Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category


Apple’s WWDC Dates Announced: June 2-6

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Apple has just announced the dates for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and the long-running event will take place this year from June 2nd to the 6th. It’ll take place in San Francisco’s Moscone West, per usual.

“We have the most amazing developer community in the world and have a great week planned for them,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Every year the WWDC audience becomes more diverse, with developers from almost every discipline you can imagine and coming from every corner of the globe. We look forward to sharing with them our latest advances in iOS and OS X so they can create the next generation of great apps.”

If you’re a developer looking for a ticket, check here. You can put your name on a giant list from now until April 7th, but Apple’s going to choose attendees at random this year.

“Over the past six years, a massive cultural shift has occurred. It;s changed how we interact with one another. Learn new things. Entertain ourselves. Do our work. And live our daily lives. All because of developers and the apps they create. For five days, one thousand Apple engineers and five thousand developers will gather together. And life will be different as result. Write the code. Change the world,” says Apple.

Save the cheerleader, save the world? Now life changing may be a bit a of stretch (a bit…), but Apple has unveiled some pretty big things at WWDCs of the past. Last year, for instance, we got the new version of OS X, iTunes Radio, and iOS 7.

We’ll just have to wait until June to see what Apple has in store for this conference. Oh, who am I kidding, let the speculation begin!

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Amazon Takes Competition With Google Up A Notch

Apple continues to distance itself from Google

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A few months back, Amazon acquired 3D-mapping startup UpNext, signaling its plans to enter mapping territory, and now Amazon is encouraging those developing apps for its new Kindle Fire devices to move away from Google Maps and go full on Amazon.

When Amazon announced the Kindle Fire HD, it also made the Amazon Maps API available to developers.

“The Amazon Maps API makes it easy for you to integrate mapping functionality into apps that run on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD,” says Amazon in a blog post. “These new devices will also support location-based services through the android.location API.”

“The Amazon Maps API provides a simple migration path for developers who are already using the native Google Maps API on Android,” Amazon adds.

With Amazon’s Maps API, developers can embed an interactive map view in their apps for customers to pan and zoom. They can optionally display users’ location and switch between standard maps and satellite view. They can also display locations of businesses, landmarks and other points of interest with customized markers and pins.

The API is currently in beta.

Amazon has also been said to be working with Nokia on maps (h/t: TNW).

Here’s an UpNext Maps demo on an iPhone:

 

 

Amazon and Google are establishing themselves as direct competitors more and more, and this is just the latest move in the competitive chess game. It also follows a report from The New York Times indicating that more people are beginning product searches on Amazon and less are beginning them on Google.

In other words, Amazon is taking searches away from Google. What kind of effect will the Maps API move have on Amazon device users? That remains to be seen, but it can’t be good for Google, aside from helping the company’s argument against those calling it a monopoly.

This is just in the search realm, and is not even taking into consideration other areas where these two companies compete, like web services and even browsers now (Amazon’s Silk browser got an upgrade with the new Kindle Fire devices).

Obviously Amazon and Google are also both competing with Apple. Apple, as you probably know, recently dropped Google Maps from iOS devices, in favor of its own Maps offering, and it appears that even that is having a more widespread effect than originally thought. TechCrunch isreporting today that Russian Google competitor Yandex is now powering Apple’s iOS 6 mapping service in Russia, with a bigger deal apparently on the horizon for Yandex to become the default search on the mobile version of Apple’s Safari browser.

Something else to think about – Apple and Facebook seem to be cozying up a bit lately, and Facebook has admitted plans to enter the search game, while at the same time dismissing the idea of offering its own hardware. Just saying.



App Store Bug Causes Newly Updated Apps To Crash

Sometimes in life, the littlest things can be the most exciting. When you’re young and living on your own for the first time, you get a little thrill out of checking your mail and seeing stuff addressed to you, even if it’s junk. When you got your first email address (all the way back in 1997 for me; get off my lawn), getting email was great. Nowadays, checking the App Store on your iPhone and discovering you’ve got updates is nearly always fun (especially when it means new levels for Angry Birds).

Except when it isn’t. Numerous reports have been coming in since yesterday that certain recently-updated apps have been crashing on launch. The earliest report came from Instapaper developer Marco Arment. According to a post on his blog, he was “deluged” with support messages following Apple’s approval of an update to his app. It seems the app would crash immediately after launch. Users tried deleting and reinstalling the app clean, and the same thing happened. Arment began investigating and found that his own archived copy worked just fine. He ultimately concluded that the App Store’s copy of the app had gotten corrupted somehow, and that the corrupted copy of the app was causing the crash. Within a couple hours Apple put up a functional version of the app and the problem was resolved. For users who installed the bad app, though, the only solution is to delete and reinstall it.

Arment is clearly annoyed about the situation in the post. He encourages developers with non-critical updates ready to go to wait a few days:

Because if this happens to you, all of your most active users, the people who will install updates within hours of them becoming available, will be stopped in their tracks. They’ll think you’re careless, incompetent, and sloppy for issuing a release that doesn’t work. And they’ll leave you a lot of angry 1-star reviews.

Because it seems that Instapaper isn’t the only app affected by this problem. The App Store has apparently been releasing corrupted copies of dozens of apps. Arment has compiled a list based on user reports:

  • GoodReader
  • Readdle Scanner Pro
  • SmartScan+OCR
  • Angry Birds Space HD Free
  • Lords & Knights
  • The Early Edition 2
  • Gaia GPS
  • Meetup
  • Pair
  • Redshift
  • Flick Soccer
  • iBike Moto
  • Please Stay Calm
  • Pinball Maniacs
  • Lucky Slots
  • Stack the States
  • Gluddle
  • Qwak
  • Bunker Buster
  • MemoryBrands
  • Threadnote
  • Checkout Helper
  • Metronome+
  • Cocktailpedia
  • Phoster
  • Melodies Pro
  • MoPho
  • TEDiSUB
  • FlattrCast
  • iCoyote Europe
  • @View
  • Huffington
  • Tap’N Ride
  • Dosecast
  • Stat E&M Coder
  • SMARTReporter (Mac)
  • PDX Bus
  • CommBank Kaching
  • CincyMobile

That’s 39 apps in all. While Instapaper is working now, it’s not clear whether Apple has gotten the others fixed. If you have any of the apps on the list and have downloaded the most recent updates, you should check to make sure it’s working on your phone. If they’re not working, try deleting and reinstalling. Apple may have gotten them fixed, in which case you should get a functioning app. If you have any of the apps and they work, you might want to wait a few days before downloading any updates, otherwise you risk getting the corrupted version and having to delete and re-install the app.

By  via WebProNews.com



New Apple iMac, Mac Pro In The Works, Coming In 2013

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In the run up to yesterday’s WWDC 2012 Apple keynote, there were all sorts of rumors about just what Apple would and would not announce. In fact, if you paid much attention to the rumor mill before hand (and some people on Twitter clearly didn’t), little of what Apple announced was a surprise. Nevertheless, some of the rumored announcements never came.Apple new Mac Pro

Most notably, three things were left out: the Apple TV, the iMac, and the Mac Pro. While major updates to the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines – including the new retina display model – had been predicted, the rumor mill had also hinted at similarly major updates to the iMac and the Mac Pro. While the Mac Pro did get a very minor feature bump (which Apple neglected to mention during the keynote), nary a peep was heard about the iMac.

This, naturally, raises an interesting question: has Apple abandoned the desktop computer? Are Apple’s desktop models headed down the same path as optical drives in Apple notebooks (i.e., toward nonexistence)? The answer, it seems, is no. While Mac Pro fans may lament the lack of a major update to their beloved machine, it seems that the model’s modest bump isn’t the end of the story, nor is the iMac’s absence from yesterday’s keynote. After Apple’s keynote yesterday, David Pogue of the New York Times provided his own analysis of the day’s news. At the end of that analysis, tucked into the second to last paragraph of the (quite lengthy) piece, was a claim that all hope is not yet lost for fans of Apple’s desktop models:

Many Apple observers also wonder if Apple thinks that desktop computers are dead, since not a word was said about the iMac and Mac Pro. An executive did assure me, however, that new models and new designs are under way, probably for release in 2013.

So, it seems that the iMac and Mac Pro were passed over yesterday in favor of an announcement to come next year. There are, of course, lots of reasons that might be the case. Any number of technical issues could be standing between the new models and their release date. That being so, there’s every reason to think that Pogue’s information is correct, and that while yesterday was all about the MacBook (and OS X Mountain Lion and iOS, of course), Apple hasn’t forgotten its desktop models.



Apple and Facebook Should Be Terrified Of Google-Tinted Glasses

Project Glass Logo

Google’s augmented reality eyewear is coming to disrupt your face and your business model. If you don’t even have to pull your phone out to take a photo, get directions, or message with friends, why would you need to buy the latest iPhone or spend so much time on Facebook?

It could be a year before Google eyewear reaches stores, but that’s why these and other tech companies need to strategize now. If they wait to see if the device is a hit, the world could be seeing through Google-tinted glasses by the time they adapt. Apple and Facebook’s bet might be to team up…

 

 

 

If you haven’t heard, Google today announced it is beginning public tests of augmented reality glasses with the codename Project Glass. A mouthwatering mock-up video of what the device might eventually be capable of shows someone using voice commands to send messages, take photos, share to Google+, see the locations of friends, view maps, get directions, set calendar reminders, and more.

Cramming all the functionality into a sleek set of glasses is going to take time and effort, but the Google(x) skunklabs is on it. There’s a dozen ways the product could flop, most obviously if the glasses are awkward and unstylish, but also if they’re too heavy, expensive, fragile, or the world is just not quite ready. Let’s forget those for a second. Say Google figures it out and the retail version of Project Glass (which may end up being called Google Eye) becomes wildly popular. How will this disrupt Apple and Facebook, and what should they do to defend themselves?

Here’s what I see as their best courses of action:

Apple Should Compete

Project Glass takes a ton of the things you use your iPhone and iPod for and puts them into your glasses. The glasses will likely run a version of Android and since they’re voice controlled, they could turn into Google’s competitor to Siri. People might buy Google glasses rather than snapping up the latest Apple device.

But Apple is the world’s greatest hardware company. Hopefully somewhere deep inside its headquarters there are some scientists figuring out how to turn an iPhone into glasses, not just a wristwatch.

Apple should seek to capitalize on Google’s lack of hardware experience, and spend some of its cash reserves to lock up critical component manufacturers. Even if Project Glass ends up an ugly mess, Apple could still make eyeglass computing beautiful. This technology sure seems like the future, so Apple needs to be ready to pounce. But the problem remains that it has no social network or other key services to power its own version…”

Facebook Should Team Up With Apple

Facebook is no hardware company and isn’t big enough to become one. Not having its own mobile OS or device is hurting Facebook, and eyeglass computing could turn into round 2. The video already showed Google+ as the preferred sharing method. Unlike an Android phone where you could just open the Facebook app, Project Glass won’t necessarily allow third-party apps, at least at first, and could make them harder to access than Google+ which will be baked in.

Though Facebook and Apple have been on strained terms so far, and Facebook hasn’t even gotten directly integrated into iOS like Twitter, the two companies could bond over the common threat of Project Glass. Apple needs somewhere to share the content you’d create with its glasses, or why create it in the first place? Facebook needs to make sure Apple lets it get deeply embedded, with or without Twitter alongside it. (Though, Facebook, should probably start with today’s iOS).

Postscript: If Apple or Facebook consider eyeglass computing as marketable to mainstream in the next few years, today should give them a jolt. It’s early though, so they’ll only need to be scared if they don’t plan.

But here’s the kicker…

Despite its lack of hardware experience, Google is the best positioned company to make, or at least provide the software for eyeglass computers. It has Android, Google+, Maps, Gmail, Gcal, Latitude, and more. Glass might go belly up, but if not it could breathe life into some of these sluggish services. That’s why it’s ridiculous when people call Project Glass a diversion or waste of resources. Seems to me like Google’s vision is 20/20.

 

Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently a writer for TechCrunch.

Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook, where he covered Facebook product changes, privacy, the Ads API, Page management, ecommerce, virtual currency, and music technology.

Prior to writing for Inside Facebook, Constine graduated from Stanford University… → Learn More




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