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

Jordan Kahn's Recommended Gear

April 3, 2013

Update: Microsoft provided us with the following comment noting that “people interested in buying additional storage will do so via the web versus in the app.” In other words, it doesn’t look like Apple will be getting a cut of additional storage purchased, but users won’t be able to do so via the iOS app:

We worked with Apple to create a solution that benefited our mutual customers. The SkyDrive app for iOS is slightly different than other SkyDrive apps in that people interested in buying additional storage will do so via the web versus in the app.

Back in December we heard reports, later confirmed by Microsoft, that Apple was delaying updates to its SkyDrive iOS app. The delays were apparently over a dispute regarding whether or not Apple should receive its usual 30% cut for additional storage that users purchased through the app.

While there is no word yet on exactly how Microsoft and Apple resolved the issue, Microsoft announced today on its Windows SkyDrive blog that a new update is available for the iOS app via iTunes starting today.

Version 3.0 of the app, the first update to SkyDrive for iOS since June, brings support for iPhone 5 and iPad mini, a revamped user experience, enhancements to photo features such as the ability to download full res photos to iPad and iPhone, and much more: expand full story

9to5toys 
iRing concept by Victor Soto (via YankoDesign)
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We’ve seen predictions for an Apple HDTV and a revamped Apple TV experience come and go over the last couple of years. Analysts have predicted several times since as far back as 2011 that we’d see Apple introduce its own full-fledged TV set by the end of the year, and the most vocal analyst, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, was still calling for a full HDTV by the end of the year with an innovative new remote control last we checked in. Today, in a note that sounds like it should have been scheduled for an April 1 release, another analyst has backed Munster’s claims that Apple will launch a full TV set (not a set-top box) in the second half of 2013.

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White issued a note to clients today, following checks with supply chain sources in Asia (via BGR), claiming Apple’s “iTV” project will launch this year in 50- to 60-inch variants and come with a ring-shaped motion controller dubbed, get this, “iRing”:

The “iTV” ecosystem represents a major innovation for the $100 billion LCD TV industry that will revolutionize the TV experience forever, in our view. First of all, we believe “iTV” will be 60-inches in size (but could also include 50-55 inch options). Secondly, we believe Apple will release a miniature device called “iRing” that will be placed on a user’s finger and act as a navigation pointer for “iTV”, enhancing the motion detection experience and negating some of the functionality found in a remote.

White continued by saying Apple will include a “mini iTV” with iTV that will allow users to have a second-screen experience on a smaller, iPad-sized display: expand full story

9to5google 

April 2, 2013

After releasing a free version of the Quickoffice iPad app for its Google Apps for Business customers in December, Google today announced free iPhone and Android versions of the app exclusively for its Apps for Business customers.

Google Apps for Business can already edit Microsoft Office files using Quickoffice on an iPad, and starting today they can do the same on iPhone and Androiddevices. From Word to Excel to Powerpoint, you can make quick edits at the airport or from the back of a taxi and save and share everything in Google Drive… iPad and iPhone users can open and edit Office files directly from the Drive app. Just open Drive and select the file, make edits using Quickoffice and save it back to Drive.

Google noted the updated apps also bring new features including support for multiple Google Drive accounts, improved chart rendering, ZIP folders from multiple files, and the ability to sort Drive files by “Shared with me, Starred, and Recent”: expand full story

electrek 

T-Mobile-iPhone-5-LTE-update-Apr-5

We told you about a jailbreak tweak last week that enables LTE at 1700mhz by loading a custom carrier firmware on an existing, unlocked AT&T iPhone 5. It was good news for T-Mobile customers interested in taking advantage of the carrier’s LTE network without updating to Apple’s new T-Mobile/AT&T iPhone 5 variant set to launch April 12, but there was no word from AT&T if an official update would also be available for existing unlocked GSM iPhone 5 owners. TmoNews got its hands on an internal document today that shows the carrier will indeed enable LTE support, along with a handful of other features previously not available through software update on April 5.

“The T-Mobile Carrier Update is a minor iOS software update that enables official iPhone support by T-Mobile. When installed, the software update enables a handful of capabilities like Visual Voicemail, MMS Settings and Network/Device optimizations that customers do not have access to today. On April 5, the software update will begin being pushed via OTA to all iPhone devices on the T-Mobile network with iOS 6.1.x or higher.”

As you can see above, the update will also enable official iPhone support for T-Mobile customers bringing Visual Voicemail, MMS Settings and Network/Device optimizations to users on April 5.

In related T-Mobile news, we learned that Apple has partnered up with Barclays and T-Mobile to offer 24 months no interest when buying a new iPhone on T-Mobile at Apple Stores. Barclays will also credit customers’ accounts $70, allowing Apple Store customers to finance the T-Mobile iPhone for the same $579 price as T-Mobile offers through its 24-month plan. expand full story

Tim-cook-chinaAccording to a new report from Reuters, Apple’s decision to publicly address controversy over its warranty policies in China yesterday has already resulted in a positive reaction from the state-controlled media outlets that originally organized the smear campaign.

With its rare apology, Apple Inc went from pariah to praiseworthy in the eyes of China’s state-controlled media, a lesson for other foreign firms not to underestimate the speed and power of the government press… The Chinese newspapers that threw brickbats at Apple a few days ago have since changed their tune.

Apple attempted to appease government in China yesterday by issuing a letter from CEO Tim Cook to announce changes to its warranty policies in the country. The move followed a campaign by state-run media outlets that bashed Apple over its warranty policies compared to other countries and provided first-hand accounts from disgruntled customers. Apple initially stood its ground after the first critical reports as far back as July, but yesterday’s “rare” apology from Cook appears to be already having a positive impact in the country.

One of the media outlets that has now changed its tune is tabloid the Global Times, a newspaper published by the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, while government officials are also praising Apple for its decision: expand full story

April 1, 2013

Following controversy in China with state-controlled media outlets going after Apple over its warranty policies, Apple CEO Tim Cook today addressed the issue in a letter published to the company’s website in China. Within the letter (translation below), Cook apologized to customers and announced the company would implement a number of changes to “improve the level of service” for Chinese customers.

The controversy originally started after a report from state-controlled media outlets such as China Central Television criticized the company for treating consumers unfairly with its warranty and repair procedures compared to other countries. Following the initial attacks from Chinese media outlets, Apple initially responded to the criticism through a message published on its website clarifying its warranty policies and telling consumers that “Apple’s Chinese warranty is more or less the same as in the U.S. and all over the world.”

In the past two weeks, we have received a lot of feedback about Apple in China repair and warranty policy. We are not only a profound reflection on these views, together with relevant departments to carefully study the “Three Guarantees”, and also look at our maintenance policy communication and combing our management specifications of Apple Authorized Service Provider. We are aware that, due to the lack of external communication in this process and lead to the speculation that Apple arrogance, do not care or do not attach importance to consumer feedback. We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gives consumers.

Today Cook announced that Apple will be implementing some changes to its warranty policies starting this month. Among the changes, Cook noted that Apple will improve its repair policy for the iPhone 4 and 4S, provide better information about warranties on its website, and improve training for staff:

  • Improved iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair policy
  • Provide a concise and clear on the website of the official Apple repair and warranty policy statement
  • Increase the intensity of the supervision and training of Apple Authorized Service Provider
  • Related issues to ensure that consumers can easily contact Apple Feedback Service

Perhaps the most significant change is the way Apple will handle repairs and replacements of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 going forward, providing new replacement devices for users on Apple’s 1-year warranty in cases where it previously only replaced parts. Many of the controversial reports in China centered around claims that Chinese consumers were provided with replacement parts during repairs, or the original back casing for their device, while consumers in other countries were given new replacements.

Cook also urged customers to reach out to Apple with feedback through its website here.

Cook’s full letter below: expand full story

9to5toys 

If Nuance gets its way with the just announced ‘Voice Ads’ mobile advertising platform, soon every mobile ad could include Siri-like functionality that lets you communicate with and ask questions about the product being advertised.

Nuance, the company behind the voice recognition module now used in Apple’s Siri, today announced a new project to bring its voice recognition technology to the mobile advertising world. The basic concept of the new platform, which Nuance made available through an SDK for advertising companies, is to bring a two-way, interactive conversation to mobile ads. As highlighted by Nuance in the video above, ads that implement the Voice Ads platform will allow users to engage in a Siri-like conversation with an advertisement:

Nuance Voice Ads gives mobile advertisers and creative agencies an opportunity to go beyond the limitations of the four-inch mobile device screen and create a conversation with consumers through the power of voice recognition. Voice Ads finally creates an opportunity for brands to deepen the relationship with their consumers, with targeted interactive ads that deeply engage their core audience – much in the way that the world’s most popular mobile personal assistants have deepened consumers’ relationship with their mobile phones.

In the demo above, Nuance shows an advertisement for a fictional deodorant brand that uses a magic 8-ball theme to answer any question that users might have. The ad of course ends in a pitch for the product in question, as you might expect. Other ads could allow users to ask specific questions about a product’s release date or specs… expand full story

March 31, 2013

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed a number of TwelveSouth products over the years. We were intrigued by the hollowed out book idea with the company’s original BookBook case for the MacBook Air and since it has brought out similar hand distressed leather BookBook cases for other Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad mini. While maybe not the ideal option for Apple’s anti-skeuomorphic cheerleaders, I found the stark contrast to Apple’s sometimes cold industrial design a nice juxtaposition.

I tend to not use any skins, covers or cases when using my MacBook on a day to day basis. I slide my MacBook into a laptop pouch built-into my backpack or use a standard laptop case when on the go, and rarely do I actually leave the MacBook in the case when in use. A case was necessary for protection when traveling, but for me the average soft or hard plastic laptop case never quite does the pricey, Jony Ive designed Apple hardware inside justice. BookBook is different… expand full story

9to5google 

March 28, 2013

Final-Cut-Pro-XFollowing reports this morning that Apple was preparing to a launch a new campaign on its website to lure skeptical professionals back to Final Cut Pro X, Apple has now pushed out updates to the app in addition to smaller updates to its Motion and Compressor apps.

Version 10.0.8 of the ‘Final Cut Pro’ Mac App Store app brings a number of new features and enhancements, many of which focus on improvements for professional users. Among the updates is support for Sony XAVC codec up to 4K, the ability to view “ProRes Log C files from ARRI ALEXA cameras with standard Rec. 709 color and contrast levels,” and a long list of editing fixes, tweaks and enhancements that have been highly requested by pro users.

Apple has now updated its website with the new Final Cut Pro campaign we mentioned earlier. It includes a feature with acclaimed director Tsui Hark and Canada’s largest newspaper The Globe and Mail. The ‘What’s New’ Final Cut Pro product page was also updated to show off some of the new features in today’s update such as support for the Sony XAVC codec.

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 1.56.17 PM

Apple also updated Compressor and Motion today with minor updates that include fixes.

A full list of what’s new in Final Cut Pro X, Compressor, and Motion is below: expand full story

While Apple confirmed that purchasing a new AWS-enabled variant of the iPhone 5 was necessary to get on T-Mobile’s network, a new jaibreak hack claims to enable LTE at 1700mhz by loading a custom carrier firmware on an existing, unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 (A1428). Leimobile.com posted the full instructions:

Now that you have an unlocked AT&T model A1428 or an officially unlocked model A1428 you can proceed to follow the instructions below to load a custom carrier file onto your iPhone and enable LTE. This will only work on A1428 model iPhone 5′s.

To be clear, this enables LTE AWS support for T-Mobile. It won’t allow you to access HSPA+ 42Mbps on 1700mhz like Apple’s new A1428 variant…

T-Mobile officially unveiled on Tuesday its plans to carry the iPhone on its new no-contract, no-subsidy, monthly installment plans starting at $99 down for the iPhone 5. Following the announcement, Engadget confirmed with Apple that the existing A1428 model iPhone 5 for AT&T would not support the necessary AWS bands to access T-Mobile’s network. Apple said it would phase out the existing A1428 iPhone, meaning new devices would support both AT&T and T-Mobile, but it will be doing so through a firmware update at the factory. In other words, a software update for A1428 iPhone owners isn’t possible and existing AT&T iPhone 5 owners are out of luck when it comes to support on T-Mobile’s network.

The hack above, which we haven’t tested first hand, of course won’t work for the Verizon iPhone, as it does not support the correct LTE bands.

electrek 

Apple is beginning a campaign today to win back the video-editing community that abandoned its flagship video-editing software after the release of its controversial Final Cut Pro X. The LA Times reported that following several updates to the software over the last two years to fix some of the criticisms, Apple is launching a number new ads on its website today that feature professionals using Final Cut Pro X. The campaign is apparently timed to lined up with upcoming National Association of Broadcasters convention and aims to win over professional video editors by featuring professionals such as editors at the Globe and Mail newspaper:

Now, after updating the software seven times since its release in 2011, Apple is launching a campaign Thursday aimed at winning back skeptical professional users.

Starting Thursday, the company plans to begin posting three stories on its website, including Liurette’s, aimed at changing the minds of folks like Miller by demonstrating how sophisticated users have embraced Final Cut Pro X. The stories will also feature Tsui Hark, one of the biggest names in Hong Kong cinema, and TV Azteca, which produces thousands of telenovela episodes every year.

Adobe-Premiere-Pro

From Adobe’s “Why Switch” Premiere Pro website

It’s no secret that the professional video editing community was up in arms over Apple’s decision to release what they viewed as a scaled-back, prosumer version of Final Cut Pro with the release of Final Cut Pro X almost two years ago. Despite the Mac App Store dropping the cost of FCP from almost $700 to $299, pro video editors complained Apple had stripped away some of the software’s core features to create a simple experience for the average Mac user and not professionals. It earned FCPX the nickname “iMovie Pro” and criticism in the mainstream media followed by a response from Apple and eventually even refunds of the app to unsatisfied customers. expand full story

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