Google Tried to Upstage Apple This October

Posted by Kirhat | Saturday, November 01, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Nexus 6 Phone
Google just came out with bigger, more expensive versions of its Nexus phone and tablet to attract more of the affluent consumers who faithfully buy each new generation of Apple's iPhone and iPad. It has also released a new streaming video and music device, Nexus Player, to compete with Apple TV and Roku, among others.

The new lineup was announced during Google’s 15 October event where the tech company’s latest volley in its duel with Apple in the increasingly important mobile device market. Google's Android software and Apple's iOS software power most of the world's smartphones and tablets.

The Nexus products, which will hit store shelves in November, also will compete against a variety of other phones and tablets that run on the free Android software, including popular devices made by Samsung Electronics.

Both of the Nexus devices will run on a new version of Google's Android operating system. The latest software is called "Lollipop" in keeping with Google's tradition of naming its Android upgrades after treats.

Google's product unveiling came on the eve of a Thursday event where Apple Inc. is widely expected to update the trend-setting iPad that has defined the tablet market since its 2010 release.

The latest Nexus 9 tablet, made by HTC, features a nearly 9-inch screen — two inches larger than the previous version. The device also will cost considerably more, with prices for the Nexus 9 starting at US$ 399 — 74 percent more than its predecessor. That's still US$ 100 less than the starting price for the current iPad Air, which has a nearly 10-inch screen.

The new smartphone, called the Nexus 6, boasts a nearly 6-inch screen, eclipsing the 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6 Plus that Apple began selling last month.

Google is charging a comparable price for the Nexus 6, with prices beginning at US$ 649 for a phone without a wireless contract commitment. That's US$ 300 more than the previous generation, a Nexus 5 with a roughly 5-inch screen.

Consumers can dramatically lower their upfront expense for the Nexus 6 by locking into an Internet data plan with any of the wireless carriers that will begin selling the phone next month. The carriers include A&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S. Google's own Motorola Mobility is making the Nexus 6.

The dramatic price increases on the Nexus devices represents a strategic shift for Google. The Mountain View, California, company traditionally has hailed the Nexus line as state-of-the-art products available at more affordable prices than Apple's devices.

Because Google gives away its Android software, other devices running on the software typically sell for less than the iPhone and iPad. That has enabled more people around the world to buy smartphones and tablets.

However, makers of mobile apps have poured more resources into tailoring their products for the iPhone and iPad because the owners of those devices typically have more disposable income to spend.

Google is now aiming for more of Apple's affluent market with the Nexus line while trying to ensure people with lower incomes can still buy smartphones through a recently launched program called Android. One. The first Android One phones went on sale in India last month for roughly $100.

Getting more people online will benefit Google because the company has built a lucrative digital ad network though its dominant search engine and other services, including email, maps and YouTube video clips.

Pre-orders for the Nexus 9 and the Android TV player will be accepted beginning Friday. Both devices will reach store shelves on 3 November 2014. Advance orders for the Nexus 6 will be accepted toward the end of October and be available in stores at a still-to-be-determined date next month.

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iPod Classic Hit by Economics

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, October 31, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iPod Classic
Those of us who were born two decades ago will probably mourn the loss of the iPod Classic and the iconic digital music player’s 160GB of storage. It may not be as stylish and fashionable as today’s smartphone music player, but the storage capacity will turn almost everyone into hardcore music fan.

However, economics has taken its toll. Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that it was the “Law of Supply and Demand” that doomed the iPod Classic.

"We couldn’t get the parts anymore, not anywhere on Earth," Cook said. "It wasn’t a matter of me swinging the ax, saying 'what can I kill today?' The engineering work was massive, and the number of people who wanted it very small. I felt there were reasonable alternatives."

Supply and demand is perhaps one of the most fundamental concepts of economics which is being adopted by the tech giant like Apple. It forms the backbone of a market decisions because it underlie the forces behind the allocation of resources.

In Apple’s case, the consumer’s love to get a dedicated music player that offered as much bang as the iPod Classic has not translated to bucks for the company. Although Cook’s reasoning is understandable, many were hoping that somebody is willing to fill the gap and offer another version with the same 160GB capacity.

At present, the most expensive iPod touch offers a mere 64GB of storage, which is insufficient for those who like to listen to entire operas on the go.

At any rate, anyone who owns a 160GB Classic ought to be happy. Why? Because with the admission of Cook, the remaining units will most probably command a hefty price in the coming years and could become a rare collector’s item in 2-3 decades from now.

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Ellen Adarna Nude Photo Leaked

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, October 31, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Ellen Adarna Leaked Photo
Another case of leaked photos hit online stands and gossip blogs last 17 September, but this time it did not concern the hacked iCloud accounts of Hollywood actors. It involves nude photos of a local sexy actor and model Ellen Adarna.

It will be recalled that Esquire Philippines featured Adarna as its cover story a few months ago, including two versions of the sexy pictorial shoots showing her naked but covered with the magazine’s captions. The photos were taken by Jake Versoza. However, it seems that three fully naked photos not included in the issue of the magazine were leaked out and are now available at an image sharing website.

In a statement issued on 17 September, Esquire Philippines said it "condemns the unauthorized distribution of Ellen Adarna originally taken from a shoot the magazine staged for its April 2014 edition."

The rest of the statement reads:

"Esquire Philippines and Summit Media condemn the unauthorized distribution of photographs of Ellen Adarna that were originally taken from a shoot the magazine had staged for its April 2014 edition. She had agreed to be featured in Esquire Philippines with the understanding that no nude photographs taken of her then would be published or disseminated. The recent circulation of such sensitive photos without her (or our) knowledge or consent is in blatant violation of her privacy, and her right to dignity. We share her outrage; we are deeply angry; we will not hesitate to take the appropriate legal action.

The images in question, staged with photographer Jake Versoza, were never used in the magazine itself, and in most cases, were never even in the possession of the magazine. The images we did use from the shoot were treated to make sure any sensitive areas were artfully covered or obscured, as had been the agreement.

It is apparent as well to Esquire magazine that its own rights, as well as that of photographer Jake Versoza, have been infringed. We will take the proper measured action to protect its rights. Most importantly, we urge all not to participate in the dissemination of sensitive images that were not intended for public by the one person whose rights and dignity above all else’s should be respected at this time."
As for Adarna, she appeared unperturbed about all of this scandal. After hearing of the leak, Adarna responded by posting a photo on her official Instagram account with the caption: "Yesterday I received good and bad news. Today will be a f**king good day. Moving on... I'll just keep telling myself that in the end everything is gonna be okay, if it's not ok it's not the end."

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iOS 8.1's Interface Options

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, October 30, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iOS 8.1 Interface
When the first major update came out, iOS 8.1 encountered several criticisms about its storage requirement problem. Apple apparently failed to fix one issue of the latest OS version that will prevent many users from upgrading from iOS 7.

However, it cannot be denied that, with iOS 8.1, Apple introduces an entirely new level of interoperability among devices, allowing users to make calls from their Mac or even pick up a task started on their iPad using their iPhone.

The most notable upgrade to the software lies in its enhanced convergence with Mac OS X Yosemite. In particular, iOS 8.1 introduces the ability to make or receive phone calls or texts on an iPhone, iPad or Mac that are tied into the same WiFi network.

Similarly, tasks started on one of these devices (in Mail, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.) and saved to iCloud can be accessed and edited from any of the others.

In terms of photo managing features, iOS 8.1 brings back the Camera Roll in place of the "Recently Added" folder. The update also introduces the beta version of iCloud Photo Library, which can automatically save images to iCloud, where they can be accessed from any other connected terminal. As a reminder, the iCloud service comes with 5GB of free storage, and upgrades are available at monthly subscription rates.

Finally, iOS 8.1 delivers Apple Pay, the new mobile payments solution that works with the NFC connection and Touch ID fingerprint reader on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The service is available only in the US for the time being.

When announcing the update, Apple also informed that it sold 39.2 million iPhones worldwide during Q3 2014, which represents a 16 percent increase over the same period in 2013. During their first three days on the market, the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold more than 10 million units.

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A Quick Fix to iOS 8.1 Battery Issues

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, October 30, 2014 | | 0 comments »

iOS 8.1 Battery Issues
It appears as though each new iOS update Apple releases has a negative impact on battery life for some users and it spun a series of speculations.

There are plenty of theories on why the battery life was so affected by the latest update and they range from assumption that an updated iPhones and iPads need to re-index files, to some users simply being unaware of increased usage as they explore new features. The truth is that there are numerous issues that can impact iPhone and iPad battery life following an update, and it varies on a case by case basis.

Since Apple released iOS 8.1 earlier this month, a tech site – BGR – has received several emails from iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who say that their battery life took a noticeable hit after updating to Apple’s latest software. While there unfortunately isn’t one solution for everyone, BGR have found a simple trick that seems to help many users.

A thread on Reddit started by user “keithkman” last 26 October detailed a problem impacting a number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users following Apple’s iOS 8.1 update. The user noted that on iOS 8, his iPhone 6 Plus battery would provide more than 6 hours of usage and about 24 hours of standby time per charge. Following the update, however, standby time dropped to about 15 hours per charge with the same amount of usage.

After reading the Reddit thread, BGR emailed a number of users who had contacted them describing similar experiences, and they linked them to a simple suggestion in the comments on that thread. User “DatGuyWitDaGlasses” said that after seeing similar battery life changes on his phone, he contacted Apple support and they were able to solve his problem.

"I contacted Apple support and went into a chat room with a Genius with the same issue. I was recommended to go to my settings and ‘Reset all Settings,'" he wrote. "Apparently I had a lot of system programs crashing in the background, and once I reset my settings my battery life returned to normal."

It should be noted, however, that this procedure will not delete any user data but it will return many settings to their default states.

BGR reported that they heard back from a number of people saying that this trick appears to have resolved the issues on their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, so it’s definitely something to consider if your handset is having problems with reduced battery life following the iOS 8.1 update.

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CurrentC Pushing Back Apple Pay

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | | 0 comments »

Apple has been quite vocal about all of the retail "partners" that it has on board for Apple Pay (most of which have been accepting Google Wallet for a while now), but it looks like the pushback from retailers is already coming to fragment the NFC payment market.

A number of major retailers have started blocking Apple Pay and Google Wallet payments in favor of another proprietary payment option on the way: CurrentC.

The competing payment platform has the backing of Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), but not one single bank yet. MCX is a partnership created back in 2012 with major retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS, Best Buy, Dunkin Donuts, Gap, 7-Eleven, Sears, and many more. Despite the fact that CurrentC isn't on the market, has no banks on board, and won't be available until next year sometime, the MCX partners have started blocking Apple Pay, Google Wallet, SoftCard, and other mobile payment systems.

Apple is obviously not happy about the block, but the company isn’t about to come out with a blistering attack against them, especially when it’s trying to coax these retailers to start accepting its mobile payment platform again. Instead, a company spokesperson has given Business Insider a statement that’s carefully crafted to tout Apple Pay’s early success and imply that any retailers that block the service are missing out.

"The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic," Apple tells Business Insider. "We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations."

If the block stays put, it looks like there will essentially be two different types of stores once next year rolls around - those in MCX who support CurrentC, and everyone else. In the worst case scenario, MCX will gain more retail backers, or other major retailers will break off to create even more locked-down systems.

Consumer groups are hoping that the more open standard wins out, and the choice of mobile payment platform is left up to the them.

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