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.
Wall Street estimates missed badly, stock taking a hit
Chip manufacturer AMD continues its financial slide. AMD yesterday announced revenue for the first quarter of 2015 of $1.03 billion, an operating loss of $137 million and net loss of $180 million, or $0.23 per share. AMD's results fell far short of Wall Street estimates for the company, which is attempting to maintain consistent profitability.
Apple CEO profiled by civil rights leader John Lewis; Ive profiles Airbnb CEO
Time magazine has named Apple CEO Tim Cook as one of the "100 Most Influential People," saying that his work at Apple proves "that even the most successful companies can and should be judged by more than just their bottom line." The profile on Cook was written by long-time civil rights activist and congressman John Lewis, while Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive was tapped to write a profile of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky in the same article.
Skype, Microsoft Office, other apps will be included in future Cyanogen releases
Users of CyanogenMod will soon find more Microsoft apps on their devices. Cyanogen and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership between the two companies, which will see the Android ROM producer adding Microsoft-created apps to Cyanogen OS, including Bing services, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Microsoft Office, and Skype.
Report claims Jawbone wearable will perform American Express payments in future
Yet another wearable device will be offering alternative payments in the future, according to a report. According to the Wall Street Journal, American Express and Jawbone are planning to announce a new system that will allow AmEx card owners to use the manufacturer's fitness bands to make payments at a number of retailers in the United States.
Comparison shopping, Android app bundling complains issued by European Commission
Google's relationship with the European Commission (EC) has worsened, after the regulator made two antitrust-related announcements. It has formally objected to the way Google gives more prominence in search results to its own shopping comparison services than competitors, and has also opened up a separate formal investigation over Android and its bundling of Google apps.
Acquisition will help Nokia bolster network services, research efforts
Nokia has confirmed rumors it was interested in acquiring Alcatel-Lucent to increase its network technology holdings, by announcing it will do just that. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, the boards of the two companies have agreed to a purchase price of 15.6 billion euros ($16.5 billion) in stock, more than double the cost of what Microsoft paid for Nokia's mobile business.
Patients can use iPhone 6 line for doctor's offices, hospitals; iPhone 5 and later for online
Apple Pay, the iPhone maker's mobile payment technology, has added another supporting payment network in the form of InstaMed. The company has announced that it will implement support for Apple Pay at the medical facilities it supports, including hospitals, doctor's offices and other medical businesses. InstaMed will support both iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch-based payments, along with in-app payments on any Touch ID-capable iOS device.
Nexus 6 firmware hints at Google wireless service with refunds for unused data
Google's plans to offer a wireless service in the United States may have been uncovered earlier than planned. An examination of a recent firmware image of the Nexus 6 appears to suggest Google will offer a service where customers will only pay for the amount of services they use, with the potential service also being given a logo and a temporary name: Project Fi.
Negotiations not progressing with China financial institutions
As previously reported, Apple negotiations with China's UnionPay have been troublesome. Reports are circulating that the discussions continue to be mired in per-transaction fees and data center requirements, and the total lack of progress since Apple's announcement of the transaction service is what prevented the expected launch of Apple Pay in China with the release of iOS 8.3.
Network changes by TWC reaches North Carolina before Google Fiber rolls out
Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina on Time Warner Cable (TWC) will soon enjoy improved Internet speeds, as the company rolls out changes to its network in the area. Last week's announcement is notable in that Google previously announced it would be rolling out Google Fiber in Charlotte, and TWC's changes could be a pre-emptive move to keep its customers from jumping ship.
Latest Red camera capable of 8K video capture at 75fps
Red Camera has revealed its latest cinematography camera at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, with the potential for 8K video. The Weapon is the newest camera body to use the 6K-resolution Dragon sensor, though the company is giving customers the ability to upgrade the sensor to an even higher 8K-resolution version, when it ships at a later date.
Apple Watch hands-on reports, a look at Photos, new videos, more
Following a longer-than-expected submission process to Apple, we're pleased to report that episode 10 of The MacNN Podcast, along with all previous episodes, has finally arrived on iTunes. Listeners can now search for, subscribe to, and generally wallow in our backlog of tech news, app picks, and bad jokes. The latest episode has a couple of remote reports from Australia and the UK about the Apple Watch concierge try-on experience, the arrival of Photos with OS X 10.10.3, our new videos, and more.
New 3D title support, expanded camera formats, precision color grading, more
On Monday, Apple upgraded its professional video suite, Final Cut Pro, and two of its supporting programs, Motion and Compressor. Final Cut is now up to version 10.2, which features better 3D title support, more camera formats, the ability to view more scopes simultaneously, and improved masking. Motion, now at version 5.2, also includes more options for 3D titles, with more third-party options coming soon. Compressor 4.2 gets a general speed bump, and improves its ability to make a movie sale package for iTunes.
High 4K resolution smartphone screen going into production next year
Sharp has unveiled another high-resolution display for smartphones heading into production in the future. Following on from the earlier 4.1-inch, 2,560x1,600 screen, offering a pixel density of 736 pixels per inch (ppi), the new panel measures 5.5 inches but boasts the ability to display a 4K image, with its 2,160x3,840 resolution giving it an impressive pixel density of 806 ppi.
News from the video game industry for the week of April 12
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista take a moment to look back at some of the notable stories in the world of gaming. This week, the EFF take on the ESA over potential DMCA exemptions, Microsoft makes the Xbox One less power hungry when switched off, and Blizzard enabled a system for purchasing of in-game World of Warcraft gold using real-world money.
Rumored sale of Here could aid Nokia in acquiring Alcatel-Lucent wireless business
Nokia is looking into the possibility of selling off its mapping business and apps, a report claims. The remains of the company, following the sale of its smartphone business to Microsoft last year for $7.2 billion, is apparently planning to hand off its Here maps business in order to focus on its wireless network division, and is said to have already received some interest.
Four-man Google X team includes ex-Apple battery expert
The secretive Google X Labs is working on ways to improve battery technology, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. A small group of four engineers is said to be working on the project, which could help the company increase a number of its other projects that depend on batteries, including its consumer devices and experimental items such as Google Glass.
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.
Publication of regulation likely to redouble opposition efforts to regulation
The US Government has released the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet regulation package to the Federal Register. With publication, the net neutrality and Title II regulation, as laid forth by the FCC, are effective and enforceable starting on June 12.
Samsung, Apple, CBS all previously found guilty of infringing '90s era patent
A final ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has invalidated a podcasting patent held by non-practicing entity Personal Audio, ending the company's bid to cash in on the backs of successful content creators. The EFF originally filed a petition in 2013 to review the serialized media content patent held under patent number US8112504.
Changes to YouTube Partner Program terms include similar revenue split as normal advertising
Google has confirmed to content creators the rumored YouTube subscription service is coming soon. The video streaming service is also laying more of the groundwork for its ad-free offering by changing the terms uploaders must agree to before uploading, adding language that explains how revenues from subscriptions will be allocated to video producers.
Sling TV incorporates DishWorld service into new Sling International offering
Sling TV is adding more channels to its Internet TV service, by rebranding an existing Dish product. DishWorld has been turned into Sling International, providing close to 200 channels in 18 languages, for $15 per month. While Sling International has its own app, complete with the new Sling TV interface, customers who subscribe to both Sling TV and Sling International will be able to access channels from both subscriptions from within the same app.
Patent troll Smartflash facing invalidation of five patents at USPTO
Samsung, in challenging the validity of two patents, may help Apple skirt a $533 million patent verdict. The Korean manufacturer has petitioned, and convinced, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to re-evaluate a pair of patents owned by non-practicing entity Smartflash for uniqueness in order to avoid a suit over in-app purchasing in app stores.
Apple sets official launch time for pre-orders for 12:01AM PT
The online Apple Store updated their Apple Watch page on Friday to post the official start time for pre-orders for the device: 12:01AM PT on April 10. While not unexpected, given traditional pre-order times for iPhone and other devices, Apple had not made it official until now. Despite some initial skepticism, industry observers now believe the Apple Watch will sell well during its launch weekend, and should prove to be a modest hit, though not on the scale of devices like the iPad or iPhone.
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.
Daring move offers entire Series Eight and extras for $1 per episode
In one of the most daring moves in recent memory, the BBC is experimenting with a BitTorrent "bundle" to offer a box set of the popular sf/fantasy series Doctor Who as a legal download. The "Decade of the Doctor" bundle includes some free content, including a welcome video featuring the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and a 10-minute except of the first of the "modern era" episodes from 2005. For $12, buyers can unlock 12 full episodes and bonus content.
European Commission concerned Apple bullying labels into contracts
The European Union's antitrust agency, the European Commission, has sent out a series of questionnaires to labels and digital music companies. The query is asking for details about deals between Apple and the publishers in advance of the Beats acquisition-driven music service, expected to launch this summer.
Apple, BlackBerry, others partnered on former Nortel patents
The Rockstar Consortium, a group comprised of Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony, will see a windfall on its 2011 purchase of some 4,000 patents from Canadian tech giant Nortel, with Apple expected to gain at least $392 million from the holding, one analyst says. Wells Fargo's Maynard Um has used BlackBerry's reported gain of 17 percent of a base figure in predicting Apple's share of the profits.
Contested tax code a patch for decades of tax law allowing Irish loophole
As previously reported, the Diverted Profits Tax, also known as the "Google Tax," has come into effect in the United Kingdom today with very few changes to the proposed law. The tax law requires companies to list revenue and profit from other countries, aiding officials to determine if profits are being transferred elsewhere against UK tax code and making them subject to the tax.
New Braswell chip details include one Pentium, three Celeron processors
Intel has surprisingly launched its 14nm Braswell chip family this week, with relatively little in the way of promotion compared to other chip launches. Surfacing briefly during a report about its NUC 2.0 device last year, more details have been revealed for some of the processors in the Bay Trail-D replacement, primarily concerning processors destined for use in entry-level notebooks and desktop computers.
Proposal to rescue majority of 1,740 RadioShack stores approved by bankruptcy court
A plan to co-brand the majority of remaining RadioShack stores with Sprint has been approved by a US bankruptcy court. The approval will give the carrier a large number of extra outlets, with its brand appearing on the signage of a number of the 1,740 remaining RadioShack locations, as part of a wider plan to try and keep the stores open and to safeguard approximately 7,500 jobs.
Apple to release fiscal second quarter report on April 27
Apple has announced that it will reveal the results of its fiscal second quarter of the year (which ends today) on Monday, April 27 at 2PM Pacific, or 5PM Eastern. The company generally offers a press release shortly after US markets close at 4PM Eastern. Analysts are expecting sales to be up from the year-ago quarter, but down around 25 percent from the holiday quarter.
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.
Apple is changing, the industry is changing -- we're (finally) changing
Hello -- my name is Mike. I've been the Managing Editor at MacNN and Electronista for a few months. MacNN has been a great resource for nearly two decades, but we haven't done much to stand out from the crowd since the days when Mac and Apple news on the web was hard to come by. Maybe you've already seen some things change around here, so read on a bit, and see what we have planned for our future.
Drone delivery tests carried out away from restrictive FAA regulations
Amazon's attempts to test its drone-based Prime Air delivery service on a larger scale are being carried out in secret in Canada, according to a report. The retailer has apparently tested out the drones outdoors in British Columbia on a frequent basis, in order to sidestep the restrictive rules that apply to commercial drones in the United States, hampering development of the potential service.
Staffers discuss new book, new gaming column, new apps
We're now at episode eight of The MacNN Podcast, which this week welcomes our new Apple Gaming column, as well as reminding listeners about our weekly game news roundup. We also discuss the book Becoming Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook's latest honor from the business world. More confusion about Windows 10 pricing outside China has come to light, and tech companies are asking for changes in the Patriot Act.
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.
Customers can buy services packages from local professionals via Amazon
Amazon has launched a new service providing listings for professional services, something the retailer initially tested in November. Amazon Home Services offers the ability to search a list of pre-selected service providers in a number of different industries, such as appliance installation, plumbing, and other specialized household tasks, with the option to set an appointment with the provider to carry out the job at the customer's home.
Uber launching licensed taxi services in Germany following ban
Uber is going to launch a new service in Germany, following its ban by a local court this month. The court banned Uber over its use of unlicensed cab drivers, reports Reuters, and intends to fine Uber drivers violating local transport laws. A new service will be launching this summer, with Uber paying the commercial passenger transport licenses and to register drives as taxi companies at a cost of between 250 euro ($270) and 400 euro ($435) per driver, most likely under the UberX brand.
Apple, other tech companies react harshly to similar Indiana law
Amidst strong critical and economic reaction to an anti-LGBT law signed by Republican Governor Mike Pence in Indiana, Apple CEO Tim Cook -- recently named as the "World's Greatest [Business] Leader" by Fortune magazine -- has posted on Twitter expressing "deep" disappointment with the move and urging another Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, not to sign a similar measure.
Remainder of locations will re-open on April 4 with Best Buy branding
Canadian technology retailer Future Shop has essentially been absorbed into parent company Best Buy overnight. While 66 locations were completely shut down overnight, 65 locations will be reborn as Best Buy stores on April 4. Reports scattered across Canada are seeing employees being notified of the closure and their future employment status as they arrive for a Saturday shift at the store.
CEO calls recovery on track, Wall Street not so sure
BlackBerry is declaring a win on restructuring efforts, despite plummeting revenue. The company today reported a profit of $28 million for the last quarter despite currency exchange issues, and still falling sales. Wall Street was expecting a $5 million loss on the quarter, with $734 million in revenue -- well more than realized by the company.
Flash cells stacked vertically in 32 layers, for 384 gigabit TLC flash dies
Micron Technology and Intel today revealed the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world's highest-density flash memory. This new 3D NAND technology, which was jointly developed by Intel and Micron, stacks layers of data storage cells vertically with extraordinary precision to create storage devices with what the company calls three times higher capacity than competing NAND technologies, potentially leading to 3.5TB of storage in to a "gum stick-sized SSD."
New interview discusses pressures of leadership, higher profile of colleagues
On Thursday, Fortune magazine named Apple CEO Tim Cook to the top spot of its "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," which largely refers to business and industry leaders rather than government officials. The honor came with a new interview with Cook as well as some of those who work with him, and addresses many of Cook's and the company's successes (and a few missteps) in the lengthy profile.
Amazon expands Prime Now one-hour deliveries to Dallas
Amazon Prime Now, the retailer's high-speed delivery service, is opening up in Dallas. Just as with its other Prime Now locations, Prime subscribers in the fourth location will be able to use a mobile app on iOS and Android to place orders for groceries and household goods, between 8am and 10pm seven days a week, with TechCrunch reporting it still costs $8 for one-hour deliveries, while two-hour deliveries are free.
Beats integration, iTunes overhaul likely to be on agenda for WWDC in June
A new article in The New York Times describes in some detail the alleged transition plans Apple is undertaking to transform both iTunes and Beats Music, it's acquired subscription streaming service. Among other details, the report assigns roles to iTunes Radio chief Zane Lowe, who until recently was a top BBC Radio 1 DJ, and describes musician Trent Reznor as a "point man" on an iOS Music app overhaul.
Recent Amazon drone authorization was for obsolete model
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is speeding up the process for commercial drone operators to be provided exemptions allowing them to fly. The change in policy comes amid complaints from Amazon over the application process, which it claims is so slow that its recent FAA approval it received was for a drone that has since become obsolete.
Bill giving tech companies tax incentives seemingly excludes Google Fiber
Google has revealed Salt Lake City, Utah will be joining the roster of seven other cities as Google Fiber locations. The announcement of the eighth Google Fiber location comes alongside news that Google is unlikely to bring its high-speed fiber Internet service to Portland, Oregon anytime soon, as a bill designed to draw the service to the city has seemingly backfired.