I don’t know if you have kids or not, but one of the more difficult things to keep track of, at least for me, is their allowance. Yeah, you might say, just write it down on a piece of paper or something. While that may seem to have merit, it rarely works out in my family. Let’s say my son gets $5 every two weeks for allowance. That’s a $5 bill I need to have each and every week.
Honestly? It never works out that way. So we tried using a calendar, on which I created a repeating event, set for every two weeks, figuring we could just count it up when he needed something. Well, that didn’t really work out, either. We’d be at a store, and he’d want something, and it’d be some non-multiple of five, and we’d try to remember to write it down, and so on.
Suffice it to say that I am doing a poor job at helping my kid keep track of his allowance, and an equally poor job of prepping him for real life money management.
So imagine my joy when I saw Allowance Manager for iOS, a Universal app that basically does what we need: tracks allowance on the iPhone or iPad. Win!
Created by a father, Dan Meador, with a similar issue, Allowance Manager lets kids and parents work together to keep track of what each child has been given for allowance, as well as any extra gift cash for birthdays or holidays. It also syncs up to the Allowance Manager website, for some seriously cloud-based money management for the whole darn family.
“Just log into our secure AllowanceManager.com website or open up our iPhone / iPad app and just a few minutes a week, parents can set and track their children’s allowance,” said Meador, in a statement. “It really makes it easy for parents to track and remember what money they’re giving their kids while empowering their kids to learn the value of money – why not get a computer to do most of the work for you?”
I can’t wait to get this into my own kids’ hands, as they move from dependent little ones to more and more independent pre-teens and teenagers. The more I can help them manage their own money now, the better off they’ll be in the future when they have to do it for real.
“We want to help make managing your family allowance simple and fun,” said Meador, “while at the same time helping kids learn how to correctly use money. The problem is learning how to be good with money is a skill that can only be done with practice. You cannot learn to ski by reading a book on skiing.”
True enough, I think, to warrant trying out this free app right now.
Source: App Store
“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in today’s fourth quarter earnings report. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.”
While Apple didn’t see a ‘blowout’ quarter this time around, things are still looking very good for the Cupertino company. Apple is still the most valuable company on earth, and its flagship products are seeing crazy growth in sales. We’ve collected all of the big numbers from today’s earnings call:
- Apple now has $107.46 billion in cash and available assets.
- $36.0 billion in revenue
- Net profit of $8.2 billion, or $8.67 profit per diluted share
- International markets accounted for 60% of Apple’s sales.
- 26.9 million iPhones sold, 58% year-over-year growth
- 14 million iPads sold, 26% year-over-year growth
- 4.9 million Macs sold, 1% year-over-year growth
- MacBooks are 80% of all Mac sales.
- 5.3 million iPods sold, 19% year-over-year decline in growth
- iPad touch is half of all iPod sales.
- 700,000 apps in the App Store
- 1.3 million Apple TVs sold, still a “beloved hobby”
- $4.2 billion in Apple retail sales
- 19,000 visitors per Apple Store each week
- 18 new retail stores opened in 10 different countries.
- iCloud now has 190 million users, up 40 million users from 3 months ago.
The kingdom of Apple is flourishing.
“We’re pleased to have generated over $41 billion in net income and over $50 billion in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75.” That’s an huge revenue estimate. The holidays are going to be very good to Apple.
AAPL investors will be pleased to learn that Apple will be paying out another cash dividend of $2.65 per share on November 15th.
For more on the history of Apple selling stuff, refer to our handy chart.
Tweetbot just dropped on the Mac App Store today, and perhaps the most surprising thing about it is the price. At $20, it’s significantly more expensive than most social networking clients. The thing is, it’s important not to see the number and instantly start making comparisons. You need to look at the price and ask: does this app provide 20 dollars worth of value? Judge it by that standard, and it doesn’t seem so expensive after all.
More immediately important to Tapbots, Tweetbot’s makers, is the user number ceiling that’s been imposed by Twitter itself. Tapbots halted the Tweetbot for Mac beta earlier this year to avoid hitting the limit. This is not software for the masses, because Twitter won’t allow it to be. This is software for a select few. Tapbots don’t say exactly how many tokens they have available for this application, but the fact remains that there’s a hard limit. Once they run out of tokens, the app will have to be removed from the store. It’s an exclusive product, and exclusivity costs more. The Tapbots team is very open about it:
This limit and our desire to continue to support the app once we sell out is why we’ve priced Tweetbot for Mac a little higher than we’d like. It’s the best thing we can do for the long term viability of the product. We know some will not be happy about Tweetbot for Mac’s pricing, but the bottom line is Twitter needs to provide us with more tokens for us to be able to sell at a lower the price.
OK, so now we know why it costs $20. The next question is, does it work?
Yes. Yes it does.
There’s already a well established “look” for Tweetbot. You might have seen it in the iOS client for iPhone and iPad. It’s very much inspired by the way Twitter itself functions, but it has its own unique visual identity. That’s even more impressive these days, as Twitter imposes increasingly restrictive rules on developers about how tweets can be displayed. Tweetbot sticks to those rules, but still feels more like Tweetbot than it does like Twitter. That’s an important distinction.
Now here it is on the Mac too, and it looks really good. If you’ve already paid for Tweetbot on iOS you already know exactly where you are, and how everything works. In fact, you even know where you are in your Twitter stream, because Tweetbot includes feed sync over iCloud. You can read your stream on any device and your position within it – the tweets you’ve read, versus the tweets you’ve not read – will be synchronised between devices automatically.
Multiple accounts, multiple lists, saved searches, and the awesome multiple columns view, all turn Tweetbot into the true professional’s Twitter tool, as much as Tweetdeck ever has been.
Everything about Tweetbot is clean. It’s a beautiful looking app. Its simple lines and grey tones are much more beautiful, to my eyes, than the faux-leather and faux-wood textures that Apple has been liberally splashing all over its software products recently. Tweetbot looks and feels wonderfully functional.
Things work the way you’d expect them to. For example: columns can be detached and float as separate windows if you wish them to. They separate cleanly, then re-attach themselves when you drag them close, as if held together with magnets. (One quibble – when a column is docked to the main window, there’s no way to close that column without detaching it first. Be nice if there was a command for this.) Another example: the so-called “tabs” down the left side (timeline, mentions, DMs, and so on) are reached quickly using Command+1, Command+2, and so on. It’s a little thing, but it’s how most people’s minds work, and therefore makes navigation feel that much faster and more intuitive.
As a tool for professionals, Tweetbot isn’t expensive at all. Twenty dollars for a tool of the trade? That’s a bargain. If your business requires you to interact with Twitter on a regular basis, to maintain one or more Twitter accounts that represent any kind of corporate or public-facing organisation, Tweetbot is an excellent – and in my view, fairly priced – product that will help you get your work done more efficiently.
But you know what? It’s good for other people too, for non-professionals. Like I said right at the beginning, this isn’t about the number of dollars attached to the BUY NOW button, it’s about perceived value. Is your time valuable to you? It should be. Is your time on Twitter valuable to you? It might be, even if you’re not a professional Tweeter. Put simply, doing a lot of stuff on Twitter is a nicer, more pleasurable experience inside Tweetbot than it is using the official in-house apps or using twitter.com. If Twitter is your primary means of communicating with colleagues and friends; or if you enjoy using it as a “second screen” while watching TV; or if you keep up to date with your favorite bands, actors (or hey, even app developers) by watching their feeds, Tweetbot isn’t an expensive piece of software. It is a well made one.
Source: Mac App Store
Denominations is an iPhone currency converter app that is actually useful. No, it doesn’t offer a slew of options, nor does it even look particularly swish or fancy. But it is dead easy to use, and this will make it just about the best conversion app around when you actually need it.
The interface is pretty much a single screen. In the left column, you see the main coins and bills in the “foreign” currency. For instance, the €1 and €2 coins, plus notes from €5 up to €200 in Euros. On the right, you see your home currency, with conversions. It doesn’t give you cent-perfect calculations, but is perfect as what my old math teacher called a “ready-reckoner” for eyeballing the general figure.
Want to convert the other way? Just tap the little bow tie icon in the middle and the columns swap, telling you just how far your daily $50 vacation budget will stretch, for example.
It’s ingenious, and likely to end up – temporarily at least – in the dock of every iPhone-owning traveller. Better still, it costs just $1.99 (or €1.59). I have just one request: make the colors in the source list reflect the colors of the notes of the currency.
Sure, the US money would all be the same confusing shade of green, but for travelers to more imaginative climes, this could be ideal. It is probably also quite a lot of extra work, so I’ll quit whining a out it now.
Apple’s victory in its patent trial against Samsung is already a few hours old but the shock of the damage tally is still hard to shake off. The final figure of $1,049,393,540.00 is a staggering rebuke of Samsung’s design and manufacturing process and may force the company toward more original ideas.
The completed jury verdict form, released late Friday night and attached below, reveals the Korean company maybe never really had a chance to win the case.
Looking step-by-step at the sheet shows how obvious many of the infringement claims were to the jury. On the very first finding, the jury found Samsung infringed claim 19 of the ‘381 patent on all 21 accused products, across all three divisions. On the fifth, the infringement of the D’677 patent, the jury found all products had key binding copycat elements, the sole exception being the Galaxy Ace phone. The same clean sweep is found in decisions for the D’305 patent. So it seems once the jury decided a series of phones infringed a specific patent, they voted for damages across the board. And like a stack of dominoes, once one claim fell, they all went down to Apple.
The same clear-headed findings are seen in the answers to Samsung’s utility patent claims. Essentially, the jury never bought Samsung’s claims that Apple stole from touch-sensitive products created before 2007. Maybe they should have found a few touch products that actually looked like phones as opposed to large projection systems that needed separate sensors to work.
Check out the full verdict form below and tell us what you think about the verdict in the comments.
There’s always been a stigma around Apple products that they’re really just made for rich people. Almost all of Apple’s machine’s cost well over $1000, and the iPhone and iPad are two of the most expensive products in their categories.
Some people say only rich people can afford Apple products, and maybe they have a small point. A recent report shows that Apple is the company of choice for users whose net worth is more than $100,000, and it just become more popular the more money you earn.
According to a report from Spectrem Group, when it comes to smartphones, 46% of people who make over $100,000 a year own an iPhone. Android only grabs 34% of the marketshare. As wealth increases so too does the likelihood that a person owns an iPhone.
Among users who make more than $1 million, 48% own a iPhone and 33% own an Android. Then when you look at the $5 million mark Apple’s marketshare jumps up considerably to 59% while Android only holds on to 25%.
The same holds true with the iPad as well. Catherine McBreen, Spectrem Group’s managing director, said that wealthy persons tend to be older and are more likely to stick with Apple because iOS is a platform they’re comfortable with, and they’re not looking to quickly switch from gadget maker to gadget maker looking for the hottest new feature.
Source: LA Times
I used to work as a the sole waiter in a restaurant where the cash register consisted of a wooden cigar box and a solar-powered Casio calculator. I’m an honest chap, and the chef was also the owner, so it worked just fine. But times have changed, and now there exists a modern alternative to our old cedar box. It’s called the Cashbox and it is fashioned from beautiful bamboo varnished to look like a hideous high-school craft project.
The Cashbox is little more than a wooden disguise for an iPad and assorted cash and credit-accepting hardware. A cradle up top holds the iPad, which can be swung to face the customer when they need to sign for something. And speaking of signing, there is a Square credit card reader in there too.
For those who like all of their money to go to the seller instead of giving a percentage to Visa, the box is also compatible with a Industry-Standard Hardware Vasario 1416 APG Cash Drawer, and the Star TSP 650 receipt printer (industry standard, apparently) can also be squeezed inside.
How much will it cost you to hide your beautiful tech inside a olde stylee bamboo box? $900, which makes our old cigar box seem like quite a sensible option.
Via: The Giz
Earlier in this day, we reported on a New York Times piece in which the paper claimed that Apple was using a variety of measure to avoid paying U.S. income tax. It turns out that the Times based key pieces of its information on a study that had been discredited two weeks prior.
The data used by the Times included a report by the Greenlining Institute, which made errors in computing Apple’s supposed tax rate at 9.8% for the 2011. The data used by the report effectively compared Apple’s 2011 profit with taxes paid by the company for profits in 2010 and drew unfounded conclusions as a result.
The accounting error had to do with how corporations are required to pay estimated income taxes on a quarterly basis. As Forbes explained when it initially discredited the Greenlining report and again this morning, the IRS tells corporations to make those estimated payments based on either the current year’s expected profit or last year’s actual profit – whichever is lower.
Because Apple has seen tremendous growth over the past two years (much of it a result the iPad), the 2010 actual profits were the lower of the two by a pretty significant margin. That means that any estimated payments made during 2011 were being made based on Apple’s tax bill for 2010. At the end of the tax year, the company paid the difference between its estimated payments and the actual taxes owed.
What’s surprising is that the Times went ahead with numbers from Greenlining without double-checking them. Even something as simple as checking Apple’s 10K statement (PDF link) shows Apple’s estimate of its tax rate, which was 24.2% for 2011 (and 24.4% for 2010). That’s a good deal more than 9.8% – a discrepancy should have led to further investigative work and/or independent number crunching.
Of course, this means that the math and some basic data about Apple’s taxes was wrong, but it doesn’t overturn the primary assertion made by the Times – that Apple is stashing a sizable portion of its profits abroad. As I said earlier today, that’s an issue that goes beyond Apple as many multinational companies do the same thing – and, like Apple, are allowed to do so under U.S. laws.
Over the weekend, the New York Times ran another in its series of exposes about Apple. This one focused on Apple’s complex mix of offices and subsidiaries located throughout the world and the U.S. that allow the company to keep large portions of its more than $100 billion in low-tax states and countries.
The report comes after the paper’s expose on working conditions within Foxconn, the contractor that Apple uses to assemble most of its products and calls by politicians and members of the media for Apple to move more of its manufacturing and money to American soil.
Apple’s statement in response to the accusation that it deliberately uses low or no-tax countries like Ireland, the Virgin Islands, and no income tax states like Nevada failed to make a good case for the company’s international strategies. Apple pretty much repeated earlier statements on how its innovations help drive the U.S. economy.
Some of the main points include the following:
- Apple has created half a million U.S. jobs – directly and indirectly
- That majority of Apple’s workforce, not including contractors like Foxconn, live and work in the U.S.
- The company is very philanthropic even if it doesn’t seek publicity for its charitable contributions
- Apple has paid $5 billion in income tax within the U.S. so far this year (The Times pointed out that a large portion of that could be the personal income taxes of employees)
This is a case where Apple should have stuck to its characteristic silence rather than issuing the statement that it did. Apple’s response came across as being wishy washy and didn’t really address any of the major points in the original piece.
Personally, I think Apple would’ve been better off pointing out that it is not breaking any laws and, perhaps, noting that many other companies use similar practices – a fact that was noted (and severely downplayed) in the article. Focusing on Apple alone allowed the Times to sensationalize the story. It also allowed the reporters to imply that this is an incident specific to Apple and not a broader issue for the U.S. economy. Covering it in a broader scale could have actually tackled the economic issues facing America as a result of globalization, which would have been a good thing in an election year when the country so politically polarized.
Here’s Apple’s full statement as published by The New Times.
Over the past several years, we have created an incredible number of jobs in the United States. The vast majority of our global work force remains in the U.S., with more than 47,000 full-time employees in all 50 states. By focusing on innovation, we’ve created entirely new products and industries, and more than 500,000 jobs for U.S. workers — from the people who create components for our products to the people who deliver them to our customers. Apple’s international growth is creating jobs domestically since we oversee most of our operations from California. We manufacture parts in the U.S. and export them around the world, and U.S. developers create apps that we sell in over 100 countries. As a result, Apple has been among the top creators of American jobs in the past few years.
Apple also pays an enormous amount of taxes which help our local, state and federal governments. In the first half of fiscal year 2012 our U.S. operations have generated almost $5 billion in federal and state income taxes, including income taxes withheld on employee stock gains, making us among the top payers of U.S. income tax.
We have contributed to many charitable causes but have never sought publicity for doing so. Our focus has been on doing the right thing, not getting credit for it. In 2011, we dramatically expanded the number of deserving organizations we support by initiating a matching gift program for our employees.
Apple has conducted all of its business with the highest of ethical standards, complying with applicable laws and accounting rules. We are incredibly proud of all of Apple’s contributions.