iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple debuts two new “If it’s not an iPhone” ads

Apple released a pair of new iPhone 6 ads.

In the first ad, entitled Hardware & Software, Apple tells customers about iPhone’s merits rather than demonstrates them through story-driven narratives.

The ads feature a voice over detailing what makes the company’s device unique compared to other smart phones and smart phone platforms while showing off a number of iPhones doing various things on a white background.

The “Hardware & Software” ad also explains how the company is one of the few smart phone manufacturers to design both the hardware and software parts of the device.

Then, it shows games, intensive apps including GarageBand and iPhone-exclusive features like Apple Pay and FaceTime.

The second ad is entitled “Loved” and seemingly showcases how satisfied iPhone users are. It also claims that 99% of people who have an iPhone love their device and shows off people messaging, sending emojis, FaceTiming and having a good time on a multitude of iPhones before cutting to the new tagline.

Both videos end with a new tagline: “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”

Apple’s previous major iPhone ad campaign, called Shot on iPhone 6, heavily showcased the camera found on the device and didn’t reveal the actual device in the advertisements, but rather only footage shot with the phone.


Apple removed Home Sharing support for music in iOS 8.4

Following the release of iOS 8.4, which brought Apple’s brand new music service Apple Music, Apple removed a feature still used by many from the operating system.

A number of users on Apple’s Support forum noticed, that the company appears to have removed Home Sharing support for music in iOS 8.4. The Home Sharing support page was also updated to demonstrate that the feature is not present in iOS 8.4.

Launched on iOS in 2011 as part of iOS 4.3, Home Sharing gave users the ability to access their iTunes library from anywhere within their house and stream the content to their phone, iPod, or iPad.  It also originally had support for both video and audio content, but now with iOS 8.4 only supports video content. Home Sharing for audio is still available, but only for Apple TV and Mac users.


Apple likely decided to remove Home Sharing for music in iOS 8.4 because of the licensing agreements concerning Apple Music. It’s possible that the company doesn’t have the rights to allow content obtained via Apple Music to be streamed over WiFi like Home Sharing requires.

The problem can be solved by switching to Apple Music’s family plan, which lets families of up to 6 access Apple’s catalog of content for $14.99 per month.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple adds Maps Flyover support for 7 cities

Apple has updated its in-house mapping service with seven new cities. The company added seven international locales to its list of cities supporting Maps 3D Flyover.

With new locations, which include cities in Portugal, Spain, England, Germany and Puerto Rico, the total number of Flyover cities in Apple Maps reached 148, allowing users to have photorealistic 3D tours of those places and zoom in on landmarks and buildings. 

The latest additions can be seen below.

  • Almería, Spain
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Braga, Portugal
  • Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
  • Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Kiel, Germany
  • Kingston upon Hull, England


Flyover was first revealed as a standout Maps feature when the iPhone maker moved away from Google Maps in iOS 6. Flyover includes both high-resolution imagery and three-dimensional modeling technology to give users 3D visualizations of structures, major landmarks and points of interest.

Apple has added Flyover support to more than 30 new locations this year. The full list of Flyover cities is available on Apple’s iOS 8 feature availability page.


Universal debuts first trailer for ‘Steve Jobs’ movie

Universal Studios has finally released the first trailer for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic. The new video offers the first on-screen look at what to expect from the film and Michael Fassbender, who plays the late Apple cofounder.

The trailer features mostly Michael Fassbender as Jobs, with cast voice overs giving snippets and teases of conversations regarding Jobs’ true legacy at Apple. Then, the video provides closer looks at Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, and Jeff Daniels as Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Joanna Hoffman, and John Sculley, respectively. 

It is known, that this Jobs Biopic includes only three scenes. In each scene, Jobs is debuting a product of his creation.

From Universal’s official release:

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, STEVE JOBS takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.

The film, which was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, will hit theaters in October.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple refutes rumors of delayed HomeKit launch

On Thursday, in a statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, the company has refuted rumors of delays, saying that the first HomeKit accessories will be available next month. That means HomeKit will truly see its official debut in the near future, perhaps at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Yesterday, Apple has pushed back an official HomeKit launch to fall after key software components “blew up.”

“HomeKit certification has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told The Journal. “We’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month.”

Apple introduced the HomeKit framework as a future iOS product at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2014.  It is the company’s platform that links several home automation devices together with a single set of protocols to allow them to be controlled through the Apple ecosystem. Apple has also revealed a demo version of HomeKit back in June. homekit

Apple finalized its HomeKit specification in October and began accepting applications for device certification in November. 


Apps Lists, iPad, News/Rumors

Apple debuts ‘Change Everything’ iPad ad campaign

Apple on Wednesday launched its newest iPad marketing campaign, “Change Everything,” offering a comprehensive look at how the tablet fits into and enriches the life of its owners.

The video starts off with a list of things that have changed since the debut of the first iPad, such as small businesses and education. Then, the ad shows a number of applications and accessories that have augmented the way people connect, learn, and conduct business, and enjoy their lives.

In addition to the new commercial, the “Change Everything” campaign includes  a new website featuring the apps that change the way people go about their daily lives. It breaks off into 6 sections: Cooking with iPad, Learning with iPad, Small Business with iPad, Traveling with iPad, Redecorating with iPad, and Why iPad?


Each section of the new site contains imagery covering what the iPad can do and a lot of recommended applications for each purpose. “Cooking with iPad,” for instance, includes sections on using the tablet as a cookbook, as a tool to create cookbooks, and as a prep tool for organizing ingredients to be bought.  Some of the recommended apps in this section include  Green Kitchen and Yummly.

For small businesses, there are such apps like the Square credit card reader and QuickBooks.

The education page offers options for students ranging from kids to college students, while the redecorating section gives access to the apps that help you decorate and furniture your home, like Vango Art and ColorSnap Studio.

Apple previously launched a number of different advertising campaigns for the iPad in an effort to spur people into purchasing one of its tablets. The company has already offered “Why You’ll Love an iPad,” “Your Verse,” and “Start Something New” in 2013 and 2014. 

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple saw 1 million Apple Watch preorders on the first day

According to the data, estimated by Slice Intelligence, Apple saw 957,000 pre-orders in the United States on April 10, the first day the device was available to order. On average, consumers purchased 1.3 units which means that many customers ordered two or more devices.

The most popular model bought was the Space Grey Sport, followed by the stainless steel Apple Watch, then the Silver Sport. Only 3% of customers orderes the Space Black Apple Watch model although it was in limited supply (4 – 6 weeks) from the beginning of preorders and is also the most expensive model of Apple Watch.

The firm said Apple Watch consumers purchased an average of 1.3 watches and spent an average of $503.83 per unite. Sport buyers spent on average $382.83 per order, while those ordering stainless steel Apple Watch versions spent $707.04.

As for the accessories, the Black Sport Band was the most popular addition for both Watch and Sport buyers. The Milanese Loop was highly popular, coming in third for sales behind the White Sport Band.

Apple Watch

Slice Intelligence did not reveal Apple Watch pre-order data for the other eight countries where the smart device became available Friday, including Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, China and Hong Kong.

Apple started preorders on Friday and soon saw initial supply exhausted. Within minutes of going live, preorder ship-by dates for most Watch models slipped to 4 to 6 weeks.


Pandora CFO promises CarPlay support

Pandora announced its plans to launch its online music radio on Apple’s CarPlay, the in-car infotainment software set to appear in a number of vehicles on the market.

When Apple’s CarPlay feature debuted last year, Apple cooperated with a few music services to give a variety of listening choices on the platform, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Rdio, and more. Pandora will likely join them soon.

According to Pandora CFO Mike Herring, the service will “definitely be in CarPlay” and integrated into the Apple Watch as well.

CarPlay is currently featured in 40 new car models made by major manufacturers, Apple is tasked to significantly expand its footprint.

There is no a timeline for the possible launch of a Pandora CarPlay app. Last year, the Pandora representative said that Apple was an interesting partner and though it did not have a CarPlay offering at the current time, it was exploring opportunities to expand its presence in the vehicle in the future. carplay

“Pandora, which owes part of its success to the popularity of its iPhone app, has a “frenemy kind of relationship going on” with Apple, according to Herring. “We were part of what made it fun to have an iPhone,” Herring added. While the two companies are “close partners,” it is a “very interesting relationship.”

For Pandora, participating in the project could result in boost of subscribers

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple plans virtual online try-ons and personal setup for gold & steel models

Apple will offer customers to virtually try on an Apple Watch or Apple Watch Edition and receive setup support. It is a great option for those, who are unsure as to which model to get or which band combination would look best, especially for those, who are unable to hop on over to the Apple retail store and check out the various combinations.

Virtual try-on means the ability for customers to video chat with an Apple Online Store representative who will personally try-on and model Apple Watch collections and band combinations. In addition, Edition buyers will be given an ability to have a “personalized pre-sales experience” either over phone or online chat.

Customers will be allowed virtual personal setup via the Apple Online Store. These online specialists will walk the consumer through the Apple Watch unboxing process, the setup of the iPhone Companion application, pairing with an iPhone via Bluetooth, and installing apps from the Apple Watch App Store.


However this online virtual personal setup feature will only be offered to customers purchase the Apple Watch or Apple Watch Edition versions, so if you’re planning to buy the Apple Watch Sport watch, you are recommended to either browse Apple’s website or head on over to the store for more information.

This is similar to services Apple has offered to its consumers in the past in select European regions, so it will be the first for Apple in the US.


Apple acquires fast database software firm FoundationDB to speed up cloud services

Apple reportedly acquired FoundationDB, a database software company that “develops scalable and fault tolerant databases that support multiple data models.”

Apple purchased FoundationDB for an unknown sum, possibly to bolster server technologies attached to iTunes or iCloud.

According to the post on the firm’s blog, FoundationDB software can perform ACID-compliant transactions at 14,400,000 random writes per second, or 54 billion writes per hour.

«FoundationDB’s attractiveness came in the speed at which it handled ACID-compliant transactions and coupled that with strong scalability. FoundationDB hosted a booth at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012, where we first wrote about its approach to a modern NoSQL database and its ‘NoSQL, YesACID’ motto. FoundationDB’s latest engine, which was covered by TC Columnist Jon Evans late last year, scaled up 14.4 million random writes per second.»


A post on the FoundationDB site notes it’s no longer offering downloads of its database software.

«Thank you for your support of FoundationDB over the last five years. We’re grateful to have shared our vision of building the best database software and we strongly value your participation in this community. We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads.»

Meanwhile, Apple confirmed the acquisition saying: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”