After hiring a new team of fashion sales and marketing experts from Yves St. Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry, Apple has developed a unique Apple Store purchasing experience just for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, according to sources briefed on the launch plans. When a customer interested in the Apple Watch Edition enters the store, he or she will be given no-wait access to a dedicated Expert, who will provide a personalized “journey” from the beginning of the appointment until the end, as much as one hour later. There will even be a new option for at-home video conferencing rather than in-store personal setup. By design, it will be more “elegant” than the budget-focused experience Apple Watch Sport customers receive…
A series of text strings discovered within iOS 8.1.2, and included on software versions dating back to at least iOS 8.1, suggest that Siri could soon receive expanded language support on iPhone and iPad. The localized strings provide translated references to how Siri would display things like settings toggles, restaurants and reservations, and sports information in Czech, Slovak, and Polish. Read more
Update: Apple has removed support for prepaid cards from American Express. It also added a column for corporate cards, hinting that support for those cards might be on the way.
With Apple’s launch of its new Apple Pay payments service in the US yesterday, it has now published a support document detailing supported card types from each of its initial banking partners. We already knew that MasterCard, Visa, and American Express cards would be supported initially through a growing list of banking partners, but the support document shows certain types of cards, like business and corporate cards, aren’t yet supported through some banks. Read more
Tim Cook and U2 announced that the band’s new album “Songs of Innocence” would be automatically gifted to Apple’s over 500 million iTunes users last week following the announcement of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but many iTunes users were not happy with seeing music from U2 added to their iTunes libraries (even for free).
While iTunes supports a way to “hide” previous purchases, the complaints and confusion apparently grew loud enough to warrant a dedicated support site for permanently removing the free U2 album from iTunes purchase history. Apple says once you remove the free album from your iTunes purchase history and library, you will need to “get it again” if you decide you want it. The U2 album is available for free until October 13th next month when the album will then be available for sale at various retailers. View below for information on how to remove the free U2 album… Read more
We’ve learned Apple finally has a way for users of Made-For-iPhone/iPad game controllers to view a master list of supported games from the App Store, but it will first require the controller makers to issue firmware updates to their controllers. Read more
Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen: Read more
Update, March 11: As expected, Ting just confirmed official iPhone 5 support. It expects support for the iPhone 5s and 5c to come by September. Full details in our original article below:
Soon users will be able to activate their unlocked Sprint iPhone 5 on Ting, the Tucows-owned Sprint MVNO offering no-contract wireless service and usage-based billing. Late last year we reported that the company had made a deal with Apple and Sprint to begin supporting iPhones. At the time the bring-your-own-device support was limited to the iPhone 4 and 4S and sources told us iPhone 5 support was held up by Sprint, which doesn’t typically offer popular devices to its smaller carrier partners until they are at least a generation or two behind. Now, with the iPhone 5s & 5c on the market for almost half a year, sources say Sprint and Apple are finally ready to give Ting the go ahead for iPhone 5 support. Read more
Following the introduction of Apple’s new MFi game controller frameworks at WWDC in June, well-known accessory makers this month have released some of the first Apple-certified, Made for iPhone gaming controllers. Today I’m taking a look at one of those controllers with the new Logitech PowerShell, followed by some details on exactly how it differs from the new MOGA controller and exactly what to expect from Apple’s new controller experience as we wait for developers to update games with support. Read more
We hear a lot about adoption of iOS updates vs the fragmentation that Android users are forced to deal with, but just how far behind are the top Android devices compared to iPhone when it comes to getting support? To answer that question, Fidlee.com has updated a chart that it first put together a couple years back in order to see if Android has become any better in recent years. It hasn’t.
In the chart above we see that many once flagship Android devices— the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, LG G2 etc— have still not received the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update. Most of the devices on the list have been an upgrade or two behind since launch or not long after. In comparison, only the iPhone 3GS fives years after its release doesn’t support iOS 7. We also get a look at how much longer Apple devices generally stay available for sale and continue receiving support– nearly twice as long as Android in most cases.
Not only did Apple claim iOS 7 was “the fastest software upgrade in history” with more than 200 million devices installing the OS less than a week after launch, but analytics firms also noticed adoption was much higher than previous releases. Currently iOS 7 sits at about 77% of users, according to the latest data from Fiksu’s iOS Usage Monitor. While the chart above is only for devices released last year, things aren’t much better for newer Android devices. In comparison to iOS 7 adoption, Google reports that its latest release, Android 4.4 KitKat, is at just 1.1% weeks into launch. The previous release, Android 4.3, is at just 4.2%, while the majority of users remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean first released in July 2012.
A couple more charts below from Fidlee showing just how bad things are on Android: Read more
During a talk at the LISA ’13 conference in Washington D.C earlier this month, a couple members from Google’s Macintosh Operations team explained how the company has been forced to develop its own set of tools to manage its fleet of roughly 43,000 Macs. The reason, according to Google engineers Clay Caviness and Edward Eigerman, is that Apple isn’t doing a great job at supporting its enterprise management tools. As the first slide of the presentation (pictured above) puts it, “While Apple won’t do much for you, there are tools out there you can use to keep your machines secure, up to date and useful.”
“We don’t use any of Apple’s tools to manage the Macs. Apple arguably produces two tools, Mac OS X server… and Apple Remote Desktop. It kinda breaks down when you get it over 50, 100, 200 machines that you’re managing… we’ve sort of lost their attention as far as enterprise management tools.”
During one slide (pictured above, right), Google uses the red line to represent the release of the iPhone while noting Apple’s remote desktop “hasn’t had a major revision to it since 2006.” To avoid using Apple’s management tools, Google has either developed its own tools or is using open source tools for everything from configuration, to package management, monitoring system levels and more. Google announced during the talk that one of the imaging tools it developed, CanHazImage, will soon be hitting open source. Read more
FreedomPop, the wireless service provider offering free and cheap no-contract plans on Sprint’s network, today announced it’s now allowing customers to bring their old Sprint phones to activate on its $0/month wireless plans. We’ve confirmed with the company that will also soon include iPhones.
The company has been around since 2011 with various hotspot products and recently launched its first smartphone direct to customers alongside the world’s first completely free mobile service. A guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes for free each month would sound enticing to anyone, but previously customers would have to pay $99 for an almost two-year old HTC Evo Design to get it. Despite that, FreedomPop says it “immediately sold out” of stock when it launched last month.
That’s about to change today as FreedomPop will now let Sprint customers bring their own device to activate on its free and cheap plans. Although there is no mention of it in the carrier’s press release and some are reporting iPhones aren’t supported, we’ve confirmed FreedomPop will support the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as 20 other Sprint devices initially. Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO, tells us it will be another few weeks before the iPhone is compatible, and eventually all Sprint smartphones will be supported. Around 600 devices, including iPhones, will be supported by the end of the month. Read more
Apple has published a new support article detailing an issue with some new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros that debuted alongside the iPad Air earlier this month. The issue can lead to the computer’s keyboard or trackpad becoming unresponsive.
There have been numerous reports of the issue in a 67-page thread on the Apple support forums. Apple’s statement: