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May 08
Apple is top smartphone manufacturer in March

comScore (www.comscore.com), which specializes in digital media analytics, has released data from comScore MobiLens and Mobile Metrix, reporting key trends in the U.S. smartphone industry for March. Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 42.6% OEM (original equipment manufacturer) market share.

Google Android led as the number one smartphone platform with 52.4 % platform market share. Facebook ranked as the top individual smartphone app.

According to comScore, 187.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (77 % mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in March, up 3% since December. As mentioned, Apple ranked as the top OEM with 42.6% of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up one percentage point from December). Samsung ranked second with 28.3% market share, followed by LG with 8.4% (up 0.4 percentage points), Motorola with 5% and HTC with 3.8% (up 0.1 percentage points)....

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May 08
Ericsson sues Apple in Germany, the United Kingdom, the...

Ericsson (www.ericsson.com) has filed lawsuits against Apple in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands after failing to reach a global licensing agreement with the company over standard-essential and non-standardized patents.

The company claims that Apple doesn't currently have any license for Ericsson's technology, but continues to sell products such as the iPhone and iPad, for which its licenses have expired, "on a global scale."

Apple sued Ericsson in January, arguing the patents are not essential for LTE technology and that the price was excessive. Ericsson counter-sued two days later. The Swedish mobile telecom firm counter-sued the Cupertino, California-based company for infringing on its patents that are essential to 2G and 4G/LTE standards.

In a press release, Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson, claims: "Apple continues to profit from Ericsson's...

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May 07
Apple's TestFlight still inaccessible to developers

Apple's TestFlight beta-testing platform for iOS has been inaccessible to developers since late Wednesday, with no hint as to when the service might be restored, reports AppleInsider (http://tinyurl.com/prm3e8b).

Trying to install apps through the official TestFlight app, for instance, will trigger an error message saying the service is "currently unavailable." Apple hasn't updated its System Status page (http://tinyurl.com/a3swxz2) with any mention of the problem.

TestFlight lets you install and beta test apps on an iOS device. After a developer invites you to beta test their app, you can install new versions as they become available. TestFlight also allows you to provide feedback to developers on the features you are testing in the prerelease apps you’ve been invited to.

| Read more »
May 07
Apple, Samsung tie in tablet satisfaction study

Apple and Samsung tie for the highest rank in overall satisfaction with a score of 826 each in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study—Volume 1 (www.jdpower.com). Both brands perform particularly well in features and styling and design. Amazon (818) and Microsoft (815) follow closely in the rankings and each performs well in the performance factor.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with tablets across five factors (in order of importance): performance (28%); ease of operation (22%); features (22%); styling and design (17%); and cost (11%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

The market for tablets has grown during the past several years as the number of tablets purchased at retail stores has increased since the study was launched in 2012. In the 2015 Volume 1 study, 58% of tablet owners indicate purchasing their tablet in a retail store, compared with...

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May 07
Yahoo Mobile Developer Suite now provides analytics for the...

Yahoo says the Yahoo Mobile Developer Suite (https://developer.yahoo.com) now includes analytics for the Apple Watch.

Just weeks after the debut of the Apple Watch, Flurry Analytics has made it possible for developers to better understand how users interact with their apps on the smallest screen, says Brad Jones, director, Product Management at Flurry from Yahoo. Like Flurry Analytics always has, Yahoo is making analytics for the Apple Watch available to developers for free.

With the latest Flurry iOS software development kit and a few minutes of implementation time, developers will be able to track new users, active users and the actions of their Watch users with custom events. They will also be able to understand how usage balances out between the Apple Watch app and its parent app on the user's smartphone.

Apps will be reimagined, more intuitive and simplified for the Apple Watch...

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May 07
Apple's Jeff Williams to speak at Code Conference

Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, will be a speaker at the second Code Conference (http://recode.net/events/code-conference/). The conference will be held May 26 to 28 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Code Conference is where "top industry influencers in media and technology gather for in-depth conversations about the impact of digital technology on our lives and our businesses, today and in the future." Executive producers and conference creators Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher go head to head with the same caliber of industry luminaries who shared their stage at the D conference since 2003.

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May 06
Apple releases Safari 8.0.6, 7.1.6 6.2.6

Apple has released Safari 8.0.6, Safari 7.1.6, and Safari 6.2.6 for, respectively, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, OS X Mavericks, and OS X Yosemite. The security update fixes the following problems:

° Multiple memory corruption issues existed in WebKit. These issues were addressed through improved memory handling.

° A state management issue existed in Safari that allowed unprivileged origins to access contents on the filesystem. This issue was addressed through improved state management.

° An issue existed in the handling of the rel attribute in anchor elements. Target objects could get unauthorized access to link objects. This issue was addressed through improved link type adherence.

The Safari updates can be downloaded via the Updates tab at the Mac App Store.

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May 06
Apple a recipient of 2015 Helen Keller Achievement Award

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the names of four honorees who will receive the prestigious Helen Keller Achievement Awards at a special gala in New York City on June 18.

Awardees include Apple for breakthroughs in accessible technology, actor Charlie Cox for his portrayal of a blind superhero, Ward Marston a musician/recording engineer with vision loss, and VandaPharmaceuticals Inc. for pioneering treatment of a circadian rhythm disorder, Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder, that can affect people who are totally blind.

"We are honoring accomplished individuals and companies for their success in improving quality of life for people with vision loss either through groundbreaking innovation or inspirational achievement that changes perceptions about what it means to be visually impaired," says AFB President and CEO Carl R. Augusto.

AFB is recognizing Apple for VoiceOver, a gesture-based screen reader that allows users to hear a description of...

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May 06
Olloclip introduces the olloCase for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus

olloclip (www.olloclip.com) has introduced the US$29.99 olloCase, a slim, protective case for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that integrates with olloclip photo lenses. 

"This new case is a significant improvement over our previous version. It improves speed and removes any unnecessary obstacles between a user and the photos or videos they want to shoot," says Patrick O'Neill, CEO and founder of olloclip.

Grip lines recessed into the olloCase's rubberized shock-resistant bumpers allow for control when taking photos or simply browsing the web. The case has a scratch-resistant back for added protection. A raised bezel keeps the screen from contacting flat surfaces.

The new olloCase works with all olloclip lenses for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It's available in two colors -- matte clear with dark gray bumper and matte smoke with black bumper.  It's available now for pre-order.

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May 06
Android switchers drive iOS growth in Europe's 'big...

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (http://www.kantarworldpanel.com/) for the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15) shows that the popularity of Apple iOS continued to grow in Europe's five largest countries, reaching a 20.3% share – 1.8 percentage points higher than in 2014. Europe's big five markets are Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

"In the first quarter of 2015, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus continued to attract consumers across Europe, including users who previously owned an Android smartphone," says Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "On average, across Europe's big five countries during the first quarter, 32.4% of Apple’s new customers switched to iOS from Android.

In urban China, Apple consolidated its leadership in smartphones, growing its share to 26.1%, up from 17.9% for the same period in 2014, according...

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May 06
Apple confirms the existence of the Applebot

Apple has confirmed the existence of its Applebot web crawler. In a support document (http://apple.co/1H0Mp37) the company had this to say:

"Applebot is the web crawler for Apple, used by products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags. It originates in the 17.0.0.0 net block.

"User-agent strings will contain 'Applebot' together with additional agent information. For example:

"Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_10_1) "AppleWebKit/600.2.5 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0.2 Safari/600.2.5 (Applebot/0.1)

"If robots instructions don't mention Applebot but do mention Googlebot, the Apple robot will follow Googlebot instructions."

| Read more »
May 05
Twenty-four more institutions implement Apple Pay support

Apple has added 24 more institutions to the list (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT6288) of those that support Apple Pay. So far Apple Pay has support from over 2,500 banks and 700,000-plus retailers.

Apple announced Apple Pay in September 2014, describing it as “a new category of service designed to transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.” It works with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a NFC antenna design, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element, and Touch ID.

| Read more »
May 05
Apple TV gets CBS Sports, USA Now channels

Apple continues to add new channels to the Apple TV set-top box. The latest are CBS Sports and USA Now.

CBS Sports lets users watch free clips from a variety of sports, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, college sports, and more. USA Now features content from the USA network. CBS Sports don't require a cable or satellite provider to access it; USA Now does.

| Read more »
May 05
Mophie introduces waterproof battery case

Mophie has announced the juice pack H2PRO for the iPhone 6. It's the company's first waterproof battery case and provides more than 100% extra battery life, says Daniel Huang, company co-founder and CEO.

In addition to waterproof protection, the juice pack H2PRO exceeds industry standards with top protection ratings, he adds. It's equipped with a 2,750mAh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery that reportedly allows users to enjoy up to 14 additional hours of talk time, 10 additional hours of web browsing, 11 additional hours of video playback, and 50 additional hours of music playback.

Featuring mophie's Priority+ charge and sync, the juice pack H2PRO allows the iPhone 6 to charge before the juice pack itself, and enables pass-through charge and sync while connected to a Mac or PC. It'sesigned with pass-through volume and power buttons, as well as mophie's proprietary mute switch. The mophie juice pack H2PRO made for iPhone 6 is currently available for pre-order at...

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May 05
ShowStoppers, MacTech Partner: Showcase Devs to Journalists

ShowStoppers is partnering with MacTech to create a new event that enables developers, accessory vendors and device makers to showcase, demonstrate and announce new software, services, hardware and devices for work, home and play to key journalists traveling to San Francisco to learn about the future of iOS and OS X.

ShowStoppers/MacTech DevFocus is scheduled for Sunday, June 7, in San Francisco from 5-7 pm.

"This new event is focused on helping journalists discover some of the most creative technologists on the planet -- the engineers, developers and programmers who create, design, build and market new technologies and products for use with iOS and OS X," says Neil Ticktin, editor-in-chief and publisher of MacTech Magazine, the journal of Apple technology, the oldest publication in the Apple market. "This event enables developers and journalists alike to cut through the torrent of announcements that always take place this time of year, as Apple maps its own way...

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May 04
Redpark shipping an Ethernet cable for the iPhone, iPad

Redpark Product Development says it's shipping the industry’s first Ethernet cable for the iPad and iPhone.

The Redpark Ethernet Cable (http://tinyurl.com/mn8c2nk) is a specialty version of USB to Ethernet adapter. It provides a general purpose ethernet connection — however, throughput is limited to 5 Mbps and only apps which use Redpark’s RedSocket SDK are able to communicate with the cable.

"We’ve designed the Ethernet Cable for use in field service applications," says Redpark President Mike Ridenhour. "It enables field technicians to use Ethernet to connect an iPad or iPhone to equipment in the field in order to configure or troubleshoot the equipment."

The Ethernet Cable has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US $89 and is available today.

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May 04
Apple hires new general contractor for its 'spaceship...

Apple is bringing on a new general contractor to finish its multi-billion-dollar "spaceship" building at Apple Campus 2, "amid questions about whether the huge project remains on track for a late-2016 completion," reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal (http://tinyurl.com/oubp2ku).

Rudolph & Sletten Inc., a veteran Silicon Valley builder, will complete the ring-shaped structure’s interior build-out, the article says, quoting unnamed "multiple people with knowledge of the situation. Until now, a joint venture of DPR Construction Co. and Skanska USA, which is heading up the project, was expected by many in the construction industry to take it through to completion.

| Read more »
May 04
Apple releases Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.04

Apple has released Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.04. The update adds RAW image support to Mac OS X Yosemite for 18 new cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, Leica, and Nikon.

The update is a 7.7MB download. You can upgrade via the Updates tab at the Mac App Store. Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.04 requires Mac OS X 10.10 or higher and iPhoto 9.6 or Aperture 3.6.

| Read more »
May 01
Analyst: folks aren't that interested in the Apple Watch (...

In a note to clients — as reported by Barron's (http://tinyurl.com/ob8bgmz) — UBS analyst Steve Milunovich says his research indicates that people aren't that interested in the Apple Watch. At least not yet.

"Search interest has deviated lower relative to an index of 30 consumer electronics introductions and the first iPad and iPhone releases—the week of launch, the Watch is about 20% of iPad and iPhone interest," says Milunovich. "We now think about 7% rather than 10% of the expected iPhone 5/6 average installed base of 430 million in F16E is likely to buy a Watch."

Still he says that UBS is "long-term bullish" on the Apple smartwatch. Milunovich’s evidence comes from an index of search requests:

"We created an index of search interest for 30 consumer electronics launches in the US as well as for the first iPhone and iPad (Figure 3). The initial value is based on search interest at the...

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Apr 30
IHS: Apple Watch costs only about 24% of MSRP

The Apple Watch has the lowest hardware costs compared to retail price of any Apple product IHS Technology has researched, according to a preliminary estimate by IHS (www.ihs.com) and its Teardown Mobile Handsets Intelligence Service.

The teardown of the Apple Watch Sport by IHS Technology estimates that the actual hardware costs are only about 24%of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Estimated hardware cost to MSRP ratios for other Apple products reviewed by IHS are in the range of 29% to 98%.

The teardown of the Apple Watch Sport 38 mm by IHS Technology shows a bill of materials of US$81.20 with the cost of production rising to $83.70 when the $2.50 manufacturing expense is added. The retail price of the Apple Watch Sport 38 mm is $349. The IHS Technology analysis does not include logistics, amortized capital expenses, overhead, SG&A, R&D, software, IP licensing and other variables...

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Apr 30
Apple, Japan Post, IBM help connect elderly to family and...

Japan Post Group, IBM and Apple have announced an initiative aimed at improving the quality of life for millions of Japanese senior citizens.

Built on the global partnership Apple and IBM announced last year, the new initiative will deliver iPads with IBM-developed apps and analytics to connect millions of seniors with services, healthcare, community and their families. After piloting iPads and apps custom developed for the elderly, Japan Post Group will expand the service in stages with the objective of including four million to million million customers in Japan by 2020. Today more than 33 million seniors make up about 25% of Japan’s population, projected to grow to 40 percent over the next 40 years.

"We are joining with two of the world’s most respected leaders in technology to bring our elderly generation into the connected world, expand our businesses by deepening relationships, and discover new ways to strengthen the fabric of our society and economy," says...

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Apr 30
Global tablet market continues to contract

Worldwide tablet shipments recorded a year-over-year decline for the second consecutive quarter in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15). Overall shipments for tablets and 2-in-1 devices fell to 47.1 million in 1Q15, a -5.9% decline from the same quarter a year ago, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (www.idc.com).

"The market slowdown that we witnessed last quarter is continuing to impact the tablet segment, but we see some growth areas that are starting to materialize," says Jean Philippe Boucharge, research director, Tablets, IDC. "Cellular-enabled tablets are outgrowing the rest of the market, providing an additional revenue stream for OEMs and mobile operators. In addition to driving higher usage than Wi-Fi-only tablets, cellular-enabled tablets also help position the segment as true mobile solutions rather than stay-at-home devices."

Apple still leads the overall market despite...

| Read more »
Apr 30
Default Folder for Mac OS X gets maintenance upgrade

St. Clair Software (http://tinyurl.com/2gm24v) has released Default Folder X 4.7.1, an update to their utility for Mac OS X.

Default Folder X enhances the file dialogs in all Mac OS X applications. Its custom keyboard shortcuts put your favorite and recent folders at your fingertips. It provides fast navigation to your files, convenient previews, integrated Spotlight tagging, and more. Version 4.7.1 fixes a bug in Mac OS 10.10.3, as well as offering a number of feature improvements.

Default Folder X 4.7.1 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. It's is a free update for existing version 4 users. It costs US$34.95 for new users.

| Read more »
Apr 29
Microsoft introduces the Edge web browser

Microsoft has announced the Edge web browser at this week's Microsoft Build conference, reports re/code (http://tinyurl.com/ktnutgr/). It's the replacement for the long-in-the-tooth Internet Explorer.

Edge will be the primary/default browser built into Windows 10. Details are still light on of what’s unique to Edge, but TechCrunch (http://tinyurl.com/keuu277) says here’s what is known:

° It has built-in Cortana support.

° It has built-in reader, note-taking and sharing features.

° The design focuses on simplicity and minimalism.

° The rendering engine is called EdgeHTML.

| Read more »
Apr 29
iPad app glitches delays some American Airlines flights

Some American Airlines flights were grounded as an app issue with the on-board iPads used by pilots made it impossible to take off, reports the Verge (http://tinyurl.com/pxsdkm2).

"Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads," American Airlines spokesperson Andrea Huguely told The Verge. "In some cases, the flight has had to return to the gate to access a Wi-Fi connection to fix the issue. We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers. We are working to have them on the way to their destination as soon as possible."

Another spokesperson said that the issue affected "a few dozen flights" across the airline. "We've identified the issue, we've identified the solution, and we are working on it right now," he told the publication.

In 2012 American Airlines became the first commercial carrier to receive FAA approval to use the Apple iPad in the...

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