Tim Cook: Apple Watch will replace car keyfobs, reward exercise, filter messages

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In an interview with the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, Tim Cook said that while people might see limited reasons to want an Apple Watch today, they will soon find lots of other uses for it. The interview took place during a London stop in Cook’s international tour.

This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps for browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons.

One of those reasons, he said, would be to replace your car keyfob …  Read more

iOS & Android increase duopoly on smartphone market to 96%, Apple beats market in Q4

IDC just released its latest numbers on the top smartphones by operating system showing iOS and Android continue to collectively dominate the market with both experiencing growth during 2014. Together, iOS and Android grabbed 96.3% of all smartphone shipments, which IDC points out is up from 95.6% in 4Q13 and from 93.8% in calendar year 2013.

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On what would have been Steve’s 60th birthday, imagine an Apple where he’s still in charge

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Almost everything Apple has done since the unfortunate passing of Steve Jobs has been met with comments about what the company would or wouldn’t have done had Steve still been here – even though his marching orders for Tim Cook were to never ask what he would have done.

But things certainly would have been different. The flattened user-interface of iOS 7 versus the skeuomorphic approach of the Jobs era. Would have it have happened at all? Would he have stopped it going quite so far? Would Apple have gone in a different direction.

What about an Apple Television? Steve said years ago that he “finally cracked it,” suggesting that he had a design and user-interface he was happy with. If the hold-up now is the content, would Steve have been able to bulldoze through the necessary deals to have launched it by now … ?  Read more

Siri learns Russian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai and Turkish for iOS 8.3 beta 2

In addition to Wireless CarPlay, more diverse Emojis, and improved logging in for Google services, iOS 8.3 adds a major new feature: several new languages for Siri. Over three years following the initial Siri beta in 2011, iOS 8.3 adds support for the following languages in Siri: Russian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and English for India…

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Apple will fight iOS bugs with first-ever iOS Public Betas: 8.3 in March, 9 in summer

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In an effort to eliminate bugs from upcoming iOS versions ahead of their general releases, Apple plans to launch the first-ever public beta program for the iOS operating system, according to multiple people briefed on the plans. Following the successful launch of the OS X Public Beta program with OS X Yosemite last year, Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources. This release will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers, which is planned for release the same week. Apple then expects to debut iOS 9 at its June Worldwide Developer Conference, with a public beta release during the summer, and final release in the fall…

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IFTTT simplifies experience with 3 new ‘DO’ apps; rebrands original app as ‘IF’

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I’m a huge fan of IFTTT, the iOS app (and web app) that allows you to do really clever things completely automatically, just by creating or downloading an ‘if this then that’ rule–which IFTTT calls a ‘recipe.’ For example, if you’d like to save a copy of a photo anytime you are tagged on Facebook, there’s a recipe for that. Want to switch on a WEMO-controlled light when the sun goes down, there’s a recipe for that too. Pretty much anything you might want to automate has an existing recipe–and if it doesn’t, you can create your own.

But while IFTTT is incredibly powerful, the developers found that some people found it so overwhelming they didn’t know where to start. The company has now addressed that by creating three cut-down apps, each of which can perform only three functions: Do Button (geared for controlling hardware), Do Camera (to automatically post, share or save photos) and Do Note (to quickly write something and save it as a note, make it a calendar entry, tweet it and so on) …  Read more

Rumor says Touch ID coming to MacBooks and Magic Mouse/Trackpad for Apple Pay, but there are roadblocks

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When Apple develops a new technology or feature for its hardware, it typically rolls it out on one product then expands it to the rest of the line. For example, Touch ID launched for the iPhone in 2013 and made its way to the iPad with the iPad Air 2 in 2014. For 2015, Touch ID may make its debut on the Mac, according to a rumor from website apple.club.tw. According to the blog, which published legitimate photos of iPad Air 2 Touch ID and A8X chip components last fall, Touch ID will come to Macs this year to enable Apple Pay functionality…

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Apple invites developers to Cupertino to finish Apple Watch apps, test out device

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Apple has been working with several third-party App Store developers at its Cupertino, California offices to assist developers in finishing up applications for the upcoming Apple Watch. Development and design representatives from dozens of different development firms have visited Apple last week, or are coming to Cupertino this week, to work with Apple engineers to finish up WatchKit-based applications. One source claims that Apple is holding workshops for over 100 different developers across February. Apple also met with a smaller number of developers to assist with WatchKit development and discuss future plans in early January…

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Mattel plans to release its new Google Cardboard-based VR toy on iOS by end of the year

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Google and Mattel are holding a press event today to announce a new product that merges Google’s experimental Cardboard virtual reality platform with Mattel’s classic View-Master toy. Also announced at the event: Mattel plans to bring the new View-Master toy and with it Google’s Cardboard platform to the iPhone by the end of the year. Read more

Opinion: Could Apple’s Pinterest profile be an early step toward properly-curated apps?

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iOS and Android are completely different worlds when it comes to apps. Android is pretty much the wild west, with little control over quality or even safety (malware is commonplace). iOS, on a non-jailbroken device, is a walled garden, where Apple decides what apps can and can’t do, and which ones get approved for sale.

Yet despite that carefully-controlled approach, the App Store can still feel like a bit of a jungle. Which is why I wonder whether the Pinterest tie-in announced yesterday may offer hope for the future.

But let’s start with the problem I think needs to be solved, and that problem begins with search. Results may vary by country, and you can try the searches for yourself to compare your results with mine, but here’s what I get for a few obvious app searches …  Read more

iOS 8.3 brings wireless CarPlay, improved Google login, new Emojis, China Apple Pay

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Earlier today, Apple seeded the first iOS 8.3 build to developers alongside Xcode 6.3 beta with Swift 1.2. Readers have discovered that the new operating system brings a new wireless CarPlay feature to the iPhone. This means that users can now wirelessly connect their iPhone to the car to bring an iOS-like experience the dashboard. Previously, users would have to connect their iPhone to the car via a USB Lightning cable. We first reported in March 2014 that Apple has been working on wireless CarPlay. It’s yet to be seen how long the wireless CarPlay rollout takes and which cars support it in the future. The new update also, like with OS X 10.10.3, brings easier Google login functionality for users with two-factor accounts:

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Kantar: iPhone beats Android in US/Japan/Australia in Holiday quarter, iPad ‘most gifted’ tablet

Kantar World Panel’s Carolina Milanesi has crunched the numbers and notes that iOS beat Android in the US in the holiday quarter with a hefty .1% margin — iOS devices accounted for 47.7% of sales, Android devices accounted for 47.6%. Apple’s iOS beat Android in other key markets including Japan and Australia but still trailed in others in Europe and China. Read more