Apple Releases iOS 7.0.4, Other Software Updates
Following Tuesday's surprise iPad mini with Retina display launch
, Apple released a number of updates for iOS devices, Apple TV, and iWork for iCloud.
iOS 7.0.4, iBooks and iTunes U
iOS 7.0.4 is a minor maintenance update for all current generation iOS devices that fixes a potential issue with FaceTime calls. The 37MB update also addresses other unspecified bug fixes and improvements. iOS 7.0.4 is available for the iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, and 4; iPad Air, iPad 4, 3, and 2; iPad mini with Retina and iPad mini.
In addition to iOS 7.0.4, iBooks and iTunes U finally received their iOS 7 makeovers.
iOS 6.1.5 Update for 4th Generation iPod touch
What, what?! The iPod touch 4th generation also go a little bit a love today with the release of iOS 6.1.5. This minor update for the iPod touch which cannot be upgraded to iOS 7, received a similar FaceTime update.
Apple TV 6.0.2
Apple TV also received such a small update that there was no mention of what was fixed. I did not notice any new channels or new features after the update was applied.
iWork for iCloud Beta Update
If all of the iOS love wasn't enough for you, iWork for iCloud received some much needed collaboration updates. Document editors can now see who else can collaborate on a document and where their cursor is positioned inside the document.
Labels: apple, apple tv, iPad, ipad mini, iphone, ipod
Surprise! Apple iPad mini with Retina Display On Sale NOW
During the October 22 keynote address, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the new iPad mini with Retina display would be available in late November. It would seem then, that Christmas has come early this year.
The Retina iPad mini has gone on sale only at Apple's online store and is not yet available at the company's retail locations.
Supplies are clearly limited. The Space Grey and White/Silver 16GB Wi-Fi only models are available for shipping in 1-3 days. If you want a 64GB, 128GB, or any model with a cellular modem in it, you will be waiting 5-10 business days to get your new iPad.
If you are planing on getting one of the new iPad mini with Retina tablets for someone on your Christmas shopping list or for yourself, I would strongly suggest that you click the "Buy Now
Labels: apple, ipad mini
WD Investigating Data Loss Issue with OS X 10.9: Mavericks
Over the weekend, hard drive manufacture Western Digital, sent out an email advisory to some customers alerting them to a data loss problem according to ZDNet
Western Digital is "urgently investigating" customer reports "and examining a possible connection with its own software, notably the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications."
Western Digital customers using these applications on their Macs running Mavericks are urged to uninstall the suspect applications to mitigate the risk of data loss.
Read the full story on ZDNet.com
Labels: apple, mac, mavericks, os x
BlackBerry Lives to Fight Another Day, Gets New Leadership
BlackBerry, the Canadian smartphone maker and services company, received an 11th hour save yesterday.
In a sweeping move, the company announced that Mr. Thorsten Heins has stepped down as CEO and has given up his seat on the board. At the same time, Blackberry announced that the company was no longer for sale, and that it had entered into an agreement with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, one of the companies looking to take BlackBerry private, would invest $1 billion dollars into the company.
In what is sure to set Crackberry users into a tailspin was the announcement that BlackBerry will continue to build BlackBerry 10 smartphones and not sell off that part of the business.
BlackBerry also announced that Mr. Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax, would become a new board member and that Mr. John Chen would be brought on as the new chairmen of the board and interim CEO.
"[...]John S. Chen will be appointed Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and, in that role, will be responsible for the strategic direction, strategic relationships and organizational goals of BlackBerry. Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax, will be appointed Lead Director and Chair of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee and Thorsten Heins and David Kerr intend to resign from the Board at closing."
In addition, Mr. Heins will step down as Chief Executive Officer at closing and Mr. Chen will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer pending completion of a search for a new Chief Executive Officer."
With all the churn with the BlackBerry leadership, board member Barbara Stymiest was tapped to announced the shake up.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors,” said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board. “The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.”
“I am pleased to join a company with as much potential as BlackBerry,” said Mr. Chen. “BlackBerry is an iconic brand with enormous potential – but it’s going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim our success. I look forward to leading BlackBerry in its turnaround and business model transformation for the benefit of all of its constituencies, including its customers, shareholders and employees.”
Mr. Chen is no stranger to corporate turn arounds. The last time we saw him, he was CEO of Sybase, Inc, a database and corporate software company. When Sybase was purchased by SAP AG
, in 2010, the company sold for $5.25 billion.
In the interest of full disclosure, I earned my Sybase ASE and Rep Server merit badges as a DBA in the early 2000's and I though that Mr. Chen, hearing him speak at two of the Sybase's annual user conferences, did a good job of turning Sybase around leading up to it's sale to SAP. I'm interested in seeing what he can accomplish with BlackBerry.
You can read the full press release on the BlackBerry website
Labels: blackberry, blackberry 10, rim
Apple Updates Remote, AirPort Apps
Yesterday afternoon, Apple released updates to their Remote and AirPort Utility apps.
Evident from the app descriptions, the AirPort Utility did not receive an iOS 7-like remake. It still looks like it's older iOS 6 version of the add. The jump to 64-bit native code should make the app run smoothly on the new iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and the soon to be released, iPad mini with Retina Display.
The Remote app, received a complete iOS 7 design make over. While the functionality of the software does not appear to have changed, the UI has. Remote now has the Help screen overlay that flies in when you tap the help question mark icon located at the top right of the screen. The Menu button now appears a circle icon with a text label "Menu" at the bottom center of the screen, with additional playback controls on either side. The large "track pad" area still dominates the majority of the screen, however, now appears as a frosted pane allowing you to "see" your wallpaper in typical iOS 7 blurred effect fashion.
Both applications are available in the iTunes App Store for free.
Labels: airport, apple, apple tv, ios 7
iPad Air Unboxing Photos
Here are some photos from my iPad Air unboxing and comparison with my iPad third-generation.
|My iPad Air arrives home from the Apple Store|
|iPad Air and the beige Smart Case|
|iPad Air in it's box|
|Boom! It's and i|
|Behind the iPad Air are the accessories|
|iPad Air's accessories|
|The inside of the iPad Air Smart Cover|
|iPad Air with Smart Case vs iPad 3 with Smart Cover|
|iPad Air on top of the iPad 3 (face up)|
|iPad Air on top of the iPad 3 (face down)|
Labels: apple, iPad Air, unboxing
Purchasing My iPad Air
Another Apple launch weekend is upon us and, after a long mental debate with myself about whether or not to get a new Apple iPad Air, I did make the decision to buy one, upgrading from my iPad with Retina Display (third generation).
I chose to get my new iPad Air at the New Haven Apple Store. I wasn't disappointed.
The Apple Store had ample stock of the 32GB Space Grey Wi-Fi iPad Air. Stacey, sales associate who helped me, what polite, asked if I had any questions or if I needed help using iCloud to move my data from my iPad 3 to my new iPad.
A major factor in my decision to purchase the new iPad Air was the weight of the unit as compared to my iPad 3 without its plastic back shell and Smart Cover on. Being able to walk in and play with the new iPad Air without all of the security brackets and thick security cables was a major plus for me.
Another major benefit of shopping at the Apple Store rather than a big box store like Best Buy, which I did visit on Friday afternoon, was not only being virtually guaranteed to get the device I wanted, but also having my pick of new Apple accessories too.
In addition to buying the iPad Air, I also picked up a beige Apple Smart Case.
I've become a bit of a frequent visitor to this Apple Store over the last few weeks, and the store was busy, but not mobbed. Over all, it was a great shopping experience and I was in and out in 20 minutes.
If you are on the fence about getting a new iPad Air this weekend, there is still plenty of stock available at your local Apple Store and online. Third-party box stores inventory will vary. (The Best Buy store I went to on Friday only received 22 Wi-Fi only 32GB Space Grey iPad Airs for example.)
Labels: apple, apple store, iPad Air, tablet
Reflections on the Apple In Store iPhone Upgrade Experience
This is a blog post that I've been meaning to write for a while now. The following are my thoughts and experiences with the upgrade process from my iPhone 4S to the new flagship iPhone 5S smartphone at a local Apple Store. Overall, I was pleased with the upgrade process, but in my option, there is still room for improvements with iCloud and the restore process.
The Upgrade Experience
Like many nerds, I upgraded my iPhone on launch day, September 20. I don’t upgrade off contract every year, nor do I think I need to. Surprisingly, this is my first iPhone upgrade. When I became an iPhone owner, with the iPhone 4S, I was upgrading from the ill-fated Palm Pre. I had to work on launch day so there was no waiting around for me in massive lines that are typical of an iPhone launch. By the time I arrived at the store, the hoopla had died down to the normal flow of things and the overall shopping experience was a good one. Luckily, the Apple Store I went to still had the iPhone I was looking for, a 32GB Space Grey iPhone 5S for Sprint.
The upgrade experience went smoother than I expected and much quicker than the last upgrade experience from my BlackBerry Curve to Palm Pre at a Sprint retail store. After a few short minutes of waiting for my iPhone to be called up from the back, the Apple Store employee verified my Sprint account status and the wireless contract portion of the upgrade was complete.
While the backend “cellular” upgrade was happening with Sprint, I used iCloud to back up my iPhone 4S and when it was done, I powered it down. The Apple employee seemed to be on autopilot and started to jump into the process of setting up my phone. This is likely because the process was well rehearsed throughout the day, but again, being a nerd, I wanted to take over the upgrade.
I powered on the iPhone 5S and ran through the welcome program and I was quickly setup and running. The restoration of settings and data from my iPhone 4S came over easily enough and all of my installed applications began downloading and installing on my new phone without intervention.
The restoration of my music and photos was a bit of a hassle, more so than I expected from Apple. You see, hours later, after all of my apps reinstalled, the Settings app was still showing that the iCloud restore was underway. I knew that a few photos were missing, but I couldn’t tell if any of my music was too. Knowing that my photos were in Photo Stream and on my Mac in my iPhoto library, I killed the restore. I really would like to see Apple clean up this process of iCloud backup/restore as this is not the first time I’ve seen this problem, and it was not unique to my phone. I’ve seen the same issue on family and friends iPhone’s. I never really liked killing there restore because I was never really sure, nor where they, that they had their photos backed up anywhere.
To improve the process, I would like to see Apple add some kind of progress or status to the restore. Additionally, if there where problems restoring data, what data it was, and then moving on to the next bit of data and then finally completing the restore. I think there is more problems created when the restores are left open ended since you can’t start a new iCloud backup until the seemingly stalled iCloud backup completes. In my experience, the restore never completes and the user is never notified.
As a workaround to this issue, I recommend that if possible; backup your current iPhone to your Mac or Windows PC running iTunes and a sync cable. I know that seems like crazy talk in some tech circles but it was save you the hassle at restore time. Then, pick up your new iPhone, skipping the restore step and then sycing it with iTunes to reload your data. An iTunes cabled back up/restore has never failed me upgrading my iPod touches or iPads.
All-in-all, the retail shopping experience at the Apple Store, as compared to a wireless carrier or big box store, was far superior. The actual transfer of service from old phone to new phone was pretty painless also. I just wish that the iCloud backup and restore went smoother than it has been my experience in the past. Results will vary and I hope you enjoy your new iPhone.
Labels: apple, iphone 5s
Rumor: Second Apple Media Event Scheduled for Oct 22
AllThingsD.com says to get ready for new iPads.
"People familiar with Apple’s plans tell AllThingsD that the company will hold its next invitation-only event on Tuesday, October 22. The focal point of the gathering will be the latest updates to the company’s iPad line, but the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks will likely get some stage time as well, I’m told."
I am so ready for Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iPad 5. Whether or not we'll get an iPad mini with a Retain display this year is still the subject of debate, and frankly, would be disappointing, considering that Google is pushing the 2013 Nexus 7 with a hi-res screen.
Check out the full article on AllThingsD.com
Labels: apple, iPad, mac pro, os x
Apple Releases iOS 7.0.2 for iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C
Earlier today, Apple released the second iOS 7 update, iOS 7.0.2.
This minor update for the newly released iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C is intended to address a vulnerability that was detected last week that could allow an attacker to bypass the security lock screen. If you happen to have the Greek version of iOS installed on your device, you can once again use the Greek language keyboard for passcode entry.
The latest iOS upgrade can be downloaded via the Software Update control panel located at: Settings > General > Software Update.
The iOS 7.0.2 upgrade weighs in at 17.4MB, which is practically nothing when compared to the over 700MB iOS 7 upgrade package pushed out on Wednesday, September 18. Previously, Apple released iOS 7.0.1 for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C last Friday, September 20 as a minor tweak for the new hardware.
Apple is also working on an iOS 7.1 update that many people believe will be released on or around October 15 as part of what is rumored to be the iPad refresh event held ahead of the all important holiday shopping season.
Labels: apple, ios 7, iphone 5c, iphone 5s
Apple Posts iOS 7.0.1 Update for iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C
As Apple began selling the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C to customers this morning, iOS 7.0.1 was also rolling out to all the newly activated iPhones.
The minor update, simply lists "bug fixes and improvements" as the payload for this update. My guess is these are just last minute tweaks for the new hardware. The update is just 17.6MB.
Apple is also said to be working on iOS 7.0.2 and 7.1 already according to the usual "people close to the matter".
Labels: apple, ios 7, iphone 5c, iphone 5s
Apple iPhone 5S Status - I Got One!
It has been a beautiful fall day here in Connecticut, especially since I was lucky enough to pick up a 32GB Space Grey iPhone 5S this afternoon at the New Haven Apple Store.
According to the staff, all of the Verizon and AT&T iPhone 5S models were sold out. I also got the impression that the 16GB iPhone 5S units for Sprint and T-Mobile were running close to empty also. But, as it turns out, they still had "a few" 32GB Sprint units left, to which I happily forked over my $299, plus tax. I also picked up a Product (RED) Apple leather case of my new iPhone 5S.
The Apple Store was "super busy" this morning, but when I arrived at around 2:00pm today, the store was full of people, but it wasn't a mob scene.
While I was lucky to have gotten my iPhone, and rather late in the day I might add, not all of Apple's fans where able to get their hands on the new white and ultra-rare gold iPhone 5S were difficult or damn near impossible to find.
I took a few minutes to look at the new gold color iPhone 5S. If you are looking to buy a gold iPhone, this photo might be as close as you can get for weeks yet.
Regardless of what you plans were for iPhone 5S day, I hope it was a good one for you.
Labels: apple, iphone 5s, sprint
Apple's iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S Go On Sale Today
Starting at 3:00am, 12:00am Pacific, this morning, Apple started online sales of the new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. Apple Stores around the country open in just over 90 minutes to begin selling what I'm sure will be a blockbuster success for Apple.
2013 will be remembered as the first year that Apple released two iPhones simultaneously. The iPhone 5C is a redesigned iPhone 5 that includes a new polycarbonate colored shell similar to the iPod touch. The iPhone 5S, sporting it's new Touch ID sensor, M7 motion co-processor, and all new, 64-bit A7 processor is a mobile power house sporting the same processing power as the Macintosh.
If you are looking for an iPhone 5C today, there is a good chance you will be able to find one in the color and capacity that you want. The yellow iPhone 5C, however, might be a little more difficult to find as it appears to already be quantity constrained when ordered online.
People looking for the new flagship iPhone 5S should start today off by planning on being disappointed today. If the media is anywhere near accurate, we should be prepared for SKU stock outs very quickly today. Demand for new iPhones is up this year, however, the new Touch ID sensor has been widely reported as bedeviling Apple's manufacturing partners and the yield rate on iPhone 5S models is much lower then Apple would have liked. Reports around the Internet are also stating that the white and gold iPhone 5S models are being produced in a 3:1 ratio to the black/space grey model, meaning that white iPhones 5S will be harder to find, and reports from around the world where iPhone 5S is already on sale are stating that the gold iPhone 5S is virtually impossible to find.
So, what are we Apple fans suppose to do? I'm preparing for not being able to get a new iPhone 5S today. I'm going to attempt to go to a local Apple Store this afternoon when I get out of work. Sure I'll be taking a half day, but after being on sale for 5+ hours by the time I get there, I'm expecting stock outs on the 32GB space grey model.
If you can't stand not getting a new iPhone as soon as possible, or can't get to an Apple Store this morning, you might want to just order the unit online at Apple.com
. Shipping times for 32GB units are still showing as 1-3 days.
The iPhone 5S pricing starts at $199 for a 16GB model and goes up $100 successively for the 32GB and 64GB models. The iPhone 5C pricing starts at $99 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32GB model. Apple is also keeping the iPhone 4S around in an 8GB model for free when you sign a 2-year contract with your wireless carrier. Starting today, all four major US wireless carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will begin selling the new iPhones.
The iPhone 5 models released last year have entered retirement today, and have been replaced by the iPhone 5C in Apple's three tier features model.
All three iPhone models will run Apple's iOS 7.
Whatever you end up doing, I hope you are able to find the iPhone you are looking for today, if not very soon.
Happy iPhone Day!
Labels: apple, att, ios 7, iphone 5c, iphone 5s, sprint, tmobile, verizon
Apple Posts iOS 7.0 and iTunes 11.1 Updates
A short while ago, Apple posted the General Availability, or "GA", versions of iOS 7.0 and iTunes 11.1.
Before upgrading, we encourage you to read our Getting Ready for iOS 7 guide
You can download iOS 7.0 to your iDevices by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update and clicking the "Download & Install" button. The 768MB installer package will download and install. The download times will vary depending on the speed of your device's Internet connection.
You can also download the latest release of iTunes, version 11.1, from the Mac App Store, Apple Software Update on Windows PCs, or from the Apple iTunes website
Labels: apple, ios 7, iPad, iphone
Get Ready for iOS 7
Happy iOS 7 Day!
Later today, Apple will be releasing iOS 7 to everyone. Here's a list of things you need to know and do to get ready for today's upgrade.
1. iOS 7 is a major user interface/user experience overhaul. While much of iOS will work the same as it always has, all of the graphical elements of the OS have been changed. Your iDevice will look different after this upgrade.
2. Update and upgrade your apps before upgrading to iOS 7. This step is important to ensure the best experience with iOS 7 and software compatibility.
2a. Upgrade to the latest release of iTunes for Mac OS X or Windows either by using the Mac App Store, the Apple Software Update control panel on Windows PCs, or using the download link on the Apple iTunes page
2b. Upgrade your iOS apps.
Over the past month there has been a steady stream (read: a monsoon-like flood) of app updates from both Apple and third-party developers. These updates range from minor compatibly updates to major application upgrades to take advantage of the many new features in iOS 7. Install all of your iOS app updates to get the best possible experience today. Also, keep in mind that some third-party application developers will be releasing their iOS 7 compatible software as a completely new application, which, will require you to repurchase the software title. This may not seem fair after we have gotten use to free software upgrades. App developers need to eat too and they have been working hard to make the best possible application for us. Repurchasing their great software is a small price to pay.
3. Backup your iDevice BEFORE
I can't stress this point enough. Luck favors the prepared and it is in your best interest to do this step before downloading and installing iOS 7 on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch you rely on everyday. The last time I upgraded my everyday iPhone to a new version of iOS without backing up first was the first time that the upgrade failed and I had to hard reset my phone. Luckily, I only lost a few unimportant text messages, but it could have been worse.
3a. The easiest way to back up your iDevice if you are on a good Wi-Fi network is to use the iCloud backup feature. Navigate to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup and tap the "Back Up Now" button.
3b. If you prefer to backup to iTunes on your local Mac or PC, then launch iTunes and then connect your iDevice via the provided charge and sync cable. Your iOS device will be automatically backed up.
4. Plugin and charge your iDevice before starting the upgrade. If possible, leave the charging cable connected for the entire duration of the upgrade process.
5. Upgrade your iOS device to iOS 7.
5a. The easiest way to upgrade to iOS 7 is to use the over-the-air, or OTA, method. Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update. When your device is ready to upgrade, you will see the upgrade now message.
5b. Again, if you are a "I want to use iTunes" person, make sure you've upgraded to the latest version of iTunes before starting. Then connect your iDevice to your Mac or PC via the provided charge and sync cable. You will be prompted to upgrade to iOS 7. After the upgrade package downloads, the upgrade process on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will begin.
Important Things to Keep in Mind
The iOS 7 upgrade process is one way
! You will not be able to (easily) downgrade back to iOS 6. If you aren't sure you are ready of the new look and feel of iOS 7 it is probably a good idea to wait until you can get down to an Apple Store and play with a demo unit with iOS 7 on it first.
iOS 7.0 is a major redesign of iOS 7. While there has been a rigorous beta test period where Apple and third-party developers have been testing and resolving bugs in the system there will still be problems here and there. If you are the type who doesn't like "adventure" while using your iDevice will probably want to wait a few weeks for iOS 7.01. and 7.0.2 to be released. Apple is already testing those maintenance updates to iOS 7. I expect them to be released over the next 2-4 weeks, leading into the iPad event rumored to be October 15, when I expect Apple to release iOS 7.1.
If you are installing iOS 7 on an iPhone or iPad that has been issued to you by your company's IT department, you will want to hold off upgrading until they have had a chance to test the new software with the existing software and back end servers to ensure that you have a good experience.
I hope you found this guide helpful and enjoy iOS 7 later today!
Labels: apple, ios 7, iPad, iphone, ipod, touch
"Low Cost" iPhone 5C
Tomorrow, Apple is expected to unveil a pair of new iPhones: the high-end iPhone 5S and it's low cost sibling, the iPhone 5C.
While many have been excited about the prospect of a low cost iPhone, I wouldn't get to excited just yet. We might be better off thinking about the iPhone 5C as a "lower cost" iPhone.
If a new post by AllThingsD's John Paczkowski is correct, anyone expecting a $300 iPhone is going to be disappointed.
"Analysts expect Apple to price the so-called iPhone C somewhere between $400 and $500, potentially establishing a new mainstream price band between the smartphone market’s high end and its low end."
Backing those claims is Katy Huberty who last month published a note to investors indicating that Chinese customers, a very important market segment for Apple, find a $486 dollar iPhone to be "acceptable".
Apple will hold their fall media event tomorrow, Tuesday, September 10, at 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern.
Labels: apple, iphone 5c, rumor
Apple Sends Out Invites for Sept 10 Event
Apple promises to brighten our day. I sure hope so.
T minus 159 hours and counting.
Labels: apple, ios 7, iphone 5c, iphone 5s
Microsoft to Acquire Nokia for $7 Billion
Early this morning, the Wall Street Journal
reported that Microsoft will acquire Nokia's mobile business in a transaction expected to cost $7 billon dollars.
"The companies said late Monday that Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion to buy "substantially all" of the Nokia business, which includes its smartphone operations. The Redmond, Wash., company will also pay €1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, the companies said, bringing the deal to €5.44 billion, or $7.18 billion."
The deal ends months of rumors that Microsoft would buy Nokia. As part of the deal, Microsoft will license Nokia's patents and will hire the 32,000 current Nokia employees, which also includes Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive.
The deal comes at a time when Microsoft is falling behind handset rivals Samsung and Apple. Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that as part of his company's major restructuring, he is attempting to turn Microsoft into a "devices and services" company. Acquiring Nokia is expected to give Microsoft a much needed jump start in the mobile phone market.
Making the deal a successful will be difficult. Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 software, which is the exclusive operating system software on all of Nokia's smartphones, has not been the success that Microsoft or Nokia had been hoping for with a US marketshare of about 3-4%.
You can read the full press release on Microsoft's website
Labels: microsoft, nokia, windows phone 8
BlackBerry Q10 Arrives on Sprint Aug 30 for $199
The BlackBerry Q10 keyboarded smartphone will be arriving on Sprint this weekend for $199 with a new two-year service agreement.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 26, 2013 - The first 4G LTE BlackBerry® 10 smartphone from Sprint, the BlackBerry® Q10 smartphone, will be available Friday, Aug. 30, in direct ship sales channels, including Sprint Stores, Business Sales, Web Sales and Telesales at 1-800-SPRINT1, for $199.99 (excludes taxes and surcharges) with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement.
“Our customers have anxiously awaited the arrival of the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone,” said David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “Its best-in-class physical keyboard, productivity features, enhanced security capabilities and apps make it easy to be productive at work and connected to friends and family after hours. With the Sprint Unlimited, My Way and My All-in rate plans, our customers will be able to use the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone as it was intended, without worrying about silly data caps or overages.”
If you are still rocking an old school BlackBerry running BlackBerry OS 7 or earlier this is the upgrade you have been waiting for.
Labels: blackberry, blackberry 10, rim
Rumor: iOS 7 To Arrive on Sept 10
The blogosphere went nuts yesterday heightening the silly season chatter around Apple's major overhaul of their mobile operating system, iOS 7, when Owen Williams of Owened.com
posted what appears to be a leaked notice from Nuance that suggests that iOS 7 will be released the same day as Apple's September 10 invitation only media event.
According to Apple
, iOS 7 will be released "this fall" and is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina displays, and the iPad mini.
September 10th is just 14 days away.
Labels: apple, ios 7, rumor
Analyst: Ballmer Forced Out Due to Surface RT Write Off
Patrick Moorhead, the principal analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy, said what we were all thinking about with Microsoft's announcement that CEO Steve Ballmer was retiring sometime in the next 12 months.
"He was definitely pushed out by the board. They either drove him out, or put him in a situation where he felt he had to leave to save face."
Moorhead is clearly talking about Microsoft's Board of Directors displeasure about the company's recent $900 million dollar write off of Surface RT tablets collecting dust in Microsoft warehouses around the world.
I give Ballmer credit for attempting to turn Microsoft into a devices and services company. In the long run, it's probably the right thing to do. But no one said it was going to be easy, or not without some serious risks, as I'm sure Steve is now well aware.
Read more at ComputerWorld.com
Steve Ballmer Set to Retire Within 12 Months
Big news coming out of Redmond this morning. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that he will be retiring sometime in the next 12 months.
In today's press release, Microsoft indicated that the Board of Directors has put together a special committee to search for a new CEO. The committee is being chaired by John Thompson.
REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 23, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said. “We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”
The Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. The special committee is working with Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.
“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company,” Thompson said. “As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry.”
“As a member of the succession planning committee, I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,” said Gates. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”
The full Microsoft press release can be found on the Microsoft website
Rumor: Photo of the "Gold" iPhone 5S Shell Leaks
iPhone rumor silly season is in full swing, and to whet our appetites, a new leaked photo from a Japanese website leaves us clamoring for more.
Yesterday, the above photo of what appears to be the metal casing for a champagne colored iPhone made the rounds. Flanking the gold assembly, is a current generation black and white iPhone 5.
I'm looking forward to upgrading my iPhone 4S to a new iPhone 5S. The real question for me is what color should I get. I am waffling between black and white. For the last six years, I've had a black smartphone. I'm thinking this time, I might opt for the white-but-sure-looks-grey-in-this-photo iPhone 5S. The white model looks like it would match my MacBook Pro. But I'm not sticking with anything until I click the "Confirm" button on the Apple online store website.
Labels: apple, iphone 5s, rumor
Rumor: New iPhones to Arrive in Japan on Sept 20
AppleInsider, via CNET, has discovered a news item on Japanese publication Nikkei that suggests that the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will launch in country on September 20.
Reported to be available from SoftBank (the new majority owners of Sprint here in the US) and KDDI at launch.
I think it's a safe bet to say that here in the US, we will get one if not two new iPhone models no later than Sept 20.
It has previously been rumored that Apple is planning a media event scheduled for Sept 10, a mere 20 days from today, to unveil - and possibly launch - iOS 7 and the next generation of iPhones.
Labels: apple, ios 7, iphone 5s, rumor
Plants vs Zombies 2: It's About Time Review
The wait for Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time is finally over and is ready for you to download to your favorite iOS device now!
As the name implies, Plants vs. Zombies 2 (PvZ2) is the follow on sequel to PopCaps wildly popular Plants vs Zombies game. In this tower defense game, you control an army of plants defending your yard from the attacking zombie horde. (Note, I'm not a fan of zombies, but these zombies and the plants as well, are of the cute variety and not scary at all.)
"Free to Play"
Unlike the original game, PvZ2 is a "freemium" game, meaning that the game is free to download and play, however, there are many in app purchases that cost money. I really don't like freemium games because most games of this type start out easy enough, but after a few levels, they become increasingly difficult and you have to start paying real money to move up in the game. The good news about PvZ2 is that in my experience after playing the game for a weekend is that you don't have to buy any power ups to defeat levels and move on to the next level. While you don't have to buy any upgrades, I did purchase one upgrade - the $3.99 extra seed tray. It was an upgrade that I purchased with coins in the original and I wanted to have that same ability in the sequel.
|New locations spice up game play. Crazy Dave has also added new power ups to help fight zombies.|
If you've played Plants vs Zombies you already know how to play PvZ2. The basic game mechanics are the same. In PvZ2 however, you are in control of which board you play, and to some degree, what order they are played in. Once you've completed the required missions, you can replay the boards to earn stars, keys, and other power ups to help you along the way. You collect stars to move on to the next level. In PvZ2, there are four level, three are playable now, and the fourth one is kind of coming soon teaser. You collect keys to unlock doorways on the board that open up other playable games and gain access to new plants or power ups like extra plant food slots. (More about plant food later.)
|Once you've won the level, play these mini games to collect stars to get to the next level.|
Unlike the original, PvZ2's mini games are built right into the main game. Once you have completed the necessary boards in a level, you need to go back and replay some boards to collect stars. You use your collected stars to unlock the next level; or you can pay $4.99 as an in app purchase to skip directly to the new level. This dynamic can be challenging as my younger daughter tells me, but if you put a little time an effort into beating these mini game/challenge levels, you can win without having to buy power ups.
|Choose your plants. Use In App purchases to get popular plants from the original game.|
While I am glad that you can play PvZ2 without having to purchase anything, I am annoyed that you have to purchase some of my favorites plants from the original game that were included for no extra charge, such as the Snow Pea ($3.99), the Jalapeño ($2.99), Squash ($2.99) and Torchwood ($3.99).
|Collect start to unlock the time portal to the next level.|
Power Ups and New Mechanics
|Don't want to collect stars? It'll cost you to advance right away.|
In the original buy-it-once-and-you-get-everything Plants vs. Zombies, you purchased the game and that's it. You're done. There is nothing else to buy that costs real money. In PvZ2, PopCap has changed this. There are four new power ups that add a new game mechanic to PvZ.
The first is Plant Food. Plant food is something you can collect while battling zombies or purchase with coins that you pick up along the way. If you don't have 1,000 coins, no problem. You can just do an in app purchase to buy more. You can also use those game coins, either collected or purchased, to buy more uses of the other power ups: Power Pinch, Power Toss, and Power Zap. These power ups, provided by Crazy Dave, do just they sound like. Power Pinch allows you to use a two finger pinch attack on zombies to pop their heads off. Power Toss allows you to pick up zombies and then flick them off the game board. Lastly, Power Zab allows you to electrocute the zombies and burn them up in their tracks. When you activate a power up you only get a few seconds to use them. They are great for getting out of a jam when you are trying to fortify your defenses and the dreaded huge wave of zombies message appears on screen. My advice is to use them sparingly as you will need more coins to recharge the power ups and if you don't have enough, you can always get more coins via, yup you guessed it, an in app purchase. My advice is to use them sparingly. If you are thinking a move or two ahead in the game, you can get "buy" without them.
Protect Your Privacy
|Keep your data private|
In today's day and age with the NSA snorting up all sorts of personal and private data about us, any little thing you can do to protect your privacy is a good thing. Tucked away in the settings for PvZ2 is the setting for "Sharing Usage Data." Defaulted to "Enabled", this option allows PvZ2 to pass along your game playing usage data to EA. EA's in game verbiage says that the date won't be shared, and that may be true, but I'd rather just turn off the option all together.
Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time is a good game that extends the fun of the original into new worlds, levels, and game play. The game is free to download, but you'll need to watch out for in app purchases. If you have little ones, it might be a good idea to turn on the parental controls features of iOS and disabling in app purchases of any kind. I've done this for my kid's iPod touch handhelds and I don't have to worry about coin buying sprees while I'm at work.
The game play is easy to learn and master and the replay value is there for a few replays. After I have played a board three or four times I'm pretty much ready to move on to the next board or level. The animation of the plants and zombies is still cartoons that gives the game a cute an innocent feel that won't make you rethink your decision to allow younger child to play.
If you liked the original game then you will like PvZ2. If you are new to the PvZ world you won't have to have played the original to get into and enjoy the sequel.
Plants vs. Zombies is available as a free download
now. It is also a universal binary which means that the one download will work on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Labels: gaming, ios, lifestyle
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