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 novels.

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, 9.7-inch iPad Pro (LTE 128GB), iPhone SE (64GB), Apple Thunderbolt Display and an Apple Watch (series 1) – 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.

Ben Lovejoy's Favorite Gear

May 23

AAPL: 153.80

-0.19
Stock Chart

The latest Gartner data (below) shows that both Apple and Samsung lost market share in the first quarter of the year as Chinese brands continued to increase their sales.

iPhone sales actually grew very marginally year-on-year, but the market as a whole grew 9% in the same period, resulting in the decrease in market share. Apple saw its global share fall from 14.8% to 13.7%, but market leader Samsung was hit harder …

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The ability to use Siri and a single app to control your smart home technology makes HomeKit compatibility almost a must these days, but so far that has not come cheap – as both Zac and myself discovered. Smart bulbs from the market leader Philips mostly cost $30 per bulb for white and $50 for color, a price that soon adds up if you’re looking to fit out your entire home (though there is a $15 option).

But all that is set to change in the summer as Ikea has announced that its smart lighting system will be HomeKit-compatible as of the summer. Ikea’s smart bulbs start at just $11.99 …

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9to5toys 

May 22

AAPL: 153.99

0.93
Stock Chart

Apple has been accused of violating the patents of a Boston-based company through its launch of Apple Pay. Universal Secure Registry CEO Kenneth Weiss says he ‘was the first in the space, and the secure payment technology that he developed goes right to the core of Apple Pay.’

In an interview, Weiss says that the patents cover all three key elements of Apple Pay.

Kenneth P. Weiss, received 13 patents for authentication systems that use a smartphone, biometric identification such as a fingerprint and the generation of secure one-time tokens to conduct financial transactions.

While it’s not unusual for more than one company to be simultaneously working on the same technology, Weiss says that in this case both Visa and Apple were aware of his technology four years prior to the launch of Apple Pay …

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Among the images that Apple proudly featured in officially launching its Today at Apple initiative was one from an event I attended myself: an acoustic concert at London’s Regent Street store.

The official photo of the event, below, shows singer Dua Lipa performing one of the tracks from her upcoming new album, while smiling customers enjoy the show.

That was an accurate reflection of the event. The singer gave an excellent performance to an appreciative audience. But it didn’t provide the complete picture. The top photo, taken with my iPhone from my position close to the stage area, shows another aspect of the event: massive crowding with basically zero attempt at controlling those crowds …

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Apple Pay launches in the UK on July 14, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Apple)
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We noted last summer that many UK payment terminals were allowing Apple Pay transactions above the standard £30 ($39) limit for contactless cards – and Apple says this is now true of the majority of terminals.

The news was revealed by Jennifer Bailey, head of Apple’s payments business …

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9to5google 

Apple has removed the vinyl window coverings from its first retail store in Singapore, revealing the interior for the first time.

Straits Times reports that the ground floor is used to display both main products and accessories, while the focus of the upper floor is on space for the company’s Today at Apple creative sessions …

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Apple officially launched its Today at Apple initiative – combining workshops and creative performances – this weekend. The company says that it held special events at all 495 Apple Stores around the world, and showed off photos from many of them (below).

‘Today at Apple’ kicked off this weekend with new in-store programming around the world, including Photo Walks and Kids Hour at all 495 Apple stores. From Getting Started with Coding to How To: Sketch, Draw and Paint with iPad, stores collectively hosted 4,000 sessions a day, including some with very special guests …

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May 19

AAPL: 153.06

0.52
Stock Chart
electrek 

There’s good news for anyone with a 2016-model Ford. The company has announced that a software update will allow its entire fleet from that year to use both CarPlay and Android Auto. CarPlay supports all models from the iPhone 5 up, running iOS 7.1 or later.

While you can take your car to a dealer to do the update for you, that isn’t necessary as there are a couple of DIY options …

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New York state records reveal the sums Apple, Verizon, Lexmark and other tech companies have spent there on lobbying efforts against right to repair legislation.

We learned back in February that Apple was formally opposing a bill in Nebraska that would have given consumers and independent repair shops the legal right to buy spare parts and to access service manuals in order to carry out their own repairs. That opposition was successful, lawmakers backing down.

Apple is currently fighting attempts to introduce a Fair Repair Act in New York after successfully defeating similar bills in both 2015 and 2016 …

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Google has been working on augmented and virtual reality for some time, through its Tango and Daydream projects. While there’s a great deal of overlap between the two, I’ve outlined before why it’s clear to me that Apple’s focus is very much on augmented reality: overlaying virtual content on the real world.

Google this week gave us a clearer steer on the type of AR functionality we can expect from its own platform, and it’s likely that we will see some similar features in the iPhone 8

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9to5toys 

May 18

AAPL: 152.54

2.29
Stock Chart

Twitter has introduced a new privacy policy, with some significant changes taking effect next month.

First, it is no longer respecting Do Not Track, which allowed web users to opt out of cross-site tracking on websites that honor the setting. Do Not Track is supported by most major browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer …

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9to5google 

Antitrust regulators in Europe have fined Facebook €110 ($122M) for misleading them over its acquisition of the secure messaging service WhatsApp.

The European Commission said that the fine would have been more than twice as high but for Facebook’s acknowledgement of wrong-doing and cooperation with the investigation …

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electrek 

May 17

AAPL: 150.25

-5.22
Stock Chart

When Futurama creator Matt Groening talked about the upcoming iOS and Android game back in February, he teased that it will effectively contain some entirely new episodes.

We’re gonna sneak some more Futurama episodes in there on whatever device people are gonna be using.

The company has now released a trailer showing that the game will indeed live up to this promise …

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