Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor, 9to5Mac – 9to5Google – 9to5Toys

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints at Jordan@9to5mac.com.  

Jordan writes about all things Apple as a senior editor for 9to5Mac. He also covers Google for 9to5Google.com and the latest gear and deals on 9to5Toys.com.

Send tips to: Jordan@9to5mac.com Twitter: @JordanKahn FB: https://www.facebook.com/makamachine SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/makamachine

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May 3, 2013

ItsOn, a company building software for carriers that provides users with dynamic pricing plans on mobile devices, last year announced plans to partner with one of the big U.S. carriers for its launch early this year. We’ve since learned that the carrier is likely Verizon, and that ItsOn will be launching as a consumer facing MVNO later this month (Verizon and Vodafone who both share ownership of Verizon Wireless are both investors).

There’s no word on exactly what the announcement will consist of or what the ItsOn service will include, but based on the company’s software we expect to see flexible pricing plans that, of course, run on Verizon’s robust LTE network. Despite executives expressing doubts about the service running on iOS devices in previous interviews, we also believe that an iOS version of the service is indeed coming, but at launch the service will initially be limited to other smartphones (likely Android-based). expand full story

T-Mobile has offered its TV service through an Android app since 2010, but today the carrier has finally released an iPhone version of the app that offers subscription based packages of popular TV shows, sports, and Live or On Demand programming (via TmoNews).

T-Mobile is currently offering 30 days free access to a number of networks including FOX news and Associated Press, Saturday Morning TV, Campus Insiders & ACC Digital Network, but $12.99 a month will get you access to the following:

• Live and On Demand sports from ESPN Mobile TV, NBC Sports, and CBS Sports. • Kids programming including the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Discovery and Animal Planet. • Streaming news from ABC News Now, Bloomberg, FOX News and FOX Business. • On Demand Primetime and Reality shows from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC and more. • Includes programming from ABC Family, MTV, Spike TV, Comedy Central, E! and VH1.

T-Mobile is also offering additional discounts on the packages when purchasing 90 or 180 day subscriptions and you’ll be able to subscribe to additional premium packs of content ranging from $5.99 to $7.99 per month that include: Crackle Movies, E!, TLC, The Style Network, Lifetime, PBS Kids, Nick JR, Discovery for Families, and more: expand full story

9to5toys 

U.S. Cellular, the Chicago-based carrier serving around 5.8 million customers in 126 markets, will likely start offering the iPhone later this year, possibly in addition to other iOS devices. The carrier announced today in its first quarter results that it will soon begin carrying Apple products, but didn’t provide any further information regarding when or what specific products it might launch:

“We have a number of strategies in progress to increase loyalty and attract more customers, including our announcement today that we will begin offering Apple products later this year. By further strengthening our device portfolio, we’ll give consumers another great reason to switch to U.S. Cellular, and enable our existing customers to choose from an even wider variety of iconic smartphones, and enjoy the outstanding U.S. Cellular customer experiences they deserve. Our smartphone penetration is currently 43 percent of core market customers and growing quickly. We believe there will be strong, ongoing demand for smartphones and data products and services from our customers, and we have significant room for growth in this area.

You might remember a couple years back U.S. Cellular claimed it said no to the iPhone 4S with CEO Mary Dillon at the time saying Apple’s “terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint.” Later, CEO of the cellular provider’s parent company TDS hinted that the carrier would wait until Apple unveiled an LTE capable device, which was of course before the unveiling of Apple’s LTE iPhone 5.

After it decided not to carry the iPhone 4S, it soon after launched its Wonderphone ad campaign that were seen by many as mocking the iPhone.

U.S. Celluar today reported service revenues for the first quarter of $996.3 million and noted that it plans to roll out its 4G LTE service to 87 percent of its subscribers this year. The carrier also said it plans to close its $480 million deal to sell its Chicago, St. Louis, central Illinois and other markets to Sprint in the second quarter of 2013.  expand full story

May 2, 2013

In the days following the launch of Google’s predictive ‘Now’ feature now baked into its Google Search iOS app, some users complained of experiencing noticeable battery drain due the app’s process of accessing location data. Today, Google has weighed in with an official response to LifeHacker calling reports of battery drain “incorrect”:

Reports that Google Now drains battery life are incorrect. We understand people’s concern about seeing the Location Services icon stay on when they use Google Now. Many apps that keep the icon on actually do drain the phone’s battery because they require very accurate location. (For example a navigation app has to run your GPS all the time to keep you from missing your turn.)

Google explained that Now is “built very differently” than other apps that utilize Location Services by using “cell towers and wifi hot spots for much lower battery impact.” 

Google’s response continues by noting it didn’t receive any reports of battery drain during its extensive month of testing the feature on iOS and encouraged users to contact them if they continue to see a problem: expand full story

9to5google 
electrek 

May 1, 2013

Research firm IDC is out today with preliminary data from its quarterly study tracking worldwide tablet market share putting Apple at 40% market share compared to Android’s 56.5% of the market in Q1 2013. In the year ago quarter, Apple held 58.1% of the market surpassing Android’s 39.4%. IDC says Android shipments were increased thanks to strong growth of Samsung’s smaller sized tablets, while ASUS moved into the number 3 spot with 350.0% year over year growth due to strong demand for the Nexus 7:

ASUS managed to move into the number 3 vendor spot as it continued to see decent tablet shipment demand from the highly marketed Nexus 7 device. But, with Google’s I/O conference right around the corner and expectations of an imminent device refresh, the company will need to find a way to sustain its momentum. Amazon fell to the number 4 position, once again the victim of a highly seasonal product cycle.

Despite Apple taking number two behind Android for tablet shipments by operating system, it remains the top vendor by OEM taking a 39.6% share of the market vs Samsung’s 17.9% and 5.5% for ASUS. IDC notes that Apple actually exceeded expectations for Q1, where it typically experiences a drop off in shipments, by selling 19.5 million units compared to a forecast of 18.7 million: expand full story

The iPhone and iPad have already been cleared for use by a number of US government agencies, and in February the US Defense Department confirmed plans to open its networks to 100,000 new devices from Apple and Google by February of next year. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports the DoD is about to grant two more important security approvals that could increase the number of agencies allowed to deploy iPhone, iPads, and Samsung Galaxy devices:

The Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, the agency that sanctions commercial technology for Pentagon use, is set to rule that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, preloaded with Samsung’s Knox security software, conforms with the Pentagon’s so-called Security Technology Implementation Guide, according to people familiar with the approval process. That would allow it to be used by some Pentagon agencies for things like sending and receiving internal emails, according to these people.

Separately, DISA is expected to rule that Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 6, conforms to a different security-requirement guide, these people said. That would allow iPhones and iPads to be used by military agencies for nonclassified communications, like email and Web browsing.

The report from WSJ explained Samsung has been steadily increasing its attempt to break into corporate and government markets by hiring a new team of security experts and former RIM employees to reach out to Western governments and corporations: expand full story

9to5toys 
9to5google 

Not much news coming out of a new Bloomberg piece today on Sir Jonathan Ive’s new software design role. Earlier this week, 9to5Mac first reported on some big upcoming changes to iOS spearheaded by Ive based on multiple sources who have seen or been briefed on the new “flatter” OS. While echoing most of what we already reported, Bloomberg adds that Ive’s new role will provide potential delays for iOS 7:

The introduction of new features, along with an emphasis on cooperation and deliberation, comes at a cost for Cupertino, California-based Apple. Engineers are racing to finish iOS 7, the next version of the mobile software, in time for a June preview at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. While the company still expects to release iOS 7 on time as soon as September, internal deadlines for submitting features for testing are being set later than past releases, people said… Bigger shifts, to such features as e-mail, may not even be ready this year and may be introduced in future releases, people said.

The report from Bloomberg doesn’t go into specific details about features which it claims “remain secret”, but earlier this week 9to5Mac shared details of other new features planned for iOS 7 including further Maps and Siri integration in vehicles. Apple is also toying with additional features that could possibly make their way to iOS 7, including new “glance-able” information and settings panels, such as the ability to access new panels via swipes from the left and right side of an iOS device’s display.

Bloomberg adds that Ive has met with companies behind gesture control technology that sounds similar to the Leap Motion controller. The report also noted that Ive led a two-hour town hall meeting in March to discuss upcoming changes, while pointing out that he now regularly attends meetings with Greg Christie and the software design team and has provided them with “an earlier look at what future hardware products will look like” expand full story

April 30, 2013

Today a number of reports are flowing in claiming that social network app Path is sending spam messages to people listed in the user’s address book. The issue apparently isn’t new with some Android users on Reddit experiencing the spam a few months back, while a growing number of users on Twitter today have complained of their contacts receiving both spam text messages and calls. The messages, as pictured right, say the user has photos to share on Path and urges the recipient to downed the free Path app.

However, Path confirmed to The Verge that the issue is actually a feature of the app that sends messages to a user’s Facebook friends during sign-up: expand full story

electrek 

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