The rumor mill has been buzzing with regards to significant changes that will be coming to AppleCare, Apple's popular standard and extended warranty program. Interestingly, it appears that AppleCare support for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is about to become much more of a pain for customers. This marks a significant change where Apple will seemingly make a decision to make the customer service experience worse rather than better, all in the name of saving a ton of money.
Former Microsoft CEO, current mosquito-wrangler and public donator of his vast wealth, Bill Gates, was talking on CNBC about how he feels iPad users are frustrated about not having a physical keyboard and the lack of Microsoft Office. Curious among many where he is getting his data. Bill didn't waste any time proposing the Microsoft Surface tablet, which has Microsoft Office, as a better alternative, despite sales indicating the contrary. Perhaps, it might behoove Microsoft to go to its roots and start selling software instead of trying to sell an ecosystem. After all, we're in the 'Post PC-era' as coined by the late Steve Jobs. On the other hand, Bill is saying tablets are growing in popularity, and that, eventually, they'll be hard to distinguish between them and PCs. Catch the video after the break.
"With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad type device. A lot of those users are frustrated. They can't type. They can't create documents. They don't have Office there. So we're providing them something with the benefits they've seen that have made that a big category but without giving up what they expect in a PC." - Bill Gates
Tickets for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference are now on sale. Last year, WWDC tickets sold out within two hours of going on sale, and that was without a pre-announcement of when they'd drop. This year, in an attempt to make sure everyone is ready, the company announced yesterday that tickets would go on sale this morning. Apple will show off both OS X 10.9 and iOS 7 at the event, with developer preview betas being available that same day. If you want to be there, we suggest you go get your tickets. Like, right now. In fact, it may already be too late.
In order to buy a ticket, you've gotta me a member of Apple's iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or the Mac Developer Program as of yesterday's announcement. You can buy one ticket per person, or five per organization, and they cost $1,599 each.
The fine folks at Tapbots have updated their popular iOS twitter client, Tweetbot, to version 2.8 for iOS. The update adds a new tab specifically for media timeline consumption, showing just the images and videos from those you follow. Additionally, you can now swipe right to left on any given tweet to reveal retweets and the number of users who favorited. Viewing photos has been made frictionless by eliminating the transition to another screen, much like the image viewer behavior of Tweetbot for OS X. Direct Tweetbot download links here: iPad and iPhone / iPod Touch.
What's New in Version 2.8
- New media timeline. Scroll to the top of a timeline and switch to the new media view (next to the search box). This view displays only supported image and video tweets.
- Completely redesigned image viewer
- Tweet/status detail view now displays the number of Favs and Retweets
- Fixed Instagram Previews
- Various other bug fixes
Read More | Tweetbot
Apple is in the midst of its Q2 2013 earnings call, highlighted by 37.4 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads sold. This represents record Q2 iPhone and iPad sales. Overall, Apple posted $43.6 billion in revenue, of which $9.5 billion was profit. While many analysts were predicting a crash-and-burn quarter, this is, instead, still growth. However, the growth rate has definitely slowed to the lowest it has been in years. To compare to last year, Q2 2012, Apple earned $39.2 billion in revenue and $11.6 billion in profit.
As for other products, Apple sold 3.95 million Macs, compared to 4 million last year. iPod sales continue to slow, with 5.6 million Q2 2013 sales compared to 7.7 million as the same time last year.
The Belkin Thunderstorm is the first full-range portable speaker system for the Apple iPad. After you get your iPad hooked up, you get cinematic sound (with some nice bass!) that's calibrated for games and movies. We chat with Belkin at CES 2013 about the Thunderstorm ad get all the details. The 30-pin model has just started shipping, with the Lightning model launching in the Spring.
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Word on the street is that Apple is behind schedule on iOS 7 due to the management shakeup that occurred when Scott Forstall was ousted from the company. Jony Ive has taken over as head of hardware and software design, and with that will come sweeping design changes within iOS. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has gone so far as to say that he's heard that Apple has had to pull engineers off os OS X 10.9 in order to help get iOS 7 ready for release.
It may sound odd, but Apple actually took a similar strategy back in 200, pulling developers off of OS X 10.5 Leopard in order to ensure that the iPhone would be ready on time, resulting in a four-month delay for the desktop OS. Of course, Apple had a lot less software engineers working on iPhone software back then, so it's pretty telling that with the expansive growth, there are still challenges getting iOS 7 out of door.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is set to launch the iPhone 5S this summer, and that the company is just about ready to start production of the handset that will be "similar in size and shape to its current one", which has been indicative of all the S model iPhones since the debut of the iPhone 3GS. If the report is accurate, it also marks the return of the iPhone to its summer release schedule, which it diverted from with the introduction of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, both of which saw fall releases. It could be that Apple is bumping up the release schedule of the iPhone, similar to what we saw with the short timeframe between the third-generation iPad and the fourth-gen model. Many will complain if that's the case, but us? Bring it on.
Read More | WSJ
Apple has just released iOS 6.1.3 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update brings a fix for a security bug that allows the home screen passcode to be bypassed through Passbook, as well as major map improvements in the Japan region. Jailbreakers beware, though, as it seems that Apple has also closed the software loophole that allows for the untethered jailbreak of iOS 6 in this version. If you're ready to update, head to the Settings apps, and then go into General, and select Software Update--or, just connect your iOS device to your PC or Mac and fire up iTunes.
The big rumor today is that Apple is set to launch the iPhone 5S in August, with a new 5th generation iPad and 2nd generation iPad mini appearing in April. Rene Ritchie at iMore has received reports that Apple is seriously considering the launch of the next iPads next month, including a redesigned iPad, and an iPad mini that may possibly see a Retina display. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5S will carry the same outer design that the iPhone 5 sports, but with a faster A7 processor, and improved camera (we're hearing 13 megapixels.) One rumor also says that the iPhone 5S may also coming in multiple colors, similar to the iPod touch. For now, iPhone 5 users need to rely on services like AnoStyle to get custom colors on their smartphones.
Read More | iMore
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