iTunes Connect available again

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 30th, 2013, 09:32
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Developer, Holiday, iOS, iPhone, iTunes, Mac, Software

Apple-iTunes-Connect-Mobile-AppDevelopers were (probably) happy last Friday when iTunes Connect went back online. iTunes Connect is the tool that developers use to upload apps, change text and pricing, and monitor their sales in the AppStore. Back in November, Apple sent out emails to developers notifying them of the holiday downtime, affecting both Mac and iOS software.

“iTunes Connect will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, December 21, to Friday, December 27, 2013.

During that time, iTunes Connect will not be accessible and you will not be able to submit any apps or In-App Purchases. Processing of any Newsstand Atom feeds will be delayed until after December 27. Sales and Trends reports via the Autoingestion tool will be available but may also be delayed.”

The email went on to mention several other activities that would be postponed until Dec. 27th. So, you can expect a few app updates rolling out this week.

 

The first items from Apple’s 12 Day giveaway

Posted by:
Date: Monday, December 30th, 2013, 08:45
Category: Apps, Fun, Game, Holiday, iBook, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Mac, music, Software

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 10.36.56 AMHopefully, many of you caught our article on Apple’s release of the 12 Days app in the US this year. The giveaway was kicked off the day after Christmas and, as the app’s name suggests, you’ll be able to download free things from Apple for 12 days. We have already entered day five with seven more days to go. If you are late to the party, you have missed the previous four days since the free items are only available for 24 hours.

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Walmart is selling the iPhone 5c for $27 this Friday!

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 13th, 2013, 09:53
Category: Announcement, Apple, Consumer Electronics, Holiday, iPhone, retail

iPhone-5CWalmart is cashing in on the holiday spirit and people’s desire for colorful tech. The iPhone 5C has not been a big seller for Apple, but retailers are doing what they can to bring customers onboard. The LA Times reports that Walmart is making some deals to move the 5C;

“The iPhone 5c has struggled to sell and Wal-Mart has been discounting it since it was released in September. Friday’s sale price won’t be as good at what Wal-Mart offered on Black Friday — $45 for an iPhone 5c with a $75 gift card thrown in — but you’ll be hard pressed to find the iPhone 5c for cheaper than $27.”

Walmart’s Friday sale includes other Apple products, as well as other electronic items, games, and clothing. The sale begins Friday at 8 a.m. local time. Sale prices are in effect through Dec. 24 or while supplies last.

Apple includes US in 12 Days app giveaway

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 11th, 2013, 08:07
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, Fun, Holiday, iPhone, Software

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 10.36.56 AMThis is nothing new to European and Canadian iThing customers, but Apple has released the 12 Days app which offers 12 days of free downloads, including music, apps, books, movies, and more. The free items are only valid for 24 hours and some content may not be available in all areas. The promotion starts on Dec. 26th and runs until Jan. 6th and is the first time Apple has offered it to US customers. For the past three years (introduced in Dec 2010) that the holiday promotion has been going, the goodies have only been available in Europe and Canada, although it was only available in the UK the first year, adding eligible locations in Europe and Canada in 2011. According to a MacNN article from 2011, there is a history behind the 12 Days giveaway.

“[...] the countdown has its roots in Eastern Christianity, which traditionally holds the Feast of Epiphany on Jan. 6 to celebrate Jesus’ baptism.”

“Many countries outside the United States mark at least the first of the twelve nights, often called Boxing Day or St. Stephens Day. The twelfth night is also seen as the traditional day to remove the last vestiges of Christmas decorations and celebratory foods.”

There is also that 12 Days of Christmas song. This holiday promotion is the second offering from Apple this year. A few days ago we reported on the Holiday Playlist music giveaway which offered 8 free holiday songs from the iTunes Music Store. There’s no calling Apple the Grinch this year.

Apple giving away some musical Holiday cheer

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 5th, 2013, 09:48
Category: App Store, Apple, Holiday, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, music

IMG_5114I ran across this little item over at TUAW, who gave me the heads up that Apple is giving away an album of Christmas songs to download from the iTunes Store. You may not have spied this yourself because Apple is only making it available through the Apple Store app on the iPhone and iPad. Simply open the app and scroll down the main page until you see the festive icon and entry for “Holiday Cheer”. Hitting the Download button will take you over to the iTunes Store app to redeem your coupon code, and within a minute, your new music will be on your device. The songs in the album are;

  1. Ave Maria by Il Volo
  2. Children Go Where I Send Thee by Nick Lowe
  3. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire) by Kool & The Gang
  4. Duck the Halls by The Robertsons
  5. The First Noel (feat. The Clark Sisters) by Mary J. Blige
  6. Joy to the World by Celtic Woman
  7. Silent Night (feat. Reba McEntire & Trisha Yearwood) by Kelly Clarkson
  8. What Child Is This? (feat. Commissioned) by Marvin Sapp

The music will be available for download until December 31. Enjoy!

PPUG November 9, 2013 — Wrap-up, links and presentation

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013, 20:45
Category: Meetup, PPUG, User Group

ppug-meeting-2013-1109 001

Last weekend’s PPUG meeting was a resounding success!

In case you missed it, here are links to the products that Jason talked about:

Download Jason’s presentation in both Keynote or PDF formats.

Rob Parker talked about the following;

Youngmoo Kim talked about:

We hope that you can make it to our next meeting.

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.

Pebble app updated for iOS with better notification support

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013, 08:07
Category: Accessory, App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble-130The latest version of the iOS Pebble app finally hit the AppStore Monday, implementing changes that were announced last week in an online announcement by Pebble. The Pebble Smartwatch app hit version 1.3.0 and adds support for additional app notifications in iOS 7. Previously, notifications were limited to mainly email, text messages, and Caller ID. Now, the device can display notifications from just about any app including Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, etc. The update also improves on a number of features, such as Caller ID, which would typically just show the caller’s number even though it was supposed to grab names from your Contacts. Watch apps that pull information from the web to display information such as weather, stock information, and the like, are supposed to work better as well. And of course, several bugs were squashed such as the watch continuing to vibrate even when you picked up on the call it was notifying you about. Determining which apps send notifications to your watch is managed by iOS 7′s Notification Center. The new app will show you instructions on how to do this once you’ve updated the watch’s firmware. These features are supported in iOS 7 for the iPhone 4S and higher.

iTunes updated to version 11.1.3

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 6th, 2013, 09:53
Category: App Store, Apple, iTunes, Mac, Software

blueitunes11logoNothing too exciting here. This seems to be a minor update to Apple’s signature music software. Where version 11.1.2 brought Mavericks compatibility, support for Arabic and Hebrew, and moved all your digital books into the new iBooks app, this update brings the following:

  • Resolves an issue where the equalizer may not
    work as expected and improves performance when switching views in
    large iTunes libraries.
  • This update also
    includes additional minor bug fixes.
  • Improves
    performance and stability.

You can get the update by going to Apple’s downloads page, or it should be ready and waiting for you the next time you launch the App Store app.

Apple releases Q4 2013 numbers, shows $7.5 billion profit, but relatively flat year-over-year sales

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 02:06
Category: Finance, News

applelogo

A US$7.5 billion quarter is nothing to sneeze at, but the sales were a bit flat compared to a year ago.

Per Macworld, Apple wrapped up its 2013 fiscal year Monday with a US$7.5 billion profit on US$37.5 billion in revenue, reporting accelerating growth buttressed by strong iPhone sales and growth in the Chinese market. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, iPhone sales were up, iPad sales were flat, and Mac sales were down.

Apple announced that its revenues in its fiscal fourth quarter (ending September 28) were up four percent compared to the same quarter in 2012. That was good enough to once again beat most analyst estimates. But year-over-year profits fell eight percent.

The iPhone continued to be the prime mover in Apple’s fiscal world. The company said it sold 33.8 million iPhones—a record for the September quarter—compared to 26.9 million in that quarter last year. iPad unit sales were relatively flat at 14.1 million, up 100,000 from the year-ago quarter. And once again, Mac unit sales were down year-over-year, from 4.9 million in last year’s fourth quarter to 4.6 million this year. (Mac unit sales were lower every quarter this year compared to the same quarter the year before.) In fact, revenues from all Apple product lines except for the iPhone and for iTunes, software, and services were down year-over-year.

The good quarterly sales for the iPhone were no doubt goosed by the introduction of the iPhone 5s and 5c, which famously sold nine million units all by themselves in their debut weekend. The new iPhones were on sale for the last nine days of the quarter. Overall, iPhone unit sales were up eight percent over the previous sequential quarter, and up 26 percent over the year-ago quarter.

For the overall fiscal year 2013, iPhone net sales rose 13 percent (from US$80.4 billion to US$91.3 billion). At the same time, iPhone unit sales climbed 20 percent (125 million to 150 million). Overall, iPhone contributed 53 percent of Apple’s revenues, up 51 percent in 2012 and 43 percent in 2011; iPhones contributed more than half of all Apple revenues in every quarter of 2013.

iPad sales for the year were a mixed bag: While unit sales were up robustly (climbing 21 percent, from 58.3 million tablets to 71 million), net sales rose more anemically, from US$30.9 billion to just under US$32 billion. That revenue reduction can likely be chalked up to the introduction of the lower-cost iPad mini last fall. (With the introduction of the new-model iPad Air and iPad mini, due to ship in November, Apple’s next quarter will likely be quite impressive on the iPad front.)

Mac sales actually declined for the fiscal year as a whole. Unit sales dropped 10 percent in 2013 compared to the 2012 fiscal year (from 18.1 million to 16.3 million); net sales fell 8 percent (from US$23.2 billion to US$21.4 billion). Remember that there were actually very few Mac product introductions in 2013, beyond some tweaks to the MacBook Air line. Yet, as Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer pointed out in the conference-call with analysts that accompanied the release of the results, the Mac has increased its share of the PC market in 29 of the past 30 quarters. In a rapidly shrinking market, a slow loss can look like growth.

The iPod is still selling, but in such relatively insignificant quantities that it doesn’t even merit a mention in Apple’s earnings call. That could be because it’s contributing just 3 percent of Apple’s overall revenues these days.

Much of Apple’s business is seasonal, spurred on by fall product announcements and massive holiday-quarter sales. But there’s one part of Apple’s business that just keeps growing, quarter by quarter, seemingly impervious to seasonal fluctuations. It’s the iTunes/Software/Services revenue line, which has grown more or less continuously every quarter. For the most recent quarter, it generated 4.26 billion dollars, up from 3.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. iTunes/Software/Services revenue has doubled in size in the past three years, from US$2.15 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

Apple’s retail segment is most definitely a seasonal business, but it’s showing strong growth. In fiscal 2012 Apple’s retail outlets generated US$15 billion in revenue; in fiscal 2013 that number wasUS $20 billion.

During Monday’s conference call, one analyst commented that Apple was one of the very few companies he was tracking to show strong growth in China this past quarter. Indeed, while Apple’s revenue in the Americas was actually down from the previous sequential quarter, many other key Apple segments showed sequential growth, most notably China and Japan.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.