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Posts tagged ‘iPhone’

25
Aug

Samsung Launches Limited iOS Beta Program for Gear S2 Smart Watch


Back in January, Samsung announced plans to add iOS support to its Gear S2 Smart Watch, and it appears the South Korean company is getting close to launching the promised iOS app.

Starting today, Samsung is launching a new beta testing program for the Gear iOS app (via SamMobile), which will run from Wednesday, August 24 to Monday, September 19, suggesting a release date that could come as early as late September.

The Gear iOS beta is only available to Samsung Gear S2, Gear S2 Classic, and Gear Fit 2 owners who are located in South Korea, so U.S. users will not be able to participate in the beta testing process. Participation in the beta program requires an Apple ID and an iPhone 5 or later running iOS 8.4 or later.

Samsung plans to use the feedback garnered from beta testers to make improvements to its upcoming iOS app. Details on the app, including screenshots, leaked out back in April. Based on that leaked information, the Gear S2 iOS app will be able to deliver notifications to the smart watch and it will be able to install and manage apps from the Gear store.

Aside from an end date of September 19 for the beta testing program, Samsung has given no hints on when iOS support will be officially implemented.
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25
Aug

Apple Stops Signing iOS 9.3.2 and iOS 9.3.3


As of today, Apple has stopped signing iOS 9.3.2 and iOS 9.3.3 for compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, meaning users can no longer upgrade or downgrade to those versions of iOS using iTunes. Apple is now only signing iOS 9.3.4.

iOS 9.3.2, initially released to the public on May 16, 2016, was an update that initially bricked some 9.7-inch iPad Pro devices until an updated version was released on June 2.

iOS 9.3.2 was followed by iOS 9.3.3, released on July 18, and iOS 9.3.4, released on August 4. iOS 9.3.2 and iOS 9.3.3 were both compatible with the recent Pangu iOS jailbreak software, which is disabled by iOS 9.3.4.

Now that Apple has stopped signing iOS 9.3.2 and iOS 9.3.3, it is no longer possible to downgrade to a version of iOS that supports the Pangu jailbreak.
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25
Aug

Deutsche Telekom to Offer Subscribers Six Months of Apple Music for Free


German carrier Deutsche Telekom is planning to lure new customers by offering six months of Apple Music service for free, reports iPhone-ticker.de [Google Translate]. Aimed at customers who have not yet tried Apple Music, the offer will be announced at IFA in Berlin, set to take place from September 2 to September 7.

According to the report, new Apple Music subscribers on Deutsche Telekom will get the standard three-month free trial and then an additional three months of service paid for by the carrier.

Following the conclusion of the six month trial period, customers will be able to continue their subscriptions and pay for them via their personal phone bill, making it easier to maintain a subscription. It is not known if Deutsche Telekom will only be covering individual subscriptions or if customers are also eligible for family plans.

For its Apple Music service, Apple offers extended three month free trial periods in an effort to get people accustomed to using the service, a longer trial period than the one month offered by most streaming services. Apple’s strategy has been somewhat successful, and as of June 2016, Apple Music had more than 15 million paying subscribers.
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24
Aug

Photo Editing App ‘Prisma’ Now Supports Offline Picture Processing


Popular photo manipulation app Prisma has been updated to allow offline processing of images for the first time.

The photo app recreates images in the style of famous artists and gives shots a painterly aesthetic using neural networks, but up until now users needed an internet connection and had to wait for the app’s Moscow-based servers to process their pictures.

The latest update doesn’t bring offline mode to the whole collection of Prisma’s filters, but the developers say more is to come on that front, and the change means server-side video manipulation is just around the corner.

“Now that we’ve implemented neural networks right to the smartphones, we have enough server capacity to run full videos on them in the near future,” said the Prisma team.

Prisma Labs says “repainting” times have been reduced to five seconds on Apple’s latest iPhones and that there should be no increase in handset battery usage.

Prisma is a free download on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]
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22
Aug

Twitter’s night mode comes to iOS


It was only a matter of time before Twitter brought its night mode to iOS, and sure enough, it’s here. The social network has started rolling out a settings tweak that, like on Android, lets you shift to a darker color scheme to avoid straining your eyes (or because you prefer the look, of course). This definitely isn’t the first Twitter client on iOS to do a night mode, or even the best implementation — Tweetbot has had the option for ages, and it switches automatically based on time of day where Twitter asks you to toggle it manually. Still, it’s nice to see such a practical feature reach the widest audience possible.

Rolling out today – we’re bringing night mode to iOS! 🌙 https://t.co/XxNZHQdth9 pic.twitter.com/WLwKi4H0Oe

— Twitter (@twitter) August 22, 2016

Source: Twitter (1), (2)

22
Aug

iPhone-Compatible ZEISS VR ONE Plus Headset Launches for $129


ZEISS has announced that its iPhone-compatible VR ONE Plus virtual reality headset is now available at Best Buy stores across the United States for $129. The headset has a universal smartphone tray that fits most smartphones with a screen size between 4.7 and 5.5 inches, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

iPhone users can use the VR ONE Plus with thousands of virtual reality apps on the App Store, including Google Cardboard apps, in addition to 360 degree YouTube videos and Google Street View. The headset has an immersive field of view of approximately 100° and can be used while wearing eyeglasses.

ZEISS is also accepting VR ONE Plus orders through its website in the U.S. and Europe.
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22
Aug

Twitter’s Night Mode Now Available for iOS


Twitter today announced that it is expanding its “night mode” option to its iOS app, allowing Twitter users to enable a darker mode suitable for reading tweets at night. Twitter first brought night mode to Android devices in July and after a beta testing period, the company is now ready to offer the option in both of its mobile apps.

Night mode can be enabled by tapping on the gear icon and choosing the “Turn on night mode” option. It is disabled in the same way, by tapping the gear icon and selecting “Turn off night mode.”

Night mode should be a welcome addition for those iOS users who have been hoping Apple will implement its own Night Mode option, as it makes the Twitter interface much darker and more comfortable to look at in low light conditions.

Rolling out today – we’re bringing night mode to iOS! 🌙 https://t.co/XxNZHQdth9 pic.twitter.com/WLwKi4H0Oe

— Twitter (@twitter) August 22, 2016

Twitter’s new night mode feature is rolling out to Twitter users starting today. The Twitter app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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20
Aug

Apple Accepting Donations for Louisiana Flood Relief


Apple has added banners to its U.S. website, iTunes Store, and App Store encouraging customers to donate to the American Red Cross to help support people who have been affected by the widespread flooding in southern Louisiana.

Donation tiers available include $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200, with all proceeds from donations sent to the American Red Cross. All transactions are processed as iTunes or App Store purchases.

Flooding in Louisiana, which started last week after torrential rainfall, have damaged more than 40,000 houses and left many thousands of people without homes. More than 20 parishes have been affected, and in many of the areas, flood insurance was not common because they weren’t known flood zones. The Red Cross has called the Louisiana flooding the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy.

Apple often puts out a call for donations for disaster relief. In the past, Apple has collected Red Cross iTunes donations for the 2016 fires in Alberta, the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the refugee and migration crisis in the Mediterranean sea, the 2013 Philippines typhoon, and more.
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19
Aug

The New York Times Announces Closure of News Curation App ‘NYT Now’


The New York Times has announced that its curated news app, NYT Now [Direct Link], will officially shut down and no longer be available to download from the week of August 29. The app was originally announced in early 2014 as a way to provide readers with a cheaper alternative to the digital subscription service offered by the company, coming in at $8 per month, “roughly half the price of the least expensive digital subscription.”

NYT Now was said to be an attempt by the New York Times to offset dips in revenue from its traditional printed newspaper circulation. The goal was to present a less expensive subscription model, with news focused and curated for each specific user, and attract people who might not otherwise subscribe due to the ease-of-access inherent in mobile apps. Unfortunately, “the app never quite took off,” and NYT Now transitioned to a freemium model last year in an attempt to expand its audience.

Kinsey Wilson, the executive vice president for product and technology, said the decision to do away with NYT Now was driven in part by a shift in how the company thinks about broadening its audience. The Times, with the help of its audience development team, now looks more to third-party platforms like Facebook and Twitter to expand its reach among younger readers.

“That gave us a different ability to tap into younger audiences and to provide exposure to a much, much wider audience,” Mr. Wilson said.

The app was said to have peaked in May 2015 with 334,000 total unique users in one month but, in the last three months, it only managed to acquire 257,000 total unique users. Many of NYT Now’s features will be folded into the company’s main mobile app, NYTimes [Direct Link], “including morning and evening news briefings, bullet-point lists and a more conversational tone.”

The editors of NYT Now have written a brief note about the app’s shuttering, including the specific locations users can find its various features in other apps. For readers who keep the NYT Now app on their iOS or Android device, it will officially cease being updated in September.

Apps like Apple News, which offer users a wide breadth of news stories from an expansive list of various publishers, are also likely to contribute to a slight loss of subscribers for single-publisher apps. Apple News is even getting a feature in iOS 10 that will support paid subscription models from sites like The Wall Street Journal, curating premium content right alongside free stories from other publishers.
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17
Aug

Apple builds an R&D center in China to survive a tough market


There’s no question that China isn’t as much of a money maker for Apple as it once was. However, it’s not about to quit the country — if anything, it’s settling in for the long haul. The company has unveiled plans to build a Chinese research and development center by the end of the year. Just what it’ll work on isn’t evident at this stage, although it’s part of an overall increased investment in Apple’s second-largest market.

It has a few good reasons to set deeper roots in China. Much as with the massive investment in Didi Chuxing, it’s at least partly about assuaging regulators who’ve been banning services and are otherwise jittery about an American company on their turf. Apple is trying to show that it can create jobs and otherwise contribute to the Chinese job market beyond stores and factory contracts. This also helps Apple recruit Chinese talent that would be difficult or impossible to bring overseas.

The moves might be necessary in a nation whose smartphone market is particularly volatile. Apple isn’t the only one hurting — IDC estimates that Xiaomi, a darling of the Chinese market just a year ago (it’s sometimes billed as China’s Apple), saw its shipments plunge a whopping 38.4 percent year-over-year during the second quarter. The exact reasons for its trouble are mixed, although it’s a latecomer to advertising (it historically relied on online sales) while rivals have stepped up their game.

Both Apple and Xiaomi might also simply be facing a changing of the guard. While Huawei is still the top phone brand in China, it’s technically eclipsed by BBK’s rapidly growing smartphone empire. It owns Oppo and Vivo, whose shipments surged (in Oppo’s case, by 124 percent) to make them the second- and third-largest phone brands in China this spring. Combine that with the smaller but plucky OnePlus badge and BBK largely has the country covered, ranging from budget phones for the mass market to attention-getting flagship devices. Anyone trying to take on BBK faces a multi-pronged assault, making it that much harder to topple.

Source: Reuters, IDC

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