Ever since the FAA decided to be more flexible about personal electronic devices on planes, things have changed quite a bit. Now, as an effort to make things even better for travelers, Delta has rolled out a new initiative called Delta Studio, which focuses on adding more in-flight entertainment options to its fleet. As part of this, the Atlanta-based airline revamped the Fly Delta app for iPad, and it now lets passengers use it to stream movies, TV shows and other media — in addition to the destination info and interactive live-map view features that were already there. Delta Studio is free for Economy Comfort, First Class and international flyers; those on Economy, meanwhile, will also have access to stuff at no charge, but most of the decent content (like newly released films) is going to cost extra. Not surprisingly, you have to wait to reach 10,000 feet before streaming anything, since it does require an in-flight WiFi connection. Still, that’s something you should be used to by now.
Source: Fly Delta (App Store)
Like it or not, school is fast approaching. However, Microsoft thinks it can make the fall semester a little more bearable with big updates to OneNote on both iOS and the Mac. Both apps now let you attach files to your notes; you can include audio recordings from a lecture to add some context to what you wrote, for example. If you add a PDF printout, you can also jot down annotations.
There’s more than just attachment support in this upgrade, as you might expect, and some of the improvements are meant as much for the corporate crowd as students. You can now open and edit OneDrive for Business notebooks, and it’s possible to both lock and unlock password-protected sections if you don’t want everyone peeping your content. Other updates let you shuffle the order of pages in a notebook, and (on the Mac) share them as email. The refinements probably won’t improve your grades if you’re headed to class in the next several weeks, but they may help you make sense of hastily-written notes when you’re studying for a big exam.
Source: OneNote Blog
Spotify’s latest iOS app update rolls out today and adds a new equalizer to playback functionality. “A lot of our users have been asking for a built-in equalizer for a while now and it’s currently one of our most requested features on iOS,” says Sten Garmark, VP for Product at Spotify. The update also folds the Discover function into the Browse tab on iPhones and adds a redesigned Artist page to the iPad iteration, featuring musicians’ latest releases and… merchandise. Android users have been able to add third-party equalizers to music playback on dedicated music apps for years, although there’s no word from Spotify as to when these new feature will hit Google’s mobile OS. We’re hoping that equalizer will help even out music playback — even if you’re only packing underwhelming in-box buds.
Source: Spotify (iTunes)
During today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared new information on the state of the iPad, including details on overall sales since the product launched a little over four years ago, recent growth in different markets, and hints at future plans. It was revealed earlier that sales of the iPad were down for the second straight quarter in a row, as the company sold a total of 13.3 million iPads, down from 14.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
Cook said that iPad sales have totaled to 225 million units since 2010, as the current iPad Air and iPad mini have hit 98% and 100% customer satisfaction, respectively. According to recent market studies, 63% of customers planning to buy a tablet are planning to buy an iPad, while half of all iPad buyers were planning to buy their first iPad.
Additionally, Apple noted that 2.5 iPads are being sold for every Mac, as the tablet now holds an 85% share of the U.S. education market. Internationally, the iPad also experienced a 50% growth in China and 60% growth in the Middle East year-over-year.
In reaction to iPad sales being down, Cook noted “significant innovation can be brought to the iPad”, stating “[Apple] plans on doing that” and that the tablet category as a whole is still “in its infancy.” Recent reports have pointed to Apple launching updated models of the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini later this year, with each likely to come with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a faster A8 processor.
The company is also rumored to be preparing a larger “iPad Pro” which is said to feature a 12.9-inch ultra high-definition display. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the iPad Pro in 2015, but a recent report noted that Apple’s plans may be on hold for the foreseeable feature.
There’s soon going to be a glut of custom keyboards for iOS 8, many of which will have word suggestions in multiple languages. However, they might not be as well-versed as KeyPoint Technologies’ upcoming Adaptxt for iOS. Besides supporting over 100 languages, the keyboard touts 30 dictionaries targeted at specific industries; it shouldn’t be flummoxed when you’re chatting with your accountant or lawyer. It will also be aware of both your location and the apps you’re running, so word predictions should change when you go on vacation or check out a favorite social network. KeyPoint is only taking sign-ups for a beta test at this stage — not surprising, since iOS 8 isn’t out yet — but it’s already promising that Adaptxt will be free on iPads and iPhones alike.
According to a new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Apple’s third-generation iPad mini will be an “Air”-like model, featuring a design that shaves 30 percent off the thickness of the device. This thinness along with a powerful new A8 processor will be among the main selling points for the next generation iPad mini, claims the Asian sources (via GforGames).
While the sources of the rumor are given only as from the supply chain, the claim of a 30 percent thinner iPad mini seems to be an overly optimistic one. The original iPad mini measured 7.2 mm thick, and the device saw a slight increase to 7.5 mm with the move to a Retina display last year. The larger iPad Air moved in the opposite direction last year, slimming down from 9.4 mm in the fourth-generation iPad to match the Retina iPad mini at 7.5 mm.
A 30 percent reduction in thickness for the iPad mini would put it in the range of 5.25 mm, and how Apple would achieve such a reduction is unclear, especially given the increase in horsepower seen with the move to a Retina display last year. That move made the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini essentially identical with the exception of display size.
Apple is expected to release the updated iPad mini in the third quarter of 2014, likely following the iPhone 6 launch in September. Besides a possible thinner form factor and A8 processor, the next generation iPad mini also is expected to include a more durable Touch ID fingerprint sensor containing tin. Similar to the iPhone, the next generation iPad is expected to support iOS 8′s new SDK that allows third-party developers to access the fingerprint scanner for verification purposes.
Besides the iPad Air and iPad mini, Apple is rumored to be expanding its iPad lineup with a larger 12.9-inch iPad. Dubbed the “iPad Pro,” the larger model may not be released until 2015, claims DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh. This prediction echoes a earlier report from KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo who also predicted a 2015 launch date for the oversized tablet device.
Paul McCartney went through a rift with streaming services, but the former Beatle has been always been keen to keep his albums available on iTunes. Now, Sir Paul is following a growing trend for releases and reissues: apps. Five of McCartney’s classic albums (Band on the Run, McCartney, McCartney II, RAM and Wings over America) are now available as iPad apps, complete with bonus material. On top of the extra videos, photos, interviews and remastered tracks, the standalone downloads are priced at $7.99 — $5 less than the regular deluxe versions. Of course, you’ll have to contend with streaming the tracks through each app rather than hopping around the complete set in your mobile library. The move is nothing new though, as Lady Gaga, Björk and others have taken a similar route with companion software and added content. It’s no secret that artists are having a hard time paying the bills from record sales, so packaging music as paid apps seems a tactic to fill the void.
[Photo credit: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images]
Filed under: Software
If you had any lingering notions that Apple and IBM were still bitter arch-rivals, they just got swept away. The two companies have just launched a partnership that could give iPads and iPhones a much larger presence in the workaday world. IBM has agreed to develop over 100 enterprise-grade apps solely for iOS, along with iOS-focused cloud services; it will also sell Apple’s mobile gear as part of its larger solutions, and it’s even handling on-site support. Apple, meanwhile, is offering a special business-friendly support plan.
IBM doesn’t have as much clout as it did when it was a direct competitor to Apple in 1984, or even as much as when it was putting PowerPC chips in computers like the Power Mac G5. However, this deal is still huge. While Apple has been spending a lot of energy making iOS suitable for work, it’s still primarily focused on personal devices — the IBM pact gives it an important ally who can court the less exciting (but clearly important) corporate crowd. Google is making big strides toward improving Android’s business credentials, and Microsoft has a longstanding advantage of its own, but the new agreement could give them significantly tougher competition. Don’t be surprised if you end up getting a company-issued iOS device where you didn’t have one before, or suddenly get the all-clear to bring one into the office.
The Pediatrics article focuses on an 11-year-old boy who may be allergic to the nickel used in the casing of the tablet device. Following the increasing use of an iPad, the patient developed a rash that would not respond to conventional treatment.
His skin tested positive for nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals, and doctors traced it back to an iPad he had used with increasing frequency the past six months. The iPad tested positive for nickel as well, according to the report.
Doctors advised the boy to use a Smart Case that covers the entire outer surface of the tablet. Similar to other reports of electronic device-induced rashes, the boy’s skin condition improved significantly when he started using a case that prevented direct contact with the device.
As noted by the Associated Press, nickel allergies in children appear to be on the rise, with 25 percent of those receiving skin tests testing positive for nickel allergies, up from 17 percent a decade ago.
This iPad isn’t the only device implicated in skin rashes. Earlier this year, Fitbit voluntarily recalled its Force fitness tracker after a growing number of users developed contact dermatitis from wearing the band. The rash was originally attributed to nickel in the charging port of the band, but that metal may not be involved as many users covered the nickel-containing port with tape and continued to experience a rash.