O'Grady's PowerPage

Apple begins two new Apple Store iPhone incentive programs, goes after broken devices, offers protective screen replacement

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 5th, 2016, 08:44
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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These could be two interesting moves on Apple’s part.

Apple is gearing up to launch a pair of new retail initiatives centered around the iPhone: an upgraded iPhone trade-in program for iPhones with damaged screens, cameras, or buttons, and a new program that allows Apple Retail Stores to install screen protectors on iPhones.

As of this week, Apple updated its Apple Store Reuse and Recycle iPhone trade-in program currently allows a customer to bring in an older iPhone model and trade it in for credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone model. The revised program will allow Apple Stores to give credit for iPhone 5s and iPhone 6/6 Plus units with damaged displays, cameras, and buttons within reason. Apple believes that this new program will encourage new iPhone upgrades versus a standard iPhone screen repair.

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Patent application hints at greater use, functionality for Touch ID button

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 12:58
Category: News, Patents

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This could lead to something interesting.

A recently published patent application describes how the Touch ID home button could gain additional functionality, allowing it to perform different actions in response to different fingerprints, as well as adding pressure sensors to provide it with 3D Touch type functionality.

The patent hints at how it might allow different fingerprints to access a device, but restrict their access to particular apps and for a limited time. The obvious application here would be allowing a child to use only specific apps and/or limit the time they are allowed to use a device.

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Apple adds new data for 20 locations to Apple Maps

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 08:14
Category: iOS, News, Software

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It never hurts when a new clump of data is added to the Apple Maps database.

On Wednesday, Apple announced that 3D Flyover, traffic and point of interest data had been added for 20 locations to its in-house mapping solution, including popular locales like the Virgin Islands and Taiwan.

The company listed the following locations:

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Apple Pay now supported at approximately two million locations, Chick-Fil-A, Zappos come on board

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2016, 08:53
Category: Apple Pay, News

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It’s hard to laugh at two million points of sale.

Apple’s Apple Pay mobile payment solution is now supported at approximately two million locations around the world. In addition to revealing that 2 million locations now support the service, a Bloomberg article also says that Chick-Fil-A, Crate & Barrel, and Au Bon Pain will also start rolling out support for the service soon.

In the past, Chick-Fil-A has experimented with a QR-based solution for mobile payments, but that effort has ultimately flopped according to employees. The company also recently revamped its app, but it’s unclear if the app too will gain support for Apple Pay, or if the rollout is limited to physical locations.

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Mossberg weighs in on Apple’s app shortcomings of recent years

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 14:31
Category: iOS, News, Opinion, Software

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There’s a pretty interesting piece over on The Verge in which the mighty Walt Mossberg cites some apparent shortcomings in Apple’s apps in recent years.

He points out that Apple’s products are often considered the best you can buy and that this is part of the Mac and iOS user experience.

“In the last couple of years, however, I’ve noticed a gradual degradation in the quality and reliability of Apple’s core apps, on both the mobile iOS operating system and its Mac OS X platform. It’s almost as if the tech giant has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to these core software products, while it pursues big new dreams, like smartwatches and cars.”

He might be right.

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Microsoft purchases SwiftKey, states that iOS and Android versions will continue to be developed

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 09:01
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software

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Microsoft confirmed via a blog post that the company will be buying SwiftKey, the developer of a popular software keyboard for Android and iOS phones—even though it already has its own software keyboard, Word Flow.

SwiftKey and Word Flow allow users to slide their finger from one letter of a keyboard to another, drawing the shape of the word while an analytical pattern works to identify the word they’re trying to type.

Microsoft’s executive vice president for technology and research, Harry Shum, confirmed the deal in a blog post Wednesday morning.

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Apple acquires security firm LegbaCore

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 08:10
Category: security, Uncategorized

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When in doubt, buy one of the best security firms you can get your hands on.

Back in November of 2015, Apple quietly acquired security consultancy firm LegbaCore. The acquisition was initially revealed back in December by security researcher Trammell Hudson during a presentation at the 32C3 conference. The acquisition was further corroborated by a series of tweets from founder Xeno Kovah and the company’s website, which states that it is “not accepting any new customer engagements.”

The specific details are unclear, although Kovah and his partner Corey Kallenberg are working full-time at Apple, although their specific roles are unclear. Kovah only stated that he and Kallenbeg would be working on “low level security” at the company.

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Rumor: Apple to hold media event on March 15th, focus on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch updates

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016, 08:19
Category: Apple Watch, iPad, iPhone, Rumor, Wearables

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Apple’s next media event is rumored to take place on Tuesday, March 15th and is expected to cover a new 4-inch “iPhone 5se”, iPad Air 3 and Apple Watch updates.

Still, the date could change at the last minute, so things are up in the air.

Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone is rumored to feature an A9 chip with M9 motion coprocessor, 1,624 mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.2, Apple Pay, VoLTE, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and 16GB and 64GB storage models, but 3D Touch appears unlikely.

The “iPhone 5se” is rumored to ship in late March or early April and will likely replace the iPhone 5s. Apple is also expected to release the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models this September.

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Google posts record profits, highlights Alphabet holding company details

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 1st, 2016, 14:26
Category: Finance, Google, News

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Google just turned in some amazing quarterly numbers.

Alphabet, Google’s holding company, reported its fourth quarter earnings on Monday, the first ever in two segments, with separate figures its core business and its motley moonshots.

Google altogether beat expectations, reporting net revenue, minus partner site payout, of $17.3 billion on $8.67 earnings per share. Wall Street was looking for something around $16.9 billion on $8.10 in profit.

More important to Wall Street’s concerns, Google was able to show a meaty profit margin, especially when its costly venture projects are stripped away.

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FCC allows LTE-U network testing through Verizon, Qualcomm

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 1st, 2016, 14:32
Category: iPad, iPhone, News, wireless

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A faster cellular network architecture is en route for your iOS device.

The FCC has approved additional testing of a cellular technology called LTE-U, controversial because it can operate over the same bands as Wi-Fi routers.

Qualcomm will now be able to test LTE-U hardware at two Verizon facilities. The firms are among those arguing that LTE-U can be more efficient than regular LTE and won’t interfere with Wi-Fi.

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