Category: iOS

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.

Google Maps Enabling Trip and Real Time Location Sharing

Google Maps is in the process or rolling out a location sharing feature that you may actually want to use.  Location Sharing is something that has been a bit spotty for both Android and iOS with Apple probably having it figured out best with Find My Friends.  But, as is usually the case with Apple, it is only for fellow iOS users.  That is why this new feature in Google Maps is so exciting.  It works cross platform between Android and iOS.

In a nutshell, here is how it works.  When the feature rolls out to you, there will be a Share Location feature in the menu.  Tap it then select the contacts you want to see your location in real time.  You can set it up to share your location in real time for a set amount of time or until you turn the feature off.  Once you start sharing, your selected contacts will get a notification on their phone and when they open up Google Maps, they will be able to see where you are in real time.

Android Accounts for 81.7% of all Smartphones Sold at The End of 2016

Gartner has released their quarterly smartphone sales report and it is solid news for both Android and iOS.  In the report, the analyst company states that Android accounted for 81.7% of all smartphones solid in Q4 of last year.  If you add that to the 17.7% for iOS, these two platforms account for 98.4% of all smartphone sales.  It is a staggering number and it goes a long way in explaining why the Microsoft’s and Blackberry’s of the world have all-but killed their own Operating Systems on mobile devices.

The report goes on to say that Apple has surpassed Samsung as the top selling brand globally in the final quarter of the year.

Today’s Deal – Anker 5-Port USB Charger with Quick Charge 3.0 Support

Today’s Deal is on the Anker 5-Port USB Wall Charger.  This 63W unit has two ports that support Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapid charging of compatible devices.  Today you can pick it up for $29.99, a saving of 60% off the regular $60 price.  Anker is one of the long time manufacture of accessories for Android and iOS and I never hesitate in recommending their products.  This particular accessory I have (albeit the Quick Charge 2.0 model from last year) and it is rock solid and used every day for the myriad of devices I have plugged into it at any given point in time.

Microsoft – A Mobile Strategy Does Not Have To Include Phones

Microsoft and their mobile devices, Microsoft Lumia, were in the news again this week and not in a good way.  The company has all-but confirmed that they will be killing off the devices and brand by the end of 2016.  As a long time H/PC, PocketPC, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone users (I started this site back in 2004 writing about Handheld PCs and PocketPCs), it is a shame to see a company with the resources of Microsoft so utterly screw up their mobile strategy around devices.  There are a lot of reasons for this of course and I could spend a lot of digital ink on it.  But the bottom line is, from a device perspective, Microsoft made a long series of major missteps that has led to where we are today:  Virtually no Windows powered phones.  Sure there is the new HP Elite X3 but at the price point it has ($799), it will see very few and really, it’s aimed at the enterprise anyway.

But to suggest that Microsoft’s mobile strategy is dead because their phones are dead is a bit of a stretch and dare I say, false.  Their strategy is very much alive and well across both Android and iOS and proves that you don’t necessarily have to have phones in the mix.  Microsoft’s focus has been pretty clear for the last two years.  First, they want you using Microsoft services on whatever devices you want to use.  Second, they want you to have the apps to make you productive and give you near the same level of functionality as you have on the desktop.  These two things not only make up a mobile strategy but it makes a pretty solid one.

Microsoft Reportedly Buying Swiftkey for $250 Million

According to a report from the Financial Times, Microsoft is set to announced the acquisition of the popular keyboard app developer Swiftkey for $250 million.  While neither company would confirm the report, it is expected to be announced later this week.

Swiftkey is hugely popular with Android and iOS users who leverage the apps artificial intelligence to quickly sort out what someone is typing as they swipe across the keyboard on their device.  It is at AI that Microsoft is interested in acquiring as the Redmond company continues to drive its mobile app strategy despite their own mobile platform being all-but dead.

Review of iClever Bluetooth Keyboard

When it comes to Bluetooth keyboards, there are plenty to chose from in the market. The questions for most of use come down to two big factors: A comfortable keyboard layout (not too cramped) and the overall footprint of the device. It is a difficult combination to find but the team over at iClever have come up with what I think is an excellent and functional solution.  The iClever Foldable Wireless Keyboard gives you the full keyboard feel of a keyboard you would have on your desktop (or close to it) while it neatly folds into a compact square that you can easily carry with you without taking up a huge amount of room.  It works on any device that supports Bluetooth 3.0 or higher and it has OS-specific function keys for Android, iOS and Windows.  With a standby time of over 200 days and 84 continuous hours of work time, this keyboard should meet the needs of even the most demanding user.  All of this is in a package that sells for $34.99, a steal of a deal for all that this keyboard has to offer.

iClever Foldable Wireless Keyboard – $34.99 – Amazon

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.

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