET, laid off 70–80 percent of the employees working on their Nike FuelBand, one of the more popular fitness trackers. Plus, they acknowledged they would be stopping development of the hardware side of fitness tracking, though indicated they planned to continue selling the second-generation FuelBand SE. That move raised lots of eyebrows, and some even speculated that Apple's rumored iWatch was a factor. Then, last week GeekTime reported that Apple and Nike are gearing up for an announcement this fall of a "smart band." The website claims to have received this information from two sources in Cupertino, where Apple is located. According to the report, "Apple is looking to launch a smart band toward the end of this year whose collection of sensors will be able to be used not only to monitor the activity of the wearer, but also to operate other devices as a gestural controller."
Last week Apple posted a new ad on their YouTube channel showing the amazing range of things an iPhone 5s can be used for, from making music and videos to launching model rockets and controlling stage lighting. The ad is reminiscent of earlier iPad commercials. The background music is "Gigantic" by the Pixies. The tagline of the ad is "You're more powerful than you think." I always enjoy watching their ads.
on Wednesday, a report on AppleInsider citing a Japanese blog said that the iPhone 6 will have curved edges.: That is, both a curved casing and curved glass. The blog is known to have generally reliable sources, so this rumor may have credence. And to help visualize what the iPhone 6 would look like with curved edges and glass, you can see some great renderings by Martin Hajek on the French website Nowhereelse.fr. The renderings show rounded corners and the glass of the display wraps slightly around the edge. In addition to the curved edges, the report says the back of the iPhone 6 will differ from the 5 and 5s, in that it will no longer have the glass-covered antenna windows seen on those models.
Apple learned a lot from their underperforming Mobile Me service, and doubled down on the data center to support iCloud. Apple's cloud service handles iOS backups, iMessages, notes, music, videos, photos, iWork documents, Siri, FaceTime, and more; and for the most part, it performs without downtime.
Customers loved the EverDock by FŪZ so much that they wouldn't let up until the creators relented and created a mobile version (called the EverDock Go) that will snug into the cupholder of your vehicle. Of course, it's on Kickstarter, so go give your support and love if you happen to be one of the fanatics who absolutely need to dock your phone 24/7. Though they have already met the Kickstart goal, you can still grab some of the gear for pre-order pricing of $35 and up (ships in September 2014). Read on for more specifics from the press release:
Apple released their results for the March quarter yesterday after the market closed, and the news was all good, sending the stock up 7 percent in after-hours trading. Not only did Apple's quarterly results beat Wall Street's most optimistic estimates, Apple announced several stock-related moves that thrilled investors: an unusual 7-for-1 stock split, an increase in the quarterly dividend, and an increase in their stock buyback program. Apple's results set a record for a March quarter. Analysts were expecting Apple to report $43.5 billion in revenue, but Apple handily exceeded that, coming in at $45.6 billion. The iPhone led the way, with Apple selling 43.7 million iPhones, well above Wall Street's estimate of 38.5 million. Strong iPhone sales were attributed in part to strong demand in China and emerging markets—where there remains a lot of potential for growth.
Apple has sent out notices to developers about changes in the iTunesconnect app management tool. Refinements include checkboxes for Medical/Treatment Information," "Gambling and Contests," and "Unrestricted Web Access."
I don't have cable TV, so I'm always excited when Apple adds more channels to Apple TV. And those added today are the sorts of channels I might like to watch: History, A&E, and Lifetime. In all three cases, some of the content is free, and other content requires you to log in with the username and password that you use with your cable provider. My impression after checking them out is that there's a ton of free content available—more than I'd ever have time to watch. In some cases, there are only one- to four-minute clips from the various episodes, with the clips always being free. Sometimes for a particular show, some episodes are free and others require a log-in.
In celebration of Earth Day 2014, we'd like to present to you the recipient of this year's iPhone Life Earth Day Mobile Tech Award. Today we are highlighting three environmentally-conscious tech brands (one winner and two runners-up) that are actively making a difference in how we live life in harmony with our home planet. Each company has made their own contributions toward making the world a “greener” place with their eco-friendly products and practices. Read on to find out who gets to take home the honors...
Apple may be one of the most profitable, most valuable businesses in the world (at least among those not based on oil) but that doesn't mean investors don't want more. Apple's revenue for the first quarter of CY2014 will be released on Wednesday and are projected to be $43.6 billion with about $9.5 billion in profits. These would be terrific numbers for any company, but for Apple, they were flat compared to the same period last year, which itself was their first decrease in profits in a decade.
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