Report: Phablet market quadrupled in Q1 with iPhone 6 Plus grabbing 44% of the market

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So-called phablets just about quadrupled their marketshare during Q1 of this year thanks largely due to Apple’s first product in the category, the iPhone 6 Plus.

The data comes from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech and shows the phablet market grew to 21% in the first quarter this year, up from just 6% last year. The growth is mostly due to the iPhone 6 Plus, which grabbed 44% of the market during Q1. Read more

Olloclip unveils its lens accessory-compatible Ollocase for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

 

We mentioned earlier this year at CES that Olloclip had a redesigned version of its lens accessory-compatible protective case in the works for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and today the company officially unveiled its all-new Ollocase. The Ollocase carries an affordable price tag with pre-orders kicking off today and comes in two matte color options. Read on for all the details… Read more

Pixelmator, the popular image editor for Mac & iPad, is coming soon to the iPhone

Pixelmator is bringing its photo and image editor to the iPhone soon, as announced in a blog post today. Pixelmator was exclusive to the Mac until late last year when the developers ported the application to the iPad. It is now nearing completion on the iPhone version.

The especially good news for current Pixelmator users is that the iPhone version will not be released as a separate app. An update to the iPad app will make the software universal, so you can buy the app now and get the iPhone update for free when it is released. Even better, Pixelmator for iPad is currently on sale to celebrate the announcement

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How-To: Understand and unlock Apple’s Mac and iPhone security screws

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Decades ago, every electronic device was sealed with one of two types of screws: a minus-shaped Flat/Slot head, or a plus-shaped Phillips head. There was no concept — at least, for common consumer electronics — that average people shouldn’t be able to unscrew their gadgets and take them apart. And the only reason to have multiple Flat or Phillips head screwdrivers was to handle bigger or smaller screws.

Times have changed, and “security screws” have become increasingly common. Apple actually started using tamper-resistant screws in its Macs years ago, but when it added Pentalobe screws to the iPhone 4, the media took notice, and there was a brief public flare-up (actual sample headline: “Apple iPhone 4 Uses ‘Evil,’ Tamper-Proof Screws”). Despite initial frustration, however, the solution turned out to be simple: buy an inexpensive Pentalobe screwdriver, or alternately, a multi-bit screwdriver with tons of different bits, like iFixit’s 54-Bit Driver Kit.

I’ve been using iFixit’s kit for so long and across so many great Mac upgrade projects that I consider it essential to my office; if a Mac, hard drive, or other peripheral needs to be opened, the 54-Bit Driver Kit almost always can do it. But since most people have no idea what Pentalobe, Torx, Tri-Wing, Hex and other bits look like or are supposed to do, I’ve assembled this guide to explain them all, focusing on the ones used in Apple products. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a good sense of the world of security screws, and the reasons it’s handy to keep a kit around to open anything up…

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Beats revamp still debuting at WWDC, global release late-June, iOS 9 details revealed

According to a report today from Billboard, Apple does not have the deals in place to launch its long-awaited Beats Music revamp as its new streaming music service. The report quotes a source as saying “June won’t be the release date. The deals aren’t done,” but our sources say that an announcement at the June 8th WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) keynote is still planned. A few weeks following the announcement, in late June, Apple will fully release the service as part of two new software products: iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2, according to sources briefed on the plans…

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Apple Pay adds 24 new banks and credit unions including some Simple Bank customers

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Apple has rolled out Apple Pay support for another 24 banks and credit unions following last month’s expansion reaching more than 200 in total. The newly added banks include more than a dozen banks and credit unions from around the United States including The Bancorp Bank which backs Simple, a popular online banking service. Here’s the full list of newly added Apple Pay banks: Read more

Review: AAXA’s ST200 LED Pico Projector beams bright, color-accurate HD video from an Apple TV-sized box

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Even though I’ve had a fair bit of experience with video projectors, I took Celluon’s PicoPro somewhat for granted when I reviewed it this January. I praised the pocket-sized projector, which squeezed a 720p laser video display and speaker into the footprint of an iPhone 6 Plus, but I didn’t triple-underscore how much easier it was to use than most of its rivals. PicoPro worked so well and so quietly with such little effort that I hardly thought about it.

AAXA’s ST200 Short Throw LED Pico Projector ($299) is the newest of the traditional projectors PicoPro is challenging. It has roughly the same footprint and 1280×720 resolution as PicoPro, but it’s around 2.5 times thicker, since it uses a lightbulb-illuminated LED projection engine — just like almost every other projector on the market. There’s an audible fan inside, and because ST200 needs to power that fan and the lightbulb, it can’t match PicoPro in battery life. It also requires more manual user adjustment when you’re setting it up.

But ST200 is a markedly better video projector and audio device when judged on raw output quality, and less expensive, besides. If you’re looking for a compact way to display 720p video from an Apple TV, Mac, or iOS device at up to a 100″ diagonal size, ST200 delivers brighter, more color-accurate video output than PicoPro, more powerful speaker output, and — if you appreciate this — many more settings to play with. Read on for the details…

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Apple/IBM partnership piloting scheme with Japan Post to monitor the elderly

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A low-tech scheme where postal workers from Japan Post check-in on how elderly residents are doing is about to go hi-tech with the help of iPads, reports the WSJ. The pilot scheme – one of the fruits of the Apple/IBM partnership – will see Japan Post hand out free iPads to 1,000 older citizens to allow closer and more frequent checks.

“By handing iPads to the elderly, we can closely check in on them more often—not only confirming if they are doing fine but also making sure that they are not involved in any trouble like a scam targeting the elderly,” a Japan Post official said on Thursday.

Data from the iPads will be analyzed by IBM’s Watson computer, reports Nikkei
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The best Mac and iPad keyboards

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Keyboards are important — so important that many people won’t “work” on their iPads without real keys to type on. No one complained when desktop mice gave way to laptop trackpads, or when trackpads evolved into tablet touchscreens, but the switch from physical to virtual keyboards has been met with plenty of resistance… specifically because virtual keyboards offer no resistance. There’s something about the responsive, up and down movement of actual keys, known as “travel,” that people clearly prefer over tapping on completely flat glass.

I’ve tested a lot of keyboards, and since I rely upon them professionally every day, I have some strong opinions as to the best options for different types of Mac and iPad users. You might be surprised by my advice, as it bucks a couple of Apple’s trends (“smaller!” “thinner!”), but if you’re like me, you’ll be a much happier typist if you “think different” on this topic than the folks in Cupertino…

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Samsung reclaims top smartphone maker title from Apple

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Strategy Analytics has a new report out that estimates that Samsung has once again become the number one smartphone manufacturer by units shipped. Although Samsung doesn’t officially report unit numbers, the analytics firm is estimating 83 million smartphones sold worldwide for the company. IDC is also reporting similar numbers.

Apple, which does report the number of iPhones it shipped, sold 61 million iPhones in the last quarter. This is a new record for Apple (which became the #1 manufacturer during the previous quarter with the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) but is clearly outstripped by Samsung’s (estimated) number by about 20 million units.

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