Posts Tagged ‘apple’
Apple will dripfeed everyone with their new operating system, Yosemite, as of tomorrow.
OS X Yosemite was announced in May, and now it will be available as a public beta test, which will kick off around 1pm EST (which is around 6pm in the UK). If you want to test it out, then hit this link and sign up.
So what’s new? Well, Yosemite will use translucency throughout the system, so if you didn’t like the ‘flat’ colourful UI design of iOS 7, you’ll probably hate this.
There’s also a thing called ‘Handoff’, where Yosemite and iOS 8 will work easier with each other. If you start work on your iPad, it’ll be simpler to pick up where you left off on your Mac (and vice versa). You’ll be able to answer phonecalls from your iPhone with Yosemite too.
There’s improvements to iCloud and the Mail app too, and AirDrop will now work between iOS and Mac devices.
There’s a load of other new things going on as well, but we advise that, if you’re really interested in all that, you let Apple tell you all about it, here. The short version is that Apple want to hook your iPhone up with your other devices in a way that is much easier for the user.
Smartwatch watchers, your hunch was correct. Apple have indeed been busy designing a smartwatch and were awarded a patent for a wrist-worn device with a touchscreen that can communicate with a smartphone.
The patent was submitted in 2011, but Apple’s secretive design manoeuvres mean that it wasn’t officially disclosed until yesterday.
On some of the documents, the device is called ‘iTime’ but as the name hasn’t been trademarked, it’s possible that idea has been ditched somewhere along the line.
The patent is for a device that can work either clipped into a wristband, or on its own.
But when connected to the wristband it turns into a smartwatch which includes ‘haptic sensors’ that mean you can control it with hand gestures (you probably know a number of ‘hand gestures’ you’d like to do at smartwatch wearers).
When will the watch finally appear? Who knows? But Apple say in the patent that there are: ‘continuing needs to make portable electronic devices smaller and more portable. There is also a continuing need to enhance functionalities of portable electronic devices.’
GET ON WITH IT THEN.
Which!!! pitted US prices against UK prices on 13 products, including TVs, games consoles, headphones and even computer software, and found that UK customers are getting the less fragrant end of the stick.
One Samsung TV was £402 more expensive in Britain, while a Macbook Pro 13 inch laptop was £194 more. Meanwhile, Xbox Ones and Playstation 4 cost £57 more than in the US. Software is also astronomical – Adobe Creative Cloud costs £114, and Microsoft Office is £89 more. And the list goes on…
Why? Well it’s not particularly clear. Which! attempted to contact a variety of companies to ask why Britain was paying over the odds and got nothing but mumbles, bumbles and fumbles. Most didn’t bother to reply, and Amazon said something incoherent about ‘different operating costs in each country.’
WTF, Richard Lloyd from Which!!!: “UK consumers are getting a raw deal by paying up to hundreds of pounds more for the same tech products on sale in the US.’ Manufacturers should play fair and explain why consumers are paying more for buying in the UK.”
Last July, we told you about Apple going to court for playing a central role in the price fixing of e-books.
We told you about the daytime ITV drama scenario of book executives meeting up in the private dining rooms of upscale New York restaurants, where they bitched about Amazon’s low prices and asking Apple what they could do about it. Apple pulled their best innocent face, but are now coughing up money.
Apple have agreed to pay $450-million to resolve the US State and consumer claims that they conspired with five major publishers to fix e-book prices.
The settlement will provide $400-million for consumers, on the condition of the outcome of a pending appeal of a New York federal judge’s ruling.
Apple will be holding out for the second ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York going in their favour. If they reverse the liability finding, they could reduce the amount Apple pays to $70 million, with $50 million going to consumers.
Or they could eliminate payments altogether.
There could well be a lot of private dining rooms in New York getting booked, filled with executives and judges in the coming weeks, if you catch the drift?
In an interview with BBC Newsbeat, Luke Wood pooh-poohed the idea that the headphones were too bass heavy.
“I’ve certainly heard that as an opinion on the headphone, I disagree. We didn’t go to build a reference headphone, something you build in the studio that is really a technical tool to hear when you are recording.”
Adding: “If you look at Dre’s pedigree, Jimmy’s (Iovine) pedigree, even my pedigree, we are all recording engineers. What we did is build a headphone for playback. What does it sound like right when it is finished? And that is what we’ve accomplished.”
Exactly, surely the idea of buying some headphones invented by people who enjoy a bit of bass, saying that they’re a bit bass heavy defeats the point somewhat.
Wood also refused to discuss pesky rumours about sockets on Apple products being changed to accept only Beats headphones following Apple buying Beats earlier this year.
“I’m not here to talk about Apple with you today,” he said. “The truth is that the deal has not closed with Apple, which it will shortly, once it goes through regulatory approval. And at that point we’ll actually sit down with Apple and figure it out. But right now, the truth is there’s absolutely no plans made.”
As you may recall, Apple is set to buy Dr Dre’s Beats Music streaming affair and headphone company for $3 billion, which is nice seeing as Dre can’t be arsed to make music anymore.
“Bass heavy”. Honestly. You Herberts want the moon on a stick.
This follows a similar trademark registration in the US in 2010.
The ruling now means that if anyone thinks you’ve pinched their store layout, then you could be forced to change it or even be shot at* (*sued)
A chap name David Dalziel, who is the creative director at retail consultancy Dalziel and Pow, said to Design Week: “I am really surprised about this ruling, it doesn’t seem to be defendable to me.
“It is one thing to protect against the direct copy, which can and does happen in some developing regions where design is less sophisticated, but to attempt to protect a store layout would seem to be too broad, too sweeping to defend.
“Stores designed with a rigid table plan existed long before Apple was invented and will continue long after Apple evolve their concept to their next iteration. That is the nature of retail design.”
Of course, there have been outrageous copies all over the world, as previously reported on Bitterwallet.
The European Court’s judgement reckons that Apple’s store layouts fulfill the three main criteria – they constitute a sign, are capable of graphic representation and can distinguish the goods sold by one company from those of another.
Nobody else seems to be remotely bothered about this ruling, however now Apple has stirred it up, it means that more companies can start copyrighting its store layouts and sue other retailers if they feel that they’ve been copied.
Of course, it’s just another layer of bullshit that we were doing really quite well without until yesterday.
God help us if there’s a war.
According to a video, the new iPhone is going to have a bigger screen, which will be made out of something so unbreakable that, if you try and smash it up, you’ll probably bleed to death before you make a dent in it.
This iPhone 6 screen measures 4.7 inches diagonally and is made from sapphire crystal glass. The thing with this new glass thingummy is that it is hard to break and very tough to scratch. That means you won’t be wrecking your phone with whatever is in your pocket (keys, coin, Steely Dan dildo, whatever).
Marques Brownlee, who leaked the new screen, said: “When I get it in the mail and open up the package, it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s a fake or something someone made.”
“It’s pretty clear to me that this is an Apple part.”
So there you have it. A bit of a new phone which looks relatively impressive if you like looking at bits of phones.
If you’d like to see a bit of a phone in action, then the glaringly obvious video below this sentence is where you want to be. Click play and then mutter to yourself; “I bet I could break it.”
Apple have been all coy about their iWatch, which has provoked a series of annoying speculative articles (such as this one) and made a number of Apple fans giddy because they love it when they get teased by a technology company.
Well, Apple have hired one of the most high-profile executives in the luxury watch industry, which is the biggest clanging clue to get those who would like an iWatch in a tizz.
“Our sales director left yesterday because he took a contract from Apple to launch the iWatch,” Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s luxury-watch division (they’re behind TAG Heuer and Hublot). The big hand points to a fella called Patrick Pruniaux, TAG Heuer’s vice-president of sales and retail.
Biver isn’t arsed about losing Pruniaux: ”If it had been a direct competitor, I would have felt a bit betrayed, but if he goes to Apple, I think it is a great experience for him.”
There’s been a lot of talk about the iWatch already being in production, with a release date later this year (possibly October), but as usual, Apple are buttoning their lips and steadfastly refusing to saying anything.
Thankfully, the rest of the world likes a gossip and Biver continued to run his mouth off to get some limelight action by saying: ”I think it’s very clever if Apple is [making an iWatch]… and if they would do it, I would really say bravo. Because my feeling is that Apple is not only a technology company, it’s also a retailer and it’s also a luxury brand.”
So there you go. Apple Fanboys – you can start getting excited now.
Anyway, rumour-mill time and apparently, the gadget vendor is looking to produce to larger versions of their iPhone in July. When they’ll find time to make and release an iWatch is anyone’s guess.
Apple are rumoured to be rolling out a 4.7in iPhone and a 5.5in phablet while Chinese suppliers starting production in the next month.
It seems Apple are having a headache with their phablet (something to do with display problems) but not so with the phones. They’re expected to ship out in September. In layman’s terms, this new iPhone will be as tall as a Samsung Galaxy S5, but not as wide. Or thereabouts.
It is also thought that the new phone will have rounded edges (the phones have rounded edges any way, but you assume this will be ‘more round’, if you can imagine such a thing) and wireless charging, NFC and possibly a barometer, which is nice.
Thing is, have we plateaued with mobiles? Surely all anyone wants is something that doesn’t get clogged up with bloatware and doesn’t freeze up?
They’ve added an iMac to their product line which will cost you £899 ($1,099), which is cheaper than the rest of their offerings, but not exactly something you could buy on a whim once the direct debits have come out of your account at the start of the month.
So what’s under the hood?
Apple say that it’ll have a 21.5-inch display with 1.4GHz dual-core Core i5, a 500GB hard drive, and Intel HD Graphics 5000 hardware. It’ll have 802.11ac WiFi and Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, but, with 8GB of RAM soldered hard to the motherboard, you won’t be able to beef it up. There’s pictures of that here.
This is something of a turnaround for Apple.
Once upon a time, Steve Jobs said that they wouldn’t go cheap(er) because ”we don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk.” Of course, this isn’t a $500 computer, but apply some inflation and it’s as good as.
Fancy one, or is it worth just saving up for a proper one?
It’s got head-tracking photography. You can buy things with your EYES. Images on the screen appear three dimensional – and the Maps app lets you tilt the phone to ‘see around’ buildings.
The Amazon Fire was unveiled yesterday in Seattle by CEO Jeff Bezos, who waved the phone about and yelled ‘It’s time to whip the crown from Apple!’
So can they do it? Well on the face of it, the 4.7 inch Amazon Fire looks pretty snazzy. It has six individual in-built cameras to create the much-vaunted 3D effect – called ‘dynamic perspective.’ It’s also got 2GBs of RAM, a 720p HD resolution screen and a super whizzy quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor. (Try saying that when you’ve had a few ales.) You get unlimited storage with Amazon Cloud, too.
Of course, you’ll have to put up with a lot of dreary Amazon apps as standard, like that bloody Mayday button with the silly Irish woman on the adverts. And you can bet the phone will make buying something from Amazon as easy as possible.
The most potentially infuriating feature is the Firefly app, which recognises what you’re looking at or listening to, and gives you the option to buy it from Amazon. ANNOYING, OR WHAT?
But it’s the 3D ‘hologram’ effect that might set the world on Fire. The only question is, will it cause a repeat of the great iOS 7 seasickness of 2013?
There was a lot to sift through, so here’s the more interesting bits.
Apple’s message service has been tinkered with. You’ll be able to name threads, set up a ‘do not disturb’ feature on a group conversation and Apple have also introduced a thing called Tap To Talk where you can send pictures which vanish after a few seconds, almost as if they’ve copied Snapchat wholesale. There could well be a lawsuit, which will suit Apple because they LOVE going to court.
iOS 8 now lets you interact with your apps from a variety of places, such as the lock screen as well as the home screen. If you swipe down from the top of the home screen, you can interact with your notifications, as previously seen on Android. Apple have also updated the double tap feature which they brought in with iOS 7.
Spotlight is a thing that makes searching for news, music apps and the like, much easier on your device. Imagine it as Apple’s re-edit of Google Now.
iOS 8 will have personalised predictive text with something that looks a lot like SwiftKey. It’ll offer word suggestions as you type and also allow you to put in words of your own, if you swear a lot.
Apple want you to be healthy, so have given you a new app designed to monitor your well-being. The new HealthKit and Health apps will have third party app support, such as Nike’s hugely irritating Nike Plus service. You’ll be able to test your blood pressure or something. Sounds tedious, but some of you may have been waiting all your life to conduct health exams on yourself.
The new HomeKit software allows you to control household objects and appliances from your phone. It seems with Google’s Nest and HomeKit, the software giants want to turn our houses into automated machines, like the one from The Simpsons’ Treehouse Of Horror episode.
Apple have improved the connection between your Mac and iOS, which basically lets you read messages, answer calls and more across your devices on the same Wi-Fi network.
In short, Apple have doled out their own version of Dropbox. Boring, but useful.
With Family Sharing, Apple users are able to share photo streams, reminders lists and calendars with up to six family members on one device. Careful if you’ve been taking loads of photos of your junk to woo potential sexual partners because nana might end up seeing it. You’ll also be able to view purchases made by all members of the family (provided it is from the same credit card), so jumpy parents can snoop on their kids or suspicious spouses can see if their other half has been buying saucy stuff for their affair.
Anything else you’ve seen, that you like/hate the look of with iOS 8?
The news that Apple was buying Beats for $3.2bn broke a while ago, but after a few delays, the ubiquitous megacorp are due to put their hands in their pockets and actually buy it this week.
Maybe they were waiting for a cheque to clear?
Rumours that the deal had fallen through were rife, after the company announced the bid on May 8th, then went suspiciously silent. Actually, they’ve used this time wisely, by haggling the original price down to a nice round $3bn.
It could be that the drop in asking price was because Spotify, Beats Music’s main rival, has reached 10 million subscribers – and that could have given Apple a bit of leverage in the cash negotiations.
Anyway, it’s still a LOT OF MONEY, and there will be a big fanfare and announcement in time for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference next week. Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre will apparently be in attendance, wearing outfits made of gold.
In fact, Dre will probably be extremely happy about the whole thing, seeing as he stands to gain $750m from the deal. No chance of anyone forgetting about him now, eh?
Imagine, you’re slumbering happily, and then suddenly you wake up to a message on your phone from some mysterious dobber/s calling themselves ‘Oleg Pliss’, telling you you’ve been hacked. Not only that, but your phone will be locked until you pay them a ransom of $100 via Paypal.
Well, this is what happened to Apple users across Australia in the early hours of Tuesday morning, who found themselves phoneless and iPad-less thanks to the hackers. Some were woken to alerts in the night, and others, when they came to use their devices, found that they were locked.
So who, or what, is Oleg Pliss, and how did they manage to lock random devices across a whole country? Well, users reported a breach of the ‘Find My Phone’ app – which means they could have accessed devices through the iCloud and then set them to ‘lost mode’.
Or if they users had the same passwords across a number of devices, that might explain it, too. But at the moment, nobody knows.
As for who Oleg is, there are a few theories – there’s a guy called Oleg Pliss who works as a software engineer at tech company Oracle, and a few dotted about on Linkedin in Ukraine and Russia.
Unfortunately, victims of the hacking have reported getting short shrift from Apple and mobile providers. And apparently Vodafone told one customer that ‘Apple can’t be hacked.’ (Hmm, REALLY?).
Apple have yet to comment, probably because they have no idea how Oleg and his pals actually did it…
If you haven’t seen the hugely popular game, you follow a weed dealer called ‘Ted Growing’ and he gets into scrapes with the law, crooked cops, other dealers and gangsters and you play to become the “biggest weed dealer in town.”
Manitoba Games, who created the game, said in a statement: “This was entirely Apple’s decision, not ours,” and added that Weed Firm will return to both Android and Apple devices, even if that means they have to tinker with their game.
“The Apple version might need to be censored a bit to comply with Apple’s strictest requirement since they are going to be looking very attentively at what we submit from now on,” the company said, adding: “We do not want kids playing Weed Firm, but we firmly believe that adults should have a choice to do whatever the hell they want as long as they are not hurting anybody in the process.”
Of course, at the time of press, you could still buy Grand Theft Auto games through the AppStore, which Apple obviously aren’t bothered about, despite the drug deals, murdering prostitutes and racketeering that goes on. Not to mention the variety of mafia games they also flog.
Seems Apple have got it in for stoner indie game developers.