Wall Street ranks Apple world’s most respected company, analysts raise target share prices

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Barron’s reports that institutional investors have returned Apple to its number one slot in its annual ranking of the world’s most respected companies, after it was beaten last year by Berkshire Hathaway.

Apple topped this year’s ranking by scoring 3.94, giving it a wide margin of victory. Berkshire scored 3.58, and the mean was 2.37. Apple received the highest number of Highly Respect votes …

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How many apps do you use a month? Study shows the average is 26 [Poll]

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A Nielsen study (via TechCrunchreveals that while we all spend much longer using mobile apps than we did two years ago, and we may have many more apps installed on our phones, the average number of apps we actually interact with in any given month hasn’t changed nearly as much.

While time spent using mobile apps climbed from 18h 18m in 2011 to 30h 15m by the end of last year, the total number of apps actually used only increased from 23.3 to 26.8. So we’re spending more time using pretty much the same number of apps …  Read more

CarPlay coming to 2015 Audi models in Europe, North American cars in 2016

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Following up on its announcement that it will support CarPlay in its cars beginning in 2015, Audi has provided more details about the rollout. According to the luxury car-maker, iOS CarPlay support will arrive in models for Europe in 2015, while North American models will see the software in center consoles in early 2016. Audi has also detailed how the functionality with be integrated:

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Apple said to be working on ‘mainstream’ Smart Home hardware

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With iPhones in pockets, Macs on desks, iPads in bags, and iWatches soon coming to the wrist, Apple is said to be eyeing another category for continued growth: Smart Home hardware. The Cupertino-company is said to have assembled a team to work on various hardware products for the home that deeply integrate with the existing array of Apple devices on the market…

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Google Drive 3.1 for iOS released with activity stream, sharing enhancements, more

In addition to previewing the next version of Android dubbed “L”, Android Auto, Android TV, new Chromecast features, and more, Google released an updated version of Google Drive for iPhone and iPad. The new version brings enhances to file sharing giving users the ability to allow files or folders to be viewed, commented, or edited by anyone with a link. The update also adds a new incoming view for seeing files that have been shared as well as an activity stream for seeing changes you and others make to files and folders in one place. Read more

Apple: We’ll ‘soon’ begin encrypting iCloud email in transit between providers

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Following the publication of an NPR article detailing the security of major email services, Apple has informed the network that it is working on an update to its iCloud Mail service that encrypts emails in transit from other providers. As of right now, iCloud emails are solely encrypted in transit from one iCloud email account to another, but an email sent from iCloud to Gmail or Yahoo (as examples) or vice versa is not currently encrypted. This is what will change:

Apple encrypts e-mail from its customers to iCloud. However, Apple is one of the few global email providers based in the U.S. that is not encrypting any of its customers’ email in transit between providers. After we published, the company told us this would soon change. This affects users of me.com and mac.com email addresses.

The enhancement will come into effect “soon,” but Apple is not more specific than that on the timeframe. While the quote above oddly does not specify icloud.com addresses, that newer Apple email domain likely falls into the same category as me.com and mac.com. The lack of end-to-end iCloud Mail encryption with Gmail, for example, is shown on Google’s data protection transparency website:

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