fall Stories February 13, 2014

After a couple of teases that a new Angry Birds title was incoming, Rovio today announced that a new game called “Angry Birds Stella” is coming soon. The game features a female lead character unlike the majority of Rovio’s other games, but there aren’t many details about how else it might differ from other Angry Birds titles.

Angry Birds Stella will open a door to a part of the Angry Birds universe you’ve never seen before! There will be plenty of fun and adventure, but the bunch of passionate pals will also have to deal with some serious issues in order to protect their friendship and the environment they live in. Luckily, Stella and her friends are good at finding creative solutions!

No word on an official release date, but Rovio says the game will ship sometime in the fall.

fall Stories August 23, 2013

Apple opens iWork for iCloud beta to all users ahead of expected public release this fall

After first announcing its new iWork for iCloud productivity suite back in June at WWDC, Apple has been slowly rolling out access to more people ahead of a public beta release scheduled for this fall. It first extended the privilege to developers, then Apple employees, and in July started sending out invites to select non-developers. Today, several tips note that Apple now appears to be letting in anyone with an Apple ID despite not sending out invites or officially announcing a public beta. We’ve confirmed access to the beta on a non-developer account, but let us know in the comments if you’re unable to get in.

Following the unveiling of the new iWork for iCloud suite, we speculated that Apple could possibly move to make its other iWork suite of apps on iOS and Mac available for free. Our thinking: it’s hard to imagine Apple allowing users to create documents for free on iCloud but not seamlessly transfer from iOS to Mac without having to throw down $30 for the three iOS apps. Adding even more weight to that theory, Apple was briefly showing the apps listed alongside the collection of free Apple apps that it presents most users with when launching the App Store on their iOS device for the first time.

Apple previously announced it was planning on releasing a public beta for iWork for iCloud this fall but perhaps is opening the beta today to help beta test the apps among a larger group of users ahead of an official announcement. Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones at an event next month on Sept. 10, and there is a possibility we’ll hear more about iWork for iCloud alongside details for Mavericks and possibly the new Mac Pro.

fall Stories August 8, 2013

T-Mobile CEO teases carrier will expand its Apple product offerings (iPad?)

Following this morning’s T-Mobile announcement of a jump in customer base, thanks somewhat to Apple’s iPhone, T-Mobile CEO John Legere teased an expansion of what Apple products his company offers. In an interview with AllThingsDLegere said the following:

“I think there’s a whole array of Apple products that we look forward to carrying,” Legere said. “We will expand what we offer from them.”

The first part of the quote seems to be referring to upcoming, rumored Apple product launches such as two new iPhone models. Apple is planning an “iPhone 5S” with improved camera and voice features plus the potential of a biometric fingerprint scanner. Also in the works is a low-cost, plastic-based iPhone model. We previously noted that Apple would debut an “army” of new products this fall, and the company says it plans to have an aggressive product rollout this fall and throughout 2014.

The second part of the quote is a bit more assertive, however. Legere outright says that his carrier will expand its Apple product offerings. T-Mobile currently does not carry the cellular-enabled iPads, so perhaps Apple will team up with the carrier to also sell tablets. Apple has expanded its iPad carrier options over the past couple of years, starting in 2010 with AT&T, adding Verizon in 2011, and Sprint in 2012. Perhaps T-Mobile will be the 2013 addition with the upcoming fifth-generation iPad. (Image via Fox).

fall Stories August 5, 2013

Motorola Atrix Fingerprint Sensor (via DigitalTrends)

Motorola Atrix Fingerprint Sensor (via DigitalTrends)

As this fall approaches, both rumors and actual evidence have pointed to the next iPhone’s marquee feature being a fingerprint sensor for authentication purposes. We previously provided iOS 7-based evidence and information regarding Apple’s work on implementing a fingerprint sensor in future products.

While we reported that Apple is actively developing fingerprint solutions that sit within a display for products a few years into the future, it seems that this year’s iPhone fingerprint sensor could be integrated into the iconic home button.

In light of these rumors, Geppy Parziale, a biometric authentication expert from InvasiveCode, has compiled in-depth look at the technology that powers miniature fingerprint sensors:

expand full story

fall Stories June 24, 2013

tsmc-560x369-560x300A report out of DigiTimes this morning claims that TSMC has reached a deal with Apple to supply 20nm, 16nm and 10nm chips for future Apple devices. However, as is often the case with DigiTimes, there are a few causes for concern surrounding the report. Leaving the site’s track record on other rumors aside, we must point out that rumors of TSMC supplying chips for Apple’s device are nothing new. In fact, DigiTimes itself reported back in 2011 that Apple would tap the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in a move away from its long-time supplier and biggest rival Samsung. Needless to say, it hasn’t happened yet, and there’s no proof as of yet to back up follow up reports from last year claiming Apple entered an agreement with the company. DigiTimes isn’t even the first to report it this year: expand full story

fall Stories April 23, 2013

Tim Cook talks product pipeline, 5-inch iPhone, growth in China, supply chain, and more

Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently answering questions from the press following the company’s live Q2 2013 earnings call.  Here are some of the highlights:

Cook on growth in China:

We had our best quarter ever in greater China. Revenue came in at 8.8B. That’s up 11 percent y-o-y. It’s the same as Apple’s growing… iPads grew 138% y-o-y… set new records for sell through for iPhone…

Added about 8000 iPhone point of sales, plan to add more and further grow our distribution. Innovating with our online store there and adding different functionality to the store. China has an usually large number of potential first time smartphone buyers… We’ve seen a significant interest in iPhone 4 there and recently made it even more affordable to make it even more attractive to first time buyers.

Cook on competition:

“In the beginning RIM was the strongest player. Of course today our top competitor from a hardware point of view would be Samsung, and married to Google on the software side. They’re obviously tough competitors but we feel we have the best products by far… continue to feel very confident about our product pipeline. We have the best ecosystem by far. We’re going to keep augmenting it and making it better and better. I feel very good about our competitive position.”

On new product pipeline:

“I’m just saying we’ve got really great stuff coming in the fall, and across all of 2014.”

Cook on confidence level in supply chain and moving to new vendors:

“I have incredible confidence. We exited the March quarter with no shortages. The December quarter you’re referring to is the largest for Apple.. The reality is the work we do to create truly innovate products is hard… I would assure you we are working very closely with our manufacturing partners for what we feel is a very exciting roadmap.”

On a larger screen iPhone:

My view continues to be that iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry. We always strive to create the very best display for our customers. Some customers value large screen sizes. Others value other factors such as resolution, white balance, color, portability, clarity, compatibility with apps… Our competitors have made some significant trade offs in many areas in order to ship a larger display. We will not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade offs exist.

On Mac market:

The reason we were down last quarter, we were down 2%, is because the market is incredibly weak. It’s the largest decline I remember from being in this industry for a long time. It’s certainly true that some iPads cannabalized some Macs. I don’t think it was a huge number but i do think it was some… That said, i don’t think this market is a dead market or a bad market by any means… We’re going to continue to innovate in it… if anything the huge growth in tablets might end up benefiting the Mac… People may be more willing to buy a Mac… We’re going to continue making the best personal computers. Our strategy is no changing. we delivered some incredible innovation last year with the Retina Display MacBook Pro.

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