A leaked Japanese document posted on the French website Nowhereelse.fr indicates pre-orders for the forthcoming iPhone 5S will begin June 20 and will be available by July. The document appears to be the sort of "cheat sheet" cellular store employees receive when a new Apple product launches.
Google's "predictive search" technology enables your device to intuit what you need and search for it without your even having to ask. That technology debuted last year on Android devices, and as of today, it's available on the iPhone and iPad in the free Google Search app. Google's biggest competitor to Siri, Google Now senses what you need and automatically gives it to you on a "card" that pops up from the bottom of the screen. For example, if you're heading to work, it will automatically pop up a card with a traffic update. Or if you're planning to take a flight, it will automatically pop up a card if there are changes to your flight. Google's tagline for the app is, "Right info at the right time."
Every iPhone and iPad user occasionally has questions about using his or her device. Often a quick Google search will answer the question. But if not, then consider getting help online. I'm always impressed by the online communities of people who are sincerely eager to help you with any question or problem you might have. In Apple's support forums, questions are often answered within minutes. In this post I want to encourage you to get help whenever you have the slightest question and to direct you to some of the most helpful communities. You'll get so much more out of your device if you get in the habit of asking questions.
Yesterday's quarterly earnings report from Apple was mixed. And, oddly, how one views the news depends a lot on one's biases. The naysayers point to the fact that Apple's earnings per share declined compared to last year's March quarter — the first time in 10 years Apple has seen a decline. Apple boosters, on the other hand, saw a lot to like, including record year-over-year iPhone and iPad sales, and record revenue from the iTunes Store. Apple is clearly still growing and expanding its markets and services. And Tim Cook was resolute. Bully for him.
According to a news story on CNET, a new family plan bundle from Cricket gives you service for two iPhones for just $80 per month. Plus, it's also just lowered the cost of its individual plan from $55 to $50 per month. Its basic plans come with unlimited calling, text messages, and 1 gigabyte of full-speed data. Cricket is a no-contract carrier, meaning that you pay the full cost of the phone up front, but then aren't locked into a contract.
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who had previously been a key player at Google, sees mobile devices as central to re-energizing her moribund company. And the new version of the Yahoo app is definitely a positive sign of good things to come. Just released today, the new version lets you quickly scan your favorite news topics, while training it to find those items of greatest interest. If this sounds familiar, it may be because these features characterized the very popular Summly app, which Yahoo purchased less than a month ago. The company has now integrated the features of Summly into Yahoo.
Bitcoin has been in the news in recent weeks. The virtual currency was trading for $15 earlier this year and rocketed up to $260 earlier this month. It's now trading at about $120, up from around $50 a few days ago. Now that's volatility.
I'm always eager to report the arrival of a new free app from one of the major tech companies, and today it's Yahoo! Weather for iPhone. So far there's no version specific for the iPad. An early review on iMore says it presents a "great deal of information with a crisp, clean user interface." It offers detailed weather information and forecasts, as well as interactive radar, satellite, heat, and wind maps.
A photo of the rear case of the rumored forthcoming low-cost iPhone appeared on Tactus yesterday. There's no way of knowing whether it's the real deal, but it is in line with other rumors. The photo shows a white polycarbonate shell, just as rumors had suggested. It also indicates the phone is both taller and wider than the iPhone 4 or 4S.
The website Alibaba.com is already selling dozens of different cases for the iPad 5. According to reports, Apple typically gives case manufacturers specs far enough in advance so they'll offer accessories by the time the device launches. It's not unreasonable, therefore, to make inferences about the forthcoming model based on what Alibaba.com is selling.