Initial iWatch Shipments May Be Limited Due to Sapphire Issues, Half of Devices May Use Glass Displays
Echoing his earlier iWatch predictions, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today suggested (via AppleInsider) that Apple’s iWatch will be available in limited quantities in 2014, with only three million devices hitting store shelves before the end of the year.
Kuo says that while market predictions point towards shipments between 5 and 10 million smart watches before the end of 2014, his own prediction based on supply chain checks is at three million units due to the iWatch’s late production date.
Traditional watch-style iWatch concept by Gábor Balogh
Earlier this month, Kuo released a report pointing towards a November production date for the iWatch. Difficulties developing the screen for the device as well as its sapphire crystal cover are said to have slowed development on the iWatch, pushing back targeted production dates. “We believe developing the hardware and OS of iWatch will be a much more difficult task than for Apple’s existing products,” Kuo wrote.
Kuo believes that continued problems with the sapphire display for the iWatch may lead Apple to produce some of the devices with glass covers instead of sapphire. In the note, he also points towards TPK as the supplier Continue Reading
Timeful, described as “the first intelligent time manager” for mobile devices, is a new iOS app designed to help users manage their lives by combining a time management app with a calendar, a to-do list, and habits. Timeful aims to provide a personalized experience that encourages people to commit to various self-improvement activities and complete goals.
The app connects to the calendar on an iOS device, importing already existing events into a daily view that includes all tasks that must be completed. It also incorporates to-do functionality, allowing users to create tasks and file them under separate colored headings like Personal, Work, Fun, and, Important. To-do tasks can be scheduled for “Today,” “Tomorrow,” “Someday in the next 7 days,” or on a specific date.
Specific calendar events can be scheduled in much the same way, entering the task and selecting a time. One major negative of Timeful in comparison to other calendar apps is the fact that it doesn’t accept conversational input, meaning users have to manually select times and dates for calendar events.
Along with accepting calendar and to-do input, Timeful also includes a “Habits” feature that sets it apart from other time management and task Continue Reading
Microsoft’s Office for iPad Apps Gain New Picture Tools, Third-Party Fonts, and Ability to Send Files as PDFs
Microsoft’s Office for iPad apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint received a major update today that adds several new user-requested features to each app. All three apps have gained the ability to export files as PDFs, and each one has also gained new Picture Tools that let users crop to focus on the right part of an image. Third-party fonts have also been added to each app.
Excel now includes improved external keyboard support to make the experience of using Excel on the iPad more like a desktop usage experience. There are more print options available, and a new “Flick to Select” feature lets users flick to select all data in a row or column.
Excel is all about interacting with, consuming, and manipulating your data. When it comes to interacting with data, PivotTables are key to helping explore that data. With Excel for iPad you can now sort, filter, expand and collapse, show details, and even refresh PivotTables whose data is all contained within the workbook. You can even change how your PivotTables look and feel by changing both their visual style and layout.
We’ve also made it easier to consume workbooks and select data, including a Continue Reading
Apple’s content delivery network is now live in the US and Europe, reports analyst Dan Rayburn of Frost & Sullivan (Via ArsTechnica). The CDN may deliver multiple terabits of data per second, allowing Apple to more efficiently to distribute software updates and other content to its customers.
Apple’s CDN apparently went live recently as current trace routes provided by Rayburn show that OS X downloads are piped directly from Apple to internet service providers, such as Comcast. Apple is paying for this direct route in order to avoid congestion and other issues during times of high volume traffic, such as when a new version of OS X is released. Other providers who possibly have negotiated these interconnect deals with Apple are rumored to include AT&T and Verizon, both of which have similar contracts with Netflix.
Apple has not publicly commented on its CDN plans, but the company is expected to use the network to deliver iOS and OS X downloads, while gradually transitioning its iTunes and App Store away from Akamai and other Level 3 CDNs.
“It’s too early to know how much traffic will come over and when, but Apple’s already started using Continue Reading
Apple will soon be able to offer display repairs on the iPhone 5s directly within its retail stores, alleviating the need to send the devices to an off-site repair center. As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple Stores are currently accepting large deliveries of iPhone 5s screens for the repair program and in-store repairs are set to begin on Monday, August 4.
The in-store repairs are part of an effort to lower repair costs. Apple first began offering in-store phone repairs for the iPhone 5 back in June of 2013, and expanded to iPhone 5c repairs in January of this year.
Users with a cracked or damaged iPhone 5s display that do not have AppleCare+ now have the option to pay a $149 fee to get the screen repaired right at an Apple retail location. Prior to establishing an in-store repair center, users were forced to pay $229 for a replacement screen as Apple had to send damaged devices off-site.
With the ability to replace iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s screens, Apple can significantly cut down on repair costs and wait times. In a June 2013 employee meeting, Apple noted that its in-house repair policies could Continue Reading
As part of its pending acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music, Apple has begun making offers to Beats employees that will see roughly 200 of Beats’ 700 positions phased out over the next few months. News of the job cuts was first reported by 9to5Mac yesterday, with additional detail provided by the New York Post.
According to the reports, most of the job cuts will be in human resources, finance, and other areas where there is overlap between Apple and Beats staff. Some Beats employees will reportedly transfer to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, while others will remain at Beats’ current facility in the Los Angeles area.
Apple has issued a statement to Re/code confirming that some Beats employees have received only temporary offers from Apple as part of the transition.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr’s explanation: “We’re excited to have the Beats team join Apple, and we have extended job offers to every Beats employee. Because of some overlap in our operations, some offers are for a limited period and we’ll work hard during this time to find as many of these Beats employees as we can another permanent job within Apple.”
Apple’s $3 billion deal to Continue Reading
Security research Karsten Nohl of Berlin’s SR Labs has revealed a flaw in USB devices that potentially allows hackers to evade all known security measures used by a computer. In a report by Wired, Nohl says his BadUSB exploit is “almost like a magic trick” because “you cannot tell where the virus came from.”
The exploit takes advantage of a flaw that allows a hacker to tamper with the firmware that controls the functions of USB devices such as mice, thumb drives and keyboards.
Because BadUSB resides not in the flash memory storage of USB devices, but in the firmware that controls their basic functions, the attack code can remain hidden long after the contents of the device’s memory would appear to the average user to be deleted. And the two researchers say there’s no easy fix: The kind of compromise they’re demonstrating is nearly impossible to counter without banning the sharing of USB devices or filling your port with superglue.
“These problems can’t be patched,” says Nohl, who will join Lell in presenting the research at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. “We’re exploiting the very way that USB is designed.”
Nohl, along with fellow SR Continue Reading
Coppertino today updated its popular Vox music player to version 2.1, adding SoundCloud integration and new options for organizing music. Vox now has the ability to stream HQ/FLAC/Lossless music from SoundCloud, giving users a way to listen to high quality music uploaded to SoundCloud.
According to Coppertino founder Ivan Ablamskiy, Vox is the only third-party music player that allows users to access and play original lossless files from SoundCloud.
Along with SoundCloud integration, Vox has also gained some new interface updates that make it easier to access and create playlists within the app, including “Collections,” a new way to intuitively organize music. A full list of updated features can be found below:
- Updated and improved modern and clean interface;
– Ability to stream SoundCloud files in high quality music formats (when the original file is a lossless or HQ audio file);
– Simplified access to all playlists, including iTunes;
– Convenient creation and management of playlists within VOX;
– Custom playlists from various sources;
– Easily queue a song to play it next;
– Full access to the largest database of radio stations and music from all over the world;
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 6 on Tuesday, October 14 as the month itself will be an incredibly busy one for the company, according to a source that spoke to MacRumors citing an internal Apple Retail Store meeting.
The source notes that a senior Store Leader mentioned October 14th as being an “immense” day for Apple, adding that the whole month of October would be very busy for stores and the company itself. Apple is also said to planning a media event for Tuesday, September 16, coming a month ahead of the device’s launch.
4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 mockups compared to iPhone 5s
To this point, most reports have pointed to a September announcement and launch for the iPhone 6. However, a report last week claimed that Apple is planning a mid-September event for the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, which would be followed by an October event showcasing the iWatch, OS X Yosemite, new iPads, and new Macs. An announcement event for September 16 would also fall on a Tuesday, which is when Apple typically announces new products.
Apple launching the iPhone Continue Reading
Music recognition service Shazam, which was one of the early App Store hits and has continued to see good success on mobile platforms, is now bringing its services to the desktop in the form of the first music, TV show, and ad recognition app for Mac.
Running as a menu bar item, Shazam for Mac quietly monitors audio around the user’s Mac and provides not only pop-up notifications of the content being played but also easy access to supplemental content such as lyrics, additional tracks from the album, purchasing options such as the iTunes Store, music videos, social sharing options, and more.
Once content has been identified by Shazam, a standard Notification Center pop-up appears onscreen, and an entry for the item is added to the running list of Shazam IDs in the menu bar app. Clicking in either location takes the user to a dedicated page on the web for the identified content.
MacRumors spoke with Shazam’s Chief Product Officer Daniel Danker about the launch, and Danker highlighted the utility of Shazam for Mac in the context of the popularity of lyrics searches on the Internet. With Shazam’s dedicated track pages on the web, Shazam for Continue Reading
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today sent a letter [PDF via Gigaom] to Verizon Wireless, questioning its plan to throttle customers that have unlimited data plans during peak usage times. Verizon first announced its intention to throttle high-usage customers on grandfathered unlimited LTE plans last week.
In the letter, Wheeler says that he is “deeply troubled” by Verizon’s decision to throttle its unlimited users, as the company described its efforts as necessary for “Network Optimization.” Wheeler stated that he does not believe slowing the data speeds for select users falls under the “reasonable network management” umbrella.
“Reasonable network management” concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams. It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its “network management” on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology.
Wheeler goes on to ask Verizon to answer a series of questions, requesting that the company explain its rationale for treating customers differently based on data plan type and questioning whether Verizon’s new throttling policy is justified under the FCC’s Open Internet rules. Wheeler also questions the necessity of cutting data Continue Reading
The update, originally released on July 15 to address sleep/wake issues, caused some MacBook Air machines to shut down completely for several hours. On other machines, the update simply refused to install. Today’s re-released software, labeled 2.9.1, presumably fixes these issues, allowing the update to be properly installed.
The MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.9.1 is available in the Mac App Store for 2011 MacBook Airs and can also be downloaded from the Apple Support site.
While there are hundreds of different portable battery options for the iPhone, the NomadPlus is unique because it functions with an existing Apple charger. The NomadPlus plugs into an Apple wall charger, transforming it into a 1500 mAh portable battery with enough juice to recharge an iPhone to 70 percent.
One of the most cumbersome aspects of most battery packs is the recharging of the battery itself, but the NomadPlus allows the add-on battery to be charged as an iPhone charges via the wall charger, a simple solution that saves time and effort.
The NomadPlus is not much larger than an iPhone wall charger, measuring in at 2.75″ x 1.33″ x 1.10″, and it weighs just 2.1 ounces. It supports pass-through charging, and will charge the iPhone before charging the battery itself.
While NomadPlus takes advantage of the Apple wall charger’s superb design and engineering, its USB port can be used to power up any number of smartphone or tablet devices. Upcycling your wall plug with NomadPlus is the way to Continue Reading
Apple today seeded the first build of OS X 10.9.5 to developers, one month after releasing OS X 10.9.4 to the public. The new beta is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and through the Mac Dev Center. The beta has a build number of 13F7.
OS X 10.9.5 follows new seeds of Safari 7.0.6 and 6.1.6 for Mavericks and Mountain Lion, which were released to developers last night.
It is unclear what improvements the 10.9.5 update will bring to Mavericks, but it is likely to include bug fixes and stability enhancements. Apple is asking developers to focus on USB, USB Smart Cards, Graphics, and Safari.
Along with working on improvements to Mavericks, Apple is also beta testing OS X Yosemite, which is due to be released in the fall. The last Mavericks update, 10.9.4, added several Wi-Fi fixes and improved wake from sleep reliability.
For several months now, rumors have continually suggested Apple is working on a revamped Apple TV, which may include capabilities like support for games and apps and expanded access to television content.
A source that spoke to The Information has suggested that Apple engineers who are working on the device have been informed that the product will not launch in 2014, largely due to ongoing contractual issues with cable companies and Comcast’s pending purchase of Time Warner Cable.
Apple engineers who are working on aspects of the device have been told by their bosses not to expect a launch this year and are working off timelines that assume a launch next year, according to a person familiar with the plans. Apple employees have cited cable companies “dragging their heels” and the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger as reasons the device and accompanying TV service haven’t launched.
Conversely, sources in the television industry have denied that cable companies are behind the delay, suggesting Apple has “bit off more Continue Reading