Amazon reportedly announcing first smartphone in June, will feature glasses-free 3D

amazon-app-store

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is planning to announce its first entry to the smartphone market in June. The possibility of an Amazon phone has been a long-running rumor, but recently sources claimed that the company had partnered with HTC to finally produce the device.

Following the launch of the Fire TV earlier this month, the Amazon phone will mark the second of Apple’s product categories the online retailer hopes to invade in 2014. With its Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon has been attempting to position itself to compete with the iPad for a few years.

The Amazon device will reportedly feature a display capable of creating 3D images without the need for glasses, according to the WSJ report:

Read more

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

‘Beating Apple is #1 priority, everything must be in context of beating Apple’ – internal Samsung docs

samsung

Documents revealed by the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial are not just giving us a peek behind the corporate curtains at 1 Infinite Loop, but also a glimpse into Samsung’s Seoul boardroom. A slide from a Samsung business forecast from 2011 shows the company viewing “beating Apple” as its number one priority for 2012 …  Read more

New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 8.48.37 PM

A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

Read more

MLB At Bat app updated for 2014 season w/ new expanded instant replay feature

MLB-At-Bat-replay

This season will be the first that Major League Baseball uses a new expanded instant replay system that it first announced back in January. Now, the MLB At Bat app for iOS devices has been updated with support for the 2014 season and the new replay system. That means that users of the app will be able to view “every decisive instant replay video clip and review explanation,” the same footage the umpires review, through the app’s Gameday feature. 

A little more on the new replay system from the MLB’s announcement: Read more

Is Android the real target of latest Apple vs Samsung patent battle that starts today?

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Pieces in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal suggest that the real target of Apple’s second courtroom patent battle with Samsung may be Android.

Some features in Samsung devices that Apple objects to are part of Google’s Android operating system, by far the most popular mobile operating system worldwide, running on more than a billion devices made by many manufacturers. That means that if Apple wins, Google could have to make changes to critical Android features, and Samsung and other Android phone makers might have to modify the software on their phones …

Jury selection begins today for the second patent case between the two companies after mediation attempts failed. Apple is seeking around $2B in damages for five patents it alleges Samsung has violated, while Samsung is counter-claiming that Apple is in violation of two of its own patents.

Read more

HTC unveils new One (M8) with dual-LED flash, Sense 6 software, Gunmetal design

HTC has just announced its 2014 flagship in New York. Dubbed the new HTC One (M8), the device is just as all the leaks have depicted it over the past few months. Most notably, HTC is touting the device’s high-quality metal construction, which it describes “like a premium watch.” (Remember when Jobs described the iPhone 4 as a “a beautiful old Leica camera”?) The device is  available in a new Gunmetal Gray Hairline Finish that makes it look significantly more high-end than its predecessor. Taking a page out of Apple’s book, the device features a dual LED flash on the back, much like the iPhone 5s.

Read more

Non-poaching emails show Jobs was warring with Google long before iPhone was launched

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 10.37.27 PM

If you’ve paid attention to the ongoing feud between Apple and Google in recent years, you might think that the conflict is the result of Google’s decision to create a competitor to the iPhone after working in tandem with Apple to create the iconic device. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that.

But according to some emails sent by Google’s Sergey Brin back in 2005 that recently surfaced during a class-action lawsuit over the do-not-hire policies of the two companies (among others), that may not be the case. This “thermonuclear war,” as Steve Jobs put it, was a long time coming. Android was just the last straw.

Read more

Report: Apple considering iTunes Store for Android & on-demand streaming service

iTunes Radio

According to a new report from Billboard, Apple is considering launching an iTunes Store app on the Android platform to combat declining music sales on the digital platform. The report also says that Apple execs are in talks with high level label executives to discuss debuting an on-demand streaming service.

Apple has opened exploratory talks with senior label executives about the possibility of launching an on-demand streaming service that would rival Spotify and Beats Music, according to three people familiar with the talks. Apple is also thinking about adding an iTunes App for Android phones, the Google rival that has been growing faster than the iPhone, these sources said.

The move to an on-demand streaming service could transform iTunes Radio from the Pandora-like radio model to the more robust on-demand model used by Spotify, Rdio, Beats Music, and others. Read more

Opinion: Why the upgrade cycle means the ‘Apple tax’ is lower than it seems

Photo: mashable.com

Photo: mashable.com

I’m sure most of us have at some point had Windows- and Android-using friends ask us why we pay the ‘Apple tax’ – the price difference between an Apple product and what they perceive to be an equivalent competitor product.

A large part of the answer, of course, is that the competitor product isn’t equivalent at all. You can’t compare a MacBook with its premium materials, build-quality, high-spec components, screen quality and aesthetics with a low-end Windows laptop with plastic casing, low-spec innards and cheap and cheerful display. No more than you can compare an iPhone with a budget ‘droid. When you do genuine like-for-like comparisons with truly equivalent products, the Apple premium shrinks considerably.

But to get an accurate idea of the effective purchase cost, you also need to take into account both the replacement cycle and resale value …  Read more

Opinion: When will iOS evolve beyond the static grid homescreen?

ios-1-8

Now that we’ve had our first look at at least an early take on iOS 8, what stands out most to me is how little the basic appearance of the iOS homescreen has changed over the years. On the left is iOS 1, on the right the recently-leaked iOS 8 homescreen.

Seven years apart, yet still essentially identical in form: a grid of static icons. Looked at in one way, that’s incredibly impressive: that a user-interface that worked in 2007 still works today. But it does make me wonder at what point the iOS homescreen will move beyond this format?  Read more

Mercedes-Benz gives us a look at Apple’s CarPlay in new C-Class [Gallery]

Earlier today we got a look at Apple’s just announced CarPlay feature for iOS when Volvo announced it would arrive in its new XC90 SUV, and now Mercedes-Benz has announced its partnership with Apple. As previously reported, the company confirmed today that it will be demoing the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show. Like Volvo and many of the other vehicle manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz made it clear that Apple’s CarPlay won’t be the only in-car entertainment system with work continuing on Android and MirrorLink solutions: Read more