Category: Apple

iOS 10.3.3 Beta 2 Released to Testers

Apple has seeded the second beta build of iOS 10.3.3 to both their developer and public beta testing communities today.  The update is available for download for those with registered iPhones and iPads that are compatible with the update.  This second beta does not bring any new features and focuses on overall performance and bug fixes.

While it is not clear when 10.3.3 will be released, it will likely be soon for a few reasons.  First, this is very much a maintenance release and with the exception of a new wallpaper for the iPad Pro 12.3″, there is nothing new to be found.  Second, and perhaps more importantly, WWDC starts next week.

WWDC App Update For Next Week’s Conference

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, WWDC, kicks off on Monday, June 5th.  For those who are attending, there is an updated official app of the conference now in the App Store.  The update brings the full schedule of the conference including keynotes and working sessions as well as maps to help you find your way around and get curated video playlists.  It’s a solid update and is handy for those who are attending and those who won’t be making it.

The WWDC app includes a lot of information on the venue tab.  This year’s event is being held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California and on the Venue tab you will find maps of the convention center, check-in information, Wi-Fi information and key information for attendance.

Apple Maps Updated with Apple Park Campus Details

For those of you who have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, there is a fun update to Apple Maps for you today.  The server-side update will now show you all of the detail of the new Apple Park campus which is slated to open up next month.  The update shows you the estimated $5 billion “Spaceship” main building but also shows you the walking trails throughout the campus as well as the Steve Jobs Theater, the location where it is expect new Apple product releases will happen.

There is nothing you need to do to your iPhone, iPad or Mac.  The update is on the server so just go to Maps and search for Apple Park and you’ll get it right away.

Android Tablet Sales Drop 10% in The Last Quarter of 2016

While there were a few bright spots, the Android tablet market continued to constrict in the last quarter of 2016 according to Strategy Analytics.  The site Q4 2016 report is out and with it, you see that overall, Android tablet sales dropped by 10% year-over-year with Samsung seeing a 10% drop themselves year-over-year.  Interestingly, relatively new comer Huawei saw a 49% increase in growth over last year as they made their first significant efforts in the tablet space in 2016.  It seems to have paid off – at least for now.  Amazon also enjoyed a nice growth rate of 21% thanks to their Fire lineup of Android-powered tablets.

The news on tablet sales didn’t just impact Android.  Apple saw a 19% drop in iPad sales year-over-year in Q4 2016.

Google Simplifies Android Migration from iPhones for New Users

Google has been very clear and vocal that one of the primary goals of the new Google Pixel lineup of phones is to lure iPhone users away from iOS and Apple to Android.  While the success of the Pixel and Pixel XL looks strong and the phones are certainly attractive, users moving from one ecosystem to another as they would in this case have one big challenge:  Data migration.  Keeping all your calendar events, photos and videos and contacts are critical for migrating from iOS to Android.  To that end, Google has launched an all new Switch to Android site which outlines exactly what those who want to migrate need to do to assure all their content is backed up.  The key to all of it:  Google Drive.

The step-by-step site has users first download Google Drive onto their iPhone then use the new Backup Wizard built into the app to backup their Contacts, Calendar events, and Photos & Videos.  Once the content that you want to back up is selected, they are all backed up via Google Drive to the respective Google services.  Your contacts go to Google Contacts, your calendar events to Google Calendar and your photos & videos to Google Photos.  Because of limitations in iOS, in order for the backup to work, you must have Google Drive running and in the foreground on your iPhone (iOS doesn’t allow background syncs) and depending on how much data you have, this process could take several hours.  Obviously, use Wi-Fi to do this as it will speed things up (and be cheaper!).

Google One-Ups Apple on New Revenue Split Scheme with Developers

Google appears to be set to not only match the new developer revenue sharing model that Apple has announced, but to one-up it.  The hubbub started yesterday when Apple announced that developers would move from a 70/30 split to an 85/15 split on revenue share.  This is a very good thing for developers and came as a bit of a surprise from Apple.  Almost immediately the question became if Google would match it for those developers on Android.  The answer appears to be yes and to be even better.

The iPhone is Dead! Utter Bollocks…

Over the course of the last 3 weeks or so, really since the Apple earnings call, my Twitter and Google+ feed have been full of posts and articles on how the death of the iPhone, and by extension Apple, is near.  They point to the ever increasing growth of Android across the globe, the poor showing of Apple in their last quarter, the lackluster iPhone SE (which I reviewed for Gear Diary) and the rumors of what may well be a lackluster iPhone 7.  In a word, bollocks.

I’m an Android user.  I love Android.  I left iOS a couple of years ago for a reason.  I didn’t like the ecosystem, I found iOS buggy and limiting and ultimately, after a breach of their 2-factor authentication that left my devices locked forever, I had enough.  I have found a breath of fresh air in Android.  I enjoy the flexibility it offers both as a platform and in devices and while it is far from perfect, it gives me the things that I wanted.  But just because I’m an Android user doesn’t mean that I hate anything and everything iOS.  I have always advocated that users find the tool that works best for them.  If that is Android, great.  If that is an iPhone, great.  As long as it meets your needs, that’s ultimately the goal.  It is not a zero-sum game.

Google Now More Valuable Than Apple

Today Alphabet announced their quarterly earnings and the big news in all of it was that the is now more valuable than the once untouchable Apple.

In their financial report, Alphabet market cap value is $570 billion while Apple’s cap is $535 billion.  This is the first time since 2010, before the iPad, that Google has been more valuable than their Silicon Valley competitors.

Apple Music Arrives for Android

Earlier this year, Apple said that they would be making Apple Music available to Android users later this year for those who wanted to take advantage of the monthly streaming & music purchasing service.  That day has arrived and the beta build of the app is now in the Google Play Store.

Much like Google Play Music, Apple music allows you to subscribe for $9.99 per month or $14.99 per month for your family and allows you to stream music, download music from your iTunes account and get curated content from Apple.

Apple Music for Android (BETA) – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Android Wear Launched for iOS

Google has officially launched Android Wear for iOS, bringing the option of Android based smartwatches to iPhone users.  The release was announced on the official Google Blog and for those who have an iPhone running iOS 8.2 or higher, you now can sync your LG Watch Urbane with your iPhone and get all the features and functionality that you can on an Android phone.  It’s a big move for Google and it gives iOS users an alternative to the AppleWatch.

Interestingly, the integration of Android Wear and iOS is currently only available on the LG Watch Urbane which means that users of other devices won’t be able to sync up with an iPhone.  Google states in the post that further watches will support iOS.

Apple Announces Apple Music for Android

Today in San Francisco, Apple announced that Apple Music for Android will be coming in July as part of a larger announcement that the company made around iTunes.  The new service is a subscription model where you can pay $9.99 per month (or up to 6 people on the same account for $14.99 per month) will be yet another offering for Android customers but the question will be if it is too late.  There are certainly some advantages to having Apple Music on Android devices, namely the Apple catalog of music which is hard to beat.

Don’t Be Shocked By OS X Being Vulnerable – But Don’t Gloat Either

The news over the weekend that Apple’s flagship OS’ where more vulnerable to security threats should not come as a surprise to anyone. As one who formerly used OS X and iOS, I knew it was just a matter of time before the two platforms were targeted and it appears in 2014 that happened.  Why it shouldn’t come as a surprise is simple and comes down to simple target size for hackers.  The key however my fellow Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users is not to gloat to much.  We have been here and know the pain.