iPhone Life magazine

Apps

Samsung Bows to Users and Google and Makes Bloatware Removable

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Bloatware is the term for undesired apps that fill up a brand new computer or device. PC makers have added bloatware for years because they would get compensated by software makers for doing so. As margins on PCs diminished, this became a valuable revenue stream. But it was relatively easy to delete unwanted programs or ignore them on a PC with hundreds of gigabytes of storage. 



Apple Selling Sugared Water, Thanks to Apple Pay

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Steve Jobs was a great salesman. Perhaps too good. He lured John Sculley away from the CEO spot at Pepsico by asking him if he really wanted to be selling sugared water for the rest of his life. Sculley became Apple's CEO and within a year, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple. He formed NeXT, which Apple ended up acquiring and Jobs returned to Apple, like Moses returning from the wilderness and the rest is history. But that sales pitch hit home during Apple's Spring Forward keynote. Tim Cook showed a slide of a Coca Cola machine that accepts Apple Pay. The very next day, I saw one of those machines at a college campus, and it occurred to me that Apple is now "selling" sugared water!



Apple iOS 8 Adoption, By The Numbers

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Apple's iOS 8 is chugging along quite well, as Apple now reports that 77 percent of iOS devices are using iOS 8. AppleInsider is citing Apple's App Store statistics, stating that Apple's iOS 7 still commands 20 percent share of iOS devices, at least of those that visited the App Store. That means 97 percent of app customers are using the current (2014) or last generation (2013) operating system. This is important to developers, myself included, as it means we can focus on the latest features without leaving too many potential customers behind.



Interesting Microsoft News for Apple Users

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Microsoft is reinventing themselves, and using Apple as a blueprint in some ways. Today's news has them making Windows 10 a free upgrade, albeit for a year, for existing Windows 8 customers. Even users of pirated copies of Windows, which are reportedly 75 percent of China's Windows users, will be allowed to upgrade for free. Apple also does this, but they make money on all of the Mac hardware. Microsoft needs to keep Windows' market share high, and fight off Chromebooks on the low end and gain inroads against Android tablets and iPads as well. Plus Microsoft is now in the hardware business and has been for some time. So they can afford to make less profit on the operating system.



Get Early Access to Beta Software

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Are you chomping at the bit to get an Apple Watch? Are you the type that can't wait for access to the next version of iOS or OS X? Well, you can't get an Apple Watch yet, but Apple is letting the general public gain access to beta versions of their operating systems. Apple started this early access program last year, and it is a way for them to test features in the real world before it is considered FCS (First Customer Ship) ready.



Seconds Play a Role in Last Minute News About Apple Watch

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It's almost time to set our watches ahead one hour, which could be the last time many of us need to do that manually, if we own an Apple Watch by this time next year. Last minute rumors coming out of Cupertino offer a little more insight into how the Apple Watch will be used. Apple has allowed a select group of developers into their secret laboratory in order to test their apps on the device. This is a top-secret lab that is harder to break into than a political candidate's private email, and certainly harder than Sony Pictures!



Android Wear Watches to Work With iPhone?

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Google, Microsoft, Pebble, and other smartwatch makers think there's room for them on the wrists of iPhone owners. Apple has left an opening by charging $349 minimum and compromising on battery life and other features. This means there may be an opportunity for other watch makers to sell to iPhone users, if only they could make their devices work with iOS. Microsoft already does, with their Microsoft Band, and Pebble always has. Pebble just launched a color version, called Pebble Time, that is attractive and offers a week or more of battery life, thanks to e-Paper display technology. They also launched a $250 steel version including the option of a gold color case, which is a lot more affordable than Apple's gold Edition will be!



Google Vs Apple and the Search for More Money

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The iOS vs. Android story is old, but there is another dimension to the Apple vs. Google battle. Just as Samsung is both a competitor and a provider to Apple, Google has been providing search results for iOS users. Apple's Siri introduced another way to search, by voice, and Apple switched to Microsoft's Bing as a way to provide some Siri-based search results. This put a minor damper on Google's search volume, and therefore display ads, which is still their primary source of revenue.



Convoto: The Conversion App that Apple Left Out

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Apple does a great job with apps in addition to hardware, and several of its "extra" iOS apps are must haves—Keynote and Pages are two examples. But the company should have included a conversion app, either as part of the calculator app or as a standalone one. Fortunately, there is Convoto, an elegant tool for conversions. The interface is nice and clean, clearly inspired by Clear, the to-do app. Rather than garish buttons, a swipe interface is used. Multiple rainbow-colored selections distinguish the numerous conversion options.



The Apple Watch That Never Was

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We will be getting the Apple Watch soon, but it may not be the watch we could have had. As powerful as the Apple Watch will be, Apple reportedly had more ambitious plans for their first generation wearable, but they were axed for several reasons, including regulatory approval. If Apple were to start making medical claims, they would need approval from the FDA. While the watch will have a heart rate sensor, the dropped features include tracking of blood pressure and stress levels. Apple apparently couldn't guarantee accurate results, as there are too many variables, such as how tightly the watch is worn.



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