Folio tries to bridge paper and tablet worlds
Before we get rolling, I'll confess: I've never understood the purpose of cases like the Booqpad. If you've got a tablet, surely part of the point is being able to ditch paper entirely. In practice of course, there are times when a pen and paper are handy -- but can that justify building an entire case around the concept? I suppose we'll have to put the Booqpad to the test.
New model could be even thinner
Newly-leaked photos show a front panel claimed to be for the second-generation iPad Air. The photos were obtained by a Dutch website, One More Thing. While the panel is similar to its equivalent for the first-gen Air, it appears to have switched to an integrated display. That could allow a second-gen tablet to become even thinner, or maintain the same size and improve battery life.
Company facing headwind from phablets, improved Android tablets
Almost half of a group of 34 analysts tracked by Fortune are expecting Apple to report a slight decline in iPad sales year-over-year during its Q2 2014 results, due to be announced April 23rd. The overall consensus currently sits at 19.3 million units, which would be a 0.7 percent dip. Polling among the professional analysts in the group is somewhat more positive, calling for a 19.4 million consensus versus the amateurs' 19.2 million.
Prices start at $339
For the first time, Apple's online store has begun selling refurbished versions of the Retina iPad mini. The option drops the price of a 16GB Wi-Fi model to $339, $60 less than its usual cost. 32GB has been reduced $80 to $419, and 64GB models have been cut $90 to $509. Cellular-equipped Minis aren't yet available in refurb form.
Content of v7.1.1 update unknown
Apple is preparing an immediate follow-up to iOS 7.1 in the form of v7.1.1, according to web traffic data from 9to5Mac. The site says that it has received "numerous" hits from v7.1.1 devices operating in areas around Apple's Cupertino campus. It's not clear when the update will go live, or what it will contain, but the version number suggests that it should arrive relatively soon and mostly contain bugfixes.
Bug may possibly be affecting other apps
Several UK-based iOS apps -- including BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and Now TV -- have suddenly stopped streaming video, the BBC reports. The issue began last night, and is still ongoing; the source of the problem is so far unknown, as is whether other apps are also being affected. The director of Now TV, Gidon Katz, indicates that the issue can be temporarily fixed in Sky and Now by rewinding iOS' clock by a day, but that triggers other problems -- including preventing access to the App Store -- and doesn't solve the flaw in iPlayer.
iOS release was initially restricted to smaller regions
The iPad version of Blizzard's card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available at App Stores worldwide. The app was actually released for the iPad earlier this month, but only in the form of a soft launch at the Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand App Stores. Mac and PC versions of Hearthstone have been available for some time.
New apps share iOS 7-friendly interfaces
Corel has brought its previously iPad-only mobile video editing app, Pinnacle Studio, to the iPhone. The app allows for complex editing, including the ability to trim individual frames and insert elements like transitions, stills, titles, graphics, fast/slow-motion, and picture-in-picture effects. Quick clip arrangement can be done with the Storyboard, while the Timeline allows for more precise manipulation and trimming.
Feature tethered to cable providers
A&E has updated two of its iOS apps -- History, and the network's namesake -- with support for watching live TV. Previously users were able to watch clips and full episodes, but only after the fact. Like some other TV apps, gaining access to the live streams requires a cable subscription.
iPads and iPods
This week, Apple's online store has a wide selection of refurbished iPad and iPod models on sale. Right now, the refurbished 16GB iPad mini can be had for just $249 after a $50 discount. A $120 discount slashes the cost of the second-generation 16GB iPad 2 down to $279.
Tweet: 'Both sides relying on stories to sell jury, Samsung borrowing Google's'
At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from "microeconomist" and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense -- by borrowing a Google software executive.
Company relies on conflation of sales with shipments to fool Wall Street, customers
A confidential report from Samsung dug up by Apple lawyers has -- for the second time in as many trials -- revealed that the Galaxy phone maker routinely misleads both investors and the public on its actual sales to end users, at least in the US market. The discrepancy can sometimes be large, and in Samsung's case it used those misleading figures to chip away at the iPad's "marketshare" when in fact it had not made even a modest dent.
Case filed in wrong state, Appeals court says
The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously tossed the conviction of Andrew Auernheimer, an Arkansas man accused of stealing the personal data of about 120,000 iPad users, says Reuters. Auernheimer was convicted of the crimes in November 2012 and sentenced to 41 months in prison. The case was filed in New Jersey however, and the appeals court has ruled that he was prosecuted in the wrong state, since his crimes weren't committed there.
iOS home screen improvements
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss ways that Apple could change the home screen in iOS after "Hawykeye_a" noted that there hasn't been any real changes in the way that iOS works and provided some suggestions of things he thought could be modified. Today, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was looking for a way to edit icons on their Mac, and turned to the forums for advice.
Might accompany rumored overhaul of iTunes Store
[Updated with Apple hiring details] Following on the heels of a claim that Apple is planning to "dramatically" overhaul the iTunes music store in the near future, a previous rumor that the company was considering offering "high-resolution" 24-bit music tracks has gained new currency. Apple has been reported to be looking for ways to boost digital music sales, which have seen a slump as users spend more time listening to on-demand streaming services like Spotify. The higher-quality music files would likely be offered in a lossless format.
New plan pays early termination fees, offers 4G devices for Wi-Fi only pricing
The second day of wireless provider T-Mobile's pricing plan announcements sees the carrier offering an option to add a tablet to a postpaid voice plan for free through the end of the year. Called "Tablet Freedom," the program offers cheaper tablets, and 1GB of additional free 4G/LTE data each month, in addition to the 200MB of free data available through the "Free Data for Life" promotion.
iTunes Radio failing to convert listeners into buyers
Apple is considering a major overhaul of the iTunes Music Store in light of iTunes Radio failing to slow the decline of music downloads, say anonymous executives allegedly familiar with the company's plans. One of the key features of iTunes Radio, from Apple's perspective, is the ease with which it lets people by music from the iTunes Store. Only about 1 to 2 percent of people are actually tapping the Buy button though, and overall music downloads have declined by more than 15 percent.
Could have significant impact on iOS 9 and beyond
Apple's Human Interface VP, Greg Christie, will soon leave the company following a conflict with design lead Jonathan Ive, sources say. Ive assumed control of both hardware and software interface design after iOS head Scott Forstall was forced out. Until this week, however, Christie was more directly responsible for Apple software design, and is credited not only with helping to invent the iOS interface -- including patented concepts like slide-to-unlock -- but influencing the direction of app design via his WWDC presentations.
Includes 64-bit support
Aviary has launched a major update to its Photo Editor SDK for iOS, used by a number of photography-related apps. The SDK includes a new UI scheme, aligned with changes made in iOS 7. Developers can choose to customize the editor to suit their particular apps. Aviary has also improved the code's efficiency, for instance by shrinking the SDK, and boosting performance in finished apps through changes like 64-bit support.
Apple reveals total damages and royalties sought from Samsung
The fourth day of testimony in the second Apple vs. Samsung trial has ended, with various Apple-hired experts and employees going over the nature of the patents at stake in Apple's part of the case. The jury also got a dose of history borrowed from the first patent trial, details about Apple's manufacturing process, and finally heard the full, exact amount that Apple is seeking from Samsung in terms of both damages due to lost sales as well as what it owes in royalties for its infringement: $2.191 billion.
PayPal Here for iOS receives update
PayPal announced today that its point-of-sale app, PayPal Here, has been updated. The app allows users to facilitate payment transactions on their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch with its accompanying card reader, accepting debit and credit cards. The latest version of PayPal Here now includes a dynamic search tool, a streamlined custom inventory entry system, as well as the ability to swipe cards at any moment during the order process. Enhanced cart views and simplified order entry fields for quicker sales processing are also included. PayPal Here for iPhone and iPod touch, with a separate version for iPad, is free to download, and require iOS 6 in conjunction with a free PayPal card reader.
Technical limitations partly blamed for suite's delay
The recently-launched Office for iPad will get printing support "in due course," according to a Reddit AMA conducted by members of the software's engineering team. The team says it is also considering mathematical notation in OneNote, and working on implementation of comments and add/change conditional formatting in Excel. Something the suite won't support, though, is third-party Office apps, despite the fact that Microsoft allows desktop developers to hook into Office 365. Microsoft blames the situation on Apple's App Store policies, which block apps from installing code other than their own.
Inspirational series highlights iPad Air's role in film production
A choreographer for Bollywood movies is the subject of the latest installment of Apple's "Your Verse" iPad campaign, which starts with inspirational stories of individual users on its website that often go on to be incorporated into its television ads. Feroz Khan, the choreographer in question, says he relies on his iPad Air to help with directing and analyzing dance scenes, scouting locations, assisting with costumes and other details involved in the filmmaking process.
Rapid adoption means iOS more secure, easier to develop for
On Monday, Apple updated its iOS adoption statistics for developers to show that 87 percent of active iOS devices are now running iOS 7, with only 11 percent still on iOS 6 and a mere two percent (presumably devices that cannot upgrade, such as the original iPad) stuck on earlier versions. The figure was achieved less than seven months after the original release of the upgrade in mid-September. By comparison, only about 5.3 percent of Android users have or have been allowed to upgrade to last year's KitKat , which was announced around the same time as iOS 7 and debuted a month later.
Shows interest in Apple TV, MobileMe improvements
As a byproduct of the patent trial between Apple and Samsung currently going on in San Francisco, a number of previously-confidential Apple emails have seen the light of day. Some talk about how to react to Samsung's marketing bombardment, since it outspent all rivals but Apple combined on advertising its smartphones; others reveal additional details on things already known. A 2010 email from Steve Jobs, shown in court, reveals a little of how Apple works to improve itself.
New details on competition emerge; lies told in court, says Apple
The second full day of the second Apple-Samsung patent trial is over, with Phil Schiller starting the day by continuing to submit to cross-examination by Samsung attorney Bill Price. Also on the stand on Friday was early iPhone engineer Greg Christie, and Apple-hired patent expert witness Dr. Andrew Cockburn. In the course of proceedings, some additional details about how buyers perceive the iPhone and its creation were revealed, and Judge Lucy Koh ruled against Apple on two objections.
Analyst notes mystery $250M payment to buyer of Apple RAM supplier Elpida
Independent analyst Matt Margolis has reported on a mysterious $250 million payment to memory maker Micron, which in turn last summer bought out another memory manufacturing firm, Elpida, for $2 billion. Among Elpida's many customers, one in particular has a habit of being both secretive and willing to pay large sums in advance to procure supply -- Apple. If the payment is from the iPhone maker, it may be trying to lock in supplies of Micron's new LPDDR4 DRAM.
Delivers push notifications based on IFTTT conditions
Service-linking website IFTTT (If This Then That) has updated its iOS app with its first-ever iPad support, and more significantly, its entire platform with support for iOS push notifications. That means that any recipe can now trigger notifications on an iOS device. If a weather service is forecasting a storm for tomorrow, for example, the IFTTT app can display an alert. Most recipes are said to refresh every 15 minutes, though notifications should become faster as more people use them.
Case for the constant traveler
For professional use, the iPad is something of a strange beast. It's more work-friendly than a smartphone obviously, but still not as powerful as a laptop. The main advantage over a computer is portability -- it's thin and lightweight, and many airport checkpoints won't even make you take it out of your carry-on when you fly. STM's new Folio case for the iPad Air is intended to make things even more travel-friendly, thanks to loops and pockets for your essential gear. Does that actually make it a practical case, though?
Samsung seeks $6 million for its purchased patents, two jurors excused
A bit of juror trouble was ironed out, last-minute issues decided, opening arguments heard and the first witness called on the opening day of the second Apple-Samsung patent trial, which began on Tuesday in San Francisco. Judge Lucy Koh, who oversaw the first trial, is again in charge as the two companies present their cases over a different set of patents -- five from Apple, two from Samsung -- that each says are being infringed by the other.
Largely repeats previous testimony to new jury, tells iPhone birth story
Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, took the stand on Tuesday in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. His testimony following opening arguments, in which Apple asked the jury for more than $2 billion in damages against Samsung (and "reasonable" licensing fees for the copied patents), while Samsung's attorney characterized the amount as "gross overexaggeration," suggesting a $40 million figure and asking $6 million for its two disputed patents.
Web apps get Retina display enhancements, more
Apple has made some improvements to iWork for iCloud, according to pop-up messages. All three web apps in the suite -- Pages, Numbers, and Keynote -- have been given better support for Retina displays, a new editor tab, and upgraded sharing functions. The latter let people set shared documents as view-only, and open documents directly via iCloud Mail.
Kindle vs. iBooks
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, members began a debate about which e-book distribution service was better, Kindle or iBooks, after one Mac Elite stated that they think iBooks just might be better. "When I put the computer to sleep, does that affect ongoing transfers to and from the internet?" asks Mac Elite "rotuts" earlier today.
First time iPad buyers will have access to China's limited LTE network
Apple has revealed that China Mobile and its other Chinese telecom partners -- along with its own stores and resellers -- are carrying a special model of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display that is specific to the Chinese market, and compatible with the country's proprietary TD-SCDMA wireless standard, meaning new iPad buyers can now use the tablets on China's limited TD-LTE cellular network, which is mostly limited to the biggest cities. The Chinese iPads are separate models from the ones sold outside China.
Attorneys finding it challenging to find users uninfluenced by Apple, Samsung
[Update: jury finalized, Phil Schiller to be first witness] Jury selection is now in progress as part of the second Apple versus Samsung patent trial, this one covering a different set of patents than were covered in the first trial in 2012. Juror candidates -- some of them clearly eager to avoid serving -- are being questioned about any stock holdings in either company, whether they know anyone who works for Apple or Samsung (or their respective attorney's firms) and of course what brand of tablets, smartphones, computers and televisions they own.
Prices dip in Israel, New Zealand
Apple is raising iOS and Mac App Store prices in several countries, according to an email memo sent to developers. The hikes will impact Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa. Apple blames the change on fluctuations in exchange rates, which the company adjusts for on a regular basis.
App aesthetics brought into line with iOS 7
Podcast streaming service Stitcher has released major update of its iOS app, v6.0.0. The app's interface has been redesigned not only to match iOS 7, but to streamline navigation. The front page, for example, now highlights new episodes from favorites, as well as headlines and other news stories. A new Mini Player provides constant access to what's playing, and the Now Playing screen has gained quick access to car mode and the sleep timer. Playlists can be accessed from anywhere in the app via a swipe gesture.
Word only Office app in Grossing category's top 10
Just a day after their release, the Office for iPad apps are already in high positions in the Top Free and Top Grossing charts at the App Store. The top three Free apps are currently Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, in that order; a related Microsoft app, OneNote, is in fourth. Word is #5 on the Top Grossing chart, while Excel is 12th, and PowerPoint is 29th.
Bulk of manufacturer's revenue tethered to Apple
Taiwan-based manufacturer Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- saw its profits rise 13 percent last year to $3.5 billion, something attributed mainly to record iPhone and iPad sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. Foxconn is closely linked to Apple, deriving over 40 percent of its revenue from Apple orders. As such, any fluctuation in iPhone and iPad sales can dramatically affect its income.
Microsoft sacrifices profits to reach iPad users
Apple is claiming a 30 percent cut of Office 365 subscriptions bought through Microsoft's Office for iPad, as usual at the App Store, an Apple spokesperson confirms. Although people can sign up for Office 365 outside of the iPad apps, a $100 in-app purchase provides a one-year plan. That suggests that Microsoft is sacrificing a significant amount of revenue to one of its rivals in order to attract iPad users.
Microsoft brings industry-standard document editing to iOS
Although a lot of apps have tried to fill the gap with degrees of success, there's always been an undercurrent of demand for a full-scale iPad version of Office. Even if you can escape using Office personally, it's the workplace standard -- it just makes sense to have the suite on the world's most popular tablet. Now Office for iPad is here, and it's time to share some first impressions.
Carries over editing, ribbon interface, other features
(Updated with app download links, dropping of subscription requirement for Office Mobile for iPhone)) Microsoft is today officially releasing Office for iPad, a long-rumored port of its Windows and Mac work suite. The trio of apps let people do full editing of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, while preserving the same formatting seen on the desktop. Each app uses a custom touch-tailored interface, for instance offering a special numerical/symbolic keyboard for Excel. The apps do however make use of the same "ribbon" interface scheme.
Tool aimed at non-developers
Suite would improve current multiplatform support
Alongside Office for iPad, Microsoft may also be preparing to launch a new licensing bundle today called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, sources say. The bundle is reportedly aimed at large-scale customers who need a way of managing Windows, iOS, and/or Android devices. While cross-platform support has been available from Microsoft for a while, EMS is expected to include Windows Intune, a new Azure Active Directory "Premium" option, and Azure Rights Management Services. Active Directory Premium is described as a paid version of Azure Active Directory with features like group-based app access, and self-service password resets and group management.
Government of Russia swaps iPads for customized, secure Samsung tablets
Russian government officials have opted to stop using iPads in official capacities, possible due to concerns about alleged "backdoors" that allowed for NSA monitoring (which Apple has denied). Instead the government has arranged a deal with Samsung that will see politicos using customized, secured tablets specifically designed to handle confidential information as legislators often need to have available. There was no detail on prices or the cost of dropping the iPads, and the move could be seen as part of an effort to stop supporting American companies, given the US opposition to Russia's policies in the Ukraine and Crimea. Russian officials have denied any such motivation, reports Business Insider.
Booq launches multi-fold folio and snap case for iPad Air
Tech-related accessories company Booq has announced its release of its latest multi-fold folio and snap case, the Booqpad for iPad Air. A combination of a folio and case, the Booqpad facilitates protecting one's iPad Air while accommodating viewing and typing. Its multi-fold cover folio magnetically attaches to the polycarbonate snap case, opening to reveal a 50-sheet notepad for traditional note-taking.
Nested folders still not officially supported in iOS
A bug in iOS 7.1 lets people place folders within folders, or even hide icons, users note. To pull off the folder trick, a person has to first completely fill an iOS homescreen with apps -- including both the regular grid and the dock, which in the case of an iPad can fit up to six apps. A user must then create a new folder by dragging one app on top of another. As the folder animation starts, though, a person has to quickly drag the folder they want nested into the new one.
Current character set limited by Unicode standard, Apple says
Apple is working with the Unicode Consortium on expanding the racial diversity of emoji characters in iOS, and by extension other platforms, according to a statement provided to MTV. "Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms," Apple says. "There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard."
Sources also maintain existence of 12-inch iPad
Apple is planning to launch a Retina MacBook Air in the second half of 2014, alongside other updated MacBooks, Taiwanese supply chain sources claim. Although the MacBook Pro has had Retina options for a couple of years, the Air has been stuck with resolutions topping out at 1366x768 or 1440x900, depending on screen size. A Retina upgrade may be possible due to easier and/or cheaper production of Retina panels, and the need for Apple to keep the Air attractive next to Windows laptops with Retina-equivalent graphics.
Apple, Times still deciding when and where to return banner
Apple and the New York Times mutually agreed to pull an iPad Air ad from the Times' website yesterday after an unfortunate headline pairing, according to Advertising Age. The ad is another take on Apple's Your Verse campaign, and features a still of a scuba diver using an iPad, with the slogan "See the unique ways people are using iPad around the world." On Tuesday, though, that ad was paired alongside a headline reading "Malaysia Says Jet Went Down in Ocean."