App.io brings its HTML5 iOS app demos to interactive ads on mobile devices

I’ve covered App.io a few times in the past. The service, which allows app devs to deploy fully useable HTML5 demo versions of their native iOS apps on the web, first launched under the name “Kickfolio” back in 2012. The goal for the company was originally to let devs bring demos of their apps to promotional webpages and it eventually expanded the platform to include Facebook and other channels. Today, and around 2 million interactive app demos later, the company is announcing that it’s bringing those same app demos directly to mobile devices as interactive ads.

The ads go a step beyond the interactive app-like experience that Apple promised, but never quite delivered, with iAd, and allows users to play a demo of the app before deciding to purchase/download or even visit the App Store at all. The ad starts off as a banner or like any other ad but turns into a demo version of a native iOS app that is fully playable for a set period of time before prompting the user to visit the App Store. The company tells me in its initial tests it saw “3-5x higher conversion rates than normal mobile ads.” Read more

As rumors point to major iTunes renovations, Apple goes on hiring spree

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Amidst a flurry of reports and speculation regarding Apple’s iTunes Music Store and Radio strategy in the past few weeks, Apple has begun posting job listings indicating they are gearing up for major improvements to iTunes.

Four listings on Apple’s Jobs page show they are interested in hiring iTunes Software Engineers, a Senior Software Engineer for iTunes Radio, and an iTunes Recommendations Platform Software Engineer. From the descriptions:

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Apple says Heartbleed security flaw did not affect its software or services

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With an estimated half a million sites vulnerable to the “Heartbleed” vulnerability revealed earlier this week, which allows an attacker to access user details of websites previously believed to be secured by industry-standard SSL/TLS, your favorite social networks, stores, and other services around the web could potentially be handing out your password or other personal information to anyone who exploits the issue.

The bug exists in a library called OpenSSL, which is an open-source SSL implementation that many—but not all—web services use to secure sensitive traffic. If a website you use is affected by the bug, your personal data could be given to just about anyone. Unfortunately, changing your password on an unsecure site won’t even help unless the site’s owners have installed a fix (because the attackers can simply exploit the bug again to get your new password).

This serious issue affects a number of high-profile sites, but it seems your Apple ID is safe. Today, Apple gave the following statement to Re/code:

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Nike+ Fuel Lab opens to expand fitness tracking platform to third parties starting w/ RunKeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal

Nike announced today that it is opening a Nike+ Fuel Lab in San Francisco that will help it grow what has become one of the leading fitness tracking platform among iPhone and mobile device users. Nike is hoping the new facility will help the Nike+ Fuel platform remain a leader as fitness tracking becomes more popular on wearables and mobile devices. It will use the facility to team up with app developers and integrate the platform into other products in the fitness tracking space. Last year Nike hosted a Nike+ Accelerator program that saw startups pitching ideas and demo products for the platform, and the success of the program inspired the more permanent Fuel Lab for similar efforts.

We are excited about evolving NikeFuel to deliver richer experiences that make it easier for all athletes to reach their potential,” said Stefan Olander, Nike’s Vice President of Digital Sport. “The demand for simpler data-powered experiences is soaring, and all-day sensing is more available on mobile and wearable devices than ever before. Nike is committed to broadening the use of NikeFuel through collaborations with industry leaders to create smarter products and services.”

The new Nike+ Fuel Lab will see the company working with app developers and other companies to integrate the NikeFuel platform into their products. That means Nike’s hardware— like the FuelBand fitness tracker and SportWatch— will then work with the partner apps and syncing data between the apps will become seamless. That’s a feature request you might have noticed in the majority of reviews for Nike’s FuelBand hardware in the past. Nike announced a few of the companies it’s teaming up with initially at the new Nike+ Fuel Lab and they include popular fitness tracking apps for iOS and web including RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, and StravaRead more

T-Mobile offering LTE iPads at WiFi-only prices, free data through 2014

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A day after it announced cheaper plans with voice and data, T-Mobile is sharing more interesting news of upcoming promotions. Starting April 12th, T-Mobile will begin offering iPads and other tablets with LTE at the price normally offered by WiFi-only tablets. For instance, an iPad Air with only WiFi normally runs $499, while an iPad with WiFi and LTE for connecting to the Internet from anywhere normally runs $629. T-Mobile’s promotion will offer new iPads with LTE for the cost of a WiFi-only model for a limited time (saving you $130 in the iPad’s case).

T-Mobile is also offering customers a free 1GB of data use for the rest of the year. The carrier announced last fall that it already includes 200MB of data for tablet customers and today’s announcement adds to that free data offering. After the 2014 promotion, the 1GB of data usage for tablets will be $10 a month while the 200MB of data will remain free. T-Mobile also announced some news for people using tablets with mobile data from other carriers… Read more

Opinion: Could even Apple sell a smartwatch for “several thousands of dollars”?

iWatch concept: Gábor Balogh

Smartwatch concept: Gábor Balogh

One line jumped out at me immediately from KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s research note on his predictions for Q3:

The most expensive model of the iWatch line will carry a price tag of several thousand US dollars.

No research analyst has a perfect track record, but Ming-Chi Kuo is more reliable than most, so it’s a far more interesting claim than if it had come from some random source. The question that springs immediately to mind is: could even Apple succeed in selling a smartwatch for “thousands of dollars” … ?  Read more

More North American consumers than ever planning to buy the iPhone 6, says survey

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A large-scale survey from 451 Research that tracks North American consumer purchase intentions shows that the percentage of those likely to buy the iPhone 6 is markedly higher than was the case for both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. In all three cases, the survey tracked intentions prior to any official announcement by Apple, providing a like-for-like comparison.

A total of 40 percent of the 4,109 consumers question said that they were likely to buy the iPhone 6, compared to 33 percent for the iPhone 5 and 26 percent for the iPhone 5s …  Read more

Apple reportedly planning massive Q3 rollout for iWatch, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV updates

 

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KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a timeline indicating that Apple is planning a massive rollout for multiple new products in Q3 2014. According to the Kuo, the only thing we can expect to see in the first half of the year is a small iMac update. Starting at the end of the third quarter and continuing into the beginning of the fourth, however, Apple will update most of its product lineup: iPad Air and mini, the Apple TV, and the MacBook family.

Two new products reportedly planned for this timeframe are the iWatch, which Kuo says will be available in two different sizes, and the long-rumored 4.7-inch iPhone. The 5.5-inch iPhone that was reportedly delayed due to manufacturing issues with the display is said to be coming near the end of Q4, making it the last release for this year. Read more

Apple reportedly considering “dramatic overhaul” of iTunes to help fight rising competition

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Billboard has a report out today claiming Apple is considering “the most dramatic overhaul of its iTunes music store in more than a decade” due to lack of traction with its new iTunes Radio service launched in September of last year.

According to the report, which cites executives close to the project at Apple, some of things Apple is considering include new types of on-demand streaming services and “negotiating download sales windows that favor Apple.” It also mentioned the possibility of an iTunes store for Android devices, something the publication has reported previously.  Read more

Jony Ive shakes up Apple’s software design group, iPhone interface creator Greg Christie departing

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Following friction between top Apple Human Interface Vice President Greg Christie and Senior Vice President Jony Ive, Apple’s hardware and software design is being dramatically shaken up, according to sources familiar with the matter. After adding human interface design direction to his responsibilities in 2012, Ive will soon completely subsume Apple’s software design group, wresting control away from long-time human interface design chief Christie, according to sources briefed on the matter. Previous to this shakeup, all Apple software design has been led by Christie, who has reported to Craig Federighi, and Ive has been attending interface design meetings and providing instruction…

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Mailbox goes beyond iOS, now available on Android and coming soon to OS X

Dropbox announced today that Mailbox, the popular gesture-heavy email client it bought last year, will soon be launching a desktop version of its software.

The company also announced a set of new features like Dropbox account sign in and syncing and delete automation coming soon to the iPhone and iPad versions that will debut first in a version available for Android; this marks the first time the email software will be available on another platform aside from iOS as Mailbox is available on the Google Play Store today.

Users interested in using the beta version of Mailbox for OS X (screenshot preview below), which is said to be very minimal and rely on the trackpad for gesture-based interactions, can sign up on Mailbox’s website to learn more about the upcoming beta. Read more