The day after Apple's latest earnings call, I got an email from a reader that asked if the days of Apple leading the world in consumer electronics innovation has come to an end, and if the playing field is leveling out:
Q: What's up with Apple? It seems the stock is down, profits are great, and products are stagnant, only seeing revisions rather than new product categories. Have they gotten too big to be as nimble as they used to be?
Coincidentally, I was browsing Facebook earlier, and I came across a post where a friend was very unimpressed by Apple's announcement of the 128 GB iPad:
Maybe it's the jet lag, but the latest 'New Thing' is a 128GB iPad?
This is it?
Where's Apple innovation?
I dunno, it seems that people expect way more from Apple than any other company. They update their iOS products on a yearly cycle, and they even updated the iPad mid-cycle last time (which people got upset about too, because it was too soon. Wait, what?)
Do people forget that the original iPod was released in 2001, and then the iPhone 6 years later, and then the iPad another three years after that? The iPad isn't even three years old yet, and people are saying Apple has lost something. Big, game-changing products like this take time.
After a longer than normal beta period, Apple has finally released iOS 6.1. You can download it now and update your device over the air, or by using iTunes, and can expect various bug fixes and improvements, including:
- LTE support for more carriers
- The ability to purchase movie tickets with Siri
- iTunes Match users can now download individual songs from iCloud
- New button to reset the Advertising Identifier
Let us know if you find any other hidden goodness in this release!
Amazon has just launched a version of its MP3 catalog that is made ready to use for the iPhone or iPod Touch mobile Safari with use of the open standards of HTML5. This is a way for Amazon to avoid the App Store cut of 30% with selling music to iOS users. Customers can view purchases and stream the music via the Amazon Cloud Player app avaible in the App Store.
For the first time ever, iPhone and iPod touch users can discover and buy digital music from Amazon’s 22-million song catalog using the Safari browser. Customers also have access to favorite Amazon features like personalized recommendations, best-seller lists and Amazon customer ratings. Music purchases are automatically saved to customers' Cloud Player libraries and can be downloaded or played instantly from any iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, Roku, Sonos home entertainment system, any web browser, giving customers the freedom to enjoy more music, from more devices than any other major cloud music service."
Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices. For the first time ever, iOS users have a way do that – now they can access Amazon’s huge catalog of music, features like personalized recommendations, deals like albums for $5, songs for $0.69, and they can buy their music once and use it everywhere. - Amazon
Read More | Amazon
The very popular Temple Run game has been made into a sequel. Temple Run 2 is now available in the App Store in the US and boosts 3Dish animated landscapes. The great news is that the game is free! Here is a list of other features.
- Beautiful new graphics
- Gorgeous new organic environments
- New obstacles
- More powerups
- More achievements
- Special powers for each character
- Bigger monkey!!!
Read More | Temple Run 2
Sure, we've given you a list of our top 10 most popular stories of 2012, but we figured we'd go a bit more broad than that. We also thought it would be interesting to give you a look at the top ten most read stories on this site this year, period, regardless of what year they were posted. We must say, we're just as surprised as you are at what did (and didn't) make the list! For example, you guys seem to really like Monster's Beats by Dr. Dre audio line. Here we go:
- ColorWare now offering custom-painted Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones
- White iPhone 4 vs. black iPhone 4 comparison
- iPhone 3G vs iPod touch 2G in pictures: Odd that an image gallery featuring the iPhone and iPod touch from two years ago made our top ten list, but there it is!
- Exclusive: Pink Beats by Dr. Dre Charles Hamilton customs
- Limited Edition white Beats by Dr. Dre headphones hands-on: You can't deny that Monster has a hit on their hands with the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones.
- iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. Original iPhone in pictures
- iPhone 5: White & SIlver or Black & Slate? (gallery)
- iPhone 5 White & Silver unboxing gallery
- Bleeding Edge TV 190: How to Replace Your iPhone Battery
- iPod touch picks up 4-inch display, better cameras, new colors, and Siri
Any surprises? We've also compiled a list of the stories that have dropped out of the top ten between 2010 and 2011, which you can check out after the jump, and don't miss the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012 either!
Just like that, Apple has released iOS 6.0.2, which looks to fix a Wi-Fi connection bug that affected some iOS devices. So, if you were one of the lucky ones with that problem, let us know if this update resolves it.
iOS 6.0.2 Software Update
This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:
- Fixes a bug that could impact Wi-Fi
Read More | Apple
Speaking of marketing, watch every Apple commercial from 1977 to present day. There's about 485 commercials, which includes the famous Mac vs PC, the technicolored hipster iPod dance ads and, of course, the iconic 1984 Macintosh SuperBowl spot directed by Sir Ridley Scott. One of my favorites, the first iPhone ad 'Surprised' from 2007.
GM is the first to announce Siri integration with two new car models: the Chevrolet Spark and the Sonic Drive. The feature was dubbed "Eyes Free" and was announced at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June by former iOS chief, Scott Forstall. Basically, "Eyes Free" will be integrated via the car's Bluetooth functionality and the iPhone itself. The user can then initiate Siri's voice command by tapping a button on the steering wheel, and Siri's responses will be played over the car's audio system. Other car manufacturers such as Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Jaguar, Audi, Land rover, GM, BMW and Mercedes are slated to incorporate Siri's "Eyes Free" as well. Check out the full press release after the break.
Read More | GM
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Video games are always a hot item, with kids and adults alike wanting to get in on the action. We've put together eith different video game-related gifts that you pick pick up for your loved ones this holiday season, and we did our best to find something for everybody, starting with the Xbox 360 4GB Kinect holiday bundle. If you know someone who doesn't yet have an Xbox 360, then this is the one to get. They get the Kinect accessory included in the box, along with Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Adventures, two fun games. You can pick this one up for $249.99. Read on for the rest of our list!
If Apple merchandise is on your holiday buying list this year, you're gonna wanna be sure to check out MacMall's 60-hour Black Friday sale, which features up to $350 off of Mac computers. The sale includes all Macs, so you can even get a nice discount on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display for example. They've got other items as well, including discounts on the iPod touch, Apple TV, and major discounts on a bunch of consumer electronics like digital cameras, Blu-ray players, and more. Definitely a sale to check out to get the jump on your shopping--whether it's for someone else, or yourself. Here's the quick list:
- 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
- 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
- 13-inch MacBook Pro
- 15-inch MacBook Pro
- 11-inch MacBook Air
- 13-inch MacBook Air
- Mac mini
- Mac Pro
- iPod touch (5th generation)
- iPod touch (4th generation)
- Apple TV
MacMall has plenty more where that came from, so head on over and check out their full 60-hour Black Friday 2012 sale for all the deals.
Read More | MacMall 60-hour Black Friday sale