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What's Riding on Jony Ive's iOS Redesign
May 30, 2013
Jonathan Ive, the famed knight and industrial designer of the world's most admired Apple gadgets, has his work cut out for him. On the surface, he's the guy at Apple who's going to get rid of the hideous green felt that is our Game Center iOS app and the yellow lined notebook paper in the Notes app, along with other silly skeuomorphic designs in iOS.
Apple Stews in EU Pressure Cooker
May 29, 2013
The European Union reportedly is launching an antitrust investigation into Apple's iPhone sales tactics. Company CEO Tim Cook may have made it through last week's congressional hearings on the company's corporate tax policies relatively unscathed, but that doesn't mean the regulatory pressure is off for the tech giant. The EC last week sent several telecom operators a nine-page questionnaire.
iOS Loses Market Share as Windows Phone Gains
May 16, 2013
Android continues to rule the global smartphone marketplace with the OS accounting for 75 percent of shipments worldwide in Q1, according to the latest IDC report. Apple's once-dominant iOS had only 17.3 percent of the market. Windows Phone unexpectedly took third place from BlackBerry, which was relegated to fourth.
Silk's Cool Art App Lets You Swipe the Light Fantastic
May 13, 2013
Wow. I don't think I've ever started any review with a "wow," much less an italicized wow, but here it is: That one word sums up my first impression of Silk -- Interactive Generative Art, an app for the iPad and iPhone. The app lets you create flowing, mirrored strands of silk-like lines of colored light. You do that simply by swiping and dragging your finger.
The Dastardly Benefits of iOS Homogenization
May 9, 2013
Google's Android offers up more cool homescreens and customizations than Apple's iOS. In iOS, you get to jiggle your stack of icons around on the iPhone or iPad homescreen and swap out the background photo. Woohoo. I can hardly contain my excitement. There are no live tiles, like Windows Phone. There are no fancy weather images, no retro themes.
Twitter #music Tops the Charts for Song Discovery
May 6, 2013
The new Twitter #music app for iOS is the coolest app I want to love forever. However, it still gives me the nagging feeling that its slick graphics and fast play might leave our relationship just an empty shell of glitz and hope. Like those hot-and-heavy relationships that defy explanation, #music is a hard app to truly love -- or let go.
iOS 7 Will Be Flat by Design
May 3, 2013
Compared to recent Apple announcements, the secrecy surrounding the next release of the company's mobile operating system, iOS 7, has almost been hermetic. There have been reports of improvements in email and calendar apps, as well as a possible expansion of the operating systems' gesture library so it will match Apple's OS X products.
The Report of Tablets' Death Was an Exaggeration
May 2, 2013
When I saw the widely reported quote from BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins that there won't be a reason to have a tablet in five years, my first reaction was one of keen interest. After all, what's the opposite of dead tablets? Something else that's supercool. I expected that Heins would say something revolutionary -- that he would express, at the very least, a better vision of a tablet-free world.
iOS7's Road Could Include More Auto Integration
May 1, 2013
Apple is reportedly working with automobile makers to push more integration of its operating system into vehicles. iOS 7 is expected to debut at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and the refreshed version might launch with a total user interface overhaul led by company design guru Jony Ive. That update will include embedding Maps and Siri into new cars.
Google Now Could Steal Siri's Voice on iOS
April 30, 2013
In yet another challenge to Apple on the mobile front, Google has made its Google Now intelligent personal assistant available for iOS devices. Google Now is part of the Google Search application. It recognizes repeated actions that a consumer performs on a device to learn about usage patterns. The app displays more relevant information as cards that can be swiped on and off the screen.
Yahoo Weather, Email Mobile Apps Aim for Elegance
April 22, 2013
Yahoo last week unfurled two new apps that should help strengthen its mobile bona fides: the Yahoo Weather App for iPhone, iPod and iPod touch; and Yahoo Mail Apps for iPad and Android tablets. The new releases are in keeping with CEO Marissa Mayer's intention to pare Yahoo's extensive mobile portfolio to a handful of strong, user-friendly and productivity-oriented apps. Both are streamlined, and both deliver on Mayer's promise.
Facebook Gives iOS a Homey Touch
April 17, 2013
Facebook on Tuesday released an update to its Apple iOS app that includes just a few of the features in its Home suite of mobile social networking apps recently unveiled for Android users. iOS users can now refresh their Facebook app to include Chat Heads, the network's new messaging feature that makes short texts more personal by planting a tiny bubble with the picture of the person who is messaging next to the text.
PopAGraph Dazzles With a Little 3D Magic
April 15, 2013
Because the iPhone has turned into one of the world's most popular cameras, there's no shortage of photo editing apps in the iTunes App Store. Many of these apps are great, and many have overlapping features with similar special effects. So how does one photo editing app rise above the rest? What makes it great? Do-it-all apps are good, and I have several collected inside a Pic Tools folder.
DEA Can't Get Around iMessage Encryption Roadblocks
April 5, 2013
Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency aren't happy with Apple. They're complaining about not being able to decipher text messages sent through the company's iMessage app because of encryption, according to a published report. A DEA document noted that it's impossible to intercept messages from the app even if the agency could obtain a court order to do so.
A Tale of Two iPhone Launches
April 4, 2013
Back in the days of Steve Jobs, Apple enthusiasts could count on one more thing: While we weren't sure what sort of product Jobs was going to unveil, we knew it was going to be wicked cool. Now, after we've had the benefit of seeing Apple's rhythmic release of new products over the years, ferreting out patterns and likely time frames, we know more about new products than ever before.
March Madness App Brings Its 'A' Game
March 25, 2013
I've previously avoided most big sports and event streaming apps for simple reasons -- they tend to bombard you with glitchy ads or make you jump through hoops to view the content, such as proving that you're a cable or satellite subscriber. In March, however, NCAA basketball grabs my attention.
iOS Update Locks the Gate on Evasi0n Jailbreak
March 21, 2013
Apple on Wednesday rolled out another update to its iOS operating system: 6.1.3, which clamps down on Evasi0n, one of the most popular iOS jailbreaks. "The widespread use of this latest jailbreak hack seems to have energized Apple to deliver a fix in relatively short order," said Charles King, principal at Pund-IT.
Apple's Painful Cry in the Wilderness
March 21, 2013
When I first heard about Apple's new "Why iPhone" marketing page that went live shortly after Samsung's big Galaxy S4 smartphone launch, I thought, "Uh oh, Apple's really playing defense." The page makes it clear that Apple is either worried about the rising power of Samsung, or misguided in how it can best do battle with the Korean superstar.
Year Walk Is a Creepy Yet Delightful Stroll
March 18, 2013
Year Walk -- an iOS game by Simogo -- is a story-adventure-puzzle that creepily evokes what it might be like to wander the Swedish countryside in the middle of night, in the middle of winter, after spending a full day without food in a very dark room. That is, of course, if you're some dude from 1894 desperately in love with a woman -- and you embark on a Swedish folklore "Year Walk" in the hope of seeing your future.
Judge Orders Apple to Quit Pussyfooting Around
March 11, 2013
A judge gave Apple until the end of last week to produce details about how it would provide documents and other evidence requested in a privacy lawsuit. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal issued the order in San Jose, Calif., on March 6, following claims from the plaintiffs' lawyers that Apple was withholding documents it had been ordered to produce.
Intel Inside iPhones, iPads Would Let Apple Kick Samsung Out
March 8, 2013
Intel's reported plans to provide more contract manufacturing of processors are renewing speculation that it will seek a deal with Apple to make chips for its iPads and iPhones, according to published reports. That could leave Samsung, which makes chips for iOS devices, out of the picture.
Does Apple Need a Bigger Stick - or Charm School?
March 7, 2013
Apple, in so many ways, is now king of the hill. As such, behind every rock on the Web there seems to be a new charge to knock Apple down. If a competitor isn't charging the hill, Apple seems to be the target for stone-throwing. It's not that this is unexpected; the rise and fall of companies -- and Hollywood starlets -- is commonplace.
What Makes Apple's iWatch Tick?
March 5, 2013
The long-held belief that Apple is working on an iWatch gained more steam Monday, thanks to new rumors focusing on a launch later this year, along with what the watch might actually do for users. Apple may have filed scores of patent applications that include the word "wrist," but the number and detailed nature of the leaks about its plans raise the question of whether the company has loosened its famously tight grip on security.
When It Comes to Mobile Browser Speed, This Puffin Can Soar
March 4, 2013
In order to entice me away from one of Apple's standard built-in apps -- like the Web browser Safari -- I need something faster, more functional or with a slicker design. Usually, I expect a combination of these features before I'll take the leap. Puffin Web Browser by CloudMosa has been doing pretty well in the Utilities section of the iTunes App Store, hanging around as one of the top paid utilities.
Apple Offers Cash and Vouchers to Calm Irate Parents, Settle Suit
February 27, 2013
Apple has proposed a settlement of a lawsuit stemming from children making purchases within iOS applications without their parents' permission. The settlement, expected to be approved by a federal judge Friday, could cost Apple tens of millions of dollars. The class action litigation was filed in April 2011 in a federal district court in California.
BizVizz Brand Transparency App: Great Promise, Ho-Hum Delivery
February 19, 2013
Behind every big name brand is a big company. These companies might do good for the world or they might not. Or like most people, they could be inconsistent, doing good in some ways but snatching more than their fair share in others. A new app called BizVizz seeks to share information about these big companies while you are shopping.
Flaws in iOS 6.1 May Bruise Apple's Business Appeal
February 15, 2013
Recent flaws found in Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 6.1, are raising questions about whether they could tarnish the iPhone's appeal in the enterprise. Since its arrival in January, Apple has had to push a number of updates to fix problems with the OS. It released a minor upgrade, version 6.1.1, to address a connectivity issue with devices using the software.
Apple May Be Prepping an iOS Makeover
February 6, 2013
Changes to Apple's operating system and user interface might be under way, with the company restructuring the design side of operations. Since Scott Forstall, the former vice president of iOS, left the company last fall, Apple has posted job openings that indicate it is looking for employees to help "reimagine" its mobile operating system.
There's More Behind Apple's Blithe iPad Release Than Meets the Eye
January 31, 2013
Apple's corporate communications department is an oxymoron -- it barely communicates at all, at least through traditional methods like press releases. If you consider the high-profile nature of Apple, the number of products, the competition, as well as the sheer size of the company, it's odd that it puts out just a handful of press releases a year.
Amazon Makes Play for iTunes Customers
January 18, 2013
Amazon expanded its reach across Apple's music universe Thursday by enabling iOS users to purchase tunes from its MP3 store directly through the Safari Web browser. To purchase music from Amazon with an iPhone or iPod touch, users can visit the retailer's website built for the devices, browse its catalog of more than 22 million songs, and complete the buy using an Amazon account.
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What effect is social media having on the current discussion of sexual misconduct?
It's enabling many more people to engage in serious discussions.
It's functioning mostly as an echo chamber.
It's giving everyone a voice.
It's creating much more divisiveness.
It's enabling a cultural re-education.
It's making my news feed so unpleasant I'm staying away.