Apple in a buying mood, acquires social analytics firm Topsy

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, 08:24
Category: Announcement, Apple, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Radio, News, Services

topsyApple seems to be pretty busy this quarter buying up companies. Apple reportedly bought social-media analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc. for more than $200 million. According to The Wall Street Journal, Topsy’s tools can decipher how often a term is tweeted, find an influential person on a specific subject, or measure the exposure of an event or campaign. Describing Topsy’s process, WSJ noted;

“The company is one of a handful of Twitter Inc. partners with access to the so-called “fire hose”—the full stream of tweets since 2006, which now average roughly 500 million a day. Topsy then analyzes this information and resells it to customers.”

(more…)

Apple sends out Black Friday event email

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 26th, 2013, 16:23
Category: Announcement, Apple, Consumer Electronics, News, retail, Retail Store

Screenshot 2013-11-26 13.26.32Earlier this morning, Apple sent out emails announcing their Black Friday event. Friday, November 29th, online shopping begins as of midnight PST until 11:59 PM, and retail stores as soon as they open. Some retail store locations are reported to open as early as 6 AM, but times may vary depending on location. No hints from Apple as to what the sale items will be, so you’ll probably have to stay up late on Thursday to see if your favorite iThing is discounted.

Waze adds celebrity voice directions

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013, 11:14
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, News

waze_logoWaze, the popular crowdsourcing navigation app, which was recently purchased by Google, announced a new partnership with Universal Pictures to add celebrity voice navigation to its quiver of features. First on the list of celebrities is actor and comedian Kevin Hart (no, I don’t know who he is either). Hart acted on Real Husbands of Hollywood, a comedy-improv parody show on BET and in January, stars in an upcoming movie with Ice Cube called Ride Along. The addition of Hart’s voice is a promotional move to get the word out about the movie. Whether future voices will be tied to promotions is still unknown, but Waze already offers other advertising opportunities for businesses by having the app notify the driver when they get near the business. Both the Waze app and Hart’s voice are free so there is no reason not to try it out. To have Hart tell you where to go, navigate to Settings > Sound, and select “English – Ride Along” as your language.

PrimeSense purchase confirmed

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013, 11:40
Category: Accessory, Apple, News, Television

primesenselogoOn Sunday, Apple officially announced its acquisition of 3D sensor developer PrimeSense. As we reported earlier, Apple has been in talks with PrimeSense since the summer in a bid to grab the company. PrimeSense was the developer of the 3D tracking technology used in Microsoft’s original Kinect device that shipped with the Xbox 360. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the PrimeSense deal to AllThingsD, with Apple’s standard footnote;

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

AllThingsD followed up with a spokeswoman for PrimeSense who said;

“We can confirm the deal with Apple. Further than that, we cannot comment at this stage.”

Sources say that the purchase price for PrimeSense was in the neighborhood of $360 million. Speculation is that Apple may use the technology in the long rumored Apple branded television, or perhaps as an accessory to the AppleTV.

Apple adds 2 more channels to Apple TV

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 09:03
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Consumer Electronics, Features, iTunes Radio, News, Software, Television

appletv2Apple hasn’t done much with the Apple TV hardware lately, although an update is rumored to be coming soon, and a beta of the next major software update has been seeded to developers. However, Apple has been updating features pretty regularly. At the beginning of the year, we discovered that Apple could sneakily add channels to the Apple TV in the background, without a major software update. The first channels added allowed users to access Hulu Plus and HBO Go services, and later, other channels including sports, Disney content, and recently iTunes Radio. The most recent additions are channels for PBS and Yahoo Screen, which offers content from “Saturday Night Live,” Comedy Central, as well as Yahoo Originals. It also features live news, events, and music. I love that all this content is being made available, but honestly, I only have interest in maybe half of the channels. My fingers are crossed that Apple adds a way to let users hide channels we don’t use. That Apple TV front page is getting a little crowded.

Apple retail to use iBeacon location technology

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 18th, 2013, 09:08
Category: Apple, Developer, iOS, Mobile, News, privacy, Retail Store, security, Services, WWDC

ibeacon2Earlier this year at WWDC, Apple introduced iBeacon, a technology that would be introduced as part of iOS 7 and new Apple hardware. iBeacon utilizes BlueTooth LE (Low Energy) to provide very precise location data to your device, which can either provide detailed directions inside a building, like a mall, or give you information about a particular item on a shelf that you are standing in front of. Yes, it’s that precise. Since it has to take a location measurement very frequently to provide that level of precision, it uses the BlueTooth LE radio (separate from the regular one generally used), in order to prevent excessive battery drain on your device. This opens up a lot of opportunities for all retailers, not just Apple.

(more…)

Apple working on PrimeSense purchase

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 18th, 2013, 08:01
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Finance, Microsoft, News, Siri, Wearables

primesense_sensorApple is currently in talks to buy the Israeli company, PrimeSense, the developer of the original 3D body sensing technology used by Microsoft for its Kinect platform. Since the release of the Xbox One, Microsoft has turned to it’s own solution for the current iteration of the Kinect hardware and software. Back in July of the is year, MacRumors reported that Apple was looking at the company for a possible purchase, and had entered into early negotiations with PrimeSense.

(more…)

iOS updates address FaceTime issues

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 15th, 2013, 08:13
Category: Consumer Electronics, iOS, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software
ioslogo
Early yesterday morning Apple released a couple of updates for iOS. Usually you would expect that all we would see is an update to iOS 7. In this case, apparently Apple found something that affected iOS 7 and iOS 6 regarding FaceTime calls. All the release notes say is that it fixes an issue where FaceTime calls would fail. Perhaps it was a carrier related issue considering the problem seems to span two major versions of iOS.

Star Trek Online client for Mac goes into open beta

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 14th, 2013, 08:15
Category: Announcement, Desktop Mac, Fun, Game, Mac, Mavericks, News, Software

STO_shieldHere’s one for the gamers out there, especially the one that bought a Windows box just to play Star Trek Online (STO). Earlier this week, following the Official Star Trek Convention in San Francisco (which was actually held in Burlingame), Cryptic Studios finally released their long awaited client for the Mac. Currently, the client is in open beta status and works with the normal game environment;

“Players who utilize the Mac client will be playing on Holodeck, the same server that our PC players play on, allowing them to team up with their friends and fleetmates to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

(more…)

Crossover updated to 13.0

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, 09:03
Category: Apps, Game, Mac, News, Software, Windows

crossovericonCrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office, or at school without purchasing a Windows license, without rebooting your computer, and without having to use a virtual machine. And CrossOver can run a wide range of Windows software.

The 13.0 update includes the following changes:

(more…)