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The Top 8 Features of iOS 7 That Actually Matter
August 29, 2013
One of the best things about Apple's iOS machine is how it churns out a new release every year that packs new features that most every old iPhone or iPad can use. Upgrades. You can count on something new from Apple even when you're not standing in line to buy a shiny new iPhone 5S or 5C. Other manufacturers push out updates too, but none are as good at it as Apple.
Ramping Up Retail in the Run-Up to Release Season
August 28, 2013
Apple's retail operations can be counted among Steve Jobs' "babies"; the stores' slick design and sales techniques are legendary in the industry for their per-square-footage sales. In 2012, Apple retail store sales outpaced Tiffany's by 40 percent. Apple is in no danger of following in the footsteps of, say, J.C. Penney or Sears, but its retail operations have shown some worrisome signs of decay.
Apple Stores May Soon Kick Your Old iPhone's Tires
August 27, 2013
Apple is preparing to debut a trade-in program that will allow customers to swap an old version of their iPhone for the latest version of the company's flagship smartphone, according to reports. Talk of the trade-in program for Apple's U.S. retail stores has been circulating since June. Staff training for the initiative is now apparently under way at some of the company's retail locations.
Rumors Running Wild as Sept. 10 Draws Near
August 23, 2013
Apple fans are gearing up for the Big Event on Sept. 10 and -- drumroll, please! -- the introduction of its next iPhone. By now company watchers have agreed that the following is the likely go-to-market blueprint for Apple this time around: The company is introducing two devices -- one with its usual high-end features, sleek design and iterative upgrades; the other, a cheaper device.
Is There Gold in Them Thar Cupertino Hills?
August 21, 2013
"They just gotta have that gold," warbled Jose Feliciano in the theme song to the 1969 movie Mckenna's Gold, but those very same lyrics might well be the theme for recent media coverage of the forthcoming line of iPhones. Speculation is rife that Apple will include a gold-colored iPhone, or at least one with champagne-colored trim, among its new lineup.
Apple Slurps Up Matcha for TV Search Tech
August 14, 2013
Apple has reportedly acquired Matcha.tv, a startup that closed its doors in May following its creation of an iOS app that offered a comprehensive overview of the content available on TV. News of the acquisition was first published in a Tuesday report that cited "a source with knowledge of the deal." Terms of the purchase have not been confirmed.
Apple's Not-So-Good Week
August 14, 2013
Uh oh, Apple. Carl Icahn -- the activist shareholder and spoiler of many corporate deals, the latest being Dell's attempt to go private -- has announced to the world that he has amassed "a large position" in your stock. This news came via a tweet from Icahn on Tuesday afternoon, touting not only his position in Apple but also his belief that the company is "extremely undervalued."
Poor Patch Management Makes CMSes Low-Hanging Fruit for Hackers
August 13, 2013
Content management systems like WordPress and Joombla have become popular targets for hackers in recent times because flaws in those systems can be leveraged for mischief across literally millions of websites. WordPress is running on some 73 million websites and Joomla some 35 million, so if you're a cybercriminal with a fresh vulnerability in your satchel, you can do some serious damage.
What if Apple Holds a Launch Event and Nobody Cares?
August 12, 2013
Sept. 10 reportedly is the day Apple will unveil its latest iPhone. Although there have been some apparently well-founded leaks, Apple has not confirmed anything. It hasn't said whether it will be launching an iPhone 5S or a 5C, as rumored. It has not even confirmed the Sept. 10 launch date. Despite the radio silence on Apple's part, there's been no shortage of speculation.
Desperately Seeking Innovation
August 07, 2013
Apple may have won the battle, but it is in danger of losing the war. The battle was last Saturday's veto by the Obama administration of the International Trade Commission's decision to ban certain Apple products that it found to have infringed Samsung's patents. As for the war, that would be Apple's long struggle to preserve its reputation for delivering startling innovation.
Apple Takes Charge of 3rd-Party Charger Problem With Special Offer
August 06, 2013
Owners of idevices who are using third-party USB power adapters can now trade them in for Apple adapters for only $10 or the equivalent in local currency -- almost half off the retail price. Users can get one adapter for each device they own, up to Oct. 18. The offer follows reports from China that at least one person died from electrocution when using a third-party USB power adapter on an iPhone.
Apple May Have a Rainbow of Retina-Display Minis Under Wraps
August 02, 2013
The next iPad mini, expected to debut in the December quarter, may have a high-resolution display and come in an assortment of colors other than black and white. The switch to Apple's famous Retina screen would bring the next-gen mini in line with the company's other iOS products -- and this isn't the first hint that Apple may be adding more color to its iOS line.
The iPhone 5C Is Shaping Up to Be the Scariest Product Apple Ever Created
August 01, 2013
As I follow the rumor mill surrounding the fabled low-cost iPhone, aka "cheap iPhone," and more recently, "iPhone 5C," I'm starting to get worried. What's wrong with me? Isn't an inexpensive iPhone important to help Apple fight freaky robot things threatening to take over the world? There's nothing out-of-the-ordinary wrong with me, but there's a problem with the iPhone 5C.
iOS 7 May Bring Fingerprint Scanning to the Mainstream
July 31, 2013
The next iPhone will likely have a fingerprint scanning feature through iOS 7, iOS developer Hamza Sood has tweeted. Fingerprint scanning "adds another factor to the authentication process ... [which is] a net good thing" because this makes accounts more secure, said Tom Kemp, CEO of Centrify. "This is, of course, assuming the scanning technology works."
Apple Hit With 2 Shameful Allegations
July 29, 2013
Pegatron, which is reportedly making a new, less-costly plastic iPhone, has become the latest Apple supplier to be accused of labor violations, in a report published by China Labor Watch on Monday. Pegatron has denied the allegations, and both it and Apple have announced they will investigate the claims. "CLW has uncovered myriad violations," maintained CLW Executive Director Li Qiang.
Australia May Tweak Copyright Laws to Knock Down IT Prices
July 29, 2013
Australia has recommended changes to copyright law that would allow Aussie citizens cheaper access to IT hardware, software and digital downloads after a parliamentary inquiry found no good reason for prices to be so high Down Under. The inquiry sought to unearth why IT prices were so much higher in Australia than elsewhere. The probe kicked off last year.
Chromecast: Big Threats Come in Small Packages?
July 26, 2013
Google shook up the streaming video world Wednesday when it introduced a $35 HDMI dongle that allows content to be airmailed from a smartphone, tablet or laptop to a TV. Called "Chromecast," the unit is already being hailed as a potential streaming set-top box killer. "It could make the set-top box obsolete," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. "It makes the set-top box redundant."
The Case for a Bigger, Badder iPad
July 25, 2013
I'm wondering if we're not heading toward a larger iPad. First, Mac sales were down a bit last quarter. No big deal -- there haven't been any major upgrades, and the MacBook Air upgrade came late in June. Sold well, apparently. While Apple's Mac sales haven't been slipping and sliding like PC sales, clearly an awful lot of traditional computing has shifted to smartphones and tablets.
Apple Searches Haystack for Product to Move the Needle
July 24, 2013
Apple's upcoming new products will be the key to the company's emergence from its current doldrums, CEO Tim Cook told analysts during its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday. Asked by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster if there were any product categories big enough to move the growth needle for Apple, Cook responded: "We'll see, Gene. We're working up some stuff that we're really proud of."
Apple Taps Locationary to Get Maps in the Right Place
July 19, 2013
After suffering considerable backlash for the mapping technology it included in iOS 6, Apple has now brought in some expert help. Specifically, it has acquired Locationary, a startup that takes a crowdsourcing approach to map data. Locationary's Saturn technology uses Big Data to fill in the blanks in maps. In this case, the Big Data in question is provided by users.
Notes From the iPhone Rumor Trail
July 19, 2013
As rumors swirl about the next iPhone, the current models of Apple's popular smartphone may be selling better than expected. Sales of the iPhone for the quarter that ended June 30 will beat Wall Street expectations, according to a report released Wednesday by Morgan Stanley. Some 29 million to 32 million units were sold during the period, 10-20 percent better than the 26.5 million units expected.
AT&T's Tricky Plan Won't Tempt iPhone Fans
July 18, 2013
AT&T's new smartphone service plan is misguided and dumb, at least for iPhone owners. Still, I'm quite pleased to see AT&T's plan. Let me explain. Anything that decouples the cost of an iPhone from a long-term contract and service plan is good for the industry. Consumers need to know that smartphones don't cost $199. They also need to know that there's more than one viable business model.
Will Ad-Skipping Win Hearts for Apple TV?
July 17, 2013
Apple reportedly is planning to set up a premium version of a service on Apple TV that would let subscribers skip ads. The company apparently plans to compensate content providers for lost ad revenue. This might complicate Apple's long-drawn-out negotiations with content providers. "I'm not sure what the business sense of this is at all," said Michael McGuire, VP of research at Gartner.
Blinding Light and Deep Dark Evil: Apple's App Store After 5 Years
July 11, 2013
The iTunes App Store is one of the most transformative Apple innovations ever, perhaps the most important to the world, and yet, despite its shiny bright flickering light of goodness, it's freakin' evil. I've been reflecting on the 5th anniversary of the App Store, and in some ways, I'm blinded by the staggering numbers and pure joy certain apps have brought to my life.

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