When the UK’s Members of Parliament get down to work following the election in May, they’ll have more than just a new government on their hands — they’ll have a tablet, too. The Parliamentary tech team is handing out cellular-equipped iPad Air 2 units to all 650 House of Commons MPs so that they have a secure way to do business wherever they are. While 209 of them already had iPads, this move makes them standard issue.
The effort could do a lot to advance technology in the House, but it’s also receiving a lot of flak. Cost is probably the big issue: while the committee decided that iPads were “competitively priced” given the goals (cellular data, security and a long lifespan), the plan will cost £1 million (roughly $1.5 million) over five years. It should theoretically save money versus printing hundreds of copies of paper documents, but the savings could be larger with lower-cost hardware. Also, Shadow Cabinet Office minister Chi Onwurah isn’t happy with the focus on iOS — Apple’s platform is already part of the House’s practices, but Onwurah would prefer a device-independent approach. Like it or not, though, Britain (and really, the world) is about to find out how well the iPad works as a common legislative tool.
Source: Computerworld UK
Apple’s dreams of putting iPads in classrooms have run into a number of roadblocks, but one of the biggest is simply the amount of work involved — each slate needs its own account, making it a nightmare if you want to outfit an entire school. That won’t be a problem for much longer, however. Both MacRumors and 9to5Mac have discovered that Apple is ditching the requirement for individual IDs on school-supplied iPads as of this fall. Staff will just have to decide which devices get apps or books, letting teachers focus on the actual education instead of getting things running. They’ll still have plenty of control, so kids can’t load up on games and other distractions unless they get the green light. It’s too soon to know if this will lead to more kids taking home tablets instead of textbooks, but there will at least be fewer barriers to making that happen.
[Image credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images]
Even if you prefer iOS, Google Play Music is still a solid option for getting your personal library and access to streaming all in one place. That is, until Apple reveals its plans for Beats Music. While we wait for that announcement, though, Mountain View’s tune-minded app does double duty nicely, and now it properly outfits the iPad. The new version comes with a fresh coat of Material Design, of course, but you’ll still have to contend with Google’s rather frustrating method for uploading files. If you haven’t already been prompted to update, the latest is now available over at iTunes.
Via: The Verge
If you feel that Apple is upgrading iOS a little too quickly, you’re not alone — there are concerns (if sometimes overstated) that it’s focusing too much on interface revamps and extensions over making things work well. There may be relief in sight, however. Sources for the historically reliable 9to5Mac claim that iOS 9 will have a “huge” emphasis on behind-the-scenes fixes and performance optimizations. That’s not to say there won’t be any spiffy new features, but this could be more of a tune-up (in the vein of OS X Snow Leopard) than a breakthrough release. Apple likely won’t confirm anything until its next Worldwide Developer Conference sometime in mid-year. If the tipsters are on the mark, though, the new iOS could be good news for anyone who feels that Cupertino hasn’t been living up to its “just works” reputation as of late.
Are you the sort who has to have the latest phone and tablet? Sprint might have a deal for you. It’s extending its aggressive For Life deals with a promotion that gives you an iPhone 6, an LTE iPad mini 3 and service for both at $100 a month, or about $17 less than what you’d pay to get them separately. While you only get 2GB of data on the iPad, that could be enough for family vacations or regular trips to a WiFi-less coffee shop. The big caveat (besides the conspicuous lack of an Android equivalent) is that the offer ends on April 9th. If you’re all-in on Apple gear, you’ll want to act quickly — Sprint’s determination to win new customers with cut-rate pricing isn’t going to last forever.
Photo by Will Lipman.
You no longer have to fire up your computer just to give your children some programming lessons from Doctor Who. The BBC’s educational coding game, The Doctor and the Dalek, is now available on iPads and Android tablets (both through Amazon and soon Google Play). You’ll get largely the same instruction-based Boolean logic puzzles as before, but with a few new levels and new abilities for your one-of-a-kind Dalek companion. The catch? While the game is still free, it’s only available in the UK for now — here’s hoping that the BBC makes it available worldwide so that more kids can help their favorite Gallifreyan.
Well, it’s that time again. Apple has just released its latest batch of quarterly earnings, and wouldn’t you know it — the folks in Cupertino once again sold more iPhones than it has in any other quarter. We’re talking 74.5 million phones changing hands since October, up just about 50 percent from its last utterly insane holiday quarter. Apple doesn’t break down sales numbers by model, but its smartphones’ bang-up performance helped push company revenue to new heights; the company raked in a cool $74.6 billion in revenue, along with $18 billion in pure profit. That is crazy.
So the iPhones did extremely, ridiculously well – what about iPads? Apple only sold about 21.4 million, and while that’s not exactly a number to sneeze at, it’s significantly lower than the more than 26 million the company moved during the last holiday season. There are plenty of possible culprits here, from the less-than-game-changing upgrades the iPad Air and Mini lines received earlier this year, to the growth in demand for the iPhone 6 Plus, a device that not only closes the gap between phone and tablet, but also nets Apple more cash than the bog-standard 6. That sort of dip in performance doesn’t come out of the blue though — we saw it last quarter too, a phenomenon CEO Tim Cook referred to as a “speed bump”.
Bear in mind, we all expected this quarter to be a blow-out. After all, the last few months represent the first full quarter of sales for the company’s new iPhones and iPads, a big push into the holiday buying maelstrom and a more aggressive mobile stance in China. As usual, people are fingering that last, region-specific reason as a big, big reason for that growth. A quick look at Apple’s data reveals why: Greater China accounted for about $16 billion of the company’s overall revenue over the past three-ish months. That’s just about twice the number the region put up last year, making it only slightly less valuable than Apple’s business in Europe. Factor in a new report from analysis firm Canalys proclaiming Apple the victor in Chinese smartphone sales (beating Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei in that order) and it’s not hard to see just how crucial China is to Apple’s future growth.
Noticeably absent from this first information blast is any word on Apple Pay, which is – among other things – is being baked into some 200,000 self-serve kiosks across the United States. Apple gets a tiny cut from each Pay transaction that gets processed, which could ultimately mean big bucks falling into the company’s coffers when phone and tablet sales slip into slightly more reasonable territory. Here’s hoping it’ll get a detailed shout-out in the customary earnings call, set to kick off shortly.
Filed under: Mobile
Pushbullet has revealed its latest suite of applications, but this time they’re designed purely for iPad, Mac, and Safari. Just like its Android client, these apps for Apple products allow users to copy and paste text across multiple devices, mirror notifications from their smartphone to their computer, and instantly transfer files, links and photographs between hardware regardless of its operating system.
Hit the break below to see Pushbullet’s new apps in action.
We’d love to know what you think of the new apps — so be sure to drop us a comment in the section below.
Come comment on this article: Pushbullet launches apps for iPad, Mac and Safari
Hulu’s ex-CEO Jason Kilar has been extolling the virtues of Vessel, his would-be YouTube rival, for weeks. Today, though, you can finally find out whether or not it’s all that it’s cracked up to be — Vessel has launched an invitation-only public beta. You’ll have to watch on an iOS device or the web (Android is coming “soon”), but you’ll otherwise have a month’s worth of unfettered access to the service’s early, professional-level content. There’s no word on when Vessel will be available invitation-free. Even so, the beta is at least proof that the video hub exists as more than just a well-meaning concept.
At long last, Google has overhauled its Chrome browser for iOS to fit into the company’s Material Design language — and thankfully, it’s a lot more than a fresh coat of paint. The newly released Chrome 40 gives you the expected bright colors, flat surfaces and fancy animations of Google’s latest interface philosophy, but its big deal is rich support for iOS 8. The app is now fully compatible with larger iPhones, and it’ll hand off web links to the preferred browser on your Mac (if you’re running OS X Yosemite, that is). If you’re a fan of Chrome but wish that it fit better into Apple’s world, you’ll want to swing by the App Store for the update.