- April 26, 2012
According to new data from The NPD Group, one-in-four iPad purchases are made by first-time Apple owners. The Apple Ecosystem Study found that 33 percent of US homes own Apple products, and while a majority—69 percent—of those own iPods, iPad ownership is growing. While 70 percent of long-standing Apple owners report that an iPod was their first Apple product, that number declines to just 57 percent among those buying their first Apple product in the last two years. Accordingly, the iPhone and iPad account for one-third of first-time Apple purchases since 2012. On average, Apple households own 2.4 Apple devices.
Popular business networking service LinkedIn has released an update to its iOS app adding native iPad support. LinkedIn 5.0 is now a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with a redesigned user interface specifically optimized for the new iPad and the Retina Display. The update also adds a new calendar feature that allows users to quickly access LinkedIn profile information for other participants in scheduled meetings and a redesigned updates view for a more accessible overview of connections, industry news, groups and other relevant information. LinkedIn 5.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Halfbrick Studios has released a major new content update to its hit game, Jetpack Joyride, adding a multitude of new gadgets along with new achievements and missions. Jetpack Joyride is a side scrolling action/adventure game that puts players in the role of Barry Steakfries who breaks into a secret laboratory to commandeer experimental jetpacks from a group of evil scientists and must use them to escape from the lab. Version 1.3 adds 15 new gadgets such as Air Barry sneakers for leaping obstacles, Nerd Repellant for avoiding scientists, an Insta-Ball for gaining a few extra meters by bouncing off the floor and many more crazy and cool new items to help push the envelope, earn higher scores and just generally have fun with. Along with the new collection of gear, the update adds four new Game Center achievements to unlock and a new set of missions to challenge players to make best use of the new toys. Jetpack Joyride is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has been named in a new lawsuit targeting the manufacturers of cellular phones with voice control capabilities. Colorado-based Potter Voice Technologies has filed a federal patent infringement suit against Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Google, HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, ZTE, Kyocera, Sharp, Huawei, Pantech, RIM, and Nokia, claiming that all phones containing voice command functionality violate its 14-year-old patent. “Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Voice Actions make cell phones and other electronic devices much more useful for customers, but those products and others would never have been possible if not for the technology embodied in Potter’s patent,” said IP attorney Christopher Banys, who is representing Potter. “The defendants have collected a fortune using Potter’s technology, and we are asking the court for at least a reasonable royalty based on their unauthorized use.”
- April 25, 2012
- Apps + Games
Ostin Games has updated Zepi Music, its musical puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch adding new bonus power ups along with Facebook and Twitter integration and gameplay and graphics enhancements. Zepi Music challenges players to clear the iPhone screen of bubbles by matching colours as quickly as possible; users build combos with multitouch gestures by sliding across matching adjacent objects and quickly tapping on non-adjacent objects to clear as many objects as possible in a single chain, with larger combos resulting in higher scores. Each object is accompanied by a series of musical notes allowing users to build and experience improvised melodies as they play; colour ranges result in musical phrases of recognizable tunes as players string together longer combos and users can customize the settings to decide which instruments will accompany each colour. The app includes three graphical modes and four sound modes with high-quality graphics and integrated Game Center support with 30 unique achievements in each game. Version 1.5 adds new Crazy Rockets and Time Pills bonus power ups to help players reach higher scores. Zepi Music for the iPhone and iPod touch is available from the App Store for $1; an iPad version, Zepi HD, is also available for $1.
- April 25, 2012
- Apps + Games
Chillingo has updated Cut the Rope with a new DJ Box level pack, adding 25 new levels featuring spinning vinyl records that users must use to navigate obstacles and feed candy to Om Nom. Cut the Rope is a physics-based puzzler that challenges players to cut ropes, catch stars and avoid obstacles while trying to feed the little monster Om Nom. The update also adds a new hidden Om Nom drawing for players to collect along with a new leaderboard and achievements for the DJ Box pack and various other optimizations and improvements. Cut the Rope is available from the App Store in two versions, Cut the Rope ($1) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Cut the Rope HD ($2) for the iPad.
Jarre has launched its new AeroPad Two speaker for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Available with a black, white, or bamboo front finish, the AeroPad Two features multiple 30-pin docks in the front center to provide for vertical or horizontal placement of the connected device, a USB port with support for WMA, AIFF, WAV, and MP3 files, an auxiliary input for other audio sources, five speakers, including a dedicated subwoofer, 200 Watts of total power, an included remote control, and chrome-finished stainless steel on the bottom and rear. Jarre’s AeroPad Two speaker for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod is now available for pre-order and will ship in September for €699, or roughly $925. [via Gizmodo]
Rogue Amoeba has released a major update to Airfoil Speakers Touch adding native iPad support and a new optional feature for receiving audio directly from iTunes and other AirPlay audio sources. Originally designed as a companion app for the company’s Airfoil for Mac and Windows, Airfoil Speakers Touch allows users to listen to audio streamed wirelessly from their computer to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Version 3.0 adds a new “Enhanced Receiving” feature, available as a $3 in-app purchase, that presents Airfoil Speakers Touch as a remote AirPlay audio device, allowing users to stream directly from iTunes and other iOS devices without requiring Airfoil to be running on the computer. The new version also adds support for remotely controlling and displaying track info and artwork from a number of additional sources streamed via Airfoil for Mac. Airfoil Speakers Touch is now a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download. Streaming audio from a computer requires Airfoil for Mac or Airfoil for Windows or an AirPlay compatible application such as iTunes with the purchase of the $3 in-app upgrade for Enhanced Receiving.
- April 25, 2012
Just announced this morning, Apple has already sold out of tickets for its 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference. According to a notice on Apple’s official WWDC website, tickets are sold out, roughly two hours after they went on sale. “We’ll be posting videos of all our sessions shortly after the conference, so everyone can take advantage of great WWDC content for free,” reads a consolatory message. Last year’s conference sold out in just 12 hours.
- April 25, 2012
- Apps + Games
Only a month after its debut on the App Store, Rovio Mobile has already released an update to Angry Birds Space adding ten new levels to the popular new Angry Birds adaptation. Angry Birds Space takes the eponymous birds into the final frontier with a new graphical theme and new space-based gameplay physics and activities. The ten new levels put the pigs in motion, challenging players to take them out while orbiting around ice planets. The update also offers players up to 20 free Space Eagle power ups that can be obtained daily simply by logging in each day and addresses stability issues on older devices. The game is available in two separate versions, Angry Birds Space ($1) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Angry Birds Space HD for the iPad ($3).
- April 25, 2012
Reporting its first quarter fiscal results, Sprint today announced that it activated 1.5 million iPhones during the March quarter. According to the company, 44 percent of those were sold to new customers. While the activation number may appear low compared to AT&T’s 4.3 million activations and Verizon’s 3.2 million, the 1.5 million number actually accounts for roughly 5 percent of Sprint’s total postpaid subscriber base of 32.8 million. Sprint started to offer the iPhone last fall with the launch of the iPhone 4S.
- April 25, 2012
Apple this morning announced that it will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference June 11 through June 15 at its traditional venue of Moscone West in San Francisco. According to the company, developers at this year’s conference will “learn about the future of iOS and OS X”, and will have access to more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers. The announcement lacks any mention of a Keynote Address; however, Apple has in the past used a later announcement—traditionally closer to the event itself—to outline its Keynote plans.
“We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers across the country and around the world.”
During Apple’s second-quarter 2012 financial results conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer made a number of comments related to Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod businesses.
Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, opened the conference call by calling attention to the company’s record March quarter, which he said was fueled primarily by strong iPhone and iPad sales. He said that iPod sales, though down year-over-year, were ahead of internal projections, and as with the past few quarters, the iPod touch accounted for over half of iPod sales. Regarding the iTunes Store, Oppenheimer said that the catalog now includes over 28 million songs and 45,000 movies.
iPhone sales more than doubled in the Asia Pacific region, according to Oppenheimer, who added that the January launch of the iPhone 4S in China and the addition of China Telecom as a second carrier were responsible for a lot of growth. Cook later stated that the company saw 3X year-over-year revenue growth in China. Oppenheimer said that the manufacturing ramps for both the iPhone 4S and the third-generation iPad were extremely successful, which enabled the company to fulfill demand in the March quarter, compared to the June quarter last year. As a result, the company is expecting a sequential decline in iPhone sales.
The company was “very pleased” with iPad sales during the quarter—including sales of the third-generation model, which is now available in over 40 countries. iPad sales more than doubled in each segment, and as a result, the company is slightly supply-constrained. Oppenheimer said that the iPad is about to enter the K-12 institution buying season, which the company expects to boost sales, and later added that the company is selling third-generation iPad units as fast as it can make them.
When asked about what the company is learning about lower price points on the iPhone and iPad, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is thrilled with the results they’ve seen thus far, although obviously it’s only been a few weeks. He added that the lower price of the iPad 2 unlocked some education demand, probably more price-sensitive customers, and in some countries, there was a marked change in demand. The company is not sure yet what the mix of third-gen iPad to iPad 2 will be, but said that on absolute sales of the iPad 2, what the company is seeing is exciting. Cook went on to say that the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 contributed to the 35 million in iPhone sales—the company’s second biggest quarter in terms of iPhone sales.
Overall, more than 365 million iOS devices have been sold, and the App Store now offers over 600,000 apps, 200,000 of which are built specifically for the iPad. Oppenheimer added that iCloud now has over 125 million customers signed up.
Finally, when asked about the company’s ongoing legal disputes, Cook said that he has always hated litigation, and just wants companies to invent their own stuff. He added that if Apple could reach agreements where it would be guaranteed that companies would be using their own inventions, and that included a fair settlement on stuff that’s occurred, it would be happy to settle instead of battle. That said, he added that Apple can’t become the developer for the world—that the company needs people to invent their own stuff.
During the company’s Q2 2012 Financial Results Conference Call, Apple CEO Tim Cook made several very interesting comments regarding the merging of traditional PCs with tablets. Cook said that while any two types of products can be forced to converge, the resulting products involve tradeoffs, and eventually reach the point at which they no longer appear to anyone; combining products creates compromises that do not please either user. He used the MacBook Air as an example of continuing innovation in the Mac space, and said that it appeals to someone who has somewhat different requirements than an iPad user. Cook specifically said that Apple will not make the compromise of convergence, adding that while others might converge their lines—especially for defensive reasons, such as seeing their computer or tablet sales flagging—Apple will play in both markets simultaneously.
Reporting its second quarter 2012 financial results today, Apple said it sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, an 88 percent increase year-over-year, but down slightly from 37.04 million units in the prior quarter. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, up 151 percent from the year-ago quarter and down from 15.43 million units in the first quarter of 2012. Finally, the company said it sold 7.7 million iPods during the quarter — a 15 percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year. Unit sales of iPhones, iPads, and iPods bring the cumulative totals for the three device categories to 218.1 million, 67.08 million, and 344.28 million, respectively.
Apple posted revenue of $39.19 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $24.67 billion and net quarterly profit of $5.99 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share in Q2 2011. Revenue from Other Music Related Products and Services, which includes revenue from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore in addition to sales of iPod services and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories, was $2.027 billion for the quarter, up 32 percent year-over-year and down 6 percent over the prior quarter.
“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”
“Our record March quarter results drove $14 billion in cash flow from operations,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68.”
- April 24, 2012
- Apps + Games
Mobile gaming developer Order of Leisure has launched King’s Corners for the iPhone and iPod touch, a unique iOS adaptation on the classic solitaire game. King’s Corners challenges players to strategically play cards onto a 4x4 playing board, trying to position face cards at the corners and edges—Queens at the top and bottom, Jacks on the sides and Kings in each corner. A “card reserve” option also provides a new twist on the classic game, allowing players a reserve card slot to make the game easier at lower difficulty levels. The iOS version provides a step-by-step tutorial, detailed Retina Display graphics and multiple background options. An accomplishment and challenges system is also available with Game Center integration along with multiple difficulty levels and a point system. King’s Corners requires iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.
- April 24, 2012
- Apps + Games
3D Magic has released Realikety, a new augmented reality social networking app that lets users “Like” real world places and objects. Designed to take the concept of social networking beyond the online space of websites, photos and videos, Realikety allows users to capture and “Like” anything they can see with the iPhone camera. Likes are counted and displayed in real time and users can comment and share with other Realikety users and read what they have to say about the same things . The iPhone camera and GPS are used to identify objects and physical locations and integration with Facebook and Wikipedia provides the ability to share Likes with Facebook and lookup famous tourist attractions in realtime. Realikety requires iOS 4.3 or later and an iPhone or fourth-generation iPod touch and is available from the App Store as a free download.
iHome has announced that it is now shipping its iDM5 Executive Work Station. First unveiled at the 2012 CES, the iDM5 features a built-in, full-size QWERTY Bluetooth keyboard, built-in speakers, a microphone for speaker functionality, two USB ports for device charging, an auxiliary input, and an integrated keyboard cover that doubles as the back to a built-in stand. iHome’s iDM5 is available now and sells for $130; for more information, see our full review.
Apple infringed on a single Motorola Mobility patent in its production of the iPhone, iPad, and several other products, according to an International Trade Commission judge. Reuters reports that ITC Judge Thomas Pender handed down his preliminary ruling in the dispute today, stating that Apple had infringed one Motorola patent, but did not violate three other patents which Motorola accused it of infringing. Judge Pender’s ruling is not final, and will be reviewed by the full commission before a final ruling is issued in August.
- April 24, 2012
- Apps + Games
Parrot has released a minor update to its FreeFlight app for the AR.Drone iOS-controlled Quadricopter adding support for video recording on the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch. This release follows a major update to FreeFlight earlier this month that added a redesigned user interface and high-definition video and photo support for newer iOS devices. Today’s update provides lower-resolution 360p video recording for iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch users with the same ability to upload videos to YouTube from within the app. Users can also capture still photos from the AR.Drone cameras and share them via Picasa. FreeFlight now requires iOS 5.0 or later and an AR.Drone or AR.Drone 2.0 and is available from the App Store as a free download.