Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Emoji get more diverse

February 25th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

emoji middle finger 300x300 Emoji get more diverseThere’s been complaints that emoji aren’t exactly inclusive, but that’s all about to change. This, no doubt, will prompt a load of tutting from people who a) Never see what the fuss is about because they’re fine or b) People who swear at the mere mention of emoji.

There’s another set of people who shudder because they didn’t realise that their Samsung phone was making them have a large phone bill for sending texts with emoji in them.

Anyway, 300 more are being added to the iOS 8.3 keyboard and include a whole host of differently coloured faces and whatnot. Good news for those that have been wishing for it and taking absolutely nothing away from those that didn’t.

There’s more too. There will be more options for relationships and gadgets. That means there’s going to be some same-sex emoji available for use and, because this is Apple, they’ve created an iPhone 6 and an Apple Watch icons. There’s going to be a load of new flags added too, which is nice for vexillologists.

“Apple supports and cares deeply about diversity, and is working with The Unicode Consortium to update the standard so that it better represents diversity for all of us,” said an Apple spokesperson.

And here, we have some of the more more diverse emoji, c/o Apple.

Emojis diverse 500x281 Emoji get more diverse

If you’re wondering about the skin tones, they’re apparently based on something called the Fitzpatrick Classification scale, which was founded by dermatologist Thomas Fitzpatrick at Harvard Medical School in 1975. The yellow emoji is supposed to be the standard, just-like-the-old-emoji-and-therefore-aren’t-meant-to-be-human-coloured, just in case you were wondering.

apple logo Apple ditch health monitoring... but iWatch set for April release?Apple are going to get rid of the health-monitoring element of their new smartwatch, thanks to issues with regulations and technology. So now, if you want to know if you’re healthy or not, you’re going to have to look at yourself in the mirror and remember whether you’ve been for a run or not.

Reports have said that some of the features they’d planned to do were just too complicated, while others aspects would have invited ‘unwanted regulatory oversight’. As such, the thing they would have to put out wouldn’t meet Apple’s standards, so they’re not bothering.

“Apple also experimented with ways to detect blood pressure or the amount of oxygen in the blood, but the results were inconsistent,” said sources. ”Moreover, if Apple interpreted the numbers to provide health or behaviour advice, the company likely would have needed approval from the US Food and Drug Administration or other regulators.”

Whether this changes what was said by Apple CEO Tim Cook is another matter. He said in some awfully tedious speech that the new iWatch could prevent cancer from happening: “Some doctors now think that sitting down for long periods is the new cancer, so ten minutes before the hour the Watch software taps you to make you have a walk around. It’s quite funny to be in a meeting at Apple and ten minutes before the hour people get up and start moving around, but people like it.”

As for the release of the phone itself, sources have also said that Apple have asked their Asian suppliers to make up to 6 million of the devices in time for an April release.

Apple to update your iPhone to make it speedier!

February 10th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

iphone 6 Apple to update your iPhone to make it speedier!Does you iPhone run slower than an ageing colonel? Is your Apple device about as nifty as a double decker filled with concrete passengers? Well, there’s some good news for you!

Apple are planning a new, free software update which will make your iPad and iPhone run much more quickly. That’s nice of them isn’t it? Unless they mess it up of course.

This brand new iOS 9 update is apparently going to try and iron out all the bugs and lag from your device and generally speed the performance up. While previous iOS updates have been all about that interface, tidying up design and fiddling with the functions, the new one has set its sights almost wholly on performance and speed.

Rumour has it that this new update will come in June and of course, like all other iOS updates, it’ll be free for all compatible devices.

So there you go. If you’ve been whining about your iThing, all your problems might be solved when the summer comes.

beatsbydrdrelogo Apple to get around to Beats Music at some point, finallyWhen Apple bought Beats, everyone expected them to tackle Spotify head-on. Then, nothing really happened. Apple, it seemed, had actually forgot about Dre.

But alas, no more, as rumours are getting very loud about Apple and Beats and what they plan to do.

It looks like there’s going to be a launch for a new subscription-based music service which will be Apple-made, but powered by Beats technology and music content. This won’t be a mere installing of the Beats app into iDevices, but rather, Apple things will integrate Beats ‘deeply’ into the iOS mobile operating system, iTunes and Apple TV.

According to reports, the service will cost $7.99 per month, which crucially, makes this cheaper than Spotify’s $9.99-a-month. It’ll also be cheaper than Google’s music offerings, as well as Rhapsody and Rdio. It’ll be more expensive than Pandora though. Not that anyone cares as this is a three-way dogfight between Google, Spotify and Apple.

Apple should really get a wriggle on with this, as there was a lot of fanfare when they bought Beats for $3 billion last year. It looks like they’ll be rolling something out this Summer, with mutterings pointing at a June release.

However, we’re all too long-in-the-tooth and cynical to believe that by merely embedding something as standard into a device, it’ll be a success. Anyone who owns a Samsung phone will tell you about the huge amount of entertainment apps that just sit in devices, taking up space and being unused.

Either way, Apple will be pushing on, and it has been suggested that this new service will focus on cloud streaming that is centred on what’s already in your music library.

Apple to make the iCar?

February 4th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

apple logo Apple to make the iCar?Google have been parping on about their driverless cars, and now, rumours are getting louder about Apple making an electric car.

CNN have an image of a patent which has been granted to “Apple Electric Car, Inc.,” yesterday, which should get some Apple devotees reasonably excited, and some Android defenders tutting into their laps.

Now specifically, this patent shows an adjustable mount for a computerized display in a golf cart, which isn’t strictly going to fulfil the promise of an all singing Siri and app-dancing iCar, but there’s no smoke without fire.

Tesla were spotted at Apple a few years ago, which got tongues wagging and Wall Street analysts have been loudly muttering about Apple looking at electric cars as an investment for ages.

And let’s be honest here – electric cars and Apple do look like a match made in heaven and with motoring changing toward a new model and, most importantly, a huge money-spinner if you get it right, Apple will absolutely be weighing up a move into the car game.

If this is just a move that Apple are making to create huge LCD dashboard panels, then you’ve got to ask yourself if you’d be into having that, or indeed, distracted by that.

Feel free to make your own jokes about an Apple car being installed with windows.

 

the brick talking mobile phone holder 184x300 Consumers are bored of new smartphone handsets?Remember when a smart phone was a big deal? When clamshell phones were in? Seems like ages ago, right? Well, it seems smartphones have been with us so long that we’re actually now suffering from “smartphone fatigue”, which is apparently A Thing, which means we really can’t be bothered to rush out and get the latest handset, and we’d rather see what contract benefits we can get instead.

Part of the problem appears to be that makers like Samsung, HTC and Sony are updating their flagship handsets every year, but rather than getting caught in the upgrade cycle, more and more budget conscious consumers are instead opting for cheaper tariffs over newer phones.

Research from USwitch found the top Android manufacturers saw declining sales for subsequent updates of new handsets. For example, the HTC One (M8) saw sales through the networks 23% lower at launch than its predecessor, the One (M7). Samsung fared worse, with the Galaxy S5 posting 33% fewer sales than the S4, but the biggest crash was for Sony, whose strategy of releasing two new ‘flagship’ models every year isn’t working. The Xperia Z2 undersold the Z1 by 42%, while the Z3 sold 60% fewer handsets at launch than the Z1.

According to USwitch, consumers ranked ease of use, good signal quality and battery life as the most important aspects of a new phone, and are therefore unimpressed with the long list of new  features manufactures have crammed into their top models in recent years. This has actually led to an increase in SIM-only plans where consumers are opting to keep their older handsets instead of upgrading, and moving to a much cheaper SIM-only deal once their contract ends, helped by new software updates making old phones feel fresher and newer without needing a replacement.

Apple, however, has fared better, with increased sales for new phones, although there are signs that fatigue is seeting in here too. The iPhone 5s outsold the 5 at their comparative launches by 40%, but the most recent model, the iPhone 6, outperformed the 5s by just 25%.

Apple’s Spotlight opening you to hacks?

January 13th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

sad apple logo Apples Spotlight opening you to hacks?On OS X Yosemite, you may have noticed that Apple’s Spotlight search function is rather sophisticated, allowing you to search the web as well as peering into your machine for content too. All very clever.

However, it also has a flaw that could well expose your local information to nefarious types. Not so clever.

So what’s going on? Well, the weakness focuses on Apple Mail. Basically, as Spotlight Search indexes emails that have been received within Apple’s email service, it also shows previews of your emails, your images and such.

All a hacker would need to do is to insert a tracking pixel into one of your email’s images and hey presto! They could well be enjoying access to your data!

While the email is in your inbox, you can ignore scams, but Spotlight’s preview function opens up a vulnerability. Seeing as Spotlight opens previews of your junk and spam messages, this could be a problem. Even if you have switched off the “load remote content in messages” feature, it doesn’t exactly fix the problem.

Until Apple issue a fix, the best thing for you to do is to go to your Mac System preferences and switch off email indexing.

ITUNES 300x168 Apple changes terms to allow 14 day refund window on iTunes and AppStoreWe’ve all done it, been drunk in charge of a smart device pre-loaded with payment details that has enabled us to make an ill-considered iTunes purchase. However, unless we are compos mentis enough to realise what we have done within a relatively short period of time, when purchasing digital content, our deranged purchases remain stuck with us for ever.

However, now Apple have made a change to their terms and conditions for iTunes and the AppStore which allows users to return digital content within a 14 day period to comply with the EU Consumer Rights Directive enacted earlier this year.

Apple’s terms now state: “Right of cancellation: If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code” which suggests that you can get a refund within 14 days of the emailed receipt whether or not you have downloaded the content. However, conflicting reports suggest that refunds will only be permitted  where you haven’t actively downloaded the content yourself- although automatic downloads could be OK. While this would cover a drunken or child-instigated purchase in error, that wouldn’t help you if you downloaded the wrong song, or the wrong version of a song for example, when you only realised your mistake after downloading. And surely “without any reason” means you may merely have changed your mind, something covered by the Consumer Rights Directive.

Also, it seems the refund process might not be completely automated, requiring you to ‘report a problem’ or make a written statement in order to start the process. Apple states it will refund users within two weeks of being notified of the order being cancelled/ the product deleted.

Google Play Music already offers EU customers a 14 day refund period over the seven day period offered to customers elsewhere in the world. Apple terms on refunds do not apply outside the EU.

Christmas AdWatch: Apple

December 17th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Just when we thought we’d finally seen the back of Christmas adverts for the year, along comes a late entry from Apple.

The advert – ‘The Song’ – sees a young lady – via a variety of Apple products, naturally – create a nice duet based on her Gran’s recording of Love Is Here To Stay.

The sell Apple is giving it is: “With a Mac, iPhone or iPad you have the power to create thoughtful, emotional gifts and memories that transcend time. It could be a movie, a homemade card or a song that brings two generations closer together.”

Have a gander at it now. Here.

It’s genuinely quite lovely, and seeing gran tear up as she flicks through photos of yore will have you… no, it’s okay… just something in our eye.

Perhaps it is good that it’s come out a bit later than all the others, otherwise December’s commercial breaks would soon become an intolerable minefield of feelings and heart-string-pulling emotions., and we can’t be having that.

ipod classic Sell your iPod Classic now as it is worth a small fortune!Since their final demise was confirmed in September, iPod Classics are – typically – now going for small fortunes.

Ruthless types who racked up a selection of devices merely because they had an Apple logo on them, are now selling iPod Classics on eBay, who reckon they’ve seen 3,000 sold on the online car boot sale since October.

Naturally, some buyers have complained that the condition of the resold ones aren’t quite what the seller was claiming, with something that looks like it’s been stuck up a dog’s arse arriving in a jiffy bag through their letter box.

Collectors editions of the iPods are going for even more. A set of boxed U2 iPods sold for £50,000 on eBay in October, and another rare edition sold for £7,995. An old prototype also sold for £641.33. Demented.

However the main basic non-fancy 80GB and 160GB ones are going for around £100-200.

The iPod Classic was quietly put out to pasture back in September due to Apple claiming they couldn’t get the parts. Which seeing as Apple invented it, surely the whole ‘parts’ issue shouldn’t have been a thing. Perhaps the ‘parts’ excuse was simply them saying “We haven’t given a shit about updates for these things since we went iPhone crazy”.

And it’s all about the cloud these days, as Apple have been shrinking their hard drives, expecting everyone to throw their content in the air like they just don’t care.

Anyway. Cheerio iPod Classic. If you’ve got a couple stuffed away in the back of a drawer, get it on eBay now!

apple logo Theres a new iPhone afoot   lets make stuff up about it!If you stand on any given spot on Earth on any given day, of any year, pick your nose and flick the bogey and you will almost certainly land on a rumour about a new Apple product.

It is our job to report on all these rumours, on the vague chance of grabbing some of that lovely internet traffic.

So what’s happening now? Well of course, no-one really knows, but it won’t stop anyone writing about it. The most common muttering concerns the iPhone 7 (or maybe it’ll be the iPhone 6S?) which is going to happen next year. Definitely. Probably.

There’s even rumours about the spec of the damn thing which may or may not exist because Apple and Tim Cook haven’t actually said anything about it.

It is thought that the new phone will drop in September or October 2015, which would make sense if Apple are going for the Christmas shopping market, but of course, with no-one actually saying anything about a phone, we could say just about any quarter of the year and try and justify it. What will the phone be like? Well, we can assume that the next iPhone will be thinner and lighter, have a better screen resolution and some improvements to well-loved apps. You can say that about most new mobiles though.

But we like to jump on the anticipation early, so we can say “told you so” when something more concrete emerges.

There’s further rumours (we haven’t checked, but it is likely someone has said it) that they’ll be aiming at two markets again, with a cheaper handset and the usual premium brand one. So basically, that covers both angles and we can now assume there’s going to be a more affordable iPhone 6S and a pricier iPhone 7.

So there you have it. An article about an iPhone or two that may or may not exist, but probably will because we all know how mobile phone flogging works now. And to be on the safe side, we’ll mention ‘Apple Fanboyz’ and some glib remark about ‘Android’ either against or in favour of it.

Expect to see this article, in it’s essence, on various website around the internet until late next year, possibly with some patent diagrams attached to it.

Top Ten Marketing #fails of 2014

December 3rd, 2014 1 Comment By Thewlis

It’s December, which means you are likely to see a number of 2014 top tens bouncing about on the interwebs. This one, however, is from the lovely folks at Marketing magazine and list the top 10 marketing fails of 2014.

Some we remember fondly, and others passed us sneakily by. Enjoy.

10. While skilfully drafted, Paddy Power’s Oscar Pistorious ad was not judged to be a winner by many, drawing a record 5525 complaints to the ASA. The ad, which offered a ‘money back if he walks’ guarantee for bets placed on the verdict of Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial, was a play on words, but the betting firm seriously misjudged how funny the nation would find murder of a young South African woman. Or was it culpable homicide? Even taking the piss out of someone with no legs kind of paled next to that.

youre on coke Top Ten Marketing #fails of 2014

9. Coca Cola has had a number of massive marketing blunders over the years (Dasani anyone?) and this isn’t even it’s only appearance in the top ten. This campaign, which appeared fleetingly in North America probably sounded like a good idea on paper. “You’re on”, like everyone who drinks Coke is a film star or something else glamorous and vital. Unfortunately, when displayed on billboards, it looked like they were encouraging people to go out and take Class A drugs instead. Which was presumably not the original plan.

8. Made.com were probably patting themselves on the back around the time of the Scottish referendum- they’d already planned an ad campaign to go live once the yes vote came in. Unfortunately for Made.com, the result didn’t go as planned, but that’s no reason to waste a good advert, and they sent it out anyway. The ad generated buzz for all the wrong reasons, causing Made.com to issue a Union flag themed apology, saying they had “accidentally hit send on an email we prepared in case of a ‘yes’ vote for Scottish independence”. They later tried to backtrack and claim it was all a deliberately provoking viral marketing ploy. Yeah right.

7. 2014 has been a bad year for Tesco. The once-unassailable supermarket giant has seen its fortunes turn dramatically, with the icing on the cake being the announcement that they had fiddled the figures, to the tune of over £250m.

Tesco blamed the humungous error to problems in the way in which it recognised income from suppliers. Eight senior manag­ers, including UK managing director Chris Bush, were asked to BOGOF. Not even cheesy Shakespearean sonnets can save things now.

6. Tech companies and women. When will women learn their place? Microsoft Chief Exec Satya Nadella told women earlier this year that they have no need to ask for pay rises and should instead put their trust in the system. His brilliant career advice, given  at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing claimed that not asking for a rise was “good karma” that would help a boss realise the employee could be trusted and should have more responsibility. Like maybe carrying his briefcase or something.

But Microsoft isn’t the only tech company rubbing women up the wrong way. Both Apple and Facebook proudly added egg-freezing to their employee benefits. After all, women can’t have a comparable career without freezing eggs can they? Far better to wait until you’ve actually dried up to have children…

american apparel Top Ten Marketing #fails of 2014

5. Seedy clothing retailer American Apparel had its ads banned by the ASA, after their latest campaign was centred on up-skirt photos of schoolgirls. The campaign included pictures of a model bent over touching the ground, revealing her crotch and underwear, and another showing a woman bending over. The ASA concluded that “the ads had the effect of inappropriately sexualising school-age girls and were therefore offensive and irresponsible”, and that the ads “had not been prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers or to society”.

American Apparel were entirely unrepentant, claiming that they were famed for their provocative ads, and people should have expected it from them. Oh, that’s OK then. To be fair, their ads have been banned before, and another 2014 campaign featured mannequins with merkins. Let’s all look forward to 2015 with trepidation.

4. Let’s face it, the 2014 World Cup was a fairly rubbish affair, and the insult of the national team’s performance was only matched by the money-grabbing antics of Nike, who were charging £90 for the replica kit, that lasted all of 3 games, and was the fourth kit produced in 12 months.

The Telegraph ‘Sport’ summed it up most succintly: “England may have a history of underachievement on the field, but the new shirt, made by Nike, shows they are world leaders in what they charge supporters.”

3. Coca Cola got in trouble again this year when they rejigged their ‘Reasons to believe’ advert, which was intended to show there is “more good than bad in the world”. The Irish version cut a gay-marriage scene, replacing it with a St Patrick’s Day shot instead.

Coca Cola claimed they cut the scene as gay marriage is still illegal in Ireland, but critics felt Coca Cola were compromising their principles by cutting the scene in this one specific market. Especially after this “you can’t write ‘gay’ on coke bottles” story.

2. Everyone loves Facebook. Except when they start messing with your head and trying to make you sad. Research undertaken in partnership with Cornell University and the University of California in 2012 saw users’ news feeds altered to control the proportion of negative or positive posts that appeared. The study concluded that Facebook could influence whether users felt more positive or negative by doing this.

When the details were announced in 2014, it was fairly clear that almost everyone felt angry and aggrieved at being fiddled with by Facebook.

u2 500x500 Top Ten Marketing #fails of 2014

1. You have to feel a bit sorry for Apple. Not for long and only a tiny bit, but they must have been most surprised to discover that not everyone wants something for free. Free is no good if you don’t actually want it.

This is, of course, the ‘coup’ Apple pulled off by having U2’s new album given free to every iTunes user. Except rather than jumping up and down with glee at a free album, many consumers were at best disgruntled and at worst rabidly annoyed that Apple felt it had the right (and the access) to poke around in people’s music libraries. U2 didn’t come out of it well either, and the whole shebang led to users frantically searching how to delete an unwanted U2 album from iTunes, before Apple itself was forced to create a tool to do the job for you. Fortunately, there was already a tool in U2…

All hail! The external hashtag for Macs!

November 27th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

As most people know, in the last few years, the hashtag has become a hugely popular symbol, thanks to Twitter. However, Mac keyboards don’t have one.

So someone called Ben Gomori has decided to come up with one and is raising funds on Kickstarter to create the HashKey, a dedicated one-key external keyboard that only has a hashtag button on it.

3c0f326df04ed9e02d04678daf133187 large 500x281 All hail! The external hashtag for Macs!

Naturally, there’ll be dweebs out there spitting tea from their nostrils and yelling “URGH! THERE IS A SHORTCUT Y’KNOW? JUST PRESS ALT + 3!” but that’s no fun.

Gomori said that he was tired of people asking him where the hashtag key was on a Mac, and instead of linking someone to LetMeGoogleThatForYou, he thought he’d try and make some dollar out of it. So basically, through your USB port, you pop in the external hashtag key and hey presto!

While this may be useless to people who know how to work out a tiny problem like this, it’d make for a good present for those who are persistent in not learning how to do things.

Beats on all iPhones by March

November 21st, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

beatsbydrdrelogo Beats on all iPhones by MarchApple are planning on forcing more stuff onto your iPhone. A new iOS update in March will automatically install the Beats Music app to all iPhones.

Apple bought Beats back in May for $3 billion, and it looked like they’d lost interest in it when little was mentioned of it back when they launched the iPhone 6.

This follows Apple’s foisting of U2′s latest album into everyone’s iTunes and shoving iBooks in with the iOS 8 update.

The Beats streaming service will have two different subscription plans $9.99 (£6) per month or $99.99 (£67) per year.

This will no doubt ruffle feathers going up against Spotify, who do a monthly subscription, but not an annual one as yet.

Apparently Beats Music currently has around 110,000 subscribers, which looks set to sky-rocket should Apple’s evil plan work. Can we just ban all bloatware now?

Apple no longer offering free games on the App Store

November 20th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple logo Apple no longer offering free games on the App StoreBefore you get mad, don’t worry – Apple aren’t stopping free apps. Rather, they’ve changed the labelling system where games that have in-app purchases will no longer be referred to as ‘free’.

Apple have been under a fair amount of pressure from the European Union about these games, and of course, you’re never too far away from a horror story about some frustrated parents who has been landed with a surprisingly large mobile bill.

So now, Apple have decided to make it very clear that, when you’re downloading a game, there may well be things in it that cost you money.

The EU suggested a name change in September so consumers aren’t fooled into thinking the apps they’ve downloaded are completely free. Interestingly, Apple has no legal obligation to change the wording in the App Store, but have gone for it anyway.

Amazon, meanwhile, aren’t bothering and keeping things as they are, while Android has created an optional password lock for things with in-app purchases.

Still, it won’t be long until another furrowed brow appears in a newspaper because little Chloe has created a £2,000 bill playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out.