Rumor: Apple beginning to court enterprise markets via dedicated sales team

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 10:12
Category: Finance, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Rumor

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Remember how Apple seemed like a second class citizen in the business and enterprise world?

That might be about to change.

According to Reuters, Apple is embarking on its most aggressive expansion yet onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup and working in concert with a dozen or so developers, two sources familiar with its plans say.

Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth – highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters – by expanding its footprint in the workplace.

Three months after unveiling a partnership with IBM to develop apps for corporate clients and sell them on devices, the iPhone maker’s plans to challenge sector leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle and SAP are starting to take shape.

Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard’s and Dell’s dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP’s command of work applications. Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung’s or Google’s own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications.

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Review: mPact Glass Extreme Screen Protection for the iPhone 6

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 08:19
Category: Accessory, iPhone 6

mPact Glass Extreme Screen Protection for the iPhone 6 - Jason O'Grady

Ever since I can remember I’ve installed a screen film on the front of my iPhone. I’m rough on my electronics and iPhone screens take a lot of abuse.

My iPhone is a tool and I treat it like the utility that it is. While it’s a rather expensive (and fragile) tool, it gets tossed into some of the most treacherous places on the planet (pockets, bags, cup holders) and mine gets handled by one of the most unpredictable forces known to mankind – children.

I’ve always gravitated toward Japanese PET films – made from a PolyEthylene Terephthalate resin – from Zagg, and most recently Power Support, until my colleague Rob Parker (a film and video pro) introduced me to glass screen protectors a few years back. The benefit is that glass screen protection doesn’t affect screen sensitivity nor image quality.

Since that moment I’ve insisted on glass screen protectors and I won’t go back to traditional PET-based films. My new ride is mPact Glass Screen Protection ($59.99), which fits my iPhone 6 perfectly and works like a charm. It doesn’t go all the way to the edge so it won’t interfere with cases and frankly, it can’t because of the iPhone 6′s voluptuous curves.

The mPact glass is 0.4mm thick (about twice as thick as PET films) and is heat and pressure resistant for extreme screen protection. It’s coated with a shatterproof film and is both antibacterial and oleophobic which reduces germs and smudges.

Mine installed easily and has been a great addition to a great iPhone, While it wasn’t inexpensive, neither was the iPhone that it’s protecting.

Oh, and that sweet leather folio case? More on that in another installment.

Google to launch YouTube Music Key subscription music service

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014, 02:13
Category: Android, Google, iOS, music, News

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Google today announced that it will be launching its YouTube Music Key subscription music service next week.

The service will be available on personal computers as well as smartphones running Google’s Android operating system to start. Beginning November 17, 2014 users will be able to listen to music without ads on the YouTube site. On smartphones, they will be able to play music in the background while they browse in other mobile apps, and store music for offline playback.

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Wal-Mart posts Black Friday deals, offers gift cards ahead of shopping holiday

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Date: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, 10:04
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, retail

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You may not love their corporate policies, wages or the fact that you can’t use Apple Pay at their stores yet, but they’ve begun offering some decent deals.

Per MacRumors, retailer Wal-Mart today posted its Black Friday ad, revealing a number of deals on various Apple and Beats products for the upcoming holiday shopping season. The announcement follows the reveal of Black Friday ads from Best Buy and Target, which contained a number of deals on iPads, iPhones, and more.

Starting at 6 PM on November 27, Wal-Mart is offering the original 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini for US$199 which also comes with a US$30 gift card. Starting at 8 PM on November 27, the retailer will offer the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad Air for US$397 which also comes with a US$100 gift card. Customers can also purchase the 16GB iPhone 6 at US$179 and receive a US$75 gift card, while the 16GB iPod touch is being offered for US$195 with a US$30 gift card. Additionally, a three-pack of iTunes gift cards will be on sale for US$25, US$5 off from the normal US$30 price.

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Microsoft releases Office 14.4.6 update

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Date: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, 09:37
Category: News, Software

On Tuesday, Microsoft released its Microsoft Office 2011 14.4.6 update. The update, a 114 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

- This update fixes critical issues.

Microsoft Office 2011 14.4.6 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

Analysis of A8X chip shows eight core design, other unique features

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Date: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, 09:33
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, Processors

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There may be more to Apple’s A8X processor than was originally thought.

Per 9to5Mac, further analysis of the processor by AnandTech showed that initial guesses as to the GPU specification of the Apple A8X chip, exclusively available in the iPad Air 2, were wrong. In fact, the chip uses a unique 8 cluster design. AnandTech describes the discovery as “even better than I thought”. Although the customizations are limited, this represents a big step for the company as it is now dabbling in both custom CPU and GPU engineering, even if the leap over generally-available components in this instance is small.

Effectively, Apple has engineered a way to stick two Imagination GX6450 PowerVR chips on the same die.

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How to get a free landline phone using Google Voice

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Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 11:36
Category: Google, VOIP

OBiHai Obi100 VOIP device - Jason O'GradyI’ve previously written about the OBi100 from ObiHai, it’s a cool Voice Over IP (VOIP) device turns your Internet connection into a traditional telephone line, complete with dial tone.

I can almost hear you saying, “I cut the cord a long time ago, what on earth do a I need a landline telephone for?

As it turns out, a wireless phone can come in quite handy some times, especially in places where you spend a lot of time (like your home or office.) For example, I love using a cordless phone (and a corded boom headset, natch) when I’m working around the house, cooking, and making long phone calls to call centers.

Traditional landline phones are also great for when your iPhone battery dies, or you just can’t find it because it’s lost in the couch or a jacket.

What you don’t need is the outrageous monthly fee that the telephone company charges you for the privilege of providing you with dial tone service at your home or office. When I turned off my AT&T home telephone service a couple years ago, it was costing me around $50 per month, which is completely outrageous, of course.

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Apple making progress in forming alliance between Apple Pay and Alibab’s Alipay in Chinese marketplace

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Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 10:58
Category: Finance, News, retail

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While Apple may be spinning its wheels arguing with MCX and getting Apple Pay supported by assorted U.S. retailers stuck in their MCX/CurrentC contracts, it seems to be doing ok opening Apple Pay up in the Asian marketplace.

According to AppleInsider and the Wall Street Journal, after officials from both Apple and Alibaba publicly expressed interest in forging a possible mobile payment deal, Alibaba confirmed on Tuesday that it is currently in negotiations to bring Apple Pay to China.

A potential deal between Apple Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay would focus exclusively on the Chinese market, where Alibaba is the dominant online retailer, vice chairman Joseph Tsai told The Wall Street Journal. He said that while the company is “positive” about the ongoing talks, details must still be worked out before an agreement can be reached.

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Apple releases second OS X 10.10.1 beta seed to developer community, highlights areas to focus on

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Date: Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, 10:07
Category: News, Software

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If you’re wondering what fixes and changes are en route for Yosemite, the answer may lie in what was seeded to the development community yesterday.

Per 9to5 Mac, Apple on Monday seeded the second beta of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update to registered developers and participants in the AppleSeed program. The update is available for these users in the Software Update tab of the Mac App Store.

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Rumor: Walmart opting for CurrentC system over Apple Pay due to high credit card transaction fees

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Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014, 11:48
Category: retail, Rumor, Software

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This is where things could get a bit sticky.

In the current battle between Apple Pay and MCX’s CurrentC system, retailer Walmart has opted against supporting Apple Pay in its stores. A new report offers a big reason why: high credit card transaction fees.

According to 9to5 Mac and Re/code, a current report reveals that the fees merchants are required to pay banks when a credit card is swiped in their stores is too high. Meanwhile, MCX’s CurrentC has payment options that carry lower fees than credit card purchases.
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