Latest comScore data shows Apple increase lead as top OEM, iOS gain on Android for top platform

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comScore today has released its latest data regarding smartphone market share. The analytics firm says that 188.6 million people owned a smartphone during a three-month period ending in April. That equates to 76.9 percent of the mobile market being made up of smartphones at this point. Apple, according to the data, further strengthened its lead. The company saw a 1.8 percent increase in market share this time around, going from 41.3 percent in January to 43.1 percent in April.

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Mystery solved: Apple vans gathering next-gen Maps data, grabbing Street View storefronts + 3D images

Apple Van

Three years after Apple launched its own iOS Maps app to replace Google as its iPhone and iPad map provider, the Cupertino company is readying its first major enhancements to the service. While Apple was known to be gearing up for the launch of a mass transit directions service this fall in a handful of cities, sources have revealed that it is also developing its first entirely in-house mapping database to reduce its reliance on TomTom, using a fleet of mysterious vans to take still photos of business storefronts to replace Yelp photos, and building a 3D Street View feature. Apple has been using the sensor-equipped vans in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York since earlier this year, and, below, we detail how the vehicles are advancing Apple’s plans for the future of Maps…

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How to calibrate Apple Watch to improve accuracy of calorie, distance, & other fitness data

Apple takes user submitted data for age, height, gender and weight to help it calculate the different data points it provides for workouts and activities, but there is also a way to calibrate Apple Watch to improve the accuracy of the data.

By initiating the calibration process, you can get more accurate readings for calorie, distance, Move, and Exercise estimations in the Watch’s Activity app, and also improved calculations in the Workout app.

By following the steps below, you’ll start calibrating the device’s accelerometer and improve Apple Watch’s accuracy by allowing it to learn your personal stride patterns at various speeds: Read more

Apple opens sign-ups for developers to test upcoming App Analytics feature (U: Access starting today)

Apple has started offering registered developers the chance to sign-up and test its upcoming App Analytics feature first announced last year at WWDC. Developers have been awaiting the service since it was announced following Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight (and FlightPath), a service which offered its own analytics features. Read more

Verizon reducing plan rates by $10/month & adding new data tiers in latest promotion

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Verizon is following its More Everything holiday promotion today with a new limited time promo for its customers, the carrier announced today. Starting tomorrow, Verizon will begin offering customers data plans at new price points from 1GB up to 20GB with most price tiers being reduced by $10/month compared to their previous rates.

With the new plans, customers can take advantage of plans with the same data amount at a cheaper rate, or pay the same price and receive a data increase. Additionally, Verizon will introduce more data tiers with 12GB, 14GB, and 16GB options. Read more

Apple & IBM announce first batch of MobileFirst iOS apps for enterprise

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Following an announcement earlier this year that Apple was teaming up with IBM to deliver a number of enterprise solutions, today Apple has officially announced the first wave of iOS apps being released through the partnership. As part of IBM’s “MobileFirst for iOS,” Apple and IBM today announced 10 new apps designed specifically for businesses including banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and for governments and airlines.

“This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can’t wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.”

The apps launching today through the partnership include Plan Flight and Passenger+ for the travel industry, Advise & Grow and Trusted Advice for the banking and financial industries, Retention (insurance), Case Advice and Incident Aware for government, Sales Assist and Pick & Pack for retail, and Expert Tech for telecommunications industries. Apple notes that the apps offer customizable experiences and are “managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM specifically for iOS devices.”

In addition to the new apps, which Apple described in more detail in its press release below, Apple noted other services that will go hand-in-hand with the apps. Those include integration with IBM’s Mobile Platform and Enterprise solutions as well as AppleCare for the Enterprise, Apple’s new business specific tech support service introduced as part of the IBM deal.

Apple’s full press release is below:

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T-Mobile announces new $100 unlimited 2-line data plan, $100 10 GB 4-line plan

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AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon need to watch out. The “uncarrier” has announced yet another couple of reasons they hope will get you to ditch your current cellular provider for T-Mobile. Today, CEO John Legere and his cohorts have come out to announce that T-Mobile is now offering a 2-line family plan that comes with unlimited talk, text, and 4G data, for $100 a month.

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Apple removes language from Transparency Reports signaling new government requests for data

Tim Cook

Just as Apple published a new letter from Tim Cook and an update on privacy and security policies, a new report points to evidence the company has recently received new government demands for user data under the Patriot Act. GigaOM reports that language previously included in Apple’s Transparency Reports noting the company had “never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act” has since been removed. That could signal, according to the report, Apple’s involvement with controversial National Security Agency programs that demand data from companies: Read more