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27
Jan

Apple announces Q1 2015 results: 74.5 million iPhones, 21.4 million iPads, 5.5 million Macs sold, 74.6 billion in revenue earned!


Apple has announced their Q1 2015 earnings and the numbers include Apple announces Q1 2015 results: 74.5 million iPhones, 21.4 million iPads, 5.5 million Macs sold, 74.6 billion in revenue earned! Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook:

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

You can read the full press release below, tune into the conference call via Apple.com, and keep it locked to iMore for ongoing coverage.

Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results

Highest-ever revenue & earnings drive 48% increase in EPS

Growth led by record revenue from iPhone, Mac & App Store

  1. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The results were fueled by all-time record revenue from iPhone® and Mac® sales as well as record performance of the App Store℠. iPhone unit sales of 74.5 million also set a new record.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

“Our exceptional results produced EPS growth of 48 percent over last year, and $33.7 billion in operating cash flow during the quarter, an all-time record,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months.”

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2015 second quarter:

• revenue between $52 billion and $55 billion

• gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent

• operating expenses between $5.4 billion and $5.5 billion

• other income/(expense) of $350 million

• tax rate of 26.3 percent

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27
Jan

Huawei Honor 6 Plus hands-on and first impressions


We’ve seen the Chinese smartphone market become incredibly competitive over the last few years particularly when it comes to device manufacturers like Xiaomi, Lenovo and Samsung. One OEM that is really progressing in the market is Huawei, thanks to their inexpensive smartphones and very low prices. At CES 2015, the company surprised us with their launch of the Huawei Honor 6 Plus. It’s super thin, has a great display, and boasts overall great hardware, but can it stand up to the competition? Let’s take a closer look at the Huawei Honor 6 Plus.

Huawei Honor 6 Plus-33

The first thing we noticed about the device is its dual-glass front and back panels. The back panel is simple and quite understated, housing the subtle ‘Honor’ logo in the center, a rear-mounted speaker at the bottom-left and a dual 8MP camera setup towards the top-left of the device (we’ll take a closer look at the camera a bit later). While looking at the rest of the device, we can see that there are quite a few different design languages used around the chassis. The front and back panels are very similar to what we’ve seen on Sony’s Xperia line, while the metallic edges are very reminiscent of the iPhone 4 or 5.

Around the right side, the volume rocker, power/standby key, and 2 SIM card slots can be found. The bottom edge houses the Micro USB port. The 5.5-inch screen makes this device big, but not too big. It sits in the hand quite nicely and is very comfortable to hold for a long period of time.

Huawei Honor 6 Plus-50

We’ve had great luck with Huawei devices in the past, especially when it comes to performance. The Honor 6 Plus is no exception. With the combination of the Cortex-A15 & Cortex-A7 HiSilicon Kirin 925 processors, a Mali-T628 GPU and 3GB of RAM, this device absolutely flies through the company’s Emotion UI. Just like most other iterations of the software, Huawei doesn’t include an app drawer, so you’ll need to depend on folders to get your screens organized. One of our favorite parts of the UI is the notification drop down menu, which displays notifications from most important to least important. Overall, the software is very colorful and bright at times, while still remaining minimalistic.

Huawei Honor 6 Plus-2

In addition to great performance while moving through the UI, the device has also performed well in performing multimedia-centric tasks thanks to a beefy processor and a beautiful 5.5-inh 1080p display that may not be QHD, but is still more than capable of providing a solid viewing experience. Some of the other specs include 16/32GB internal storage, microSD with expansion for up to 128GB additional storage, and 3600mAh battery.  Side note: The MicroSD card goes in the SIM 2 slot (Nano SIM slot), which could be a little confusing.

Huawei Honor 6 Plus-18

The cameras on this device is what really makes it stand out, as it boasts a similar camera setup to the HTC One M8. Just like on the One M8, the Honor 6 Plus houses two rear-facing 8MP sensors. One sensor is used to take the photo, while the other is used to gather depth information and refocusing purposes. The Honor 6 Plus also has an 8MP front-facing camera, which has been treating us well so far. We’ll be putting this device’s camera through its paces, likely with a Camera Shootout feature video sometime in the future.

Huawei Honor 6 Plus-15

This device can be found in either Black or White variants from Oppomart. The 3G-only model comes with 16GB of on-board storage, and the 4G-enabled model comes with either 16 or 32GB of storage. The 16GB model is running for around $429, and the 32GB model can be yours for $489.

Overall, the device has offered a premium hardware experience, fast software experience and a unique camera setup. We’re currently on our way to China, headed to take a tour of Huawei’s offices in Shenzhen. We’re going to take the Honor 6 Plus with us on the trip, and we couldn’t be more excited to see how the device fairs as we check out how it’s made. Stay tuned for the Honor 6 Plus Camera Shootout and full review in the coming weeks!

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27
Jan

Blu Vivo Air Review


The Bottom Line

PROS
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Decent battery life
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Subpar camera
  • Some performance hiccups
  • Lacks LTE
8.0

 The Blu Vivo Air features great build quality in a super thin package, and while it does fall short in a few areas, it is a fantastic smartphone overall, at a very affordable price.

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Blu may not be the most well-known of Android OEMs, but the Florida-based phone manufacturer has been continuing to add to an impressive portfolio of high-quality but affordable smartphones over the past few years. Blu took the wraps off several new smartphones at CES 2015 earlier this month, and today, we’ll be taking a closer look  at one of these. Also serving as the thinnest smartphone currently available in the US, here is our in-depth review of the Blu Vivo Air!

Design

BLU Vivo Air-1

Great design and build quality isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about mid-range smartphones, but that is a trend that is rapidly changing, and continues with the Vivo Air. Admittedly, there are elements that seem to be borrowed from other more popular smartphones, but that is true of quite a few devices these days, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

BLU Vivo Air-10

The Blu Vivo Air comes with Gorilla Glass 3 panels on the front and back, with a solid aluminium frame sandwiched in between. Combined with the fact that the device is only 5.1 mm thick, and weighs just 97 grams, what you get with the Vivo Air is a solid, yet sleek and lightweight smartphone.

BLU Vivo Air-4

On the right side is the SIM card slot, while the bottom is where you’ll find the microUSB port and the headphone jack. The volume rocker and the power button are placed on the left side, and protrude quite bit from the body of the phone, making them easy to find while also offering a good tactile feel. The power button placement can take some getting used to depending on which device you’re switching from, but it is very easy to reach, and the learning curve isn’t as steep as you might initially believe. Standard capacitive keys are found up front below the display, with a single speaker placed on the back.

BLU Vivo Air-7

With the curved metal sides and the glass back, the expectation is that the device might prove to be quite slippery, but that doesn’t turn out to be the case. Its relatively compact size, with its 4.8-inch display coming with thin bezels along its sides, and its thickness, or lack thereof, means that this device is very easy to grip. One handed use is also very comfortable, which is certainly refreshing, given the considerable size of most smartphones available nowadays.

Display

BLU Vivo Air-29

As mentioned, the Vivo Air features a 4.8-inch display with a 720p resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 306 ppi. In this day and age, seeing 720p is automatically a bit of a turn off, but it is still good enough of a resolution for a display of this size. Viewing angles and brightness are great, and AMOLED technology brings with it everything we love about it including deeps blacks, saturated colors, and high contrast ratios. It may not be the sharpest display out there, but I had no complaints in my usage, with the display providing a solid experience when watching videos or playing games.

Performance and Hardware

BLU Vivo Air-13

Under the hood, the Blu Vivo Air packs a fairly standard processing package that can be found with most smartphones in this price range, with its octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor, clocked at 1.7 GHz, backed by the Mali-450 GPU and 1 GB of RAM.

BLU Vivo Air-19

MediaTek processors have historically not exactly been known to deliver great performance, especially when compared to their Qualcomm Snapdragon counterparts, and the story is pretty much the same here with the Vivo Air. While tasks like loading applications and playing games seem to perform just fine, it’s in the everyday general use that I noticed some performance hiccups. Swiping through homescreens and social media feeds often resulted in some choppiness and dropped frames. Of course, this could also be due to a lack of software optimization, but whatever the cause, it does become very noticeable. That said, this doesn’t necessarily slow you down from getting around the OS, but is rather annoying from an aesthetic point of view.

BLU Vivo Air-30

On the hardware front, the Vivo Air comes with 16 GB of on-board storage, with no expansion option available, so you may need to rely on cloud storage for all your memory needs. Connectivity is also limited to HSPA+, but in my experience, it was still fast enough for everyday tasks including watching videos on Youtube, and I didn’t find myself missing LTE all that much. The device is also available unlocked, and can work with any GSM carrier, including AT&T and T-Mobile.

BLU Vivo Air-5

The speaker is located on the back of the phone at the bottom right corner, and as is the case with most similar setups, it is fairly easy to cover up with your finger, or while the device is placed on a surface. The sound quality is just about average, and while it does get the job done well enough, you shouldn’t expect anything spectacular from this rear-facing single speaker.

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When it come to the battery, the Vivo Air packs a 2,100 mAh unit, which is somewhat small, but is an understandable sacrifice, given how thin the device is. With light use, including texting, reading social media feeds, light browsing, and gaming kept at a minimum, it is generally easy to get a full day of use out of the device, but anything heavier may require you to charge it again at some point during the day. With the battery going to below 10 percent, I was able to get 4 to 5 hours of screen-on time, with 12 to 15 hours off the charger, during a typical day.

A CPU power saving mode is included in the Settings to help you get the most out of your battery, but something to keep in mind is that this does limit CPU performance in favor of better battery life, so it’s best to only use it when you need it.

Camera

BLU Vivo Air-9

The Blu Vivo Air comes with an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash, and a 5 MP front-facing unit. When it comes to the camera software, the device actually features two camera applications. The first is a very basic camera app, with just the essential features like HDR, panorama, and a few other additional settings. While the experience is pretty straightforward, the only gripe I really had with the app is that the settings did not rotate to landscape. So when wanting to change the settings while taking a picture, I would have to rotate the phone back to portrait to do so, which got pretty annoying over time.

BLU Vivo Air-3

The secondary camera app is called the CharmCam, and this can be accessed through the main camera app or directly from the home screen. The CharmCam allows for more customization, so you can have a little more fun with your photos. Features include things like beauty mode to make you look better by softening the details in your face, and a makeup mode to give you the appearance of wearing makeup.

You can also apply live filters, stamps to images, as well as a very useful feature called PPT. With PPT, the camera will focus on powerpoint presentations, whiteboards, books, or anything with text, and basically crop out everything from the image except the area with text. You can also group all the images together into a single pdf file for easy printing, which could be extremely useful if you’re a high school or college student.

As far as the actual image quality is concerned, the images look quite good on the 4.8-inch screen, but not so much when they are blown up on a computer. The focus tends to be very hit or miss, with colors appearing flat, and details lacking the sharpness that you would want in a photo. HDR also doesn’t help out as much as I expected. Images are brighter with a little bit more detail, but colors still appear very muted. In low light, the camera doesn’t fare much better, and while increase in noise levels is to be expected, the slow autofocus and shutter speed times make the camera unreliable in night time situations.

Software

BLU Vivo Air-24

On the software side of things, the Vivo Air is running Android 4.4 Kitkat, with BLU’s custom skin. It’s not an overly intrusive skin, but it does provide for a very different experience from stock Android. For starters, swiping left on the lock screen will give you access to the camera, sound recorder, and flashlight, all without unlocking the phone. You can even fake a phone call to get you out of a predicament, which is hilarious, but could be useful for a lot of people.

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The traditional app drawer is also missing, which means that all your apps will reside on your homescreens, similar to what we’ve seen from a lot of Chinese smartphones. You’ll have to depend on folders to keep things from getting too cluttered, and you do always have the option to download a third party launcher for a more standard home screen experience. The overlay also brings some customization to the table like themes, although you’re only limited to a few at the moment, and fancy home screen animations. You’ll also find a series of smart gestures like smart dial, smart answer, double tap to wake, and gestures to quickly open apps without waking up the display. They’re all features we’ve seen before in some other phones so it’s not exactly groundbreaking, but they’re still really useful nonetheless.

Specifications

Display 4.8-inch AMOLED display
720p resolution, 306 ppi
Processor 1.7 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor
Mali-450 GPU
RAM 1 GB
Storage 16 GB, not expandable
Camera 8 MP rear camera, LED flash
5 MP front camera
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 4.0
microUSB 2.0
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Networks GSM/HSPA
Battery 2,100 mAh
Software Android 4.4 Kitkat
Dimensions 139.8 x 67.4 x 5.1 mm
97 grams

Gallery

Pricing and Final Thoughts

The Blu Vivo Air is available for $200 on Amazon in white and gold or black with a gunmetal trim. This price point is certainly great for what this device offers, especially in terms of looks and build quality. That said, the competition in this space is certainly heating up, and 2015 should be the year where we see a whole lot of high quality but affordable smartphones that fall in this price range.

BLU Vivo Air-27

So there you have it – the Blu Vivo Air! As mentioned, there are only a handful of phones that will offer the kind of build quality and design at this price range. The phone is not without its shortcomings of course, with an underwhelming camera, some performance hiccups, and the lack of LTE connectivity, but for $200, some consumers may be okay with that.

Buy now!

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27
Jan

Snapchat intros Discover, a new way to get updates from your favorite media outlets


Snapchat has just unveiled a big new feature for the social network. It’s called Discover, and it’s very similar to how Stories work, only for news and entertainment publications. Snapchat assures that Discover is “not social media,” rather, a way to get short stories and news from publications you care about.

Here’s what Discover is all about:

Discover is different because it has been built for creatives. All too often, artists are forced to accommodate new technologies in order to distribute their work. This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.

The social network already has a few big players on board, including ESPN, Comedy Central, Food Network, National Geographic, People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, CNN, Vice, The Daily Mail and Yahoo. Just like Snapchat Stories, each network’s content is refreshed after 24 hours. As the folks at Snapchat say, ” …what’s news today is history tomorrow.”

Using to learn the Discover tab is easy, especially if you’re used to Snapchat’s swipe-based navigation. Simply tap a publication to view their Story, swipe left to browse Snaps, or swipe up on a Snap for more information including photos, articles and more.

You can get Snapchat Discover on your device today, as long as you have the most recent update. If you have yet to download the app, head to the Play Store link below to download Snapchat.

Download Snapchat from Google Play



27
Jan

Misfit’s Flash and Shine Fitness Monitors are about to get much smarter


Misfit, the popular wearable manufacturer, will soon allow users to control many more smart devices than they ever have before. The company has just announced that the Misfit Flash and Shine Fitness Monitors will be able to work with a bevy of applications and smart devices, including Spotify, Nest, IFTTT, Logitech Harmony home systems and many more.

Here is the entire list of integrations Misfit is adding to their product lineup:

  • Users will be able to start and stop their Spotify playlist with Flash.
  • Misfit is working with Nest on an integration enabling customers to connect Misfit’s sleep tracking functionality and smart alarm with the Nest Learning Thermostat to wake up to their ideal temperature.
  • Soon you can use your Misfit Flash on IFTTT and connect it to over 160 products and services you use everyday. Misfit Flash will bring new Triggers to the Misfit Channel, including a double press.  Turn on and off devices, fire off quick messages, and send fitness information to an archive on the go.
  • Flash will also have the power to control your smart home ecosystem thanks to Logitech Harmony. Leveraging Harmony’s new API, Flash wearers will have access to some of Harmony’s most powerful features including one-touch activities like “Watch a Movie,” “Play Games,” and “Listen to Music.”
  • Yo’s messaging services will allow you to stay connected with friends and family with a simple double press on your Flash.
  • Misfit Flash will allow August Smart Lock users to unlock their doors without a smartphone.
  • Latch opens doors for the right people. Latch is a stealth startup that will be launching products in 2015, partnering with Misfit to make home security more convenient.
  • The Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight will allow you to cycle through a set of light colors or turn your nightlight on and off using the Misfit Flash.
  • Bitfinder gives you the air quality of your room on demand using the Flash button control.

The integrations that stick out the most are controlling your Nest thermostat with your wearable, as well as using IFTTT to carry out just about any action you’d like. There are a few that might come in handy like controlling your Spotify playlists and sending a simple “Yo” to a friend, but there are a ton of others on the list that could be a big convenience. The integrations will begin to arrive come March 2015.



27
Jan

How to Watch Super Bowl XLIX on Your iPad or Computer [iOS Blog]


Super Bowl XLIX is airing this Sunday, with the New England Patriots facing off against the Seattle Seahawks. If you don’t have a cable subscription, you might be worried about missing the game — but rest easy, there are several ways to watch if you have an iPad, computer, or Verizon iPhone.

We’ve outlined all of the ways you can catch the Super Bowl in the video below, and we’ve also got a walkthrough complete with links in this post.

iPad and iPod touch

NBC is running a promotion called “Super Stream Sunday” that will let all U.S.-based users watch 11 continuous hours of NBC content through the NBC Sports Live Extra app on the iPad or iPod touch.

The app normally requires a cable subscription and authentication to log in, but beginning at noon Eastern Time on February 1, the login requirements will be eliminated. NBC’s Super Stream Sunday will include the full game, the halftime show with Katy Perry, and pre- and post-game shows.

Apple TV users can use AirPlay mirroring to watch content from their iPads on their televisions.

The NBC Sports Live Extra app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Mac/PC

Super Stream Sunday also extends to Macs and PCs, which can be used to watch the Super Bowl by visiting the NBCSports.com website. As with the app, streaming content from the NBC website will include the game itself, plus all of the add-ons.

superbowl
Mac users can use AirPlay with an Apple TV to stream content to their television sets.

iPhone

NBC does not have the rights to stream Super Bowl content to iPhone users, so the NBC Sports Live Extra app will not work for streaming the game on the iPhone. Verizon has an exclusive content deal with the NFL, which means that if you don’t have a Verizon phone, you’ll need to find an alternate way to watch the Super Bowl.

If you are a Verizon subscriber with a MORE Everything plan, you can stream the Super Bowl on your iPhone through the Verizon NFL Mobile app.

NFL Mobile can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

International

If you’re not in the United States but want to watch Super Bowl XLIX, you can purchase an NFL Game Pass that gives access to a live stream of the Super Bowl for $9.99. NFL Game Pass lets you stream NFL games on your computer or iPad.



27
Jan

OS X Yosemite update tackles ‘surprise’ Mac security flaws


OS X Yosemite on a MacBook Pro

You know those unpatched Mac security exploits that Google revealed a few days ago? You probably won’t have to worry about them any more. Apple has released OS X Yosemite 10.10.2, a hefty update that fixes those vulnerabilities, which let an intruder hijack your system in the right circumstances. There’s also a solution for Thunderstrike, a nasty (if unlikely) attack that would compromise your computer through a malicious Thunderbolt device. Most of the other 10.10.2 tweaks aren’t huge, although you’ll probably like having access to iCloud Drive storage in your Time Machine backups. You’ll definitely want to grab the upgrade, even if you don’t need some of the smaller perks — it should go quite some distance toward safeguarding your Mac.

Filed under: Desktops, Laptops, Software, Apple, Google

Comments

Source: MacRumors

27
Jan

Pushbullet launches apps for iPad, Mac and Safari


Pushbullet_Logog

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.

Click here to view the embedded video.

We’d love to know what you think of the new apps — so be sure to drop us a comment in the section below.

Download: iPad, Mac and Safari.
Source: Pushbullet

 

Come comment on this article: Pushbullet launches apps for iPad, Mac and Safari

27
Jan

Mobile games profit increasing on Android, starting to near iOS


google_play_logo

For years, developers flocked to iOS with apps and games because of profitability. Device owners within the Apple ecosystem spent more money than anywhere else and that made advertisers target iOS too. All of that is changing now, though, as developers are seeing Android’s profitability become comparable to iOS in some areas.

android_ios_2014_arpu_dau-up

The average revenue per user (ARPU) for Android games increased throughout 2014. When the year started, games available on Android had an ARPU that was 20% of iOS’. The year closed with that figure being at 65%. iOS kept its lead over Android; however, the glap is closing. This information comes from game marketing company DAU-UP. The firm also found that advertising costs are much lower (between 20-30%) on Android. Because of that, some Android games’ profitability could exceed iOS. One thing to remember here, too, is that this is about games and not Android apps as a whole.

Via: Business Insider

Come comment on this article: Mobile games profit increasing on Android, starting to near iOS

27
Jan

T-Mobile enables 700MHz support for multiple Android devices



T-Mobile has announced it has expanded 4G LTE coverage for its customers. Now, its users with devices compatible with the 700MHz network band can get an increase in data speeds when accessing LTE.

As of now, the compatible phones are the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 4 Edge, Nexus 6, ZTE ZMAX, Galaxy Avant, and Sony Xperia Z3.  The compatible tablets and devices are the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, and the T-Mobile 4G LTE HotSpot Z915.

 


The post T-Mobile enables 700MHz support for multiple Android devices appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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