Unique headphones use bone-conduction to help keep you safe
Headphones, the humble hero of every day life. Boring commute on public transportation? Just pop in your headphones and listen to an audio book. Noisy construction outside of your window? Slip your headphones over your ears and have an impromptu Netflix marathon. Avid jogger? A great playlist can help workouts fly by, but in this case, headphones are more of a hindrance than a boon. Cutting out important audio cues, such as sounds of construction, car horns, bike bells, or yelling pedestrians can be dangerous. But there is a solution - headphones that don't work by closing off your ears. We took a look at Aftershokz Bluez, headphones designed to help keep you alert at all times.
Accidental image could be Photoshop error, or hint at wider Apple Pay rollout
Among the promotional photos released in connection with the new Apple Lightning Dock designed for the iPhone 6 line (but which also works with the older iPhone 5 family) is an image that appears to show an iPhone 5c equipped with a Touch ID sensor rather than the normal home button. While the image could be a simple Photoshop gaffe, it raises the possibility that Apple might refit and freshen the iPhone 5c to be able to handle Apple Pay as part of a larger, multi-country rollout of the mobile payments service.
Single dock should also work with most iPhone cases
Following the release of the updated 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple on Tuesday also debuted its first official iPhone Lightning Charging Dock specifically designed for the iPhone 6 line. The $39 accessory works with both the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 as well as the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, and thus features a new design that features a raised Lightning connector, making the unit able to work with other Lightning-equipped iPhones, and without having to remove most third-party iPhone cases.
Still using BlackBerry for personal phone, new account designed to be passed on
US President Barack Obama, still well known for using a specially locked-down BlackBerry as his personal smartphone, used a White House Executive Office-registered iPhone to post the first tweet on Twitter from his own @POTUS account. Improvements in security made to the iPhone starting with iOS 8 have apparently made the device worthy of being used by the President. Unlike other official presidential Twitter channel, Obama himself will tweet from the @POTUS account.
Stop that toothless grin look in iOS multitasking
Apple's iOS 8 introduced the very handy and surprisingly-controversial feature that when you press the Home button twice to swap between applications, you also see a row of your recent and favorite callers. The controversy is just that some people don't like the idea that anyone can pick up their iPhone and see who they've been talking to. We can help you with that, but we'd much rather sort out the Horrible Gap: the way that if you don't have a photo of a recent caller, iOS 8 displays their initials in a gray circle.
Suits filed in UK, Germany, The Netherlands over expired licensing terms
In addition to a barrage of lawsuits in the US and complaints to the International Trade Commission, technology company Ericsson has now filed separate but related lawsuits in the UK, Germany, and The Netherlands alleging that Apple is using mostly standards-essential Ericsson patents without a license, following a collapse of negotiations over a fair rate that allowed Apple's license with Ericsson to expire.
Company has more cash than most US industry sectors combine, Moody's finds
Apple, which is closing in on holding some $200 billion in cash, is well known for being one of the richest companies on the planet. A new report from Moody's Investors Service release on Thursday notes that the iPhone maker actually held more cash on hand at the end of 2014 -- when it had $178 billion -- than most US industrial sectors put together, surpassed only by the whole of the tech sector, the financial sector and the medical industry.
Throttling only kicks in in congested areas, not universally
Seemingly overnight, and in response to a lawsuit, AT&T has modified its terms of service language on a website about LTE speed throttling for its heaviest users. The company now claims that users who have exceeded 5GB on LTE "may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion." Previously, LTE users who had used more than 5GB were throttled at all times.
Apple Game Roundup for May 5, 2015
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. Today, we're looking at the GOG Galaxy front-end public beta, an EVE Online charity effort for Nepal, the top 10 strategy games according to Mac Gamer HQ, and a possible mod for Grand Theft Auto V to use an iPhone to control the in-game phone.
Collapsible compact keyboard not for large hands
The Jorno Bluetooth keyboard and stand for tablets certainly looks nice. The gunmetal grey shell of the keyboard looks great while the unit is folded up. That's right -- the keyboard folds with two hinges into a swank-looking brick when not in use. There's also a nice case with a magnetic closure that transforms into a tablet stand. This keyboard and its care are ideal for travel -- it's lightweight and compact when not in use. There were some things we didn't like about it, but the designers were certainly on the right track when they came up with this one. Check our review to see what we thought about it.
Case keeps aluminum style of the iPhone, hits irritating problems during use
A number of cases have emerged in the marketplace for owners of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus seeking some protection for their devices without detracting from the overall style. For those not wanting to shy away from the look and feel of the aluminum-adorned phones, Moshi introduced a simple case option with the iGlaze Armour. The minimalistic case features aluminum on the back, all while adding a thin layer of protection. But does the iGlaze Armor do enough to protect iPhones without turning them into an eyesore, or should consumers look elsewhere to protect their electronic investments?
boot iMac from external HD
Today in the MacNN Forums, Mac Elite "rotuts" is asking fellow forum goers if it is possible to boot their iMac from an external hard drive. Clinically Insane member of the forums "subego" has invited fellow members to post screenshots of their iPhone home screens.
Main features problematic on flip case, but offers good 360-degree protection
With the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, a wave of phone cases from a multitude of manufacturers hit the market. One company looking to grab consumer attention with their brand of stylish, mobile-centric offerings is Moshi. The SenseCover, a flip case option with a touch-sensitive cover, is one of the first from the company to offer a 360-degree protection solution. But will the case resonate with iPhone users looking for something special in design and function, or would they be better served by something offering more protection?
Apple Watch debut doesn't materially affect debut, China growth up sharply
Unexpected strength in Mac sales along with the previously-predicted strong staying power of the iPhone 6 line has helped Apple see record-breaking performance for a fiscal second quarter this year. The company sold more than 61.17 million iPhones, about 80 percent of the number sold during the holiday quarter, which is usually followed by a drop of about 40 percent. Macs sold 4.56 million units, another record for a fiscal Q2 and up 10 percent year-over-year.
New iMac problem, jpg editing on iPod Touch, more
Today in the MacNN forums, Forum Regular "Harvey" explained some troubling behavior with his eight-month old iMac and wonders if anyone else has experienced anything else like this on Yosemite. Also today, one Mac Elite was trying to figure out how to edit JPEG files on his new iPod Touch, and fellow forum-members began suggesting apps to use.
Apple's default browser remains tops in mobile, captures 10 percent of US desktop
A new study by analytics firm StatCounter has shown that Chrome and Safari are virtually neck-and-neck as the top mobile browsers, but that Safari was the clear winner in both North America and Europe. In particular, in the US Safari holds a 55 percent share of mobile browser use, with Chrome at 30 percent and generic Android browsers with 9.5 percent. In addition to just edging out Safari worldwide to be the top mobile browser, Chrome is also the dominant desktop browser worldwide, with a 52.6 percent share.
the new MacBook, disk rattling and more
With the new MacBook arriving in stores and in people's homes, MacNN forum-goers have been giving their first impressions of this latest addition to the Mac family in the thread titled "MacBook Returns." Late last week, one Fresh-Faced recruit was looking for some help figuring out the cause of rattling noise they hear in their startup disk when they boot up.
Your Mac and iOS devices come with a great dictionary
Some people collect dictionaries, some have never bought one in their lives -- but we all have them at our fingertips right now. If you have a Mac, an iPhone or an iPad, you've got a dictionary, and it is a good one. It's good enough to replace most concise dictionaries you can buy, and it's easier to look up than a book. We're not saying it's arduous looking things up a in book, but the fact that you have to turn away from what you're reading is reason enough that many of us pile on with a soon-forgotten vow that we'll look it up later. Here's an easy way to look up the definition of a word right there on your Mac -- and then if that isn't enough, we've an even easier way to do it at your fingertips.
Android gains 70 percent of downloads, iOS gains 70 percent of revenue
A new report by analytics firm App Annie has revealed that Apple and Google, as the progenitors of iOS and Android respectively, are locked in a roughly stalemated battle when it comes to revenues from apps versus app downloads. Google's Android enjoys the majority of app downloads, as it has for some time -- but continues to be unable to catch Apple in terms of being able to reward developers for their work. In a set of charts from the analytics firm, Apple's revenue from app sales is about 70 percent higher than Google Play, while Google's downloads outpaced Apple's by 70 percent.
Macs up nine percent, iPhone holds steady in US market
Led by gains in the US market both for its Mac computers and its iPhone 6 lineup, Apple continued to gain share where rivals lost it in the latest reports from both Gartner and ComScore. Although Apple actually lost a tenth of a percent in marketshare in smartphones in the US from last quarter, chief rival Samsung dropped ten times more, falling 1.1 percent on weaker demand. Apple now has 12 percent marketshare in the US, a nine percent gain year-over-year.
If true, figure would represent a 42 percent year-over-year increase
A new report from the Times of India newspaper claims that Apple has hit an important milestone in the country: $1 billion in revenue in a year. Citing a report by Cybermedia Research that claims the company sold 1.3 million iPhones in India over the course of calendar 2014, the paper says the $1B income market is "inevitable." If true, sales would have climbed 42 percent year-over-year, and are up 200 percent from three years ago.
Case for iPhone brings 50% more battery, up to 128GB more local storage
Battery case manufacturer Mophie announced today the release of its revamped mobile application, Mophie Space 2.0, available in the App Store. Accompanying the latest version of Space is a new line of compatible Space products, including Spacestation, Space Pack for iPad mini, and Space Pack for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.
Apple bought out alternative keyboard maker late last year, reports claim
Apple apparently bought out software keyboard developer Dryft last September, acquiring one of the co-founders of Swype in the process, according to reports. CEO Randy Marsden changed his job title to Apple's iOS Keyboard Manager on LinkedIn around the same time as the deal allegedly happened. Apple only rarely confirms acquisitions of small tech companies like Dryft.
Widely beta-tested, each brings new features to devices
With today's release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, Apple is officially releasing its iPhoto replacement program Photos for the Mac. While the program has already been in use on iOS for some time, the new program sits alongside existing iPhoto or Aperture libraries with its own copy, and adds new abilities and features we have previously reported on. The update, leaked earlier today, also brings a non-beta version of iCloud Photo Library and new emoji, while the iOS 8.3 release shares the emoji improvements and adds wireless CarPlay support, along with new Siri accents and languages.
Small number, big, big update
We put this on our To Do list three months ago: "Write combined Hands On about both OmniFocus and OmniOutliner's new iPhone versions". The company said they were coming, they were quite clear about what would be new about them, we were quite sure it was an important update but also that it wasn't worth a complete re-review of them. We've covered both apps before, we've liked both of them a lot, they haven't changed. Except, in use the one big new feature in OmniFocus is bigger than we thought -- and much more has changed too.
Screen of Samsung offering shatters sooner than iPhone
Warranty firm Square Trade has put the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge on its testing bench, and has found the device just as susceptible to bending as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Additionally, the phone has a further flaw, with the bend testing finding that the screen on the new device is more likely to shatter under the force than the Apple iPhone did, leaving the user with "a pocket full of broken glass."
Samsung and partner said to regain contract lost by TSMC
Potentially confirming earlier reports, Samsung has apparently won the contract to manufacture the main chip in Apple's forthcoming iOS lineup. According to sources familiar with the matter, the manufacturer will produce the Apple-designed chip at the Giheung plant in South Korea, with spillover orders going to Samsung partner Globalfoundries.
Apple spotlights World Autism Awareness Day with spotlight on helpful apps
Apple has showcased 16 apps specifically designed for autistic persons in the Education section of the iOS App Store. Two apps in particular, Proloquo2Go and Proloquo4Text, are being offered at an unusual sale price of $110 and $120 respectively, half off their normal cost due to the promotion. MacNN reviewed Proloquo2Go a little over a year ago, finding it be the best in class. Other apps spotlighted help users with math, clothing choices, environment comfort, and more.
Apple leaving streaming to broadcasters; sticking with hardware, software
As part of its as yet unconfirmed live television service, Apple is reportedly asking the networks themselves to handle the technical details, and associated costs of the streams that will reportedly be available on the Apple TV, similar to deals in place now. Costs generally run $0.05 per stream per hour, but executives are said to be balking at the potential cost for the as yet unknown demand for the service.
Apple, Ericsson at loggerheads over fair rate for standards-essential patents
The US International Trade Commission has announced a formal investigation into a complaint filed by Ericsson -- along with a handful of court cases -- following a lawsuit by Apple over what the iPhone maker says is a dispute about a fair rate for some standards-essential and LTE patents. The battle began earlier this year, when Apple complained to a court about "excessive" rates Ericsson wanted to charge for previously-licensed LTE technology.
Program expected to encourage more switchers, add to iPhone 6 sales
As reported previously, Apple has now expanded its "reuse and recycling" program in the US and Europe to include now taking selected models of non-iPhone smartphones as trade-in towards a new iPhone. The program is now operating throughout the US, Canada, the UK, France, and Italy, and may be operating in other countries as well. Only specific recent models are eligible, but customers can being the process either online or in person at an Apple Store.
An iOS clipboard manager you didn't know you needed
If you don't happen to know what a clipboard manager is, you need one. If you do and you've also tried out a couple, you know why you need it and you know just how hard it will be to make you give them up. Not to rub it in if you haven't tried one yet but they have been around for a very long time – or at least they have on Macs. With iPhone and iPads, it's really taken until iOS 8 for them to be possible. Clips is a free clipboard manager for iOS and it is just about as good as Apple allows it to be.
Trade-up program for older iPhones expected to kick off March 31
According to reports, Apple is set to launch an iPhone trade-in program in China on March 31, joining several existing programs in other countries around the world, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and a number of European countries, among others. Users will be able to bring in older iPhone and trade it in for store credit towards a newer model. The program has been shown to boost sales.
Portable storage for all your mobile devices
It seems like no matter how much internal storage is included today's mobile devices, we, as users, will always find a way to fill them up. This is where Seagate's Wireless can come in handy, especially now that more devices are making the move away from removable media. The 500GB drive can be accessed wirelessly, meaning users can store photos, videos, and music that would normally take up precious space off of their mobile device. On paper, the Wireless seems like a very useful tool, so we managed to get our hands on one, fill it with data, and take it on vacation to see just how well it really worked.
Combination of larger screens, Apple Pay, Apple Watch intriguing Android users
Investment firm Cowen and Company has opted to raise its year-end target price on Apple stock to $135 following a survey it conducted with existing smartphone owners around the world. After polling some 3,000 people in various regions, the firm discovered that 25 percent of all iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus sales are coming from Android switchers, who are persuaded not just by the larger displays.
Potential but unwieldy security threat to those running pre-iOS 8.1.1
A new device on the market costing $300 could be used by attackers to crack the PIN codes on iOS devices running system versions older than iOS 8.1.1. While the chances of it being used on someone's personal device are extremely low -- since it requires both physical access to the device as well as a great deal of time -- users can protect their devices and foil the so-called "IP Box" attack by moving to a more complex passcode.
CEO vows to improve quality, says collaboration is why Apple is better
Following an excerpt from the forthcoming biography called Becoming Steve Jobs about the mercurial co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the company's current leader Tim Cook was interviewed by Fast Company about what has changed -- and what has stayed the same -- since Jobs' untimely death in 2011. In the wide-ranging conversation, Cook owns up to some growing pains, but says the spirit of Jobs lives on.
Apple hints that Apple Watch has received FCC approval
Apple on Tuesday removed disclaimer language from its Apple Watch web page, signalling that it has obtained approval for sale of the device in at least the US, if not all the major countries where Apple is currently planning to launch the Apple Watch at retail beginning April 24. The Watch will be available for preview and pre-ordering -- but not for sale -- at Apple Stores beginning April 10 in select countries.
Updated travel app is very impressive if it covers your city
The best way to see any city is on foot. The cheapest way to see it is by public transport. The most expensive way to check out the sights is by taxi. Travel app Citymapper, now updated to version 5.01, shows you the best routes for all three, and does so very well. Mind you, it's useless if you aren't going to one of the cities it includes.
Lawsuit alleged every Apple mobile device abused assortment of ex-Nokia patents
Late Monday, a jury ended a legal battle with a patent licensing firm. A jury in Texas' "rocket docket" declared that Apple did not infringe on five patents held by Conversant owned Core Wireless Licensing SARL, who was seeking $100 million in damages, and a portion of Apple's device sales going forward, some of which may have been paid out to Microsoft.
Our panel still talking about 'Spring Forward' event ramifications
The MacNN Podcast episode six is now available (later than normal -- sorry about that), and this week we looked at the new MacBook and weigh up its pros and cons; talk about Apple Watch pricing and some new details that have come out since last Monday; delve into ResearchKit, which is already making big waves in the medical community; discuss Samsung's Galaxy S6 and the line's fading status as an "iPhone killer" (though still likely to be a very successful competitor); and get into the actual meat of the FCC's net neutrality and Title II proposal.
Report claims non-Apple device trade-in program starting in coming weeks
Owners of Android smartphones may soon be able to earn some money by trading in their old devices, this time via Apple. A report claims Apple is looking to start accepting non-Apple devices in an upcoming refresh of its recycling and trade-in program, with the program providing Android switchers with gift cards that can then be used to purchase iPhones.
Investment firms believe Apple sold well north of 54 million units
Two investment analyst firms, Barclays Capital and UBS, have issued their first predictions on the number of iPhones Apple is likely to sell in its fiscal second quarter, which concludes at the end of March. The firms disagree on the exact number of units, but are within 10 percent of each other, ranging from 54 million to 58 million units. UBS' Evidence Lab is predicting higher numbers, but Wall Street estimates remain conservative.
Turn your iOS devices into a smart remote
Universal controllers for entertainment systems have been around for a while, but a basket full of remotes is still a common fixture in many homes. The Pronto smart remote is here to replace all of those remotes with an iOS app and a little black monolith. With the Peel iOS app, the user connects to the Pronto via Bluetooth and sends out infrared (IR) commands to various entertainment system components in the room. We liked the ability to reduce multiple controllers down to a single app on a device we usually have on hand while we're watching TV anyway, but it wasn't without its issues.
Apple Maps is underrated, except when it isn't
Well, this is awkward: I'm about to enthuse at you about how and why Apple Maps is very good, but the impetus came when my wife Angela offered to pick me up from a meeting in Kings Heath, Birmingham (in England, for those not familiar with the place). I shared my location with her over Messages and was just thinking how handy this was, how straightforward and easy it was -- when she texted back "why are you in Stechford?"
Details of Apple Pay on iPhone 5 family revealed
Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue made an appearance at Oakland, California's Oracle Arena, and showed off the Apple Watch's Apple Pay functionality -- and took a veiled swipe at a competitor at the same time. Sporting the stainless steel model of the Watch, Cue showed how the device functions with the iPhone 6 series family, as well as confirmed an important detail of how the Apple Watch will bring Apple Pay to the iPhone 5 series of phones.
Facility will open next year, ensure steady LCD display supply for iPhone
Japan Display, a company created by three Japanese tech firms in 2012, has agreed to a deal with Apple to help build a $1.4 billion new display manufacturing facility that should increase its overall LCD capacity by 20 percent. The company already supplies Apple with some 50,000 raw-material Retina display panels per month at present, and the investment by Apple in the new facility could guarantee a steady supply in the future.
Small batch of iPhones may have short-lived battery
A battery exchange program for some iPhone 5 users has been extended into from this year into 2016. Initially limited to "two years after the first retail sale or until March 1, 2015, whichever gives longer coverage" the language on Apple's website for the program was quietly changed to run through January 2016.
New report partially reiterates earlier IDC analysis on record holiday quarter
While significantly disagreeing on the shipment or sales numbers of its rivals, analysis firms IDC and Gartner have agreed that Apple surpassed all expectations in a number of areas with its record-shattering calendar Q4 performance, with Gartner awarding Apple the crown of top smartphone seller in the world. An earlier report by IDC had Apple barely missing the top spot, claiming that Samsung shipped 75.1 million units, despite a sharp drop in profits and revenue.
clean installs, contact access and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was asking other members how they might go about doing a clean install of the OS on a 2010 MacBook Pro that they don't have a system install disc for. A discussion about giving Apps access to contacts was started by Mac Elite "jeff k" earlier this week, after he asked about a specific app that was requesting such access.