SwiftKey today released a major update to its iOS 8 third-party keyboard, bundling in a new theme store and critical performance improvements. SwiftKey is one of the more popular third-party iOS keyboards, and was launched last year with impressive word prediction technology that is similar to Apple’s QuickType keyboard…
Earlier today, fitness tracker hardware and software company Fitbit filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Since the regulatory filing went public, observers have been scouring the paperwork for information on Fitbit’s financials, sales numbers, and notes about the competition. The Financial Times‘s Tim Bradshaw noticed that that Fitbit cites Apple and the recently-launched Apple Watch as the top billed competitor in the IPO Risk Factors section:
Data from IDC and App Annie suggested that both Apple and Google are likely to see their app store revenues doubling within the next four years, reports Re/code. Based on Apple’s 2014 total revenue of $10B, this would suggest that Apple is likely to hit total revenue of $20B in 2018, with developers seeing $14B of it.
“I would consider this projection conservative,” App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt said in an interview, noting that the company has consistently been revising its forecasts up over the past two years as revenue has exceeded expectations.
The study also suggested that the trend toward freemium apps, which derive their income from in-app purchases, will continue–though this model is more common on Android than iOS … Read more
On the day of the annual Academy Awards ceremony, Apple has begun airing a new iPad Air advertisement highlighting how the tablet is used in the filmmaking industry. The new video advertisement is narrated with excerpts from notable movie director Martin Scorsese’s 2014 commencement speech at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. The video, embedded below, is accompanied by a website highlighting specific stories of the iPad being used to make movies. These video stories were actually filmed and edited on iPads. The new website also discusses key video planning, filming, and editing applications for the iPad such as Final Draft, Garageband (but not the consumer-focused iMovie), and VideoGrade. This film-focused advertisement follows a music-oriented one that aired on the day of the Grammy Awards.
I reviewed two portable Bluetooth speakerphone options earlier this year: The Philips WeCall ($145) vs. Logitech P710e ($125) . Both are square and have internal batteries and make conference calling easy. But for their ~$150 price tag, I wondered if you could get more portability and style without sacrificing sound quality.
The answer to those questions is the Harman Kardon Esquire line of portable speakerphones. Below, I take a look at the Esquire Mini which retails for $149.99 and can be found as low as $145 at Amazon or $135 at World Wide Stereo. Read more
Predictions that larger-screened iPhones would cannibalise iPad usage look to be confirmed by some stats from the Pocket app that allows you to save webpages, videos and other content for reading later.
Pocket reported in a blog post today that while 55% of owners of the iPhone 5s viewed content on their phone rather than iPad, the number leapt to 72% for the iPhone 6 and 80% for the iPhone 6 Plus …
Starting this evening and running through Black Friday weekend, Parallels is running a special bundle of Mac apps for free when you upgrade to Parallels 10 for $49.99 or buy it new for $79.99. The bundled apps 1Password password manager, Camtasia screen recorder, CleanMyMac 2 file organizer/remover, Gemini file de-duplicator, Acronis True Image backup and restore software and a 2 year subscription to Parallels Access which allows you to run parallels VMs remotely on iOS and Android devices. Not a bad deal at all of you need any of these other apps.
Apple and its Beats by Dre group seem to be close to announcing a new pair of headphones: a Bluetooth version of their popular Solo2 headphones. Earlier this year, Beats launched the Solo2 wired earphones as a cheaper alternative to the Studio cans. Today, a wireless version has been revealed thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) testing department.
As can be seen in the image above from today’s FCC filing, the design of the wireless model is akin to the wired model. The only difference appears to be the Bluetooth connectivity. The documents specify that Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy technology is utilized.
Interestingly, these documents indicate that these headphones are Apple-branded:
If you’re the CEO of a watch company, you likely watched the announcement of the Apple Watch with a mixture of optimism and fear. Optimism because Apple just made watches cool again in a market where many people haven’t worn one for years. Fear because most of those who now have a renewed interest in watches aren’t going to buy yours.
Guess Watches CEO Cindy Livingston put a brave face on it with a letter welcoming Tim Cook to the watch industry (full version below) as she announced the company plans to make a smartwatch of its own … Read more
This review has been updated a year in, with an improved thermostat with built-in display and touch-sensitive controls, and new fuel-saving figures.
Affordable home automation has been a long time coming. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s the 21st Century and homes still don’t have Star Trek style swishy doors as standard.
In the UK, it costs £199 if your system already has a wired thermostat, or £278 if it doesn’t. Alternatively, you can rent Tado for either £4.99 or £7.98/month. Looking at my own energy usage before and after, the payback time is a little under three years.
The idea behind Tado is three-fold. First, automation. As well as the programmable timer you have in any heating system, it also monitors the locations of everyone in the household via their iPhones (or Android phones). If everyone is out, it turns down the heating even if the timer says it should be on.
How much it turns it down depends on how far away you are, because it aims to have it back up to temperature by the time you return. Nip out to the local grocery store, and it won’t adjust it much, drive an hour to work and it’ll turn it down a lot … Read more
Amazon today announced unlimited storage for music in its cloud drive. The catch is you have to upgrade your overall Cloud storage (also includes Docs, Pictures, movies, etc) to the 20GB plan which is $20 per year. Once you do that, you can upload “Unlimited” amounts of music and play it anywhere. So, this appears to be taking on Spotify, Google and Apple’s iTunes Match (though each service is slightly different).
Speaking of Apple, the Amazon Cloud web experience is now also optimized for the iPad. Full press release below:
You like movies? We like movies. We all like movies and now it seems Comcast has a super plan which means you’ll be watching huge amounts of video content on your iPad. Hooray! Read more