With rumors that Apple is gearing up to focus on mobile payment solutions, and the news on Thursday that Major League Baseball stadiums are gearing up to install some 2,000 iBeacon transmitters starting next week, it looks like Apple's iBeacon technology is coming to the fore. According to a post on MacRumors, the devices are expected to be in place in 20 stadiums by the time play begins in March. What will the technology be used for? It will vary from ballpark to ballpark, since they will each be developing their own functionality. In general, iBeacon will be used to help guide people to their seats, to highlight special offers from nearby concessions, track rewards programs, and offer information regarding points of interest.
As a developer and journalist, I get a ton of email. Every day people want me to review their app or gadget, or some app advertising firm wants me to use their services to "monetize" my apps. And of course I have to support my six million customers, at last count. Usually, I ignore the unsolicited spam, but a "personalized" email came across my computer the other day and I had to pursue it.
The subject was "I bet $1.00 I can beat you in WAR OF GEARS"
This is the official announcement of the iPhone life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iphoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce February 10th! We are raffling off tons of great apps and accessories for FREE.
Here's how it works: Every other Friday we will announce the prizes we're giving away through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter the giveaway, go to iphoneLife.com/giveaways. On the following Monday morning, we will randomly select the winners. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code to redeem the app for free. If you win an accessory, send us your address and we will mail it to you.
This weeks featured items are:
Facebook announced a new app Thursday called Paper that will be available February 3. Rather than updating their old app, they simply created a new one from the ground up (though with similarities to an earlier app called Facebook Home). Like the hugely popular Flipboard (free), the new app completely reconceptualizes and designs your news feed so that it's attractively presented and fun to browse. But it does a lot more. Like Flipboard, it also gives you, in a magazine-like format, access to a wide variety of news categories, such as latest headlines, sports, tech, food, etc. According to a detailed post on Macworld, this news content is actually curated by Facebook editors from publications such as the New York Times and Huffington Post. Macworld describes the experience of Paper: "Like its namesake, Paper aims to be a tactile experience—flip through sections, tap a card to unfold stories, scroll through photos, and tilt your phone to see more details in an image." You can see a video demo after the break.
Another year, another State of the Union speech. Two years ago, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, was an invited guest. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was Michelle Obama's guest, and Apple figured prominently in the speech itself. In 2013, the focus was on returning manufacturing to the U.S., and sure enough, the new Mac Pro is now being assembled stateside. The components may come from outside the U.S. but it's a good start. And with a $3000+ computer that doesn't sell in nearly the volumes of an iPhone, the Mac Pro is an easier device to make in America, absorb any potential margin issues, and meet the more measured demand.
|Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs with the Apple II
Some guys have all the luck.
This week I am making preparations to head to San Francisco where I'm speaking at appsworld. I was asked to chair the first day of the Developer World conference sessions. As conference chair, I give a 10 minute introduction at the start of the day to greet attendees and then introduce each speaker.
So, I went out to the appsworld web site and saw the name of the first speaker on the list.
Rumors have been pointing to the launch of a major update to Apple TV software and possibly also a new version of the device itself. Apple has virtually confirmed that something is coming, as can be seen by changes they've made in the Apple Store this week.
I recently went through the horror of fraud on one of my credit cards. Thankfully, it was caught quickly, but it has been a pain to replace it and enter my new credit card number at all the e-retailers' sites where I routinely make purchases.
After reading a new report from Dashlane, a password manager company, I'm confident, out of all the e-retailers I use, my new credit card will be carefully guarded on Apple's site.
Apple's brilliance is creating interfaces between humans and machines that people like to use: first the Macintosh, then the iPod, then the iPhone and iPad. Now Apple seems intent on creating a friendly, useable interface for the display in your car. They announced this initiative, called "iOS in the Car," last year, and have information about it and screen shots on their website (see the bottom of the page). It's expected to debut later this year. If you're curious how it will work, a video has now been posted by a developer who has discovered iOS in a Car features buried in iOS 7. What you're seeing in the video is the iOS Simulator that developers use to create apps.
Expectations are so high for Apple that even when the company reports record earnings, the stock declines. On Monday after the market closed, Apple reported their results for the December quarter. And by most measures, they were amazing:
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled, Can You Hear Me Now? (An Open Letter to Apple), where I wrote about my frustration at the volume levels put out by iTunes Radio and iTunes Match. I received many comments to that post and instead of writing my findings as a comment, I wanted to write what I learned and what I did in a separate post.
I won't rehash what I wrote in the other post, if you didn't read it you can do so here.
Richard Sherman has drawn much of the attention as the Seattle Seahawks prepare for their conquest of East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of MetLife Stadium. But of course, Richard Sherman isn't the only story as Pete Carroll's team heads east to face John Fox's Denver Broncos. And fans know that, but beside periodic news reports, how are Seahawks fans going to keep track of everything going on? The answer is load your iPad or iPhone with Seahawks apps.
I'm not your stereotypical woman when it comes to watching football. Instead of dreading football season, I sit next to my husband on the couch every Sunday watching the game, sometimes even yelling louder than he is.
This football season has even been more fun for me, since my favorite team is playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday. I live in Colorado, so take a guess who I'm rooting for!
If you're also a football fan and are as excited about the big game as I am, you might want to download some apps to enjoy the experience even more.
Here are five Super Bowl apps to check out.
There were a couple reports Thursday related to Apple TV, suggesting that we'll see an update or a new device—or both—in the coming months. A report on iLounge said Apple will be adding games to their Apple TV device by March or even earlier in a major update to the platform. The information is said to come from "reliable industry sources." The games would be downloaded directly to the device (rather than using an iPhone or iPad as an intermediary), and the controller would be a Bluetooth device that Apple is currently working on. In addition, a report on 9To5Mac said that a new Apple TV device will likely be coming the first half of this year, and will include a new operating system based on iOS. As I understand it, the operating system is already based on iOS, so maybe they mean that the interface will be more like iOS. They also say that along with the new hardware Apple will introduce an App Store for the Apple TV.
Have you noticed the girl on her Mac in your meeting? How about the guy who’s researching directions on his iPhone? Maybe your friend with a lightweight iPad is following along with the professor’s lecture while you flip through a 300-page textbook? This growing trend among college students leads me to ask: Why has Apple become so prevalent at school?
Apple continues to promote the iPad Air with commercials using a narration of a verse by Walt Whitman taken from the movie Dead Poets Society. Similar to the longer 90-second commercial that Apple released earlier, these two 30-second spots again show the iPad being used in a wide variety of settings. As usual, the commercials are artfully done and fun to watch. The narration:
According to a post on AppleInsider, a Wall Street analyst is claiming that Apple has now finalized their design for the iPhone 6. And he says that according to his contacts in Apple's supply chain it will have a 4.8-inch display and will come with the new, faster Wi-Fi protocol called 802.11ac. He said that we can also expect major software innovations with the next version of iOS, including a mobile payments system that will take advantage of iBeacons, Passbook, and Touch ID. Plus, the faster 64-bit processor on the A7 chip being used in the latest iPhones and iPads along with Touch ID will enable new services. Finally, he also said to expect a 13-inch iPad late this year. These points square with what we've been hearing, and it seems likely the iPhone 6 will be larger. He didn't say anything about a phablet, but even that seems to confirm earlier rumors the two larger phones will launch at different times, with the smaller of the two coming first and an even larger iPhone coming later.
All the rumors continue to point to a larger iPhone. Plus, these rumors are increasingly suggesting not only will there be two different sizes, but also that the two phones will launch at different times. AppleInsider yesterday reported that according to a Chinese analyst, the iPhone 6 will launch in June at the WorldWide Developers Conference with a 4.7-inch screen. The post says the resolution will be 1136 x 640, which is the same as the current iPhone. As I noted in a previous post, that would be a logical step for Apple to take, because it would be easier for developers and because the pixel density, while less than the current iPhone, would still be on par with the iPad — and probably not noticeable. However, AppleInsider notes that other analysts expect Apple to increase the resolution for their 4.7-inch iPhone. Citing the Chinese analyst, AppleInsider also says that a 5.7-inch "phablet" will come later. It would be interesting if Apple would give it a different name, as they did with the iPad Air. They might call the 4.7-inch model the iPhone 6, and the larger one the iPhone Pro or something. But of course that's pure speculation.
Any rumors at this point are necessarily sketchy, and even more so the current iWatch rumor, given that the Korean site that originally posted it then removed it. That could be because they got further evidence that suggested it was wrong. Or that the information was correct and Apple asked them to take it down. Anyway, according to 9To5Mac, the Korean website DDaily posted an article saying that a forthcoming iWatch from Apple would have a 1.5-inch OLED display, and that it would launch this summer. Plus, 9To5Mac says that the use of OLED suggests that the iWatch would have a curved display. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, a technology that some manufacturers are now using for curved displays. I think it's inevitable that Apple will jump into wearable computing. They've already taken so many steps in this direction, including patents and hiring personnel. I'm convinced we'll see an iWatch, and a summer launch would make sense because it leaves fall open for the iPhone and iPad launches.
When I’m not evaluating the latest iOS apps, or experimenting with the newest iPad or iPhone accessories, I spend my time helping organizations think about their future. The Consumer Electronics Show included plenty of announcements that will influence the strategic choices made at Apple for years to come.
I wrote a report, CES 2014: Implications for Apple, that outlines seven areas in which CES “trends” will help shape Apple’s future. Here is a brief summary.
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