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Thursday January 15

Three Key Apple Patents Detail Apple Pay and Touch ID Syst...

On January 15, 2015, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of three patent applications from Apple that detail the specifics behind Apple Pay via Touch ID. The patent filings meticulously detail ...

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Apple Invents a Home Button that Doubles as a Gaming Joyst...

On January 15, 2015, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a possible next-generation multi-functional iDevice Home Button. In the first mode, the Home Button retains its standard functionality. In the second mode, the Home Button transforms into a pure gaming joystick.

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Wednesday January 14

Wireless Charging Looks to Go Mainstream in 2015

As the largest consumer electronics show in the world, CES often gives us a hint of the technologies we can look forward to in the near future, based on the products that are shown off at the show. In 2013 and 2014, there was a heavy focus on wearables, and this year's emphasis on home automation suggests 2015 will be a big year for connected home products. There's one other important emerging technology that we may see explode over the course of the next few years -- wireless charging. Several companies, including Energous and WiTricity, demoed upcoming wireless charging solutions, and the Alliance for Wireless Power had a booth showing off how wireless charging will work in the Home of the Future...

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Samsung Offering to Buy BlackBerry for $7.5 Billion

It's being reported this afternoon that Samsung is offering to buy BlackBerry out in order to get their hands on their highly valued intellectual property portfolio.

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Samsung in Talks to Buy BlackBerry for $7.5 Billion

Samsung has recently been in talks with BlackBerry about a potential takeover, reports Reuters. The South Korean company has reportedly offered to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion, in the hopes of acquiring BlackBerry's extensive patent portfolio. Executives from both companies are said to have met last week in order to discuss the potential deal.South Korea's Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over BlackBerry's current trading price, the source said.The offer price would imply an enterprise value of $6 billion to $7.5 billion for BlackBerry, assuming conversion of $1.25 billion of convertible debt, according to the documents. BlackBerry has struggled with flagging sales in recent years, and in 2013, the company received a takeover bid worth $4.7 billion...

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Google to Launch World's First Modular Smartphone in...

Today we've learned that the Google is going to tippy toe into the new daring market of modular smartphones in the second half of the year.

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Samsung Advances Iris Scanning ID Project for Smartphones

After Apple introduced Touch ID on the iPhone 5S, rumors began to surface that Samsung was working on a biometric ID system of their own involving an iris scanner. Samsung struggled with bringing a fingerprint scanner ...

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Apple's iOS "iBook" Icon is now a Registere...

Apple's iBooks was first announced alongside the iPad at a press conference in January 2010. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's ...

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Apple Diversifies Chip Orders for iOS Device and Apple Wat...

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has frequently offered accurate information on Apple's product plans based on supply chain information, has released a new report outlining his expectations for the company's chips over the next several years. Kuo highlights a diversified supplier lineup for Apple's A-series chips used in its iOS devices, with TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries all contributing to production. Kuo sees the 2015 chip breakdown with the A9 chip destined for this year's iPhones being shared by Samsung and GlobalFoundries, while TSMC handles the A9X that would be used in iPad models. That split is projected to flip in 2016, with TSMC handling the A10 iPhone chips and Samsung being responsible for A10X iPad chips. Perhaps most enticingly, Kuo projects that Apple could begin launching ARM-based Macs in the next year or two based on its custom chip designs.Apple may launch Mac products that use own AP in next 1-2 years. This prediction is based on the...

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Samsung Introduces a Cheap Tizen OS Driven Phone in India

Almost a year ago we reported on Samsung's embarrassing misstep trying to introduce their Tizen OS with Docomo jumping off the Tizen bandwagon at the last moment and instead focused on Apple's iPhone. In September Samsung vowed to advance Tizen OS in smartphones, wearables and beyond yet once again in December embarrassingly dropped the ball ...

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No Agreement between Apple and Ericsson Leads to Lawsuits

Last month we reported that the Indian High Court had banned Xiaomi from selling, importing and advertising smartphones in their country. In that case it was Ericsson who brought a lawsuit against them regarding Essential Patents. Today it's being reported that Apple and Ericsson are suing each other ...

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Tuesday January 13

Apple Watch iPhone Companion App Reveals New Details About...

Apple's latest iOS 8.2 beta includes a reference to an Apple Watch companion app that will be installed on the iPhone to give users a way to access settings on their Apple Watch devices, and a new report from 9to5Mac using code created by developer Steven Troughton-Smith (which can be found on Github), details some of the functionality that can be found in the upcoming app and in the Apple Watch. Called the Apple Watch "Companion," the app is described as housing both settings for the Apple Watch itself and settings for various Apple Watch applications. As we learned from the WatchKit SDK included in...

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Samsung to Launch the Galaxy A7 to Compete against Low-End...

According to a Yonhap report, Samsung on Tuesday revealed their plans to launch its slimmest smartphone later this month at home and in major emerging countries to bolster low-end sector amid the rise of Chinese rivals eating into its shares. That translates to being rivals such as Xiaomi – not Apple and the the higher end iPhone 6.

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Federal Review Blames Lack of Resources and Planning for L...

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education has found the Los Angeles Unified School District's $1.3 billion "iPad-for-all" education initiative, announced in the summer of 2013, had been "plagued by lack of resources and inadequate planning for how the devices would be used in classrooms," reports the Los Angeles Times. The iPad initiative was officially canceled last month amidst an investigation by the FBI focusing on the relationship between Apple executives and former LAUSD superintendent John Deasy. The investigation was sparked by claims the bidding for the deal had been altered to favor Apple and Pearson, the higher-education company providing content for...

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Struggling Quanta is charging into 2015 with MacBook Air a...

... The good news for Quanta is that they're beginning to ramp up for Apple's new 12 inch MacBook Air and Apple Watch which is bound to increase revenues in the months ahead.

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Apple Granted a Patent for a Superior GoPro-like Camera Sy...

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 34 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular granted patent report we cover a single invention that relates to a camera system. What's interesting here is that Apple's invention that was filed in 2012 appears to now incorporate intellectual property from Kodak that they acquired back in November 2013. In one implementation, Apple's invention could directly move into GoPro's territory ...

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Apple Quietly Ends Free iTunes 'Single of the Week...

Apple has seemingly ended its weekly iTunes "Single of the Week" promotion that gave out a free music single download each week on the iTunes storefront. As noted by Business Insider, a member of the Apple discussion forums claims an Apple support employee informed him the company decided to drop the weekly promotion. I contacted iTunes Support and they told me the decision was made to drop the free Single of the Week. Seems they don't want people browsing the Store anymore. I told them that the free single each week got me to the Store and I usually bought a few songs. Now, there's less reason to go. They've stopped the free single in other countries too. The "Single of the Week" promotion began in 2004, and in a similar vein to Apple's "App of the Week" promotion on the App Store, it gave out free singles every week from artists...

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Apple Granted Patent for Display-Based Speakers for iDevic...

In December we posted a report titled "Apple's Patented Idea of Displays Doubling as a Speaker Could Come to Life with New Gorilla Glass from Corning" which covered an MIT Technology Review article about Corning's new glass that had properties that could turn displays into speakers. Apple's first granted patent on this type of invention surfaced ...

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Apple Granted an In-Depth 3D In-Air Gesturing System Paten...

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 34newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a single patent that Apple inherited from PrimeSense about a 3D Air Gesturing System for a future computer or 3DTV. Shortly after Apple acquired PrimeSense we posted an extensive report on the patents that Apple inherited. It included a number of patents regarding gaze and air gesturing controls for ...

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Apple Ramping Up Production of 12-Inch MacBook Air for Q1...

Apple supplier Quanta Computer has begun ramping up production of the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air ahead of a release during the first quarter of 2015, reports Digitimes. The company has stepped up its efforts to recruit more workers for its production efforts on the notebook, and is looking to bring in a total of 30,000 workers during the quarter to also help with the Apple Watch. Sources close to Quanta further note that the 12-inch MacBook Air will replace the existing 11-inch MacBook Air, with Apple choosing to keep the 13-inch MacBook Air. Rendering of 12-inch MacBook Air done by Martin Hajek The next-generation MacBook Air is...

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Monday January 12

Apple Maintains Mac Sales Momentum in Holiday Quarter

Apple saw an increase in its U.S. PC shipments during the recent holiday quarter, according to PC shipping estimates from Gartner. Apple shipped over 2.1 million Macs in 4Q14, up from 1.9 million Macs in 4Q13, marking an 11.5 percent increase. Though the company's shipments were up, its growth rate slightly trailed the overall market, resulting in a share of 11.7 percent down from 11.9 percent in the year ago quarter. With its 11.7 percent share of the market, Apple is the third largest PC vendor in the United States, behind HP and Dell, which captured 29.2 and 22.6 percent of the market, respectively. Lenovo and ASUS came in behind Apple, with 10.2 and 6.8 percent of the market, respectively. Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q14 (Thousands of Units) Overall, U.S PC shipments totaled 18.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 13.1 percent increase from the year ago...

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Apple Seeds Fourth iOS 8.2 Beta to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of iOS 8.2 to developers, nearly a month after seeding the third beta and more than two months after releasing the first iOS 8.2 beta. The beta, build 12D5461b, is available immediately to registered developers as an over-the-air update and it can also be downloaded from the iOS Developer Center. Today's update also includes Xcode 6.2 beta 4 with WatchKit. iOS 8.2 includes the WatchKit SDK, allowing developers to create apps, Glances, and notifications for Apple's upcoming wearable device ahead of its 2015 launch. The first iOS 8.2 beta, with WatchKit SDK and developer documentation, revealed several new details about the Apple Watch, including its heavy reliance on the iPhone and the different types of content developers can create for the device. The iOS 8.2 update has...

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Chevrolet's Upcoming 2016 Volt Plug-in Hybrid Spotted...

GM today at Detroit's North American International Auto Show showcased the upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, and as spotted by The Verge, the latest Volt model includes an option for CarPlay as well as MirrorLink in the vehicle's entertainment system settings. 2016 Chevy Volt in-dash entertainment system by The Verge GM was listed as a CarPlay partner when the technology was announced in early 2014, but the company was not expected to incorporate CarPlay into its automobiles right away. Almost one year after the announcement, GM appears to finally be bringing CarPlay to its automobile lineup starting with the 2016 Volt, although the new model is not expected to go on sale to the public until the second half of this year. Chevrolet has previously been involved in...

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IBM Granted Most Patents in 2014 with Apple in Eleventh Pl...

Today IFI CLAIMS the leading producer of global patent databases released its annual tabulation of the top U.S. patent recipients for 2014.

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Marsh Supermarkets and inMarket Launching First iBeacon Pl...

Marsh Supermarkets and inMarket today are announcing the launch of a new iBeacon platform throughout Marsh's 75 supermarket locations that will enable Apple Watch users to receive interactive alerts and other content on their devices based on their proximity to Marsh's beacons. The program is the first integration of iBeacon technology with Apple's wearable product, which is expected to launch to the public in the next several months."iBeacons have created new ways to connect with mobile shoppers in the store, and inMarket allows us to reach many of our shoppers through the apps they love and use everyday," said Amit Bhardwaj, Senior Director of Customer Loyalty, Marsh Supermarkets. "Now with wearable integration, shoppers who use Apple Watch will enjoy the same digitally-augmented, real-world shopping experience."Marsh and inMarket are working together to develop a platform that will initially include...

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This Week at 148Apps: January 19-23, 201...
Warm Your Winter With New Apps!   How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at... | Read more »
Eggmaster Review
Eggmaster Review By Jennifer Allen on January 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: BRIEFLY COMPELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tap like crazy to gain eggs, so that you can buy upgrades to gain more eggs, and so on. It shouldn’t be so briefly addictive, but Eggmaster is.   | Read more »
Cloudy Or Dry – Funny Or Die Release a W...
Cloudy Or Dry – Funny Or Die Release a Weather App Posted by Ellis Spice on January 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Mediocre, the Team Behind Smash Hit, is...
Mediocre, the Team Behind Smash Hit, is Teasing Their Latest Unnamed Project Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Heroes of Gaia Review
Heroes of Gaia Review By Campbell Bird on January 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TIMERS OF MIGHT AND MAGICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This free-to-play rpg looks a lot like Heroes of Might and Magic, but it’s poor interface and layering of mechanics makes it feel unnecessarily messy.   | Read more »
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destr...
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destructamundo on iOS This Month Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Choice Provisions – home stable to | Read more »
King of Thieves – An Interview With Zept...
Ahead of the release of ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, we were able to ask ZeptoLab’s co-founder, Semyon Voinov, a few questions about the inspiration behind the game and what that means for the Cut the Rope franchise. | Read more »
Handle Review
Handle Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY ORGANIZINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Handle is a very convenient way of juggling your emails, To Do list, and Calendar all through one app.   | Read more »
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a...
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a Place for Fans to Take Disney Quizzes Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Hands-On With Cut the Rope Developer Zep...
Marking quite a departure from ZeptoLab’s past successes, namely the Cut The Rope series, King of Thieves is shaping up to be quite promising. Due for release in February, we were lucky enough to have some time with a preview build to see exactly what it’s all about. | Read more »
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