Rumour: Apple iWatch to launch this year

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Mar 042013
 
Apple

Apple

Rumours that Apple is working on a wearable device refuse to die down. A team of over 100 people led by none other than Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, is now hard at work on this so-called iWatch. Bloomberg today reports that Apple is looking to have the device out this year. The Verge corroborates the report, adding additional details as well.

The iWatch remains in development at this time. Rather than leveraging the iPod nano’s touch interface, Apple is reportedly adapting its iOS operating system to work on the watch. Battery life also remains a concern with Apple hoping to have the iWatch last up to five days between charges but only managing about 2 so far.

Features that Apple could give its iWatch include the ability to let users make calls, check map coordinates as well as typical phone capabilities such as call display. It could also include a pedometer and sensors to track health-related information such as heart rate.

Apple expects that the iWatch could be more profitable than its other much-anticipated project, an iTV. Gross margins for the global watch industry average about 60 percent. While Apple may not see similar profits, it would still benefit from significant ones. According to Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen, this could be a US$6 billion opportunity for Apple with plenty of opportunity for upside if they create something totally new like they did with the iPod — something consumers didn’t even know they needed.”

Is an iWatch or similar gadget in your future? Sound off below.

Read more: Bloomberg and The Verge

Record tablet shipments in Q4 2012

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Feb 022013
 

Worldwide tablet shipments set another record in the last quarter of 2012. According to IDC, 52.5 million tablets were shipped over the quarter, an impressive 75.3% increase over the same quarter a year ago and a 74.3% increase over the previous quarter. Apple continued to dominate but its overall market share fell again as Android tablets continued to make gains.

“We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn’t disappoint,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets, at IDC. “New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years.”

Vendor 4Q12 Unit Shipments 4Q12 Market Share 4Q11 Unit Shipments 4Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Apple 22.9 43.6% 15.5 51.7% 48.1%
Samsung 7.9 15.1% 2.2 7.3% 263.0%
Amazon.com Inc. 6.0 11.5% 4.7 15.9% 26.8%
ASUS 3.1 5.8% 0.6 2.0% 402.3%
Barnes & Noble 1.0 1.9% 1.4 4.6% -27.7%
Others 11.6 22.1% 5.5 18.5% 108.9%
Total 52.5 100% 29.9 100% 75.3%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, January 31, 2013 (preliminary data)

Microsoft’s entry into the tablet space with the Surface RT did not crack the top five. IDC estimated that just under 900,000 units were shipped and that Microsoft could expect the market to remain challenging.

“There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company’s Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. “We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes.”

Overall, the tablet landscape appears much as the smartphone one does: Apple and Samsung dominating with everyone else scrambling to make a dent.

Read more: IDC

Apple releases iOS 6.1

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Jan 282013
 

AppleApple today released iOS 6.1 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The 99.6MB update includes unspecified bug fixes as well as the following enhancements:

  • LTE support for more carriers (a full list is available at www.apple.com/iphone/LTE
  • Purchase movie tickets through Fandango via Siri (USA only)
  • iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud
  • New button to reset the Advertising Identifier

“iOS 6 is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and with nearly 300 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices on iOS 6 in just five months, it may be the most popular new version of an OS in history,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iOS 6.1 brings LTE support to more markets around the world, so even more users can enjoy ultrafast Safari browsing, FaceTime video calls, iCloud services, and iTunes and App Store downloads.”

To download the update Over-the-Air, select Settings > General > Software Update.

Read more: Apple

Weekend fun: Temple Run 2 now available for iOS devices

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Jan 192013
 

Temple Run was a massive hit, topping 100 million downloads back in August 2012 and now over 170 million. If you’re ready to run for your life once more, Temple Run 2 is now available for iOS devices. Without straying too far from the original, Imangi Studios have brought a few updates that should keep the game fresh.

Temple Run 2

It features a new temple from which to escape. You’ll make your way through forests and even have to use zip lines and mine cars in your bid to get away with the cursed idol. And chasing you will be a “bigger monkey.”

Like the original version, Temple Run 2 is free to play but in-game purchases wil allow you to play new characters and get new powerups faster than simply by collecting coins.

Temple Run 2 is now available as a free download for iOS devices. An Android version is expected to follow perhaps as early as next week.

Read more: Apple App Store

Apple App Store tops 40 billion downloads with record December month

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Jan 072013
 
Apple

Apple today announced that 40 billion apps have now been downloaded through its App Store. Nearly half of those downloads came in 2012 alone with December setting a record with over two billion downloads during the month. These numbers do not include re-downloads and updates.

“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.”

Apple highlighted a couple of applications:

  • Temple Run was downloaded 75 million times in 2012
  • Supercell’s DragonVale and Clash of Clans have earned more than US$100 million

The Apple App Store now offers over 775,000 apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Some 300,000 of those are native iPad apps. It also now has more than 500 million active accounts.

Apple had announced that the App Store had topped 30 billion downloads back at WWDC 2012 last June.

Read more: Apple

Apple’s “Do Not Disturb” iOS 6 bug to fix itself on January 7th

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Jan 022013
 
Apple

Apple today posted a support document acknowledging that the “Do not disturb” feature is currently not deactivating itself at the scheduled end time. The bug first surfaced on New Year’s Day. In the document, Apple explained that the feature will resume working correctly on January 7th:

Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.

To turn off the scheduling feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb and switch Scheduled to Off.

The timing of the bug is particularly ironic given that Apple launched a new ad touting the feature on the same day that it first surfaced

It’s not the first time that Apple and the iPhone have run into a New Year bug. Non-repeating alarms did not function correctly on New Year’s Day back in 2011. They started working again correctly on January 3rd.

What is it with Apple and New Year’s bugs?

Read more: Apple

Is Apple already testing the iPhone 6?

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Jan 012013
 
Apple

There is little doubt that Apple is already at work on the successor to the iPhone 5 and the next version of iOS. Signs that Apple may have begun to do some early testing surfaced today courtesy of The Next Web. A number of developers have contacted it with reports of a new iPhone identifier and OS number showing up in app usage logs.

One iOS developer showed entries for a device identified as ‘iPhone6,1’ powered by iOS 7. Given that the current iPhone 5 models are identified as ‘iPhone5,1’ and ‘iPhone5,2.’ The entries also point to IP addresses originating from Apple’s Cupertino campus, suggesting that someone from Apple is playing with a device we know little about. Sadly, the logs reveal nothing about device specifications or new features we can expect in iOS 7.

Given the length of development cycles, it is not implausible that Apple is already doing some testing on its next-generation smartphone and operating system. Then again, it is not particularly difficult to spoof this type of information. So take all of this with a grain of salt for now. But one thing is sure: The Apple iPhone 6 and iOS 7 rumours have begun!

Read more: The Next Web

17.4 million Android and iOS devices activated on Christmas Day

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Dec 272012
 

It appears that a few people asked Santa Claus for smartphones or tablets and Santa appears to have come through in a big way. In fact, it was a record-setting day with 17.4 million Android and iOS devices being activated on Christmas Day according to Flurry Analytics.

More iOS and Android devices are activated on Christmas Day than on any other day of the year. This year was no exception. On this Christmas Day 2012, more iPhones, iPads, Galaxy’s, Kindle Fires, and more, were activated than on any other day in history. Moreover, as soon as we could tear the wrapping paper off our cool new devices, we started downloading a record volume of apps.

As the graph below shows, Christmas is a day like no other. Christmas Day 2011 held the previous record of 6.8 million Android and iOS device activations. This year’s Christmas was a mighty 2.5 times larger!

Android and iOS activations on Christmas Day 2012

Interestingly, whereas smartphone activations dominated the first 20 days of December, tablets caught up and accounted for roughly half of Android and iOS devices found under the tree.

Tablet and smartphone activations on Christmas Day 2012

As soon as all those devices were unpacked, they were used to set a record download day. 328 million apps were downloaded, over 100% more than the average day in the first 10 days of December.

Read more: Flurry Analytics

Apple releases iOS 6.0.2 with Wi-Fi fix

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Dec 182012
 

AppleApple today released iOS 6.0.2, a small update aimed primarily at the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. According to the changelog, it fixes a single issue: “a bug that could impact Wi-Fi.” It will hopefully address complaints about poor Wi-Fi performance exhibited by some users of both devices.

To update Over-The-Air, users can select ‘General’ > ‘Software Update’ vai the Settings app. It is also available through iTunes.

The next major iOS update, version 6.1, is expected in early 2013. Apple iOS 6.1 beta 4 is currently available to developers.

Read more: AppleInsider

Google Maps for iPhone downloaded 10 million times in first 48 hours

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Dec 172012
 

Google MapsIt appears that there was a bit of pent-up demand for an alternative to Apple Maps among iOS users. Google’s Jeff Huber today announced that Google Maps for iPhone was downloaded over 10 million downloads in the first 48 hours that it was available.

We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world. Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.

Google Maps for iPhone shot to the top of the App Store charts and remains there today.

Read more: Jeff Huber [via Google+] (Source: TheNextWeb)

Google Maps now available for iPhone and iPod touch

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Dec 132012
 

As expected, Google has launched much-anticipated Google Maps for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen). Former users of the app will find it familiar but the interface has been refreshed in much the same way that Google has recently updated other iOS apps such as Gmail and YouTube.

Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.

Google also took the time to remind its users that it makes “tens of thousands of daily updates” to keep Google Maps accurate and asks users to shake their phones to send them feedback if something is not right.

Google has also released the Google Maps SDK for iOS so that developers can integrate Google Maps in their own apps.

The Google Maps app is available as a free download for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher. An iPad version of the app is not available at this time.

Read more: Google Official Blog

Google Maps returning to iOS tonight?

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Dec 122012
 

Google MapsIf Apple Maps has left you wanting or driven you over to bookmarking maps.google.com on your iOS devices, there good be some good news tonight. AllThingsD reports that Google will release its new iOS Maps app tonight.

Google Maps had been preinstalled on iOS devices from the time that the first iPhone launched. It was dropped from iOS 6 this fall in favour of Apple’s own Maps app. Responding to wide criticism and ridicule for its many inaccuracies, Apple CEO Tim Cook went as far as publishing an open letter apologizing for the quality of the app and vowing that Apple would do “everything we can to make Maps better.”

It will be interesting to see how Google Maps fares against Apple Maps. If nothing else, as AllThingsD points out, anyone holding out on upgrading to iOS 6 over the mapping software will now be able to take the plunge.

Read more: AllThingsD

Apple to release iPhone 5S in June in up to 8 colours?

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Dec 102012
 

AppleApple may not wait a full year before launching its next iPhone. According to Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek, Apple could launch the iPhone 5S as early as next June.

The report adds that the iPhone 5S will come with a “super HD” display and camera, NFC support, and a better battery. It will be available in between 6 and 8 colours much as the iPod touch already does.

The Apple iPhone 5S rumours began last month with a report that volume production could begin in Q1 2013 for a mid-2013 launch. Last week, an alleged image of the new iPhone also surfaced.

The report also notes that Misek has made “a lot of bad predictions about Apple TV,” suggesting that this could another such prediction.

Read more: Business Insider

Is this the Apple iPhone 5S?

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Dec 052012
 

Despite the Apple iPhone 5 having launched only last September, rumours are already floating about that Apple will soon release a follow-up smartphone, the iPhone 5S. The name suggests a very similar device with only a number of relatively minor component upgrades. Now, images of the device have surfaced courtesy of ETradeSupply.

Rumoured Apple iPhone 5S

Rumoured Apple iPhone 5S

According to the site, two signs suggest that this is not the iPhone 5 but a new design. Not only is product information below the logo replaced by a series of x’s but the number of screws used and screw positioning is also different.

The possibility that these are older pictures, possibly iPhone 5 prototypes, cannot be ruled out either.

Past rumours have suggested that Apple could launch the iPhone 5S in “mid-2013.”

Read more: ETradeSupply (Source: BGR)

Canadian Apple stores now selling unlocked iPhone 5

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Nov 302012
 

Apple iPhone 5Since the Apple iPhone 5 went on sale on September 21st, Canadians have only been able to buy it unlocked through the Apple online store. As of today, there is another option. Apple retail stores in Canada are now started unlocked versions as well as locked ones.

Apple does have a few rules:

  • Before 4PM you are allowed to purchase up to 2 unlocked units per person in-store.
  • After 4PM, you will have to reserve online via Apple.ca for in-store pick up the next day. Note below iPhone reservations are accepted between 7AM and 1PM daily

Much as they do online, prices start at CA$699 for the 16GB iPhone 5 and run up to CA$899 for the 64GB version.

There is good news for those south fo the border as well. The previously unavailable unlocked iPhone 5 is now available in the U.S. starting at US$649 through the U.S. Apple online store. It is not yet available in Apple stores though.

Read more: iPhoneInCanada