Author Archives: Mike Beasley

Apple releases iTunes 12.1 with OS X Notification Center widget, syncing improvements, and more

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Apple has released a new update for iTunes on OS X that introduces support for a Notification Center widget. The widget will allow users to control their music and buy songs from iTunes Radio directly from the system-wide panel.

iTunes 12.1 also includes a “quick tour” feature that runs on the app’s second launch. It’s the same quick tour that has been available on Apple’s website since last year, but it is now included natively in the app to help users get acclimated to the new design.

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The update also improves syncing performance for iOS devices. You can get the iTunes 12.1 from the Updates tab of the Mac App Store now.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: iTunes, Notification Center, widget

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Microsoft launches revamped Outlook mail app based on Acompli for iOS [Video]

Microsoft Acompli

Microsoft announced plans today to launch a new app for its Outlook email service on iOS. The app is based on the Acompli software that the company purchased in December for $200 million. The app includes “email triage” features found in the old app as well as new features to help appeal to a wider audience, such as the ability to toggle threaded conversation views.

The Outlook iOS app will also support mail from third-party services beyond Microsoft’s. iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo email accounts can be plugged into the app, and attachments can be added to messages from cloud services like Google Drive and Dropox. Check out the video below …

It will eventually replace the existing OWA app for iPhone, but that app will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. The Outlook app is an entirely new app, not an update of an existing one. You can download it from the App Store for free right now.

Microsoft also announced today that its Office apps for iPhone and iPad are now at more than 80 million downloads.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Acompli, email, Microsoft, Outlook

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Apple ties for title of world’s largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2014

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Following on the heels of a record-breaking quarter for Apple, Strategy Analytics has crunched the numbers and crowned Apple the king of the smartphone vendors for Q4 2014—or rather, one of the kings. It seems the Cupertino company managed to tie rival Samsung for the title.

Both companies shipped 74.5 million handsets during the quarter, though Samsung still outsold Apple in terms of the annual total by a hefty margin. Those quarterly sales gave both companies an equal marketshare of 19.6%.

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Strategy Analytics notes that this is the first time since Q4 2011 that Apple has topped the charts. Samsung’s marketshare dropped 8% year-over-year, leading the analytics firm to suggest that the Korean company may need to buy out rivals like BlackBerry to fend off competition from Xiaomi and Apple. Samsung recently denied that it had any intention of doing so.

The next two names on the list for Q4, Motorola-owned Lenovo and Huawei, didn’t even come close to Apple and Samsung, with each capturing just over 6% of the market at around 24 million handsets sold.

Forty-eight percent of the market was claimed the remaining companies under the broad heading of “Other.”


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, iPhone, Lenovo, marketshare, Motorola, q4 2014, Samsung, Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi

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Apple ties for title of world’s largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2014

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 10.44.50 PM

Following on the heels of a record-breaking quarter for Apple, Strategy Analytics has crunched the numbers and crowned Apple the king of the smartphone vendors for Q4 2014—or rather, one of the kings. It seems the Cupertino company managed to tie rival Samsung for the title.

Both companies shipped 74.5 million handsets during the quarter, though Samsung still outsold Apple in terms of the annual total by a hefty margin. Those quarterly sales gave both companies an equal marketshare of 19.6%.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 10.45.03 PM

Strategy Analytics notes that this is the first time since Q4 2011 that Apple has topped the charts. Samsung’s marketshare dropped 8% year-over-year, leading the analytics firm to suggest that the Korean company may need to buy out rivals like BlackBerry to fend off competition from Xiaomi and Apple. Samsung recently denied that it had any intention of doing so.

The next two names on the list for Q4, Motorola-owned Lenovo and Huawei, didn’t even come close to Apple and Samsung, with each capturing just over 6% of the market at around 24 million handsets sold.

Forty-eight percent of the market was claimed the remaining companies under the broad heading of “Other.”

Update: IDC’s numbers, arriving just a day later, are near-identical, though IDC gives a slight edge to Samsung, with its data showing that Samsung sold 600,000 more phones, putting its market share 0.16% higher than Apple’s. Given that estimating sales data is never an exact science, we think this one can be safely called a draw.

idc


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, iPhone, Lenovo, marketshare, Motorola, q4 2014, Samsung, Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi

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Jawbone introduces marketplace for partner apps and hardware

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Fitness gadget maker Jawbone announced today that it has launched a new “partner marketplace” for third-party apps and hardware that work together in an attempt to embrace the “Internet of Things.”

The new store features “smart home” products like the Nest Learning Thermostat and other automation tools, such as Automatic’s driving assistant. Software, like the Sleepio app, are also available.

The offerings in the store are very limited at the moment, and Jawbone says that’s because it only wants to promote products that are the best in their class. In order to be listed on the store, products will also need to take advantage of Jawbone’s UP API.

In related news, Forture today reports that “Jawbone’s financial condition is perilous and currently insufficient to pay its debts.” Yikes.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: Automatic, Jawbone, Nest Learning Thermostat, Sleepio, up

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Apple seemingly crops Photos for Mac out of early 2015, takes eraser tool to Apple.com

newphotos

Apple has made a small but significant change to its website that could spell bad news for those eagerly awaiting the release of the company’s new Photos app for OS X.

Every single mention of the software has been scrubbed from Apple.com, save for a single help article that now lists the app as being “available at a later date.” A page dedicated to Apple’s Photos app on iOS and iCloud as well as the Continuity page have both been updated to remove references to the software.

The app was supposed to ship in “early 2015″ like the Apple Watch, but while the wearable device is now confirmed for an April launch, the Photos app has gotten little to no press since the original announcement. The recent changes to the website could indicate that the release has been pushed back even further.

At the time of the Photos release, iPhoto and Aperture were both scheduled to be discontinued. Competitors like Adobe have already started putting plans in place to help users transfer their photo libraries into Lightroom.

Meanwhile, Apple has continued to expand the feature set for its web-based iCloud Photos app, adding support for uploading new photos, as well as tweaks like the ability to zoom in on images. That service is intended to function as a stopgap until the native app is released.

We’ve reached out to Apple to find out if there’s a new timeframe for the app’s release.

Thanks for the tip, Garrett!


Filed under: Apps Tagged: early 2015, Photos for mac

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Apple Watch will ship in April, Tim Cook says during earnings call

iwatch

Apple has revealed that the Apple Watch will ship in April, though a specific date wasn’t given. The announcement came during today’s earnings call.

Apple’s wearable will support notifications and “glances” from iPhone-based apps and is said to be aiming for 19-hour battery life, though it is reportedly having trouble hitting that goal. Apple is also planning to enable Apple Pay transactions on older iPhones by pairing those handsets with the watch.

The device was first announced in September alongside the latest iPhones. It was originally said to be shipping in “Early 2015,” which Cook said today is considered anything through April. Since then the watch has gained traction in the fashion and tech worlds.

Earlier this month it was revealed that the Apple Watch will require a companion application on a paired iPhone to configure certain features. That app will require iOS 8.2 to install from the App Store, if it isn’t pre-installed already with the update.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch

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