December 11, 2015

AAPL: 113.18

-2.99
Stock Chart

Earlier this week, I wrote about the surprisingly good Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) phone I was testing at our publisher’s request, and though I wouldn’t switch from iOS to Android, the experience made plain that even a sub-$100 Android phone is competent enough today to serve as a more capable alternative to a $199 iPod touch. I’ve since been testing the $180 Moto G (3rd Gen), which is still less expensive than the lowest-end iOS device, but is faster than its predecessor, and includes still cameras rivaling Apple’s flagship iPhone 6s models. Contrary to Apple’s marketing, Android devices aren’t all bad, and $100-$200 options from major manufacturers are now delivering much better overall value than Apple’s sub-$200 devices.

Google has spent the last few years really closing Android’s overall user experience gap with iOS, while adding and polishing some features that are either Android-exclusive — or markedly better on Android than iOS. So just like Google borrowed elements of iOS to improve Android, Apple should be doing the same. Here are the top 10 features I’d pick for iOS 10 to clone…

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December 8, 2015

AAPL: 118.28

-0.75
Stock Chart

I’ve been an iOS user since day one — back when it was called “iPhone OS” — and haven’t had any reason to leave Apple’s camp. Each day, I use iOS devices and apps, and for the most part, they “just work.” You could offer me a cheap Android phone or tablet and I wouldn’t have much use for it.

Or so I thought. Just in time for the holidays, 9to5’s publisher Seth Weintraub sent me an unexpected gift: a $99 Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen), also available on Amazon. That price isn’t a typo — for under $100 (half the price of the recently released sixth-generation iPod touch), Motorola is selling a full-fledged smartphone with a larger, higher-resolution screen than the $199 iPod, and for that matter the old iPhone 5c I decided to replace it with. You’ve probably heard that Amazon is trying a similar tactic with its $49 7″ Fire Tablets, which so radically undercut the price of Apple’s iPads that you can buy five for the same price as an entry-level iPad mini 2… and still have change left over. Since these products were developed by well-established companies, they’re budget-priced, but not junk.

I wanted to see whether the Moto G would have any value in my life, and how it would stack up against lower-end iOS devices. What I found was exactly the reason Apple leads the cellular industry in profits yet continues to lag behind Android in market share: the Moto G offers a more than “good enough” alternative at a price that anyone can afford. From my perspective, the existence of a good $99 smartphone is precisely the reason the iPod family has all but disappeared, and why even iPad mini pricing is arguably unsustainable…

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December 1, 2015

AAPL: 117.34

-0.96
Stock Chart
9to5toys 

November 18, 2015

AAPL: 117.29

3.60
Stock Chart

November 10, 2015

AAPL: 116.77

-3.80
Stock Chart

After first being announced and previewed in screenshots at WWDC in June, Apple has officially brought its subscription music service Apple Music to Google’s Android platform. Apple Music joins the iPhone maker’s other Android apps Move to iOS and the Beats Pill+ companion app on the Google Play Store.

Apple Music offers access to a large catalog of streaming music and music recommendations. Music and music videos can be saved for offline listening as well. Memberships costs $9.99/month for individuals, the same as Beats Music subscriptions which Apple Music replaces, after a three-month free trial period. Apple Music family plans for up to five different accounts is available through Family Sharing on iOS and Mac for $14.99/month. expand full story

November 7, 2015

AAPL: 121.06

0.14
Stock Chart

Today we’re comparing the forth generation Apple TV to the NVIDIA Shield. These are quite possibly the two best set top boxes out right now. I won’t be going into every little detail here, but instead the things that are most important for myself. But before we get in-depth with either option, let’s take a look at specifications between the two…

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9to5google 

November 6, 2015

AAPL: 121.06

0.14
Stock Chart

I know, it’s almost a blasphemous headline, and I can feel the comments system bracing itself for impact even before anyone has read a word of my arguments. Especially as Apple has engaged in lengthy lawsuits against Samsung for copying its own features.

But while Apple doesn’t blindly copy, it does learn from other companies, and it does so all the time. Indeed, you could say it’s one of the key things that sets Apple apart in the tech world: it doesn’t scrabble to be first to market with new technology. Apple instead sits back and watches, looks at what other companies do and then figures out how to create a better version.

Touch ID is a classic example. Fingerprint readers have been around forever in laptops, and Motorola put one into a smartphone – the Atrix – way back in 2011. But early fingerprint readers were inconvenient, requiring you to scroll your finger across them, and unreliable. Apple waited until it could do the job properly.

So what are some of the things Android manufacturers have done that I think Apple could usefully learn from … ?  expand full story

November 3, 2015

AAPL: 121.18

1.68
Stock Chart

While iOS and Android have for the most part caught up to one another from a software feature perspective, lack of a handy back button is still one of the biggest sources of embarrassment for iOS devices. BoxWave’s new glass “ClearTouch SmartButtons” screen protector has built-in buttons that aim to solve some of the back button issue on iPhones, so I took it for a test drive… expand full story

November 2, 2015

AAPL: 121.18

1.68
Stock Chart

Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox is insisting that an unspecified but substantial number of staff switch from iPhone to Android, in order to have an experience of the service more typical of that in emerging markets, reports Wired.

“I am mandating a switch of a whole bunch of my team over to Android, just because people, when left up to their own devices, will often prefer an iPhone,” said Chris Cox, who said the move is “so that they can be reporting bugs and living in the same experience that most Facebook users experience today” … 

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electrek 

October 30, 2015

AAPL: 119.50

-1.03
Stock Chart

Apple can’t catch a break on Android. When Apple released its first app on Google’s platform last month called Move to iOS, Android fans were quick to negatively rate the app that only existed to help people switch from Android to iPhone. To date, Move to iOS has roughly 30,000 1 star reviews to only 10,000 5 star reviews with not much happening in the middle.

Now Apple has its second Android app on the Google Play Store called Beats Pill+. It’s a companion app to Apple’s new portable Bluetooth speaker with the same name, allowing both Android and iPhone users to pair two speakers as stereo or amplified and use a DJ feature for queueing up tracks from multiple phones.

And the reviews? Just as extreme despite Beats speakers working with both iPhone and Android and only recently being bought by Apple… expand full story

October 29, 2015

AAPL: 120.53

1.26
Stock Chart

October 27, 2015

AAPL: 114.55

-0.73
Stock Chart

October 23, 2015

AAPL: 115.50

1.74
Stock Chart

New screenshots of what is reportedly the beta version of Apple Music for Android have been published, providing what may be a first look at Apple’s first second foray into app development on Google’s competing mobile platform.

The screenshots, included below, show most of the features users would expect, such as Beats 1 availability and the “For Me” recommendations page. Apple Music Connect, the social network for musicians built into the service, is also included.

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9to5toys 

October 14, 2015

AAPL: 110.21

-1.58
Stock Chart

The latest data from App Annie shows that Android has pushed further ahead in the number of apps downloaded worldwide, but iOS has increased its lead in app revenue.

Downloads in India and Southeast Asia in particular saw Android opening up its download lead from 85% in Q2 to 90% in Q3 2015, but that boost in low-cost handsets did nothing for app revenues. iOS apps increased their revenue lead from 70% to 80% in the last quarter …  expand full story

October 6, 2015

AAPL: 111.31

0.53
Stock Chart

From 9to5Google:

Synaptics has today announced the ClearPad 3700 force-sensing touchscreen controller, which the company hopes will be packed inside many a 2016 flagship Android smartphone. This comes just about a month after Apple’s September 9th event, at which the Cupertino company announced the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, both packing “3D Touch” as a headline feature… expand full story

Update: While Google has not commented directly on Porsche’s reported rejection of Android Auto, the company made a statement to The Verge in which it denied that it currently collects any of the data mentioned in the original report. It does not go as far as saying that it has not requested access to such data.

“We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp,” Google said in a statement to The Verge. “Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.”

Sportscar manufacturer Porsche has approved CarPlay for the 2017 version of its famous 911, but rejected Android Auto because Google demands access to too much data, reports Motor Trend.

As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and [sent] back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto … 

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9to5google 

September 28, 2015

AAPL: 112.44

-2.27
Stock Chart

September 19, 2015

AAPL: 113.45

-0.47
Stock Chart

September 18, 2015

AAPL: 113.45

-0.47
Stock Chart
electrek 

While Apple’s new Move to iOS app appeared to be the company’s first ever Android app, Phandroid did some digging around in the code to discover that it in fact appears to be just a rebadged third-party app called Copy My Data.

If we take a look under the hood of Apple’s Move to iOS app, we see the […] android:name is still set to android:name=”com.mediamushroom.copymydata”That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The two applications share a vast majority of code and functionality. In fact, all of the com.mediamushroom.copymydata strings were left inside Apple’s rebranded version. Essentially, the only differences between the two apps are Apple’s artwork being added, the inclusion of Apple’s licensing agreements, and Media Mushroom’s UI elements being removed. That’s really it.

Apple thus appears to have simply licensed an existing app, rather than creating its first Android app – meaning that the Apple Music app expected to makes its way across to Android sometime this fall may be the first Apple-coded app on the rival smartphone platform …  expand full story

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