iOS Devices January 28

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Apple has acquired education technology startup LearnSprout for an undisclosed sum, via Bloomberg. LearnSprout’s software lets teachers track student progress and test scores, organize class achievement targets and more school-oriented features. The acquisition follows Apple’s announcement of iOS 9.3, which includes several major new features for iPads in education, including multi-user account switching.

LearnSprout’s features were mainly marketed at PC and Mac users. With an Apple acquisition, it is likely the technology will be ported to iOS as Apple continues to push iPad into education sectors.

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Venmo today introduced a new in-app payment option called ‘Pay with Venmo’ for both users and businesses alike. The feature allows vendors to directly integrate Venmo’s payment platform into their checkout process. And user’s can now simply select the Venmo option when checking out in supported apps, and no longer need to type in any credit card information.

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We learned this week that Apple shipped 74.8 million iPhones globally during the recent holiday quarter, which is just slightly up from the 74.4 million shipped during the same quarter the year prior and just under the 75 million that analysts expected.

Today Strategy Analytics has released new data showing how Apple’s last two years of shipments compare to competitors like Samsung and Huawei. The data also breaks down how Apple’s global smartphone marketshare stacks up to those same competitors.

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9to5toys 

Anyone who has ever accidentally left behind their iPhone or iPad in a public place like a coffee shop will know the sinking feeling in your stomach the moment you realize you’ve done it. Even if you rush back just one or two minutes later, you know there’s a high chance that the device will be gone.

If the worst happens, and you have another device with you, Find My iPhone lets you track the stolen device – except thieves tend to know this, and all they have to do to prevent it is to power-down their ill-gotten gains. This can be done while the device is locked, with no Touch ID or passcode access needed …

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The iPad Pro quietly gained a new capability in iOS 9.3 beta 2: German developer Stefan Wolfrum tweeted that the device can now update the firmware in devices attached to the Smart Connector. He was offered, and able to complete, a firmware update to his Logitech Create keyboard.

Firmware updates of accessories usually need you to connect them to a Mac, but as the Smart Connector is unique to the iPad Pro, it’s likely this fact that prompted the new capability …

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After our report yesterday, the not overly reliable Digitimes is claiming that the iPad Air 3 will come equipped with a 4K screen, as well as 4GB RAM and improved battery life. As usual, it cites unnamed supply chain sources for the claims.

Aside from the source of the latest rumor, a 4K display would give the iPad Air 3 a higher-resolution screen than the iPad Pro, which would seem unlikely. It’s also more Apple-like to opt for a slimmer device matching the battery life of existing iPads rather than increase the already great battery life. Perhaps the extra battery that they are seeing on the supply side is needed to get all the extra features to the standard 10-hour life…

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