About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

@benlovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two technothriller novels , a romcom novel and an SF novella series. He is currently co-writing a screenplay.

He is old enough to have owned the original Mac, and still has his Mac Portable in a cupboard as he can’t quite bear to part with it, despite the fact that he has no idea where the power supply is. He is occasionally tempted to turn up to a Genius Bar with it.

He currently owns a maxed-out 2016 MacBook Pro 15, a MacBook Air 11, 10.5-inch iPad Pro (LTE 256GB), iPhone X (256GB), Apple Thunderbolt Display and an Apple Watch (Series 3 WiFi) – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

If you enjoy his work and would like to express your thanks, you can save this link as your Amazon bookmark. It will take you to the usual U.S. homepage, and you’ll shop as usual at the same rates, but Amazon will pay a small commission (typically 2-4%).

Ben Lovejoy's Favorite Gear

Today

I’ve commented before on Apple’s rather messy iPhone lineup. The company currently sells the iPhone SE, the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. Given the Plus model variations, and ignoring colors and storage capacities, that’s eight different phones across four different sizes.

If we ignore the relatively minor form factor differences between the iPhone 6s, 7 and 8, that’s also three different designs.

But KGI’s predictions of what we can expect this fall, reiterated today, would make for a much more sensible lineup …

expand full story

Apple last year hit a decade at the top of Fortune’s list of the world’s most admired companies, and it’s still in the same place in its 11th year.

Rival smartphone maker Samsung dropped out of the list last year over its exploding batteries, and hasn’t made it back in this year …

expand full story

While taxpayers will welcome the $38B tax contribution Apple will make from the $245B foreign cash it plans to repatriate, AAPL shareholders are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries.

Analysts expect Apple to spend most of the money in three ways, with shareholders reaping the rewards …

expand full story

AT&T is introducing a couple of new prepaid iPhone deals on their $45/month plans, sources tell us. It will be offering a 32GB iPhone 6s for $344.99, and an iPhone 6s Plus with the same storage for $444.99 …

expand full story

FCC blocks two cheapskate tactics Internet service providers wanted to use

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has blocked two tactics Internet service providers had hoped to use to reduce the expense needed to meet their broadband service obligations …

Adoption of Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Code’ curriculum, offered free of charge to schools and colleges, continues. The company today announced that 70 colleges and universities in Europe have opted to offer the program to their students …

expand full story

Yesterday

It’s now 17 months since EU regulators ordered Ireland to recover €13B ($15B) from Apple in underpaid taxes, and a payment schedule has finally been agreed on.

Payments will begin in March, and continue through to September, meaning that the bill will finally be settled in full some two years after the ruling. That won’t, however, be the end of the matter …

expand full story

Samsung patent aims to beat iPhone X notch with holes in the display itself [Poll]

Apple’s approach to achieving a near-bezel-free design was, of course, the ‘notch’ in the iPhone X. But a Samsung patent suggests the company is hoping to go one step further, and actually embed the camera and other sensors into the screen itself …

Annoying bug in Facebook Messenger hitting some iOS users, company investigating [U]

Update: A silent update to the app now appears to have resolved the problem.

Some users of the iOS version of the Facebook Messenger app are experiencing an annoying bug that only allows them to type a few words at a time …

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other U.S. companies have warned the Trump administration that planned visa changes will harm the economy.

The USA grants work visas to highly-skilled immigrants who offer particular value to U.S. companies. Under an amendment introduced under the Obama administration, their spouses are also offered work permits to make a move to the States more practical …

expand full story

January 17

Thomson Reuters has listed Apple in its top 10 global tech leaders list, behind Microsoft, Intel and Cisco. Other top ten companies are Alphabet, IBM, Texas Instruments, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, SAP and Accenture.

The full list of 100 companies includes Adobe, Acer, Amazon, ASUS, eBay, Facebook, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Qualcomm and Samsung …

expand full story

Will Apple, Google & others get so large the government breaks them up like AT&T?

A piece in the WSJ poses an interesting question: as Apple, Google and other tech giants become ever more powerful, will the government ever step in to break them up or regulate them … ?

Startup offers pay-per-day automatic travel insurance triggered by your phone’s location

Unless you travel frequently enough to justify an annual policy, arranging travel insurance is just one more thing to think about when planning a trip. Financial startup Revolut now offers a solution to that: pay-per-day travel insurance that kicks in automatically, based on your phone’s GPS location …

The number of class action lawsuits against Apple for deliberately slowing older iPhones has now reached 45, but one law firm wants to go rather further than demanding compensation.

DiCello Levitt & Casey wants to force Apple to suspend the battery recycling program, keeping all the old batteries swapped to date …

expand full story

If you were to guess which app would top the charts of free iOS apps, you’d probably guess Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, a game or something to do with emoji. But no, right now it’s an app no-one would ever have predicted: Google Arts & Culture.

Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with over 1,200 international museums, galleries and institutions from 70 countries to make their exhibits available for everyone online.

Sadly, this unexpected popularity doesn’t reflect a sudden popular interest in either cultural artifacts or art …

expand full story

January 16

Facebook promises to ‘massively simplify and streamline cluttered Messenger app’

Facebook’s messaging lead has acknowledged that the Messenger app has become ‘too cluttered.’ The company’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus, promised a major simplification of the app this year …

Catcher – a Chinese company which makes casings for both iPhones and Macs – has been accused of violating a whole raft of Apple’s supplier standards. Catcher was one of the iPhone suppliers reporting high demand into this year, and is rumored to be developing a lightweight frame for a future Apple wearable.

A report by China Labor Watch says that the company violates 14 of Apple’s supplier-responsibility standards, including serious safety-related ones …

expand full story

WhatsApp reportedly testing new method of catching spam and hoax messages

WhatsApp appears to be testing a new method of catching spam and hoax messages, like the oft-circulated one claiming that a subscription is required for continued use of the service. Two elements have been spotted …

The latest CIRP data indicates that Apple increased its US iPhone activations ten points in the final quarter of the year, from a 29% share in the September quarter to a 39% share by December. More significantly, activations were up five points year-on-year, from 34% in Q4 2016 to 39% in the same quarter last year.

The popularity of the iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus pushed Apple further ahead of Samsung …

expand full story

Hospital reports Natural Cycles ‘contraceptive app’ to regulator after 37 unwanted pregnancies

A Swedish hospital has filed a formal complaint about the ‘contraceptive app’ Natural Cycles after it was blamed for 37 unwanted pregnancies …

Powered by WordPress.com VIP