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May 11
Video Ambush 1.0 released for Mac OS X

Tosha Serbian has announced Video Ambush for Mac OS X, a rebranded update to his MPEG encoder and movie re-converter application MPEG2 Works.

The app lets you convert your media, video and audio files, DVD and Blu-Ray discs to iOS compatible movies, video for the web, H.264, MP4, DivX, MKV, x264, MPEG2, DVD, HD DVD and all available standard and pro Quick Time formats. You can encode to MPEG2, make DVDs with built-in menus, burn it on a blank DVD media, and more.

Video Ambush requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later. It costs US$25 and is availalbe here (http://www.videoambush.com).

| Read more »
May 11
FunPlus announces new mobile game publishing program

The FunPlus Group, a worldwide mobile social gaming company, has created PublishingPlus, a revolutionary new mobile game publishing program that will provide game developers with an alternative to traditional publishing. PublishingPlus is now open for all free-to-play developers to apply, regardless of team size or location.

Before joining FunPlus as Head of Business Development, Greg Essig managed the games section of the App Store at Apple, where he liaised with numerous game publishers and developers. Prior to Apple, Essig helped create the gaming division for Creative Artists Agency (CAA) where he led numerous development and publishing arrangements.

He says PublishingPlus will provide independent development partners with a wide range of financial and operational support in addition to expert guidance throughout all stages of their games' lifecycles. Through a structured tier-based system, the program will give developers clearly defined, pre-negotiated...

| Read more »
May 11
Apple's iOS maintains lead in mobile app activations

In its eleventh quarterly Mobility Index Report, Good Technology (www.good.com), which specializes in secure mobility, today announced key findings showing that organizations are mobilizing apps and content at a rapid and accelerating pace. And Apple's iOS maintains its lead.

Over the past year, total app activations grew 160% as companies enable their workforces with enhanced collaboration tools and corporate content across an increasing range of mobile devices, according to Good Technology. Insurance emerges as an early adopter of custom apps with over a third of all apps activated focused on mobilizing custom business processes, says Christy Wyatt, chairman and CEO at Good Technology.

Secure IM represented 27%of all apps activated. Business and professional services demonstrated a preference for apps that help mobilize content, with document editing, document access and secure browser making up 64% of all apps...

| Read more »
May 11
Apple announces new environmental initiatives in China

Apple has announced an expansion of its renewable energy and environmental protection initiatives in China, including a new multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China.

The new forestland program aims to protect as much as one million acres of responsibly managed working forests which provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products.  Apple’s goal is to achieve a net-zero impact on the world’s supply of sustainable virgin fiber and power all its operations worldwide on 100% renewable energy.

"Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources," says Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives. "We believe we can run on naturally renewable resources and ensure that we protect—and create—as much sustainable working forest as needed to produce the virgin paper in our product packaging. This is an important step toward that goal and our commitment to leave the world better than we found...

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May 11
DIRECTV’s latest TV adds support for Apple Watch

DIRECTV customers have a new way to control and engage with their favorite shows through the update of its new DIRECTV app for iPhone, which now includes support for the Apple Watch. 

Available at the App Store for Apple Watch, the updated DIRECTV Everywhere App enables users to remotely control the following functions on their HD DVRs. You can play, pause, rewind, and fast forward recorded content on your TV on any connected receivers within the home.

You can view program title, channel and episode details of TV shows and movies, as well as set DVR recordings. And the DIRECTV app lets you navigate the on-screen guide, playlist and menu.
 
No separate DIRECTV app is needed for Apple Watch. All DIRECTV customers will have to do is to download the latest DIRECTV App from theApp Store on their iPhone 5 or later. Once Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone, the DIRECTV App will automatically appear on Apple Watch. The updated DIRECTV App requires a connected...

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May 08
Canalys: counting tablets, Apple is top PC manufacturer

The global personal computer [PC] market, including tablets, experienced an annual decline of 7% in the first quarter (Q1) 2015, reaching 115.7 million units worldwide. Apple held on to first place despite a 16% decline in its total shipments (almost all of the decline was in iPad sales), according to the Canalys research group (www.canalys.com)

It shipped 17.2 million units, taking a 15% share of the market. Lenovo and HP, second and third place respectively, both saw single-digit shipment growth in Q1 2015 and increases in market share. Samsung narrowly held on to fourth spot as its declining tablet sales led to Dell closing the gap in fifth place. Samsung and Dell took 8.2% shipment market share with 9.5 and 9.4 million units respectively.

"The growth drivers that previously helped the market through 2014 will have little effect this year. Vendors are struggling with exchange rate fluctuations which is...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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.

| Read more »
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.

| Read more »
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.

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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.

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
 
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