Pebble app updated for iOS with better notification support

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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

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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.

Apple releases OS X 10.9 Mavericks, offers OS upgrade for free

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:21
Category: News, Software

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You’ve REALLY been waiting for this one.

On Tuesday, Apple released its long-awaited OS X 10.9 Mavericks operating system. The new OS, which stands at roughly a five gigabyte download via OS X’s Software Update utility, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

iBooks:
- Download and read books from the iBooks Store.

- Pick up right where you left off. iCloud keeps your current page up to date across all your devices.

- Swipe through Multi-Touch books with interactive features, diagrams, photos, videos, and more.

- Keep multiple books open while using other apps — great for writing a paper or doing research.

Maps:
- Send directions from your Mac to your iPhone and use voice navigation when you’re on the go.

- Explore select cities in stunning, photo-realistic 3D with Flyover.

- See detailed directions, real-time traffic, and alternate routes.

- Find restaurants, stores, and other places of interest with local search in Maps.

Calendar:
- Create new events in a snap with the new, streamlined event inspector.

- Enter event locations fast with address autocompletion.

- Add walking or driving travel time to your event so you know when to leave.

- See a map of your event’s location, as well as the weather forecast for that day.

- See holidays and Facebook events in Calendar.

Safari:
- Use Shared Links to discover new, interesting links posted by people you follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.

- Browse longer thanks to new core technologies that boost energy efficiency.

- Easily access your bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared Links in the new Sidebar.

- Protect your online privacy with new tracking-prevention features.

iCloud Keychain:
- Don’t worry about remembering passwords — iCloud Keychain fills them in so you don’t have to.

- Keep your website passwords, credit card numbers, and Wi-Fi passwords up to date across your trusted devices. Robust 256-bit AES encryption helps keep your information safe.

- Sign in once to all of your mail, contacts, calendar, and other internet accounts, and iCloud pushes them to all your Mac computers.

Multiple Displays:
- Just plug in a second display to use it with your Mac — no configuration required.

- Access the Dock and the menu bars on each display.

- Use full-screen apps on any or all of your displays.

- Use your HDTV as a second display with Apple TV.

Notifications:
- Reply to mail or messages right from a notification, without having to leave the app you’re using.

- Receive notifications for incoming FaceTime calls and reply with an iMessage or set a callback reminder.

- Receive notifications from websites, even when Safari isn’t running.

Finder Tabs:
- Declutter your desktop by consolidating multiple Finder windows into one.

- Move files between your tabs by simply dragging and dropping them.

- Select a custom view — icon, list, or column — for each of your tabs.

- Use tabs with full-screen Finder to organize and access all your files and folders.

Tags:
- Organize files with tags no matter where they’re located — in iCloud or on your Mac.

- Give a document as many tags as you want.

- Click a tag in the Finder sidebar to see all the files with that tag.

Advanced Technologies:
- With energy-saving core technologies in OS X Mavericks, you can surf the web longer on a single charge.

- Watching iTunes HD video is now more efficient, so you can watch more video when you’re not plugged in.

- App Nap regulates applications you’re not using so they consume less energy.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks is available for free and requires any one of the following 64-bit Intel-based Macs to install and run:
iMac (Mid-2007 or later), MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17- inch, Late 2007 or later), MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later), Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later), Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later), Xserve (Early 2009)

If you’ve tried OS X 10.9 Mavericks and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iTunes 11.1.2 update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:08
Category: News, Software

An updated iTunes, of course, came out in the midst of everything.

On Tuesday, Apple released version 11.1.2 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 231 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Optimized for OS X Mavericks.

- Adds support for Arabic and Hebrew.

- Improves performance and stability.

iTunes 11.1.2 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iOS 7.0.3 update, addresses accelerometer, security, assorted issues

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, 23:37
Category: iOS, News, Software

ios7logo

You’ve been hankering for this fix.

On Tuesday, Apple released iOS 7.0.3, an updated new version of its operating system for its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The new operating system, which weighs in as a 59.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Adds iCloud Keychain to keep track of your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers across all your approved devices.

- Adds Password Generator so Safari can suggest unique, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts.

- Updates lock screen to delay display of “slide to unlock” when Touch ID is in use.

- Adds back the ability to search the web and Wikipedia from Spotlight search.

- Fixes an issue where iMessage failed to send for some users.

- Fixes a bug that could prevent iMessage from activating.

- Improves system stability when using iWork apps.

- Fixes an accelerometer calibration issue.

- Addresses an issue that could cause Siri and VoiceOver to use a lower quality voice.

- Fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the Lock screen passcode.

- Enhances the Reduce Motion setting to minimize both motion and animation.

- Fixes an issue that could cause VoiceOver input to be too sensitive.

- Updates the Bold Text setting to also change dial pad text.

- Fixes an issue that could cause supervised devices to become un-supervised when updating software.

iOS 7.0.3 is available via iTunes or Over-The-Air updating and requires an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, iPad 2, third or fourth-gen iPad, iPod Touch 4th Gen or iPad Mini to install and run.

If you’ve tried the updates and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iTunes 11.1.1 update

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Date: Thursday, October 3rd, 2013, 13:17
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a quick bug fix.

On Thursday, Apple released version 11.1.1 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 225.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Resolves an issue that may cause iTunes Extras to display incorrectly, fixes a problem with deleted podcasts, and improves stability.

iTunes 11.1.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iOS 7.0.2 update, fixes Lock Screen vulnerability

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 26th, 2013, 12:43
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security, Software

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It got some negative attention and now it’s got a fix.

On Thursday, Apple released iOS 7.0.2, an updated new version of its operating system for its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The new operating system, which weighs in as a several hundred megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Fixes bugs that could allow someone to bypass the Lock screen passcode.

- Reintroduces a Greek keyboard option for passcode entry.

iOS 7.0.2 is available via iTunes or Over-The-Air updating and requires an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, iPad 2, third or fourth-gen iPad, iPod Touch 4th Gen or iPad Mini to install and run.

If you’ve tried the updates and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iTunes 11.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 18th, 2013, 08:57
Category: News, Software

This should add some nifty and long-awaited stuff to iTunes.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 11.1 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 215 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio is a great new way to discover music. Choose from over 250 stations or start a new one from your favorite artist or song. Enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free once you subscribe to iTunes Match.

- Genius Shuffle: Introducing a magical new way to experience your music library. Choose Genius Shuffle and iTunes instantly plays songs that go great together. Click it again to hear something new: enjoying your music has never been this easy.

- Podcast Stations: You can now create custom stations of your favorite podcasts that update automatically with new episodes. Your stations, subscriptions, and current play position sync over iCloud to the Podcasts app.

- Sync with iOS 7: You can now use iTunes to sync your favorite music, movies, and more to devices with iOS 7. In addition, iTunes now makes it even easier to quickly organize and sync apps to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

iTunes 11.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Apple TV out of stock on online store, next-gen units possible in near term

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 6th, 2013, 06:00
Category: Apple TV, News

When the stock runs out, the new stuff is on its way.

Or that’s what one tends to hope.

Per AppleInsider, Apple has either run out of stock or suspended sales of refurbished Apple TVs through its online store, possibly hinting that a new version of the device is in the offing.

As noted by reader Brian, the Online Apple Store’s refurbished product webpage no longer shows the Apple TV as available for sale. Apple recently cut the price of the refurbished device to US$75 in early August, down from US$85 as seen in the above image.

While it is possible that Apple has simply run out or suspended sales of refurbished units, the timing of the stockout jibes with recent rumors of a possible product refresh. A report on Tuesday noted Apple took receipt of three fairly large shipments from Chinese partner manufacturer BYD Precision in August, the contents of each described as “Set Top Boxes.” The information was discovered in bills of lading from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Until the past few days, there have been little to no rumors regarding a new Apple TV, as most media attention has been focused on an anticipated iPhone lineup refresh. However, Apple has been actively updating the existing set-top streamer’s content, adding channels like Vevo, Disney, Weather and Smithsonian in late August, while a beta of the next Apple TV software released in July was found to have reinstated iTunes purchasing.

Apple last refreshed its Apple TV in March 2012, adding 1080p output to the unit while retaining the prior model’s design.

The Cupertino, Calif., company has scheduled a media event for Sept. 10 which is expected to see the unveiling of new iPhone models. Although mere speculation, it is possible that Apple may be planning to announce a new Apple TV product alongside the handsets.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.