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Nike Fires Majority of FuelBand Team, Plans to Stop Making Wearables [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 19, 2014.
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Nike plans to no longer make wearable hardware, as it has fired the majority of its 80-person team responsible for the FuelBand fitness tracker and will instead focus its efforts on fitness software, according to an unnamed source that spoke to CNET.

The shoemaker isn’t throwing in the towel on technology. Rather, it’s turning away from hardware and realigning its focus exclusively on fitness and athletic software, a strategic shift that would still benefit the company in the long run, analysts said.

While the competition in the fitness wearable category has increased with entries from Jawbone and Fitbit, Nike spokesman Brian Strong told CNET in an email that the company continually aligns its resources with business priorities and that it has made changes to its team as its Digital Sport priorities have shifted toward software. Nike is also opening an incubator called Fuel Lab in San Francisco to allow developers to create products that incorporate its workout metric NikeFuel and plug into a Nike+ API that’ll come this fall.

Nike’s move away from wearables also comes as Apple’s long-rumored iWatch is expected to come to fruition. Apple CEO Tim Cook is an avid wearer of the FuelBand and Continue Reading

Facebook Updates ‘Paper’ App With Birthdays, Events, Photo Comments and More [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 19, 2014.
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Facebook has updated its news creation and curation app Paper with birthdays, events, group updates, photo comments and much more, filling in the app with features from the “main” Facebook app that users have requested since its debut.

Thanks again for your feedback on Paper. We’ve been working to build features you’ve asked for, and we’re excited to share version 1.1. Here’s the scoop:

– Birthdays and events: Never miss a chance to celebrate! Just tap the notifications globe and scroll down to see important dates ahead.

– Photo comments: When words aren’t enough, now you can add photos to comments to show how you feel.

– Group updates: Don’t miss posts from your favorite groups. Swipe down to open the Main Menu. Tap the More Options icon to the right of the Search box. When you see your groups, check the new unread counts to catch up on the posts you’ve missed.

– New story buttons: To keep up with the latest stories in a section in fullscreen view, or to catch the newest stories in the next section, tap the new story arrows when they appear.

– More article covers: 9 new Continue Reading

Apple Offering Some Developers Second Chance to Buy Unclaimed WWDC Tickets

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
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Apple is offering some developers a chance to buy unclaimed WWDC tickets, according to a report from 9to5Mac and several Twitter users. Apple has emailed certain developers to offer them WWDC tickets, giving them 24 hours to pay the $1,599 ticket fee.

This year, because of nearly immediate ticket sellouts in past years, Apple decided to offer WWDC tickets to registered, paid iOS and Mac developers through a lottery system. Developers who won the ticket lottery had until April 14 to complete their purchases.

Now Apple is reportedly reaching out to developers who didn’t win the lottery and offering them a chance to buy unclaimed tickets. Some developers are starting to get phone calls from the company informing them that they have been randomly selected to buy one of the tickets that winners failed to claim before the 14th.

It is unknown how many WWDC tickets went unclaimed by lottery winners, nor how the company is choosing developers to receive a second chance at tickets.

The annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be held from June 2-6 at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco

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Apple’s Shazam Partnership Could Boost Advertising Efforts

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
shazam

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Apple has plans to integrate song identification features into iOS 8 through a partnership with audio discovery platform Shazam, but as suggested by media professor Aram Sinnreich, Apple’s ambitions may go beyond simple music recognition capabilities.

Speaking with Computerworld, Sinnreich, a media professor at Rutgers University, points out that Apple could use Shazam’s audio recognition abilities to gather information on the media that iPhone and iPad users are consuming, including music, television shows, movies, and more, for targeted advertisements.

While Shazam is known for identifying songs that are playing on the radio or through other sources, the service is also capable of identifying and tagging television shows and advertisements. Shazam works by analyzing captured sound and comparing its acoustic fingerprint to an audio database, which began including television content in 2012.

Shazam’s technology could, of course, be used to deliver music and television information to consumers, providing identification along with additional content like news, facts, and iTunes purchase links, but at the same time, Apple could also use it to gather information on consumer preferences each time a song, television show, or advertisement is “tagged” or identified Continue Reading

Apple Could Benefit as Samsung and Globalfoundries Standardize Mobile Chip Production [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
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Samsung and Globalfoundries announced yesterday that the two companies will adopt the same chip production process as they upgrade their manufacturing facilities in preparation for the next generation mobile devices. (Via Wall Street Journal) This announcement adds credence to an earlier rumor that Apple was negotiating with GlobalFoundries to start making the A-Series chip in the company’s Malta, New York Fab 8 facility, with Samsung helping in the early stages of production.

As part of the agreement, Globalfoundries has agreed to drop its current 14 nanometer circuit technology and will instead license Samsung’s 14 nanometer process. This standardization of production processes could have a significant impact on Apple, which can now source its A-series processors from either Samsung or GlobalFoundries without any additional engineering effort.

“What really drove us to this agreement was a strong pull from customers,” said Ana Hunter, Globalfoundries’ vice president of product management. “They see the value in really having one process where they have choice and flexibility in the manufacturing options that they have.”

Intel is the first company to start producing chips based on 14-nanometer technology with production starting in the current quarter. Apple supplier Samsung is expected to begin Continue Reading

Employees File Request to Include Steve Jobs Evidence in Anti-Poaching Lawsuit [Mac Blog]

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
Apple Announces New iPhone At Developers Conference

Apple, Google and two other large technology companies should not be allowed to block evidence in an upcoming trial involving their participation in “no solicitation” agreements that date back to 2005. This request to expand the evidence presented in the trial was filed on behalf of tech workers who initiated the class action lawsuit in 2011, reports Reuters.

In this latest filing, the tech workers argue that all evidence pertaining to the companies involved, including the “bullying” personality of Steve Jobs, the personal wealth of Google co-founder Sergey Brin and other information gleaned from outside sources should be included in the case.

“That the jury might draw conclusions about Mr. Jobs’ character based on evidence showing the manner in which he pursued the conspiracy at the heart of this case is not grounds to exclude such evidence,” they wrote.

Additionally, the plaintiffs seek to introduce evidence about the personal wealth of executives like Google co-founder Sergey Brin – and how it could be enhanced by holding down workers’ salaries and boosting margins, according to the filing.

The plaintiffs also seek to include information on an earlier investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice that prevented Continue Reading

Alleged iPad Air 2 Front Panel with Integrated Display Shown in New Photos

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
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Following the leak of an alleged iPhone 6 front panel earlier this week, the iPad is now getting its turn with a pair of photos showing what is said to be a front panel for the next-generation iPad Air, shared by Dutch site One More Thing [Google Translate]. Notably, the part appears to include an integrated display in contrast to the separate panel and display parts used on the current model. A move to an integrated front panel/display would reduce overall thickness, potentially allowing Apple to further slim down the iPad Air or make room for other components such as a slightly larger battery.

MacRumors spoke with iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens, who noted that the assembly could indeed be legitimate and use a manufacturing process similar to that seen on the Retina MacBook Pro. The move to an integrated panel/display would increase repair costs, but ease of repair has not been a particularly major focus for Apple and the company already uses an integrated display on the iPhone.

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The next-generation iPad Air is expected to launch later this year, with notable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicting that upgraded iPad Air and Retina Continue Reading

Analysts Predict Q2 2014 Decline in iPad Sales, Slight Increase in iPhone Sales

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
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Sales of Apple’s iPad and iPhone remained strong during the holiday season with record quarterly sales reported in Q1 2014. Analyst predictions for Apple’s second quarter of its fiscal year suggest iPhone sales may rise slightly, while iPad sales may decline slightly, reports Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune’s Apple 2.0 blog.

The consensus estimate from 21 Wall Street professionals and 13 amateur analysts predict iPad sales of 19.3 million, a 0.7 percent decline in Q2 2014. This is a significant change from Q2 2013, which saw a 55 percent year-over-year increase.

The consensus estimate, at 19.3 million, would represent a 0.7% decline, with the pros slightly more optimistic (at 19.4 million) than the amateurs (19.2 million). Dragging down the amateur numbers is the 15 million estimate submitted by the Braeburn Group’s Matt Lew. Tugging in the other direction is Horace Dediu’s 21.8 million. One represents a year-over-year decline of 23%, the other an increase of 12%.

This dip in sales may only be temporary as Apple is expected to launch updated models of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display later this year, and may launch a larger-screen iPad Pro sometime in future Continue Reading

Former Apple CEO John Sculley: Forcing Steve Jobs Out Was a ‘Mistake’ [Mac Blog]

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
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Former Apple CEO John Sculley states that he now regrets his decision to remove Steve Jobs from the company in 1985 and that the move to force the co-founder out was a “mistake,” according to a new report from the Times of India.

Steve Jobs (left) and John Sculley (right) in 1984
Sculley, who recently launched Obi, a low-cost smartphone brand for India, added that differences between he and Jobs began over the founder’s desire to subsidize the Macintosh. Sculley said that he ultimately opposed the idea, feeling that there was no “merit” in lowering the cost of the computer.

However, he still feels that some way would have been found to have them both work for the company and this could have been facilitated by Apple’s board then. “I think there could have been a way, in hindsight, where Steve and I did not need to have a confrontation, and we could have worked it out. And, perhaps the board could have played a bigger role in that. But you can’t change history.”

Jobs hired Sculley from beverage company Pepsi in 1983, however the two clashed over management styles and Continue Reading

New iPhone 6 Renderings Based on Recent Info Show Design Changes

Posted by | April 18, 2014.
iphone_6_hajek4_1

After showing off a concept for a sapphire-glass backed “iPhone Air” earlier this month, French Apple website Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] and graphic designer Martin Hajek have teamed up once again to create a set renders for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and accompanying cases in a variety of colors, which are based on leaked schematics posted by Japanese magazine MacFan and the dimensions of an alleged case that surfaced earlier this week.

The renderings depict the iPhone 6 as a thin device with rounded corners, with the power button located along the upper right side of the device and rectangular volume controls similar to that of the fifth-generation iPod touch. The case rendered to compliment the phone also contains cutouts for each new design change, along with holes for the camera, flash, and Apple logo on the rear.

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Notably, a bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is also rendered alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 4-inch iPhone 5s, retaining the same design properties as the 4.7-inch version. Apple is expected to launch both sizes of the iPhone 6 in the near future, however reports have indicated the 4.7-inch version will launch Continue Reading

RadioShack Drops iPhone 5s Price to $99 [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 17, 2014.
Radio Shack

Beginning tomorrow, Radio Shack will be selling the 16GB iPhone 5s for $99 with two-year contract on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. This is $100 off the standard $199 price and one of the lowest prices we’ve seen for a new iPhone 5s.

It’s unclear if the price drop will be permanent or just a temporary price, but a source at Radio Shack says the promotion does not currently have an end date. For many, the discount will matter less with the new pay-by-the-month phone financing plans offered by AT&T and Verizon, but for customers still on a two-year contract plan, the $100 discount could encourage customers to choose the iPhone 5s over the 5c.

Radio Shack has sold the iPhone since 2009 and has often offered discounts on refreshed and new iPhones numerous times a year. Radio Shack is offering trade-ins on older iPhones, including a minimum of $100 on the iPhone 4s, meaning customers trading in that phone can receive the iPhone 5s for free.

Continue Reading

Flickr Debuts Redesigned iOS App With Live Filters, HD Video Recording [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 17, 2014.
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Yahoo today updated its Flickr photo sharing app to version 3.0, introducing a major design overhaul that revamps the look and feel of the app. Aiming to make capturing and editing photos easier, the app features 14 live filters for the app’s camera, allowing users to see what edits will look like before an image is captured.

The app also has a cleaner, better organized grid-style gallery view for browsing through photos and its camera capture and filter menu now resembles Instagram’s successful image editing layout. Searching for captured photos is easier, with a revamped “intelligent” search engine that can filter by date, time, place, and even scenes and objects like “car” or “sunset.”

A new Auto Sync feature lets users upload photos from the camera roll to Flickr automatically, creating a cloud-based backup of all iPhone images. As announced last year, Flickr provides all of its users with 1TB of free storage space.

Video recording, previously unavailable in the Flickr app, is has also been added, allowing Flickr to compete with other photo and video sharing services like Instagram and Vine. There are simple video customization features available and the new live filters also apply Continue Reading

FaceTime Not Working for Many iOS 6 Users

Posted by | April 17, 2014.
facetime

Apple’s FaceTime appears to be malfunctioning for iPhone and iPad users with devices running iOS 6, according to multiple tips received by MacRumors as well as a MacRumors forum post and a thread on the Apple Support Communities.

It appears that users who are running iOS 6 are unable to place or receive FaceTime calls, with reports of problems dating back to yesterday. Devices running iOS 7 appear to be functioning as normal, and Apple’s System Status page is not reporting any outages.

One user mentioned being able to FaceTime with a device running iOS 6.1.6, while a device with iOS 6.0.1 was not able to access the service. Another has reported that Mac users running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion may also be experiencing problems with FaceTime.

Users who have had issues have contacted Apple Support and several Apple representatives have recommended an update to iOS 7 to fix the problem. It is likely the iOS 6 FaceTime outage is only temporary, however, and will presumably not necessitate an update to iOS 7.

Continue Reading

Image Editing App Pixelmator Half Off Ahead of 3.2 Update [Mac Blog]

Posted by | April 17, 2014.
pixelmator.jpg

Popular Photoshop alternative Pixelmator today announced that it is planning to introduce a new Repair Tool in an upcoming 3.2 “Sandstone” update, allowing users to remove dust, blemishes, and entire objects from images with “an unsurpassed level of precision and quality.”

To promote the future update, which will be available for free to existing Pixelmator users, the app is on sale for half off for the next week, dropping the price from $29.99 to $14.99.

Pixelmator regularly updates its image editing software, with the future 3.2 update following its January 3.1 update, which added full support for the Mac Pro, with 16-bit per channel images, full GPU support, and optimizations for the multi-core processors in the computer.

Back in October, the app was also updated with Mavericks support and a new image editing engine, greatly enhancing its performance.

Pixelmator can be downloaded from the App Store for $14.99. [Direct Link]

Continue Reading

Angela Ahrendts May Delay Apple Start Until Mid-Year

Posted by | April 17, 2014.
angela_ahrendts_bw

Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts resigned last October from the British luxury fashion house to join Apple as the head of its retail division. According to The Guardian, Ahrendts is free to leave Burberry this month, having fulfilled her six-month notice period, but her actual exit date is not yet known.

Ahrendts may be staying longer at Burberry to help smooth the transition over to her successor Christopher Bailey, who is currently serving as the company’s chief creative officer. Money also may be a factor in Ahrendts leaving as she is slated to receive a two million pound bonus in June for her recent performance as Burberry CEO.

“It’s a big sum of money. In some ways it would be good to see the business moving on after six months of handover time. You want to see clarity,” said Rahul Sharma, an analyst at Neev Capital.

But he said investors were also likely to feel reassured by Ahrendt’s presence ahead of some big moves for Burberry and continuing concerns about Bailey’s ability to combine his creative role with that of a chief executive.

“That is a big concern in the back of investors’ minds and Continue Reading

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